Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the Japanese “surprise” attack on the U.S. occupied territory of Hawaii and its naval base Pearl Harbor, “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy.” Similar words should be used for President Nixon’s draconian decision 45 years ago this month that removed America from the last vestiges of the gold standard.
On August 15, 1971 in a televised address to the nation outlining a new economic policy entitled, “The Challenge of Peace,” Nixon instructed the Treasury Department “to take the action necessary to defend the dollar against the speculators.”
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 interests of monetary stability and in the best interests of the United States.**
Of course, any objective student of history knows that this was a lie and that it was not “speculators” which were causing monetary instability, but the U.S.’s own crazed inflationary policy which attempted to fund its imperialistic endeavor in Vietnam while expanding the welfare state at home. This resulted in the Treasury losing an alarmingly amount of gold reserves to other central banks who rightly sought real value in exchange for depreciated American greenbacks.
In essence, Nixon’s decision ended gold redemption and placed the U.S. and the rest of the world on a purely fiat paper standard for the first time in recorded time. By doing so, the U.S., in effect, became a deadbeat nation which no longer honored its obligations and was set on the road to its current banana republic status.
Instead of impeachment proceedings and his ultimate resignation for the juvenile break in at the headquarters of the nation’s other ruling crime syndicate, Nixon should have been imprisoned for this deliberate and destructive act which has led, …