While scheming to short all of S. Africa, Cross calls gold demand ''phenomenal''

Section:

Statement by U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton, Chairman
Joint Economic Committee of Congress
Tuesday, April 5, 2005

http://www.house.gov/jec/press/2005/04-05-05.htm

IMF Gold Sales Will Be Blocked;
Taxpayers' Interests Should Be Protected

WASHINGTON -- Any movement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
toward gold sales will be stopped by Congress and the Bush
administration, Chairman Jim Saxton of the Joint Economic Committee
predicted today.

The IMF is considering gold sales as a way of covering bad loans it
has made to impoverished borrowers now unable or unwilling to repay,
but congressional approval would be required.

Chairman Saxton has long favored IMF debt relief through writeoffs
financed out of the IMF's other resources, and he released the
following statement today:

"A recent IMF report has recommended gold sales as a sound way of
financing the loans the IMF has extended to overburdened poor
countries that are not now in a position to repay," Saxton
said. "This is an especially attractive option for the IMF because
the gold on its balance sheet is greatly undervalued.

"However, the potential profits on IMF gold sales rightfully belong
to the original donor countries and their taxpayers. Thus, these IMF
gold sales would amount to a hidden appropriation from the donor
countries that were the original source of the gold.

"I believe Congress has an obligation to protect the taxpayers and
reject any proposed IMF gold sales. The Bush administration has
taken the right position in not supporting IMF gold sales and
deserves congressional support. There are better ways of financing
debt relief than drilling the taxpayers yet again.

"For nearly its entire history, the IMF failed to have lending
safeguards and accounting controls in place. Not surprisingly, some
of its loans have gone bad, and the consequences should not be
papered over. As a former IMF research director has noted, 'The IMF
would serve better if it made no loans.' The IMF's mistaken forays
into development lending have proven counterproductive and should
not be repeated," Saxton concluded.

For more information see the JEC study, "IMF Gold Sales in
Perspective," available on our Website at www.house.gov/jec.

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