How much gold does the US have and what’s it for? I looked on the US Mint website, but it was vague.
From what I understand, more gold is owned by the Federal Reserve than anyone else. Even more than is in Ft Knox. You might try looking at the web sites of both.
As for what it’s for, well, they have to keep something in those vaults, otherwise they’d have empty vaults. Also the mint coins a certain amount of bullion in the form of American Eagles.
Gold underlies the credit of the United States in inter-nation financial transactions. It is, after all, a metal which is fairly rare and has intrinsic value in terms of being the sole or best substance for certain purposes. (E.g., if one wants to construct a relay for installation on a remote seacoast, which must have a long MTBF thanks to the difficulty of getting to it, one uses gold wiring rather than copper.)
The intrinsic value of gold fluctuates only slightly; the price of gold varies over time, but this is more a fluctuation in the value of the dollar than in that of gold.
Conservative investors hold gold, often in the form of gold coins or shares in the assets of gold-extraction mining companies, when they expect devaluation of the dollar.
I have a friend who deposited $1,000,000 U.S.D. with the Bank of Nova Scotia something over a year ago – with the interest they pay and the net increase in the value of the Canadian dollar vs. the U.S., that is now worth about $1,300,000 U.S.D.
Insofar as I know, no nation remains on a specie standard completely, though the value of some countries’ money is partially pegged to local precious-metal holdings.
So any idea how much the US Govt owns?
Besides internation financial transactions credit worthiness. If the US wanted to sell a couple hundred billion, would something go massively awry?