The central bankers of the world have taken the practice of devaluing currency to a whole new art form. They try to keep it very simple by calling the world press together in order to announce their exact intentions. As an example, ECB President Mario Draghi recently said, “Whatever it takes.”
In addition, not that long ago, Ben Bernanke essentially said, “Monthly purchases of $85 billion from here to eternity.” Yet, if things happen to go awry, it seems the only penalty for the central bankers is merely harsh criticism from people such as me and others on the right.
In fact, when you examine the severity of the punishment they must actually endure, such as a periodic so-called grilling by Congress or other elected political bodies, it definitely pales in comparison to the penalties enforced by Ancient Roman officials regarding currency devaluation as it occurred 2,000 years ago.
As a form of payment back in those days, Julius Caesar routinely gave silver coins to his troops, and it was clearly understood that the silver coins were indeed 100% silver. In other words, there was no mixing with other cheaper metals.
Thus, knowing the Roman coin was 100% silver, the only way to devalue the currency was to take a knife and shave, or “clip,” some silver off the edges of the coin. Consequently, we now seeRoman coins of antiquity with very odd shapes, all thanks to “clipping.”
For example, 100 coins could be “clipped” in order to create an additional 5 coins, although that’s not quite as dramatic as the “clipping” that our own U.S. dollar has endured since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Historically, the adverse effects of currency devaluation in our country have been experienced directly by the average U.S. citizen who has witnessed increased expenses and a decreased standard of living.
Even today, it appears the general public is the only one to pay the penalty.
And speaking of “paying the penalty,” if apprehended in Ancient Rome for “clipping” the punishment was the loss of a hand.
Therefore, I definitely think we should institute that very same penalty right here in the U.S. and maybe our central bankers would think twice before carelessly devaluing our currency.
Hence, Draghi and Bernanke would no longer be referred to as Mario and Ben; they would assume brand new identities as “Righty” and “Lefty.”
Along with his 40-years of dedication in the financial services industry, Bill is the President and CEO of GPSforLife, has recently authored a highly successful book entitled 44th: A Presidential Conspiracy, publishes his dynamic monthly financial newsletter MacroProfit, and faithfully continues his third decade on the radio with It’s All About Money, which can be heard weekdays on Money Radio in Phoenix and in podcast form on his website (and on smartphone apps) published at billtatro.com weekdays at 5pm Eastern. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @tatroshow.