In 1971, the US abruptly went off the gold standard, and in making the public announcement, US President Richard Nixon looked into the television camera and said, “We’re all Keynesians now.”
I was a young man at the time and had previously bought gold, albeit on a very small scale, but I recall looking into the face of this delusional man and thinking, “This is not good.”
However, the world at large apparently agreed with Mister Nixon, and within a few years, the other countries also went off the gold standard, which meant that, from that point on, no currency was backed by anything other than a promise.
It didn’t take long before countries began playing with their currencies. At one time, the German mark, the French franc, the Italian lire, and the British shilling had all been roughly equivalent in value, and four or five of any one of them was worth about a dollar.
That had already begun to change prior to 1971, but following the decoupling from gold, the governments of the world really began to see the advantages of manipulating their own currencies against the currencies of other nations.
From that point on, a currency note from any country, which was already no more than an “I owe you,” was increasingly degraded to an “I owe you an undetermined and fluctuating amount.”
1. What Will the Role of Gold Be in the Future?
When currencies collapse, will there be an immediate and complete switch to gold? Unlikely.
Will further fiat currencies be put forward as solutions to paper money? Almost definitely.
2. Who’s Got the Gold?
Currencies come and go in the world with remarkable frequency (the last hundred years has been witness to over twenty hyperinflations worldwide).
In that quiet scrambling we were talking about, no one is being really truthful about how much gold they have. In addition, even between the foremost experts on the subject (and here, I refer not to the pundits on television, but to those economists that I personally hold in the highest regard), there is broad speculation as to who holds what.
Now that the US has become the world’s foremost debtor nation, Europe is getting a bit antsy, and some are asking to have it back. In response, the Federal Reserve has sent Germany a small portion of their gold but avoids shipping the remainder and denies them even the ability to inspect the remainder. (Again, not encouraging.)
On the other hand, we have equally astute economists—US government insiders—who state that they are fairly certain the gold is there—in both Fort Knox and the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s underground vault. In the latter case, they state that, although much or all of the gold has been leased to the bullion banks, it has never left the building.
Whoever holds the most gold will hold the most real wealth and, by extension, gain the most prominent seat at the bargaining table for decades to come. Whether that table will be the IMF, the new AAIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), or any future central economic entity, the future will go to the player with the most metal, as he will be able to create the most currency, in whatever form it may take.
Full article: Who’s Got the Gold? (International Man)