With all that thin-air money, gold alone needs to be sold

Section:

1:45p ET Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Financial Times story appended here illustrates pretty well the game being played by the central banks. They are creating uncountable amounts of money out of thin air, with no particular backing, and shortly may distribute uncountable further amounts through the International Monetary Fund, but if Africa is to get any financial assistance, it will have to be arranged by the IMF's selling the continent's most valuable product, gold. But of course selling gold has nothing to do with helping Africa; it is all a matter of maintaining the illusion of value for the thin-air, unbacked money by suppressing the value of its competitor, commodity money, money of intrinsic value.

How long can this go on?

As long as Africa is as stupid, venal, or treasonous as the Ethiopian prime minister or the South African Reserve Bank.

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

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Call for IMF Gold Sale to Aid Africa

By William Wallis
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/feb256f6-135e-11de-a170-0000779fd2ac.html?ncli...

LONDON -- The International Monetary Fund should be allowed to sell some of its gold reserves to cushion Africa from the global economic crisis, African countries will argue at next month's Group of 20 summit.

Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's prime minister, representing the continent, said the sell-off could raise between $5 billion and $15 billion to be channelled through the IMF, World Bank and other multilateral institutions.

Africa needed short-term increases in development assistance of between $30 billion and $50 billion to offset declining trade and investment. The availability of such funds was a matter of life and death, Mr Meles said in an interview with the Financial Times.

"We are seeking a much smaller stimulus package than is being spent bailing out the small and medium- sized banks in the west," Mr Meles said.

In countries such as Britain, he added, the worst likely consequence for individuals in the downturn is the loss of employment. "The worst that can happen in Africa is that people who were getting some food would cease to get it and instead of being unemployed would die," he said.

African economies are facing a looming balance of payments crisis as income from commodities, foreign investment, remittances and aid shrink simultaneously.

Mr Meles said there was a risk that fragile recent gains would be washed away, conflicts would reignite and more states would fail.

"Africa was beginning to stand up and now it is being knocked down again by this crisis, which is not of Africa's making. That is one of the biggest tragedies," he said.

In the past, African gold producers have opposed the idea of the IMF selling off its reserves because of its likely impact on world prices.

"Gold prices are doing well now so a slight correction to mobilise resources for Africa would not be that difficult," Mr Meles argued.

More funds for the continent could be sourced if other developed countries join Europe in supporting a recapitalisation of the IMF with hundreds of billions of dollars of additional funds, he said.

In the longer term, Africans would have to rethink all their "development strategies" and "find ways of doing well in an environment that is less permissive".

Ethiopia has resisted western pressure to open up its economy faster and privatise its banks, a position Mr Meles suggested had proved "prudent" in light of global events.

"One of the problems at the moment is that the situation is so volatile," he added. "It keeps changing every week. It destabilises everything, including one's thinking. If we knew where the bottom was we could start thinking as to how to get out of it."

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