Ralph Benko

Lewis E. Lehrman, founder and chairman of The Lehrman Institute (with which this columnist has a professional association as editor of the Institute’s web-publication) recently presented to acclaim at the Cato Institute, in Washington, DC, his latest book, Money, Gold and History.  The Hayek auditorium was well filled. C-SPAN taped the event for broadcast.  Cato livestreamed it (archived and available here).

This was no ordinary event.  It may, in retrospect, be seen as the gold standard’s Woodstock.  Perhaps a more apt metaphor is the Velvet Underground’s first record.  As Brian Eno famously observed, “I was talking to Lou Reed the other day and he said that the first Velvet Underground record sold [only] 30,000 copies in the first five years. … I mean, that record was such an important record for so many people. I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band!”  Cato staged what may prove to have been something comparably seminal.

Some of the most eminent voices for monetary reform today — all justly to be considered part of monetary policy’s “Velvet Underground” — participated.   Present were Cato’s president John Allison, Cato’s Director of Financial Regulation Studies Mark Calabria, moderator; Cato’s Vice President for Monetary Studies, Prof. James Dorn; Cato senior fellow (and editor of Forbes.com Opinions and RealClearMarkets) John Tamny; Cato senior fellow Alan Reynolds (who, among many other notable accomplishments, coined the term “Supply Side economics”); and Cato’s director of government affairs Laura Odato.

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.