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WSJ: The Nixon Shock Heard 'Round the World
Lewis Lehrman, who served on the Gold Commission under President Reagan, acknowledges the fortieth anniversary of Nixon having taken America off the gold standard by reviewing the events that led up to that fateful day. Speaking of its aftermath, Mr. Lehrman notes:
At least one Camp David participant, Paul Volcker, regretted what transpired that weekend. The "Nixon Shock" was followed by a decade of one of the worst inflations of American history and the most stagnant economy since the Great Depression. The price of gold rose to $800 from $35.

The purchasing power of a dollar saved in 1971 under Nixon has today fallen to 18 pennies (see the nearby graph). Nixon's new economic policy sowed chaos for a decade. The nation and the world reaped the whirlwind.
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