Nov. 7th, 2007

xiphias: (Default)
So, okay, a Canadian dollar is worth 1.10 US dollars, and it's not a spike -- that seems to be where it's sitting. It SPIKED to 1.34 US dollars, and the 1.10 seems to be its actual level.

So, for the heck of it, I looked at the London Gold fix, which is something I haven't done in a while. See, the price of gold, to this day, remains something of a "gold standard" for currency. Since all currencies are measured against each other, it can be hard to use that as an actual baseline -- the fact that the Loonie is higher than the greenback just means that Canada's economy is doing better than the United States', but doesn't really say much about the health of the US economy by itself.

The London gold fix -- the price that a bunch of bankers in London decide is The Official Price Of Gold for that day -- is far from a perfect baseline, but it's not THAT bad.

I'm used to gold being something like $535/oz. If the dollar was very strong, it'd be fewer dollars per ounce of gold -- maybe $300 per ounce. During Clinton's presidency, it rarely traded above $400/oz, and was often even in the high $200's.

When Bush took office, gold was trading at around $260-$280 an ounce.


Eight fucking hundred twenty three dollars.

Of course there are other measurements we can take -- but. . . fuck. In terms of gold, our dollar is worth one-third what it was when Bush took office. Every single person in the United States who gets their money in dollars has lost TWO-THIRDS of our money.

Now, you look at this historically, and, obviously, nothing happens before 1968 when Nixon takes the US off of the gold standard. I mean, there's a blip in 1928 with the Great Depression -- I can't remember my history too well, but I think that's when they switched to a bi-metallic standard -- gold AND silver -- in order to increase the amount of money in circulation. But you don't get actual massive volatility until the US stops being on any sort of commodity standard.

So when's the last time the United States had this kind of massive inflation?

January, 1980.

All of 1979 was something of a run-up, from $220 an ounce to $520 an ounce -- and then it EXPLODES in January 1980, going from $520 to $830. It very rapidly cools down to a still-high-but-vaguely-more-sane 700, then 600, then starts just bouncing all over the place from 400 to 600 all the time.

In other words -- gold is now at the price where it was during the Carter Recession.

For what it's worth -- during the gas crisis, in inflation-adjusted dollars, crude oil was about $95/barrel. Right around where we are now.

So -- as far as economic leadership goes, our current president is the equal of Jimmy Carter.
xiphias: (Default)
My neck hurts. Has all day. Dunno why. Must have slept funny. Seems to have stolen my complete sentences and replaced 'em with fragments.
xiphias: (Default)
So, I was washing and disinfecting the humidifier, after not using it all summer (I disinfect it, because I figure there's probably mildew in there, given how good my housekeeping usually isn't). In the process, I accidentally knock over a bottle of bleach and spill maybe a cup of bleach on the floor of the kitchen.

Now, one thing I have to say is that ceiling fans are good things, but opening up the windows in November in Boston sucks.

On the other hand, one full roll of paper towels later, I can say that the part of the kitchen floor where the bleach spilled? Has never been cleaner.

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