Howe commentary summarizes gold situation and speculates on a golden future


10:51p ET Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Barrick Gold says it will sue Blanchard & Co.
for libel in Canada for statements connected
to Blanchard's anti-trust complaint against
Barrick in federal court in the United
States. The Reuters story about Barrick's
threat is appended here.

If Canadian libel law remotely resembles U.S.
libel law, or has any fairness to it at all,
any such action by Barrick will provide
Blanchard with a second opportunity to prove
its complaint against Barrick and a second
opportunity to compel Barrick and its
counterparties, like Morgan Chase, to produce
evidence and testimony under oath. That is,
even if Blanchard's lawsuit in the United
States is dismissed on procedural grounds,
Blanchard could still pursue the truth in
a Canadian court.

Imagine not one but two chances to go through
the books of Barrick and Morgan Chase in public
and to force the executives of both companies
to tell all they know about the gold market....

That's why it's a good guess that Barrick's
threat is just a publicity stunt and will be
withdrawn if it ever gets close to trial.

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

* * *

Barrick files libel notice against Blanchard

TORONTO, Jan. 29 (Reuters) -- Barrick Gold
Corp., the world's No. 2 gold producer,
launched libel proceedings in Canada on
Wednesday, seeking "substantial damages"
against U.S. bullion dealer Blanchard & Co.
Inc. for published remarks that Barrick says
harmed its reputation and business interests.

Toronto-based Barrick said it served a libel
notice on Blanchard, which bills itself as
America's biggest physical gold dealer, and
its chief executive, Donald Doyle Jr., on
Wednesday for a series of statements
published since mid-December.

Blanchard spokesman Neal Ryan said the
company had received the notice but had not
had the chance to review the documents.

Barrick's decision to go after Blanchard for
defamation follows an anti-trust lawsuit
filed by New Orleans-based Blanchard that
alleges Barrick and investment banker J.P
Morgan Chase made $2 billion in short-selling
profits by suppressing the gold price at the
expense of investors.

Barrick has dismissed the allegations in the
lawsuit as ludicrous and without merit.

"Blanchard has made statements that have no
basis in fact and are totally irresponsible
and defamatory," Randall Oliphant, Barrick
president and chief executive, said in a

"We value our good name, and we are simply
not prepared to tolerate the dissemination of
false statements concerning Barrick that are
harmful to our reputation, business
interests, and stakeholders -- by Blanchard,
Doyle, or others."

Barrick said the notice of libel was the
first step in legal proceedings for
defamation in Canada.