Twenty-two years ago, economist, revisionist historian, and libertarian icon Murray Rothbard published “The Case Against The Fed”. It is a short book; only 168 pages, but its weight is exponentially greater than its page count. I won’t lie to you: it’s not an easy read. Despite that, I urge everyone to take the time and effort to work your way through it. The book has been made available in electronic formats, free of charge, by The Mises Institute. You can find it here: https://mises.org/library/case-against-fed-0.
In those pages, Rothbard explains, as simply as he possibly can, an extremely intricate conspiracy that is at the very root – in fact, I firmly believe that it is the root – of virtually all the issues wrong with our nation and its government for the past century and today. In the closing pages, he also laid out a simple plan to defeat the conspiracy.
It truly is a simple plan. And implementing Rothbard’s plan truly would be, in my opinion, the absolute best thing to happen to our nation. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy plan, or a painless one. In fact, I honestly don’t believe it will ever be implemented – at least, not peacefully.
Nonetheless, I thought it might be entertaining (in a macabre sort of way) and enlightening (in a depressing sort of way) to update Rothbard’s figures from 22 years ago. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about how the numbers from then and from now compare and contrast.
First, a simple ledger gleaned from the Fed’s own published “balance sheets”:
(*1) 1994 figures taken from the text of “The Case Against The Fed”, Copyright 2007 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
(*2) 2016 figures from: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/intlsumm/current.htm
(*3) Does not include $8B of “Earmarked Gold”, “Held in foreign and international accounts…”. “Gold stock is valued at $42.22 per fine troy ounce.”
(*4) “SDRs” acronym for “Special Drawing Rights”; another boondoogle involving the IMF.
(*5) Other Fed Assets include loans to banks, physical assets such as bank buildings, real property, etc. I have been, so far, unsuccessful in finding an updated figure for this category; for the sake of argument I have carried it forward, unchanged.
Now, the bare bones of Rothbard’s plan:
End the Fed.
Yes, end it. Abolish it. Do away with it. Eliminate it. As Rothbard says: “The Federal Reserve is officially a “corporation,” and the way to abolish it is the way any corporation, certainly any inherently insolvent corporation such as the Fed, is abolished. Any corporation is eliminated by liquidating its assets and parceling them out pro rata to the corporation’s creditors.”
We, you and I, the American people, are the Federal Reserve Corporation’s creditors. We are the ones who have been fleeced, coerced, taxed, and blatantly robbed to prop it up. We should, we need to, we MUST revoke its charter and destroy the means that it affords “our” government to continue all the follies and downright evils they commit.
Simply put, we should seize the gold and “real” assets of the Federal Reserve and cancel – repudiate – everything else on their balance sheets. The gold is the only real thing the Federal Reserve has, and since they stole it from us to begin with, we should reclaim it. Almost all of the other assets are nothing but accounting fictions; the left hand “loaning” empty air to the right hand. Erase them.
The Fed’s balance sheet shows $11B in gold inventory. Notice that that number has not changed in at least 22 years. The gold is, tellingly, also valued at a mere $42.22 per ounce – unchanged since February 12, 1973, when then-President Nixon officially moved the United States to a totally fiat currency. $11B at $42.22 per ounce translates to a little over 260 million ounces of gold in the Fed’s vaults (we hope).Today’s -Nov 4th, 2016- spot price for gold bullion is $1302.30 per ounce. IF (a very big “if”) the Fed actually has that gold in its New York vaults, a little simple math tells us that its worth in today’s dollars is not $11 billion, but northwards of $339B!
Unfortunately, $339B, while a not-insubstantial amount, isn’t nearly enough to fuel a thriving free market economy, especially considering that, by their own admission, there is something on the order of $1.5T (yes, trillion) worth of Federal Reserve currency in circulation today.
We have to revalue. We have to distribute that 260 million ounces of gold so that everyone holding Federal Reserve Notes gets their fair share – a pro rata distribution of assets to the creditors of a failed business, as is done every day in this and other countries. So we divide the outstanding debt – 1,500,000,000,000 dollar bills – by the available asset – 260,000,000 ounces of gold – and get a new, pro-rated value: $5,769.23 per ounce. And that means that every one-dollar Federal Reserve Note is then worth 1/5,769.23rd of an ounce of gold, and can be exchanged for crisp new U.S. dollar bills backed by that weight of gold, or for the gold itself, if you insist.
Think about the ramifications. There will be some short-lived panics. The stock market will reel for months as it adjusts to the new reality. Fortunes will be lost, and made. Many businesses will crumble. Credit will be very, very tight until the dust settles. Prices for virtually everything will be a roller-coaster ride until the market finds its new balance.
And our endless wars will stop, almost overnight. The military-industrial complex will be destroyed. Congress will no longer be able to spend money we don’t have on programs we can’t afford. Foreign nations that have been suckling at our teat these many decades will howl when the IMF goes bankrupt and they are forced to fend for themselves for a change. And, most importantly of all, inflation – that invisible thief of our children’s future – will instantly vanish.
End the Fed. Consider it major surgery to save the patient’s life, to remove a deadly cancer. It’s past time. The cancer is almost, is very, very close to being, too far advanced. Remove it, now.