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Ep141 - Detlev Schlichter

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While Ben Dyson has argued that we need to take the power to create money out of the hands of bankers and put it entirely in the hands of government (you can here that episode here) Detlev Schlichter goes further arguing that the power to create money should not be given to any group. As he lays out in his book Paper Money Collapse, since time immemorial governments in times of war or other trouble have always created more money. In the Ancient world that meant shaving down coins and diluting the amount of gold or silver in them. In the Civil War that meant printing more and more paper currency. The result was simple: a loss of faith in the currency. In Ancient Rome as the silver denarius dropped in silver content, trade began to dry up and this destruction of the money supply by emperors may well be one of the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire. Today, governments are not only printing more money to solve short-term crisis; they’re doing it as a long-term strategy. Whereas historically, countries always returned to some sort of gold-backing for their currency since the 1970s the amount of currency in the system has been determined by nothing but the decision of governments. They can print as much money as they want. That Detlev Schlichter argues is too great a power for any government to have. In the desire to be re-elected parties have an incentive to buy their way out of problems by flooding the system with cash. This model of money which Schlichter refers to as elastic money (because governments and banks can expand the amount of money limitlessly) is nearly absolute financial power and has the power to make even the most decent elected or appointed official behave recklessly. In our complex modern system, it can seem like an inelastic money supply like the gold standard is massively out of date but when you listen to Schlichter explain it in his book and in this podcast a return to an inelastic money supply shouldn’t be of any one time; it should be o

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