While you may agree with me that the world desperately needs the gold standard, you may be equally convinced that the day global leaders embrace it is still a long way off. Fortunately, regular people no longer have to wait for the leadership to come to their senses. It is now possible for individuals to establish a personal gold standard using the world's first Gold Debit Card. The service, offered by my company Euro Pacific International Bank, allows users to save in gold but spend in local currency.
Nearly all economists who actually influence policy continue to regard gold as a failed and obsolete relic. Much as the automobile supplanted the horse and buggy, these economists see the "elasticity" of fiat paper money as a major improvement over the inflexibility of the gold standard. But what they see as progress has been, in reality, a major step backward.
History is littered with the worthless notes of one failed paper currency after another. The Framers of the US Constitution were personally familiar with the perils of paper, which is why they took great care to establish gold and silver as the only permissible form of money in America. Unfortunately, their efforts were undone in the 20th century by misguided economists, opportunistic politicians, and complicit judges.
Beginning with its final abandonment of gold in 1971, the US is now leading the world in the largest experiment ever conducted in the use of unredeemable paper money. The experiment is unraveling rapidly as people the world over are losing confidence in the ability of central bankers to preserve the value of their savings. It's not a question of if the world will return to a gold standard, but when.
Gold is money because humanity throughout history has embraced it of their own free will. Paper is only money today because government decrees it to be. But just because government wants us to save and transact in its dollars, euros, or pesos doesn't mean we have to oblige them. Thanks to modern technology, we now have a better alternative.
As more people are rediscovering gold, they naturally prefer it to its fiat alternatives as a store of value. But while owning gold has become increasingly convenient, using it as a medium of exchange is far more challenging. To buy a tailored suit with a gold coin, a buyer would first need to identify a merchant who will accept gold in exchange. If the gold did not match the garment exactly in value, the two parties would either have to add paper currency or accept paper as change.
Of course, a gold owner can always "cash in" gold coins with a coin merchant anytime spending is anticipated. However, this can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. First, you need to find a gold dealer who will give you a fair price to sell your coin. If it's a weekend, you may have to wait until Monday. If your gold is in storage with a third party, you will have to execute the sale, wait for the trade to settle, and then wait longer for the wire to hit your bank account. If the proceeds are paid by check, you will have to wait for the check to arrive in the mail and then wait for it to clear.
My new offshore bank solves these problems and makes spending your stored gold easy. Euro Pacific Bank, based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, offers bullion accounts that may be accessed with a debit card accepted at over 3 million ATMs and 30 million merchants worldwide. Gold is changed into currency as needed to pay debits. It is always converted at the daily exchange rates. Unused balances are held in gold, giving the user all the benefits of gold ownership.
Unfortunately, this service is not available to U.S. citizens or residents.
To learn more about Euro Pacific Bank's Gold Debit Card and to receive an application, click here.
If enough people use my debit card, and other banks follow my example, governments will be under even more pressure to return to a gold standard. If consumers demand real money, governments will have no choice but to provide it. In the meantime, your savings will be safe from their central planning. Since even Warren Buffett recently admitted that he no longer likes paper money, it looks like it's game on. May the best money win.