Philip Barton: How much gold stock is there really?


1:44p CT Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

In fascinating commentary published this week, Gold Standard Institute President Philip Barton compiles evidence that the world's gold stock may be 10 times or more the generally accepted estimate of 170,000 tonnes.

Of course GATA long ago established that officially reported Western central bank gold reserves likely exaggerate greatly the metal the central banks actually have in their vaults, insofar as most refuse to differentiate between gold on hand and gold that has been leased or swapped out. GATA also has established that at least the central banks of China and Saudi Arabia lately have held far more gold than they have reported officially.

Barton's commentary addresses both official-sector and privately held gold, including the immense amount of gold said to have been looted from Asia by Japan during World War II, stored in the occupied Philippines under Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, and eventually recovered by the United States.

Given the secrecy imposed on gold by both its government and private holders, hardly any assertion about the metal's possession can be proven to be impossible. But it seems unlikely that Western central banks generally and the U.S. government particularly had access to any fantastic hoard of gold at least as of March 1968, when enormous offtake forced the urgent and awkward closing of the London Gold Pool, the mechanism by which the United States and its Western European allies held the gold price to $35 per ounce. Given all the documentation from that era of the desire of the U.S. government and its allies to keep the gold price down to support the U.S. dollar, the United States could have kept the London Gold Pool going a lot longer if it had access to "Yamashita's gold."

But whatever the truth of the supposed Yamashita hoard, Barton rightly disputes those who claim that there isn't enough gold in the world to underwrite a return to a gold standard in currencies, "a common refrain from those whose self-interest it serves." A huge amount of gold would not be needed to support a modern gold standard, just a huge gold price.

Barton's commentary is headlined "How Much Gold Stock Is There Really?" and you can find it at the Gold Standard Institute's Internet site here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.


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Lewis E. Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute, sponsor of The Gold Standard Now project, has released a plan to restore economic growth through a stable dollar.

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