GoldSeek (November 1) relays Frank Veneroso's assessment that central banks may have disposed of up to 50% of their gold bullion:
... The manipulation of gold prices was first noticed in the 1990s by Frank AJ Veneroso, one of the world’s top investment strategists. As more gold bullion came onto the market depressing the price of gold, Veneroso believed the central banks were its source.
When queried, central banks denied Veneroso’s assertions. Central bank records, in fact, showed their gold reserves to be stable. But Veneroso was right and the central banks were lying. The gold moving onto the markets was indeed coming from central banks via their co-conspirators in capping gold, the investment banks.
Investment banks were borrowing central bank gold at 1 %, selling it thereby depressing gold’s price and investing the proceeds in higher yielding government debt; and, as long as the price of gold moved lower, the profits of investment banks increased (see The Manipulation of the Gold Market, http://www.gata.org/node/11).
The International Monetary Fund was complicit in this deceit as IMF regulations allowed central banks to count gold “swapped” or “loaned” as still being on deposit in their vaults. Veneroso now believes that up to 50 % of gold reserves claimed by central banks have already been sold—a fact that will be instrumental in our collective bet against central banks in their house of cards...
... Veneroso believes central banks sold 10,000–15,000 tons, equal to 320,000,000 to 500,000,000 ounces of gold over the last 20 years. Just imagine how high the price of gold would be if the central banks had not sold this staggering amount.
Today’s $800/oz. gold is a bargain—as is $2,000/oz. or $3,000 oz. gold—a bargain that exists only because central banks literally sold thousands of tons of our gold onto the market in their attempts to prove gold a poorer alternative to debt-based paper currencies.
Over a year ago, Veneroso estimated central banks had less than three years supply left to cap gold’s price. He also predicted the central banks would capitulate before then, keeping what little gold they had left. When this happens, the central bank subsidy of gold will end and the price of gold will skyrocket.
On the same site, Adrian Ash (November 2) looks at gold's disadvantages and decides that it is best defined not as a commodity, but as a currency:
Given that gold doesn't pay you anything in yield, interest or dividends – and that it does not have any real industrial value – the "investment motive" for gold can only be explained as desire to quit other assets. Or at least, to hold an asset entirely free from what drives other asset markets up and down.
... perhaps the gold market says investors are looking for protection against falling bond, real estate and equity values – as well as a falling US Dollar and slumping US economy.
So they are buying protection ahead of time. And to do that, they're buying gold – a wholly different asset from everything else.
One for the speculators. Meanwhile, perhaps the non-rich among us should take the precaution of paying off overdrafts, credit card debts and any other loans that can be called in at short notice.