5:33p ET Saturday, March 19, 2011
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
Here’s hoping that yesterday’s conviction of Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus in federal court in North Carolina won’t discourage the advocates of free markets in gold and silver and competitive currencies.
Those objectives were advanced by Liberty Dollar’s seeking to put precious metal back into the hands of the people and back into circulation as currency. But the details of von NotHaus’ conviction, as cited in the statement issued by the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Anne Tompkins, suggest that Liberty Dollar pursued those objectives in the wrong way — a way the government was able to construe as more or less counterfeiting.
That is, Liberty Dollar’s coins “were marked with the dollar sign, the words ‘dollar,’ ‘USA,’ ‘Liberty,’ ‘Trust in God’ (instead of ‘In God We Trust’), and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.”
Of course the suggestion of counterfeiting was always a little silly, insofar as Liberty Dollar’s coins were precious metal and general-circulation U.S. currency coins have all been base metal since 1965. How can a supposed counterfeit be worth more than a legitimate original? It’s doubtful that any user of a Liberty Dollar coin was ever really confused about the difference.
… Dispatch continues below …