Sunday, January 29, 2017

Motley Fool - Would Trump Really Put America Back on the Gold Standard?

This article in Motley Fool raises the question and then looks at the pros and cons as to whether Trump would actually do something like returning to the gold standard. The article concludes he will not for a variety of reasons. Below are a few excerpts.


Donald Trump is going to have a busy first 100 days in office. Based on his plan of action, released just hours after declaring victory in November, Trump plans to tackle dozens of policies ranging from tax reform to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
However, Trump has other plans in mind, too, extending beyond his first 100 days in office. Among them, he's suggested bringing back an idea that hasn't been U.S. government policy for 46 years. That's right folks: the gold standard.

Is Trump really bringing back the gold standard?

There's a pretty good chance that some of you reading this right now probably weren't even alive the last time the U.S. had the gold standard in place (1971), so let's start with a brief description. Because most of the world's economic powers had different currencies in the 1800s and 1900s, gold served as the common denominator by which the U.S. dollar, British pound, French franc, and other major currencies were backed. In pretty simple terms, a dollar (or any other currency, for that matter) could be exchanged for actual gold upon demand, which presumably encouraged trade and trust and made things simpler.
In an interview with GQ last year, Donald Trump said the following when questioned about his views on the gold standard:
"Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy would it be wonderful. We'd have a standard on which to base our money."
. . . . .

My added comments: If the US ever did return to the gold standard, that would be huge news of course. The type we watch for here. However, before any major change like that would even  be considered, I think we would have be under the kind of crisis conditions that Jim Rickards and others have talked about. A crisis so severe that it would be impossible to preserve the existing monetary system. 

We don't rule anything out here and just continue to monitor events to see what actually does happen. If the existing system were to ever collapse, something would have to eventually replace it. There are a variety of competing proposals out there that could be put forward. We have tried to cover some that might be considered here so that readers would have some idea of what to expect. It seems more likely that some other proposals than a return to an actual gold standard would be considered first, but until the situation actually happens, there is really no way to know. And if a crisis of that magnitude does not arrive any time soon, we don't look for much major change to take place any time soon.

Anything that changes the system such that the US dollar is no longer used as the world's global reserve currency in its present format (fiat based) would be considered major monetary system change here on this blog. We'll continue to follow it for awhile longer.

added note: a thank you to a reader for sending me a link to this article.

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