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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gold and M3 (US)

According to GoldPrice, gold today is going for $21,242.64 per kilo. The World Gold Council says that as of June 2007, the USA holds 8,133.5 tonnes of gold. So that means America's gold stock should be worth $172.777 billion.

This site says "as of early 2007, M3 is about $11.5 trillion", which is 66.56 times the value of US gold reserves. So if everybody insisted on having their money out in gold, which they can't do any more, they'd get about 1.5 cents-worth back for every dollar they were owed.

I suppose that's what inflation means.

UPDATE

Wikipedia says, "As of 2006 the required reserve ratio in the United States was 10% on transaction deposits (component of money supply "M1"), and zero on time deposits and all other deposits."

If reserves and loans were all the money we had, then using a ratio of 1:10 for all of it (and it's worse than that!), the nominal value of bank reserves would be something like 6-7 times what they could buy in gold at current rates. Surely I've got this wrong?

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