In light of all of the hubbub about the ability of the United States to incur higher levels of sovereign debt and the associated discussion of the reality of the fiat currency world, I thought that this little news item was most interesting.
Before I get to the subject of this posting, some of you may be aware that August 15th was the 40th anniversary of the end of the Bretton Woods system. On August 15th, 1971, President Richard Nixon put an end to the trading of gold at a fixed price of $35 an ounce, officially launching currencies that would, in time, be worth far less than what they were in 1971. This was the end of the gold standard; henceforth, central bankers around the world would be able to print as much currency as they wished without regard for the ultimate consequences because the paper was no longer linked to a finite commodity.
Here is President Nixon's speech on that fateful day:
I find his speech rather interesting in light of what is happening in the American economy today. Notice that the President dismisses the "bugaboo...of devaluation" and insists that the dollar will be just as valuable on that day as it will be tomorrow and that the action will "...stabilize the dollar".
Here's a chart of the USD index since 1981 showing just how wrong President Nixon was:
Note how the dollar is currently sitting very close to a 30 year low when measured in terms of a basket of other world currencies?
Now on to the subject of this posting. I stumbled on this information yesterday and spent a bit of time today trying to find the original documents since my preference is to source the original material rather than a press release from the mainstream media.
Here is a screen capture of the document in question, a portion of the Public Financial Disclosure document for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney :
I realize that it is very difficult to read but the bottom line on the screencap states that one Mitt Romney, GOP candidate for the President of the United States, owns between $250,001 and $500,000 of gold. That's between 140 and 285 ounces of gold. While not a huge amount when compared to his total assets of $260 million, it is still a significant holding considering that most Americans do not own physical gold other than the odd piece of jewelry and whatever resides in their mouth as dental work! While the mainstream media focussed on the rather impressive total (that is, if you happen to like money), I thought that "devil was in the details".
If Mitt Romney becomes President, it will be interesting to see if he'll ever sign his name to legislation that outlaws private possession of gold should the economic merde hit the fan as was the case when Executive Order 6102 was passed in April of 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as shown on this poster:
One might also wonder if Mr. Romney doesn't trust the long-term value of the fiat currency that his Party created four decades ago? That should give voters something to ponder!