France: Piggy Bank

In his gold war against the U.S., Charles de Gaulle in the past 20 months has amassed a huge hoard of bullion. With Finance Minister Michel Debre acting as De Gaulle's Goldfinger, the French this year have been cashing in dollars for gold at a $54 million-a-month rate. Last week the Bank of France reported that as of Aug. 1, France had hoarded $5.13 billion in gold.

Gold now constitutes 86% of all French reserves, compared with 73% at the end of 1964. Moreover, the government is squirreling away the precious metal at such a rate as to account for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!