Author and businessman Contoski (Makers and Takers, 1997, etc.) says a meddlesome Uncle Sam has imperiled the dollar.
Disciples of Ayn Rand will cheer Contoski’s latest work. A stalwart critic of government intervention in markets, Contoski dissects the Greek debt crisis and sees trouble ahead for America. He argues the U.S. has avoided the Eurozone’s plight since the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. America is the “only country in the world that can pay back its borrowings by simply printing more of its own money,” he writes. But the ever-expanding supply of dollars is not backed by gold, leading Contoski to conclude the dollar is losing an important function of money: store of value. He contends that gold-backed currencies stabilize inflation and exchange rates while fostering higher employment and rising living standards. Our fiat paper money has no intrinsic value. Throw in an activist Federal Reserve and spendthrift government, and it’s no surprise America is drowning in debt and suffering from the effects of credit bubbles. Contoski’s opinions are hardly new. Regular readers of the financial press will find similar leanings in the writings of David Stockman and Steve Forbes. Penned with the sagacity of someone who has spent 45 years studying markets, the text has two main components. One is the author’s cogent analysis of recent economic events that points to a global search for an alternative to the dollar. The other is a philosophical declaration heralded by capitalists everywhere: Free enterprise can do better than governments. A champion of individualism and property rights, Contoski calls for constitutional amendments that would re-establish the gold-dollar link and curtail federal spending. The book is sharply critical of the Obama administration and won’t make friends among Keynesian economists or the political left. Gold contrarians will question Contoski’s faith in the yellow metal. Still, the author writes with an urgency that reflects the nation’s uneasiness about its finances. Contoski believes when the dollar collapses, it will do so swiftly—a doomsayer’s prophecy impossible to be lukewarm about.
A frightening vision of the future of the greenback as America’s fiscal time bomb ticks.