The non-government-backed digital currency known as bitcoin (BTC) has soared to prominence in recent weeks after a meteoric rise in value from less than $50 to over $250 in just days followed by a devastating crash back down to about $85 today. Amid the wild volatility, analysts and experts weighed in to speculate about what may be going on, with some seeing bitcoin as the wave of the future and others downplaying it as a potentially interesting anecdote for historians to examine that is unlikely to displace establishment currencies.

In the wake of gold prices cratering in recent days, more than a few prominent experts have already started pinning the blame on Western central banks — especially the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB). According to numerous analysts, the central bankers are desperate to salvage their fiat currencies and eliminate competition as monetary authorities continue to create ever-greater quantities of euros and dollars out of thin air.

Some experts, whistleblowers, traders, and former officials say the Fed dumped as much as 400 or even 500 tons of “paper gold” on the market — metals that it might not even have — as part of a naked short sale aimed at driving down the prices. Other analysts, especially among the establishment, pointed to the ECB chief’s recent suggestion that struggling European authorities in countries like Cyprus would have to sell their precious metals to keep receiving bailouts.

A likely bailout of another federal housing agency has drawn fire from congressional Republicans over an item in President Obama's budget that would provide $943 million for the Federal Housing Administration.

As trust in the Federal Reserve System and its fiat dollar continues to plummet worldwide, legislation making gold and silver into legal tender was given final approval by Arizona lawmakers on Monday when the Republican-led state House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill. With tremendous grassroots support, an earlier version of the precious-metals measure sailed through the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate in late February.

If the legislation is signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, Arizona would become the second state to officially define gold and silver as legal tender.

Friday's jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics buttressed the position of many who have seen a widening disparity between Wall Street's enthusiasm and Main Street's gloom over the health of the economy.

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