States Push 'Gold Standard' as Confidence in Fed Wanes

April 8, 2013 6:57 AM EDT
With recent U.S. economic data hitting a bit of a plateau, including last week's nonfarm payroll miss, many states are turning a distrust in the Fed into a new gold standard. Literally.

Following Utah's passage of a bill in 2011 which recognizes gold as legal currency, many other states are vying for the same measure. The move is mostly symbolic given you still aren't able to pay for everyday goods with a nugget of the precious metal, but emphasizes overall lack of confidence in the U.S. dollar.

Other states looking to pass similar bills include Kansas, South Carolina, and Arizona, among others.

Further easing measures by the Fed would devalue the U.S. dollar even more, setting up the economy for the fourth-straight summer of currency weakness. February consumer prices rose just 1.3 percent, versus a 2.0 percent gain expected by the Fed. Last week, 88,000 nonfarm payrolls were added for March, compared with expectations calling for additions of 190,000 jobs.

The Fed has kept-up an $85 billion per month bond buying program, bolstering the debt on its balance sheet to $3 trillion. Borrowing costs have also been at or near zero since December 2007.

Investors will be keeping an eye on SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU), and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX), among other ETFs/ETNs over the next few months.

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