In Blanchard case, Barrick confesses to gold price suppression scheme


1:19a ET Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Barrick Gold has confessed that it and its bullion banker, JP Morgan Chase & Co., are the direct agents of the central banks in the international control of the gold price.

Barrick's confession was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans as part of a legal maneuver to gain dismissal of the federal anti-trust lawsuit brought against it and Morgan Chase by Blanchard & Co., the New Orleans-based coin and bullion dealer. Barrick moved to dismiss the Blanchard lawsuit on the grounds that the suit had failed to include as defendants some "indispensable parties" whose vital interests are at stake, the central banks; that the central banks, having what is called sovereign immunity against suit, simply could not be included in the suit; and that the suit therefore had to be dismissed.

Barrick's confessional motion was dated February 28 and is headlined "Memorandum in support of motion to dismiss for failure to join indispensable parties":

Fortunately, the judge hearing the Blanchard lawsuit, Helen G. Berrigan, denied Barrick's motion two weeks ago after an exchange in open court with one of the company's many lawyers, Mark D. Wegener. That exchange is appended here. The judge concluded that Barrick's motion to dismiss argued in effect that an illegal action involving "so many powerful entities from all around the world" is "going to be immune from being challenged."

"That's, as we say, not acceptable," Judge Berrigan said, denying Barrick's dismissal motion.

Barrick and Morgan still have other dismissal motions pending and much remains to be done before they can be held fully accountable for themselves in court and compelled to produce evidence and testimony.

But it is thrilling that Judge Berrigan has indicated that she will not be intimidated by all the (fiat) money and power in the world, and thrilling that one of the issues on which GATA consultant Reg Howe's trail-blazing federal lawsuit against the same conspiracy foundered -- sovereign immunity -- has been removed as an obstacle in the Blanchard case because of the much smaller number of defendants.

Building on the Howe case, the Blanchard case has an ever-improving chance of bringing transparency and honesty to the gold market and to national economic policy generally. GATA supports the Blanchard suit and urges its friends to inform the mining industry about the suit's encouraging progress.

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

* * *

From oral argument in
Blanchard & Co. et al. v. Barrick Gold Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Judge Helen G. Berrigan, presiding
May 29, 2003

The Court: How would those contracts be challenged, under your theory that everybody has to be involved? Because, how do you get jurisdiction over everybody?

Mr. Wegener: You can't.

The Court: So you all can just tally-ho and do anti-competitive stuff? ... So the idea is, if you get enough people involved in a monopoly, then you're immune from litigation?

Mr. Wegener: Well, I don't think it's quite that. ...

The Court: And you're saying it's not possible to bring everybody in?

Mr. Wegener: Yeah, I think you can't bring the central banks in because they're immune. You can't bring in all the bullion banks, because they're beyond the jurisdiction of the court. ...

The Court: I mean, if what you say is correct, then it sounds like the legal remedy is for individual plaintiffs, like, say, Blanchard, to go to the United States court, like he's done here, and go after J.P. Morgan. And then wherever these other entities are, to go to those courts, in those countries, in those locales, and try to seek the same relief. ... But I'm very much troubled by the end result of your argument, which is to the effect that if an outfit is large enough and involves enough people, enough entities, then they can kind of do what they want. ... But I just don't find it possible to think that something could -- if, in fact there is an anti-trust violation going on here -- that because it involves so many powerful entities from all around the world, therefore it's going to be immune from being challenged. That's, as we say, not acceptable.

Mr. Wegener: Uh-huh.

The Court: If that's the logical result of your argument, then I'm going to have to find some other way to deal with it than that.

* * *

Judge Berrigan denied Barrick's motion to dismiss.


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