All Commentary
Monday, October 1, 1984

Book Review: Pieces of Eight: the Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution by Edwin Vieira, Jr.


(Devin-Adair, 143 Sound Beach Avenue, Box A, Old Greenwich, CT 06870), 1984 391 pages • $19.95 paperback

This is a scholarly, thoroughly documented analysis of the monetary powers of the United States Constitution, and how these powers have been disabled by Congress, the Courts, and Presidential edicts. The arguments are cogent, with numerous references to Acts of Congress and Supreme Court rulings. In short, this is a challenging book.

But the challenge is well worth meeting, especially for those who are serious students of money, banking, and Constitutional law. In particular, Professor Vieira makes a compelling case that Congress exceeded its Constitutional authority in creating the Federal Reserve. Our fractional reserve, fiat money system is not only an economic house of cards, it also, in the final analysis, is unconstitutional.

How to rectify the situation? Professor Vieira counsels bold Presidential action. But unless the President is backed by an enlightened electorate, radical moves would only lead to impeachment and disgrace. Education is probably still the only answer, and this book can play a valuable role in that process.