Who said it, when and where?

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From the Archives : Originally published June 15th, 2011
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Category : Fundamental

 

Over the years I've accumulated a long list of quotes about money and banking extracted from online articles and books I've read.  Unlike most other sites that post pithy remarks from famous authors, I include hyperlinks to their sources, so that anyone who wishes can not only verify a quote but, perhaps more importantly, read the context in which it was used.  And unlike other sites, most of these quotes originated with today's financial writers and economists, writing from a perspective consistent with Austrian School principles -- people like Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell, Steve Saville, Joseph Salerno, Gary North, Edwin Vieira, Judy Shelton, Frank Shostak, Ron Paul, and others, even Alan Greenspan.  What these writers have in common is their respect for a market-sponsored commodity money, traditionally gold and silver coins.

My purpose in publishing these hyperlinked quotes is to draw attention to the vast literature of criticism that has arisen over the money and banking system we are forced to live under.  The list is continually expanding as writers are continually writing.  I ask that you excuse the many omissions such a list necessarily entails and hope you will alert me to insightful quotes I have missed.

I personally find these words of wisdom intellectually stimulating.  Observations such as Ron Paul's "“Everything possible is done to prevent the fraud of the monetary system from being exposed to the masses who suffer from it" or Judy Shelton's "Inflation makes suckers out of savers" are not merely true, but critical to a full understanding of today's political institutions, especially when combined with Jorg Guido Hulsmann's contention that inflation is always an imposed increase in the money supply.  They help keep me focused and fired up.  I hope they will do the same for you.


Here's the list.


George F. Smith

 

Read  his book : The Flight of the Barbarous Relic

 

Visit his website

Read his blog

 




Money and banking quotes, with sources



“We can either return to gold or we can pursue the fiat path and return to barter. It is perhaps not hyperbole to say that civilization itself is at stake in our decision.” - Murray Rothbard, The Case for a 100 percent Gold Dollar


It is one of the home truths of the economics profession that virtually all of its members are government employees. Jörg Guido Hülsmann, The Ethics of Money Production p. 16


The excellence of the gold standard is to be seen in the fact that it renders the determination of the monetary unit’s purchasing power independent of governments and political parties. - Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit, p. 416


The ideal of [David Ricardo and] the bullionists was “a self-regulating currency” whose quantity, value and distribution among nations were governed exclusively by market forces of supply and demand. - Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and UnSound


“Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever.” Ron Paul, Sept. 10. 2003.


“Everything possible is done to prevent the fraud of the monetary system from being exposed to the masses who suffer from it.” Ron Paul, Feb. 15, 2006.


[Regarding monetary and banking policy] “Let failing banks die. Let profitable banks live. Let the people choose to use any form of money. Let the people choose any means of payment. Let entrepreneurs create any form of financial instrument. Law applies only the way it applies to all other human affairs: punishing force and fraud. Otherwise, the law should have nothing to do with it.” - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.


“When one studies the history of money, one cannot help wondering why people should have put up for so long with governments exercising an exclusive power over 2,000 years that was regularly used to exploit and defraud them.” - Friedrich A. Hayek, Down with Legal Tender


All that deflation does is shatter the illusion of prosperity created by monetary pumping. Frank Shostak, Is Deflation Really Bad for the Economy?


"There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash."
- Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist , New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929; quoted by Colin J. Seymour in 1927-1933 Chart of Pompous Prognosticators.


No nation honors the requirements of a State-run gold standard: the free convertibility of the State’s money into gold. - Gary North, The Gold Wars, p. 22.


In this century, the human race faces, once again, the virulent reign of the State – of the State now armed with the fruits of man's creative powers, confiscated and perverted to its own aims. - Murray Rothbard, The Anatomy of the State.


“Inflation is simply a means to transfer wealth from anyone who has savings in a particular currency to anyone who has debt in the same currency. With hyperinflation, the value of savings gets completely wiped out and the burden of debt is removed.” - Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff, How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes, p. 220.


“The Fed's low-interest policy not only encourages spending and borrowing, it discourages the one thing that best helps people raise themselves into higher economic classes — saving.” - Mark Thornton, The Fed’s War on the Middle Class


“Nothing has done more to render modern economic theory a sterile and irrelevant exercise in autoeroticism than its practitioners’ obsession with mathematical, general-equilibrium models.” - Robert Higgs, “The Dangers of Samuelson's Economic Method


“In stark contrast with the views of the Greek philosophers and with those of the rest of western intellectuals to the present day, Chinese Taoist thought always defended individual liberty and laissez-faire while attacking the systematic and coercive use of violence typical of government.” - Jesus Huerta de Soto, “Economic Thought in Ancient Greece


“If all currencies are moving up or down together, the question is: relative to what? Gold is the canary in the coal mine. It signals problems with respect to currency markets. Central banks should pay attention to it.” - Alan Greenspan, Sept. 15, 2010.


“What is money? The best answer to this continual question was provided in 1912 by the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises. In his book, ‘The Theory of Money and Credit,’ he provided an answer in six words: money is the most marketable commodity.” - Gary North, “What is Money?”


"The one thing that the globalization of central banking has succeeded in doing is synchronizing disaster." - Gold: The Anti-Bubble


“Consumer spending involves taking something out of the economy. If people throughout the economy began taking more stuff out than they put in, how could the economy possibly grow?” - Steve Saville, “Popular Misconceptions”


“As it turns out, when you use the historical CPI that was actually in effect during the 1980s, that $850 gold price record in 1980 is equal to $7,576 in 2010 dollars.” - Richard Daughty, quoting Brien Lundin of Jefferson Financial


“Counterfeiting is universally condemned by civil governments. . . Why do governments do this? Because they are all counterfeiters, and they deeply resent an invasion of their turf. Laws against counterfeiting in today's world are a form of gang warfare.” - Gary North, What Is Money? Part 2: Precious Metal Coinage


“The goal of the bankers was to get as much of the gold into their hands, issue as many warehouse receipts to this gold they could get away with, and then create a central bank, so they could get away with issuing even more IOUs for gold. They wanted more inflation, but they did not want the threat of bank runs, which is ultimately the threat of monetary deflation..” - Gary North, What Is Money? Part 4: Bait and Switch


“Whenever you hear someone speak of gold's having intrinsic value, you can be sure that he has a confused theory of economics in general and monetary theory in particular. There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is also no such thing as intrinsic value. . . . Gold's startling fall in price from $850 to $250, 1980–2001, reveals just how non-intrinsic gold's value has been. The money supply doubled, prices doubled, and gold's price fell by 70%.” - Gary North, What Is Money? Part 8: Why Gold Has No Intrinsic Value


“The degree of barbarism that [WWI] produced could not have been accomplished had a gold standard been in force. The public would have stripped the banks of the public’s gold. The governments would have had to come to terms with the enemy. It was the abandonment of the gold standard that made modern barbarism affordable.” - Gary North, The Gold Wars, p. 23


Even if voters understood the case for a limited State, they would not be able to limit the State by a State-run gold standard. A State-run monetary system, with the exception only of Byzantium, becomes a debased standard. - North, The Gold Wars, p. 26


It will not be enemies at the gates who overwhelm the American empire. It will be the army of politically armed economic dependents inside the gates. Granny will bring it down. - North, The Gold Wars, p. 34


When economists call for boosting "aggregate demand," they do not spell out what this really means. It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government's economic ambitions. - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.


“The hatred of gold is ideological. It is based on a love of government. It is based on trust in the Federal Reserve System. It is supported by most academic economists, and it is supported by an even higher percentage of politicians at the national level.” - Gary North, Who Are the Experts on Gold?


“The goal of the Federal Reserve is to keep the largest commercial banks from failing. They are too big to fail. In his September 2 testimony to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, [Bernanke] made it clear that "too big to fail" will remain FED policy.” - Gary North, The Federal Reserve's Reserve


“If precious metals had been abundant, they would not have been precious.” - Henry Hazlitt, Failure of the New Economics, p. 346; cited in Where Keynes Went Wrong, Hunter Lewis, p. 245

“Keynesian theory makes smart people functionally stupid. You don't have to be smarter than they are. You just have to avoid Keynesianism.” - Gary North, “Two Bad Investments, Stocks, Bonds


“The best place for your money is in yourself. If you invest in a career by serving customers, and you invest your profits in your own business, you will beat the stock market. Even if you don't, you will not be significantly worse off. You will have a shot at wealth. You don't with the stock market.” - Gary North, “Two Bad Investments, Stocks, Bonds


“Why invest in the West? The West is on life-support from Asian central banks. It is facing an ever-growing degree of taxation and intervention. The governments cannot fulfill their welfare promises to voters. When the deficits no longer can be sold at low rates, the day of reckoning in Western nations will arrive.” - Gary North, “Two Bad Investments, Stocks, Bonds


“Promoting a revamped Keynesian economic theory – one without any guarantee of job growth – is the equivalent of selling a lifetime subscription to a revamped Playboy: one without any photos. It's a tough sell. Yet this is what Keynesians are facing today.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


“David Stockman, who was briefly Reagan's budget director before he resigned, recently wrote an article on the gargantuan size of the Federal deficit. He made an important but neglected observation. Ever since the third quarter of 2008, the nation's nominal GDP has increased by a tiny $100 billion, but the Federal debt has increased by 25 times the GDP increase.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


“It has taken $25 of Federal deficits to produce $1 of GDP growth. This marks a major anomaly for Keynesian economic theory. The justification for government deficits in Keynesian theory is that government spending restores economic growth. Money spent by the private sector does not increase economic growth in a recession; government spending does.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


the Austrian School view is that the recovery itself may turn out to have been a statistical anomaly. We are not facing a double-dip recession, only because we have not gotten out of the 2007 recession. We are now facing a more rapid decline of an economy already in decline.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


“Keynes baptized deficit-spending policies that all governments had begun several years before [1936]. He was John the Baptist for his generation. He called on old school economists to repent and be baptized in the logic of deficits. He converted most of the young economists. The old ones slowly died off.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


“Economists as a profession have rushed to the Keynesian pump to keep the ship from sinking, but the ship appears to be taking on water despite their best efforts.” - Gary North, “A Double-Dip Recession


“The return to gold does not depend on the fulfillment of some material condition. It is an ideological problem. It presupposes only one thing: the abandonment of the illusion that increasing the quantity of money creates prosperity.” -- Ludwig von Mises, “Gold versus Paper


“What the costs of mining produce for society is a restrained state. . . That such a restraint might be available for the few millions spent in mining gold and silver out of the ground represents the greatest potential economic and political bargain in the history of man.” - Gary North, The Gold Wars


“Government is an inherently inflationary institution and will ever remain so until it is dispossessed of its monopoly of the supply of money.” -- Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and Unsound, p. 343


“The market insures that any quantity of money is capable of performing all the work required of a medium of exchange by adjusting its purchasing power to the underlying conditions of supply and demand.” - Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and Unsound, p. 348


“It is precisely through falling prices that the fruits of increased productivity and economic growth are spread throughout the market economy.” - Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and Unsound, p. 348


“If a domestic money consists of a commodity, a pure gold standard or cowrie bead standard, the principles of monetary policy are very simple. There aren’t any. The commodity money takes care of itself.” - Milton Friedman, quoted by Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and Unsound, p. 366


“Funding government through taxation is never enough because the victims might retaliate. What's needed is what we have: the arcane subterfuge of a cloistered cartel. What's needed is a central bank quietly mulcting the masses while it feeds the world's power-holders.” - George F. Smith, “Government’s Perennial Enemy


“The central bank never set out to protect the integrity of our money. In fact, the Fed set out to destroy it by institutionalizing inflation. The gold coin standard was doomed and today's inflation made inevitable the day the Federal Reserve was created.” - Ron Paul, Gold, Peace, and Prosperity, p. 46


“Government too has developed a systemic hand that is usually not seen. But unlike the invisible hand of the market, when this hand moves, we lose. Through inflation, government snatches the market's bounty for its own purposes, enervating our lives accordingly.” - George F. Smith, “That Other Invisible Hand


“Sound money starves the state.” - George F. Smith, “Government’s Perennial Enemy


“We should never forget, in the midst of all our warnings about government power, that government is deeply incompetent, and laughably so.” - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, “The Self-Regulating Economy


“If modern economists are scientists, it makes us suspicious of the rest of them. What about the physicists? The molecular biologists? The archeologists? Are they all quacks too?” - Bill Bonner, “Junk Science


“Private ownership of the means of production is the fundamental institution of the market economy. It is the institution the presence of which characterizes the market economy as such. Where it is absent, there is no question of a market economy.” - Ludwig von Mises, Human Action (1949), Ch. 24, p. 678


“The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics, and undermines liberty. Its destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government.” - Ron Paul, End the Fed, p. 141


“You don't help a depressed economy by giving control of its resources to politicians.” - Robert P. Murphy, Have Events Vindicated Keynesian Models?


“With artificially low rates come complete destruction of capital formation, as economic laws have all been commandeered.” - Jim Willie, Asset Speculation and Capital Destruction, The Cost Of 0% Money


“Modern economics is a set of formal models and equations purporting to fully determine human behaviour, at least in the economic realm. And there is no way that uncertainty can be compressed into determinate mathematical models.” - Murray Rothbard, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, p. 352


Rothbard’s Progression Theorem . . . identifies the central bank as the prime institutional means for effecting the progressive transformation of the monetary unit from a fixed-weight of a market-supplied commodity to a pure name. The disembodied monetary unit then can be affixed to an almost worthless object and multiplied, practically without cost and limit, by political fiat.” - Joseph Salerno, Money, Sound and Unsound, p. 54.


“Posterity does not pay off anything of the national debt. Each administration adds to the debt left to it, and the promise of liquidation implied in every bond issue is a false promise.” - Frank Chodorov, Out of Step, Ch. 17: “Don’t Buy Government Bonds


“Contrary to popular thinking, it is not a fall in credit as such that is the key to deflation, but a fall specifically in credit created out of thin air.” - Frank Shostak, “Does a Fall in Credit Lead to Deflation?


“The whole point of a central bank is to make the banking system unaccountable to market forces. Whenever the banks are in trouble, there is a lender of last resort. No other business entity enjoys such a privilege.” - Frank Shostak, “An Interview with Frank Shostak


“Instead of recognizing the State as ‘the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men,’ the run of mankind, with rare exceptions, regards it not only as a final and indispensable entity, but also as, in the main, beneficent. The mass-man, ignorant of its history, regards its character and intentions as social rather than anti-social; and in that faith he is willing to put at its disposal an indefinite credit of knavery, mendacity and chicane, upon which its administrators may draw at will.” - Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State


“What determines the course of a nation's economic policies is always the economic ideas held by public opinion. No government, whether democratic or dictatorial, can free itself from the sway of the generally accepted ideology.” - Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, Scholar’s Edition, p. 846


“History does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government.” - Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, Scholar’s Edition, p. 847


“Keynesianism is mercantilism with equations.” - Gary North, “Theft by Mercantilism: Old and New”


“To be an economist with integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear, and especially to say things that the regime does not want to hear.” - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.


“Every frugal man [is] a public benefactor.” - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book II, Chapter 3


“The present economic crisis presents the best opportunity since 1932 for taking the steps necessary and sufficient to free the American people from their thralldom to the Federal Reserve System and the vicious factions behind it.” - Edwin Vieira, “A Cross of Gold


“When people deal with a ‘paper currency redeemable in gold’, the natural uninstructed inclination is to treat the paper currency as ‘money’ and the gold as something else.” - Edwin Vieira, “A Cross of Gold


“Without popular fear, no government would endure more than twenty-four hours.” - Robert Higgs, Neither Liberty nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government, p. 2


“A gold necklace worn by some lovely young bride in 1500 will look just as good on a bride today. Think of a bride wearing Federal Reserve Notes. This image just doesn't have the same sense of permanence.” - Gary North, Gold: A Valuable Thing to Store


“The accounting systems of all modern nations are exercises in deception of the public.” - Gary North, The European Banking Crisis: Next Phase


“There are only two conceptual options in monetary theory: a full gold coin standard in which the citizens hold the golden hammers or a system of economic planning in which elite members of the planning bureaucracy hold the digital hammers. There is no third choice. A mixture always leads to inflation, recession, and centralization.” - Gary North, “Gold vs. Badges and Guns


“There is no permanent exit strategy, other than Great Depression 2.” - Gary North, “Why Economists Love the Federal Reserve


“There are no free lunches. There are no mercantilistic policies to subsidize exports that do not thereby subsidize the lifestyles of the customers in the other nations that buy the exports.” - Gary North, GoldBRICs


“Economic theory has nothing to say as to what commodity will acquire the status of money. Historically, it happened to be gold. But if the physical makeup of our world would have been different or is to become different from what it is now, some other commodity would have become or might become money. The market will decide.” - Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “The Mind of Hans-Hermann Hoppe


“More paper money cannot make a society richer, of course — it is just more printed paper. Otherwise, why is it that there are still poor countries and poor people around? But more money makes its monopolistic producer (the central bank) and its earliest recipients (the government and big, government-connected banks and their major clients) richer at the expense of making the money's late and latest receivers poorer.” - Hans-Hermann Hoppe


“Thanks to the central bank, most ‘monetary experts’ and ‘leading macro-economists’ can, by putting them on the payroll, be turned into government propagandists ‘explaining,’ like alchemists, how stones (paper) can be turned into bread (wealth).” - Hans-Hermann Hoppe


If we have learned anything from history, we should know that printing money out of thin air cannot lead to prosperity. It can only lead to penury. - Ron Paul


Until government policymakers stop trying to reflate the failed boom, there will be no recovery. - William L. Anderson


There is only one way to eliminate chronic inflation, as well as the booms and busts brought by that system of inflationary credit: and that is to eliminate the counterfeiting that constitutes and creates that inflation. And the only way to do that is to abolish legalized counterfeiting: that is, to abolish the Federal Reserve System, and return to the gold standard, to a monetary system where a market-produced metal, such as gold, serves as the standard money, and not paper tickets printed by the Federal Reserve. - Murray Rothbard


But the gold standard is not a game; it is a market phenomenon, and as such a social institution. Its preservation does not depend on the observation of some specific rules. It requires nothing else than that the government abstain from deliberately sabotaging it. - Ludwig von Mises


Inflation makes suckers out of savers. - Judy Shelton


For many decades, socialist economies bragged about zero unemployment, but the economies regressed year after year. Even in mixed economies like ours, high employment is most often an effect of prosperity and never a cause. - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.


Inflation is the enemy of capitalism, chiseling away at the foundation of free markets and the laws of supply and demand. It distorts price signals, making retailers look like profiteers and deceiving workers into thinking their wages have gone up. It pushes families into higher income tax brackets without increasing their real consumption opportunities. - Judy Shelton


The … calling away of energy into military pursuits means a crippling of the productive and life-enhancing processes of the national life. - Randolph Bourne, from a discarded manuscript found after his death.


On February 14, 2011, President Obama released his 2012 Federal Budget. The report updated the projected 2011 deficit to $1.645 trillion. - Wikipedia


1.      

1.             Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. - Alan Greenspan

2.           

2.                  The very existence of central banking is contrary to the capitalist ideal, in which money would be no different from any other good: produced and supplied by the market in accord with the moral law against theft and fraud. For the government to authorize a counterfeiter-in-chief is a direct attack on the sound money system of a market economy. - Jeffrey A. Tucker


Unlike natural (voluntary) money production that is regulated by the market forces of profit and loss, inflation is always an imposed increase of the money supply. - Jorg Guido Hulsmann (paraphrasing)


Commodity monies have built-in insurance against inflation. - Jorg Guido Hulsmann (paraphrasing)


”Nobody gets a Nobel Prize for letting the chips fall where they may. Nobody attracts readers by telling them that there is nothing that can be done. And nobody gets elected by promising to do nothing.” - Bill Bonner


“Anyone who thinks the Federal debt ceiling is now or ever has been a ceiling has not come to grips with the political reality of the free ride. Until there is widespread political pain, there will be no debt ceiling.” - Gary North


“You can't create wealth out of printing presses.” - Ron Paul


“I want competition with the Fed. I want to legalize the Constitution.” - Ron Paul


”The problem isn't that today's money is not ‘backed’ by much in the way of reserves; the problem is that the value of YOUR money is determined by the actions of ethically-bankrupt institutions.” - Steve Saville


"Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money." - Lindsay Lohan


”For those versed in the writings of Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard, the continuing economic slump has been no surprise.” - Robert Murphy


“FREE LUNCHES ARE SO EXPENSIVE” - Gary North


“All great mistakes start with having the money to finance them.” - Richard Daughty, the Mogambo Guru


“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.” - Albert Paine, Mark Twain’s Notebook


“In practice [monetary management] is merely a high-sounding euphemism for continuous currency debasement. It consists of constant lying in order to support constant swindling. Instead of automatic currencies based on gold, people are forced to take managed currencies based on guile. Instead of precious metals they hold paper promises whose value falls with every bureaucratic whim. And they are suavely assured that only hopelessly antiquated minds dream of returning to truth and honesty and solvency and gold.” - Henry Hazlitt (pdf, p. 24) (Thanks to Sean Mahoney)


Any country can have heavy unemployment if it is willing and able to pay for it. - Benjamin Anderson, p. 162, in reference to Britain’s policy of supporting high wage rates after WW I.





 

 

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George F. Smith is the author of The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, a novel about a renegade Fed chairman and the editor of Barbarous Relic.com.
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