A Brief History Of US Money

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Chris Martenson via Peak Prosperity,

Looking at the past 100 years of the US dollar's history, one theme becomes abundantly clear: in times of crisis, the US government has no issue with changing its own rules or breaking its own laws. And those "temporary" emergency measures have a nasty habit of quickly becoming permanent.

Among the more notable milestones of the past century, the Federal Reserve was created (and soon after took possession of most of the nation's gold reserves), the Bretton Woods agreement made the US dollar the world's reserve currency granting it extraordinary advantage (which America quickly began abusing, continuing to do so up to today), and Richard Nixon ended the currency's convertibility into gold.

Nixon's turning the dollar into something backed only by the "full faith and credit" of the US government ushered in a new era for our country. The fiat dollar we use today for trade and investment is really only an experiment a little more than 4 decades old. We don't have a national experience to draw from in knowing how well it will work over time.

But as we see the US money supply exponentially accelerating since the 1970s, and the Federal Reserve more than tripling its balance sheet since 2008, it's only prudent to ask the question: Without constraints, are we in danger of destroying the purchasing power of our currency by making too much of it?

The full suite of chapters in this new Crash Course series can be found at www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse