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18/August/2015

A Flyspeck of Gold

Hugo Salinas Price

The idea of a "Dollar price of gold" is a mistaken idea, although universally shared. Just as mistaken as the idea that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

Gold is the most highly demanded of all things in this world. Every single gram of gold in the world is owned by someone - either directly as personal property, or through legal participation in Funds owning gold.

Ownership implies demand. You are exercising Demand for everything that you own: if you are not exercising Demand for something, you get rid of it; either you sell it, or give it away, or throw it away.

We are told that there are about 175,000 tons of gold in the world. (There may be quite a bit more, according to some thinkers.) Demand for gold is unflagging and every gram of gold that is produced finds a willing and immediate buyer.

There can never be an over-supply of gold, and only gold enjoys such demand. Gold is the Sun at the center of the monetary universe, and all other currencies are sailing around it.

The true concept is the price of the dollar in gold. How many grams of gold will purchase a dollar? The gram weight of gold which is needed to purchase a dollar is the price of the dollar.

Graph a) shows the yearly maximum and minimum prices of the dollar from 1970 through August 14, 2015. Graph b) goes into more detail, showing the prices of the dollar from 2001 to August 14, 2015. The prices shown are in grams.

Up until 1933, the price of the dollar was 1.505 grams of gold. In 1933, Roosevelt and Treasury Secretary Morgenthau decided that the dollar had to be devalued to rescue the US financial system, and lowered its price to 0.889 grams of gold.

There the price of the dollar stood, until 44 years ago, when on August 15, 1971, President Nixon decided to "temporarily" suspend delivery of gold to Central Banks of the world, who had been promised gold against the presentation of dollars priced at 0.889 grams of gold. The "temporary" suspension has been in effect since then.

The market had already doubted, for several years, that the price of the dollar could be maintained at the high price of 0.889 grams of gold, before events forced Nixon's hand; as our graph shows, there was already in existence a difference between the maximum and minimum prices of the dollar, prior to Nixon's action.

What Nixon should have done, but didn't do, was to lower the price of the dollar. Instead of accepting that the dollar had to have a lower price, he simply stopped delivering gold for high-price dollars, period.

As of August 14, 2015, the price of a dollar amounts to a flyspeck of gold: 0.0278 grams of gold. That's 2.78 hundredths of a gram.

The dollar, like all fiat currencies through the ages, is on its way to meeting its doom: the moment when no one will want to spend even a flyspeck of gold on purchasing a dollar.

 

 

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Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
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