Shakespeare and Goethe on Gresham's Law and the Single Gold Standard

Shakespeare and Goethe on Gresham's Law and the Single Gold Standard

Author: Benjamin Edwards Green

Publisher: Theclassics.Us

ISBN: 1230440100


Page: 22

View: 817

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1900 edition. Excerpt: ... SHAKESPEARE AND GOETHE ON Gresham's Law and the Single Gold Standard. i Of late there has been much talk about "gresham's Law." Of the living generations of English speaking people, not one in 10,000 ever heard of him until recently. Suddenly he has become famous. They would like to know who he was; when and where he lived; under what circumstances he promulgated his law; and what that law is. Sir Thomas Gresham was an English merchant, who wrote on commercial and kindred topics in the time of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). His so-called law read as follows: "If debased coin is attempted to be circulated with full valued coin, all of the latter will disappear from circulation, and the overvalued and debased coin will alone remain to the ruin of our commerce and business." From the dawn of civilization--long before and long after Gresham's day--silver and gold were both recognized as "the precious metals" fit for coinage and intended by the creator for man's use as money. As civilization progressed, piracy on the seas, rapine on land, gave place to industry and commerce, as roads to wealth; and the ever increasing demand for more money led to, and compelled, the use of the paper substitutes of the credit system. The evolution of that system, through its various forms of exchequer bills, treasury notes, bank notes, checks drawn by individuals on bankbook-credits, clearing house settlements, etc., etc., in time developed and made known certain important tendencies and results. Among these were: 1st. Great instability of prices: --frequent contractions with fall of prices, alternating with frequent expansions with rise of prices. Because of these fluctuations the system has frequently been likened to a huge inverted cone with apex resting on a...