The Greenspan Greenback


In an effort to silence forever those pesky cranks who call themselves monetary libertarians, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has announced a new do-it-yourself dollar. Appropriately called the Greenspan Greenback, the new one-dollar specimen sports Chairman Greenspan's likeness not merely once, as with good 'ol George, but 12 times. 'Critics of the Fed's very existence, from Rep. Ron Paul [1] to the loose cannon known as the Mogambo Guru [2], not to mention all the revisionists at the Mises Institute [3], will now have the opportunity to see for themselves what temptations a fiat dollar offers,' Mr. Greenspan stated in a press release. [4] 'Specifically, I have been accused of irresponsibly expanding the money supply to favor special interests at the expense of the general population, bringing special harm to those of limited resources and political influence. In turn, certain individuals have ludicrously blamed the Fed's accommodative monetary policy for driving prices up, enlarging the size of government, growing the federal debt, making us more dependent on foreigners, fostering entrepreneurial error, creating bubbles in stocks and housing, and depreciating the value of the dollar to the point where few people save anything at all and are, therefore, either broke at retirement or have their funds tied up in shaky investments. 'With the Greenspan Greenback, as my colleagues at the Fed have dubbed it, these critics, along with everyone else who holds U.S. dollars, can now conduct their own monetary policy. 'The Greenspan bill is separated into 12 regions, in honor of the 12 regional federal reserve banks. Each region on the bill is delimited by a perforated line and is equal in value to one Greenspan Greenback when torn off. Thus, if the holder of the bill has a need for more buying power but comes up short on funds, he can, at his discretion, adopt the policy the Fed has followed for over 90 years. He can literally create money from nothing by tearing off a region and substituting it for a full-sized dollar. The Greenspan Greenback will, we hope, spawn more dollars, but only as the needs of the economy dictate. It will, in other words, mimic the larger policy of the Federal Reserve. 'People are strongly urged to put their special interests aside and consider the economy as a whole in deciding whether or not to pump more dollars into circulation. Dollar bearers will now have the opportunity to restrain themselves from making frivolous purchases, just as we at the Fed, through our open market operations, restrain ourselves from needlessly purchasing government securities. Of course, as we all realize, it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice better judgment for the sake of propping up government or friends of government, but this amounted to an increase in the money stock of only a few trillion dollars over the course of my tenure. 'It should be stressed that this special bill will be printed in dollar denominations only. To allow ordinary citizens perforating rights on higher denominations would undermine the elitist philosophy of government that Progressives and Big Business substituted in the early Twentieth Century for the nakedly selfish ideology of the Founders. We want to reassure investors that broad monetary movements will still be under control of public-spirited bankers at the Fed, thus assuring continued economic stability and growth. 'I would be less than candid if I didn't make known my expectations of this little experiment. Unlike people who serve in government or government-sponsored entities such as the Fed, and the $2.4 trillion federal budget notwithstanding, private sector types have a reputation for wanting to acquire more money. Some will work two or three jobs, others will work for multiple advanced degrees to increase their intake of dollars. While this is admittedly necessary behavior for a host if it is to successfully support a bloated parasite such as government, it is crudely self-interested in manner. 'It is, of course, to keep us from acting in our self-interest that government exists in the first place. Without the restraint of government, the world would be rife with war and looting. 'Thus, the nature of private sector participants being what it is, the chance to get more money by tearing along a perforation will be too tempting to resist. Consequently, it is my expectation that immediately following the dollar's release, the dollar supply will have expanded by exactly 12 times the number of Greenspan Greenbacks issued, with prices inflating mostly in cosmetics and entertainment, the two categories where, given a few extra bucks, the masses like to splurge. 'I hope I am proven wrong, and if I am, an apology will be forthcoming. But if my expectations are proven correct, I would like my libertarian critics to admit that given the ease with which the banking system can create money, we have shown admirable restraint. Who could do any better? Though gold and free market banking would be ideal, as they assert, it would put an end to big government. They know as well as I do that's not going to happen. 'Truth has become a kind of fertilizer; it is defined as whatever makes government grow. Therefore, fiat money and central banking are two of the most unshakable truths known to modern man. Government would no sooner get rid of them than the Pope would dump God. 'To pine wistfully for a day we will never see is self-defeating. We at the Fed have made peace with Leviathan and are profiting handsomely from it. I encourage my critics to do likewise.' Notes

1 The Maestro Changes His Tune, Ron Paul, 2 Hey Buttheads . . . Brilliant Economic Planning, Mogambo Guru, (" Trying to . . . earn a few brownie-points for my mandatory Diversity Instructional Message (DIM), I point out that our Federal Reserve central bank is filled with WASPs, the whole banking system filled to bursting with WASPs, the political system is overflowing with WASPs, and together they are killing our money, and as soon as your money is sufficiently debased, you will die, bitter and screaming out your rage in the gutter.") 3 As a recent example: We Shoulda Seen it Coming!, Sean Corrrigan 4 Purely bogus, of course

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George F. Smith is the author of The Flight of The Barbarous Relic, a novel about a renegade Fed chairman.  Visit his website.