Economics has become a pseudo-science and one of the reasons why the education bubble is real and will result in the demise of the university system. It will collapse under its own weight of stupidity. Here I am a university-trained PhD telling you that much of what goes on in academics is just a bunch of fantasies created in the mind of the scholars. In my own field it consists of such scholarly imaginations as Q, the Secret Gospel of Mark, or the anti-Semitic source theory of the Pentateuch (JEPD [pdf]).
So it is not at all surprising to me to learn that the same foolishness inhabits other fields of study, including economics. So now a certain Prof. Willem Buiter has produced a blog post entitled, “Gold – a six thousand year-old bubble“. Rather than just simply admit that gold has intrinsic value because of its rareness and unique properties, Prof. Buiter, that colossus of economic brilliance, concludes that mankind throughout recorded history has kept gold in a bubble. In my view, wisdom would dictate that 6000 years as a currency would make gold the most secure form of money known to man. But alas, then Prof. Buiter writes these lines:
Gold has become a fiat commodity or a fiat commodity currency, just as the US $, the euro, the pound sterling and the yen … [snip] are fiat paper currencies. (From Financial Times Blog, [snip because of 30 word limit imposed by Financial Times])
The term fiat actually refers to currencies with nothing, such as gold or silver, backing them. Such currencies are predestined for failure as the temptation to make too much of it seems to derive from human nature. On the other hand, gold has intrinsic value, so it requires no backing. To call gold a “fiat” anything is as stupid as Nouriel Roubini saying that gold has no intrinsic value. These economists don’t even understand what the terms “fiat” or “intrinisic” mean. This is disgusting and pathetic and it is no wonder that the world is in such economic chaos with such dunderheads running the show.
For the correct definition of fiat currency, see Investopedia.
And now for the video clip, which I dedicate to Prof. Buiter :