The Gold Rush: Conservative Economists and States Push for Gold Standard

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President Reagan Raised Role of Gold

Reagan appointed a commission in 1981 to study the role of gold in the U.S. monetary system, but the group mostly ruled against it -- except for two members, including Ron Paul. With inflation worries decreasing, the issue fizzled away without much notice.

But economic uncertainty has once again resurrected the topic.

Late last year, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said countries should consider "employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values" to build a more cooperative, international system.

In the United States, economists have been sounding a similar message but in reality, such a move is unlikely to take shape soon.

"There's a growing realization that the system does not work. The rest of the world is increasingly angry, upset at that policy because it has huge effects in other countries, mostly in the developing world," O'Driscoll said. "Both domestically and internationally, there's a sense there is a need for a new monetary system, but I don't think there has been any consensus or coalescing on a particular idea, including gold."

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