Published: March 23 2011 18:41 | Last updated: March 23 2011 18:41
Shops in Salt Lake City will soon be able to accept gold Buffalo and Eagle coins (no foreign minted Napoleons or Krugerrands allowed), after a bill to make gold and silver legal tender passed Utah’s House and Senate.
The state does not trust the US Federal Reserve. However, visitors need not weigh down their pockets just yet.
The bill, which is under review by the governor, ends state taxes on the transfer of gold – they currently treat it as an asset and not as money – but until the federal government does the same, its green paper will have the edge.
This proto-gold standard in the American west is a rebuke and challenge to the Fed, and a reminder that easy monetary policy since 2007 has won the central bank many more enemies than friends.
“They’ve been a disaster,” says Jeff Bell, policy director of the American Principles Project, a conservative lobby group that has helped the Utah legislators and favours a return to the gold standard. “Mr [Ben] Bernanke, ever since he got on to the Fed, has been a force for fighting deflation and bringing interest rates down to the disappearing point.”
Some conservatives believe this has devalued the dollar.
The Fed is unpopular with the US public, and several other states have recently been considering – with varying degrees of seriousness – similar legislation to Utah’s.
From 2003 to 2009 the percentage of people saying the Fed does a “good” or “excellent” job fell from 53 to 30 per cent, according to Gallup. A Bloomberg opinion poll last year found that 16 per cent of Americans want to abolish the central bank outright – although it did ask a leading question.
Read more here: FT.com / US / Economy & Fed - Utah raises standard in anti-Fed campaign