Last updated on: 1/30/2013 | Author:

Judy Shelton, PhD Biography

Co-Director of the Sound Money Project at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation
Pro to the question "Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?"

“What gold brings to the monetary table is discipline. If individuals suspect that money is being issued in excess of levels warranted by legitimate economic needs and growth prospects, they can exchange their currency holdings for gold at a pre-established, fixed rate. Gold convertibility ensures that the money supply expands or contracts based on the collective assessment of market participants – as opposed to the less-than-omniscient hunches of central bankers. Gold provides a self-correcting mechanism for irrational exuberance; as credit begins to flow too freely, as equity values or commodity prices appear frothy, the astute observer at the margin cashes out in gold. Monetary central planning gives way to the aggregate wisdom of the free market.

A gold standard brakes runaway government spending. It allows individuals to defeat governments that dilute the value of money…

Under a gold standard, money regains its primary purpose as a vital tool of free markets instead of serving as a corrupted instrument of government policy. Genuine economic growth – as opposed to the money illusion of artificial wealth reflected in bloated equities or housing prices – is no longer sacrificed to monetary policy encumbered by the fiscal failures of government…

One could say, of course, that a balanced budget is no panacea either – but it imposes needed discipline on fiscal decision-making. In the same way, monetary policy needs some discipline to prevent the dollar from being the default mechanism for enabling government mismanagement. Gold convertibility would signal that we intend to maintain the integrity of our currency. It’s all about trajectory and confidence; sound money makes it real.”

“Gold Standard or Bust: Fixing the Dollar Before It’s Too Late,”, Aug. 1, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-Director of the Sound Money Project, Atlas Economic Research Foundation
  • Senior Advisor, The Gold Standard Now, 2012-present
  • Vice Chariman, Board of Directors, National Endowment for Democracy, 2010-present
  • Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Staff Economist, National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform, 1995-1996
  • Former Board Member, Hilton Hotels
  • Former Board Member, Atlantic Coast Airlines
  • Former Board Member, Empower America
  • Former Professor of International Finance, DUXX Graduate School of Business (Monterrey, MX)
  • Education:
  • PhD, Business Administration, University of Utah
  • Other:
  • She has provided testimony before the Joint Economic Committee, Senate Banking, Senate Foreign Relations, House Banking, and the House Foreign Affairs Committees
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?