The Gowdie Letter (AUS) – Rather than act with restraint, on August 15, 1971 Nixon decided to remove this pesky gold standard. While not perfect, it did act as a brake on rampant money printing and credit creation. The era of credit expansion was born. The following chart is from FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data). It shows the level (in billions of US dollars) of all debt in the system (blue line) and economic activity (red line) since 1950.