The Book of Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 104

World Financial Markets

1 October 1998

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. EVERETT). Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

1998 Ron Paul 104:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, the world financial markets have been in chaos now for nearly a year and a half. The problem surrounding long-term capital investment is only one more item to add to the list. The entire process represents the unwinding of speculative investments encouraged by years of easy credit. By the way, Long Term Credit Management is not even an American corporation. It is registered in the Cayman Islands, I am sure for tax purposes.

1998 Ron Paul 104:2
The mess we are witnessing in the world today was a predictable event. Artificially low interest rates and easy credit causes malinvestment, overcapacity, excessive borrowing and uncontrolled speculation.

1998 Ron Paul 104:3
We have had now for 27 years a world saturated with fiat currencies and not one has had a definable unit of account.

1998 Ron Paul 104:4
There have been no restraints on the world monetary managers to expand their money supplies, fix short-term interest rates or deliberately debase their currencies. Although short-term benefits were enjoyed, it is clear now they were not worth the resulting chaos. We need not look for the cause which puts the dollar, our economy and our financial markets at risk. The previous boom supported by the illusion of wealth coming from money creation is the cause of current world events, and it guarantees further unwinding of the speculative orgy of the past decades.

1998 Ron Paul 104:5
This cannot be prevented. All that we can hope for is to not prolong the agony, as our monetary and fiscal policies did in the U.S. in the 1930s and as they are currently doing in Japan and elsewhere in the world.

1998 Ron Paul 104:6
More Federal Reserve fixing of interest rates and credit expansion can hardly solve our problems when this has been precisely the cause of the mess in which we currently find ourselves.

1998 Ron Paul 104:7
Price fixing of interest rates contradicts the basic tenets of capitalism. Let it no more be said that today’s mess with financial markets is a result of capitalism’s shortcomings. Nothing is further from the truth. Allowing the market to operate even under today’s dangerous conditions is still the best option for dealing with hedge fund’s gambling mistakes, both current and future.

1998 Ron Paul 104:8
A Federal Reserve orchestrated and arm-twisting bailout of LTCM associated with less than a coincidentally announced credit expansion only puts long-term pressure on the dollar. All Americans suffer when the dollar is debased. Congress’s responsibility is to the dollar and not foreign currencies, not foreign economies or international hedge funds which get in over their heads.

1998 Ron Paul 104:9
No amount of regulation could have prevented or in the future prevent the inevitable mistakes made in an economy that is misled by rigged interest rates or a money supply dictated by central planners in a fiat money system.

1998 Ron Paul 104:10
Hedge fund operations, because they are international in scope, are impossible to regulate and for the current ongoing crisis it is too late anyway.

1998 Ron Paul 104:11
Credit conditions that allow a company with less than $1 billion in capital to buy $100 billion worth of stock with borrowed money and manage $1.2 trillion worth of derivatives is about as classic an example as one could ever find of speculative excess brought on by easy credit. As long as capital is thought to come from a computer at the Federal Reserve and not from savings, the financial problems the world faces today will persist.

1998 Ron Paul 104:12
Our problems today should not be used to justify a worldwide central bank, as has been proposed. What we need is sound money without the central planning efforts of a Federal Reserve system fixing interest rates and regulating the money supply. Let us give freedom a chance.


1998 Ron Paul Chapter 104
The C-Span coverage of this speech has no audio.

1998 Ron Paul 104:1
Long Term Credit Management perhaps the same company referred to as Long-Term Capital Management in 1998 Ron Paul 102:2 and as Long Term Capital Management LP in 1998 Ron Paul 120:16.

1998 Ron Paul 104:2
Artificially low interest rates and easy credit causes malinvestment probably should be Artificially low interest rates and easy credit cause malinvestment.

1998 Ron Paul 104:4
Although. probably belongs at the beginning of the next verse, to make it read, Although short-term benefits were enjoyed, it is clear now they were not worth the resulting chaos.

1998 Ron Paul 104:8
hedge fund’s gambling mistakes probably should have an article and be: a hedge fund’s gambling mistakes.

1998 Ron Paul 104:9
A Federal Reserve orchestrated probably should be hyphenated: A Federal Reserve-orchestrated. -END-

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