Reviewing this period in gold’s history makes evident the extreme difficulties experienced by the monetary authorities in controlling the price of gold. The typical flat $35 line on charts gives the illusion that the dollar was a stable store of value. In actuality, market prices diverged from $35 — and dramatically so in 1960. The attempt to fix the dollar at 0.888671 grams and gold at $35 — this while the dollar’s purchasing power had declined versus all other goods — was a losing battle carried out at great expense. The United States and its allies would sell huge quantities of gold at prices below what a free market would have borne. In 2009, amidst some of the largest central-bank rescues and bailouts in history, let the 1960 gold rush and the eventual collapse of the London gold pool in 1968 stand as a reminder to us that central planning of monetary matters is doomed to fail.
See also Money and Our Future:
Consider what it means to live through our times in the light of economic understanding. Even in the face of calamity, there is no mystery, and hence fear is reduced.
You look at department stores going belly-up, and you know why. You see parking lots empty, and you know the reason. You have friends losing their jobs, and there is clarity concerning the cause. You see depositors in failing banks lose their money, and you are not surprised. Prices behave in ways that shock and surprise everyone else, but you know what’s what.