http://us1.institutionalriskanalytics.com/pub/IRAMain.asp excerpt: Rickards: â¦ To give you a sense of how much interest there is in financial matters in the national security community, I recently headed a panel at a program sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, one of the premier private research centers in the U.S. for developing everything from new weapons to nuclear strategy. The topic of my paper was a hypothetical press release issued by the Russian central bank announcing the creation of a new, gold-back currency. In the hypothetical, the Russians also announce that exports of energy and other natural resources will have to be made in this new "gold ruble." The Russians would become a market maker in gold and effectively control the marginal price of gold transactions. This is basically a plan for taking down the dollar. The IRA: It is an entirely plausible scenario. The Russians could establish a "gold" price for oil and then the paper currencies would trade at a discount. Thanks to the lack of leadership in Washington by either party, the U.S. is quite vulnerable to the creation of a gold-backed or commodity-backed currency. This August is the 40th anniversary of the decision in 1971 by President Richard Nixon, aided and abetted by a Treasury official named Paul Volcker and Fed Chairman Arthur Burns, to break the link between the dollar and gold. The excuse then was justified based on the short-term need for growth and inflation. As a senior Fed official told us, look at the period since the 1990s. Count how many quarters we have not had either fiscal stimulus or accommodative interest rates by the Fed to maintain the illusion of growth. Rickards: Precisely. But what is interesting is that a couple of days ago, we saw the arrest of this seemingly hapless Russian spy gang. These people were a relic of the Cold War, running around Montclair, New Jersey, and meeting in New York coffee shops. But the one little tidbit that came out of the complaint filed by prosecutors is that the one subject that got a lot of reaction from Moscow was gold. Whatever these people were collecting for the Russians, the information about gold was of great interest. Often times in intelligence you care less about what the field agents are collecting than who is asking and why they are asking. The paper I did is getting written up all over the web. But the fact that the information on gold touched a nerve in Moscow confirms my view about their intentions toward the dollar.