The Art of Coin Shaving (Ancient Rome vs. USA, Inc.)

O negócio é antigo e os resultados todo mundo está careca de saber, 1000 anos de escuridão, quem está no comando não deixou nenhuma porta de escape, fim de jogo.

Ouro e prata não serão de muita valia, pois provavelmente serão confiscados, assim quem os tiver não poderá usá-los.

O que sobra, o que você investiu em si mesmo.

The Art of Coin Shaving (Ancient Rome vs. USA, Inc.)

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

-- Cicero, 55 BC

In Rome, 277 BC, the denarius was born. It was a silver coin, and for the first 250 years its silver content declined only modestly. The modest decline corresponded with Rome's rise to become an empire. From the original 66 grains of silver, the value had only declined 10% to 60 grains, by the time of Julius Caesar (49 BC). But soon afterwards monetary tumult commenced in earnest.

The "aureus" - a gold coin - was created by Julius Caesar. It was 125 grains of gold. Gold was used to pay the army and support the Emperors, silver - the denarius - was used for international trade, and of least value, the copper coins were used by the common people.

In 54 AD Emperor Nero started to inflate (debase) the value of Rome's money. Nero took 14.3% of the silver out of the denarius coin and 11% of the gold out of the aureus coin, replacing the precious metals with base metals, though Roman citizens didn’t notice the trickery, or at least didn’t understand the implications of the debasement, as the debased coins looked and felt the same as the full content gold/silver variety of their grandparents generation.

After President JFK’s assassination, Federal Reserve monetary debasement kicks into high gear. In 1965, we find that, in one fell swoop, all of the silver was taken out of our coins and replaced with base metals. Gresham’s Law (“Bad money drives good money out of circulation”) goes into effect as relatively few savvy citizens catch on to the debasement and begin to hoard coins.

The post-1964 US quarters and dimes look and fee like the 90% silver content variety contained in coins minted up to 1964, but the 90% silver variety are no longer in circulation. You can only buy them at coin shops and from estate sales and a pre-1964 Washington Quarter will typically sell for $3.50- $5.00 each, reflecting the .3631 ounce of silver contained in the coin. With a world spot price of silver at $9.00-$12.00 per oz. – each coin has an intrinsic “melt” value, besides their numismatic value.

This is the reason gold and silver are insurance for the general population – as corrupt government debases the currency, in freely traded markets (and that is a big presumption to make), the gold/silver price will act inversely to the underlying currency being debased.

Back to our story -- As Rome continued on its moral, political and monetary decline, by 193 AD, the denarius had only 26 grains of silver - a 61% devaluation from the original 66 grains. Shortly thereafter, Rome's denarius stopped being accepted in trade by the rest of the world. By 268, the denarius was nothing but base metal with a thin silver coating.

Coming back to America in 1971, President Nixon ordered the dollar to be taken off the gold standard. From that moment forward, the dollar was, and is today, backed by nothing, other than the "good faith" of the U.S. government. The U.S. managed to do, with the stroke of a pen, what it took the Romans decades to accomplish - eliminate any credible backing to their currency.

A gold-standard 1928 One-Dollar bill is identified as a "United States Note" at the top of the bill, rather than a "Federal Reserve Note" (It isn't Federal and It has no Reserves) and by the words "Will Pay to the Bearer on Demand," which do not appear on today's currency. This clause became obsolete in 1933 but still remained on new notes for 30 years thereafter.

The most recent $20 bills entered circulation on October 9, 2003. "The soundness of a nation's currency is essential to the soundness of its economy. And to uphold our currency's soundness, it must be recognized and honored as legal tender and counterfeiting must be effectively thwarted," Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan mockingly said at a ceremony unveiling the $20 bill's new design.

Today, central banks around the world increasingly diversify their reserves, including cutting holdings of American dollars. It seems like the world is growing uncomfortable taking US dollars that are backed by nothing. The problem is, in 2008, there is no currency that is backed by anything of value. Citizens around the world have no protection against currency debasement except for owning physical gold/silver bullion.

The last holdout, Switzerland, was extorted into unbacking the Swiss Franc (40% gold secured at the time) in the mid-1990s with allegations, originating in the US Senate Finance Committee (Senator Alfonse D’Amato, D-NY). President Clinton/Sec of Treasury Robert Rubin needed a fully fiat/paper currency regime worldwide to accelerate the gold suppression plan (as well documented by GATA) to thereby, save the US Treasury Bond market and initiate the first of several serial credit bubbles – all of which have since deflated/collapsed.

The story was Swiss banks contained Nazi Germany-looted gold/art confiscated in concentration camps during WWII. The Zionist media instantly pasted the “Nazi Gold” story worldwide on evening news. The story died in the media as quickly as it was created, though, after the Swiss govt. caved into US demands, thereby unbacking the Swiss Franc. Later, in 2005, the Swiss govt. completely divested its gold reserves and returned the proceeds to the country’s cantons. Now, there is no safehaven currency escape for anybody in the world except for gold/silver bullion.

And let us not forget our own copper penny. Copper coins were used as the currency of the common people in Roman times. Our copper penny held its value (100% copper) from 1793 to 1982. Today our "copper" penny is 97.5% zinc with a 2.5% copper coating. That's a 97.5% debasement!

Some of our future is quite predictable. Throughout history, civilizations and nations have come and gone. But, if one looks at the money and monetary policy of these nations, a clear picture emerges as to what our future holds. Since going off the gold standard 1971, our dollar has lost over 80% of its purchasing power. It continues to be printed in ever increasing amounts, at the whim of politicians.

It's safe to say, we will continue to see more irresponsible printing of money, more inflation, and more references to Rome and its decline. Unless there is a dramatic shift in U.S. monetary policy, the U.S. and the dollar will suffer the same fate as Rome and its denarius. It's just a matter of time.

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