The abolishment of the Dollar-Gold-Standard in 1973 is usually forgotten. Surprisingly even in economics it is not teached or discussed even though it provides a great example to economists about monetary policy, an economists role, and how important to the comma exact regressions are in reality (hint: less than you think). However, with the little which is provided now in historical archives of this incident we can already see the bottom line:
1. The US had a clear Agenda of demonetizing the gold. The goal in the longer run which they achieved was to get the Gold out of the monetary system. The reason is clear: Gold would have restricted the US empire to put the cost of its wars and expansion on the shoulders of others (especially the Europeans).
2. Central banks are not independent. All the above decisions were made in the oval office, i.e. the state not the FED. FED officials are supposed to serve a function. They are under constant political pressure and have to make compromises. Some crucial monetary variables are even fully out of their control like the decision of a gold standard or not or government debt management. In that case it doesn’t even matter how benevolent the FED is.
3. Reserve currency status is untouchable. Any theat to the reserve currency status and the enormous importance of the US banking (clearing) system is monitored with high attention. Foreign policy is used to maintain the status. A reserve currency allows the homeland to keep the peripheral dependent and always ‘linked’ to the center. Once you are dependent on dollars, you are at their will. In capitalism power expresses itself in and is reinforced by the monetary system as the appearence of money produces intended human behavior. Hint: In the current Ukrainian-Russian-USA conflict we see Putin exactly playing with the reserve currency status of the dollar as he knows how much it matters to the US while Western is not getting the full range of this.
My conclusion of this is as short as sad: Points 1-3 are all relevant to understand monetary economics. These facts have to be taken into account if economists want to really add value to public discussion (and if there are any, who feel that craving to actually understand the monetary phenomenon). Questions suddenly appear: Which is the White House’s agenda on the dollars position in the world today? To what extent does such an agenda influence todays monetary policy both at the FED and the White House? What are their instruments (IMF, DOJ, etc.)