Republican Call to Tie Greenback to Gold Dismissed

By Rowley, James; Kearns, Jeff | Winnipeg Free Press, August 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Republican Call to Tie Greenback to Gold Dismissed


Rowley, James, Kearns, Jeff, Winnipeg Free Press


WASHINGTON -- A Republican Party call to study whether to return the dollar to the gold standard drew skepticism from economists and industry experts.

The proposal is included in a draft platform to be submitted for approval by the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled to start Monday in Tampa, Fla. It calls for a commission to study "possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar" similar to one in the early 1980s that studied "the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency."

The commission appointed early in Ronald Reagan's presidency "advised against such a move," the draft noted. Economists and experts said it is either unlikely or inadvisable to revive the gold standard, which President Richard Nixon abandoned in the 1970s.

"A return to the gold standard is unlikely" because of "the inability to achieve widespread international agreement on the standard" as well as determining "what price to return to it at," David Schraeder, a spokesman for the New York-based World Gold Council said in an email.

A "fundamental problem" is the growth of gold supplies "may not necessarily match the appropriate growth in the monetary base," he said.

The platform statement said three decades after the Reagan study, fresh consideration of the "feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency" is needed "as we face the task of cleaning up the wreckage" of U.S. President Barack Obama's policies.

The statement was included along with a provision that advocates an annual audit of the Federal Reserve Board and the 12 regional reserve banks, including monetary policy decisions. …

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