Gold, Silver, Copper, Nickel and the Slow Death of MoneySubmitted by pil45 on Thu, 02/17/2011 - 09:52
"A huge opportunity to hedge against both inflation and deflation is lying out there in the open. There are no transaction costs and right now there’s even a built-in discount. But most people will never realize any of this.
In 1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, which made it illegal for U.S. citizens to hold gold bullion.
Prior to that, the $20 bill was essentially a warehouse receipt for a one-ounce gold coin. Prior to the Federal Reserve Act of 1914, the $20 bill actually told you this.
After Executive Order 6102, $20 notes weren’t allowed to be exchanged for gold anymore. Americans couldn’t legally own or trade gold as money and savings, only as jewelry or collectible coins.
A year after making monetary gold ownership illegal, FDR revalued gold from $20.67 per ounce to $35 an ounce with the Gold Reserve Act. The Act also required all gold and gold certificates to be turned over to the Treasury.
The dollar was debased. A chunk of the gold it used to be good for was legally removed. Instead of “containing” 1/20 an ounce of gold, each dollar now only contained (or represented) 1/35 an ounce. And of course you couldn’t actually own the gold itself.
In 1971 Nixon severed the last official ties between gold and the dollar. The dollar quickly sunk to its real value, which had been debased by years of money supply inflation.
By 1975 Americans were allowed to own bullion gold again, but during the roughly 40 years bullion gold ownership had been illegal, the dollar had been drastically debased. At its former lowest point in the summer of 1980, the dollar was worth only 1/850 an ounce of gold. It regained some value for a while, but for the past couple of years a dollar would only get you less than 1/1000 an ounce of gold (right now it gets you less than 1/1300 an ounce)."