Money: The Gold War

Charles de Gaulle, who has long since learned how to use economics as a political weapon, last week hit the U.S. where it hurt: right in its gold reserves. In so doing, he sent shock waves throughout the international monetary system, of which the U.S. is the mainstay, and revived doubts about the system's basic strength and resiliency.

The French Ministry of Finance revealed that, following De Gaulle's order, France will convert at least $300 million of its $1.3 billion hoard of dollars into gold—in addition to the $400 million to $500 million it routinely cashes in each year. De Gaulle...

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