Connecticut editor helps sponsor gold-rigging ad in Wall Street Journal

Section:

By David Krechevsky
Waterbury (Connecticut) Republican-American
Friday, February 1, 2008

http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2008/01/31/business/314743.txt

A full-page ad in Thursday's Wall Street Journal proclaiming that international gold, currency, and other markets are being se­cretly manipulated by the world's central banks was sponsored by an organization co­-founded by a Connecticut newspaper editor.

Chris Powell, managing edi­tor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, co-founded the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc., or GATA, with William J. Murphy III of Dallas, a former commodities trader and former wide receiver for the then-Boston Patriots.

GATA, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, was founded in 1999 "to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities," according to its Web site, www. GATA.org. It lists a mailing address in Manchester.

Powell said on Thursday his organization paid more than $264,000 to run the full-color, full-page ad that appeared on Page C5 in Thursday's editions.

Titled "Anybody seen our gold?," the ad -- which features a drawing of a Don Quixote-like character on horseback carrying a lance with a GATA banner and leading a crowd toward a columned building flying a U.S flag -- offers a variety of evidence to back its claims.

In part, it states that "since 2004, four major international investment houses ... have issued reports stating that Western central banks have been manipulating the gold market."

Powell said on Thursday the ad and the organization behind it are intended to increase "awareness in the financial sector of the constant surreptitious intervention in the market" by the government and central banks.

"Rigging of the gold market is really part of a coordinated central bank scheme to regulate many markets," he said. "If you look closely enough at certain places, they are really candid about it. Government intervention in what are believed to be free markets is close to pervasive, in our opinion."

The ad notes gold's recent rise toward $900 an ounce "shows that the price suppression scheme is faltering. When it is widely understood how central banks have been suppressing gold, its price may rise to $3,000 or $5,000 or more."

The assertions in the ad are all backed by documentation, which is available for viewing through links on the GATA Web site, Powell said. "All of this stuff is public record," he added.

That is one reason Powell was drawn into attempting to expose the issue, he said.

"This is to a great extent an issue of freedom of information and accountability. I get called a 'conspiracy nut' for calling attention to it. ... My shtick ... is that we're not conspiracy nuts, we're public record nuts," he said.

Powell, who serves as legislative chairman of the Con­necticut Council on Freedom of Information, said secrecy and accountability around the Federal Reserve and central banks are "major concerns."

"These guys have regular meetings and they are closed to you and me, and they do things that are coordinated with each other," he said. "They are doing things they don't want us to know about."

In addition to Powell and Murphy, the ad is signed by the three members of GATA's board of directors -- Ed Steer, a market analyst from Canada; Wistar Holt, a portfolio manager from St. Louis; and Catherine Austin Fitts of Tennessee, who, among other things, is a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Powell said the organization doesn't have any other officers or members, though it does have "3,000 people on our e-mail list." The organization raises money through donations.

That includes donations of shares from some gold mining companies, which he noted with irony have grown "spectacularly over the last few years." That in large part helped raise the funding for Thursday's ad, he said.

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