I have tried to explain this concept many times before but never had a chart to do it with. Please note the start date of the chart is 1971, this is not by any coincidence as that was the year the U.S. dollar became fully fiat and backed by nothing but “faith”. Before getting started, it is important to understand what August 15, 1971 really meant and why Nixon took us off the gold standard. The obvious is because with France and other nations demanding conversion of dollars into our gold, it would have only been a few short years before our stockpile was completely depleted.
The other, less obvious (so far) reason to come off the gold standard was because it allowed the U.S. to operate without the “restrictions” on monetary (and fiscal) policy that a gold standard imposes. In other words, once gold’s restrictions were lifted, literally unlimited amounts of dollars could be printed by the Fed along with unlimited amounts of fiscal borrowings by the Treasury…to a point. The chart above actually shows you exactly where that point in time was, please let me explain “why”.