The Investment Scientist

Archive for April 2018


trade-deficit.jpgIn 1971, Nixon ended the gold standard and since then the US has been consistently running a trade deficit. The US has not gotten poorer but instead has benefited tremendously from trade deficits.

Prior to that time, foreign holders of dollars could  redeem the money in gold and ship it out of the country, resulting in the loss of national wealth. That’s why prior to 1971, the US generally had a trade surplus.

After the ending of the gold standard, the US dollar became a fiat money that can theoretically be printed at will. When the trade deficit with China was $350 billion last year, what it actually meant was that China sent us $350 billion worth of goods, and we gave them our printed paper(fiat money dollar) in exchange. The USA is the only country that can do that because the dollar is the world currency! I suspect China is secretly envious of our position. Read the rest of this entry »


Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


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