All the Gold in Fort Knox

Here’s a sobering (at least for me) thought about the national debt.

When I was young, the phrase, “All the gold in Fort Knox,” was used as an analogy for an immense amount of something or an expensive item or comparative.

So, how does our current national debt, in the neighborhood of $18+ trillion,  compare to all the gold in Fort Knox?

There’s a smidge over 147 million ounces of gold in Fort Knox. That’s a lot! For accounting reasons, the gold is actually on the books at a paltry $42.22 per ounce.That values that gold at $6,206,430,000. Yeah, a surprisingly small $6+ billion. Apple probably has that much lost in its seat cushions at its Cupertino headquarters.

Gold is currently selling in the range of $1,150 per ounce. So if by some magical method the gold could be sold at that more lucrative price without crashing the market it would fetch $169,050,000,000. That’s a more impressive $169 billion.

But that $169 billion would barely scratch the $18 trillion national debt. Scratchdini would buff that out in no time.

In fact, it is estimated that all the gold in Fort Knox might be around 3% of all gold mined in history – just under 5,600,000,000 ounces. So if we take that number and sold all of the gold mined in history at our magical $1,150 per ounce we’d collect $6,413,550,000,000,000 or $6.4+ trillion, barely a third of the (rapidly growing) national debt.

In other words, our national debt is higher than the “value” of all the gold mined in history.

It’s something to think about when Pres. Obama cavalierly dismisses the debt or Congressmen of any party blow through hundreds of billions of dollars like its popcorn and we’re firing up a Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit marathon.

Here’s an interesting page to bookmark on all the debt we’re ramping up like we’re Rockhound in “Armageddon” and there’s no tomorrow.

BTW, I’ve done all these calculations on my own so there is no guarantee they are 100% accurate so it would be nice if someone who is good with numbers checked them.

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