Printing Money is Bad for Bonds ... But Great for Gold Investors!
William Jennings Bryan, a young lawyer from a small town in Nebraska, committed himself to a lifetime of public service. Even though he had a law degree, Bryan felt he could do more to help the ordinary folks he grew up with — the farmers and laborers — as a politician than as a lawyer.
Bryan was a powerful speaker and handsome man who, at only 32 years of age, got himself elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1892.
At the time, our country was still feeling the ill effects caused by the great drought of the 1880s. The wheat farmers of the Great Plains and cotton growers of the South were failing, and the country slipped from a recession into a painful depression.
By the early 1890s, the depression had worsened. Most Americans found themselves deeply in debt and mired in poverty. The country was ripe for a messenger of hope.
William Jennings Bryan
Bryan quickly made a name for himself by championing farmer and labor rights, and at 36 years of age, became the youngest person to ever run for President in the United States in 1896.
A key cornerstone of Bryan's campaign was his free coinage platform, in which he wanted to convert the U.S. from the gold standard to a silver standard:
"We demand the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16-to-1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation. We demand that the standard silver dollar shall be a full legal tender, equally with gold, for all debts, public and private, and we favor such legislation as will prevent for the future the demonetization of any kind of legal-tender money by private contract."
For the desperate farmers and laborers, Bryan's free coinage proposal was an appealing way to pay off their debts for pennies on the dollar.
Bryan attacked the campaign trail with a new but very effective campaign strategy — he toured the country by train and spoke from the back of railroad cars to promote his new economic policy. He became the populist candidate and appeared destined for the White House.
However, "Boy Bryan," as he was called, lost a close race to Republican William McKinley. It was an election that historians have largely agreed was fraudulently manipulated by the rich industrialists of the time, such as J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.
Undeterred, Bryan ran for president two more times in 1900 and 1908. But he lost each time.
Had Bryan been successful, a conversion to a silver standard would have been indeed given some short-term relief to ordinary Americans.
But it would also have flooded the economy with millions of new dollars and been the modern-day equivalent of turning on the printing press.
And that's a concept we are all VERY familiar with, here in the present day …
The concept of free coinage or otherwise turning on the monetary printing presses may have some immediate appeal to people at the bottom of the economic ladder. However, flooding the economy with massive doses of monetary steroids is massively inflationary. And it causes more long-term problems than it solves.
It has been more than a century since Williams Jennings Bryan ran for office. But the Federal Reserve has so vigorously goosed the money supply that inflation is about to skyrocket.
That is horrific news for anybody who owns long-term bonds. But it's a great reason to include a meaningful position of gold/precious metals in your portfolio.
I don't consider myself an expert on gold, but one of the absolute best in the business is my friend and colleague, Sean Brodrick. If you're looking for savvy ways to profit from inflation, I highly recommend that you take a look at his Supercycle Investor service. He's already helped subscribers bank nice gains on gold miners recently. And he's about to reload to target more big gold gains again.
Why? Because Sean follows cycles. And he says gold and miners have "turned the corner." The next few months could be enormously profitable if you're in the right stocks.
To find out what Sean thinks will happen next in gold, and how he's telling his Supercycle Investor subscribers to play it, click here.