Now comes a Financial Times story sure to warm the cockles of even the coldest libertarian heart. German businessman Thomas Geissler is setting up a line of vending machines that dispense gold:
"German investors have always preferred to hold a lot of personal wealth in gold, for historical reasons," said Thomas Geissler, the owner of the company. "They have twice lost everything."…
"There has definitely been more interest because of the financial crisis," Mr Geissler said.
"Gold is a good thing to have in your pocket in uncertain times."
Sounds like at least one Kraut smells what Ron Paul is cookin'. Geissler plans to install 500 of these machines throughout Europe. Different amounts of gold will be available—the FT mentions a 1-gram wafer and a 10-gram bar—but, for now, all amounts come with a hefty mark-up. So don't get too excited:
When the Financial Times bought the cheapest product it was dispensed in an oblong metal box labelled "My Golden Treasure", with a certificate of authenticity signed by Mr Geissler but no receipt and the wrong change. Mr Geissler said he hoped to have a more advanced machine later this month.
Gold prices from the machines—about 30 per cent higher than market prices for the cheapest product—will be updated every few minutes.
If you're willing to pay that much to escape the evils of fiat currency (and the idea of gold-for-cash transactions without receipts doesn't bother you), then get thee to a vending machine!
(Link via the estimable and unlinkable Jared Walczak, who notes in an e-mail that "this obviously falls somewhat short of the libertarian dream of installing heroin vending machines in schools.")