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On This Day in 1933

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Christopher Westley via The Circle Bastiat blog,

You were considered a hoarder and a slacker if you still resisted turning over your gold to the government. From the New York Times, June 13, 1933:


(Click on the image for a sharper picture.)

Roosevelt had only been in office for 101 days and while there was broad bipartisan support for inflationary policies in Congress, it’s safe to say that most of those who voted for FDR never expected him to confiscate private holdings of gold coins, bullion, and certificates. Roosevelt called the measure a temporary one (it wasn’t), and he followed it up by invalidating gold clauses in private contracts that obligated payment in gold dollars, which had the effect of devaluing the assets of bond and contract holders. Many of these hoarders and slackers purchased gold as a hedge against the (Fed-fueled) inflationary boom of the 1920s and then hung on to it during the Hoover years when his crazed and unprecedented interventions in wages and prices caused a normal market correction to devolve into a depression. Why would they trust Roosevelt any more?

They were smart not to. By January 1934, Roosevelt increased the dollar price of gold from $20.67 to $35, thus devaluing the dollar by 70 percent while increasing the value of gold that the government now owned.


Gold flowed to the United States because the new price exceeded the world price, causing Fort Knox to become, well, Fort Knox. Since the Treasury was authorized to maintain the new dollar-gold exchange rate, it increased the money supply accordingly. Over the next three years, M2 increased by an average of 13.4 percent a year. Congress and the president with strong ties to Wall Street got the inflation they wanted.

Queue the tape: “Happy Days Are Here Again.

A major constraint on the federal government’s ability to spend had been lifted, and by the end of the decade the balance of political power had shifted from the states and the cities to Washington, D.C. It remains to be seen whether inflating the money supply will have any different effect in the 2010s than it did in the 1930s.


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Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:30 | 3658413 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

I'm willing to give them my lead.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:32 | 3658419 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

Chilling...but I the Great Krugman say "Stack FRB Fiat"

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:38 | 3658457 fourchan
fourchan's picture

take it from americans, give it to china. was the feds plan all along?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:48 | 3658516 Badabing
Badabing's picture

That averages out to $1912.25 for each person.

Does that sound like a hoarder?

OK back then you could exchange that paper for gold and have 95 and a half ounces, and today a little over one oz!

 Lets you know how much the FUCKING BANKS have been picking our pockets.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:52 | 3658550 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

each dollar in a hoard ties up 15-20 dollars in credit

very telling line of that newspaper article

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:00 | 3658585 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Big error by Christopher Westley above in his write-up about that article, claiming that Roosevelt was « devaluing the dollar by 70 percent »

Way wrong figure. Roosevelt devalued the US dollar by just over 40%. Still awful but quite different.

It is funny how often the 1933 Roosevelt devaluation of the dollar is cited wrongly ... one also sees  60% or other erroneous figures as well. Here are the maths:

When it took US $20.67 to buy an ounce of gold, then 1 dollar was worth .0483 ounces of gold

When it took US $35.00 to buy an ounce of gold, then 1 dollar was worth .0285 ounces of gold

So the dollar would buy .0198 ounces less of gold than the earlier quantity of .0483 ounces ... in other words, 40.9% less   (Take 40.9% of 483 and you get 198)

Of course Americans in their 'land of freedom', just had won back the right to drink back after 14 years of religious fanatic American-Taliban Prohibition of alcohol ... now starting with FDR they were forbidden to openly buy gold again until the 1970s ... Land of 'freedom', ha !

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:12 | 3658639 Variance Doc
Variance Doc's picture

Correct calculations.  The author's calculations are wrong.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:32 | 3658711 Badabing
Badabing's picture

20,67 +70 % =35.139 dick

not 35 -40% fucking bankers!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:52 | 3658812 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

When I give a customer 25% discount ,I first add 33% to the price.

I have a lot of Jewish clients. They feel good, and I get my price.

Bankers never give discounts, so this simple math is beyond them.

Then again most sheeple don't get it either.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 17:00 | 3659383 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

it was not the dollar that was devalued

it was the weight of an ounce that got re-adjusted


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:16 | 3658651 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

That's what I thought. 70 % is a banana republic and surely we're not that...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:26 | 3658687 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Sorry, bank guy, you're making the conventional error and applying the math backwards.

Works like this:

Gold is fixed at $20.67. Gold is confiscated and replaced with dollars at $20.67 per ounce.

FDR then lowers value of USD so that it takes $35 to buy an ounce of gold (if it were legal).

$35 minus $20.67= an increase in the price of gold by $14.33.

14.33 divided by 20.67=0.6934. Hence a ~70% increase in the dollar price of gold, or a 70% devaluation of the dollar in gold terms.


I hope you don't really think Americans stopped drinking because of "Prohibition"? HAHAHAHAHA---whoops, sorry. Look at the article above: It says that the tally was less than $180,000 in gold turned in, and $600,000,000 still out there with the Shirking Hoarders.

This is the land of Non-Compliance, Nancy.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:54 | 3658811 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

Belgian Bank Guy has it right. 

FDR did not devalue gold.  He devalued the dollar.  Gold was the international transactional monetary unit of the day.  FDR just screwed the foreign holders of USD by dropping the rate at which he would exchange gold for USD coming back to the U.S.  He dropped the value of the dollar from 0.0484 ounces for every USD (1/$20.67) to 0.0286 ounces for every USD (1/$35.00).  The value of the USD in terms of ounces of gold went down by 0.0198 ounces per USD, each USD lost 40% of its value (0.0198/0.0484).

There is nothing governments can do to create real wealth (hint: real wealth is not fiat currency).  They can steal real wealth.  They can redistribute it. They can destroy it.  But they cannot create real wealth.

And remember, the Federal Reserve is just as “federal” as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  If you doubt me, tell me who is going to appoint Bernanke's successor.  Tell me who is going to confirm him.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:27 | 3658942 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

I think the Federal reserve is as Federal as Fedex...both non gov entities..

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:45 | 3659015 Agstacker
Agstacker's picture

I do believe that the FBI gets audited from time to time.  How about the federal reserve?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 16:00 | 3659248 malikai
malikai's picture

Yea, by the Eric Holders of the world.


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 19:21 | 3659768 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

"tell me who is going to appoint Bernanke's successor.  Tell me who is going to confirm him."

Since you asked, he/she/it (Summers/Yellen/Geithner) will be appointed by the same people who run the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee. Whatever decision they make will be rubber-stamped by the Puppet-in-chief and the Senate.

And it won't make any difference who they choose. They all practice the same Neo-Keynesium Pump Till You Slump Religion.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:56 | 3658829 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

"What difference does it make"? To quote Hillarious! 

40%? or 70%? The buck was still devalued.

You are just argueing degree! Like Benghazi and who was responsible for the ambassadors death. The basic fact remains that he is still dead! Sheeesh! Is the tank half empty? Or half full?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:23 | 3658925 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

My calculation of the percentage of the outstanding gold "recovered" was about 0.0003%.   That is, before my little calculator started smoking.   The old newspaper article was nothing but a scare tactic to drive more gold out of the sock drawers.  It didn't work, as you point out.  As I recall, only one person actually was prosecuted -- and he was an idiot.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:38 | 3658985 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Thanks for the maths ImCrucible.


The important take away here is, sure, they outright robbed people and impoverished them, but this was a one off and will NEVER happen again.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 16:55 | 3659372 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

I'll tell ya about bad luck. I bought 17 ounces of gold with my case money and had it in a backpack on my friends boat on a trip east of the keys. Boat went down so fast I couldn't get to my backpack. Shit luck. Honest injun.

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 11:15 | 3660790 Bluz
Bluz's picture

Sounds like a job for Odyssey Marine Exploration.

You are right -- Shit luck.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 20:02 | 3659853 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

a one-off that will NEVER happen again.

Right you are, RafterMan. The 213 silly sheep who actually obeyed EO 6012 are all dead now. The rest of us don't really give a rat's ass what the pigmen say.

I only regret that my carelessness, in combination with an extreme state of inebriation, means that my hedges cannot be recovered without SCUBA gear and some form of memory enhancement.  Was it the Colorado River or the Snake River? Was it 1999 or 2004? Did I really ever have any to begin with? Only José knows--José C. Tradicional.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:01 | 3658594 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Thing is, even that number is inflated now that required reserve ratios (assuming they even mean anything) are zero for many types of deposits, while the remainder are approaching it.

Eventually, a single dollar might be responsible for an infinite amount of credit! Pure fucking genius there, I tell ya. But hey, at least it might take some pressure off of the rehypothetication daisy chain?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:53 | 3658815 TeMpTeK
TeMpTeK's picture

<-------- on the next episode of Hoarders, buried alive.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:36 | 3658976 Jones79
Jones79's picture

I never thought about holding gold that way, as withheld credit.  It makes sense that banks and the supporting financial media should be so against holding gold--if you're a holder/"hoarder," banks can't make any money of you, either as fiat depositor or borrower. 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:40 | 3658998 Jones79
Jones79's picture

of course, this is at the margin, and the quote is just for effect.  Interest rates "should" adjust to money demand naturally. 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:01 | 3659070 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

If you read between the lines (which I know you did) it says each dollar in hoard ties up 15-20 dollars in fiat that a banker can create out of thin air, turn into 27 times that amount via his buddy Mandrake, charge interest to all of it and get retarded rich; and since we are owned by the bankers, so are you.  

We are fighting a depression (that we purposefully caused). 

Fuck you, FDR and Bernanke

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:48 | 3658529 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Probably. I'm convinced that Bill Clinton was working for the Chinese. Not just bought and paid for, but ideologically committed to modern Chinese Communism. He even had a term for it: "The Third Way".

Fucking traitor.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:03 | 3658606 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Don't you realize that he only said shit like that in order to rile you up?

Simply put, the people he works for are not attached to nationalistic labels. Those are for us plebs to fight over.

Divide and Conquer 101.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:18 | 3658912 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Naw, he was talking about 3rd Input... anal.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:10 | 3659097 Lore
Lore's picture

What the American people are saying when they tell you not to do these things, they're not telling you not to do these things. - Bill Clinton's response to Public Opinion Polls, 14-Jun-2013

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:51 | 3658531 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

And they say history doesn't repeat; In 1933 the Treasury stole everyone's money, the Fed created enormous monetary interventions and the Lying Commie Bastard administration Executive-Ordered one idiotic policy after another, such as "Kill millions of piglets to make farming more profitable".  And five years later, in 1938, the country remained in what was called "a Depression within a Depression".

Amity Schlaes' The Forgotten Man is a good antidote to our current national amnesia.

"We're fighting a War On Depression"---from the liar du jour. With fascist governments, it's always a "war" on something or other. That way, if you don't cave in and support the madness, you're a traitor.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:28 | 3658725 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 That way, if you don't cave in and support the madness, you're a traitor.

What, you want us to lose the war??? Take him away! 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:44 | 3659008 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I'm a grizzled veteran of the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on the Patriarchy, the war on terrorism, the war on savers, the war on NSA leakers...missed out when we surrendered and lost the war on alcohol.

Right now, I'm gearing up for the war on Whitey!


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 19:19 | 3659760 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

That's just what they want us to do. Divide & Conquer 3.0

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:39 | 3658773 Umh
Umh's picture

 David A. Shannon wrote a book boringly titled "The Great Depression" in 1960. What I really enjoyed about the book is that it is written as a series of events/scenarios such as boy and girl tramps being obsessed with food or destroying crops to support prices. It is told in 56 scenarios.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 20:11 | 3659872 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Shannon's book seems to be out of print. A pity. I think quite a few people will be obsessed with food before the final chapter of current Fed policy is written.

I don't have any, so don't come looking at my house when you're starving. I won't be there anyway. I'll be down on the ejido cutting artichoke hearts with the amigos.  ¿La vida es buena en Puerto San Carlos, no?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:46 | 3658515 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Stack it??? ANY form of saving is anathema to the "KRUG AM THE GREAT KRUG AM!"

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:43 | 3659213 JeffB
JeffB's picture

Pretty soon our debt will be thousand dollar bills stacked to the moon.


Sat, 06/15/2013 - 14:21 | 3661118 papaclop
papaclop's picture

To quote a great man, JS Kim, Paul Krugman is an economic buffoon.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:33 | 3658422 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:46 | 3658514 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

So, FDR was worse than Chavez.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:34 | 3658434 Killtruck
Killtruck's picture

Slackers...probably a bunch of high school dropouts with employment issues.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:07 | 3658616 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Wait... you mean the deadline... was... TODAY???


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:35 | 3658752 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

93 Hoarders? Dissent was THAT massive back then? Wild!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:35 | 3658437 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Coming to a fascist debt-junky country near you.  

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:47 | 3658520 ironsky
ironsky's picture

Save your brass.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:47 | 3658522 King Nothing
King Nothing's picture

I think we can all afford a "Shared Sacrafice" by giving the goverment all the lead they need to stop the rape and pillaging they do now.

No sarc what so ever.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:49 | 3658537 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

and if your family didn't turn it in, today you'd be called rich

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:32 | 3658418 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

Whoreder ... One who hoards FRNs

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:32 | 3658423 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

CNBC carrying that bucket today- 'Sell Gold NOW!' is the headline.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:32 | 3658424 1000yrdstare
1000yrdstare's picture

I do not believe todays .GOV will do this.............







Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:34 | 3658433 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

This is all a lie.  The beneficence of the government cannot be understated.  They were there to help people carry heavy objects and that was all. 


Don't over exert yourselves; ask for government assistance.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:35 | 3658436 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

Yeah but they left all those citizens "going about their business" and "doing nothing wrong" alone and unharmed. lol

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:07 | 3658618 g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

Damn fine eye you got there

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:40 | 3658777 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Get a room you two, will ya?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:54 | 3658820 g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture


Too busy trying to get a better eye

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:59 | 3659066 Canuckistan Al
Canuckistan Al's picture

+1000 for the very subtle reference to Babylon 5 in your moniker. Perhaps the greatest SciFi adventure series ever written (probably one of the most underated too!)

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:58 | 3659240 XitSam
XitSam's picture

<< Firefly

<< Babylon 5

Just vote for your favorite.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:38 | 3658455 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Here's the cunt now...Yale grad, married four times, DC other words, a REAL FUCKING ASSHOLE...


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:34 | 3658749 BigJim
BigJim's picture

"Cummings served as the chief protector of New Deal programs, and during his first week as attorney general, advised Roosevelt that the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 permitted the president to close banks and regulate gold hoarding and export. Cummings personally argued the right of the government to ban gold payments before the U.S. Supreme Court and won the "gold clause" cases. "   (- wikipedia)



Sat, 06/15/2013 - 17:37 | 3661389 Tom of the Missouri
Tom of the Missouri's picture

Thank God we now have a highly princiipled Attorny General who would never confiscate my gold.   LOL.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:40 | 3658467 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

"It remains to be seen whether inflating the money supply will have any different effect in the 2010s than it did in the 1930s."

In the 1930's, the ponzi was expanded. Today, the entire world is already in the worldwide fiat ponzi and there's nobody left to pull into this scam. If ponzies can't expand, they implode, and this fiat/bond/credit/government/service sector/housing/cheap credit dependent asset bubble that's been building for over 100 years is popping. Never before has the entire world gone through fiat collapse at the same time.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:40 | 3658469 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

wonder when "slacker" became "stacker"...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:00 | 3658589 Pactyas
Pactyas's picture

Apparently, in about early June, 1933.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:42 | 3658470 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Dear NSA....I'd turn in my gold if I had anything other than this home made jewlery, everything else was lost in a tragic boating accident.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:47 | 3658519 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Just a thought, Buy an empty boat trailor.(adds credibility) :)

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:54 | 3658560 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

I'm sure you would be prosecuted for the crimes of:

having a boat accident

failing to report a boat accident

having an unregistered boat trailer

environmental damage from the boat accident


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:11 | 3658885 Strider52
Strider52's picture

Too Funny Pirate!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:37 | 3658980 Whatta
Whatta's picture

Dear Dr. Engali,

Upon perusing hundreds of your emails, posts on the internet, US Mail delivers, phon records, credit card records, banking check and debit withdrawals we know you are telling us a fibby-poo.

Please do not fibby-poo to the government.

We have our eye on you.

P.S. Did you have a stomach ailment last week? The analysis of your toilet discharge showed unusally large amounts of poopies?


Your Government Friends - Always Here to Help

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:42 | 3658479 linniepar
linniepar's picture

Oddly enough, it is a great day to go boating in Florida today!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:43 | 3658491 magnumpk
magnumpk's picture

Yeah, but that would never happen today because....  Nevermind.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:43 | 3658494 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Oh, and hey--look! Cummings' son pulled a Teddy Kennedy in 1934, drunkenly crashing his car in Connecticut and killing a female passenger...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:02 | 3658600 linniepar
linniepar's picture

And the proprietor arrested!  What a strange world of no self accountability we live in!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:31 | 3658738 jsgibson
jsgibson's picture

A fascinating page of history...  Chicago mobsters, Nazi religious persecution, monetization of silver, the state banning a woman from working....

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:43 | 3658495 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

That's only $3.2M of gold converted into todays dollars.  Not very much for a "hoarder".

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:50 | 3658806 Thisson
Thisson's picture

It's a lot for only 93 people!  Those are some pretty hefty stacks! 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:48 | 3658521 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture


In 1933 they hadn't coined the term "terrorist" yet.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:59 | 3658581 kito
kito's picture

yes, its good to know that americans have been under the heavy hand of uncle sam for many many decades........just when i thought it was only a recent phenomenon..........

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:47 | 3659020 Agstacker
Agstacker's picture

I watch the war on hoarders on A&E...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:47 | 3658524 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

the federal government’s ability to spend had been lifted



Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:48 | 3658530 digalert
digalert's picture

Remember in 1933 gold was money, everyone forgets that little fact. Today it's a barbarous relic, presidential cough adviser Buffet. Today it's not money, gold is held by central banks because it's a silly tradition, Federal Reserve Bank 'o' Bernank (FED). disclaimer: I like pretty yellow, shiny metal that I can touch, feel and hold.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:57 | 3658574 seek
seek's picture

While I suspect a confiscation order could come again, it would be terribly unproductive. As you note, in 1933 it was money to the government, so they basically seized gold and did their devaluation. That trick won't work again, because 99% of the US doesn't hold gold, taking it wouldn't significantly improve the US position with respect to dollar valuation.

To repeat 1933 they need to seize everyone's money again. Since that's in bank accounts and 401Ks, that's where it will come from. There are two ways to stealing that -- overtly, via Cyrprus style confiscation, and covertly, through inflation, as they've done for decades. Any overt seizure is a sign of capitulation by TPTB that they've completely lost control, and it'll be one of the last things they do before the collapse. I'd imagine we'd probably have less than 18 months left once the first account is drained. With the inflation (e.g. printing) method, I think they can stretch their time out a bit longer, though the end is the same.


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:53 | 3658814 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Huh? That's not correct at all.  If they issue a new currency pegged to gold, then gold can be set at any value they like.  Say they issue a new "Blue" dollar, where you can trade in 100 of your old green dollars to get one Blue Dollar, and you can redeem 10,000 Blue Dollars to receive 1 troy ounce of gold.  In that scenario, with a very high value on gold, it is completely worth their while to try to confiscate as many troy ounces as possible.

And don't think they won't try to grab the paper assets too, since we've seen that those have been easy pickings for other governments (e.g. Argentina).

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:50 | 3659227 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Missing a few zeros.

Depends on whether there is any gold in Ft.Knox that the US owns.

Even if there is, the FedRes act revision gave a 1st lien to that particular crime family.

Maybe it will be 10,000 blue dollars per oz. of tungsten.Scrape the gold foil off.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 20:18 | 3659887 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Tungsten? Tut, tut, my man. That gold in Fort Knox is reputed to be the remainder of the melt of the 1933 gold eagle strike. It had been alloyed to make it hard enough for coin service, and thus could not be turned into London good delivery bars without being refined all over again.

On the other hand, there's that vault in the basement of the FRBNY. It's not the Treasury's gold, it belongs to other people, but when have they ever let that get in the way of a good heist? "Okay, you Bundesbankers can have some of your gold back. Please allow seven years for processing the order."

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:37 | 3658981 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Don't forget their favorite means of confiscation...taxation. Mother's milk of redistribution. While income tax has been their most direct approach, a wealth tax is what is coming. It exists now in the form of property taxes (like someone with a nice house owes society more than someone living in a mobile home) but they will want a more direct attack line, as you say, our bank accounts and retirement portfolios.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:32 | 3658957 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I'll add to that:  Most people's gold was kept in banks, not at home, so the confiscation was easy.  That's why it was done so quickly.  Most money today is in banks, so the taking can be just as easy.  The entire process will be the same, but with a different "asset".   The blatant devaluation stage won't be necessary as that can be done with monetary policy manipulation(s).

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:56 | 3658573 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Today's equivalent would be to demand all cash (FRNs or fiatscos) be turned in, give you a prepaid debit card for the face amount, then a month later take away half the "value" on that debit card.

Mostly this story tells me that people in the US have been gullible, and politicians have been craven, at least since 1933.  (Yes, yes, 1789 or whatever, sure...)

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:47 | 3658798 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

the fed has discussed these measures, including replacing the currency with time dated currency, use it or lose it. this extends the principle of making payment in kind for bad debts. for instance if you own shares of GM and the company goes (more) bankrupt, they give you a car in payment. in theory there's nothing wrong with letting the economy deflate, it wipes out bad debts, and brings the sellers asset values in line with the buyers. however it doesn't bode well for the MIC, or the politicians campaign finance industry. now that few people pay taxes any more, except sales tax, the government has had to resort to money printing to keep their little shell game going, but that too shall collapse.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:47 | 3659026 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

This is a great fictional story that addresses that issue directly:



Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:04 | 3658608 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Slackers unite! You have nothing to lose but your gold!

The prohibition on owning gold certificates was illogical. After the revaluation of gold to $35, those $20 gold certificates wouldn't get you a ounce (almost) of gold anymore, even if you were a Canadian.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:05 | 3658612 edaguy
edaguy's picture

Headline:  "Gold Standard Lowers Risk of War".

If governements couldn't go into deficit spending, large scale war would be harder to wage as it would be harder to finance. 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:49 | 3659032 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

The RedShields™ would be there to help they always have.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:10 | 3658631 nomorebuyins
nomorebuyins's picture

War on depression and... You can't make this shit up. History repeats itself, over and over again.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:17 | 3658653 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

If you were rich and connected to the socialist fdr you were not called a hoarder.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:23 | 3658693 Monedas
Monedas's picture

So these were red neck Republicans .... the well connected Joos and Dems .... got a pass ?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:19 | 3658671 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

So now that cash is supposed to be gold and the bankers are hoarding 2 trillion on deposit at the fed,up from almost nil in 2008, what are we going to do about hoarders?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:20 | 3658673 Bryan
Bryan's picture

Good luck trying to keep your gold and eventually silver.  The gubbamint has more lead than you do, and a powerful political machine to back it up.  My advice ... learn to grow your own food and find potable water sources.  Hiding will be easier than fighting.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:25 | 3658701 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

It is worth it.  Hoarders from fdr tryanny made 80x.  Totally worth it to ignore the temporary mandates of a failed socialist banana republic.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:21 | 3658919 fuckitall
fuckitall's picture

80x?  You're delusional.

Try 1.75x.  20 to 35. 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:01 | 3659071 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

Ummm, gold is still priced in FRNs...and it goes for $1385/oz these days.

If you kept your $20 gold from 1933 you would have made 70X...nice try sparky...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 19:35 | 3659179 fuckitall
fuckitall's picture

Hey dumbass, forget about inflation since then, dollar worth 2% now vs back then? 

Yea, divide your 80x by 50 idiot.  Still around 1.75x.

Gold is pacing inflation more or less, not really gaining anything.

And it never will.  Even "dollar collapse" prices at $5k, $10k, whatever, just pacing debasing/collapsing dollar pretty much, no real "gain".

That's why traders don't trade gold much.  They know it's just keeping pace with debasing dollar more or less.  Nominal gains vanish when adjusted for lower dollar value.

One ounce bought nice tailored suit back then.  Still does today.  Nope, no net gain over all those years.

"Gold bugs" have gold merely to protect wealth from falling dollar, not hoping for any gain in wealth.

Nice try dumbass.  Idiots like you shouldn't shouldn't even be allowed on ZH.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 20:28 | 3659905 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Before you sling that word "idiot" around quite so freely, consider this: Gold staving off the corrosion of inflation was the whole point. If you kept $100 in paper notes from 1913, your heirs would now inherit $3 in 1913 spending power.

Gold did far, far better than that.

I take it you haven't gotten around to buying any gold yet, and are feeling a bit touchy about it.

"That's why traders don't trade gold much". Right--only 40 million ounces on Monday, April 15.

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 01:47 | 3660365 fuckitall
fuckitall's picture

"Gold staving off the corrosion of inflation was the whole point."

We're in agreement here, never said otherwise.

"If you kept $100 in paper notes from 1913, your heirs would now inherit $3 in 1913 spending power."

Again we agree, except I think it's $2 now, mabye less.

Doesn't change the fact that one ounce gold buys about the same thing it did back then.  That's the point I'm making. 

It might be  $1750 now but $1750 buys what $35 did back then pretty much.

People just don't realize how much US dollar has dropped since then.  I can make it easy.  Dollar has dropped about as much as gold has risen.

"Right--only 40 million ounces on Monday, April 15."

Paper gold, not real gold.

That's the whole argument on ZH, paper gold vs real gold. 

Paper gold is cheap plastic gold-colored gambling chips in a casino, odds moved up and down by the house (PTB), otherwise known as "pump & dump", purely to take money from foolish long-side players (we see it every opex), sometimes short-side players when there's enough of 'em.

I'm not talking about fucking fantasy casino "trades" like that.  I'm talking about real physical gold trading, and there ain't much of it because physical prices don't move much in short timeframes ...except when dollar has big drop in confidence, which ain't often, and it's way more buying than selling, phys gold is increasingly becoming a one-way trade (buy and hold).

I wouldn't buy gold hoping for net gain in wealth some day.  I believe it simply preserves wealth, like any other commodity with good demand, silver for example, heck, even ammo now, and ammo is performing better than gold now, you would actually have some gain selling ammo you bought two years ago, same with guns, rising faster than dollar is dropping, trade guns and ammo if you want net gains way better than gold right now.

Heck, lots of thing outperform gold short term.

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 12:22 | 3660900 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

Over the long run, yes.  Look at what happened to gold in the 80's when people were scared of inflation.  You did get temporary bumps that more than out stripped inflation

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:35 | 3658971 Vooter
Vooter's picture

What gold and silver?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:20 | 3658674 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The list of 93 .... looks like a Jewish wedding .... guest book ?  

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:22 | 3658684 Rich V
Rich V's picture


Maybe a stack of those fake Chinese gold coins might come in handy one day.....

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:27 | 3658716 fuckitall
fuckitall's picture

Well lookie there, fascism wasn't just in Germany, it was rampant right here in our own govt. 

Hitler's cover story was saving the nation.  Roosevelt's cover story was saving the nation.  No difference.

Sacrifice everything for the govt ...whoops, I meant nation, sorry, my bad.

Hey "patriots", your "revolution" should have happened back then when they wanted all the gold. 

But it didn't because they didn't take your guns.  Your precious guns.  

And they won't take 'em now either.  Not collectively anyway. 

But you'll still hand your wealth over to 'em no problem.   There's no "amendment" giving you the right to keep your wealth.

Idiots.  Fools.  Dumbasses.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:52 | 3659042 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Unfortunately, there is a seemingly endless contingent of fascist-facilitating, totalitarianism-enabling bootlicking sychophants who are either unable or unwilling to see the path this country is on.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:26 | 3659101 fuckitall
fuckitall's picture

Yes, and many of 'em have guns, view themselves as "patriots", join "tea parties", support Ron Paul, all that shit.

Nope, no "amendment" giving 'em right to keep their wealth, they'll hand it right on over to govt, facilitating what we see now, paying for what we see now ...and more to come no doubt.

"Don't take our guns, but you can take all our wealth no problem, we're cool with that."

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:32 | 3658742 The Proletariat
The Proletariat's picture

Could we get a chart with boating accidents in 1933?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:47 | 3658786 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Countries that put their gold in US vaults soon to be called hoarders and slackers....

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:45 | 3658791 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

A. I am wondering how one wins a war by stealing gold from one's own people?

B. It would be interesting to see the breakdown between gold held by the treasury and gold held by the Fed, considering that one is part of the US government and one is privately owned by an international banking cartel that has no loyalty whatsoever to the United States of America and its people.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:56 | 3658826 Thisson
Thisson's picture

I believe Bernanke testified that the Fed does not own any gold, just those gold certificates.  Of course, his credibility is also suspect...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:55 | 3658827 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

really? you suppose the Fed and the Treasury are separate things? this economy is a badly run childrens magic show, where about 99% of the people have noticed the magician is palming that quarter, but everyone is waiting around for cake, so who cares?  A. the US came out of the WW2 as the dominant superpower, every other industrial nation was ruined. it was a great coup, because we were never that smart or that good, and we owe this to the pacificists and isolationists who kept us out of the war until the rest of europe was destroyed. this successful outcome is completely confounded by the new US policy of preemption in economic and military matters, which has the opposite results of destroying our country financially and militarily and socially. and Bernanke studied this stuff, i guess phd stands for pretty stupid.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:51 | 3658808 douglas
douglas's picture

They may do it again or they may not, maybe even with silver too.  But knowing what the state is capable of why is this even an issue? Why in the world would anyone even take a chance?  Six words: Get your Metals out of Dodge! and sleep easy...

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:54 | 3658819 Big Ben
Big Ben's picture

Looking at the chart, the amount of Fed gold in 1934 is only a bit higher than the amount in 1931 before the ban. The big jump in 1934 is because the exchange rate changed, not because the number of ounces increased.

So it appears that almost no one actually turned in their gold coins. People may have turned in their paper gold, but they kept their coins. It was only after FDR increased the number of dollars paid per ounce of gold that people began to part with their physical gold.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:11 | 3658883 irie1029
irie1029's picture

I thinnk you are correct and I am glad my grandpa and dad were slackers.  

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:08 | 3658874 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

I don't consider anyone who hoards gold and silver to be a TRAITOR. You do what you think is best. If you use some of that PM to buy lead, and shoot some govt official dead, I'm all for it.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:03 | 3659074 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I think we are all pretty much traitors if judged by the thought police. The Constitution to me is about property rights and freedoms associated to that property, be it our lives or our possessions. Today everything is about money. Traditional wealth and property are an old fashioned concept and money, because it is created by government, belongs ultimately to them. Any wealth or possession is defined by its dollar worth and as the dollar is owed by our government, all possessions are ultimately theirs. Just as we have seen the concept of imminent domain corrupted to include any property that could be put to a higher use (higher tax returns to the government), every possession has been 'valuated" as money and has been "socialized" by governments.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:15 | 3658899 Dan Conway
Dan Conway's picture

And FDR is the hero for the current administration.  However, I fear that most of the party I have voted for in my life would only put up a minor protest the next time this happens. 

What is so interesting about this article is that this took place so early in fdr's presidency and yet the population still voted for him.  Maybe our grandparents and great-grandparents are just as stupid as we are today. 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:34 | 3658969 SIOP
SIOP's picture

Thanks ZeroHedge for that article image.


I just saved a copy of it, printed it, and hung it on my wall here at work.


Because I am so tired of talking to people who think I'm conspiracy nut for talking about about how the government will go to drastic measures to save the fiat dollar. Sad part is, they probably wont think confiscating personal possessions is "drastic".

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:34 | 3658970 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

The BIG difference from then until now, was the US was a creditor nation- other nations owed US money- now- not so much.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:40 | 3658993 poydras
poydras's picture

No need to confiscate.  No pesky gold standard to prevent any level of devaluation.  From 1970 to 1980 there was essentially a 50% devaluation.  It may reach 500% by 2025.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:12 | 3659103 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

How much is U235 worth? I have no idea, but I would bet a lot. But in a practical sense it is worthless because you would have to go so far outside of the law to sell it that nobody but the most crazy would try it. Ultimately the same will be for gold or silver. If PMs become a threat to our "system" the government would simply outlaw its transaction, without the proper licensing of course. Every hedge and investment strategy has a window of opportunity. Most of us that are not "traders" are simply the muppets in any scheme. Watching metals for the last five years has shown me that timing is everything and nothing is a sure thing, especially something advertised as a sure thing. Given that most days I feel like I barely know what I'm doing in my chosen field, investing looks like a honey trap from just about any angle. Like Hansel and Grettle say "don't go into a house made of candy".

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:45 | 3659014 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

And I bet every person who turned in their gold regretted it...





Fri, 06/14/2013 - 14:48 | 3659029 colddirt
colddirt's picture

How did the treasury get a list of people holding gold? Intercepting telegraphs I bet.........................

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:14 | 3659109 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

It may be just my computer but uploading comments seems to take a long time, NSA's systems must be overloaded trying to scan everything, right?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:17 | 3659126 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Have the same problems. Started about 4 days ago.

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 06:07 | 3660504 kurt
kurt's picture

Me too and go back, you may find some comments missing... it was nice in the before time.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 15:16 | 3659120 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Pay $10,000 USD/oz. and they can Send me Obama shipping address. (No PO Box)

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 16:24 | 3659311 enloe creek
enloe creek's picture

long ago in the 1970's fifth third bank then first national bank offered U S gold cons minted before 1907 for sale. My mother bought a one eagle coin which had a face value of $10 and a half eadle coin with a face value of $5. the hoard which the bank was selling was coins they had shipped to europe(swiss) to safely keep from confiscation.  I wish I had the reciept for the purchase, but it must have been reasonable or she would not have bought them.  I had them encapsulated in PCGS holders during a promotion offering free or very low priced  grading. they came back ef 45 and au 50 but look B U to me. before they went down to the sea in ships. that is

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 16:49 | 3659362 pitz
pitz's picture

Note how they didn't seize the gold mines.  Because seizing the mines certainly would have meant that the professionals and miners that run them, would have simply shut down and gone home -- producing nothing, instead of at least some gold that the government was able then acquire? 

Which makes me wonder why we have such a revulsion to gold equities these days? 

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 17:21 | 3659435 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

One of the Kardashian sisters walks into a bank with an enourmous bag of nickels.  

She dumps the bag (which is almost too heavy for her to carry) out on the counter.

The bank teller looks at it amazed.   "Did you hoard all these?" he asks.

"Well no" the Kardashian replies blushing.   "My sisters whored their share too."

(Triple rim shot)

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 18:58 | 3659697 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

The New York Times was even stupider 80 years ago than it is today, quoting this bullshit.  Who knew?  The President is the commander-in-chief in a war against "hard times."  Yeah.  Article II of the Constitution.  Commander-in-Chief of all military activity against that intrepid foe - hard times.  Thank God we have terraists today!  So much better than hard times.  Joe Biden singing, "Hard Times Keep Away from My Door."  Well, we ain't gonna win no war on hard times neither, but MOAR!  Shit!  Even the goofiest among us are having a hard time buying this crap.  We need a REAL WAR with nukes and all so it will start to Smell like Team Spirit.  I feel it coming on the short list.  WW III on the half shell for starters.  Will go down hard with a side of roasted Israel and a pint of chilled Fukushima.

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