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Executive Order 6102 is an executive order signed on April 5, 1933, by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.”
The executive order was made under the authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, as amended by the Emergency Banking Act in March 1933.
- Forbade ownership of quantities of gold coin, bullion, and gold certificates worth in excess of $100 (about 5 troy ounces), with exemptions for specific uses and collections;
- Required all persons to deliver excess quantities of the above on or before May 1, 1933 in exchange for $20.67 per troy ounce;
- Enabled Federal funding of Exchange Stabilization Fund using profit realized from international transactions against new Federal reserves.
The limitation on gold ownership in the United States was repealed after President Gerald Ford signed a bill legalizing private ownership of gold coins, bars, and certificates by an Act of Congress, codified in Pub.L.93–373,which went into effect December 31, 1974.
The stated reason for the order was that hard times had caused “hoarding” of gold, stalling economic growth and worsening the depression as the US was then using the gold standard for its currency
On April 6, 1933, The New York Times wrote, under the headline Hoarding of Gold, “The Executive Order issued by the President yesterday amplifies and particularizes his earlier warnings against hoarding.
On March 6, taking advantage of a wartime statute that had not been repealed, he issued Presidential Proclamation 2039 that forbade the hoarding ‘of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency’, under penalty of $10,000 and/or up to five to ten years imprisonment.”
The main rationale behind the order was actually to remove the constraint on the Federal Reserve preventing it from increasing the money supply during the depression.
The Federal Reserve Act (1913) required 40% gold backing of Federal Reserve Notes that were issued. By the late 1920s, the Federal Reserve had almost reached the limit of allowable credit, in the form of Federal Reserve demand notes, which could be backed by the gold in its possession.
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