It seems the Republican party’s talk of a gold commission has led to a virtual gold rush of commentary from columnists, talking heads, and assorted punditry. Taking a glance at the Real Clear Markets link aggregator, I see “The Failing Case for Gold,” “The Top Ten Reasons you Should Support the Gold Commission,” and “GOP’s Golden Oldie,” along with the fabulously titled “The Lost Bush/Obama Era Gave Us the Gold Commission” and “The First Gold Commission Scared the Hell Out of the Fed. These latter two pieces with the provocative names are pretty favorable takes, I’d say.
Not every economist is high on the gold standard, as Paul Krugman noted a few years back:
There is a case to be made for a return to the gold standard. It is not a very good case, and most sensible economists reject it, but the idea is not completely crazy.
Most sensible economists, yes, suggesting that some sensible economists might be somewhat more favorable (see the links herein, for instance).
Of course, times change, and evidently so has Krugman’s assessment. Here’s Krugman’s in yesterday’s New York Times:
The truth is that returning to gold is an almost comically (and cosmically) bad idea.
So much for the sensible goldbug. Krugman finishes the piece with this zinger:
Now, the gold bugs will no doubt reply that under a gold standard big bubbles couldn’t happen, and therefore there wouldn’t be major financial crises. And it’s true: under the gold standard America had no major financial panics other than in 1873, 1884, 1890, 1893, 1907, 1930, 1931, 1932, and 1933.
I guess we’ll see how the campaign shapes up and perhaps we’ll be seeing more of this.