Nixon's Economic Boom

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Submitted By Dill34
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On August 15, 1971 President Nixon put into effect Execute Order 11615, this order was a massive event in United States economic history because it put into effect the end of convertibility of U.S. dollars into gold. Prior to Nixon ending the gold convertibility, the world ran on the Bretton Woods Monetary System. The Bretton Woods Monetary System made it so that all U.S. currency held outside the country was redeemable at the rate of $35 an ounc. Although, this system was slowly deteriorating and by 1971 debts were being paid off and causing massive inflation of the U.S. dollar, Nixon had no choice but to try and keep our economy afloat.
By unpegging the U.S. dollar to gold Nixon created a regime in which currency was a free-floating commodity. Ten days prior to the Nixon’s executive United States executive order the United States Congress released a reports suggesting the devaluation of the dollar. Congress was worried that since the United States lacked the gold to back the foreign banks dollar supply, there would be a run at the U.S. gold and lead to a financial meltdown. Most historians feel that President Nixon did not have a choice in the matter, the Vietnam War was being financed by deficit spending, and domestically rising inflation was a major concern for the President who was coming on a re-election year. The biggest result that came of Nixon ending the convertibility of dollars into gold was that it greatly benefited countries that held large gold reserves, like the United States. In contrast, the majority of the poorer countries of the world kept their reserves in dollars. By unpegging the dollar to gold, Nixon was able to skyrocket the price of gold, where it reached a peak of $600 an ounce in 1980, and thus allowed U.S. gold reserves to increase dramatically in value (Graber 361.) This gave countries with large gold reserves, such as…...

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