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Sterling is the most debased currency

Brian Sturgess - March 2015


Speed Read
  • The extent of currency depreciation can be measured by the number of currency units needed to buy an ounce of gold.
  • US$35 were needed to buy an ounce of gold in 1970. Today an ounce of gold costs US$1,208.
  • Sterling has fallen in value against gold more than the other major currencies.



Four Decades of Debasement

Currency depreciation is the modern equivalent of debasing the coinage. The unilateral United States decision to end the convertibility of the dollar to gold in August 1971 has been followed by over 40 years of significant depreciation of paper currencies. Freely floating exchange rates removed constraints on the Federal Reserve and other central banks on currency creation. 

The extent of currency depreciation over time can be measured by the rise in the number o...

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