zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 18, 2017 7:30 PM
On August 15, 1971, President Nixon killed the last remnants of the gold standard.
It was one of the most significant events in US history—on par with the 1929 stock market crash, JFK’s assassination, or the 9/11 attacks. Yet most people know nothing about it.
Here’s what happened…
After World War 2, the US had the largest gold reserves in the world, by far. Along with winning the war, this let the US reconstruct the global monetary system around the dollar.
The new system, created at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, tied the currencies of virtually every country in the world to the US dollar through a fixed exchange rate. It also tied the US dollar to gold at a fixed rate of $35 an ounce.
The Bretton Woods system made the US dollar the world’s premier reserve currency. It effectively forced other countries to store dollars for international trade, or to exchange with the US government for gold.
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