April 12th, 2007

Financial Armageddon

Few tasks, if any, are more important for the preservation of freedom than the preservation of a sound monetary system. (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)

Yesterday I finished reading Financial Armageddon by David B. Draughon. Draughon is a Latter-day Saint and analyzes our “awful [financial] situation” from a gospel perspective. I found his book to be very well-written and easy to read, helping the reader who may be unfamiliar with the subject matter to quickly get up to speed and understand the concepts and issues being presented.

Over the past year I have spent a great deal of time studying the economy, fiscal policy, inflation, the “Federal” Reserve, debt, and most importantly, the history of currency. What I have learned has been enlightening, astonishing, and downright infuriating.

Needless to say, I have a passionate hatred for banks, bankers, and all those blood-sucking workers of evil who have debased our currency, catalyzed inflation through fiat currency creation, and used fractional reserve banking to create money—literally—out of thin air. J. Edgar Hoover, former director of the FBI, opined similarly:

Banks are an almost irresistible attraction for that element of our society which seeks unearned money. (J. Edgar Hoover, via Quoty)

That unearned money is delivered into the hands of the powerful and wealthy most easily through “confiscation through inflation“. Keynesian economics has this to say on the matter:

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. (John Maynard Keynes, via Quoty)

In the past seven years alone, our currency has dropped over 40% in value against other currencies. The dollar has been watered down to 4% of its original purchasing power since 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created. The dollar indeed is being debauched to the point of oblivion.

What is the solution? As the scriptures teach, and as Draughon discusses thoroughly in his book, fiscal honesty and economy security demand that we return to a system of just weights and measures. Who in Congress advocates such a policy? Faithful readers of this blog will no doubt guess correctly. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has said:

The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. (Ron Paul, via Quoty)

The universal law “what goes up must come down” applies quite well to money. The inflation and price inflation that has run rampant in our economy will—mark my words—come crashing down, and hard. It is only a matter of when. I’m amazed that we have lasted this long.

I find it sad that so few understand what a dollar really is. Few understand what “fiat currency” is. Fewer understand the history of banking in this country, and how fractional reserve banking with loose reserve requirements lead to the creation of money ex nihilo. And hardly any seem to understand that our money is nothing more than debt.

The Framers of the Constitution were very wise men. They studied economic history, and knew that gold-shaving, fiat currency, and central banks had led to collapses in numerous civilizations. The monetary policies they instituted and advocated were sound and proven. Their distaste for central banks (with rare exceptions such as Alexander Hamilton) was pungent and scathing:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. (Thomas Jefferson, via Quoty)

Ayn Rand pegged the situation quite well in Atlas Shrugged, when speaking through protagonist Francisco d’Anconia she said:

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. (Ayn Rand, via Quoty)

The historical repetition in matters of currency and banking are easily discernible to the inquisitive mind. Ron Paul summed it up quite well, when he said:

When gold was used, and the rules protected honest commerce, productive nations thrived. Whenever wealthy nations — those with powerful armies and gold — strived only for empire and easy fortunes to support welfare at home, those nations failed. (Ron Paul, via Quoty)

If we do not return to the gold standard (which we most assuredly will not, as a nation), then the event described in the title of Draughon’s book—Financial Armageddon—will inevitably occur. Rolf Nef gave us one hint on how to perceive a potential economic collapse:

When empires fall, their currencies fall first. Even clearer is the rising debt of empires in decline, because in most cases their physical expansion is financed with debt. (Rolf Nef, via Quoty)

That pretty well sums up our current situation. Our dear prophet has also commented on this sad set of circumstances:

What a dismal station we have reached in this nation where we have borrowed and spent and failed to repay. At the close of 1994, every man, woman, and child in the United States owed as his or her part of the national debt $17,805.64. Think of it. It is a disgrace. It affects all of our monetary policies and all of our commerce. It burdens us with taxes from which there is little or no relief. (Gordon B. Hinckley, via Quoty)

That number has nearly doubled, bringing each citizens’ current individual burden to over $29,000.

Financial Armageddon looms near. Are you prepared?

16 Responses to “Financial Armageddon”

  1. Michael L. McKee
    April 12, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    Connor

    Hopefully our brothers and sisters are working feverishly to get their food storage and other necessities in order. My predictions (my opinion and I have no facts to provide, but there are many available) are that before the end of this year we will experience some kind of major economical disruption which will further the “fear factor” to a point where our Federal Government will seize upon another golden opportunity to abrogate our freedoms, thus leaving us ever closer to Constitutional impotency.

    If you do not now have gold and silver coins as part of your emergency preparedness and readiness plan, I would suggest doing so as the metals continue to gradually rise just enough to keep the populace moving toward “Financial Armageddon” at a sustainable pace before the World Banks declare foul and we clamor for our Federal Government to “protect” us.

    I have been a “gold bug” for over 20 years and a follower of Howard Ruff and others who know the real value of monetary trade lies in the precious metals, i.e. gold and silver. Fortunately, I am a coin and precious metals dealer here in Ohio so I am able to keep myself informed and prepared in this area also. I believe gold will reach a new high this year (again this is part of my informed opinion) and that will bode well for my business.

    The most worrisome part of what I see coming is that the burden upon the Church Welfare System will likely be caused by too many members not being prepared. This too will be a part of the sifting process. I also fear, as I have mentioned before, that there is a movement afoot to remove the tax exempt status from all churches, and some of the so-called Hate Crimes legislation being put forward is designed to bring that about.

    Let us hope our Lord will be merciful unto those of us who are not obedient to His guidance, and the guidance of His Prophets. If He is not, He will yet be justified in His actions.

  2. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 10:02 am #

    Michael,

    I agree with what you’ve said here. Things will get much worse before they seem to get better. Draughon’s book uses an excellent analogy of musical shares to show that everybody is content while the music is still playing, but not until the music stops playing (read: economic crash) do people worry about finding a seat.

    I share your interest in and acquisition of gold and silver. I don’t have a lot, but I’ve started, and will continue to acquire more as a sound investment while I watch all dollar-based savings lose purchasing power and long-term stability.

  3. Kelly Winterton
    April 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm #

    Gold and Silver will only be marginally useful after a large crash. We better learn how to be more self-reliant. Security comes from not how much we have, but how little we need. Learn to garden, sew, do without, medicate yourself, etc. But most of all, keep the commandments, not trusting totally in the arm of flesh.

  4. Michael L. McKee
    April 12, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    Kelly

    If you only knew how much of the things you mentioned I have, and it is not my intent to brag, but I do most things in an effort to help my siblings as they are not members of the Church, and they will not be prepared on their own.

    I am certain I could go out into the middle of a secluded woods and live quite COMFORTABLY by myself for over a year if I have enough time (several days) to get my abode moved into position.

    I believe there is no such thing as too much preparation, and I still add to my holdings when I find things at greatly reduced prices. I am an avid yard sale, flea market, and auction buyer. I am also a Wholesale Distributor for Living Essentials in Utah. Of course, being in the precious metals business also helps as I am able to buy gold and silver at MY prices.

    When it comes to preparation, everything you do before the emergency is preferable to attempting to do something after the emergency has arrived.

    During the Hyper Inflation in Germany and other European countries, people sold valuable jewelry and other items for loaves of bread, or a bag of potatoes. Please do not tell me that having gold and silver with which to conduct commerce will not be preferable to accepting whatever the world socialists come up with in order to live your daily life such as a micro chip embedded in your body somewhere. I assure you, I will permit NO MAN putting that kind of chain on my life, but many will.

    Say what you will about gold and silver. I believe a poor Chinese rice farmer would give you rice for gold or silver, but he will not give you any for fiat currency once the currency has been demonetized through the plans of the NWO elitists.

  5. Bethany
    April 12, 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    Didn’t Joseph Smith and other leaders of the early Church participate in creating a bank known as the Kirkland Safety Society? Are banks really inheritantly bad?

  6. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    Didn’t Joseph Smith and other leaders of the early Church participate in creating a bank known as the Kirkland Safety Society?

    Yes. It was an anti-banking company. As I understanding it, their money was backed with specie as an honorable bank should. As Jack Monnett explains in Awakening to our Awful Situation, the larger reason for its economic troubles were the external factors that affected numerous other banks as well.

    Are banks really inheritantly bad?

    Not at all. When banks back their paper currency with hard specie, offer realistic interest rates, and shun fractional reserve banking policies, then they can be very helpful. Too bad we don’t have any of those these days…

  7. John
    April 12, 2007 at 4:41 pm #

    If we do not return to the gold standard (which we most assuredly will not, as a nation), then the event described in the title of Draughon’s book—Financial Armageddon—will inevitably occur.

    I don’t know of any nations that use the gold standard. Isn’t it impossible?

    The country’s GDP is like 13 trillion bucks. The going price for gold is $670 per ounce. So 13 trillion bucks in gold is like 550 million kilograms in gold.

    ?

  8. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    I don’t know of any nations that use the gold standard. Isn’t it impossible?

    That’s because all nations’ central banks have shifted to paper currency and abandoned any backing by specie. The 13 trillion dollars in our GDP is just a bunch of inflated fiat Federal Reserve Notes. The GDP goes up, but wealth and money do not. We’re just circulating more bills.

    Draughon does a good job in his book of debunking the common myth that we need an “elastic” economy that fiat currency provides, because, as some claim, there wouldn’t be enough gold to back it. Gold is only so pricey because it’s compared to what today’s inflated dollars are. Sure, one wouldn’t want to immediately back everything with dollars – as Ron Paul has repeatedly advocated, it must be a gradual process of reintroducing currency backed by money, to drive down price inflation, and consequently, inflation as a whole.

    JFK started to do it, but then he was assassinated and his United States Notes (backed by specie) were removed from circulation.

    [/takes off tin foil hat]

  9. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 5:55 pm #

    John,

    Draughon cites G. Edward Griffin’s quote to rebut the claim that there is insufficient gold to be used in our economy:

    The deeper reality, however, is that the supply is not even important. Remember that the primary function of money is to measure the value of the items for which it is exchanged. In this sense, it serves as a yardstick or ruler of value. It really makes no difference if we measure the length of our rug in inches, feet, yards or meters…. Our rug does not become larger just because we have increased the quantity of measurement units by painting additional markers onto our rulers.

    If the supply of gold in relation to the supply of available goods is so small that a one ounce coin would be too valuable for minor transactions, people simply would use half-ounce coins or tenth-ounce coins. The amount of gold in the world does not affect its ability to serve as money, it only affects the quantity that will be used to measure any given transaction (G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, p. 141)

  10. Kelly Winterton
    April 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm #

    Michael,

    I recognize that gold and silver will be worth more than paper, at least for a while. Paper money can lose value overnight, and precious metals will not. I’ll make you a deal then, I will raise the rice, and you can pay me for it with your gold. I like the idea of our self-reliant lifestyles being worth gold! Makes me want to weed, water and harvest and raise my chickens etc. all the more!

    Kelly

  11. John
    April 12, 2007 at 9:15 pm #

    Hmm.. Something in me wonders about the practicality of 1/18 ounce gold coins.

    Also, gold never appreciates, so its important to note that while converting your wealth to gold might be “safe,” it sure isn’t a great way to invest. :)

  12. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    Also, gold never appreciates, so its important to note that while converting your wealth to gold might be “safe,” it sure isn’t a great way to invest.

    It may not appreciate in an economy where it backs the paper currency, but in a fiat economy it sure does:

    Any FRN-based investment portfolio needs to do better than 5% yearly, otherwise it is automatically being depleted through inflation.

  13. John
    April 12, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    So what exactly are you suggesting, then?

  14. Connor
    April 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    So what exactly are you suggesting, then?

    Diversify, diversify, diversify. Any smart investor will say the same thing. While I’m stocking up on gold and silver, I’m also saving in a 401K, have saved in mutual funds, am pondering investing in some stock, and more importantly, am investing in supplies and food, for as Brigham Young once said, “The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat.”

  15. boyd sinclair
    April 12, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

    Exchange as much of your filty fiat money as you can! What most don’t realize is that one is not “stuck” with gold and silver, you can always sell it right back to the shop you bought it from if you need frn’s down the road. Do you believe what the founding fathers wanted us to do or not?! Do you believe in the words of D&C which claim the Constitution was inspired by the Lord or not?! If yes, then it is a no brainer. The above chart is not current. Gold is almost to $700 and silver nearly $14, which is the better of the two!

  16. Connor
    April 13, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    This article is worth a read on the issue. One highlight:

    Consider this: In 2002 the euro was $.87 on the dollar. Last Friday (4-6-07) it closed at $1.34– a better than 50% gain for the euro in just 4 years. The same is true of gold. In April 2000, gold was selling for $279 per ounce. Last Friday, at the close of the market it skyrocketed to $679.50—more than double the price.

    Gold isn’t going up; it’s simply a meter on the waning value of the dollar. The reality is that the dollar is tanking big-time, and the main culprit is the widening trade deficit.

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