Nationalization in Latin America may not be expropriation


By Frank Bajak
Associated Press
Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hugo Chavez loves incendiary rhetoric and risk-averse investors understandably rushed to sell shares in Venezuela's biggest telecommunications and power companies after he announced this week that he would nationalize them.

But it later emerged that the Venezuelan president -- whose "21st-century socialism" has managed to co-exist with a vibrant private sector -- is disposed to pay fair market prices for the two utilities.

Central banks may put more reserves into equities, less into bonds


By Jamie McGeever
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

LONDON -- Central banks around the world are looking to invest more of their $4.75 trillion foreign exchange reserves in equities at the expense of bonds, but the implications for currencies are far from clear.

Mere celebrities get more gold in their medals than real heroes do


By Johanna Neuman
Los Angeles Times
Saturday, January 13, 2007,1,5728...

WASHINGTON -- One day after President Bush awarded the coveted Medal of Honor to the family of a Marine who died after throwing his helmet and his body on a grenade in Iraq, a California congressman introduced a bill to require the Pentagon to put more real gold in the medal.

Bahrain rejects change in currency's dollar peg


From Reuters
via Khaleej Times, Dubai
Sunday, January 14, 2007

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Bahrain will not change its policy on pegging the dinar currency to the US dollar, the central bank governor said on Sunday after the United Arab Emirates raised the prospect of a region-wide revaluation.

Ron Paul to seek Republican presidential nomination


By Joe Stinebaker
Associated Press
Thursday, January 11, 2007

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the iconoclastic, nine-term lawmaker from southeast Texas, took the first step Thursday toward a second, quixotic presidential bid -- this time as a Republican.

Paul filed papers in Texas to create a presidential exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money. In 1988 Paul was the Libertarian nominee for president and received more than 400,000 votes.

Western Australia's GATA sympathizers meet for lunch Jan. 22 in Perth


7:43p ET Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold and GATA sympathizers in Western Australia are invited to the second local GATA lunch -- to be held at noon Monday, January 22, at the Subiaco Hotel at the corner of Hay Street and Rokeby Road in Perth. It is being organized by David Evans ( and he'll post a "GATA" sign near the hotel entrance to make it easy to find our group. RSVPs are helpful but not crucial.

Gulf Arabs reconsider their currency pegs to dollar


By Will Rasmussen
Thursday, January 11, 2007

ABU DHABI -- Gulf Arab oil producers are reviewing currency pegs to the falling dollar and could decide as early as March whether to keep or change their exchange rate regime, the United Arab Emirates central bank said on Thursday.

Last European bank will stop handling dollars for Iran


Iran Begins to Feels
the Financial Squeeze

By Michael Connolly
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Evidence appears to be growing that Iranian firms are feeling the pinch of the U.S.-led drive to have banks curtail transactions with Iran's state-controlled banks. Iranian banks and companies, for instance, are now having to put up large deposits -- as high as 100% -- in foreign banks to get them to issue letters of credit for foreign transactions.

Gold ETFs expected to start in India within month


From Press Trust of India
Monday, January 10, 2007

MUMBAI -- Traditional household investment in gold will soon have a new option with the much awaited gold exchange-traded funds (GETFs) expected to be launched within a month.

"The GETF hopefully should be launched within a month," Association of Mutual Funds in India Chairman A.P. Kurian told reporters.

Russian commercial banks can't get enough gold


From Interfax News Service
Monday, January 10, 2006

MOSCOW -- A total of 42 commercial banks signed contracts to buy 161.9 tonnes of gold from producers in 2006, a source at the Gokhran precious metals and gemstones repository told Interfax.

Not all of the gold will have been delivered by the end of last year, so there could be some discrepancy between the amount of gold ordered and actually received, the source said.