Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bailing out the gold traders?

Here's an interesting story from Thomas Tan in SafeHaven yesterday:

... There has been a lot of discussion among gold investors on gold manipulation by central banks... I am not quite into the old conspiracy story, but financially I see incentives and benefits for central banks to lease and loan gold to bullion banks during gold's bear market... However if gold is on [an] explosive move like right now, bullion banks will suffer heavy losses when they buy back gold in the open market. Whether this act can be called manipulation and conspiracy? Maybe, but it was probably more financial interest driven, and suppressing gold as secondary goal.

... in May 1999, the then Chancellor Gordon Brown (now Prime Minister) of Britain sold 415 tonnes of gold, almost 60% of its total reserves, leaving Britain with only 300 tonnes. 11 days earlier, Brown had requested the IMF to sell $10 billion of its gold on the open market too. So far no real reason has been officially offered for selling gold in such a hurry... According to Mr. Schoon, it is rumored that British was acting probably in a joined effort with US Fed to save a large Wall St bullion bank which had a 1,000 tonne short gold position loaned by the US government. And it was at the brink of disaster when gold took an unexpected rise at that time in 1999 and the tide was turning against them. If true, this bailout is no different than LTCM and the current subprime bailouts, except the US government had absolutely no choice in this case since it had to rescue the bank and get its gold back.

... No matter what happened then, today it seems: 1) Rise of gold is a nightmare for all CBs since they have been the net sellers; 2) All CBs have less gold than they claim to have, and will run out of ammunition to suppress gold and eventually be defenseless to protect their paper currencies; 3) At the end all CBs will have to turn themselves into net gold buyers from sellers.

5 comments:

dearieme said...

There must be a price of gold at which it becomes worth extracting it from sea-water, though perhaps the break-even point is rather high when oil costs 100 bucks a barrel.

SACKERSON said...

Solar power? It worked for salt pans.

hatfield girl said...

What was there in such a favour for Brown/Labour?

SACKERSON said...

Hi HG: ... perhaps a naive parvenu willingness to ingratiate?

hatfield girl said...

Some naivety, some ingratiation.