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Posts posted by RWB

  1. Wikipedia is not a reliable academic source. That is the simple, direct truth. Of course, on the whole no general "encyclopedia" is either. In the computational sciences Wikipedia is better than in the humanities or history, and is usable for middle school and some high school references.


    One of Wikipedia's good points is as a rough index to more rigorous sources....much as Google is an index of internet locations: starting points, not end points.


  2. Sorry that you do not care for reality, Nutmeg.


    You asked questions, and I attempted to help with honest answers. There's no arrogance except from your perception - it's simply that I have done the deep research and you have not.


    Try examining things more deeply than the superficial "Wikipedia world"....that might be more helpful to you than copying from the first Google hit you see, and thereby demonstrating you don't really understand what you copied from C. S. Lewis.


  3. Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Too many "cooks" with their own versions of "broth." Articles change from week to week as different people seek to bend the truth to their own purposes. That is especially the case with anything involving money, stocks, finance, politics or religion.


    [My grad students receive an automatic “F” if any citation flows to Wikipedia.]


  4. Your first paragraph seems to be an emotional statement of opinions, not facts. There's no point to trying to figure it out. As to the second paragraph:


    Laws are enacted by Congress and enforced by the Executive. The Executive also prepares regulations that allow enforcement of Congress' laws. The Supreme Court acts as arbitrator when there is a question about the constitutionality of a law or the enforcement actions. It isn't "perfect" but it works a lot better than in most places.


    The April 1933 Executive actions, in concert with acts of Congress in 1917 and the emergency powers, were aimed at the hoarding of gold metal and gold-denominated instruments. The problem was twofold: 1) preventing export of gold thereby removing it from circulation, and 2) hoarding of all types of currency which effectively removed it from domestic circulation and restricted trade. Previous attempts by the Hoover administration to restrict gold hoarding were unsuccessful because the actions were voluntary. Neither Hoover nor Roosevelt had the legal tools necessary to attack the basic problems of credit constriction and speculation. (Both of these came back to cause a Depression in 2007 after laws enacted to prevent these abuses were countermanded by Congress.)


    As to enforcement, Treasury Agents enforced the executive orders and 1934 Gold Act. (Many were former prohibition agents.)


    The Hoover administration in December 1932 had begun recording the names and addresses of all who withdrew gold from banks. In May 1933, agents investigated business and individuals whose names appeared on these lists. Out of thousands of names, many were fake, others had deposited gold as a normal part of business and in the end only a few hundred were actually investigated. Total prosecutions were less than 50 for the country, and most were of foreign nationals trying to hide gold for export.


    The safe deposit box “inspection” applied only to those with names on the list or who otherwise brought attention to themselves.


    Other enforcement investigations occurred only when there was a complaint or someone brought attention to themselves. Over half of all investigations through 1947 originated with a relative or someone who wanted to “get even” with another person.


    As this might help some understand, superficial examination of actions results in superficial and usually inaccurate assumptions. If one has “not seen specifics of how the law was enforced” and has not understood how “the original law was ostensibly geared to discourage hoarding” or read and understood executive orders, law and regulation, then accurate conclusions cannot be made.


    The whole episode is difficult to follow and at the time was just as confusing as at present. But it is important for modern numismatists to get beyond the superficial hyperbole, “gold bug” hand wringing, and doomsday people, if they are to understand the reality of actions and consequences.



  5. Paper gold notes circulated. Little gold coin circulated except in the far west. When gold was nationalized, most of the coin was already in the Treasury or under Treasury control.


    A similar situation existed from 1917-1921, when Treasury simply refused to make or issue gold coins, and actively kept gold notes out of circulation. Restrictions were lifted in 1922, but few people went back to gold coins.


    Nearly all of the public reports of "gold in circulation" included coins and paper. Superficial reading of these has thoroughly confused collectors for decades.


    (The book National Gold will focus on the gold coins and where they came from and the fate of most of them.)



    Presumably, you are referring to the Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934.


    Whenever gold certificates/notes appeared at banks they were exchanged dollar-for-dollar until about 1962 (?) when ownership was permitted again.


    Most of the value of “gold hoards” consisted of paper notes, not coins. Whenever these were surrendered to Treasury Agents a list of serial numbers was made, then the owners were taken to a local bank for exchange. $5,000 and $10,000 notes were prevalent in hoards.



  7. These were a means to make small mail order purchases without including cash. Checking accounts were relatively exopensive to maintain and each check was charged a clearing house fee, so they were only used for large purchases. Some coin collectors paid for proof sets of minor coins purchased form the mint with these.

  8. As much as you have on the issue of 1882 Gold Certs in 1904 and/or unusually large issues of gold certs up to about 1917....OK, that's a lot of stuff, but it relates to why the mints produced a lot gold in some years and not in others. Eagles and double eagles were not the best export vehicles for gold - merchants wanted bars. Coin had to be made to back paper money.