Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has extolled the virtue of gold several times recently.
Brian Domitrovic, an economic historian at Sam Houston State University, thinks Greenspan has it right and that we should return to the gold standard, which ended in 1971.
As for Greenspan,
he said earlier this month that "the fact that the United States dollar was convertible into gold . . . was the major draw," at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, which established the post-war monetary system.
Domitrovic too believes in gold. "Gold performs the principal function that money must function when the currency system goes bad, care of central bankers," he writes on Forbes.com.
"This is the function of holding value in a readily exchangeable form."
And what about the gold standard?
"Were we to take advantage of prosperity by putting in place gold standard, we would take a step toward ensuring that the prosperity would last indefinitely," Domitrovic says.
Gold fell to a four-year low earlier this month, but all hope isn't lost for the precious metal, says MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends.
Indeed, gold already has rebounded 6 percent from that nadir, with February gold futures trading at $1,198 Wednesday morning on the Comex.
So what are the positive signs for the metal?
"The Japanese are now printing new yen as fast as they can run their presses," Arends writes.
"The Chinese are now printing new renminbi as fast they can run their presses. The Europeans are probably about to start printing new euros as fast as they can run their presses."
Central bank easing helps gold because it can boost inflation, and gold is often bought as a hedge against inflation.
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