Is Tax "Reform" Good for the US Dollar? How About Gold?

Let's investigate what happened after the last 3 major tax reforms. Another "reform" is on deck.

I picked up this idea from Holger Zschaepitz, @Schuldensuehner, who made the following Tweet, posting a chart from Bloomberg.

In the following chart, I add a key piece of legislation that someone inadvertently overlooked.

Tax Reform vs US Dollar 1986-Present

Key Dates

US Dollar Synopsis

  • Following the 1986 legislation, the dollar fell about 22% over the next six years.
  • Following the 2001 legislation and continuing with the 2003 legislation, the dollar fell about 37% over the next seven years.

What's Next?

The Senate version of the bill is likely to add over $1 trillion to the deficit, while not even cutting taxes beyond 2027.

A bill that adds so much to the deficit is not US dollar supportive, to say the least.

However, one cannot view these things in isolation. How the dollar reacts also depends on events in the Eurozone, China, and Japan, as well as Fed interest rate policy.

Global Currency Debasement

Global currency debasement is underway.

Things may be even crazier elsewhere, so a decline in the dollar is not guaranteed.

A Driver for Gold

Sooner or later, competitive currency debasement will matter.

Gold is likely to be the primary beneficiary.

I wish I could tell you when this matters in a major way.

Gold vs. Faith in Central Banks

Amazing Non-Reform Act of 2017

I have a suggestion for the name of the pending legislation: The Amazing Non-Reform Tax Act of 2017.

For further discussion of the "non-reform", please consider Tax Bill Analysis: Spend Your Extra $100 Wisely.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-15

Tax "reform" is merely tinkering; it is not a game changer. Assuming it passes in some form, most of the (limited) benefits are front-end loaded. Tax cuts of any significance would only end up raising both the federal deficit as well as the trade deficit. This might buy votes before the next election, but it will do little to stimulate the economy to any degree (the economy doesn't need stimulating anyway). To those who say that the US needs to lower corporate taxes to make its companies more competitive: you are assuming that other countries won't respond in kind. But they will. It will be a world wide race to the bottom for lowest tax rates. This will result in larger deficits in many countries. This will further reduce faith in conventional currencies and increase demand for both gold and crypto currencies. Crypto allows for further investment diversification but is very speculative. Do not risk more than 1-2% of your portfolio in crypto. My original 1% grew to 5%, so I cashed out and reduced my position to 2% (now 3% after the last two days). It's fun, but only when it's going up. Stay diversified.


1986 fall had more to do with the Plaza accord and an overvalued dollar than with the tax cut. Indeed the tax cut was part of the pending accord.


@shamrock hah! completely agree. Luckily my banner ads are for QLED TVs and Duracell batteries. Regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I prefer to call it "tax re-form."


Shame America and the UK don't buy 35 tonnes of physical gold a month and have a debt to GDP ratio of 8%. There's a lot Trump could learn from "the Don" Putin.


Mish if you haven’t already read it off Zero hedge might like