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42nd Anniversary: The Day Nixon Killed the Gold Standard

Written by Gary North on August 15, 2013

It was 42 years ago today, on a Sunday, that President Richard Nixon went on television and announced to the American people that he was closing the gold window the next day, and imposing full-scale price and wage controls on the American economy. He signed an executive order. Congress had nothing to say about it, and therefore said nothing.

The third indispensable element in building the new prosperity is closely related to creating new jobs and halting inflation. We must protect the position of the American dollar as a pillar of monetary stability around the world.In the past 7 years, there has been an average of one international monetary crisis every year…

I have directed Secretary Connally to suspend temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold or other reserve assets, except in amounts and conditions determined to be in the interest of monetary stability and in the best interests of the United States.

Now, what is this action — which is very technical — what does it mean for you?

Let me lay to rest the bugaboo of what is called devaluation.

If you want to buy a foreign car or take a trip abroad, market conditions may cause your dollar to buy slightly less. But if you are among the overwhelming majority of Americans who buy American-made products in America, your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today.

The effect of this action, in other words, will be to stabilize the dollar.

So, it would stabilize the dollar. This, from the man who told the media in November 1962, after his defeat for Governor of California, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more.” If you want to see the decline of the dollar since 1971, click here.

Nixon unilaterally abolished the monetary agreement established in 1944 at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. At that meeting, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western nations established a new monetary order. It would be supported by the United States Treasury. The United States Treasury would guarantee that any central bank or foreign government could buy gold from the Treasury at a price of $35 per ounce.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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8 thoughts on “42nd Anniversary: The Day Nixon Killed the Gold Standard

  1. Nixon is primarily remembered as the president who was driven from office by the Watergate scandal. This is something the current administration wouldn't even have to put on their hipwaders for. His real crime was destroying the world economic structure with this pronouncement.

  2. This story does not agree with the fact that the Democratic Party which contolled congress had threatened to do much worse if Nixon did not impose price controls.

    Gary, you lose credibility when you fail to tell the whole tuth and just cherry pick the bad news. In this article you look like an Obama supporter.

  3. Rabelrouser says:

    And lets not forget another "mile stone anniversary" this year. One that can be traced back to every economic problem that this nation has , had, or will have. The fraudlent birth of the Federal Reserve System.
    Nixon only helped the Fed accomplish their work to collapse the American economy. Yeah, and congress was silent then too.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same, and get worse.

  4. Nixon closing the gold window gave members of the political and financial establishment a full license to fleece productive American citizens. Nixon probably knew full well that wage and price controls do not achieve the desired results. Possibly, he was just throwing a bone to the Democratic controlled congress. Anyway, doomsday began a century ago with the creation of the Federal Income Tax and the Federal Reserve System. The fact that the system held up this long shows you the power of free enterprise–even when government interventionism attempts to sabotage it. Unfortunately. we may be closing in on the day when Atlas finally shrugs.

  5. The act was unconstitutional, but congress didn't impeach. But they did impeach because he lied about a petty break in. The constitution plainly says that all money MUST be gold and silver coins (not cut down like the romans did), but PURE GOLD and PURE SILVER. That day was the mark of the end of America, it has taken around 50 years for it to crash. The worst is yet to come.

  6. Yeah 42 years ago today my paltry $1.85 an hour job got froze at that for over a year because my tight-assed boss refused to give a MUCH EARNED& needed raise before hand-didn't like nixon before that,hated his guts after-best thing he ever did for this country was DIE!

  7. Victor Barney says:

    You're going to absolutely LOVE what the ONLY president predicted in Scripture does to you! I'm talking about the ONLY predicted non-Anglo-Saxon(ONLY TIME IN ANGLO-SAXON HISTORY FOLKS, or at Least since the garden of Eden) or the "forbidden foreigner"(non-Anglo-Saxon) of Deuteronomy 17:15 or the only time since EVE(HAWAH) got Anglo-Saxons THROWN OUT OF EDEN! WATCH!!! p.s. Welcome to Adam's world BEFORE the 1st MURDERER WAS EVEN BORN…p.s. Hopefully, YOU "educated"(?) Anglo-Saxons KNOW that 100% of murderers in America(murder capitol of the WORLD) within ONE(1) standard deviation of the mean error of measurement at 2 1/2% are committed by blacks! Apparently our "women alone" who abort about 30 million babies a year knew it anyway??? I'm just saying…AND, IT'S GOING TO VERY SOON GET MUCH WORSE! Alphonso Capone was in kindergarten student compared to our women alone's current choice…WATCH!

  8. You forgot to mention that Nixon also opened up the way to trade with China. So he devalued our currency and woke up the sleeping dragon. Plus he was the only president I knew of who humiliated an aide in public. Man that guy was embarrassed. I forgot his name.

    Nixon was a punk, sort of like Bloomberg.