The Dollar is Doomed
Last week I helped my 84 year-old father sort through his old coin collection.
His modest collection is kept in two old cigar boxes, and judging from all the dust on them he hadn’t looked at them for decades. The bulk of these coins were originally collected by my grandfather in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and then passed on to my father.
The collection consists mostly of silver dollars of the Morgan and Peace specie, with a mix of silver quarters, dimes, and even silver nickels. (During World War II the U.S. government needed all the nickel it could get, and thus minted our 5 cent pieces with 40% silver during that period.)
The collection is really nothing special, with no rare coins or even any coins that would be worth grading because of exceptional condition. For the most part, this coin collection would be considered junk silver.
There was one very striking thing about this collection, however…. It contained a small handful of silver certificates from the 1930’s.
Thinking about the novelty of such notes, and the slim chance that anything made of paper would survive that long, my father wondered, “These are pretty old bills… How much do you think these silver certificates are worth?”
I didn’t know, but I surely wanted to find out – after all, my inheritance was at stake!
Hoping that my father was sitting on a fortune in silver certificates which would one day be mine, I called a local coin dealer I know to verify their immense value.
A Slap in the Face
What I was told crushed my hopes for inheriting millions… The coin dealer told me that unless they’re extremely rare or in pristine shape, they’re not worth anything more than the face value of the note.
He continued, “Your father would have been better off spending these bills years ago…”
Ouch. “What about the silver dollars?”, I asked.
“Oh those would all be worth at least $25 a piece.”
After I had recovered from the fact that I would not be inheriting millions in silver certificates, the reality of the declining value of our dollar hit both me and my father.
And the contrast in the changing values couldn’t be more compelling:
Two forms of currency, one made of silver and one made of paper, issued with the same value and at about the same time are now worth shockingly different amounts. An old silver dollar is now worth at least $25, while an old dollar bill made of paper is still worth $1.
In other words, back in the 1930’s you could’ve bought about 7 gallons of gas with either a silver or paper dollar. In 2013, you could sell your silver dollar and still buy 7 gallons of gas. But you may now take that silver certificate and barely fill up your weed-eater with 1/3 of a gallon.
Faced with this reality, I recommended my father dump his silver certificates the next time he goes to the grocery store.
It seems that my father and I are not the only ones thinking about dumping dollars…
The Dumping of Dollars Has Already Begun
Although it went almost completely unreported in the U.S. press, a group of the world's most powerful countries, including China, Japan, Russia, and France, got together for a secret meeting – WITHOUT the United States being present or even knowing about the meeting.
What did they talk about? They discussed ending dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese Yen, Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency.
Other events confirming this disturbing trend out of the dollar:
• Recently, the United Nations issued a report saying that “the dollar is an unreliable currency and needs to be replaced by something more stable.”
• President Putin of Russia and Premier Wen of China announced in St. Petersburg that they were “renouncing the dollar trade between their two nations.” Putin wants to use Euros in the future. China wants to use anything other than the dollar.
• Moscow interbank currency exchange started trading the Russian Ruble and the Chinese Yuan for the first time ever. This proves that their distaste of dollars is not just talk as that exchange now allows Russians and Chinese to settle their business without using the dollar.
• China and Brazil have signed a new bilateral accord to use their national currencies in bilateral trade in a deal that will cover the equivalent of up to $31 billion in trade exchanges per year, for three years.
Change is happening quickly – quicker than you can imagine. If the U.S. loses its reserve currency status, and it will, there will be incredible pain the likes of which has never been seen in the U.S.
(Next week we’ll have some recommendations to protect your money.)
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