On Monday, Senator Chris Dodd rammed his "financial reform" legislation through his Senate Banking Committee on a strictly party-line vote. It's no surprise that Chris Dodd's answer to the economic crisis is the same as his answer to seemingly everything else: give the government more power … Dodd's bill, which should be called the "Fed Empowerment Act," will add more layers of bureaucracy to government. One of its provisions includes creating a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be housed at the Fed and funded by it. Apparently, the Connecticut senator expects us to believe that an agency inside the Fed and financed by it will be "independent." The legislation also includes a new Financial Stability Oversight Council to "monitor" companies that supposedly could become "too big to fail." The Council will have the ability to require nonbank financial companies to be under the Federal Reserve's supervision if the government deems they pose a "risk" to financial stability. Certain large companies will be expected to submit plans to the government "for their rapid and orderly shutdown" if the company goes under … Who knows how many businesses could be targeted and broken up, under the guise of "reform," solely for standing up to the federal government! In yet another expected move, Dodd's bill strips out a complete Fed audit and allows the Fed to decline to disclose specific information. – Ron Paul (left), Campaign for Liberty
Dominant Social Theme: More regulation is necessary …
Free Market Analysis: We were lucky enough recently to snag an exclusive, short interview (below) with libertarian congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). And when we received the above missive via email from his Liberty organization, we found to some extent it paralleled the interview. In both this exclusive interview, and the call to action above, Ron Paul bemoans the power of the Federal Reserve and Congress' lack of ability to create meaningful oversight over what can in many ways be considered a rogue monetary entity. Hopefully, the Fed does not end up with even more power after its latest series of economic disasters. See for yourself:
Daily Bell: Will the Fed be audited in your lifetime?
Ron Paul: To the extent that I want to see it audited, probably not. There may be some half-hearted attempts at auditing the now-ended liquidity programs, but the substantive things like open market operations, the discount window, and deals with foreign central banks will remain in the shadows. We've had great success with the language from HR 1207, managing to get the language through the House as part of HR 4173, but I fully expect the audit language to be watered down when the House and Senate bills go to conference.
Daily Bell: What's in store for the dollar and fiat currency in general?
Ron Paul: Well, in the long run the value of all fiat currencies falls to zero. So, it's just a matter of time before the fiat dollar disappears. The dollar has lost 96% of its value over the past century, and the Federal Reserve and federal government have been doing their best in the past two years to accelerate that.
Daily Bell: Where do you see gold and silver going from here?
Ron Paul: Long-term I think they will be much higher than they are right now. We live in a world of government-monopoly fiat currencies and they all inflate and destroy their value in unison. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see gold much higher in the next couple of years.
Daily Bell: Can the fiat dollar recover in your opinion?
Ron Paul: That's hard to predict, but I don't think it's likely. The dollar has lost 96% of its value since 1913, and there's just no way we can get back to that level under a fiat system. In order to recover, the same Federal Reserve that caused that 96% drop would have to suddenly get wise, stop the inflation and debt monetization, and get serious about sound money. That just won't happen.
Daily Bell: Will we have a China-centric or Asia-centric world in the 21st century?
Ron Paul: This is a difficult forecast, but it's certainly possible. When you have Russian leaders chiding American leaders for embracing socialism and Chinese students laughing at the Treasury Secretary's assertion that US assets remain a safe investment, people begin to wonder when the world flipped upside down. For over a century, whether rightly or wrongly, the US has been seen as the epitome of free-market capitalism, where anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make it big. Over the past several decades that ability for entrepreneurial success has been suffocated by excessive regulation, taxation, and government intervention. Forcing American businesses and workers to get government permission for everything they want to do is not the recipe for economic success.
Ron Paul's prediction about the end of the dollar is noteworthy in that he has been correct literally for decades about its accelerating worthlessness. And here's another point to note: Currencies tend to trade in a band with ratios between currencies. This means that other currencies have been reduced in value proportionately to the dollar – an insight into the overall worthlessness of paper money, especially as compared to gold and silver. The Federal Reserve – rather than being the guarantor of the dollar's soundness – has acted in a way that continually dissipates the dollar's value. This reality, as much as anything else the Fed has done, should ensure a continued national debate over its suitability as the dollar's keeper.