Humpday History Highlight

FDR Gold ConfiscationWant to know why the economy is in such horrible shape? Some of the blame can be laid at the feet – or wheels – of FDR.

June 5, 1933 – FDR Takes U.S. Off Gold Standard

On June 5, 1933, the United States went off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold, when Congress enacted a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. The United States had been on a gold standard since 1879, except for an embargo on gold exports during World War I, but bank failures during the Great Depression of the 1930s frightened the public into hoarding gold, making the policy untenable.

On April 5, 1933, Roosevelt ordered all gold coins and gold certificates in denominations of more than $100 turned in for other money. It required all persons to deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve by May 1 for the set price of $20.67 per ounce. By May 10, the government had taken in $300 million of gold coin and $470 million of gold certificates. Two months later, a joint resolution of Congress abrogated the gold clauses in many public and private obligations that required the debtor to repay the creditor in gold dollars of the same weight and fineness as those borrowed. In 1934, the government price of gold was increased to $35 per ounce, effectively increasing the gold on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheets by 69 percent. This increase in assets allowed the Federal Reserve to further inflate the money supply.

FDR was a fantastic wartime president. Domestically, he was an absolute failure.

5 thoughts on “Humpday History Highlight

  1. Jon Brooks

    I don’t know if I agree totally with your assessment that FDR was a fantastic wartime president Wyatt. True he let his commanders basically alone to do their jobs especially Eisenhower, but for years he let the German U-boats sink and destroy merchant shipping along our coast and kept it as mum as he could while merchant sailors died by the drove and this all prior to Pearl Harbor.

  2. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Jon – He also interned Japanese Americans, but the country was very anti-war at the start of WWII. Most Americans were still reeling for WWI. I don’t fault FDR for trying to remain neutral for so long. I think his greatness lies in the face that he DID let his commanders do their jobs. (And he surrounded himself with great commanders.)

  3. Veeshir

    He was a terrible wartime president.

    I’ve bee reading Churchill’s history of WWII and the parts with FDR make me furious.

    At one point he, FDR, wanted to “sacrifice” tens of thousands of soldiers on a half-assed invasion of some south-western French ports in 1943 to relieve pressure on Russia. Luckily, he was overruled.

    He also always took Stalin’s side in a dispute. Churchill whines a lot, but when he whines about that I’m with him. Stalin helped start WWII (by invading Poland a few weeks after Germany did) and was selling all manner of stuff like rubber and steel to Germany and yet, FDR was all on his side.

    There was a movie on Turner Movie Classics the other night about people in Russia, FDR asked Warner Bros. to make it, it was sickening in its whitewash of Russia. The Polish ambassador was apparently happy about being in Russia. Seriously.
    According to RMC, a few years later they were not so happy about the film when they were investigated over it as being pro-commie.

    Also, the way he told our military to let Russia sweep east meant that eastern Europe spent the next 4+ decades as a commie slaves.

    He had no redeeming features, look at how he broke the unwritten rule not to run more than twice, he obviously thought he was a better president, and man, that George Washington.

  4. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Veeshir – One of my favorite books is Stalin’s Folly, which describes the first ten days of the German invasion of the USSR. Even after he was getting confirmed reports of attacks, Stalin still failed to believe Hitler was serious. Friggin’ idiot makes FDR look like Einstein.


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