President Trump has gone on the record saying that he is in favor of reintroducing the gold standard in order to make America great again.
The gold standard is a system in which currency values are directly tied to gold, allowing nations that have different currencies to exchange gold with eachother.
Sean Williams of The Motley Fool, a website devoted to investing news and opinions, posed the following question last week:
The question was asked based on the fact that Trump told GQ last year that bringing the back the gold standard would be tough, but “wonderful.”
Impact on possible return
Williams says most economists don’t think that a return to the gold standard, which was abandoned by the U.S. in 1971, would be a positive fiscal move for the United States, as it was the move away from the standard in 1933 that played a large role in getting America out of the Great Depression.
Various issues could arise from a return to the gold standard, Williams explains. The value of gold can swing tremendously, which could have drastic impacts on the value of the U.S. dollar. We can forecast gold’s market all we want, but as Williams tells us, things can change quickly.
“For example, between 2011 and early 2016, the price of gold on a per-ounce basis fell by 45%,” Williams writes. “Also, the gold market tends to stay in bull and bear markets for an extended period of time (a decade or longer), meaning recessions would be particularly hard for the U.S. economy to overcome if gold’s per ounce price was also low.”
The market as a whole is at an interesting place, as the new U.S. president offers reasons to think the value of gold may increase. His lack of polictal experience could mean a looming trade war with other nations, Williams writes, and the success or failure of his proposed tax reforms could have major implicatiosn for the price of tangible assets.
He loves gold
Trump’s enthusiasm for gold stretches back into the 1970s.
Williams writes that Trump bought lots of gold when the U.S. legalized private ownership of the metal in 1975.
“Selling for about $185 an ounce at the time, Trump noted that he sold his stake between $780 an ounce and $790 an ounce, calling the money-making investment ‘easier than the construction business.’”
His full quote to GQ last year on a return to the gold standard was, “Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”
Don’t expect the gold standard to make a dramatic return, but with Trump in office, we’ve all learned to never say never.