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Why does Austria wish to repatriate its gold ?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Many central banks around the world are aware the international monetary system is moving away from the US dollar and that the role of gold will (officially) be much greater in the future. In this development central banks benefit from a smooth and slow transition to a new system, as sudden shocks will bring the global economy in a free fall and more time provides better preparations. Central bankers prefer slow and attentive change. Signs of the slow development towards gold by central banks can be seen across several continents. In Europe slowly more and more countries are repatriating their gold from the UK (Bank Of England) and the US (Federal Reserve Bank Of New York).

Austria reserve assets

Austria reserve assets

Certainly not all their gold but weighed amounts and in the case of Germany and Austria the gold is repatriated over several years. If all European countries would repatriate all their gold at once it would cause a panic in financial markets. In the East, Russia and China are increasing their gold reserves every single month by relative small amounts, respecting the slow development towards gold. Asian central bankers differ from their European colleagues because they verbally acknowledge the role of gold in finance.

In 2004 Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank Of China, said:

… China’s gold market should move from commodity trade to financial product trade. Gold is a commodity that combines the attributes of a currency, financial commodity and general commodity. … gold still has a strong financial nature and remains an indispensable investment tool. In financial centers in the world, the gold market – together with the money market, securities market and FX market – constitutes the main part of the financial market.

Obviously all these central banks are aware what the future will hold. How else can we explain Europe’s repatriating gold policy and Asia’s buying gold policy?

Candid statements from European central bankers regarding their gold policy are scarce. The slow developmenttowards goldpreviously described is usually covered in excuses by European policy makers. I can recall the Dutch Minister Of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, was asked in a television interview why the Dutch central bank (DNB) had covertly repatriated 123 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2014. Dijsselbloem answered with a condescending smile, saying, “ the decision was made by DNB to spread its gold stock in a more balanced way, but it was of little importance”. Of course the military operation that DNB had carefully planned and executed over the course of two years was of utmost importance for the financial well being of the Netherlands, but Dijsselbloem could not openly acknowledge this importance because of the sensitivity of the subject. Just like Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2011:

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

Read more …

China 2014 gold demand heading for 2,100 tonnes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

With gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange having reached 1,761 tonnes by November 14, and weekly withdrawals since the Golden Week holiday at the beginning of October averaging comfortably over 50 tonnes, China looks to be heading for an annual demand total (SGE gold withdrawals equate to overall demand) of comfortably over 2,000 tonnes again this year assuming these levels are maintained.

Historically November and December are strong months for Chinese gold demand ahead of the Chinese New Year (February 19 2015), which suggests gold demand will remain strong through January and the first half of February too.

CHINA 2014 GOLD DEMAND

Indeed should the current weekly demand levels hold up – the past six weeks have seen withdrawals from the SGE of 52 tonnes, 54 tonnes, 47 tonnes, 60 tonnes, 52 tonnes and 68 tonnes respectively – then we could be heading for an annual figure of around 2,100 tonnes. This is not far short of last year’s record of 2,199 tonnes as stated by the China Gold Association in its China Gold Yearbook released in September (of which 1,507 tonnes came from imports of gold bullion, 17 tonnes in dore imports from overseas mines, 428 tonnes of domestically mined gold thus leaving 247 tonnes to have come from recycled gold scrap. Figures are all from Koos Jansen, Nick Laird and the China Gold Association).

Reading more


Monopoly money is no game nor investment

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The US would have exported a total of 215 metric tons of gold bullion to Hong Kong as well as other small quantities of Dore’ not yet specified.

Hong Kong is the only country to have received so much gold. If you have a close look at the table below, Switzerland comes in second at 150 metric tons.

TOTAL US GOLD EXPORT 2013

TOTAL US GOLD EXPORT 2013

August is the highest month at 30.7 metric tons.

According to the information released by the USGS, the US exported 57 metric tons of gold bullion to Hong Kong last January.

US total gold bullion export to Hong Kong

US total gold bullion export to Hong Kong

This new record is three times more than the amount of gold exported in January 2013 (17 tons) and 84% more gold than the record set in August 2013 (31 tons). Gold bullion goes from the US to the East;

Total gold exports in January 2014 (80.7 tons) nearly surpassed the total hit in March 2013 (80.8 tons).

Where was the majority of the remaining gold exported in January 2014?

Gold Bullion:

Australia 3.1 tons, Thailand 2 tons, Switzerland 1.5 tons and Singapore 1.0 ton.

Dore’:

Switzerland 10.6 tons, India 2.7 tons and United Arab Emirates 1.4 tons.

The Western countries carry on playing with Monopoly money whereas the Eastern countries accumulate as much gold as they can.

Fiat money or Monopoly money is no good. So much of if has been and still is printed out but is not backed by gold. It’s worth nothing. The Eastern countries have understood the importance of having gold. One should invest while prices are low.

India’s silver imports dropped by 40%

Friday, April 11th, 2014

This is what has been announced by the Indian Government.


India is the second largest buyer of silver and Indian trade ministry confirmed the information that silver imports  dropped to $33.46 billion in 2013/14. This could be due to a series of restrictions rules that the government imposed in order to decrease the current account deficit.

Last March, gold and silver imports dropped by more than 15%.

The Reserve bank of India (RBI) finally allowed five private banks to import gold. Will that mean that the tough rules on imports will be eased ?  We do not think so since Indian authorities made physical checks of gold stocks held by wholesalers in order to ensure that inventories tally with the amount imported through legal channels. The checks were part of efforts aimed at curbing gold smuggling.

Pakistan even temporarily prohibited gold imports so to check smuggling to neighbouring India.

One has to expect that next Indian elections could change somehow the present situation.


Gold as a private currency

Friday, March 28th, 2014

For the system to function once again, gold should constitute a private currency for which only users would be the guarantors; as in the spirit of SALT (system or service of local exchange), but with the advantage of a quick exchange, which would not rely on waiting for a service rendered by a neighbour.
“Gold was always the currency of choice of the free man, but the statesman does not want free men.” (Andre Dorais, in Le Québécois, September 21st, 2009).
Over recent years, gold has been exploited for political purposes, for instance the Chinese government’s policies on increasing gold holdings, or, equally politically inspired, Gordon Brown’s sale of nearly half the UK reserves. Yet gold is essentially apolitical: it has the same value beyond borders; it is the savings of conservative voters, the private currency of people of the left and even of the anarchists who await a new world order.
Could gold then be the federator, the currency of the future around which everyone would get together and exchange, without an intermediary as manipulator? It has after all the necessary qualities to constitute a private currency.

In opposition to the currency issued by a central bank, private currency is a financial security issued by a private bank (or free bank). A contract defines the conditions according to which the issuer guarantees the value and the liquidity of its currency, as well as the standard by which to measure the value of the currency.
If the value which one gives to a currency remains subjective, that of gold is universally recognized so that it can very well be used as a “value meter” (of standard) for any currency – and gold has itself the advantage of having once been actual currency, for example, French 20F &10F Napoleons or British gold sovereigns (Fig. 6).
Moreover, the value of the private currency is decided only by the currency contract, the private contract signed between the issuer and the user: thus, its value does not depend on the political whims of a state. The growing mistrust of citizens with respect to official currencies may one day encourage them to use a non-governmental currency tied to gold. It would thus constitute a true shield to the benefit of individual freedom.

Amazingly it is in the US that this has already started happening in the state of Utah where they have remonetized gold. Discontent with the erosion of their wealth and purchasing power arising from the effects of quantitative easing (devaluation of the dollar) citizens have campaigned for and forced new laws into being that have led to the establishing of a state depository where gold and silver coins can be stored. This new currency allows participants to conduct commercial transactions including paying their taxes using the value of their stored gold. They have introduced a card which can be “loaded” with dollar equivalents of their gold holdings so even though they have to spend dollars it is deducted from their precious metal account balance. This is effectively the reintroduction of the Gold Standard in one forward-thinking state whose citizens have lost patience with the dollar and the “untouchables” who manipulate it.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure,President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

The Krugerrand 1 once

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Krugerrand is probably the original Gold bullion coin. It was introduced in 1967 as a vehicle for private ownership of Gold whilst also being circulated as currency, hence being minted in a durable alloy. From 1980, further sizes were introduced. See specification table overleaf.

Details

pict krugerrand 1 ONCE The history of the Krugerrand begins with the South African Chamber of Mines which had the inspired idea to market South African Gold by producing a one Troy ounce bullion coin to be sold at a very low premium over the intrinsic Gold value. It was intended to be circulated as currency, hence it was minted in a more durable alloy and contained 2.826g copper to resist scratching and thus giving the coin its golden hue. At the time of launch, the Krugerrand was the only accessible Gold investment opportunity for the everyday buyer and this thought came through from the inception. It was the fi rst coin to contain exactly 1 Troy ounce of Gold.
Despite the coin’s legal tender status, economic sanctions against South Africa made the
Krugerrand an illegal import in many Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s. These sanctions ended when South Africa abandoned apartheid in 1994 and the Krugerrand once again regained its status as one of the worlds’ leading bullion coins.
In 1967, only the one ounce coin was available. From 1980, the fractions were available, namely, one half ounce, one quarter ounce and one tenth ounce. The name is derived from a combination of Paul Kruger, a well-known Boer leader and later President of the Republic and the Rand, the monetary unit of South Africa. The obverse side features the Otto Schultz image of Kruger along with the name of the country “South Africa” in the two languages, English and Afrikaans. The reverse side, designed by Coert Steynberg features the image of a Springbok Antelope, one of the national symbols of South Africa.
By 1980, the
Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the Gold investment coin market. For example, it is estimated that between 1974 and 1985, some 22 million coins were imported into the United States alone. Although it is not a beautiful coin, many millions have been sold since its introduction due to the policy of selling with a very low premium. The success of the Krugerrand led to many other Gold-producing nations minting their own bullion coins, such as the Canadian Maple Leaf in 1979, the Australian Nugget in 1981, the Chinese Panda in 1982, the US Eagle in 1987 and the British Britannia in 1987.
The
Krugerrand is interesting in that the government of South Africa has classed the coin as legal tender although it has no face value. It therefore fulfills VAT-free criteria for investment coins.

Investment Advice

There are various grading systems in use around the world. However, the British system is as follows:

investment advice krug
Essentially, the bulk of
Krugerrands are produced in a non-proof form although the South African Mint produces limited edition Proof quality Krugerrands as collector’s items. These coins in particular attract a healthy premium and are priced well above the value of the bullion alone. However, non-Proof coins also have a premium above the value of the bullion.
The Proof and non-Proof coins can be distinguished by the reeding, that is, the number of serration on the edge of the coin. Proof coins have 220, non-Proof have 180.

key facts krugerrand

Krugerrands are made of an alloy of Gold and Copper – this effect also being known as Crown Gold as it has long been used for the British Sovereign coins. Due to the popularity of the Krugerrand, there are also many fakes in existence and the investor should be wary. Copper alloy gives a much more orange appearance than silver alloy. Likewise copper is very durable and coins should be in good condition always.
The best marker of authenticity is the weight and this should be checked carefully using the table below since the Gold weight and total weight are known. Check also the reeding.

Specs

specs krugerrand
All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com are EF quality or above.

For further information: +44 (0)203 318 5612
info@lingold.com


The Panda 1 ounce

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Chinese Gold Panda is a popular series of Gold bullion coins issued by the People’s Republic
of China in Proof-like, brilliant uncirculated quality. They are issued in a range of sizes between
1/20 Oz and 1 Oz with larger 2 and 5 Oz coins being additionally issued in some years.

Details
panda 1 onceChina issued its first Gold coins bearing the Panda design in 1982. These were limited
to sizes of 1/10 Troy ounce along with 1/4 Toz, 1/2 Toz and 1 Toz. From 1983, the 1/20 Toz size was added and additionally a 2 Toz and 5 Toz coin is sometimes issued.
These strikingly beautiful coins are always issued in Proof-like brilliant uncirculated quality and prove very popular.
A different design was issued each year until the 2000. When the 2001 edition was announced, so too was a freeze of the design and thus the 2002 Panda is identical to the 2001. Collectors spoke up on behalf of the annual change and China responded by reversing their policy so that from 2003 onwards, the designs again change each year.
However, on the reverse side, it always features the endangered Giant Panda. It also features the size, Gold fi newness and monetary value.
The main design on the obverse of the coin has hardly changed, save for minor detail changes in the image. It features Beijing’s famous Temple of Heaven (Tien Tien) in the centre with Chinese characters on the top saying “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo” meaning People’s Republic of China and at

the bottom the year of issue. If it is a commerative issue, the theme will also be marked here.
There was an adjustment of the face values of the coins in 2000/2001 – please see
the table overleaf for details.
The Chinese mints usually do not employ mintmarks. In certain years, there have
been minor variations in items like the size of the date, the style of the temple and
so on. These allow the numismatist to identify the originating mint. In some years,
but not all, other marks and Proof marks (signifi ed by a ‘P’) have been added. The
four mints involved in the production of the Panda are Beijing, Shanghai, Shengyang
and Shenzhen.

Investment Advice

INVESTMENT ADVICE

All Panda coins are issued as pure Gold fineness, 999.9‰ and in theory have a low premium just above the value of the Gold.
However, their intrinsic beauty makes them very collectable and they attract good premiums.
As with any coin, the best quality grades will attract the best premiums. The early years in particular will be those with the highest premium. Although the coins were issued in Proof form, many were unpacked and have thus been damaged and are at lower gradings. The mintage figures should be carefully examined – the number originally minted is quoted but it has been found that production continues for various years, hence the total mintage may be quite a bit higher some years after.

SPECS

SPECS

KEY FACTS

All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com

are EF quality or above.

For further information: +44 (0)203 318 5612
info@lingold.com

How much does 1 gram of pure gold cost ?

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

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How to save with the LSP?

  • Connect to your LinGOLD account or create a new account
  • Signup free to the LSP programme
  • Buy each month a minimum of 1 gram of pure gold
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  • The gold is stored in a Swiss vault outside the banking system
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Minimum Purchase 1g pure gold per month*
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*The storage charges levied on your gold stored in the LSP are FREE, on the condition that you buy a minimum of 1 gram of pure gold per calendar month, before the last day of each month. If the minimum monthly purchase is not made, storage charges will be applied, currently £4 per month per 200g total weight stored.

What are the products that fall within the LSP?

  • All the fractions of pure gold (1 g, 10 g, 100 g) issued from bars or gold investment coins (Britannia, Sovereign, Napoleon 20F, Napoleon 10F, Panda, Vera Valor, etc)
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For further information on the LSP.

China remains the world’s largest gold consumer in Q3’13.

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

China bought 210 tons of gold during that third quarter as announced by the World Gold Council. It actually increased by 18% compared to Q3’12. This includes jewellery, gold bars and coins. China purchased even more gold than India. Traditionally, this latter is the largest consumer of gold but it does not seem so anymore. India bought 148.2 tons of gold which means that their consumption decreased by 32% year on year.
Demand for jewellery has been the most significant part of the global gold demand according to the World Gold Council since it registered a total of 487 tons (increasing by 5% compared to last year Q3). Global demand registered some 869 tons, decreasing by 21% over a year. However, demand remains strong in most countries and areas.

Guerre des monnaies
Does that mean that China is lacking confidence in the US dollar ? One thing for sure, China’s central bank keeps buying more and more gold for its reserves and particularly as a replacement for dollar assets. As we all know China is working on the yuan for it to be a rival to the US dollar on the long term on world markets.
Lack of confidence … should it be extended to banks ? In some countries, they are even talking about confiscating a quarter of their customers’ savings as part of a bail-in. Physical gold remains the best asset but should not be kept in banks vaults at all.

For best alternative, please visit Lingold.com.
Extr : Lingoro.com, World Gold Council & SwissAmerica.com

GOLD: WHY NO PRICE RISE COMMENSURATE WITH CENTRAL BANKS’ BUYING?

Monday, May 20th, 2013

By Mark Rogers

At the Money Week annual conference (held at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London, Friday, 17 May, 2013), two of the speakers, Mr Dominic Frisby and Mr Simon Popple were asked the same question: was the drop in the gold price in April manipulated, and if so by whom and why? Both speakers disdained conspiracy theories as the likely answer: nothing but fruitless speculation. Mr Frisby asserted that we deal with the cards as they are on the table. Another question was however a good and intriguing one. Why is the price still down given that central banks have been buying “hand over fist”?

ETFs

As I noted in “Gold in Flux”, the main cause of the drop in price was the sudden dumping of huge quantities of paper gold. If this was because those who held these paper stocks had suddenly come to realise that they were worthless, then this was a rational thing to do, in spite of the fact that it would drive the price of gold down. Indeed, at the conference Mr Frisby pointed out that as long as the next crisis is held at bay, or indeed that the present crisis is bottoming out (he was ruefully cautious as to whether this is indeed what is happening!), then it would be reasonable to say that the current price of gold is a fair one. After all it is still high, in comparative historical terms: in 2009 it was $950 an ounce.

This does not, however, address the possibility that the price of gold has over the last year been too low. I first discussed the possibility in “The Price of Gold”. Why might it be considered that the price has been low? Those wretched ETFs. The swelling mass of ETFs had become so much papier-mâché (literal meaning: chewed paper), clogging the market. This might have had the effect of keeping the price lower than it otherwise would have been. Equally, of course, it could have kept the price artificially high.

As previously mentioned in “The Price of Gold”, the probability that the central banks’ buying of gold has been spurred by Basel III is a reasonable inference, whatever else may have caused it, though of course it does not answer the question about why the price continues low (subject to Mr Frisby’s caveat.) In passing, it is interesting to note that unlike European central banks, China did indeed start compliance with Basel III rules on January 1, 2013, when they ostensibly came into force.

DRAG ON THE PRICE

Now it is entirely plausible that the ETFs continue their drag on the price of gold: ETFs have not been abolished or abandoned, merely that a large quantity have been dumped. And the price of gold therefore inevitably mixes (perhaps confuses is the better word) physical gold and paper gold.

Clif Droke quotes Bill O’Neill, principal with LOGIC Advisors: “The biggest negative continues to be the ETFs. We’ve had steady and constant ETF liquidation,” adding that many suspect the exodus is not over, and continuing: “Further, once major hedge funds rotate away from such an asset, they typically don’t jump right back in anytime soon. The big players are going to be slow coming back into the market.”

Mr Droke comments: “The unspoken reality for gold investors is that the increasing institutional demand for equities is taking the wind out of the sails of the gold market,” and goes on to quote Kitco News on Tuesday, 14 May, 2013: “Continued exchange-traded-fund outflows, strong equities and US dollar gains are limiting the upside for gold, while recently strong physical demand and continued central-bank accommodation are providing support.”

Mr Droke elaborates: “While there has been strong demand for physical bullion since the April lows, especially in Asia, the fact that stocks are garnering an ever-growing share of ‘hot money’ flows while gold is largely ignored by institutional and hedge fund investors isn’t helping the yellow metal’s cause.

“Moreover, as the value of S&P 500 Index increases while gold goes nowhere, it’s causing the relative strength for gold to actually decline. This gives the hedge fund and other sophisticated investors who look at technical indicators one less reason to invest in gold in the near term.

“Kitco reports, ‘A number of observers have cited the rotation into equities as one of the factors prompting an exodus out of gold exchange-traded funds so far this year….’”

This seems to be a very acute analysis of what is happening.

Another complicating factor is that while central banks are indeed buying up gold, some of the most important are continuing with, or continuing to threaten, more quantitative easing. This is another paradox waiting to be resolved, for as described in the Deutsche Bank, London Head Office analysis “Gold: Adjusting to Zero” (discussed in “Gold and the Keynesian Groupies”) QE pushes the price up, or is there some Mephistophelean spell that negates the gold price when it is central banks which buy it? (See “The Gold Standard: Further Encouragement from Wise Eminences”)

For the raison d’être of these articles on goldcoin.org read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS

For background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST

For a series of articles on the pernicious effects of progressive tax regimes: THE MORAL DILEMMA AT THE HEART OF TAXATION

For a review of one of the most important books on the financial crisis published last year: THE MESS WE’RE IN: WHY POLITICIANS CAN’T FIX FINANCIAL CRISES

GOLD DEMONETIZED BY THE JAMAICA AGREEMENT

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The role of the Dollar in the Bretton Woods Agreement

The decisive change that led to the Jamaica agreement was President Nixon’s suspension on 15 August 1971 of the convertibility of the dollar into gold. Until then this had been the keystone of the financial system created in July 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement, the chief architects of which had been Lord Keynes (despite his distrust of gold) for the British and Harry Dexter White for the Americans.  On 1 October 1971 the general assembly of the IMF asked the board of trustees to study and propose a comprehensive reform of the international money system.  This would be adopted by member States during a meeting held in Kingston, Jamaica on 7-8 January 1976, and included a set of provisions which put an end to the reign of gold.  The decisions taken focused on two main points:

1. The new exchange rate system

Member countries had to refrain from manipulating their exchange rate for competitive reasons and had to choose between three possibilities:

1. Not to assign parity to their currency which was to float freely on the foreign exchange markets;

2. To fix the value of their currency by pegging it to another currency or a Special Drawing Right* not to gold;

3. To link the value of their currency to one or various other currencies as part of cooperative mechanisms.

2. The role of gold

The solution presented was a compromise between the French argument that pushed for gold to remain part of the organization and running of the international monetary system and the American policy that had for a long time wanted gold to be withdrawn from its supreme position.  The agreement withdrew the status of the IMF and all references to gold and replaced it and its core functions with SDR whose dollar value is posted daily on the IMF website.  The consolation for gold was that central banks were given back the freedom to carry out transactions with metal without restrictions on them or the market.

This desire to remove gold as the standard of parity and to abolish the official price of the metal was completed by abolishing obligatory payments in gold for operations between the IMF and member countries and obliging the IMF to get rid of a third of its gold holdings (50 million ounces) by returning half to member states at the old price ($35 an ounce) and by selling the other half through public auctions.

Again we must add that the abolition of the official price of gold resulted in central banks being able to carry out transactions at a price derived from the market and to reassess metal stocks in their possession (as was very quickly the case with France and Italy).

Even if the United States made it known that they would continue to assess their reserve at the old official price of $ 42.22 an ounce and even if the first auction by the IMF lowered the price of gold on the world markets, at least for short periods, we can say that in the fact the results expected by the American policy and the IMF were a long way from being achieved.  The price of gold and gold itself still remain important elements of a vast political game: all things considered, if gold has survived, it’s because it has not stopped being the official metal that governments didn’t want it to be and wanted to forget.

Today, the dollar struggles and the new gold giants Russia, China and India are all looking in different ways towards gold as the international medium to back commitments or in the long term to oust the dollar as the international reserve currency. Closer to home the crisis that rose to the surface in 2008 has caused us to once again look at the stabilisation that resulted in the Bretton Woods agreement, which collapsed, partially due to economic expansion in excess of the gold standard’s funding abilities on the part of the United States and other member nations.

However, the problems of currency systems not pegged to gold lead to economic problems far worse.

Both France and Britain have envisaged such a stabilization. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were recalling the previous success and called for a “new Bretton Woods” agreement in October 2008. What Sarkozy and Brown envisaged was a new multilateral agreement to stabilize international finance in the 21st century, the way the 1944 conference, which established the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, stabilized financial relations among countries in the second half of the 20th century. The summit meeting of world leaders held in Washington, D.C., in November 2008 started a process that could lead to such an agreement. What would that take to succeed? What kind of leadership, and what kind of commitment, would be needed? History offers some useful lessons.

On several occasions throughout the Twentieth Century, political leaders in major countries sought international agreements on the global economic or financial architecture. Many of those efforts failed, Bretton Woods being the major exception. The central lesson that emerges from these efforts is that successful reform in response to a crisis requires three ingredients:

1. Effective and legitimate leadership combined with inclusive participation;

2. Clearly stated and broadly shared goals

3. A realistic road map for reaching those goals.

Of these desiderata, only number two, of course, is feasible: many things are easily said and agreed to, goals have a marvelous capacity for being broadly shared – at conferences. While these may be the central lessons learned by advisers and politician, because for such people diplomacy is all (as indeed witness the inability of the eurocrats to get beyond agreements and actually act to solve the eurocrisis); indeed it is possible that diplomacy in itself generates the lack of concerted action because there always has to be something to discuss at the next summit.

Gold the Real Lesson

The most obvious question to arise is: why in Kingston was a decision made to undo the successes of the Bretton Woods system? The immediate answer would probably be that the dollar was able to behave in ways that undermined other nations – but this was entirely because the gold-dollar peg was not a true gold standard even if it seemed to act like one most of the time. Nevertheless, this link did cause imbalances in favour of the United States, which the French, de Gaulle in particular, drew attention to during the sixties.

In spite of the success of Bretton Woods, that success was insufficient to prevent unilateral action by the American government, culminating in Nixon’s decision to abolish what was left of a gold standard in 1971. Henceforth, the goals and achievements of the new system, as much as what was deferred became dependant overtly on the behaviour of the participant countries. New rules in finance can only be devised by those who are the major players in the financial, industrial and emerging markets. Therefore any pretence of stabilizing the world economy was in fact abandoned in favour of powerful nations and cliques, the perfect recipe for currency wars.

In other words the lesson of Bretton Woods which ought to have been learned was that financial stability can only come about with a return to the classical gold standard (1870-1914). Kingston, Jamaica was a staging post on the way to the brink, the edge of which came into sight in 2008.

* The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement member countries’ official reserves. Its value is based on a basket of four key international currencies, and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. With a general SDR allocation that took effect on August 28 and a special allocation on September 9, 2009, the amount of SDRs increased from SDR 21.4 billion to SDR 204.1 billion (equivalent to about $ 321 billion). It should be borne in mind that this is a paper reserve, and for that reason is liable to all the defects of paper money.

This is a revision by Mark Rogers of an article posted earlier on this site by Maurice Hall redacted from L’Or [Gold] by Jules Lepidi and an article by J.M. Boughton (IMF Historian).

For the raison d’être of these articles on goldcoin.org read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS

For background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST

For a series of articles on the pernicious effects of progressive tax regimes: THE MORAL DILEMMA AT THE HEART OF TAXATION

For a review of one of the most important books on the financial crisis published last year: THE MESS WE’RE IN: WHY POLITICIANS CAN’T FIX FINANCIAL CRISES

GOLD: THE BOOK OF THE MOMENT

Monday, April 29th, 2013

livre3DReview by Mark Rogers

Gold, A Different Point of View by Paul McGowan

With a Preface by Bill Bonner

Published by Ferrington in association with LinGold.com

Following the drop in the price of gold a few weeks ago, record sales of gold coins were reported (see here, and here for a rise in its price). The publication of this little book is therefore timely and pertinent.

There may be many people who would like to hold some gold but are dissuaded by the thought of large and expensive ingots. But bullion is not the only way in which to invest in or purchase gold. Yet as the author states: “Gold is not just ingots. The common response to gold is that it is only for the wealthy: those heavy bars, alluring though they may be, are simply unaffordable.”

This book argues that this view of gold is misguided and misinformed: there are affordable routes to investment in gold.

Although short the book contains a wealth of information. There is an introductory chapter giving a brief history of gold’s 6,000 history, which includes its denigration by politicians and academics in the twentieth century; Keynes for example thought it a “barbarian relic”. Proudhon, Marx, Lenin, Hitler all denigrated it, and to this day it troubles the likes of Ben Bernanke and George Soros.

Gold’s function as a stabiliser of value and its use over time as actual currency coin in circulation suggest that gold is today an alternative currency, and this first chapter ends with a comparison of gold with modern economies, noting that the latter are not working, while attempts to remonetize gold are afoot in, for example, Utah.

There is also discussion of the vexed problem of clean extraction with some useful information about the certificating process that reassures investors that their gold has been mined under the highest standards.

Chapter Two, “Gold, the last bastion of individual freedom”, examines the role that gold may play in hedging one’s investment portfolio, as well as its potential as a regulating device, controlling the whims of politicians and central bankers. This chapter contains a concise guide to the problems of paper currency unsecured against tangible value, with the inevitable consequence that savings are eroded and destroyed and more and more paper is required to purchase fewer and fewer goods. In other words, paper currencies are a direct attack on people’s individual control of their lives, rendering it harder and harder for them to provide for themselves, their families and their futures. We have been here so many times in history, with the latest example being the eurocrisis, that it is nothing short of scandalous that the political and academic classes cannot see the lessons to be so plainly learned.

Gold on the other hand “observes a constancy. With one ounce of gold you can almost buy today the same quantity of basic goods as at the time of the Roman Empire or Egyptian civilization. Inder the Pharaoh Tutmosis III, one needed the equivalent of 2 ounces of gold to buy an ox. Today, 2.5 ounces would be needed. Inflation has been rather weak in 4,000 years!”

This is a salutary reminder of gold’s stabilising power, which is just the very thing that the modern politician resents about it.

A strong bullish potential

The importance of gold in the contemporary world is underlined by an examination of those countries which invest heavily in it, both at the national as well as the individual level. Russia, China and India are at the forefront of this investment, with others, such as Vietnam, making significant moves in this direction. There is a useful digest of information about these countries, the role gold has traditionally played in them and how they are managing their portfolios at present. This analysis clearly establishes trends which are not going to vanish: China indeed buys enormous quantities of it, even though she also produces it.

These markets ought to assure the potential gold investor that while prices do indeed fluctuate, bullish potential is always there in gold, and has been for most of human history. Any falls in the market have identifiable causes – for example, the wedding season in India sees a rise in prices. Indeed, this analysis is testimony to the fact that we have had 6,000 years to observe people’s behaviour with gold and make it one of the easiest assets to manage.

An Investment Portfolio

Nevertheless, the author does not argue that gold should be the sole asset in one’s portfolio, far from it. Instead it should be looked on as the preserver of a portfolio’s value, that depending on the scale of one’s other investments a relevant proportion should always be kept in gold to support the rest of the portfolio.

There is a very useful chapter on investments other than gold, such as arable land and forestry, fine art and fine wines. These all have valuable potential (after all, we all need to eat), but each has significant drawbacks which are clearly and carefully spelled out. Gold’s position as being free of such drawbacks means that it is essential to invest in it, as a hedge against the dormant disasters in the rest of one’s investments.

And gold enjoys an enormous potential over any other investment, including in things such as diamonds that might seem to share some of gold’s economic potential. Gold is superbly versatile. Cut a diamond, and much of it is waste; melt an ingot of gold, and you still have the same amount of gold.

Gold Coins

The heart of the book is in its last chapter which really gets down to brass tacks – or gold coins! Coins represent gold at its most versatile, allowing even those who do not have huge fortunes to start saving in gold. While one ingot is beyond the reach of most, a single coin, perhaps purchased at the rate of no more than one a year, is a realistic and feasible option.

The book contains a wealth of information on tax regimes; storage; what to do and what not to do in actually physically handling coins and how to transport them; what to look out for as enhancing a rare numismatic coin’s value and what depletes it – all fascinating information in itself, and eminently practical.

“If we had to state only three reasons to buy: gold is a recognized and accepted safe haven throughout the world, demand from the emerging countries is strong and the total demand over the mid to long term is reliably forecast as being higher than the supply.”

The book is available on Amazon in a Kindle version (price: £5.14). Those readers who would like the printed version, should send a cheque for £12.50 (includes p+p) made out to: Ferrington, and send it to: Ferrington, Bookseller & Publisher, 24 Shipton Street, London E2 7RU. The book is also available as Buy It Now on eBay.

Rule of law or rule of Banks?

Friday, March 8th, 2013

The gold investor should always seek opinion from a broad spectrum of sources in order to get the whole 360° picture of current markets, tendencies, geopolitical influences, economic news and sales.
To this end we offer a compilation of pertinent information for you to peruse and digest at your leisure.

Here at Goldcoin.org we take a dim view of the perpetual impunity afforded to private companies that feel they are so big they are above the law which is the case for so many of the banking giants. Here are some tasters to articles revealing just how the US Attorney General has admitted that it is too difficult to prosecute large groups that could have a direct and detrimental effect on National and even International economies.
Needless to say the usual suspects are amongst the perpetrators/

Banks above the law

“At the same Wednesday judiciary committee meeting where Attorney General Eric Holder hemmed and hawed before acknowledging that the president cannot authorize a drone strike on American soil, against an American terrorist suspect posing no imminent threat, he explained why the Justice Department has failed to bring criminal charges against a single Wall Street bank. Mr. Holder suggested, as a Financial Times headline put it this morning, that some banks are “too big to jail.”Here’s what happened. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, asked for more information on why federal and state authorities chose not to indict HSBC after it acknowledged laundering money for Mexican drug cartels, helping rogue states avoid international sanctions and working closely with Saudi Arabian banks linked to terrorist organizations.
Mr. Holder said: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.”
It’s nice and all that Mr. Holder cares about the stability of the global financial system, but that is not Mr. Holder’s job. As attorney general he is the country’s top law enforcement officer, and in that capacity he should prosecute criminals and criminal institutions.”

How Many Billions Of Drug-Laundered Money Does It Take To Shut Down A Bank?

Here is the transcript from testimony regarding the Banks secrecy Act involving the US Treasury, Department of Justice and Financial Industry.
Merely confirms the worst – the banks have impunity………. and can continue to mis-sell products, ignore international sanctions, deal with rogue states and drug cartels …. because making money has no conscience, no boundaries, no morals, no ethics, no remorse ….. and therefore has no place in a world where us mere humans actually matter.

“Now in December, HSBC admitted to money laundering. To laundering $881 million that we know of for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. And also admitted to violating our sanctions for Iran, Libya, Cuba, Burma, the Sudan. And they didn’t do it just one time. It wasn’t like a mistake. They did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And they were caught doing it. Warned not to do it. And kept right on doing it. And evidently making profits doing it.

Now HSBC paid a fine, but no one individual went to trial. No individual was banned from banking. And there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC’s activities here in the United States. So what I’d like is, you’re the experts on money laundering. I’d like your opinion. What does it take? How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?”

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Near Bottom of Stress Tests

Interesting that 2 of the most powerful banks on the planet are dangerously low to the bottom limits required to pass the tests. Chances are that even these tests are skewed and really exist to pay lip service to the demands of politicians. In reality, both Banks would be in danger during another crisis. Their skullduggery innovations department must be on overtime working on their next get-rich quick scheme to reward themselves by robbing the “sheep” consumers who never seem to learn. They were of course big actors in the Facebook saga that saw someone make over $4 Billion in a few days due to the manipulated launch price.

Gold bar sales in China jump twofold during Spring Festival

Sunshine, Valentine and a Lunar New Year have helped boost sales of gold in China this year. Figures released by the Ministry of Commerce have shown a doubling in sales of gold bars.
We have long supported a theory that lots of individual investors buying gold is less suspicious than a huge purchase made by the central bank but at a point in the future if all gold was deposited in National banks it could prove the backing for the Yuan – directly valued against gold by a new gold standard – that allows it to pose as a reserve currency with meaning and true value.

Leonard Melman: Are You Prepared for Hyperinflation?

During an interview with the Gold Report with 24H Gold, Leonard discusses his analyses of the precious metals outlook for 2013 which includes references to the many areas of growing concerns regarding currency debasement and inflationary pressures often and previously discussed here. His conclusions like our own is that gold is not bursting its bubble but readying itself as the perfect store of value when the effects of a deepening crisis set in further during 2013.

GLOBALIZATION: A VIEW FROM THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

THE ROYAL EXCHANGE by Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

There is no place in the town which I so much love to frequent as the Royal Exchange. It gives me a secret satisfaction, and, in some measure, gratifies my vanity, as I am an Englishman, to see so rich an assembly of countrymen and foreigners consulting together upon the private business of mankind, and making this metropolis a kind of emporium for the whole earth.

I must confess I look upon high-change to be a great council, in which all considerable nations have their representatives. Factors in the trading world are what ambassadors are in the politic world; they negotiate affairs, conclude treaties, and maintain a good correspondence between those wealthy societies of men that are divided from one another by seas and oceans, or live on the different extremities of a continent.

I have often been pleased to hear disputes adjusted between an inhabitant of Japan and an alderman of London, or to see a subject of the Great Mogul entering into a league with one of the Czar of Muscovy. I am infinitely delighted in mixing with these several ministers of commerce, as they are distinguished by their different walks and different languages: sometimes I am jostled among a body of Armenians, sometimes I am lost in a crowd of Jews, and sometimes make one in a group of Dutchmen. I am a Dane, Swede, or Frenchman at different times, or rather fancy myself like the old philosopher, who upon being asked what countryman he was, replied that he was a citizen of the world.

Though I very frequently visit this busy multitude of people, I am known to nobody there but my friend Sir Andrew, who often smiles upon me as he sees me bustling in the crowd, but at the same time connives at my presence without taking any further notice of me. There is indeed a merchant of Egypt who just knows me by sight, having formerly remitted me some money to Grand Cairo; but as I am not versed in the modern Coptic, our conferences go no further than a bow and a grimace.

This grand scene of business gives me an infinite variety of solid and substantial entertainment. As I am a great lover of mankind, my heart naturally overflows at the sight of a prosperous and happy multitude, insomuch that at many public solemnities I cannot forbear expressing my joy with tears that have stolen down my cheeks. For this reason I am wonderfully delighted to see such a body of men thriving in their own private fortunes, and at the same time promoting the public stock; or, in other words, raising estates for their own families, by bringing into their country whatever is wanting, and carrying out of it whatever is superfluous.

Nature seems to have taken a peculiar care to disseminate the blessings among the different regions of the world, with an eye to this mutual intercourse and traffic among mankind, that the natives of the several parts of the globe might have a kind of dependence upon one another, and be united together by this common interest.

Almost every degree produces something peculiar to it. The food often grows in one country, and the sauce in another. The fruits of Portugal are corrected by the products of Barbados; the infusion of a China plant sweetened with the pith of an Indian cane. The Philippine Islands give a flavour to our European bowls. The single dress of a woman of quality is often the product of a hundred climates. The muff and the fan come together from the different ends of the earth. The scarf is sent from the torrid zone, and the tippet from beneath the Pole. The brocade skirt rises out of the mines of Peru, and the diamond necklace out of the bowels of Hindostan.

If we consider our own country in its natural prospect, without any of the benefits and advantages of commerce, what a barren, uncomfortable spot of earth falls to our share!

Natural historians tell us that no fruit grows originally among us besides hips and haws, acorns and pig-nuts, with other delicacies of the like nature; that our climate of itself, and without the assistance of art, can make no further advances towards a plum than to a sloe, and carries an apple to no greater perfection than a crab; that our melons, our peaches, our figs, our apricots and cherries, are strangers among us, imported in different ages, and naturalized in our English gardens; and that they would all degenerate and fall away into the trash of our own country if they were wholly neglected by the planter, and left to the mercy of our sun and soil.

Nor has traffic more enriched our vegetable world than it has improved the whole face of nature among us. Our ships are laden with the harvest of every climate: our tables are stored with spices and oils and wines; our rooms are filled with pyramids of China, and adorned with the workmanship of Japan; our morning’s draught comes to us from the remotest corners of the earth; we repair our bodies by the drugs of America, and repose ourselves under Indian canopies.

My friend Sir Andrew calls the vineyards of France our gardens, the spice-islands our hot-beds, the Persians our silk weavers, and the Chinese our potters. Nature indeed furnishes us with the bare necessaries of life, but traffic gives us a great variety of what is useful, and at the same time supplies us with everything that is convenient and ornamental. Nor is it the least part of this our happiness that while we enjoy the remotest products of the north and south, we are free from those extremities of weather which gave them birth; that our eyes are refreshed with the green fields of Britain at the same time that our palates are feasted with the fruits that rise between the tropics.

For these reasons there are not more useful members in a commonwealth than merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of Nature, find work for the poor, and bring wealth to the rich and magnificence to the great. Our English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, and exchanges his wool for rubies. The Mohammedans are clothed in our British manufacture, and the inhabitants of the frozen zone warmed with the fleeces of our sheep.

When I have been upon the change, I have often fancied one of our old kings standing in person, where he is represented in effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people with which that place is every day filled. In this case, how would he be surprised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former dominions, and to see so many private men, who in his time would have been the vassals of some powerful baron, negotiating like princes for greater sums of money than were formerly to be met with in the royal treasury!

Trade, without enlarging the British territories, has given us a kind of additional empire: it has multiplied the number of the rich, made our landed estates infinitely more valuable than they were formerly, and added to them an accession of other estates as valuable as the lands themselves.

AID TO INDIA THE LAND OF GOLD

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Mark Rogers

On February 10, 2012, I posted a prediction that the Barmiest Political Story of the Year would be the refusal by the British government to accept India’s rejection of the Department for International Development’s hand-out of £280 million a year: this aid programme is set to end after 2015.

Nothing barmier has emerged – only the original story getting even barmier. My original concern was simply that the Indian government had categorically stated that it didn’t want it, although of course at the back of my mind was the thought that India is a nuclear power – why was it deemed to need a hand-out?

India Orbiting Mars

It was reported just over two weeks ago that India is to launch a satellite which will orbit Mars. The cost of this project is just under one fifth of the amount of money that the Department for International Distribution of Other People’s Money sends to India each year. India has been conducting a space programme since the 1960s and has launched many satellites.

India is also a large regional military power – with a navy.

The Indian Military

Whether or not India intends to emerge as the region’s dominant military power is not at issue; what is at issue is that it is surrounded by hostile or potentially hostile powers, the obvious one being the ongoing conflict with Pakistan not only over Kashmir but also about Pakistani-backed terrorists operating in India in pursuit of goals other than just the Kashmiri issue. But India fought a war with China in 1962 – and China’s ambitions cannot be ignored (especially if its economy goes into a widely predicted decline). India has both the manpower resources as well as the economic wherewithal to provide for its own security. It has proud fighting traditions and its long association with the British Army laid solid foundations for its modern prowess.

Today it was reported that the Indian Navy is spending £1 billion on three warships – and buying them from Russia. This has caused a predictable uproar in the U.K., chiefly because the British Navy, along with the rest of the British armed forces, is being emasculated.

Yet here is the public purse being used to send “aid” to India, in pursuit of the Coalition government’s promise to raise the total spending on international aid to 0.7% of national income. Promise to whom, one has to wonder? There are serious problems with the Ministry of Defence – not just the usual overspending on projects that are then abandoned; not just that, unlike the Indian Navy, we no longer have any aircraft carriers (the Indian Navy has aircraft carriers and warplanes to put on them); but, most importantly, the large number of redundancies being inflicted on the services and a very serious crisis of military pensions.

No wonder the self-deluded International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell has been quoted as saying: “I completely understand why people question the aid programme to India and we questioned it ourselves.” Obviously he didn’t completely understand the answer.

Just to drive the point home, two things should be noted about the U.K.’s aid to India: first of all, India has become over the last two-three decades so much of a developed nation that it even has its own international aid programme; and second, that the money that the U.K. sends to India is borrowed – that’s right, we don’t even have the money that we dispense with such largesse!

Aid Targets

The Department for International Decrepitude justifies this largesse on the grounds that the money goes to targeted projects and is not just a general hand-out to the Indian government which then gets spent on Russian battleships. That misses the point entirely. Besides there are development projects run by Indian charities that are compromised by the aid money – it is not just the Indian government that has denied that it needs aid, autonomous organisations within India, working in the very poorest regions, have rejected the need for it.

Those who defend the aid to a country like India accept that India is now a major economic power, but point out that the country, with a population of 1.21 billion, is still riddled with poverty. This is saying nothing – it is like pointing out that Britain at the height of its imperial power still had pockets of dire poverty. The Empire didn’t go round asking for hand outs for the East End; the amelioration of poverty was the result of people’s own indefatigable efforts in a low tax environment, aided where needed by voluntary organisations and self-help societies.

None of this shakes the self-belief of those would dip their fingers into others’ pockets to bolster their sense of their own rectitude.

“Lord Ashdown emphasised the immense influence and respect that meeting our aid commitments and being a leader in international development gives us in international affairs. He then made the moral case for giving aid, arguing that the UK is a great country ‘and one of the reasons we’re a great country is because of our humanity.’ ” Thus the self-important Lord Ashdown at a debate organised by Save the Children and UNICEF, held in London in May.

Thus, the Indian government says it does not want or need Britain’s aid: such is the power of the “moral” case that the British government can “afford” to ignore the Indian’s in a fit of smugness that we – the colonial masters still, perhaps in imagination, eh, Lord Ashdown? – know best what’s good for Johnny Foreigner.

Readers curious as to why articles of this nature should be appearing on a gold investment website should read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS 

And for background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST