Defend Truth


Welcome to Elysium, a world where one nation lives off the hard-earned savings of many nations


Dr Michael Power recently retired from Ninety One where he was the Global Strategist for most of the past two decades. He remains a Consultant to Ninety One. Prior to Ninety One, he had worked in London, South Africa and Kenya for Anglo-American, Rothschild, HSBC Equator and Barings. He has a PhD from UCT, a master’s from the Fletcher School at Tufts and a bachelor’s from Oxford. His primary focus today is doing research into the emerging field of geo-economics focussing in particular on the global implications of the return of the economic centre of gravity to a China-centred Asia.

On a net basis, today’s savers outside of the US devote about 60% of their globally mobile savings towards funding the US current-account deficit and, through doing that, fund 50% of the US budget deficit.

My career has been spent trying to visualise The Big Picture in global economics. Of course, as building blocks, this meant first understanding the individual macroeconomics of the world’s leading economies. But this exercise did not stop there.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, I then tried to assemble these individual national pieces to create a global Big Picture, one where the insights of the sum might be greater than its parts. I became a rarity in our profession: a sort of macro macroeconomist.

Assembling that Big Picture was no easy task: most statistics still focus inwardly, typically defining the economic conditions of national puzzle pieces in relation to themselves. Virtually no statistical series I have encountered has tried to measure those individual pieces against the whole of the global economy.

Budget deficits to GDP or current account deficits to GDP are readily available statistics: the excellent – and free – online data source Trading Economics has them logically arranged for almost every nation, with the IMF and national treasuries as the main sources.

But when one tries to find statistics that show, say, the US’s budget deficit as a share of all budget deficits globally, or the US’s current-account deficit as a share of all current-account deficits globally, the answer is only to be found via painstaking parsing of IMF metadata.

Earlier this year, I had occasion to do just this exercise and specifically for the above two measures as they related to the US within the context of the global economy. (Up front, let me confess that I was shocked at my findings, an emotion that should not happen to an otherwise dispassionate and nerdy economist!)

In 2022, the US generated more than 60% of the world’s current-account deficits and more than 40% of the world’s budget deficits. This is no mean “achievement” for a country with only 4.2% of the world’s population. 

With these ratios in hand, I then began to build out the rest of my global jigsaw puzzle by adding other statistical series. For example, to understand the wider impact of trade flows underlying a current-account deficit (noting there is more that is captured in a current account than trade flows, though the latter typically dominates the aggregate), one must get a handle on the countervailing capital flows, surpluses that typically offset those current-account deficits (or vice versa: capital flow deficits that offset current-account surpluses.)

Additional bookending data series were then sought out. For the US, their treasury produces excellent monthly data detailing US capital flows: the Treasury International Capital System (TICS) series. This shows how much, from whom and into and out of what financial instruments capital flows enter and leave the US.

Suffice it to say – and without going too much into nitty-gritty number detail – I was able to build up a rough but ready Big Picture as to how the world of money turns. With that economics mumbo jumbo out of the way, let me tell you a story… and it is a very sobering one at that.

History of consumption

Our tale starts with the foundation of today’s global economy: the US consumer. Why the foundation? Because consumption generates about 74% of the US’s GDP, roughly equivalent to 100% of the size of China’s economy. So, as will become apparent, the American consumer likes to consume… A LOT!

It is necessary to detail the modern history of the US’s consumption base. And, perhaps counterintuitively, this starts by understanding the post-World War 2 evolution of the US’s production base.

Over the past 50-plus years, the US’s industrial base has been hollowed out as its manufacturing capacity has migrated abroad, mostly to lower-labour-cost locations. The stage was set in the 1950s with the rebuilding of industrial capacity in the aftermath of World War 2. This led to the recovery miracles across a war-wracked Europe (Germany’s Wirtschaftswunder, France’s Trente Glorieuses and Italy’s Il Miracolo Economico) as well as in Japan (its Nihon no keizai no kiseki).

By the 1980s, this undercutting-with-lower-labour-costs phenomenon was spreading to the Asian Tigers, with the Chinese juggernaut arriving on the scene in the 1990s, and especially after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. This migration is even now spreading beyond China to a lengthening list of countries, mostly in Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and recently India) and sometimes even beyond Asia, most notably to inside-NAFTA Mexico.

The American blue collar worker has been fighting a losing battle since the early 1960s, a bitter tale poignantly captured in JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. This forced many US industrial workers to undertake their own migration towards other jobs, including new industries like tech, but mostly into service-related occupations including working for the US state, municipal and federal governments.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Don’t expect a BRICS monetary revolution overnight — de-dollarisation is a process, not an event

The big macroeconomic result, evident by the early 1970s, was that America’s post-war current account surpluses became deficits as the trade account reflected falling US industrial exports relative to rising US industrial imports. Nixon’s ending of convertibility of the US dollar into gold in 1971 hinted at these changed circumstances.

With cyclical fluctuations (including a short-lived rebound after the 1985 Plaza Accord), this current-account deficit has steadily grown ever since: in 2022, it was just short of a trillion US dollars. (A technicality: economists also define a current-account deficit as a nation’s level of net dissaving, while a surplus can be seen as its net savings surplus. So, a nation running a current-account deficit but still balancing its external account must be consuming the savings of other nations.)

The US keeps no foreign exchange reserves, only the gold it stores in Fort Knox. This has meant that in the wake of rising current-account deficits, it has had to rely wholly upon countervailing capital inflows to prevent a steady depreciation of the US dollar. Of course, the US dollar has fluctuated since the early 1970s, but all told sufficient capital inflows have been forthcoming to stop the US currency from emulating the Argentinian peso.

And all the time, the American consumer – the hero or the villain of this piece, depending on one’s perspective – kept on consuming. By blending income, credit and capital gains reaped from housing and stock portfolios, plus a growing flow of handouts from the government, this US consumption fest has gone on. And on.

Conventional wisdom has it that investors should never bet against the indefatigable American consumer. Warren Buffet – with this principle underpinning his logic – takes this idea one stage further: “Despite some severe interruptions, our country’s economic progress has been breathtaking. Our unwavering conclusion: never bet against America.”

As the BRICS Bank is pioneering, there are already examples of countries starting to use a much broader selection of currencies than just the US dollar as a standard of deferred payment.

Yet the growing realisation today is that, beneath this Yankee swan gliding serenely on the surface, frantic paddling has been taking place below the waterline. And the speed and intensity of that paddling has been increasing dramatically, particularly since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

The most obvious form this paddling has taken has been sharply accelerating US government spending, and because much of that spending is unfunded, it has left in its wake ballooning US government deficits. The detritus of this mismatch shows up in a national debt mountain that has quadrupled from $8-trillion to $33-trillion in the 15 years since 2008.

And in 2023, when the US economy is, according to the prevailing market narrative, “going gangbusters” – “just look at those amazing job creation numbers!” – that deficit will top $2-trillion or 8% of GDP, this at a time of near full employment. (Cue to John Maynard Keynes to turn in his grave!)

Just how extreme is all this spending? With these numbers, if the US had applied to join the Eurozone in 1998, it would not have qualified under the two debt-related canons of the Maastricht Criteria: its current budget deficit of 8% would be way above the 3% threshold limit with its 123% debt-to-GDP ratio double the 60% maximum.

In short, the US government overspends rather a lot… just as, arguably, the US consumer overspends rather a lot too. And the two are related.

What is not always appreciated is that all US government spending (about $5.8-trillion in 2023 or 25% of US GDP) is a way, sometimes a roundabout way, of funding US consumption. All money spent by the government and the US states eventually finds its way into someone’s income from where, if spent (and the American consumer typically saves little), it becomes consumption. Other than China, this $5.8-trillion is larger than the GDP of any other nation: the third-largest national GDP is Japan’s at $4.9-trillion.

Part of this spending – about $3.8-trillion – is funded by income and taxes received by the US government. But that will still leave a $2-trillion deficit for 2023.

It is here where the $1-trillion current-account deficit meets that $2-trillion budget deficit. TICS data tells us the countervailing capital inflows that fund the US current account deficit go almost entirely into the US Treasury and other government bills and bonds, thereby funding about half of today’s ongoing federal deficit. In aggregate, foreign investors now hold $7.7-trillion – about 31% – of the $25-trillion of US Treasuries in issue.

Perhaps the most surprising revelation of the TICS data is that – albeit with fluctuations – foreigners have been consistent sellers of US equities since 2008. This truly surprised me: I would have thought that foreign savings would have been, on a net basis, flowing into the well-performing US equity markets since the GFC. None of it!

Foreign savers have shunned investing in US Inc in favour of lending to the US government. (A further refinement is needed here: these savers are overwhelmingly from the foreign private sector, not that public sector made up principally of foreign central banks; the latter have even been net sellers of their fixed income portfolios!)

Indeed, Deutsche Bank did a study in 2019 detailing the reasons for US equity outperformance since 2009. Not just foreigners but even non-financial US corporations and other domestic buyers have been net sellers; the stock market’s outperformance has been the result almost ENTIRELY of share buybacks by US Inc.

Let me recap and summarise before moving on. On a net basis, today’s savers outside of the US devote about 60% of their globally mobile savings towards funding the US current account deficit and, through doing that, fund 50% of the US budget deficit.

Wow! Stop and think about that for a minute: 4.2% of the world’s population consumes the same amount as China generates in GDP and that “excess” $1-trillion in US consumption which spills into the global financial arena is funded by – to paraphrase Tennessee Williams – “the kindness of foreign strangers”.

And that foreign kindness then goes towards underwriting the overspending of the US government, spending that in turn subsidises the consumption of the US consumer. How the world turns. And thus the Yankee Swan sails on serenely!

I do not see the US dollar’s reserve currency status being challenged any time soon. But, be under no illusions, the process of de-dollarisation has begun.

How is this cockamamie story made possible? It is achievable via the US exploiting the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. First dubbed an “exorbitant privilege” by Giscard d’Estaing when he was the French finance minister, this droit de seigneur gives the US a licence to print Treasury Bills which it will never have to honour, merely having to roll them over into yet more IOUs.

Recent geoeconomic commentary reflects a growing unease as to how the global economy is ordered. Whether it be the United Nations General Assembly 14/12/2022 motion on “Towards a New International Economic Order” or the rumblings heard at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in August 2023, there is growing dissatisfaction with how global finance is structured and in particular the role played by the US at the centre of it.

To date, I have seen no macro macro analysis presented in the way I have done above. Were this detailed logic of how the jigsaw puzzle of global finance is assembled more broadly understood, I predict that the pushback against the US’s financial hegemony would become far stronger than it already is.

Dick Cheney, as US vice-president, famously said: “Deficits don’t matter.” And he is right… for as long as the US dollar’s reserve currency status remains intact, and the Magic Money Tree that grows in the Federal Reserve’s garden produces a never-ending, ever-increasing blossom of Treasury Bills.

All the above noted, I do not see the US dollar’s reserve currency status being challenged any time soon. But, be under no illusions, the process of de-dollarisation has begun.

This process is evolving in stages or, rather like peeling an onion, in layers. Currency is no more than international money and in economics, money has four functions (which I call here “layers”): as a means of exchange; as a unit of account; as a store of value; and as a standard of deferred payment.

Since World War 2, internationally the US dollar has dominated all four functions. This is now breaking down. The first layer is already peeling off: currency as a means of exchange.  

As trade beyond the US and indeed beyond the West expands rapidly, Global South countries dealing with each other are disintermediating the US dollar from their direct trade invoicing processes. This trend is most evident in the commodity trade, notably oil.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Foundation of global world of finance is precarious while a tentative migration away from Dollarworld begins

Even Saudi Arabia – which history records was the first signed-up member of the US Dollar Reserve Currency club – is not always using US dollars in its oil invoicing. In the wake of the Johannesburg BRICS Summit – where oil exporters Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran were among those to join the Club – expect this practice to spread. India is already using UAE dirhams and Chinese renminbi for its oil imports from the Gulf countries and Russia. (This suggests as and when the US dollar’s hegemony slips, it will not be replaced by one currency, but by many.)

If the story of sterling’s mid-20th century demise as the world’s reserve currency is any guide, once nations are comfortable with using a currency other than the US dollar as a means of exchange, they will broaden their non-dollar activities to include the other three functions of money.

And thus the other three layers of the onion will gradually be peeled off.

As the BRICS Bank is pioneering, there are already examples of countries starting to use a much broader selection of currencies than just the US dollar as a standard of deferred payment. The last two layers to go will likely be those functions that still dominate global capital markets: currency as a store of value, and currency as a unit of account.

But do not expect these layers to be peeled off overnight: de-dollarisation is a process, not an event.

Until then, welcome to Elysium.

In South African Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 film of the same name, a satellite for the privileged floats serenely above a gang-ridden and dystopian Earth. That satellite, Elysium, fulfils the dreams only of the lucky few. Repeated attempts by Earth-bound refugees to escape by crossing the great divide to Elysium in ramshackle spacecraft are met with fierce resistance by the Elysian defence force, marshalled by the cold-hearted – and ever-brilliant – Jodie Foster (who kind of reminds me of someone in global finance today…) Foster is aided and abetted by an on-Earth task force led by the very rough tough Afrikaner mercenary, Agent Kruger, menacingly played by Sharlto Copley.

Suffice it to say that the perilous journey between terra firma and the Elysium satellite is akin to that being attempted today by refugees trying to cross the Rio Grande into the US or the Mediterranean into Europe. In August 2023, the US Border Patrol apprehended 140,000 illegal immigrants trying to enter the US from Mexico. And, on one day in early September, on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, more than 100 boats arrived carrying 7,000 asylum seekers, more than the island’s 6,000 population.

See Elysium: it is a good film. But no spoilers here… except perhaps to say, as in most Hollywood movies, the good guys win.

A version of Elysium exists down on Earth today – 4.2% of the global population consumes 60% of the world’s mobile savings and offer almost nothing in return but a piece of paper on which is written “On presentation of this Treasury Bill to the Treasurer of the United States or to any Federal Reserve Bank the United States of America will pay the Bearer One Hundred Thousand Dollars”.

In one sense, it would be a fair exchange: a piece of paper for yet another piece of paper. But for how long will this droit de seigneur last?

Barry Eichengreen, the doyen of economic historians focusing on currencies, has this to say:

“Whether the dollar retains its global role will depend not simply on US relations with Russia, China, or the BRICS. Rather, it will hinge on whether the US brings its soaring debts under control, avoids another unproductive debt-ceiling showdown, and gets its economic and political act together more generally.”

Do the partisan politicians of the US Congress and the Biden administration grasp this? Physician, heal thyself… before those foreigner strangers forsake their kindness. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • A B says:

    An interesting and indeed sobering read.

  • andre54 says:

    America has not been the good guys for a very long time. This modern Roman empire, must collapse.

  • cracklin62 says:

    Excellent piece!!!

  • MD L says:

    The terrifying part of this is that if the world realizes this suddenly, then there will be a “run on the bank”, and 60% of the world’s savings, I. E., it’s financial assets, will disappear. If the US bubble bursts, then the global economy gets trashed. After that, what financial structures will survive, globally?

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      It will undoubtedly be messy. And everyone will not all of a sudden be “speaking Chinese”. For a while a multitude of currencies will jostle for position. Western Governments running high budget deficits AND current account deficits will face a ‘cold turkey reckoning. My one prediction of which I am fairly certain: the Singapore Dollar will become the new Swiss Franc. The rest is hard to fathom!

  • Bryan Shepstone says:

    I would be interested to see how closely China has emulated the US example?

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      For now, China is very different. Yes it runs a budget deficit though is – against the ‘chorus’ in the West who advocate a fiscal bazooka – trying to rein that in. It has high FX reserves, added to every month by its current account surplus (though interestingly added in ‘kind’), Chinese surpluses are being recycled into strategic stockpiles commodities: oil, cobalt, uranium, GRAINS. And of course, gold. And inside China, the typical ‘consumer’ still saves 45% of their income… Perhaps China’s turn to do a Rome or a US will come…

  • Alan Salmon says:

    Fascinating stuff !!

  • Would a return to the gold standard and reigning in private personal borrowing (perhaps coupled with “compulsory saving” imposed on all individuals who have an income) stabilise the runaway national debt in USA?

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      Very unlikely. There just isn’t enough gold physically. And whilst I understand your proposal, I think there is no chance of getting Congress to agree upon it. They can barely agree on what day it is!

      • Many thanks for your on-point reply Sir. Isn’t the physical scarcity of gold what makes it the stabiliser of currency. America’s return to the gold standard thus pushing the gold price sky high (and so good for my country! South Africa). I confess I don’t understand “high finance” though.

        • MICHAEL POWER says:

          Scarcity would make it a stabilizer yes. But a brutal one. Many commentators say Keynes opposed the Gold Standard…when really he opposed the standard itself: he called it a ‘barbarous relic’ (again the standard NOT gold: he would have opposed it if it had been denominated in cowrie shells!) I agree with his logic…But what to denominate a stabilizing mechanism in today? There isn’t an easy answer: I think it comes down to ensuring countries ‘live within their means’ (How? Not Easy!). But it is clear that the US is living WAY BEYOND its means…

        • Johan Buys says:

          Gold is not scarce : gold at a profitable extracted cost is scarce.

          • MICHAEL POWER says:

            Technically you are “right” Johan. But boy, I reckon the clearing price for gold if the world were to return to the Gold Standard would be MANY MULTIPLES of today’s prices.

  • Peter Forder says:

    Of course, we can’t go back to Gold as the Universal Standard (a scarce & valuable “real” asset) … because the US’s Fort Knox holds the largest quantity of this precious metal – thanks to Richard Nixon and other US “thinkers”!!! So, the BRICSs’ thinking will, slowly, take root amongst the majority of the World’s Nations. In the meantime … we’ve got what we’ve got.

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      I think there may be some truth to the ‘conspiracy theory’ that Fort Knox does not hold as much gold as legend has it. The bookend to this conspiracy is that China has much more gold than acknowledged. It has been the largest gold producer since 2007 (displacing South Africa now ‘Unlucky 13th’!) and a very large net importer. But China’s disclosed reserves are barely moving!

  • Natale Labia says:

    Your analysis is back to front. US deficits have been funded by excess Chinese savings, not the other way round. The instabilities are from China, which has run out of road in its high savings/high investment/export intensive economic model, largely because productivity with such crazy investment rates tends to negative. For your macro/macro analysis which you say doesnt exist, read anything by Michael Pettis, Adam Tooze, Matthew Klein… or even Martin Wolf in the FT. All have covered these points in great detail.

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      I am well familiar with the Bernanke hypothesis, Natale. And it suits the Anglo-Americans to peddle the version you repeat. I am a subscriber to Tooze, Pettis, Klein and of course the FT and so Wolf. The fact is that neither side has the high ground 100% here. Theoretically and in a global context, to have high savings, you have to have high consumption…and vice versa. Chicken and egg. I would rebut Bernanke’s hypothesis by saying it does not fit with Modigliani’s Lifecycle Savings Hypothesis…when applied to nations…macro macro again. China is economically a young country and as such it is far more likely for its residents to save more at this stage of its national lifecycle. The US did precisely this in the late 19th century, aided by foreign capital inflows as well. Japan too. Germany as well. By 1900, the UK was so flush with excess national savings, it was running a current account surplus (your “high savings/high investment/export intensive economic model”) of 5% of GDP that British capital was sweeping the world, from Vladivostok to Buenos Aires.. (South Africa too was a major beneficiary.) And lest we forget, the Great RailRoad building era of the US (1870-1914) saw ‘crazy investment rates turn negative’ …but set the US up with an infrastructural foundation that saw it leap ahead in the 20th century. As Churchill advised:
      “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

      • Natale Labia says:

        Thanks Michael, interesting points. Glad you agree who worth following on these points – Michael Spence also excellent. He notably commented that the only developed country to have built their economy on foreign investment as opposed to domestic savings was the US, as you point out. On your reference point ofthe UK in the early 20th c, of course that was the function of their Empire – a captured market at the end of a barrel. The Opium Wars a case in point. From this, judging by their relationship with much of Asia and Africa, the Chinese have learnt well. And of course it is clear what happened to the British example – a century of terminal decline.

        • MICHAEL POWER says:

          Niall Fergusson’s book THE CASH NEXUS is excellent on this, especially the section entitled THE TALE OF TWO HEGEMONS. It highlights that as hegemon the UK ran a big current account surplus in contrast to the US which ran and continues to run a large deficit. A very different story UK vs. US than gives some credence to the overconsumption by the US consumer counterargument to Bernanke’s excess savings thesis. I think when the history of ‘now’ comes to be written, the missing link will be the behaviour of US Inc globally – think Apple in China. Huge profits + negligible taxes paid to the US Government will be added to the fact that it was decisions made by US Inc to move production abroad, physically or via contract manufacturing (yes to earn higher profits) that lay at the heart of the deindustrialization of the US. I will follow up on Spence more closely.

          • Natale Labia says:

            Thank you Michael, I haven’t read that by Ferguson but will order it. On the de-industrializing as a result of profits, agreed but isn’t that just capitalism? Anyway that period is at an end. For the implications look up Spence’s piece on Project Syndicate “Destructive Decoupling”.

          • MICHAEL POWER says:

            Natale: REPLYING TO YOUR COMMENT BELOW as this thread has run out of reply space. Absolutely! This is how capitalism works. If there is a sacred text in economics, it is probably Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage (LOCA). But there is a ‘blind spot’ in Ricardo’s logic: trade is generally driven by companies NOT countries and the motive of profit is forgotten in LOCA. And countries often seek ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE not COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE as the former best serves profit seeking. This has made production bases ‘shifty’! Raymond Vernon’s International Product Lifecycle speaks to this phenomenon: shifting down the labour cost curve by shifting production to lower cost locations can keep a company in the game. It is not just geopolitics that has made companies shift their production bases from China to Vietnam, India and Mexico: profit seeking is probably just as important!

  • Johan Buys says:

    As a nation, the US does have a lot of debt, but one should also consider their assets, including $50 trillion in public equity value. This 4% of the world population represents 46% of total global annual corporate profits. The really troubled economies are ageing nations with high debt and shrinking tax base.

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      Fair comment Johan though the way in which the global leaders of US Inc have structured themselves – using especially Ireland to avoid taxes – plus the share buyback mechanism goes some way – not all! – towards explaining this. Note the US like like expectancy has recently fallen sharply – it is way below its Western peers and – shock horror – even China. The ‘demographic deficit’ the US faces is the unfunded pension and healthcare deficits it faces. Stanley Druckenmiller is now speaking out on this in relation to the US’s ballooning ‘fiscal gap’. A key sentence from a recent speech of his was as follows: “That means if you wanted to fix the situation today without touching entitlements, you’d have to raise taxes 40% tomorrow morning, and keep them there forever, or cut spending tomorrow morning by 35% and keep them there forever.” I sense the more perspicacious commentators are now recognizing that the Emperor’s New Clothes are threadbare!

  • Greg Beech says:

    Excellent article. I tried to google the Deutsche Bank study on share buybacks but to no avail. Would be so interesting to read

  • Ross Leighton says:

    Whilst the numbers presented are staggering but always well known, the comment that 60% of the World’s mobile savings prop up 4.2% of the population for nothing is disingenuous. Apart from the yield that the saver is happy to take on T Bills, the saver is also happy with the “risk regime” that Pax Americana gives them. Without the security umbrella the USA provides, Global Trade would be nowhere near as secure. The price we pay is to fund Bob in Ohio to buy his next large screen TV. I for one would rather my cash is secured by the USA than Putin, Xi or take a chance on the ANC! It all comes down to geopolitical risk mitigation.

    • MICHAEL POWER says:

      Ross, Such a T Bill investor would now be facing nearly 3 years of bond losses, even after the yield sweetener: the worst performance since 1871 and some say 1788. And I am not sure the (vast?) majority of nations in the UN would share your endorsement of “it is the price that must be paid for the US security umbrella”. Perhaps it was before 1989, but I am not sure it is now. Of course you would not have to buy Chinese Bonds: you could always buy gold, a far better recent performers than Treasuries. Though not by nature a gold bug, I was recently reminded – with Congress unable to legislate – of the George Bernard Shaw quote: “You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the government. And, with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”

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