World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data
Gold and Silver as Monetary Metals
John Cooper
World Economics, June 2006

Commodity money systems, based upon gold or silver, provided relative economic stability for centuries. On the other hand, our modern paper money system, based upon unbacked government liabilities, is particularly vulnerable to abuse. The various financial crises during the twentieth century bear witness to that. This paper seeks to explain the mechanics of the former Gold and Silver Standards and provides an overview of America’s experience with its bimetallic system.
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