Gold Prices Manipulated – and China Buying Gold to Challenge Dollar As World Reserve Currency – According to Leaked Cable
Wikileaks just released a 2009 U.S. State Department cable stating:
“China increases its gold reserves in order to kill two birds with one stone”
“The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)(04/28): “According to China’s National Foreign Exchanges Administration China ‘s gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries.
The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold’s function as an international reserve currency. They don’t want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar’s role as the international reserve currency. China’s increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB [i.e. the Renminbi – China’ currency]”
More Allegations of Gold Manipulation
Fed chairman Alan Greenspan said in official remarks in 1998:
Private counterparties in oil contracts have virtually no ability to restrict the worldwide supply of this commodity. (Even OPEC has been less than successful over the years.) Nor can private counterparties restrict supplies of gold, another commodity whose derivatives are often traded over-the-counter, where central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise.
In the January 31, 1995 meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC), Virgil Mattingly – the Fed’s general counsel – confirmed that gold can be bought and sold through the government’s Exchange Stabilization Fund:
MR. MATTINGLY. It’s pretty clear that these ESF [Exchange Stabilization Fund] operations are authorized. I don’t think there is a legal problem in terms of the authority. The statute is very broadly worded in terms of words like “credit” — it has covered things like the gold swaps — and it confers broad authority. Counsel at the White House called the Treasury’s general counsel today and asked, “Are you sure?” And the Treasury’s general counsel said, “I am sure.” Everyone is satisfied that a legal issue is not involved, if that helps.
The Fed has confirmed that it does indeed have gold swap agreements with foreign banks.
Other FOMC meeting minutes show that the Fed discussed manipulating gold prices to influence inflation expectations and the debt.
As I noted in 2008:
Yesterday, Conrad said that the gold market is manipulated. Specifically, he begins an essay on the gold market by pointing out:
There is no other leveraged commodity market where short sellers increase their positions, materially, as the price rises, and increase them even more when prices are exploding, except gold and silver. The reason traders don’t normally do that is that it exposes short sellers to unlimited liability and risk. Yet, in both March and July 2008, and on countless occasions over the past 21 years, vast numbers of new gold and silver short positions were temporarily opened up, with the position holders seemingly unconcerned about the fact that precious metals had just risen exponentially, and that there was a very real potential they would bankrupt themselves with unlimited upside potential. Normal traders would not expose themselves to such unlimited risks.
I conclude, therefore, that over the last 21 years or so, “fake” precious metals supply in the form of promises of future delivery have habitually been increased when prices increase until increased “supply” managed to overwhelm increased demand, leading to a temporary price collapse.
As CPM Group’s Jeffrey Christian testified to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission:
Precious metals are financial assets like currencies, T-bills, and T-bonds; they trade in the multiples of a hundred times the underlying physical and so people buying them are voting and giving an economic view of the world or a view of the economic world, and so when you start saying to a bank I have a number of people ….
Zero Hedge pointed out in 2009:
On June 3, 1975, Fed Chairman Arthur Burns, sent a “Memorandum For The President” to Gerald Ford, which among others CC:ed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and future Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, discussing gold, and specifically its fair value, a topic whose prominence, despite former president Nixon’s actions, had only managed to grow in the four short years since the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. In a nutshell Burns’ entire argument revolves around the equivalency of gold and money, and furthermore points out that if the Fed does not control this core relationship, it would “easily frustrate our efforts to control world liquidity” but also “dangerously prejudge the shape of the future monetary system.” Furthermore, the memo goes on to highlight the extensive level of gold price manipulation by central banks even after the gold standard has been formally abolished. The problem with accounting for gold at fair market value: the risk of massive liquidity creation, which in those long-gone days of 1975 “could result in the addition of up to $150 billion to the nominal value of countries’ reserves.” One only wonders what would happen today if gold was allowed to attain its fair price status. And the threat, according to Burns: “liquidity creation of such extraordinary magnitude would seriously endanger, perhaps even frustrate, our efforts and those of other prudent nations to get inflation under reasonable control.”
Also in 2009, Zero Hedge reported:
A recently declassified telegram to the Secretary of State sent in 1968, has some very distrubring revelations to gold “conspiracy theorists” who believe there could be an international arrangement to maintain a control over gold prices in the international arena. This is especially true as the G-20 meets currently in Pittsburgh behind closed doors. Could gold be one of the issues discussed?
We particularly bring readers’ attention to paragraph 13 in the telegram below, which present some troubling revelations (emphasis ours):
If we want to have a chance to remain the masters of gold an international agreement on the rules of the game as outlined above seems to be a matter of urgency. We would fool ourselves in thinking that we have time enough to wait and see how the S.D.R.’s will develop. In fact, the challenge really seems to be to achieve by international agreement within a very short period of time what otherwise could only have been the outcome of a gradual development of many years.
Furthermore, apparently 41 years ago the Plunge Protection Team had a more affectionate name (paragraph 11)
Special attention has to be given to the extent of the membership of the reshuffle club. A simple and effective rule probably would be that countries with asset holdings that are higher in relation to their gold holdings than the relation that is obtained amongst reshuffling countries are free not to participate in the reshuffles. On the other hand, countries whose asset holdings are relatively low (and whose gold holdings, therefore, are relatively high) should be obliged to submit themselves to the reshuffles. Indeed, this obligation seems so essential that it would have to become part and parcel of the new reserve asset scheme.
Also notable is the following disclosure (paragraph 3):
It is unlikely that the international monetary system could stand one or two more speculative crises like we have had last November and December during which gold losses were more than $1600 million. This is so because the point may be reached at which the speculation would reinforce itself in a cumulative way. Apart from this it is uncertain that members of the pool would be willing to go on supporting the market for such big amounts.
Entire declassified telegram presented below:
And Zero Hedge reports today:
From Goldman’s head gold trader Zak Dhabalia … who says what only fringe blogosphere dares to speculate: namely that central banks and/or metals excahnges (CME/LBMA) openly intervene at key inflection point to slam the price of gold down. More importantly, according to Zak, now that the latest “authority” intervention has been priced in, it is up, up and away for the yellow metal yet again.
From Goldman Sachs
After rallying nearly 100 usd last week from 1795 to 1895 with demand coming from the official sector and some leveraged players rebuilding length following the severe prior correction we traded to new all time highs of 1922 on Tuesday shortly before the Swiss Franc intervention. The immediate aftermath was in complete contradiction to prior recent episodes of intervention and what anyone would have expected. Instead of spurring a further gold price rally on the basis that it was one of the few remaining safe haven “currencies” we saw a 50 usd collapse in minutes. The source of this flow seems hard to pin down with some speculating over whether “authorities” were concerned about the signals of an accelerating gold price and its impact on other fragile markets. Soon after, much of the losses were recovered but the psychological damage had been done and there followed a series of liquidations from within the leverage space with gold closing down 50 usd on the day. This was then exacerbated by a near 60 usd flash crash within 2 minutes during the Asian session.
We have since traded down to 1795 yesterday with talk of technical damage (double tops etc) but recover to 1840 this morning. Despite the fact that discretionary leverage positions are significantly lighter there is still heaviness of CTA type positions that can be reduced. However official sector activity, and PWM is already using this latest dip to re-accumulate and it may be the case the market is already close to clean positions at ever higher prices.