February 6, 2001

What a Dream
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The gifted, but humble, author of this piece of work, Daan Joubert, insists that the story you are about to read is only fiction, but after you've finished reading it, you are left wondering if it is fiction, for it explains a lot about the mysterious subject of The Dream:

 

A work of fiction

I happen to suffer from a strange condition - if suffer is the right word, as on occasions my experiences have been a source of great enjoyment, intellectually and, vicariously, of a more immediate nature. In that sense, I hope the condition remains in place.

On other occasions, though, as if to counterbalance the good deal of fun and joy I have experienced, the experiences have left me bathed in sweat from terror and disgust, with my heart in palpitations and my nails sunk into my palms.

You see, I dream. Of course, most people do so, but my dreams are kind of special. They enact history. Or repeat it, if you wish, but to me, while I dream, am living history.

Let me explain. The dreams started about 15 years ago. After many years of not dreaming at all, suddenly, I had the most vivid dream I could remember. If one could call it a dream, since I was living, experiencing history. Not as an observer or a nonentity, but as a major actor on the world stage. The first "dream" started with me as the young woman - girl, really - who would become famous as Jeanne d'Arc. I lived her life - I was her for all practical purposes, helping her to make decisions and choices. No, making decisions and choices. From the difficult early years, through the life in the cloister, eventually to become the victorious leader of France's armies, Orleans and what followed, as is well known, through to the bitter end.

The point is that I was Jeanne. I experienced at first hand what she had lived through and in the process learned much detail that I believe is not known to history - not only thoughts, wishes, fears and other things that are very personal and easy to imagine, particularly in a dream. But also events, conversations, meetings, that, to the best of my subsequent reading of history could have really happened - readings that revealed many facts I did not know at the time of the dream, but that show these events could well have taken place exactly as dreamt.

Since then I have had a good number of similar dreams. Always important historical characters; always spread over as many as 10 to 12 nights, to make allowance for the detail that often spans decades of live, real and detailed history. Genghis Khan, Darwin, Alan Turing (fascinating!), Charlemagne, Gutenberg (disappointing), Florence of the Lamp (what a woman! What personal strength.), Saladdin, Adolf Hitler (a very real, very vivid nightmare), Thomas Jefferson (oh, wow!) and many others, with no regard for sex, race or religion or distance in the past - once even Hammurabi, lawmaker of Sumeria. All shakers of the world, people of consequence, and all deceased.

Recently, I had the first dream about someone who is still alive - someone who is still moving and shaking the world as we know it. Someone who can still make a difference to what we will live through during the next few decades.

So far, I have not made known any of the experiences and events that I have dreamt. The characters may be deceased, but I have no proof that what I have dreamt is anything more than just that - figments of the subconscious that came to the surface in a dream, vivid though it might be. Nothing that I might make public can change history, although in some cases what I have dreamt would change the way we perceive history and the role of some central characters in its formation.

But the most recent dream is still incomplete - what is happening can still have great impact on what historians will later argue, after the event. If they have any facts on which to base their arguments and to take these beyond mere speculation. And this is why, for the first time, I am divulging the contents of a dream, even though - or perhaps because of - the main character is still living.

In my dream I was a central banker. THE central banker. In it a certain objective, a goal that has become what other people may call obsession, casts a long shadow that stretches back to the early days. It is this objective and what lies beyond it that perhaps need to be mentioned - not as a statement of fact, but merely as an element in a dream, one that might bear no resemblance to reality. But, then, just perhaps it does, in which case it has a strong bearing on how we should view the future.

And, who knows, perhaps also to gain better understanding of someone known both as "The Undertaker" and "The Creeper" at different stages of his career. If that should be really desirable, or of any consequence. Or even possible.

What follows is written in the first person, but the reader should clearly understand these are the words of a dreamer, and nothing more. It is also not the full dream, but only parts that are pertinent to the main thread of this theme to be expounded. The dream, which has consumed a number of nights, as is usual for these special dreams, is still so vivid and so overpowering and I have so much become the character of the dream, that I have over the past few days developed a certain way of expressing myself - one in which my sentences are even more convoluted and complex and remote than normal and I hereby undertake to make a special effort to keep my prose simple and to the point, taking care to avoid, or where necessary excise the frequent circumlocutions and oblique allusions that - quite purposefully on occasion - distract listeners from what I am really saying. Where I have failed in this, I plead for the reader's indulgence.

Daan Joubert


The Beginning
My dream started more than seventy years ago in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Father was an economist at a stockbroker and Mother "a retail worker", as the media referred to her. Divorced when I was still very young, Mother had a difficult time to make ends meet on meager wages during a time when most of America suffered deeply through the Great Depression of the Thirties.

A real smart kid, I was, with a fascination for music and numbers. Mother had great fun - and a good deal of pride - showing me off to her friends, by asking me to display my skills at mental arithmetic. But music was my passion. That is where my career would lie. Until a year at the Juilliard School of Music and the start of my career, playing in a swing band. The band needed someone who could let the tenor sax sing and make do on the clarinet, but perhaps I gained more respect from the other members of the band when I completed their tax returns blindfolded and with my hands behind my back, in a manner of speaking.

Eventually this all proved a point and at age 19 I enrolled at New York University to take a closer look at numbers and what they could tell me.

I loved economics. Music was a passion, but economics became my life. No wonder my first degree was summa cum. My new hero was John Maynard Keynes - whose ideas and concepts could explain in detail why the most important factor in my early life, the difficult years of the Depression, had happened. Much more importantly, in my eyes, he also explained how to prevent it from ever happening again.

From him I learnt that free, unfettered markets are inherently unreliable, too much driven by emotions and unexpected events. Just as panic in a market can feed on itself to cause a crash, pessimism can feed on itself in the broad economy to result in a depression. That is why intervention by the government is so very necessary, even if deficit spending is the result. It is a small price to pay to give government the key that is so necessary to keep economic cycles from going out of control. Wonderful! Powerful stuff!! A genius!!!

I was convinced and committed.

Then a masters degree and a start on a Ph.D. However, it was evident that I had to start earning an income to pay my own way. I soon found work at the National Industrial Conference Board. Really dull work, but at least it paid and at least it had to do with numbers. I was beginning to learn that he who had command of the numbers was able to influence the decisions that were taken.

Then came the event that in a very true and literal sense radically changed my life. And my life's work.

The Collective
I met my first wife on a blind date - someone suggested that I date a Joan Mitchell, a quite bright girl. The fact that we dated - a concert at Carnegie Hall, on the first occasion, if I remember correctly - and quite soon after got married, was in itself not so important. The marriage, after all, lasted only a year or so, although we remained friends ever since.

But Joan was a member of a small and rather exclusive group that met regularly once a week to discuss philosophy, metaphysics and whatever else was to their interest. Yet, most conversations soon returned to what was later to be called "Objectivism".

The conveyor and unquestioned leader of this group was a Russian expatriate, Ayn Rand, and the philosophy she expounded was one based on the virtues of selfishness, not as a premise but as a moral absolute. At first I was quiet, withdrawn and, in a sense, out of my depth. Socially and philosophically, but not intellectually; although I had great respect for the brain power Ayn Rand could bring to bear on a problem. Suddenly I, a true blue and committed Keynesian, had to contend with equally sincere and committed believers in free markets, almost at the other extreme of the spectrum. And, to my very great surprise, I had to admit, to myself first of all and later openly, I did not have the answers!

"The Fountainhead", Ayn Rand's first major success as a novel, was a revelation; fiction, yes, but so powerful that one could lie awake at nights pondering the questions it raised. And be wonderfully excited by the answers. Soon after devouring this book, I even started to creep out of my shell, participating to a greater degree in the discussions of "The Collective", as we called ourselves. But by then my usual reticence and a permanently somewhat dour expression had already earned me the sobriquet of 'The Undertaker'!

"Atlas Shrugged", which we read with great enthusiasm and excitement as it was being written, had such an exhilarating and revelationary effect that I once had to exclaim, "Ayn, this is incredible. No one has ever dramatized what industrial achievement really means as you have done. What you have written is a hymn to human intelligence. This is fantastic!"

It really was. And she was, too.

Of course, by then, Keynes had slipped into the background, soon to be remembered only as just another economist. In all honesty I had to adopt the objectivist point of view, with a great and lasting regard for the power of the free market - and a deep suspicion of people who "want to do good" out of a sense of altruism. Especially if they do so with other people's money. I was utterly convinced by Ayn Rand, through long discussions, often deep into the night, that capitalism is not only efficient and practical, but the only truly moral system. Based on the moral absolutes she believed in so strongly and were able to explain so well.

A new commitment
For perhaps the larger part of a decade we met almost every week to debate many issues and principles that we came to accept as the way the world ought to be working. During this time I took up the cudgels on behalf of Ayn. Following a rather poor review of "Atlas Shrugged" in the New York Times Book Review, I wrote them a letter they published.

At the end the letter went, "Atlas Shrugged is a celebration of life and happiness. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should. Yours truly." Strong sentiments. But valid.

Rand's philosophy was very much in favour of a gold standard. I came to fully support this view and wrote some articles to explain my new commitment. In one of these I introduced my credo as, "An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasion", ending with, "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.......... The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves. This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the 'hidden' confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard".

A similar article in support of a gold standard appeared in the WSJ in September, 1981. It is a commitment that has never flagged, although it later became a very unpopular theme with economists and of course the authorities.

This introduces the dilemma that later becomes the main thrust of this document. When the above was written in 1966, the dollar was still effectively - if somewhat tenuously, compared to earlier days - linked to gold. Then, in 1971, Nixon took America completely off the gold standard. This was after Arthur Burns, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, primed the money engine to bank roll the Vietnam War and to engineer a successful re-election in 1972. Because of this, he subsequently had to protect the value of the dollar against his earlier excesses, during which process he had to call on Europe to help protect the value of the dollar and prevent a crisis of confidence in the currency.

However, despite heroic work that had been done by the London Gold Pool, these efforts came to naught and Nixon was forced to sever the link between the dollar and gold. Among other things, this taught me the true destructive power of a too rapid increase in the money supply, however good the intentions, when it lets loose the inflation genie. As it inevitably must, sooner or later. A most valuable lesson, indeed, as time will show.

By this time I had already established my own consulting firm, Townsend & Greenspan, and was no longer out in the industrial arena where the numbers had become old and firm friends. Frank Ikard would later say of me, "He is the kind of person who knows how many thousands of flat-headed bolts were used in a Chevrolet and what it would do to the national economy if you took out three of them."

Prior to Burns and the exit from the gold standard, the second momentous meeting of my life took place in the late 1960's. I happened to bump into the manager of the Henry Jerome swing band in which I had played many years before, Leonard Garment. He had progressed to be an advisor to Nixon's presidential campaign. We had lunch and he insisted on introducing me to the presidential candidate.

Again, as 17 years before, my life took a major about turn. I met Nixon and he liked what I had to say so much that Nixon later told Leonard he wanted to see more of me. My first political conquest, but by far not the last! I had long been enamoured with economic statistics, but now I realised more than ever that figures and numbers had a tremendous power on others as well, even the powerful. If numbers could be wielded correctly and expertly, this conveyed the desired impression, of being expert and very knowledgeable - qualities that impress even the most powerful figures in industry and politics!

Knowledge - and well practiced ability - that came in very useful in years to come.

I worked as a volunteer for the Nixon 1968 campaign, mainly because I was so impressed by the way Nixon also saw inflation as a major threat to the integrity of the dollar. I did not receive the usual reward for volunteer work, of some position in the Administration, as I did not want any and turned down all such offers, even the quite important Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), of which more later.

It of course became evident quite soon that Nixon's abhorrence and aversion for inflation and its effects was merely opportunistic. Nixon's stance against inflation probably was electioneering cosmetics only, as some believe that he saw a tight monetary policy by the Fed as the main cause for his failed election bid as incumbent in 1960, when Kennedy won. The moment that expediency called for it, he appointed Arthur Burns as Chairman of the Fed, knowing full well that this step would place the Federal Reserve effectively under White House control and thus loosen the strings on the nation's money purse.

I knew Burns well. He was a professor at Columbia when I started off on a PhD, until the wherewithal to fund my studies declined to a level where I had to find employment and thereby relieve the financial pressure on my Mother. When we discussed the matter of inflation in class, he told us in explicit terms that, "Excessive government spending causes inflation." Then, later, when he held the strings of the national purse, he taught his ex-students through his own example that there is another and perhaps even more certain way to trigger and then sustain rampant inflation.

In an attempt to create the right climate for the 1972 election, Burns almost quadrupled the growth in the money supply. By 1974 this had resulted in a surge in inflation - with no comparable increase in government spending as the war in Vietnam was winding down - that was rapidly moving out of control.

I was flabbergasted by what had been allowed to happen.

By then, of course, the US had already been off the gold standard for some time.

In government service
This was the moment when the call finally came for me to serve my country. In typical government fashion it was Burns himself who effectively gave me no choice except to accept. He was adamant that my country needed me to do battle against consumer inflation and I had to respond.

Way back in the days of 'The Collective' we discussed consumer inflation in a theoretical sense. Ayn Rand revealed that inflation is the mechanism by which the corrupt political power system deprived people from the full enjoyment of the fruits of their labours; all it took was debasement and devaluation of legal tender by means of inappropriate policies - inappropriate in terms of fundamental requirements of good governance, but of course most appropriate as seen from the perspective of the wielders of power.

On the morning that Nixon resigned over Watergate, I attended the first Senate hearing for confirmation as Chairman of the CEA. My brief was going to be to combat inflation. Soon after this, I was quite explicit in explaining where the root cause of the problem lay. "In the last 10 or 15 years there has been an extraordinary [lovely word!] build up of special interests in our society who have ongoing commitments from the Federal budget that are running in excess of the revenue-raising capacity of our tax system . . . I suspect that it may account for anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the inflation in this country."

Plainer than that I could not have stated the problem.

As it may, I only became chair of the CEA under Gerald Ford, not Nixon. I later heard he had some doubts about my appointment, but Ford had too many fires to beat down to be overly concerned about what was still only an advisory position with no real power.

When I was sworn in, in September 1974, three facts about that occasion stand out in my memory: I still had no doctorate (that I only received in 1977 from my Alma Mater, based on a compendium of articles I had written at some stage or another); secondly, my mother was present and held the Talmud on which I took my oath of office; thirdly, as an expression of my regard for my mentor, Ayn Rand had a pride of place in the front row at the ceremony. While many may have thought that a little strange, it was my way to show her that I still stood very firm on the principles we had discussed so fervently late into the night during the 1960's - which, at that time, was not too long before - and that I was gradually moving closer to a position of power where I could do something about it all.

According to Ayn Rand, true capitalists should never accept any positions in government as that was morally wrong. Government is exploitative in and of itself and also because government appropriates the labour and effort of people for non-productive causes when these people would have been making a more valuable contribution in the private sector.

This applies particularly strongly when the position requires the incumbent to compose propaganda on behalf of the government and its policies. And, in her eyes, practically all senior positions in government fell into this category. She was convinced that heads of agencies were continuously using propaganda and what came to known as PR in all its forms in order to advance the cause of their agencies, and of themselves, of course.

Perhaps, I thought, in my case she would make an exception. Much later, being true to my commitment and rather than promote the extension of the power and authority of the Federal Reserve, I had suggested during a senate hearing that all economic regulations should have a sunset clause - a clause under which the regulation would automatically terminate after a certain date or period. I even said that the Federal Reserve, along with other government agencies should automatically lapse and be dissolved according to laid down procedures, unless there is a positive act on the part of Congress to extend the life of the agency.

The expression on the face of Senator Sarbanes when I affirmed that even the Department of Defense should be subject to a sunset clause was a quiet joy to behold. That was when he asked me whether I would advocate a return to the gold standard. He must have read my earlier writings and wanted to test me to see whether I had reneged on the principles I had once believed in so strongly and had expressed openly and lucidly. My reply must have come as another surprise, when I said, "I've been advocating that for years, so there is nothing new about that . . . . It would probably mean there would only be one vote in the FOMC in favour of that, but it would be mine."

I was pleased that the senator had asked that question. It brought my opinion on the gold standard out into the bright lights of centre stage.. However, as so often happens, people get intrigued by my somewhat more convoluted statements, and they expend much time and effort and consultancy fees to find the correct interpretation of what I had said. Yet, when I really want to convey something important in common easily understood words, of rarely more than four syllables, and with sentence construction so simple a teenager could understand my message without a problem, these clever people do not hear what I have told them.

My reply to the senator was and remains the crux of my career; my calling. My destiny.

We - and the rest of the world - desperately need to get back onto the tight discipline that is imposed by a gold standard. Over the longer term, the alternative is just too horrible to contemplate. A return to the gold standard is not a negotiable, but a given.

Chairman of the CEA is not an executive position, and has but little real authority to accomplish anything significant. However, it brought me closer to the corridors of power than I had been before and I made full use of the opportunity in pursuit of a longer term strategy that I was in the process of formulating. The reference to the 'corridors of power' is metaphorical, but I turned it into a literal quest for contacts, almost daily meeting with people currently in power and those who might be there in future, developing influence, through the power of numbers, and spreading personal networks, with the objective to gradually build a power base from where my eventual objectives could be accomplished.

This took many years to accomplish, but I was patient, and the high investment in time and effort only started to bear fruit when I eventually became Chairman of the Federal Reserve, as may have been foreordained, but that I ensured would happen through my constant rambling through the corridors of power in pursuit of what was required for this to happen.

I think my former and late wife, Joan, with whom I remained on good terms and always had been, suspected something. She once intimated that she thought I had been taking control of what she called 'the processes' ever so quietly, saying "Alan believes that there needs to be a transition period. He thinks we will get to where he wants to go - but that it will take time." So, when she asked me later whether I had grown soft in my old age, that politics may have compromised me more that I thought and that I might be succumbing to expediency, I could still reply with complete conviction that, "I haven't changed my mind. About anything." Which reply may have given her a clue as to where I wanted to go, even if it takes a long time.

And the one thing about which I have definitely not changed my mind is the absolute need for a gold standard to enforce the kind of discipline politicians find so difficult to do when they have the controls of the money presses in their hands.

The dilemma
News of my openly stated preference for a gold standard is well circulated, even though most, perhaps all, people who hear of this write it off, probably as the ramblings of an old man who is well on his way to living in the far gone past. The fact of the matter is that I am fully committed to bringing just that about - a world wide return to a gold standard. To honest and equitable government and a stable global economy.

The much more than a mere $64000 question is how to achieve this objective, given that politicians and economists alike have come to accept, nay, fervently believe, that "Gold is dead" and that we Americans live and will continue to live in this, the best of all possible worlds. And that it can only get better.

By the time I became Chairman of the Federal Reserve, I had already achieved the first step in my daring and long term plan to achieve my goal. I had built a base of influence in the political structures that gave me a strong advantage now that I at long last had the real power seat from where I could begin to put my plan into action. Yet I still had to play it carefully, step by well planned step, else the effort would be wasted and in time America and the rest of the world will be ravaged by the disastrous effects of being off the gold standard that I had written about so many years ago.

A next objective was to develop the full potential for power of my new position. Luckily, the era of Arthur Burns, as an appointment that would bow before the wishes of the White House, gave way to the rise - and subsequent fall from grace - of Paul Volcker. He was no government lackey! Called upon to stop the rampant inflation legacy of Burns, he did so with a vengeance - achieving success with strict discipline and independence from intervention from outside, even from the White House.

Even though it made him unpopular with his political bosses and gave me an opening.

Inflation fell, but the road that Volcker was travelling would never bring us closer to a gold standard. Just the opposite, in fact. With his kind of iron will and strict discipline and keen commitment to independence, the situation where a return to a gold standard would be feasible, yes, even very desirable, even by the politicians who realise that in future their hands would be tied in terms of monetary policy as a means to regulate the economy, would never arise.

Just as well Reagan did not appoint him for another term in 1987, but gave me the job.

Following him into the chair at the Federal Reserve made one aspect of my life much easier. The independence of the Federal Reserve and the precedent that the Chairman had more than just considerable influence in the decisions taken by the FOMC, had become widely accepted, within and without the Fed and, of greater importance, within the White House as well.

This made my next step so much easier. The latent power was there, in place; all I had to do to wield it was to continue to expand my sphere of influence and establish widespread credibility in my skills, knowledge and ability - still the numbers game. Then I could proceed along my chosen path towards the primary goal.

The core element of my strategy was to bring about conditions in the economy and the markets under which the majority of people, economists and laymen, in and outside of government, in and outside of politics, would clearly perceive and accept that a return to a gold standard was the only practical solution for the problems that had arisen, the only way out to avoid a future that they, too, could perceive, clearly and unambiguously, as too horrible to contemplate. And to prevent a recurrence of what had by then taken place.

It is said the financial markets are driven by two close companions, fear and greed. The same holds true for politicians - they are driven by a lust for power and suffer from the fear of anonymity and being barred from the affairs of state. They will not easily take such an unpopular action as reverting to a gold standard after enjoying for so long all the political advantages of fiat money - not without being compelled by very good reasons.

It is my objective to resolve the dilemma by supplying exactly those very good reasons.

A strategy
It required much soul searching before I had finally decided on a course of action. My strategy hinges on my ability to engineer, in relatively short order, an economic collapse to rival, nay, exceed, that of the Thirties - the difficult Thirties of my childhood years. To do so, I have to duplicate the monetary excesses of the mid-1920's, that led into the Crash of '29, but have to do so without introducing the inflationary problems that resulted from similar actions by Burns in the late 60's to early 70's, else the FOMC will be compelled to act, prematurely so, in terms of my strategy, and before the crisis can reach the deep proportions that would achieve my objective.

I had to carefully weigh up the disruption of the global economy that would follow any success I might have, worse than the Thirties, against the terrible and extended fiasco that would inevitably arise if governments continued to employ their short sighted policies in the absence of a gold standard, this time on a global scale, and a global time frame. Much sooner treat the situation as would a surgeon who has to open up somebody's chest to do a heart transplant. Rather the short term agony and long recovery of a major and critical operation, followed by newly regained and long to be enjoyed good health, provided, of course, the necessary lifestyle discipline is then practiced, than the otherwise unavoidable lingering and debilitating and painwracked decline into death.

Rather a very sharp, relatively early, induced collapse in the financial markets before the economy of the whole world is so ruined that it will take many decades of great hardship for all, but most of all for the common people, to recover. I know of this.

Fortuitously for my strategy, assumption of the position as Chairman was soon followed by the Panic of 1987. Without going into the reasons that created the right climate for this event, or what finally triggered it, suffice it to say that I immediately applied the correct remedy under the circumstances. We primed the money pump and set it into high gear.

As expected, this worked soon enough. The economy picked up steam again, Wall Street recovered and everyone was convinced that adding liquidity to the market was the right recipe for success in any market crisis. A perfect start had been made.

During this time I extended the guideline many people use, of not letting the left hand knowing wat the right is doing; I also learnt it was very useful not to let either hand know what the mouth was saying, nor to let what the hands were doing impede what the mouth had to be saying in pursuit of my goals.

In the years that followed, many factors - as I have stressed repeatedly in speeches and testimony before Congress - contributed to strong economic growth with low inflation. A combination that masked the growth in the money supply and what this was doing to the economic fundamentals of the US, and, unless there was intervention, which I intended to make sure would not occur in time, later to the rest of the world as well. Until the whole globe became an economic disaster area.

Granted, in many foreign countries situations had developed - financial and other crises - that have contributed to the so far unqualified success of what I am trying to achieve. The inflow of foreign funds, partly through the strong dollar, helped to balance a growing trade deficit, while also keeping inflation low - all of this contributed to establish the ideal breeding ground for what I have in mind.

We are still perfectly on track to a situation where a return to the gold standard will be mandatory, no longer just an option or one alternative to consider. It is now a matter of timing and waiting for the right combination of conditions to release the final blow to the system - a blow that has been so carefully prepared and that will ring through the ages and change the world as economists and markets know it.

A blow that in due course will mean a return to a gold standard.

For America and for the world. For the better.

There have been a few close calls, in 1997 and in 1998. Crises that developed on those occasions were premature and would not have been serious enough to have the desired effect, triggering a demand for the gold standard to be re-imposed.

Which meant rapid action on the part of the FOMC - and myself, of course - to prevent these crises from unsuccessfully pre-empting my strategy. Yet these occasions suited me fine as our success in preventing a melt down added to our stature and made the road so much easier for what still lay ahead.

If my strategy works, I will most likely be demonised as the progenitor of all the misery that has come down on American society and the global community. Yet, not too many years later and once the blessings of a gold standard are being experienced by all, it may well be that this perception will change to that of a man who deeply loved capitalism and had done much to set the world economy on an even keel, leading to prosperity and stability for the global community.

That would make a good epitaph.


Conclusion:

This is not the place to discuss the full detail of the strategy. Mainly because I cannot do so. This is where the dream ended and, as a non-economist, many of the details that had passed through the dream became so much Greek when I had woken up and struggled to remember exactly what the full plan is.

It is now three weeks since I had last experienced an installment in this dream sequence. Is this the end of it all? Of the dream itself and whatever tenuous and highly questionable link it has to reality.

Some of the facts that I remembered from the dream are correct, or close to correct, as it had been possible to verify them from existing sources. Others, such as much of the latter part of this document, must remain as mere conjecture or even pure fantasy. I have no way to distinguish which is which. What of this all could just perhaps be true, and what is no more than a fertile subconscious at work while I am asleep.

Perhaps the reader would care to explore available material in greater detail and form an own opinion. It would not be an exercise in futility, but could be crucial for one's future financial health.

As the Boy Scouts have it, one should be prepared.

 

Postscript
This is a work of fiction, as stated right at the beginning.

It is however interesting that there are material and quotations available that makes the thesis presented in "What a Dream" not completely irrational.

The interested reader is referred to the following few of many articles on Mr. Greenspan that are available from the internet; some of these below discuss his relationship with Objectivism and served as sources for this work:

  1. Exposť. Deep-Cover Radical for Capitalism. R.W Bradford. Liberty, November 1997. http://www.libertysoft.com/liberty/features/62greenspn.html
  2. Gold and economic freedom. Alan Greenspan. Capitalism, the unknown ideal. Ayn Rand et al. 1967. http://www.gold-eagle.com/greenspan0419.
  3. Can the US return to a gold standard? Alan Greenspan. WSJ 1 September 1981 4.
  4. 95/05 Beyond economics, beyond politics, beyond accountability. Michael Lewis. Worth Magazine. May 1995. http://www.worth.com/articles/PZMD9505.html
  5. Will the real Alan Greenspan please stand up? Andrew West. Capitalism magazine. 1999. http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/1999/march/greenspan.htm
  6. Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ. http://www.objectivism.addr.com/bio/biofaq.html

I could not find a current link for "Can the US return to a gold standard?", but it used to be available from http://www.gold-eagle.com/

Also many speeches and testimony by A. Greenspan, available from the Federal Reserve and other sites.

Lastly, the very interesting article by R.W Bradford (no 1 above) ends with the question, "Who is Alan Greenspan? Is he savior or destroyer?"

The answer to this question is worthy of a penetrating analysis. In the light of the above fiction, one is tempted to consider the answer might be, "Both."

© November 2000 Daan Joubert Copying and distribution rights released. Can be copied and distributed provided the contents of the document are complete and without any changes or additions.