Map of Mersch on org; David H. Hyman, Public Finance: A Contemporary Application of Theory to Policy (Dryden Press HBJ, 2002); John Kincaid, Federal Democracy and Liberty, (Symposium: Tocqueville and Democracy in America), Political Science and Politics (June 1999); Richard A. Musgrave and Peggy B. Musgrave, Public Finance in Theory and Practice (McGraw-Hill, 1976); Stephen Woodard, The Simple Guide to the Federal Idea, from Ventotene, Federalism and Politics (The Ventotene Papers of the Altiero Spinelli Institute for Federalist Studies, Ventotene, 1995). SIMIN MOZAYENI, PH.D. STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, NEW PALTZ feudalism MOST SPECIFICALLY, feudalism is a term designating the predominant system of political organization of the European Middle Ages, arising in the wake of the disintegration of the Roman Empire after the 5th century. Map of Mersch 2016.
Political maps and economy of country;
Finally, there’s gold. Technically, it’s a commodity, since it is one of the mined metals, just like copper or silver or nickel. In practical terms, however, gold is its own asset class and often trades as the ultimate currency. In the earliest chapters of Genesis, Abram is described as very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold, and in the final chapters of Revelation, the new Jerusalem is described as having a street of pure gold. Gold has represented a store of value and the ultimate prosperity since biblical times.
Today it maintains that same role. For investors and savers, gold represents wealth no country can control. While governments can impose a value on their currency by altering monetary policy and through national laws, they have little power to dictate the price of gold, which trades in the global marketplace on the basis of supply and demand fundamentals. For that reason, many cultures still accumulate wealth through gold, and in some cultures women give to their husbands a dowry of gold.
The metal was once the cornerstone of global finance. As early as the late seventeenth century, gold backed national currencies. At various points in time, currencies from the British pound to the Swiss franc, the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, and the Russian ruble, among others, were all backed by gold, and note-holders could trade their paper money for an equivalent sum of gold.
Nowadays, every currency in the world is a fiat currency, its value as a means of trade authorized only because a governmental body says that piece of paper is worth something, though no physical assets support that claim or the currency’s purported value. That could prove a real problem for the U.S. dollar in coming years, and is a fine reason why every portfolio should include exposure to gold.
U.S. economic policy is killing the value of the American dollar. U.S. governmental debts, the amount of money we owe to creditors, are so large, at more than $10 trillion in November 2008, that repayment seems nigh impossible. The federal budget for 2008 overshot expectations by a record $438 billion, and that was before officials started draining the $700 billion fund to repair the damage caused by the credit crisis and started doling out hundreds of billions more for other crash-inspired crises. As I write this, expectations are that the budget deficit for 2009 will top $500 billion. Just to top it off, there are the looming fiscal woes of Social Security and Medicare, two of the largest entitlement programs that are consuming increasingly larger portions of the federal budget.
To make payments on all these obligations, the government will effectively be left with one option: print money. The more you print, though, the more you risk either consumer price inflation or asset price inflation, which is what helped lead to the 2008 crash.
We could reduce the deficit by reducing our consumption, meaning we buy fewer goods from overseas suppliers, while at the same time increasing the amount of goods we make that head overseas. But the United States is increasingly a consumption-based, service-oriented economy. We seem almost incapable of pursuing the Good Life without credit, and the services we provide are not something you can ship to a foreign country. Tax rates can rise, which will allow the Treasury to collect more dollars to repay the debt, and that’s a real possibility at some point.
Or, the government can allow the dollar to shrivel against world currencies. Doing so makes the goods America does sell overseas cheaper, causing foreigners to buy more American goods, thereby reducing the trade imbalance. It also means the government can repay its debts with depreciated currency, making the deficit not seem so large.
That’s not good for American households, though. A weak dollar makes foreign goods more expensive here at home”and don’t think you can escape that by only buying American. Much of what you buy in daily life has all or parts of its origin somewhere overseas. Rising prices at home can lead to overall inflation.
However you look at it, gold is primed to shine.
While the U.S. dollar remains, even in its current weakened state, the currency of last resort (see the upcoming sidebar), gold is the final store of value. If global citizens ever lose faith in world currencies, for whatever reason, gold will likely stand as the internationally recognized symbol of value, much as currencies do today.
Unlike wheat and oil and other such commodities, gold is easy to store in physical form in a bank safe-deposit box or a family safe or lockbox. Coin stores and bullion shops sell everything from a single gram of gold to a kilo-sized bar to one-ounce gold coins from the United States, China, Canada, and Australia, among others. If you don’t want to own the physical asset because of risk of loss or theft, many ETFs either track gold prices or physically own shares of gold in secured, limited-access bank vaults.
Gold generally rises in value when economic or geopolitical tensions rise. Those are the moments when concerns about financial security spur savers to turn some of their dollars or pounds or yen into gold, expecting that if currencies fall in value, their pieces of gold will rise in value to help preserve their financial self-sufficiency. Gold is also a primary inflation hedge, since, as a hard asset, it rises in value alongside other hard assets, such as real estate or cases of the finest French Bordeaux.
Whether or not you believe in gold as a store of value, a balanced portfolio should have some exposure to the metal, if only as an insurance policy against economic Armageddon or, less beastly, a bout of sustained inflation that eats away at your purchasing power. The rise in gold prices will help offset those escalating costs. As with commodities in general, 5 percent or 10 percent of your portfolio in gold is sufficient.
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Map of Mersch Holiday Map Q.