A new Gold Standard is being born | Telegraph Blogs

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes:

The world is moving step by step towards a de facto Gold Standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce the idea or bless the project. Some readers will already have seen the GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 which reported that central banks around the world bought more bullion last year in terms of tonnage than at any time in almost half a century. They added a net 536 tonnes in 2012 as they diversified fresh reserves away from the four fiat suspects: dollar, euro, sterling, and yen…….

It is no secret that China is buying the dips, seeking to raise the gold share of its reserves well above 2pc.

Read more at A new Gold Standard is being born – Telegraph Blogs.

Econbrowser: Europe in 1931

What happened in 1931 to turn a bad economic downturn into the Great Depression? Dramatic events in Europe included failure of Credit-Anstalt, Austria’s biggest bank, in May of 1931. That was followed by bank runs in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Germany. As is often the case historically, the financial problems were a combination of a banking crisis….and a currency crisis…..

In 1931, countries faced doubts about whether they would stay on the gold standard, and had a choice of either to abandon gold or else to inflict further domestic economic damage in the form of monetary contraction and price deflation. Those doubts and their damage ended up bouncing across countries like a ping pong ball.

via Econbrowser: Europe in 1931.

Paul L. Kasriel: Don’t End the Fed, Mend the Fed

Although the return to a gold standard for our monetary system has much appeal, it is unlikely to occur. So, let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Perhaps there is second-best monetary policy approach to the gold standard that might achieve most of the desirable outcomes of a gold standard but might have a greater probability of actually being adopted……. My suggested approach is very similar to one advocated by Milton Friedman at least 60 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. I am proposing that the Federal Reserve target and control growth in the sum of credit created by private monetary financial institutions (commercial banks, S&Ls and credit unions) and the credit created by the Fed itself. I believe that this approach to monetary policy would reduce the amplitude of business cycles, would prevent sustained rapid increases in the prices of goods/services and would prevent asset-price bubbles of the magnitude of the recent NASDAQ and housing experiences.

econtrarian_043012.pdf (application/pdf Object).