Coins of the Realm


The great state of Ohio finds itself buffeted by Coingate, the cutesy name for a stark-raving insane plan to "invest" the state's workers' comp trust fund in rare coins. There's a criminal case building around the matter of missing coins, as if actual theft is where this thing started to go wrong. Various political insiders are running away from the idea, but not fast enough to escape eternal shame. An eBay account heavy on Beanie Babies and Elvis commemorative plates would not be a worse place for taxpayer money.

The man in charge of the workers' comp fund, James Conrad, called the coin deal equivalent to an investment in precious metals. Uh, no.

I mean you might, might, might look to a precious metals inflation hedge if you somehow thought you could not put together a well-balanced bond portfolio, and that approach assumes you have any business even worrying about inflation in the present low-inflation environment. Most importantly that hedge could take the form of all kinds of things closely tied to gold or silver or copper for that matter, but never, ever topsy-turvy coins which primarily trade on their perceived numismatic value and not their underlying metal content.

Now Conrad has resigned. Whoo-pee. I would not trust that dumb bastard with the non-dairy creamer kitty at the Coshocton branch of the BMV. Who hired the guy? Ever praised the guy? Parked next to him? Send them packing too. Tolerate stupidity Ohio, and you'll only get more of it.