August 11, 2011

How high would the price have to go for there to be enough gold in the US Treasury to pay off the entire US debt, or to return to the gold standard?

US Treasury says it has 261.5M ounces.
Treasury Direct says the public debt is approximately 14.6T
Federal Reserve says M1 is 1947B
Federal Reserve says M2 is 9111B

Debt buyoff price ~= $55832/oz.
M1 money price ~= $7455/oz (this would be the gold standard price)
M2 money price ~= $34841/oz

There are some rumours that there actually is only about 1000 tonnes in Fort Knox, and also that many of them are not real gold bars but gold plated tungsten, some of which was accidentally (?) delivered to the Chinese, which made them mad as hell. FRB New York is supposed to have 7000 tonnes in Manhattan, but a lot of that is held in trust for foreign governments and international agencies.

The 7000 tonne discrepancy is supposedly gold that was shipped to England when President Johnson tried to maintain the price of gold at $35/oz. Nixon blew off the gold standard when France and Switerland also started claiming gold.