Why the U.S. Mint has Sold Out of Silver Coins

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

The above headline came from an article in Casey Research about the fact that the U.S. Mint sold out of American Eagle Silver Dollars in December 2015 and is minted more than 47 million silver dollars this year.

Silver Coins Skousen and Casey

Your editor and Doug Casey compare American Eagle silver and gold coins at the New Orleans Conference (October 2015).

Let me tell you why the U.S. Mint has sold out of American Eagle Silver Dollars. I’d like to think that it’s because the investing public has finally listened to me.  Year after year, I have been telling everyone at the MoneyShow, the New Orleans Conference, Investment U Conference and FreedomFest to buy silver dollars and circulate them as a symbol of liberty and sound money!

I always tell people: Don’t hide these beautiful coins in a drawer or safe deposit box, never to be seen again. They are a symbol of American greatness (Lady Liberty, the rising sun, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum, the American eagle with arrows and olive branch, the 13 stars of the original colonies) and deserve to be admired in the sunlight. They should be given out as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and as tips and rewards for a job well done at work. Thousands of people have gone out and bought dozens, hundreds and even thousands of these newly minted silver dollars.

Silver Coins Eagle Dollars

More than 47 million American Eagle Silver Dollars were minted this year.

Over the years, I’ve approached top government officials and asked them if they have ever seen an American Eagle Silver Dollar. These political leaders include Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House; and Phyllis Schlafly, long-term conservative leader and president of Eagle Forum. None of them had ever seen one!

Mark Skousen shows Alan Greenspan an American eagle silver dollar. Although he is a collector of old Morgan and Peace silver dollars, he said he had never seen an American eagle silver dollar. (New Orleans conference, October 2014).

Mark Skousen shows Alan Greenspan an American Eagle Silver Dollar.  Although Greenspan is a collector of old Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars, he said he had never seen an American Eagle Silver Dollar. (New Orleans conference, October 2014).

At the annual FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas each July (www.freedomfest.com), the American Eagle Silver Dollar is our official symbol of liberty and sound money, and I encourage everyone to buy one or more coins. Then, on the last day of the conference, right after the closing panel, we invite everyone who has a silver dollar to come up on stage and have a picture taken with Steve Forbes and other speakers. Here’s the photo of us in 2014:

Speakers and attendees hold up silver dollars at FreedomFest (July 2014).

Speakers and attendees hold up silver dollars at FreedomFest (July 2014). 

I’ve given out hundreds of these silver dollars myself and told recipients, “Now don’t put these away in a safe deposit box, never to be seen again, but keep them in your pocket or purse; it will give you good luck! Bring them out and admire them and recall what they symbolize — liberty and sound money — two principles we often are lacking today.”

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Sadly, we went off the gold standard in 1933, when we stopped minting $20 double-eagle St. Gauden gold coins.  However, the Morgan and Peace Dollars continued to circulate, and silver dimes, quarters and half dollars were minted until 1964.

When people ask, “Do you think we can ever return to the gold or silver standard?” I reply, “We already are back on a gold and silver standard in America since 1985!” That’s when President Ronald Reagan signed the American Eagle Gold and Silver Act, giving the U.S. Mint the authority to once again produce legal tender gold and silver coins. The federal government has minted millions of these coins. Now all we have to do is circulate them.

Every time I teach college, I hand each student who finishes the course an American Eagle Silver Dollar in the year they took the class. Here’s a picture of students at Chapman University holding up their silver dollars at the end of the semester in front of the Adam Smith statue:

skousenstudents121015

Now, during the holiday season, why not buy some of these beautiful silver dollars and give them away as a Christmas gift to family, friends, employees and business associates? Silver is at a six-year low, and these uncirculated American Eagle Silver Dollars can be purchased from coin dealers for less than $20 each. Each coin contains exactly one ounce of pure silver. What a bargain!

Where can you buy these? Unfortunately, the U.S. Mint does not sell the Eagle coins directly to investors. You have to go to a coin show or buy through coin dealers. Here is a list of bullion retailers: http://catalog.usmint.gov/bullion-dealer-locator. My favorites are:  David Hall Rare Coins, P.O. Box 6220 Newport Beach, CA 92658, 800-759-7575, 949-567-1325, www.davidhall.com • Camino Coins, 1301 Broadway Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010, 1-800-348-8001, www.caminocompany.com • AssetStrategies International, 1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20852, assetstrategies.com, 1-800-831-0007.  Good luck!

You Blew It! Gross Domestic Product Leaves out $21 Trillion in Business Spending

Yahoo Finance reported a revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recently for the third quarter of 2015, emphasizing consumer spending as the driving force of the economy because it “accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.” Like a bad penny, this myth of consumer spending returns regularly.

Yahoo Finance stated, “Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.0 percent rate in third-quarter 2015 as previously estimated. Savings, which are near three-year highs, and low inflation are also helping to underpin consumption.”

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The source of this error is the steadfast belief, reinforced in economics textbooks, that GDP is a measure of “total economic activity.” In fact, GDP measures only the value of final output and leaves out all the intermediate production processes and supply chains that produce the final product.

Amazingly, GDP leaves out some $21 trillion in business-to-business spending (B2B) in the economy (economic activity). Read further details.

When you leave out most B2B spending in measuring “total U.S. economic activity,” you can see why consumer spending, rather than business spending, is suddenly the most important driver of the economy. But when you include B2B, as Gross Output (GO) does, you come to the very opposite conclusion that business spending drives the economy — which fits our understanding of economic growth much better. Economic growth derives from the supply side of the economy – productivity, savings, investment capital, and entrepreneurship. Consumer spending is the effect, not the cause, of prosperity. Say’s Law lives!

Half Price Book Offer for Subscribers!

“The Maxims of Wall Street” is an ideal gift book that offers a lifetime of sound investment advice with more than 800 sayings and dozens of short stories. As one subscriber said to me recently, “There’s more wisdom in your book than 4 years of college education!” And there’s even quite a bit of humor in the “Maxims” — see for example page 25, “how to make a million.”

You pay only $20 for the first copy, and all additional copies are only $10 each. All will be personally autographed, and I pay the postage! I’m offering “half off” because I know “Maxims” makes a great gift for friends, relatives, business colleagues, investors, your favorite stockbroker and money manager. Many people order a whole box of 32 copies. The price of a box of books is only $300 postpaid. To order your copies at this super discount, call Ensign Publishing toll-free at 1-866-254-2057 or go to www.miracleofamerica.com/maxims.

 Thank You for Joining Me for another Profitable Year!

I end this Skousen CAFÉ with a big thank you to all of the subscribers to my monthly investment newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, as we enjoyed another profitable year together. It has not been easy to stay fully invested in the face of a Chinese stock market crash, the slump in oil prices, terrorist attacks around the globe and constant doom-and-gloom predictions. Bull markets climb a wall of worry. But if you have held on, you are ahead of the game.

I’d also like to thank all of you who came to my annual FreedomFest show in Las Vegas in July and witnessed the biggest turnout ever (2,500 attendees) and major media coverage. I hope you will join us next year at the Global Financial Summit in The Bahamas, March 13-16 (gfs.freedomfest.com), and FreedomFest, July 13-17 (www.freedomfest.com). Both events are great ways to learn, network and celebrate liberty.

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Upcoming Conference

Special Announcement: Subscribers to the Skousen CAFE should be happy to know that for the first time in two years, I am hosting the Global Financial Summit, a special private investment seminar, in The Bahamas. The focus will be on “High Income & Fast Money Investing” — combining my two most successful trading services!

My “All Star High Income & Fast Money” experts for this exclusive private meeting will include Alex Green, investment director of the Oxford Club and editor of three trading services (Momentum Alert, Insider Trader and True Value Alert). Alex is rated the #5 best investor according to Hulbert Financial Digest. I’ve also confirmed Martin Truax, vice president at Raymond James, whose “income & growth” portfolio has more than tripled during the past 10 years. He and his partner Ron Miller also have developed a highly successful trading system using “red” and “green” signals to determine when to get in and out of markets (they flashed “sell” in May and now are flashing “buy” — good calls!).

Our keynote speaker will be Steve Moore, the chief economist for the Heritage Foundation and the #1 columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who will speak on “Money & Politics 2016: The Inside Story for Private Investors.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Ziad Abdelnour, CEO of Blackhawk Partners, are two of the world’s top experts on Middle East politics and will tell us the truth about this never-ending crisis and what it means to investors.

The dates are March 16-19, 2016, at the five-star Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Nassau, The BahamasThis is during high “Spring Break” season, so I urge you to make your flight reservations now.

I soon will be announcing more top experts in portfolio management, tax and estate planning and foreign investing. But I want to encourage you to sign up now and take advantage of our special “early bird” discount — $200 off the retail price for Skousen CAFE subscribers if you register by Dec. 31. The price is only $495 per person/$795 per couple with the discount. And hotel rates at the five-star Atlantis Resort are only $209 per night. We are limiting this private meeting to 200 attendees only. To sign up, call Karen or Jennifer at 855-850-3733 ext 202, email info@freedomfest.com or go to gfs.freedomfest.com.

In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about the merits of the Fed’s decision to raise rates. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.

 

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