Other maneuvers that undercut investors get labeled "technical defaults" by some historians and economists. A leading example is 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the nation off the gold standard amid the bank panics of the Great Depression. The nation's creditors were paid with dollars of much lower value than the gold they were due.
The Supreme Court said the government could do it, but mourned the abandonment of "the solemn promise of bonds of the United States."
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