Sir, Martin Wolf asks "How likely is financial repression?" (May 25). Based on the historical record, as he suggests, it's pretty likely.
He does not mention a most egregious case of financial repression: the confiscation of all their gold from American citizens by their government in the 1930s, so they could be forced to hold depreciated fiat dollars. (The Federal Reserve Banks had their gold confiscated, too, and still own none.)
This was followed by default on the gold bonds of the US. For its citizens to own gold was made criminal by the American government, an outrageous and oppressive act that remained in force for decades.
Yes, when pushing comes to shoving, never underestimate what coercive measures governments will undertake. Mr Wolf's reminder is timely.
Alex J. Pollock is a resident scholar at AEI.