Friday, June 6, 2008
A group called the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee claims that the U.S. government has defrauded the American people out of the nation's wealth. Specifically, the group claims that the U.S. has secretly sold, leased or otherwise frittered away half of its entire gold reserves to pay for past military adventures abroad and other ill-conceived actions. Furthermore, the group claims that the government has intentionally covered up this loss of gold reserves through accounting fraud.
Are they right?
Well, as described by Darryl Robert Schoon in his book "How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process":
Frank Veneroso is the author of the Gold Book Annual, probably the most comprehensive study and analysis of gold markets available today. One of the world’s foremost financial analysts, Veneroso’s clients have included the World Bank, the Organization of American States, sovereign nations and global money managers.See also this.
Frank Veneroso is also chief investment strategist for RCM Global Investors, the equity investment arm of Allianz Dresdner, the giant German insurance conglomerate which also owns the PIMCO bond funds, the bailiwick of Bill Gross.
It was in compiling the statistics on gold markets that Veneroso discovered that the Central Banks were hiding the vast majority of their gold loans from public view. Veneroso estimated that by the late 1990s, the highly lucrative and still hidden gold-carry trade amounted to 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of gold.
The Central Banks pointed to their books which showed receipts showing large amounts of gold on deposit. What Veneroso suspected and found to be true, however, was that the gold wasn’t there. Ten to fifteen thousand tonnes of gold, an amount far larger than the Central Banks would admit, had been loaned to the investment banks in order to suppress the price of gold and now, in Veneroso’s opinion, were never coming back.
Veneroso noted that the amount of physical gold lent, 10,000-15,000 tonnes, is far too large for investment banks to repurchase without causing the price of gold to explosively rise, the very result the Central Banks had set out to prevent.
The success of the gold-carry trade had led to its failure. Now, at the cost of almost half of their gold reserves, the Central Banks are left only with promissory notes from investment banks instead of the tons of physical gold they had once possessed.
Whereas someone you know, perhaps even yourself, may in the very near future be forced out of their foreclosed home by bank order, rest assured that the investment banks will suffer no consequence for not repaying the gold they borrowed from Central Banks, gold that belonged to the nations that lent it, not its Central Bankers. In matters of finance, especially, the “even hand of justice” is reserved primarily for those that cannot afford it. It is estimated that in the past, Central Banks’ holdings of gold totaled 32,000 tonnes; and Veneroso’s figures show that perhaps 50 % of that is gone. This newly-discovered charade of Central Bank bookkeeping is as fraudulent as Enron’s; and as with Enron, the bookkeepers were complicit in the deception.
Are Veneroso and GATA right? I don't know.
But given that the wealth and stability of our nation is at stake, we should support their attempts to find out. The group has launched a campaign and filed a freedom of information act request to uncover the truth.
If you don't have any background in the history of gold, here is a very brief history:
- The world's leading currencies (or "reserve currencies") have traditionally been backed by gold, at least since the days that shells were the preferred trading standard
- At the end of World War II, it was agreed by the wealthiest nations through the Bretton Woods agreement that the U.S. would be the world's reserve currency, but that the U.S. dollar would be backed by physical gold (the "gold standard")
- Because of huge over-spending on foreign military adventures, the U.S. had a gold deficit and was on the verge of economic disaster, and so in 1971 Richard Nixon suspended the gold standard (i.e. he de-linked the dollar from its gold backing)
- GATA and others allege that the U.S. and other wealthy nations have since intentionally suppressed the price of gold so as to make their non-gold backed currencies seem more valuable, and to hide the true level of inflation effecting paper money
- Part of this suppression has allegedly included dumping gold from Fort Knox and foreign gold repositories onto the gold market whenever the price of gold has drifted upward too much for their liking