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US economy: Safety net

Treasuries: a poor but safe return

By Nick Carn   November 2012

A guarantee from the US Treasury is the best in the world for the same reason that a US passport would fetch one of the top prices in an auction of world identity documents. As PJ O’Rourke once remarked, wherever you go in the world you can always recognise the US Embassy: it’s the one with the protest out front and the long queue at the visa section.

Paper currencies are ephemeral things. Everyone knows the story of Germany’s hyperinflation but in fact, even before the advent of the euro, almost all European currencies had been replaced at least once…

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