Those in the US power structure know what the plan is should the US dollar fail. They are not admitting publicly that there is even the remotest chance that it could happen but, rest assured, there is a plan. There is always a plan. To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, nothing happens by chance in government, so don't be caught up in such a "surprise" event - whatever it may be and whenever it occurs.
The US dollar really is everyone's problem. There are more dollars in circulation worldwide than any other currency - perhaps more than all other currencies combined as a full two-thirds of the rest of the world's foreign reserves are denominated in US dollars. It's also true that two-thirds of all dollars circulate outside of the United States. They have long been the choice of exchange on the world's black markets. The reason is because they are so recognizable and accepted everywhere else; in other words, liquid and fungible. They have also tended to keep their purchasing power value relatively constant until recently. That's why many nations peg their currency to the dollar. It also helps that it is still the world reserve currency.
The above virtues being touted there are too many of them anymore and the law of supply and demand states that the more of something there is, the less value it has and the less demand there is for it. The world is becoming saturated with US dollars and many are looking for alternatives. As such, it is only a matter of time before the dollar does fail. When, how, and at what speed are all that are left for debate.
Failure of the dollar would be noticeable in many ways and when it does fail we won't have to ask if it has - we'll know. Failure of the dollar will mean many things. It will mean that it is no longer recognized as having or retaining value. In other words, confidence in it will be greatly or entirely diminished. We only hold dollars (or any currency), not because they have value themselves, and not that we find them useful, but because the perception that others will accept them for goods or services. We hold them because we have confidence that we will be able to pass them on at a later date.
A failure would mean that, at a minimum, the cost of everything, but especially anything we import, would rise dramatically. In a worst case scenario, dollars would not be accepted in any quantity for goods or services, either domestic or foreign.
What would some of the possible triggers for a decline in the US dollar?
1. The Chinese could start selling their US bonds and Treasuries. This would make interest rates rise, collapse demand for new offerings and make dollars return to the US, thus stoking domestic inflation.
2. The dollar could suddenly or gradually stop being the world reserve currency. This would cause the value of the dollar on the Forex (currency market) to fall against other currencies, possibly setting off a self-fulfilling hyper-inflationary event.
3. Another currency could become backed by gold before the dollar. This would set off a scramble to convert dollars into that currency and causing the dollar to fail as people try to get rid of them to buy the other currency.
The above are just a few of the possible scenarios that could precipitate the failure of the dollar. The important point is that this failure is not only possible but likely, and likely to happen sooner rather than later.
How could the demise of the US dollar be avoided?
1. We could collectively start living within our means. This would stop the debasement of the currency but such an effort would be politically and socially unacceptable to both the government and the people.
2. The US could implement a new currency. The problem with such a "solution" is that the problem wouldn't go away by simply erasing zeros on the currency. The inflation dynamic would still be present if no other action were taken in conjunction with such action.
3. The Fed could hyper-inflate the economy. Such an effort would only be a temporary solution and not a cure, however. The US government has already caused a bubble in the dollar, bond, and Treasury markets. The bailout schemes of the last few years necessitated [that] trillions of new dollars be created. This is the path we have been on for some time and it has masked the problem to a certain extent but this 'solution' would by no means be a cure.
4. The US government could default on its debt obligations. Heck, the US already defaulted on its internal obligations in 1933 and to its external creditors in 1971. The US continues in default every day by issuing more dollars than can ever be redeemed at their current purchasing power. It is the chosen path, the inflation path. The question, however, is whether the US would default en masse on all of its remaining obligations all at one time? If so, it would be a moon shot for gold, silver and all commodities immediately following the default. This would likely be done at the most advantageous time (night, holiday) for the government and the worst time for you, leaving you without time to prepare or protect yourself.
5. The Fed could revalue the US dollar in terms of gold. This is already happening gradually and goes hand-in-hand with the previous two scenarios. In this scenario, instead of the US defaulting on its obligations or re-valuing the currency, it could re-value the price of gold in dollars announcing that it would pay (buy) a certain (higher) price for gold on the open market. This would have the effect of immediately re-valuing every ounce of gold on the planet. It would then be possible to cover our outstanding debt with our gold reserves (if they're all there), leading to a de-facto gold standard.
6. Return to a gold standard. This seems to be inevitable at some point. How we get there and the ultimate price established for an ounce of gold are up for debate. In all likelihood, plans are already afoot and this will be a 'surprising' event for most when, not if, but when it does happen.
7. A combination of the above. This is also very likely. The price of gold will simply be allowed to rise to clear the market. They revalued gold with the stroke of a pen in the 1930's and could very well do it again. All that needs to be done is for the government to state that it will now purchase gold for a set dollar amount and then all gold, everywhere, would be worth that amount. Like an equity trading on a stock market, it's the last trade at the margin that sets the value of every other stock of the company.
Someone, somewhere, in the US power structure knows what the plan is but isn't telling us - but rest assured - there is a plan. There is always a plan. To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, nothing happens by chance in government. Don't be caught up in such a 'surprise' event - whatever it may be and whenever it occurs.
Take note: Holding physical gold is your lifeline in any of the above scenarios.
Jerry Western is author of the newly available book, "Got Gold? Get Gold!" which is available online and at major book retailers. Lorimer Wilson is editor-in-chief of FinancialArticleSummariesToday. Western provides a Model Portfolio Service listing his top Precious Metal picks and weighted rankings available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "peek" in the subject line while Wilson offers a free weekly "Top 100 Stock Market, Asset Ratio & Economic Indicators in Review."