North Korea selling gold; may have up to 2,000 tonnes

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North Korea Sells Gold to Earn Currency

From Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20061226TDY01004.htm

Since the United States imposed financial sanctions against North Korea in September last year, Pyongyang started selling bullion on the international market as an alternative way to acquire foreign currencies, it was learned Monday.

Last September the U.S. government froze North Korea-related accounts at Macao-based Banco Delta Asia. Since then, Pyongyang reentered the London Bullion Market and has exported bullion worth about 28 million dollars, or 3.3 billion yen, to Thailand, sources said.

It's only money, and maybe it's not even that

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Katrina Fraud Likely to Balloon Past $2 Billion

By Hope Yen
Associated Press
Monday, December 25, 2006

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_bi_ge/katrina_contracts

The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition.

Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

Wall St. bonuses: So much money, so few Ferraris

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By Jenny Anderson
The New York Times
Monday, December 25, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/25/business/25bonus.html?hp&ex=1167109200...

It's a brisk Wednesday morning in the windy caverns of Wall Street and Sarah Clark's toes are cold.

Dressed in a purple flight attendant outfit, Ms. Clark, a 26-year-old model, is trying to entice recent bonus recipients at Goldman Sachs into using a charter plane service, handing out $1,000 discount coupons to people in front of the investment bank’s Broad Street headquarters.

China says it will continue stable monetary policy

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From Reuters
Monday, December 25, 2006

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061225/bs_nm/china_economy_cbank_dc

China's central bank said on Monday that it would continue to take steps to keep investment and credit growth in check, while pressing ahead with efforts to make the value of its currency more market-driven.

In a brief statement on its Internet site (www.pbc.gov.cn) summing up the proceedings of a meeting of its monetary policy committee, the People's Bank of China said that while the economy was generally functioning well, it still encountered some challenges.

China lowers gold trading threshold for small investors

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From Xinhua News Agency
via People's Daily Online, Beijing
Monday, December 25, 2006

http://english.people.com.cn/200612/25/eng20061225_335691.html

In an effort to attract small private investors, China on Monday lowered the trading threshold at the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) from 1 kilogram to 100 grams.

SGE sources said 100-gram gold bars, which debuted on Monday at an initial price of 160 yuan per gram, started spot trading at an opening price of 157 yuan per gram and then remained flat for the entire trading session, closing at 157 yuan per gram, a drop of three yuan.

ETF investors are buying the dip in silver

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12:31p ET Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Resource Investor's Gene Arensberg reports that if the holdings of the Barclay's exchange-traded fund are any guide, investors are buying heavily into the recent dip in silver. You can find Arensberg's report here:

http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=27509

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

Like S. Korea, Thailand cites power to debase its currency

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Thai Official Explains Capital Controls

By Rungrawee C. Pinyorat
Associated Press
Sunday December 24, 2006

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/061224/thailand_embattled_minister.html?.v=2

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula has called for China to allow its currency to rise against the dollar and has defended foreign currency controls he said were imposed to save the country's export-dependent economy.

Jim Puplava: The next rogue wave

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8:15p ET Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Jim Puplava of FinancialSense.com has written a wonderful analysis of the explosion of debt and speculation and the profusion of derivatives created to soak up all the money floating around the world in search of a place to land, if only for a little while. Puplava's essay is titled "The Next Rogue Wave" and you can find it here:

Michael Kosares: China wasn't impressed, so get your gold

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"If history teaches anything, it is that government cannot be trusted to manage money."
-- "The Nightmare German Inflation" (Scientific Market Analysis).

* * *

By Michael Kosares
Centennial Precious Metals, Denver
USAGold.com
Friday, December 22, 2006

I read with interest the essay by James K. Galbraith from the Manchester Guardian, "Clueless in China," which was dispatched to GATA's supporters and posted at the discussion forum at USAGold.com. (http://www.gata.org/node/4638)

Spending China's dollars: $16 billion gas project in Iran

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CNOOC to Develop Iranian Gas Field

By Wang Yu
China Daily, Beijing
Friday, December 22, 2006

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2006-12/22/content_765293.htm

A press official with the Iranian Embassy yesterday confirmed to China Daily that an initial agreement on a gigantic natural gas project has been signed by China's top offshore oil producer and its Iranian counterpart.

"A big deal was hammered out on Wednesday between the two countries to jointly produce natural gas in Iran," the Iranian diplomat revealed on condition of anonymity.