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Old 01-05-2017, 08:28 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
A more shocking twist to the story would have been them breaking into the vault and finding it empty because the U.S. Government had been lying about its gold reserves for years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
That doesn't make much sense either when you think about it. Whether that gold is locked inside Ft. Knox, buried in a mine or shot into the sun, it isn't in circulation and shouldn't affect Mr. Finger's wealth one way or the other, right?
OK, a brief primer on US government gold in the 1960s:

A common misconception was the the gold in Fort Knox backed the dollar, although the government was happy to let people think that. The USA hadn't been on a true gold standard since the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. Instead of the dollar being defined as so many dollars being worth a troy ounce of gold, the relationship of dollars to gold was reversed, the price of gold being fixed at 35 dollars to the ounce, and this artificial price maintained by banning most private possession of gold.

So what was all the gold in Fort Knox for? Primarily for banks to be able to conduct business with overseas financial institutions, in gold certificates that were redeemable for actual gold only by banks or foreign governments. The whole system fell apart in 1971, when after years of the French government dumping its dollar holdings and insisting on payment in bullion, the US government suspended convertibility of the dollar to gold.

So at the time Goldfinger was written/filmed, having a large reserve of gold was indeed a big thing. If the US had lost all of the reserve in Fort Knox, Goldfinger could have demanded virtually anything from the US government in exchange for covering the US's obligations.