The Myth of Demonetarization of Gold
Series/Report no.Cahier de recherche #2010-13
The aim of this paper is to discuss the crisis of the international financial system and the necessity of reforming it by new anchor or benchmark for the international currency, a money-commodity. The need for understanding the definition of a numéraire is a first necessity. Although most economists reject any connection between money and a particular commodity (gold) – because of the existence of legal tender money in every country – it will be shown that it is equivalent to reduce the real space to an abstract number (usually assumed 1) in order to postulate that money is neutral. This is sheer nonsense. It will also be shown that the concept of fiat money or state money does not preclude the existence of commodity money. This paper is divided in four sections. The first section analyses the definition and meaning of a numéraire for the international currency and the justification for a variable standard of value. In the second section, the market value of the US dollar is analysed by looking at new forms of value -the derivative products- the dollar as a safe haven, and the role of SDRs in reforming the international monetary system. In the third and fourth sections, empirical evidence concerning the most recent period of the financial crisis is presented and an econometric model is specified to fit those data. After estimating many different specifications of the model –linear stepwise regression, simultaneous regression with GMM estimator, error correction model- the main econometric result is that there is a one to one correspondence between the price of gold and the value of the US dollar. Indeed, the variance of the price of gold is mainly explained by the Euro exchange rate defined with respect to the US dollar, the inflation rate and negatively influenced by the Dow Jones index and the interest rate.
LORANGER, Jean-Guy, «The Myth of Demonetarization of Gold», Cahier de recherche #2010-13, Département de sciences économiques, Université de Montréal, 2010, 33 pages.