Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Well, here's some data:

Charles de Gaulle « The Burning Platform

In early 1971, de Gaulle sent a French battleship with a hoard of dollars to convert to gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The British ambassador to Washington conveyed the August 11 instruction of his government, conversion of $3 billion dollars into gold, to be stored in the underground vault of said bank. Other foreign governments had gold stored there also.

From where De Gaulle was in 1971, that must have been difficult...

Or this, from Henry CK Liu:

Asia Times Online :: China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong Kong News and Business.

John Connally, Treasury secretary under president Richard Nixon, had told foreign finance ministers that "the dollar was America's currency, but your problem". To solve the problem, France redeemed its dollar holdings in gold in early August 1971 by sending a French battleship to New York to take delivery of French gold from the vault of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and to bring it to the vault of the Banque de France in Paris. The French raised gold reserves and dumped dollars. Banque de France eventually increased its gold holding to 92% of its reserves.

The accounts don't quite coincide, even though Liu doesn't mix the late Great Charles in there.

Dreary Turden:

Guest Post: The Original Dollar Crisis And How It Led To Today's Crisis - Part 1 | ZeroHedge

France redeemed $191 million for gold by sending a French battleship to New York to take delivery of the gold from the Federal Reserve and to bring back to  France.[5]

But his footnote refers back to Liu in Asia Times.

Still, here's Yannis Varoufakis to the rescue:

Surplus recycling, currency unions and the birth of the Global Minotaur « Yanis Varoufakis

In August of 1971 the French government decided to make a very public statement of its annoyance at the United States' policies: President George Pompidou ordered a destroyer to sail to New Jersey to redeem US dollars for gold held at Fort Knox, as was his right under Bretton Woods! A few days later, the British government of Edward Heath issued a similar request, though without employing the Royal Navy, demanding gold equivalent to $3 billion held by the Bank of England.  Poor, luckless Pompidou and Heath: They had rushed in where angels fear to tread!

President Nixon was absolutely livid. Four days later, on 15th August 1971, he announced the effective end of Bretton Woods: the dollar would no longer be convertible to gold.

"Battleship", btw, is almost certainly nonsense. A destroyer, more like it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 09:03:29 AM EST
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