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Night and Day


Saving is different from investing in that investing has price risk!


In 1958 Macolm Bryan, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, made this protest against even a little inflation and to the proponents of a gently rising price level:

"The integrity of our conduct is crucial. Even if we ignore past savers in money forms, which would be a great scandal, we at least have a responsibility, binding in conscience, to present and future savers in money forms. If a policy of active or permissive inflation is to be a fact, then we can rescue the shreds of our self-respect only by announcing the policy. That is the least of the canons of decency that should prevail. We should have the decency to say to the money saver, 'Hold still, Little Fish! All we intend to do is gut you.'"

Compare that to a quote from a speech given by former Fed Governor Bernanke in November of 2002:

"...U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

The difference in policy is staggering, but what I really want to point out is that Mr. Bernanke is at least doing what Mr. Bryan hoped, telling the Little Fish they will be gutted.

The Federal Reserve does not want people to save money and they warned them not to. The Fed is slowly "training" the populace to believe that real estate and equity investing is the "savings" of the future. But saving is different from investing in that investing has price risk.

So the Fed has made it clear that saving "money" has risk too, the risk of a declining dollar. The only way to protect a decline in the dollar is to not save money, but invest it in assets that increase in nominal price at the rate of at least the decline in the dollar.

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