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In 1933 a millionaire was a rare bird and a million dollars was a lot of money.

Let’s see what a millionaire looked like in 1933 in ounces of gold and silver.  I’ll use the post-confiscation gold price of $35/oz.

One million dollars in 1933 was equal to 28,571/oz. of gold (three quarters of a tonne).  Today, it’s worth 730/oz.

In silver one million dollars was worth, believe it or not, 4,000,000/oz. (113 tonnes).  Today, it’s worth 46,992/oz.

When using precious metals to calculate who is and who isn’t a millionaire, it is apparent that, based on today’s numbers, we have many clients that make the cut but based on the 1933 numbers, not a single one.

The price of gold, in dollars, is up 39.14 times and silver an astronomical 85.12 times.

That’s what $17 trillion of debt and a Federal Reserve balance sheet that looks like this (see following graph) gets you…

St Louis Adjusted Monetary Base

The Federal debt in 1933 was just $22 billion.  Due to WWII, It jumped to $258 billion by 1945.

Since 2008, the Fed created enough new money to fund WWII 15-times over.  So, if you are looking for reasons why our dollar buys so few ounces of gold and silver today compared to 1933, perhaps this helps.

Gold and silver are UP this morning and so far, March has been kind to the precious metals.  Remember, I told you that March is traditionally the weakest month of the year for gold.  $1,400 is now in reach.