“If the U.S. inflates and devalues the dollar, gold will go much higher in price” Jim Rickards
The last dollar devaluation took place under President Roosevelt in 1934, when from being worth 1/20.67th of an ounce of gold in 1933, the dollar was devalued to 1/35th of an ounce of gold.
The last opportunity for devaluing the dollar took place in August 1971, when the dollar was still pegged at 1/35th of an ounce of gold. Nixon took the advice of Milton Friedman and made the worst mistake in history; Nixon did not devalue the dollar as he should have done, but simply took the US off the gold standard, such as it was, and thence forth the US refused to redeem dollars held by Central Banks around the world at any price.
Since August 15, 1971, the dollar can no longer be devalued.
Since the dollar is the reserve currency of all Central Banks in the world, all other currencies – the euro included – are only derivatives of the dollar. The proof of this statement is that the value of each and every currency in the world is calculated in dollars,
The world’s currencies are devalued or revalued against the dollar in the world’s currency markets every day of the year.
There is a “Dollar Index” which shows a value of the dollar against a basket of other currencies. However, the currencies selected for the basket are arbitrarily selected and some relatively important currencies are not included in the basket. Besides this, the movement of the dollar in the “Dollar Index” cannot signify either devaluation or revaluation of the dollar, because the currencies in the Index are themselves undergoing either depreciation or appreciation in dollar terms, due to their own national circumstances.
The US cannot declare an official devaluation of the dollar because there is nothing against which it may devalue, or rather, it does not wish to recognize the existence of gold as money, against which it might devalue.
In order for the US to devalue the dollar effectively, it would first be absolutely necessary for the US government to establish gold as the referent for its value. The US government would have to declare that the value of the dollar is equivalent to a given amount of gold, and solemnly promise that that value will be upheld and made good by offering to buy any amount of gold tendered to it, and pay for it in dollars at a price slightly below the officially established price of gold in dollars, as well as offering to sell any amount of gold paid for in dollars, at a price slightly above the officially established price of gold in dollars.
Once an official value of the dollar in gold were established, it would then once again be possible for the US government to renege on its promise and devalue the dollar by establishing a new and lower value of the dollar in gold. In other words, the dollar must first of all be freely convertible into gold at an official rate, before any devaluation can take place.
Article prepared by Marc Rosenberg