|If you keep talking sense like that, you'll ruin the ambiance of the thread.|
Now that I have convinced myself that the world financial arrangements are comparable to what prevailed in the China of Kublai Khan, namely 40 years of fiat currency, I am trying to imagine 12th-century China with Facebook, Google, cash machines, etc.
I am trying to read that book "Unintended Consequences," but author Conard (I almost typed "Canard") is such a terrible writer that it is hard going. He keeps mentioning Google, Facebook, and Microsoft (the last of which makes more sense) as examples of capitalistic risk-taking. My impression is that Mr. Conard would have a hard time doing something like following the directions and replacing the disk drive on a computer himself; I am pretty sure that he has no conception of what Bill Gates was doing when he invented a way of operating a disk drive and imagines that he was "taking risks" in doing so. If Facebook is what is going to save the financial world, or at least the financial United States, I may have outlived my own times. Not to take anything away from Facebook.
Fiat money would be fine if a government made sure it stayed hard to get. Limited the issue. But no government has ever managed to do that for more than a few years.
Gold may be a barbarous relic. But so are a lot of other things, like sticks, knives, bayonets, cooking pots, clothes, meat, fire, various forms of shelter, etc. Maybe Mr. Keynes didn't think about those things while ensconced in Bloomsbury or his college at Cambridge.