Category Archives: Politics in Financial Policy

FOMC-Fed-examination-magnifying-glass

Whose Corner Is the Fed Really In?

August 28th, 2017 by

As a wave of support for reform across the federal government gains steam, there is one “federal” institution that tends to resist any calls for transparency or reform: The Federal Reserve. The nation’s central bank is sometimes characterized as the fourth branch of government due to the importance of monetary policy on the U.S. and […]

Bank of England HQ

Strike at the Bank of England

August 7th, 2017 by

It’s not often you hear about strikes by bureaucrats in a place like Great Britain, notorious for being the world’s first unabashed “Welfare State.” Even more surprising? The disgruntled workers are all employed by the Bank of England (BoE), the central bank of the United Kingdom.

dollar

What’s Up With the Dollar?

July 25th, 2017 by

When you think about the gold market, it’s impossible to separate the idea of gold’s “spot price,” its prevailing value “on the spot” at any given moment, with the value of the U.S. dollar.

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U.S. Debt Crisis at State Level?

July 3rd, 2017 by

One of the greatest problems of national importance—and literally of national security concern—is the ever-growing level of U.S. debt. It’s the looming problem, the proverbial “elephant in the room,” that never gets addressed. Our policymakers simply kick the can down the road on the debt issue every time. However, even more than eight years after the […]

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Looming Euro Crisis?

June 28th, 2017 by

Even before its inception, skeptics have been predicting the downfall of the euro, the common currency of the member nations of the European Monetary Union. Many saw this project as doomed from the start. Nonetheless, the currency quickly became the biggest rival to the U.S. dollar in international markets. After nearly two decades on the […]

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Central Banks Buy Gold as Dollar Hedge

June 26th, 2017 by

It’s been nearly five decades since the Bretton Woods system, a de facto gold standard, was abandoned by the Nixon administration in 1971. Under this arrangement, the price of gold was fixed to a specific dollar amount (generally $35 per ounce), and then all other world currencies were tied to the dollar. The U.S. Treasury […]

A 2016 FOMC meeting (photo: Federal Reserve)

Trump Fills Two Fed Seats

June 7th, 2017 by

Last week, two out of three open seats on Federal Reserve Board were finally filled by President Trump. Two of these openings have been empty for roughly three years.

coins in jar

Here’s How Congress Might Reform Our Coins

May 22nd, 2017 by

There is a problem that has been hanging over the American coinage system like a dark pall for about the past decade. With each passing year, the scale of the problem grows worse, but philosophical traditions and interest groups have made resolving the issue a challenge for Congress. Now, two pieces of legislation aim to […]

no-sales-tax

Kansas May Exempt Precious Metals from Sales Tax

May 21st, 2017 by

With each passing month, the momentum in favor of reviving the use of gold and silver as money seems to build. An idea that has largely been panned as an untenable, fringe position when espoused by former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul is now being enacted by one state legislature after another.

watching-yellen

Yes, Trump Could Fire Yellen

May 18th, 2017 by

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you probably know that the White House has stirred up a great deal of controversy after President Trump surprisingly sacked James Comey, the Director of the FBI. The fallout from this decision, which was seen as impeding the Bureau’s investigation into the Trump […]

sweden gold

Sweden Evasive About Gold Reserves

April 26th, 2017 by

Gold insider Ronan Manly of BullionStar recently carried out a journalistic investigation into how Sweden audits its gold reserves. He began with the broader goal of gathering information about central bank gold reserves generally—a topic shrouded in much mystery indeed.

FOMC-Fed-examination-magnifying-glass

How Transparent is the Fed?

April 23rd, 2017 by

Much has been made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke about making the central bank’s actions more open and transparent. A variety of steps have been taken toward this end, but they mainly consist of greater disclosure of Fed officials’ thinking on monetary policy and interest rates. As far as […]

United_States_penny,_obverse,_2002

Congress Shows Some Common “Cents”

April 17th, 2017 by

For several years, one of the least controversial criticisms of the way the Treasury Department operates has been the need for a major coinage reform. For each of the last 11 years, Treasury has been subsidizing production of the one-cent penny and the five-cent nickel, both of which actually cost more to manufacture than they […]

FOMC conference room (photo: Federal Reserve)

Is the Fed Finding Its Footing?

March 15th, 2017 by

So the Federal Reserve met the markets’ expectations and raised its target interest rate by 0.25% today. (Interestingly, Wall St immediately jumped higher as the news broke right along with gold prices.) But what direction will the Fed ultimately go over the next two years? Before we dive into the rate hike, here’s a quick […]

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WGC Releases Central Bank Gold Demand Numbers

March 14th, 2017 by

The World Gold Council (WGC) publishes quarterly data about trends in gold demand around the world, from industry to investment to mining and new technologies. In February, the research group released its 2016 report on central bank gold demand. As central banks have consistently been net buyers of the yellow metal over the past five years […]

mexico-flag

Banxico Publishes Gold Bar List

March 9th, 2017 by

Central banks are notorious for bashing the usefulness of gold as a financial asset, dismissing the metal as a “barbarous relic” of a bygone era of backward economics. (This despite these same banks maintaining large gold reserves on their balance sheets. As former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke once absurdly suggested to former U.S. Representative Ron […]

tax

Battle Over Tax Reform Just Beginning

March 5th, 2017 by

President Donald Trump has promised, both while on the campaign trail and since he’s been in office, to aggressively pursue tax reform. This has been a key GOP priority for decades: the last major tax reform undertaken by Congress came under the Reagan administration in 1986. However, the squabble over how the tax code ought […]

gold-in-vault

U.S. Mint Releases Fort Knox Audit

February 28th, 2017 by

One of the most sensitive secrets protected by the Washington establishment—more so than its surveillance programs, its nuclear arsenal, or even Area 51—is the massive cache of gold reserves held at the federal depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

fed-dove

When the Doves Cry: Fed Edition

February 22nd, 2017 by

The doves have come out in full force. No, not at the local aviary or the park, but in the chambers of the Eccles Building in Washington, D.C.—the home of the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve.