Sovereign Man has a must read piece for the new year where he discusses how when priced in gold, the US economy is at depression-era levels.
Simon Black plotted GDP per capita numbers since 1791 denominated in ounces of gold and found some startling results:
We have just ended the year at 28.40 ounces of gold per capita (based on trailing twelve month GDP data). This is an astoundingly low figure.
To put it in perspective, since the end of the Great Depression, US GDP per capita has only been under 30 ounces of gold two times– this year, and 1980. That's it.
In fact, the post-war average for the US economy is 72.83 ounces of gold per capita, so the economy today is an amazing 61% off this historical average.
Right now, the largest economy in the world is producing as much as it did in 1931, almost at the peak of the Great Depression. And no matter what the talking heads and politicians say, the data show that the trend is getting worse. Today's figure is worse than last year, which was worse the year before.
This trend of economic contraction goes back to 2001. Curiously, this time period also coincides with the greatest expansion of debt and the monetary base in history. Hmmm. Coincidence?