"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value." – Alan Greenspan (before he converted to the "other side")
The US, as was to be expected, raised their debt ceiling once again. It was done without meaningful cuts in spending or tax increases. Subsequently, Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit rating. The double dip recession in America is now official, with dismal economic indicators and the consumer price index rising. The stock markets are reacting accordingly. Meanwhile, European leaders, primarily Merkel and Sarkozy, are giving frantic lip service to solving the debt crisis and saving the Euro without decisively taking a stand.
Of course, the REAL AND CORE BATTLE revolves around the world's fiat currencies with the Euro and the US dollar at center stage. As I started writing this commentary, it was the morning of August 17th. Precisely forty years ago, US President Richard Nixon ended the gold standard and announced the end of the Bretton Woods International Monetary System. Either knowingly or unknowingly, he unleashed the fundamental ingredients of the toxic monetary and fiscal waste the world is dealing with today.