The Moses Generation & the Future of Gold
I have come out of retirement for this one off, once only, speech to warn that the good ship “Life As WeKnow It” is sinking. You have the choice of getting into a life boat now or going down with the ship. The life boats consist of precious metals and other assets that will survive the coming currency destruction. [Let me explain.] Words: 1400
The comments above & below are edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and updated excerpts from a 6500 word keynote speech Alf Field made at the Sydney Gold Symposium which has been edited into 2 parts (see the other part here).
The Moses Principle is an irreverent theory based on the question of why Moses spent 40 years traversing the Sinai desert before leading the Israelites to the “promised land”.
God was powerful enough to send numerous plagues to devastate the Egyptian economy until Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt. Later God caused the Red Sea to part so that the Israelites crossed on a dry sea bed. When the pursuing Egyptian army and their chariots were in the sea bed, the waters crashed back and drowned them.
If God was powerful enough to do all of these things, why not allow the Israelites to go straight to the “promised land”? Why did Moses spend 40 years traversing the barren desert before leading the Israelites to the “promised land”? Here is the irreverent theory. Every Israelite over middle age when they left Egypt probably died during the ensuing 40 years. The younger people were born in the desert or spent their adult lives in the desert.
After 40 years the life experience of the survivors consisted of living in the desert. When they finally got to the “promised land” it appeared to be “flowing with milk and honey” when compared to their prior desert existence.
A total generational change had taken place so that the survivors had no knowledge of anything other than the desert. There was nobody who could remember what Egypt was like. The Moses Principle recognizes the fact that over any 40 year period, a generational change takes place.
What has this got to do with gold?…August 15, 1971 (almost 46 years ago) was the date when the last link between currencies and gold was ended by President Nixon. This launched an era of floating “I owe you nothing” currencies. Money was what any government deemed it to be, generally something that the government could create in unlimited quantities. That system, plus the fractional reserve banking system, launched an era of ever increasing debt and credit. It was an era where debt was desirable and money lost its purchasing power.
Everyone in this room has spent their adult lives living under this system. Most have had no exposure to monetary history or what money really is. The new “Moses” generation will have to re-learn the lessons of monetary history before the world can enter a new era of sound money and stable economic growth….If one does not know what caused the current crisis, one cannot know how to go about fixing it.
Central Bankers and Finance Ministers are also part of the Moses generational change. By the late 1990’s the new incumbents had experienced a 20 year bear market in gold and were influenced by Keynesian economics. They didn’t understand why gold was held in their country’s foreign exchange reserves and, as a result, resorted to the wholesale selling of this unnecessary “barbarous relic”…
Originally it seemed that Central bankers were selling gold to protect the integrity and longevity of their paper currencies. Perhaps, with the generational change, they did not know any better. Perhaps it was just the “thing to do” at the time. Despite this central bank selling, the gold price went up! Buying by investors/hoarders had exceeded official selling and a new gold bull market was born. Central bank selling of gold gradually declined. Recently central banks under the leadership of Russia and Asian nations became net buyers of gold. The GFC [Government Fiat Currency?]has created a much greater awareness in official circles of the role that gold plays as a store of value asset in national reserves.
The distortions that have grown out of the 46 year period since 1971 have reached proportions that demand change. The problem is that the current generation does not understand that the root cause of the GFC is unsound money created at will by governments, combined with a banking system that has enabled the creation of an unsustainable mountain of debt. The modern generation is groping with the problem and gradually working towards understanding that the underlying cause of the crisis is monetary.
The following are the brutal truths that the modern generation will have to face as the U.S. and the rest of the world deals with the ongoing global financial crisis:
[The above] has happened many times before, dating back nearly 900 years to the first paper money introduced in China. History is full of attempts to use paper or fiat money, all of which ended in the destruction of that money. The last century saw virtually every South American country “wipe the slate clean” and begin again with a new money. Some did it several times. The Romans faced a similar financial crisis and resorted to reducing the silver content of the Denarius, eventually by about 95%, before people refused to accept the Roman coins.
There are two things that are different about the current episode.
Every experiment with government issued fiat money has ended with the destruction of that money There is no reason to believe that it will be different this time. The world’s 46 year experiment with floating “I owe you nothing” fiat currencies is coming to an end….
It is likely that gold will be the new unit of measurement or standard of value against which the performance of other assets will be judged. The challenge will be to find assets that perform better than gold.
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