A Durable Future (Part 2)

By | 2017-07-17T16:48:08+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Do durable assets create durable returns? Jason and the Golden Fleece, c. 340 BCE. Source: Wikipedia Gold and silver are often touted as “alternative” investments. That is, their returns aren’t highly correlated with other, more typical, investments. So they have the potential to diversify an investment portfolio while providing return in their own right. Gold and silver served as a monetary standard for millennia. Are they useful investments? It’s hard to evaluate the long-term returns of a monetary base. The price of gold was [...]

Golden Fetters?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:20+00:00 November 24th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Every few years someone suggests we return to a gold standard. Source: Pixabay It’s an election year, so discussions about money, the Fed, deficits, debt, and the gold standard are bound to come up. For millennia gold served as medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. As the densest material in the world, it’s fairly easy to determine its purity. Politicians often suggest tying the currency to something—in order to restrain the government’s ability to print money at will. But economists [...]

A Bitcoin Economy?

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:11+00:00 December 5th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Is Bitcoin money? Source: Wikipedia Bitcoins have been accepted by some online merchants for payment on their systems. The crypto-currency is designed to work like digital cash, changing hands anonymously, with no centralized ledger keeping track of who owns what. As such, it’s been the currency of choice for anyone who doesn’t want the government to trace their transactions—notably drug-dealers and libertarians. […]

The Color of Money

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:41+00:00 March 26th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Is gold money? That’s the question Ron Paul asked Ben Bernanke a couple years ago when he testified before the House Banking Committee. Rather than lecturing the congressman on the proper role of a central bank in a modern welfare economy, Dr. Bernanke punted, feigning surprise at the question, graciously letting Dr. Paul pontificate on the manifold virtues of the yellow metal. In any economy, money serves three functions: a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account. In the [...]