Placer Dome hastens reduction in hedging

Section:

6:09p ET Monday, March 31, 2003

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

MineWeb's Ken Gooding has commentary on the
continuing ineffectuality of the World Gold
Council. You can find it here:

http://www.mips1.net/MGLdn.nsf/Current/8525690B0032142042256CF900607B6
3?OpenDocument

Or try this abbreviated link:

http://ls.shapebyforce.com/sbf/158

And below is a Dow Jones Newswires story distributed
today that quotes a Federal Reserve official as saying
that a weaker dollar is no big deal. Maybe not to him,
but it surely is of interest to the gold world and those
who think that the "strong dollar policy" has been
essentially a policy of surreptitiously suppressing the
gold price.

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

* * *

DJ Fed's Poole Says Dollar Weakness Not A Serious Concern

By Michael S. Derby

http://www.djnewswires.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?
storyId=2003033120070001.xml

NEW YORK, March 31 (Dow Jones) -- The recent decline seen
in the dollar relative to other major currencies reflects a
slowing U.S. economy and is therefore not a major worry, the
head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis said in
written comment Monday.

President William Poole said in the bank's April Regional
Economist publication that "if the dollar's recent decline can
be attributed to the slowdown in the U.S. economy, along
with corporate governance and geopolitical uncertainties,
which I suspect it can, then recent weakness in the dollar
is not a matter for serious concern."

"As the economy rebounds, I would expect foreign
investment to make a comeback, and the dollar with it,"
Poole said.

Between Jan. 2, 2002, and March 7 of this year, the dollar
is down 20 percent against the euro and 13 percent against
the yen, Poole noted in his remarks.

The bank president, who is not currently a voting member of
the Federal Open Market Committee, said there are some
upsides for the U.S. in a weakened currency, even though
the slide has for many a "negative connotation."

"Although American travelers and businesses are not able
to stretch their money as far on foreign soil. ... Foreign
consumers are able to purchase more U.S. goods with their
own beefed-up currency," Poole said.

That, in principle "should help reduce the U.S. trade deficit,
which swelled to a record $44.2 billion in December 2002."

It's also important to distinguish "strong" from "rising" and
"weak" from "falling," he stated.

"It makes no sense to interpret 'strong dollar' to mean an
exchange rate that is rising at a rapid pace forever," Poole
explained. "That would take the currency far away from any
reasonable equilibrium."

Instead, a strong dollar is "an exchange rate that is on
average relatively high and perhaps trending gently upward,"
he said. That is the pattern "most often associated with an
economy that is performing well" and "tends to attract
investment from abroad," with "one consequence a strong
currency," according to Poole.

The St. Louis' bank president's remarks on the dollar are
somewhat unusual for a regional Fed bank president.
Most Fed members decline to comment on fluctuations
in the currency, leaving the nation's dollar policy to
officials at the U.S. TreasuryDepartment.

In recent weeks, the dollar has been volatile relative to
other currencies, as traders have pushed the greenback
up and down in response to changing assessments of the
situation in Iraq. Last week, Treasury Sec. John Snow noted
the war's "positive" effect on the currency.

Monday afternoon in New York, the dollar was trading at
Y118.13, up from its global session lows around Y117.78,
but down sharply from Y119.71 late Friday in New York.
The euro was trading at $1.0900, just below its global
session highs at $1.0919 and up solidly from $1.0779
late Friday.

Against the Swiss franc -- a classic haven in times of
war -- the dollar was at CHF1.3535, steeply down from
CHF1.3696 late Friday. Sterling was at $1.5805, well
up from $1.5752.

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