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Thread: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Please link to Congress authorizing Bernard von NotHaus to make US currency.
    Never said it did

    But you can of course use Canadian dollars, UK pounds, Pesos at many places within the US. You can also use ̀OUs as a medium of exchange, you just can not create a US currency on your own. You have to be authorized by the government for that and since 1913 the Federal Reserve has been the only one with that authority
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Forex markets do not debase our national currency, they're merely a reflection of what the value of our currency already is. If people demand more dollars, the value will rise. If people demand fewer dollars, the value will fall.
    Which can be outside the control of the Federal Reserve.
    All/Most of those people in the forex market are unelected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Depends how you define "widespread." As long as they're relatively small, the government tolerates them merely because they aren't worth the hassle. If they get big enough then the government shuts them down. The key is to make sure that they're only a minor nuisance, rather than a big economic problem.
    Widespread, as in common everyday use.
    The government tolerates it because they can't do anything to stop it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    For countries with extremely irresponsible monetary policies (e.g. Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Argentina) that is true. For everyone else, it isn't. Especially when the alternative currency in question does not compete with the national currency on the basis of being more conservative. And even if it did, it's not clear to me why a conservative monetary policy is inherently so desirable that we need an undemocratic private currency to establish it for us. Just convince the voters that we need a conservative monetary policy, and they'll elect a President who will appoint Milton Friedman's corpse to chair the Fed. People have no right to subvert the democratic process to establish their own independent monetary policy.
    No country remains infinitely responsible with it's monetary policy but it doesn't have to be 1 government currency vs. 1 private currency.
    It can be several competing currencies.
    Some formal, some informal.

    This is the way the international market is moving right now.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Dude, did you even remotely pay attention to what I was saying? When Zimbabwe was in the throes of that currency crisis it did not allow any foreign currency to be used. Once it did allow other currencies the situation quickly stabilized. In other words, what I said was actually backed up by the situation in Zimbabwe.
    So then the medium of exchange DID have an impact on Zimbabwe's economy. Glad we agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light
    Whose corporate interests was the Liberty Dollar catering to exactly?
    I have no idea. Why don't you ask the creator of the liberty dollar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light
    Except the government isn't actually in charge of the Federal Reserve.
    Except the Board of Governors are all appointed by the President with the confirmation of the Senate. And for the second time, I would like to note the irony of your complaining about the government not being in charge of the Fed, at the same time you're advocating for a private currency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light
    First of all, the fact of there being other currencies means if one has these problems another can be used.
    Currencies are not widgets. It is NOT healthy to have competing mediums of exchange in a single country. The instability you just described (i.e. switching from one private currency to another at the first sign of trouble) is a recipe for economic disaster because it would create so much exchange risk that it would hardly even be worth setting up a business in this country. Furthermore, it would make the economy virtually ungovernable because the government would have no control over its own budget or money supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light
    It isn't about "fighting unemployment" when they lower interest rates. Call it what it is: protecting corporate profits. The first and most lucrative beneficiaries of a lower interest rate are those who borrow directly from the Fed, meaning the big banks.
    The tradeoff between unemployment and inflation is well accepted among economists all across the political spectrum.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-20-11 at 06:06 PM.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Which can be outside the control of the Federal Reserve.
    All/Most of those people in the forex market are unelected.
    I'm not sure what your point is. I have no problem with the forex market. The goal of the Fed isn't to "control" the currency in the sense that it determines what price it should trade at. That isn't desirable for the US. I'm talking about controlling the currency in the sense that it is able to meaningfully increase or reduce the money supply to affect the economy. If no one uses the US Dollar anymore because they're using Wal-Mart Dollars instead, then the government is no longer able to do that.

    We've seen the impact that not having control of one's own monetary policy has had on Greece. And we've seen the impact that having all your debt denominated in currency that isn't your own has had on Iceland. What about their experiences do you think is worth repeating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla
    Widespread, as in common everyday use.
    The government tolerates it because they can't do anything to stop it.
    Obviously they can, as they just convicted the creator of the liberty dollar. Hence the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla
    No country remains infinitely responsible with it's monetary policy but it doesn't have to be 1 government currency vs. 1 private currency.
    It can be several competing currencies.
    Some formal, some informal.
    See my response to Demon of Light. In what world is it desirable to have many competing currencies within a national border, where one is abandoned at the first sign of trouble in favor of the new kid on the block? Currencies are NOT widgets and should not be thought of like that. If I want to start a business, what currency should I use to take out loans? What currency should I use to extend my customers credit? Hopefully I'll guess right, or else I'll be on the hook for huge debts and/or repaid in worthless paper. Of course, I could hedge against exchange risk...for a large fee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla
    This is the way the international market is moving right now.
    So far, private currencies are merely a nuisance in the international market. Hopefully they stay that way.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-20-11 at 06:07 PM.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Never said it did

    But you can of course use Canadian dollars, UK pounds, Pesos at many places within the US. You can also use ̀OUs as a medium of exchange, you just can not create a US currency on your own. You have to be authorized by the government for that and since 1913 the Federal Reserve has been the only one with that authority
    You were backing the argument that anyone, just anyone can coin US money since the Constitution doesn't expressly state that only Congress has that authority.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Show me in the Constitution where it says "only" Congress can coin money. It says Congress has the power to coin money, but at no point gives it the exclusive right. In particular it does not deny the people a right to use whatever medium of exchange they want amongst themselves.
    In all things, The People reserve the right unless the Constitution expressly gives that right or authority to the government. The Constitution gave the authority to coin money to Congress, which means that right does not belong to the People anymore.

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Please link to Congress authorizing Bernard von NotHaus to make US currency.
    He doesn't need their authorization. As long as none of the businesses that accepted this as currency were deceived, I see no indication they were, his actions were completely within the bounds of the law. Look at the charges for which he was convicted. It was based on the claim that he was creating money that looks similar to government-issued currency. Specifically their claims were about the coins since the notes were clearly nothing like U.S. dollars. Their claims were ridiculous since no U.S. coin has a phone number or website on it, nor do they say "Liberty Dollar" on the back, but apparently they managed to hoodwink a jury.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    In all things, The People reserve the right unless the Constitution expressly gives that right or authority to the government. The Constitution gave the authority to coin money to Congress, which means that right does not belong to the People anymore.
    That is a distortion of the 10th Amendment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    This is not about how people *feel* - this concerns what *did* and *did not* happen. He intended for it to be used *as* money *instead* of our legal currency - that is what he did, there's no arguing that fact

    it's cut and dry. .

    I wouldn't call it 'domestic terrorism' like they did - nor do I think it's as egregious of a crime as they made it out to be. But illegal? Indeed.

    I have Iraqi-GI currency - which are just cardboard disks with images printed on it for use in Iraq and other areas of the Middle East only for Soldiers. This was legitimately created by Congress as a supplement to hardcoin currency for use overseas and has no value outside certain areas. It really represents an actual coin that is reserved - they just chose this as a wise alternative to actually *having* coinage in a warzone for several different reasons.
    This is exactly what this guy did, really - an alternative form of 'money' which only certain 'businesses' accept. But he is not Congress. He has no authority to replace our legal tender with his own legal tender - clever spokesman or not.

    Just because they didn't think it through doesn't mean it's legitimate.
    Except it is only being used in agreement with businesses and is not in fact intended to be used as legal tender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    So then the medium of exchange DID have an impact on Zimbabwe's economy. Glad we agree.
    No we do not agree. I said the life or death of a specific currency has no impact so long as there is some means of exchange agreed upon. You pointed to a case where the currency was dead and there was no other means of exchange available because only the dead currency was allowed. Once alternatives were allowed the situation improved. Your example only backed up my case.

    I have no idea. Why don't you ask the creator of the liberty dollar?
    You made the claim bud. If you can't even come up with a name it suggests you were spouting nonsense.

    Except the Board of Governors are all appointed by the President with the confirmation of the Senate. And for the second time, I would like to note the irony of your complaining about the government not being in charge of the Fed, at the same time you're advocating for a private currency.
    My complaint is not about the government not being in charge, but that it is by mandate of law a banking cartel with no accountability to anyone but corporate interests as even the government appointments are required to be representative of said interests.

    Currencies are not widgets. It is NOT healthy to have competing mediums of exchange in a single country. The instability you just described (i.e. switching from one private currency to another at the first sign of trouble) is a recipe for economic disaster because it would create so much exchange risk that it would hardly even be worth setting up a business in this country. Furthermore, it would make the economy virtually ungovernable because the government would have no control over its own budget or money supply.
    I would agree there is a need for a central currency, but having alternative currencies serves as a check on the potential abuse of that central currency and allows for communities to maintain a stable economy even in the event of that central currency's failure. Of course, I would not really mind either way so long as there is democratic accountability to insure policies do not become abusive towards the people.

    The tradeoff between unemployment and inflation is well accepted among economists all across the political spectrum.
    Not what I was saying. I am saying the Federal Reserve isn't acting to prevent unemployment even if they claim this to be the case.
    Last edited by Demon of Light; 03-20-11 at 06:29 PM.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm not sure what your point is. I have no problem with the forex market. The goal of the Fed isn't to "control" the currency in the sense that it determines what price it should trade at. That isn't desirable for the US. I'm talking about controlling the currency in the sense that it is able to meaningfully increase or reduce the money supply to affect the economy. If no one uses the US Dollar anymore because they're using Wal-Mart Dollars instead, then the government is no longer able to do that.
    If the value of the dollar is driven to nothingness through the forex market, you've achieved the same thing.
    Valueless national currency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    We've seen the impact that not having control of one's own monetary policy has had on Greece. And we've seen the impact that having all your debt denominated in currency that isn't your own has had on Iceland. What about their experiences do you think is worth repeating?
    I'm not to familiar with their situations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Obviously they can, as they just convicted the creator of the liberty dollar. Hence the thread.
    Well, I should of said there isn't a much they can do to stop it.
    They have approximately 7 million worth of liberty dollars in circulation.

    There entire barter market is in the billions, I'm thinking.
    I'll do some more research to see though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    See my response to Demon of Light. In what world is it desirable to have many competing currencies within a national border, where one is abandoned at the first sign of trouble in favor of the new kid on the block? Currencies are NOT widgets and should not be thought of like that. If I want to start a business, what currency should I use to take out loans? What currency should I use to extend my customers credit? Hopefully I'll guess right, or else I'll be on the hook for huge debts and/or repaid in worthless paper. Of course, I could hedge against exchange risk...for a large fee.
    The most popular currency of course, if it's managed wisely and openly, it shouldn't be a big problem and as a customer of this currency, you'd demand it be so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    So far, private currencies are merely a nuisance in the international market. Hopefully they stay that way.
    I'd like to see more experimentation before we call it completely dead.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    If the value of the dollar is driven to nothingness through the forex market, you've achieved the same thing.
    Valueless national currency.
    The forex market is merely a market. It can't "drive the value of the dollar to nothingness," it just reflects what the value of the dollar inherently is. The value of the dollar is determined by supply and demand, which can be influenced by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla
    I'm not to familiar with their situations.
    Greece had a debt crisis, due to longstanding fiscal irresponsibility. If they were still using the Greek drachma, they would have devalued their currency and endured a short, painful readjustment. But since they use the euro, they no longer have control of their own monetary policy. This means that they CAN'T devalue, because many other member states don't have such serious problems and don't want to. As a result, Greece had no choice but to raise taxes and cut spending...which will ensure that they have a lost decade and make little progress on paying down their debt. Moral of the story: Don't lose control over your own monetary policy to outsiders.

    Iceland also had a debt crisis, but for a very different reason. Iceland's sovereign debt was not unreasonably high, but it was denominated in US dollars. As soon as it became clear how exposed their banks were to the US mortgage crisis, the value of the Icelandic krona cratered. Iceland's debt was suddenly many multiples of what it had previously been, because they had to pay it back in dollars instead of krona. Moral of the story: Limit your exposure to sovereign debt in currencies that aren't your own.

    The reason these stories are related to the topic is because private currencies function very much like foreign currencies, in that the government doesn't have control over them, and they can cause a host of economic problems if they begin to replace the national currency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla
    The most popular currency of course, if it's managed wisely and openly, it shouldn't be a big problem and as a customer of this currency, you'd demand it be so.
    What makes you think that you can demand that private currencies be managed wisely and openly, but not the national currency? The interests of the public and the interests of the creator of the currency are not necessarily aligned, and you have little recourse if you don't like the decisions (except switch to another currency, which creates the very problem I was talking about previously). The interests of the public and the interests of the public's representatives ARE aligned, at least in theory. If you don't like their decisions, you can elect a president and a Senate who promise to change them.

    Besides, businesses are not always responsive to customers' needs. What happens if the guy managing the dominant currency decides to do something stupid and causes it to crater? Yes, you'll switch to a new currency (there's that exchange risk instability problem again)...but in the mean time, our economy would undergo a major recession/depression due to the actions of a single person whom no one elected or appointed to anything.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-20-11 at 06:56 PM.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    IMO, although the rhetoric describing Mr. von NotHaus's minting of "currency" as "a unique form of domestic terrorism," goes too far, that does not change the reality that he was engaging in illegal activity. Previously, he deceptively advertised his "currency" as "real money." His website explicitly attempted to raise doubts about U.S. currency, which is legal tender. He had no authorization from Congress to mint money. Due to the confusion Mr. von NotHaus attempted to create in passing off his "currency" as "money," the U.S. mint had to issue a detailed statement informing people that the NotHaus "money" had no legal basis.

    Had he minted strictly commemorative coins, there would have been no legal issues. Instead, Mr. von NotHaus went well beyond that. I am not surprised that he was convicted, as the legal case against him was quite clear-cut. Furthermore, I fully expect that the conviction will be upheld should he appeal it.

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The forex market is merely a market. It can't "drive the value of the dollar to nothingness," it just reflects what the value of the dollar inherently is. The value of the dollar is determined by supply and demand, which can be influenced by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.
    Of course but they could still influence it in a competitive system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Greece had a debt crisis, due to longstanding fiscal irresponsibility. If they were still using the Greek drachma, they would have devalued their currency and endured a short, painful readjustment. But since they use the euro, they no longer have control of their own monetary policy. This means that they CAN'T devalue, because many other member states don't have such serious problems and don't want to. As a result, Greece had no choice but to raise taxes and cut spending...which will ensure that they have a lost decade and make little progress on paying down their debt. Moral of the story: Don't lose control over your own monetary policy to outsiders.

    Iceland also had a debt crisis, but for a very different reason. Iceland's sovereign debt was not unreasonably high, but it was denominated in US dollars. As soon as it became clear how exposed their banks were to the US mortgage crisis, the value of the Icelandic krona cratered. Iceland's debt was suddenly many multiples of what it had previously been, because they had to pay it back in dollars instead of krona. Moral of the story: Limit your exposure to sovereign debt in currencies that aren't your own.

    The reason these stories are related to the topic is because private currencies function very much like foreign currencies, in that the government doesn't have control over them, and they can cause a host of economic problems if they begin to replace the national currency.
    I take a totally different stance than you do on the moral of these stories.
    Don't get yourself involved with to much debt else some very bad things can happen to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What makes you think that you can demand that private currencies be managed wisely and openly, but not the national currency? The interests of the public and the interests of the creator of the currency are not necessarily aligned, and you have little recourse if you don't like the decisions (except switch to another currency, which creates the very problem I was talking about previously). The interests of the public and the interests of the public's representatives ARE aligned, at least in theory. If you don't like their decisions, you can elect a president and a Senate who promise to change them.
    That exactly how the Federal Reserve is managed though.
    It has an unelected governor that see to it's operations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Besides, businesses are not always responsive to customers' needs. What happens if the guy managing the dominant currency decides to do something stupid and causes it to crater? Yes, you'll switch to a new currency (there's that exchange risk instability problem again)...but in the mean time, our economy would undergo a major recession/depression due to the actions of a single person whom no one elected or appointed to anything.
    If they aren't they go out of business.

    We've suffered major recessions because of our elected leaders, what's the difference?
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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