The Nixon Shock - Nixon Ends the Bretton Woods Agreement and Closes the Gold Window
On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon in a nationally televised speech unilaterally and without warning ripped up the Bretton Woods agreement. In his address, Mr. Nixon announced that he was “temporarily” suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold. That temporary suspension is still in effect. Nixon justified his action as necessary to protect the dollar against nameless “international speculators” who held the dollar “hostage” and to help the United States worker.