The question sounds so profound. To even ask it makes one sound like a Very Serious thinker, who probably also ponders such riddles as, "What is gravity?" or, "What is the purpose of life?" In all actuality, however, it really is quite simple.
When you were a kid, did you ever trade baseball cards? Even if not, I'm sure you're familiar with the concept. Boys buy decks of cards, never sure in advance of what they will get. Then, all inevitably having gotten some cards they don't want, when they gather together they can see what the other boys have in their collections and try to trade away the duds for the gems.
Simple enough, so far.
Well, one day some clever boy had a card, let's say it was a Mark Mcguire. He finds another boy who wants to trade it for a Cal Ripkin, Jr. Now, the clever boy does not actually want a Cal Ripkin, Jr., however he knows of a third boy who has been wanting a Cal very badly and trying to find one, and that third boy has a Don Larsen, which he wants.
What does he do?
He makes a two-stage trade. First, he trades for the Cal, which he does not even want in and of itself, and then he trades the Cal for the Don Larsen, which he wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.
That boy has just invented money. He is using the Cal as money -- that is, as a medium of exchange.
So, Cal is acting as a "one-off" money in this particular trade, but how do we end up with a more universal money? Essentially, we need something that is pretty universally desired. In the case of baseball cards, let's call it a Mickey Mantle card. Every boy likes them. Every boy knows that every other boy likes them. So, any boy will be willing to accept them in a fair trade, even if he already has a couple, because he knows he won't be stuck with them. By being (close enough to) universally desired, they become universally accepted. And from there, they will become very liquid, as long as their value is low enough to be useful in common trading (not the rookie card, you understand).
You can see where I'm going with this. A good money will have several important characteristics. First, in order to be a money at all, it will be able to serve as a medium of exchange. Second, it will be universally accepted -- at least, we should say, the more universal its acceptance the more useful it will be. Third, it will be liquid. Unlike, say, an oil tanker, or a purple yard flamingo, one will be able to find a ready buyer for it at any time, with great ease and speed and without undue fuss.
It is there that we must leave our baseball card analogy, because while one can envision cards fulfilling those first three standards, they fall flat on some of the rest.
For instance, divisibility. Half of a baseball card is worth... not so much. As for a tenth, or a hundredth? Come on. They are indivisible units, which makes it difficult to make change. Precious metals, on the other hand, can be melted down and divided into units of essentially any arbitrary size (down to an atom, at least in theory). That makes them very convenient.
Homogeneity is another characteristic of good money. You don't want to have to bring out the assessor every time you sell your money, as with real estate. One gold lump is the same as another, chemically, and value-wise, too, as long as the lumps are "bullion" (fancy word for common) coins (this is one reason bullion coins make better money than rare or collector's coins).
Recognizability is another quality in which precious metals shine. The distinctive "ting" of a gold or silver coin dropped on a counter provides an instant, ready, and free method of counterfeit-detection. It's even wireless!
This brings us to the final characteristic we will cover today: non-counterfeitability. This attribute is sometimes labeled "scarcity," but scarcity is relative (just how scarce do we need it to be?) and non-counterfeitability pins down more precisely what we want. To wit: the inability for anyone to arbitrarily decide to make it less scarce.
This attribute gives a money a certain stability, a solidity if you will, and makes it immune to that insidious phenomenon, that robber of the responsible, that destroyer of civilizations: political inflation.
Completely and utterly immune -- that is where gold stands, and that is where you too may stand... if you have gold.
Money can be, and has actually historically been, many things: from baseball cards to cigarettes to wrinkled paper notes. But if you have choice, why not use the best?
Why not, indeed.
I'd like to express to our customers how grateful I am to you for helping us this year with beta-testing the system. May you have a wonderful, peaceful, and blessed Christmas time to spend enjoying your loved ones and remembering the most important things in life.
Thanks to the great contributions of the Austrian economists, we now know the enormous problem we have before us in the form of fractional reserve banking. And we also know what the solution is.
A real gold standard.
Some would say it's impossible. In today's world of corruption and big government, it's impossible. We went off on the wrong track, and there's no way to get back right without a massive political sea-change. Which, they would probably also tell you, is: well-nigh impossible.
Well, then, we have done the impossible. Welcome to a 100% reserve system. A sound, honest system. A pure gold system.
The rest of the world may have fiat money systems. The rest of the world may have abandoned gold as a "barbarous relic." The rest of the world may have, frankly, gone crazy and is building its future on a deck of cards. The rest of the world may run on a financial system of corruption and deceit.
You don't have to.
"Gold." The word itself seems to be deeply emotional to all of us. It makes us feel lifted, to aspire higher. It symbolizes the very pinnacle of performance. It embodies a permanence of acheivement: calm, steadfast, and sure of itself. Its purity, its luster, its gleam, is recognized throughout the world.
Purity. Permanence. The Pinnacle. This is what gold can serve as in your financial life. Let gold be your ally in your quest to become a champion.
Welcome, one and all, to the Midas web site! I hope you enjoy your stay.
We are working to build you the very best way to manage all your finances. You need a financial hub, a simple place to go where you can take care of everything that has to do with your money. You need a place that makes money simple and intuitive, not a hassle. You need a place that will put you first, and give you service that will put a smile on your face.
Midas is that place.
To build something great, you need to start with a solid foundation. And so for our foundation, we have chosen the most solid, most reliable money we know of: gold. Why would we build the super-structure of world-class services we have planned on the flimsy promises of paper currency? And why should you have to be continually vulnerable to the danger of inflation eating away at your savings? Why, in short, should you settle for anything less than the best?
I don't think you should. And at Midas, you won't have to.
We are starting fairly basic, but as we grow we will add new and exciting features. Come grow along with us. I think you will enjoy the ride.