From the historical data in
the World Gold Council’s archives
comes the chart below depicting the dramatic rise and fall of U.S. gold
reserves before and after World War II (note that the stair-step pattern
prior to 1950 was the result of data being available only in five-year
All sorts of helpful
annotations could be made here such as the surge in early 20th century U.S.
exports leading to a great accumulation of gold reserves under various forms
of the gold standard and then 1960′s “Guns and Butter” U.S. policies leading
to a great loss of gold reserves under the Bretton Woods system.