When it comes to capital preservation, few resources have been able to hold value like
gold. Gold and silver have staged one of the best ten year runs in history. In the early part of this century gold
prices remained quite stable, but the last decade may soon be written in history as what jump started the
revolution in personal finance; utilizing metals as an important hedge against economic fallout. The ability of
precious metals to protect against inflation, as well as deflation, and everything in between truly shows how
versatile and rewarding gold and silver are as investments.
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The cumulative devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar was such
that a stack of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (26 zeros) two dollar bills (if they were printed) in the peak
hyperinflation would have be needed to equal in value what a single original Zimbabwe two-dollar bill of 1978 had
been worth. Such a pile of bills literally would be light years high, stretching from the Earth to the Andromeda
In early-2009, the governor of the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank indicated he felt his actions in printing money were
vindicated by the recent actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve. If the U.S. went through a hyperinflation like that
of Zimbabwe’s, total U.S. federal debt and obligations (more than $80 trillion with unfunded liabilities) could be
paid off for much less than a current U.S. penny.
This sign in a restroom facility at a South African
border station with Zimbabwe speaks for itself.
We live amidst the most modern version of this
story. Through a long and steady process, we now regard the paper as not being a receipt for money, but as
the actual money itself. Banks lend out enormous amounts of credit based on paper reserves. Central banks
stand ready to create whatever new amount of money is required to prevent the spread of panics.
This can only end with the complete debasement of the currency as it is printed into oblivion. In the
twentieth century, many currencies have experienced this fate.