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Gold market manipulation: Why, how, and how long? (2021 edition)
Illustrations for Part 1 of this presentation are here:
Illustrations for Part 2 are here:
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ILLUSTRATION 1: TITLE SLIDE
Remarks by Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Gold Week Africa Conference
via internet from Lagos, Nigeria
Monday, February 15, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
As you may have seen from the conference program, I'm from the United States. Even so, I wanted you to know that my country is waging war on yours, and has been for many years. The organization I represent is hoping that once you know about this you might try to do something about it. You could benefit yourselves and everybody else, Americans included.
You already know that much of west Africa sits on a fabulous foundation of gold. Presumably you are attending this conference because you suspect that this great natural resource of yours is not valued and marketed as well as it should be to increase your region's prosperity.
... Dispatch continues below ...
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You're right but I'm betting you don't know the half of it. Certainly you would not have learned the other half from mainstream financial journalism and academic teaching, for they maintain that gold is at best a quaint antique. They could not be more wrong.
In fact gold remains what it has been for thousands of years -- an excellent form of money -- and may again become the best and most important form of money. More than this, gold is actually the secret knowledge of the financial universe, a secret desperately concealed by most central banks.
Gold has remained so important that Western governments -- particularly the U.S. Treasury and its Exchange Stabilization Fund, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and allied governments and central banks -- manipulate the gold market every day, even hour by hour, to control and usually suppress the monetary metal's price.
Why have Western central banks been rigging the gold market?
It's because gold is a powerful competitive international currency that, if allowed to function in a free market, will determine the value of other currencies, the level of interest rates, and the value of government bonds. In a free market gold's performance is usually the opposite of the performance of government currencies and bonds. A rising gold price signifies the weakening of government currencies, at least the government currencies in countries that don't produce a lot of gold.
So central banks fight gold to defend their currencies and bonds against competition.
The problem is that the tactics of Western central banks in their war against gold affect far more than gold. They affect markets generally and eventually destroy markets generally and damage the economies of all commodity-producing countries. This destruction of markets now has a name, a name used even by former members of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. That name is "financial repression."
Much academic literature and many government records confirm gold's relationship with and influence on currencies, interest rates, and government bonds throughout history.
Some of this literature and some of these records are posted in the “Documentation” section of GATA's internet site:
The academic literature and government records show that controlling the currency markets long has been the most effective mechanism of imperialism, far more effective than invading a country and looting it with soldiers.
Indeed, rigging the currency markets -- not looting by soldiers -- was the primary mechanism by which Nazi Germany expropriated occupied Europe during World War II. Expropriation by force of arms was actually only a small part of the Nazi conquest.
The rigging of the European currency markets -- that is, the gross distortion of currency exchange rates in Nazi Germany's favor -- turned every citizen of an occupied country into an agent of the occupation whenever he used money. This currency market rigging caused most manufacturing and agricultural production in the occupied countries to flow into Nazi Germany and blocked any return flow of German production. Currency market rigging enabled Nazi Germany to run without consequence the same sort of fantastic trade deficits run in recent years by the United States.
That is, the United States is Nazi Germany's successor in rigging the currency markets for imperial exploitation.
[ILLUSTRATION 2 -- TACTICAL AND TECHNICAL TRENDS]
During World War II the United States learned all about the Nazi expropriation of Europe through currency market rigging, because the rigging was documented by the November 1943 edition of the U.S. War Department's monthly intelligence letter, Tactical and Technical Trends:
Nazi Germany's manipulation of currency markets is also described in detail in the 2005 history "Hitler's Beneficiaries" by Gotz Aly:
[ILLUSTRATION 3 -- COVER OF 'HITLER'S BENEFICIARES']
How do Western central banks and particularly the U.S. government rig the gold market?
They used to do it conventionally and in the open by dishoarding -- selling -- some of their gold reserves at strategic moments, Then they began dishoarding from their gold reserves more often, even every day, as the United States, United Kingdom, and seven of their Western European allies did during the 1960s through a public operation called the London Gold Pool:
[ILLUSTRATION 4 -- WIKIPEDIA PAGE ON LONDON GOLD POOL]
The London Gold Pool held the gold price at $35 per ounce, the official price of gold set by the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, until the pool collapsed in March 1968 under the rising demand that had drained the U.S. gold reserve from 25,000 tonnes down closer to the 8,133 tonnes officially reported today:
After the collapse of the gold pool the United States and its allies regrouped to decide how to rig the gold market surreptitiously, to do it behind the scenes -- not just with dishoarding but also by what is called the leasing of gold; by the purchase and sale of gold derivatives, including futures and options contracts; and, more recently, by what is called high-frequency trading undertaken through investment banks that gladly serve as government agents in the gold market, providing camouflage for governments, since the investment banks can front-run government trades.
When the rigging is done surreptitiously, as it is mostly done now, much less central bank gold has to be dishoarded and the dishoarding that is done has a far more suppressive effect on the price.
But Western central bank market rigging goes far beyond gold.
[ILLUSTRATION 5 -- PETER WARBURTON]
In an essay published in 2001 and titled "The Debasement of World Currency -- It Is Inflation, But Not as We Know It" --
-- the British economist Peter Warburton discerned that central banks were using investment banks to issue financial derivatives throughout the commodity futures markets to siphon away money that was seeking a hedge against inflation by investing in hard assets. That is, derivatives like futures contracts can divert money away from the hoarding of real goods as stores of value. This diversion of investment is in the interest of governments, since commodity hoarding would drive up consumer price indexes and make inflation even more obvious and distressing to the markets and the public.
Most of these derivatives encouraged by government in the West are essentially naked short positions on the underlying commodity, promises to sell volumes of a commodity that are not readily available and cannot be obtained without sending prices way up.
Warburton concluded that since the naked shorting in the futures markets was keeping commodity prices down, any hedge against inflation would have to be some asset that was not attached to a futures market. That's because anyone with enough money can control any futures market, and central banks have access to infinite money.
So as inflation hedges Warburton suggested farmland and supplies of clean water. For as the saying goes: "The futures markets are not manipulated; the futures markets are the manipulation."
Indeed, a cable sent to the U.S. State Department by an official of the U.S. Embassy in December 1974, on the eve of the establishment of the gold futures market, suggests that the gold futures market was created precisely to scare retail investors away from gold.
The cable describes the embassy's extensive consultations with London bullion dealers about the imminent re-legalization of gold ownership in the United States and possible substantial gold purchases by oil-exporting Arab nations.
The cable reads: "The major impact of private U.S. ownership, according to the dealers' expectations, will be the formation of a sizable gold futures market. Each of the dealers expressed the belief that the futures market would be of significant proportion and physical trading would be minuscule by comparison. Also expressed was the expectation that large-volume futures dealing would create a highly volatile market. In turn, the volatile price movements would diminish the initial demand for physical holding and most likely negate long-term hoarding by U.S. citizens."
This market rigging by central banks and their agents explains the great disparagement of gold today: that, despite its tremendous price increase over the last 20 years, gold has not been fully keeping up with worldwide inflation. Somehow no one who disparages gold asks why it has not kept up with inflation.
The answer is that gold derivatives have created a vast imaginary supply of gold -- a supply of paper certificates for gold that does not exist but for which delivery has not been demanded. That's because most gold investors leave their gold purchases on deposit with the investment banks that sold them only promises of imaginary gold.
As a result the world now has a fractional-reserve gold banking system that is leveraged in the extreme.
Yes, all commodity futures markets have created paper promises of supply that cannot easily be covered by real product and would have to be settled in cash if delivery was ever demanded. But most commodity markets are for goods that eventually are delivered and consumed to a great extent, so you can't falsify those markets too much.
Gold is different, for gold is not consumed but rather saved -- hoarded --- as a means of exchange, as money and savings, and as jewelry, even as most gold purchased in the futures markets is never delivered at all but rather left on deposit with the futures exchange or investment banks.
This system has produced a huge and elastic supply of imaginary gold, even as people buy gold precisely because they assume that its supply is not imaginary and elastic -- that its supply is real and limited to total past production and annual mine production.
This assumption that the supply of gold in the financial system is real is a terrible mistake.
While the principle of most gold investment analysis is "You can't print gold," "paper gold" can be printed to infinity just like ordinary government currency -- and indeed it has been printed practically to infinity.
You can get an idea of the vast imaginary supply of gold by reviewing the huge gold derivative positions attributed to U.S. investment banks in the reports of the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency.
These derivative positions are almost certainly not the positions of the investment banks themselves but rather U.S. government positions brokered and held on the books of the investment banks.
As John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund, wrote in November 2014:
"The modern-day central banker trades with counterparties that are giant commercial banks with derivative books of disturbing scale and complexity. It seems impossible that these commercial exposures could be constructed and maintained without the knowledge and complicity of the official sector. For example, Deutsche Bank, already a defendant in a thousand lawsuits, claims derivative exposure that is 20 times the gross domestic product of Germany and five times that of the entire eurozone. It is not a great leap to suggest that central bank traders and their megabank opposites -- spawn of the same gene pool, schooled in the same institutions, career paths intertwined, frequenters of the same conferences, and just a speed-dial away -- are ideologically indistinguishable and intellectually and morally corrupt in equal proportion."
After all, the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund is expressly authorized by law, the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, as amended, to trade secretly in all markets, including the gold market, on the U.S. government's behalf. And this law expressly exempts the Exchange Stabilization Fund from answering to anyone but the treasury secretary and the president:
A few weeks ago the fund's cash balance rose to more than $600 billion and at last check stood at $200 billion. The U.S. government would not have loaded up the fund if the government wasn't preparing to use it for a lot of secret intervention in the markets, including the gold and currency markets:
Gold market consultant Jeffrey Christian of CPM Group testified to a hearing of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on March 25, 2010, that the ratio of "paper gold" to real metal in the so-called London physical market may be as high as 100 to 1. That is, there are as many as a hundred claims on every actual ounce of metal traded or vaulted in the London market:
[ILLUSTRATION 6 -- RESERVE BANK OF INDIA REPORT]
In January 2013 a report by the Reserve Bank of India estimated at 92 to 1 the ratio of paper gold to real gold in the world:
[ILLUSTRATION 7 -- BULLION BANKING EXPLAINED]
The manufacture of "paper gold" was described by CPM Group's Christian in his essay "Bullion Banking Explained" published in 2000. That report is posted at GATA's internet site:
Some investment banks are nominally on the short end of this enormous leverage and they would be existentially vulnerable to a short squeeze -- if they were the true holders of the short positions. Instead these huge short positions are probably U.S. government positions facilitated by the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
What I am telling you has often been dismissed as “conspiracy theory.” But it is really conspiracy fact.
For there are many official admissions of gold market rigging.
These admissions include statements by four former chairmen of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (Alan Greenspan, Paul Volcker, Arthur Burns, and William McChesney Martin); the minutes of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee; declassified U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and State Department records, including one that cites the necessity for the U.S. government to remain "the masters of gold" --
[ILLUSTRATION 8 -- GOLD TELEGRAM]
-- statements by central bankers from other countries, including three officials of the Bank for International Settlements; and documents from the BIS and the International Monetary Fund. For example:
[ILLUSTRATION 9 -- GREENSPAN TESTIMONY:]
-- In testimony to Congress in July 1998, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan declared that "central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise." Thus Greenspan confirmed that the purpose of gold leasing by central banks was not what they usually claimed -- to earn them a little money on the supposedly dead asset in their vaults -- but rather to suppress the monetary metal's price:
[ILLUSTRATION 10 -- VOLCKER MEMOIRS IN NIKKEI DAILY]
-- In January 2012 former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker admitted to the German financial journalist Lars Schall that central banks need to suppress the gold price to stabilize exchange rates at what he called a "critical point":
Volcker already had written in his memoirs that in 1973 as a U.S. Treasury Department official he advocated gold price suppression:
[ILLUSTRATION 11 -- MARTIN MEMORANDUM]
-- In 2009 a remarkable 16-page memorandum was discovered in the archive of the late Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin. The memorandum is dated April 5, 1961, and is titled "U.S. Foreign Exchange Operations: Needs and Methods." The memo is a detailed plan for secret intervention by the U.S. government to rig the currency and gold markets to support the U.S. dollar and to conceal, obscure, or even falsify U.S. government records and reports so that the rigging might not be discovered:
[ILLUSTRATION 12 -- BURNS MEMORANDUM]
-- In a memorandum to President Gerald Ford in June 1975, Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns reported that the Fed had a secret agreement with the German Bundesbank to obstruct market pricing for gold. Burns wrote to the president: "I have a secret understanding in writing with the Bundesbank, concurred in by Mr. Schmidt" – that's Helmut Schmidt, West Germany's chancellor at the time -- "that Germany will not buy gold, either from the market or from another government, at a price above the official price of $42.22 per ounce."
Burns added, "I am convinced that by far the best position for us to take at this time is to resist arrangements that provide wide latitude for central banks and governments to purchase gold at a market-related price."
That is, it was United States policy to prevent any free market for gold:
-- In June 2004 the deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, Oleg Mozhaiskov, told a conference of the London Bullion Market Association in Moscow that he suspected the United States of suppressing the gold price. Mozhaiskov mentioned the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee by name, the only words he spoke in English, though at that time GATA never knowingly had had any contact with anyone in Russia.
The LBMA refused to provide GATA with a copy of Mozhaiskov's speech. But I reached him by fax in Moscow and he quickly replied that he would send a copy but wanted to control the English translation. About a month later I received the English copy from Mozhaiskov's friend, the chief executive of Moscow Narodny Bank in London.
Mozhaiskov's reference to GATA was, I think, his way of telling the London bullion bankers that Russia was at last aware of their gold price suppression scheme:
[ILLUSTRATION 13 -- JELLE ZIJLSTRA BOOKS]
-- Jelle Zijlstra, a president of the Netherlands Central Bank who was also president of the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, wrote in his memoirs in 1992 that the gold price long had been suppressed at the behest of the United States:
[ILLUSTRATION 14 -- BIS PAPERS / SPEECH OF W.R. WHITE]
-- William R. White, the director of the monetary and economic department of the Bank for International Settlements, told a BIS conference in June 2005 that a primary purpose of international central bank cooperation is "the provision of international credits and joint efforts to influence asset prices (especially gold and foreign exchange) in circumstances where this might be thought useful":
[ILLUSTRATION 15 -- BIS POWERPOINT]
-- The Bank for International Settlements actually advertises to potential central bank members that its services include secret interventions in the gold market. Here's a slide from a PowerPoint presentation the bank made to prospective central bank members at BIS headquarters in Basel in June 2008:
-- Indeed, according to its annual reports, the BIS functions largely as a gold banking and gold market intervention service for its member central banks. BIS annual reports have said: "The bank transacts foreign exchange and gold on behalf of its customers, thereby providing access to a large liquidity base in the context of, for example, regular rebalancing of reserve portfolios or major changes in reserve currency allocations. The foreign exchange services of the bank encompass spot transactions in major currencies and Special Drawing Rights as well as swaps, outright forwards, options, and dual currency deposits. In addition, the bank provides gold services such as buying and selling, sight accounts, fixed-term deposits, earmarked accounts, upgrading and refining, and location exchanges":
http://www.gata.org/node/12717 [ILLUSTRATION 16 -- EPSTEIN ESSAY IN HARPER'S]
-- Secret interventions in the gold market by the BIS have been going on for many years. A long article by Edward Jay Epstein in Harper's magazine in 1983, based on seemingly unprecedented interviews with BIS officials, disclosed that the BIS was constantly intervening in the gold market in secret:
[ILLUSTRATION 17 -- BIS STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT]
-- GATA's consultant about the Bank for International Settlements, Robert Lambourne, examines the bank's monthly statement of accounts, since, if you look very closely at the statement, as Lambourne does, you'll see that it includes entries for “gold and gold loans” and “gold deposits” and these entries change each month. Here is the revealing page from the BIS's January statement:
Using the statement of account Lambourne calculates the BIS's gold-related positions. He finds that the bank's gold swap position has been increasing steadily for months and now is close to a record high in the history of the bank.
That is, in recent months the BIS has been intervening in the gold market more than ever.
What exactly is the BIS doing in the gold market, for what objectives, and for whom? GATA put that question to the BIS in 2017 and the BIS promptly replied that it doesn't answer questions like that: http://www.gata.org/node/17793 So you may fairly assume that any honest answers here would incriminate the BIS' members and owners – central banks – for which the BIS is providing camouflage for their interventions in the gold market.
[ILLUSTRATION 18 -- SECRET IMF STAFF REPORT]
-- Perhaps most incriminating about central bank intervention against gold is the secret March 1999 staff report of the International Monetary Fund that GATA obtained in December 2012. The secret IMF report says Western central banks conceal their gold swaps and loans to facilitate their secret interventions in the gold and currency markets:
The secret IMF report is doubly important, for it establishes not only that central banks are surreptitiously intervening in the gold market through swaps and leases but also that no official central bank gold data is any good. The IMF, which is the compiler of central bank gold data, allows its members to count their leased and swapped gold as if it is still sitting in their vaults, unencumbered, when the gold may have left the vaults or have multiple claims on it.
That is, the secret IMF report shows that central bank gold reserves are double-counted or worse.
Since it advocates dishonesty in the reporting of national gold reserves, the secret IMF report also demonstrates that the true amount, location, and disposition of central bank gold reserves are state secrets far more sensitive than the amount, location, and disposition of nuclear weapons. For nuclear weapons can only destroy the world, while, as we may see shortly, the control of gold and its price confers the control of all financial valuations in the world.
[ILLUSTRATION 19 -- GAUTIER SPEECH]
The director of market operations for the Banque de France, Alexandre Gautier, told the London Bullion Market Association's meeting in Rome in September 2013 that the French central bank trades gold for its own account "nearly on a daily basis" and is "active in the gold market for other central banks and official institutions":
What are the Banque de France and its associates doing with their secret gold trading? They won't say. Obviously it's something they don't want the markets and gold-producing countries to know about.
[ILLUSTRATION 20 -- WARSH LETTER]
-- The participation of the United States in gold market manipulation was confirmed by a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Kevin M. Warsh, in a letter written in September 2009 denying GATA's request for access to the Fed's gold records. Warsh wrote that among the records the Fed insisted on keeping secret were records of gold swap arrangements between the Fed and foreign banks:
[ILLUSTRATION 21 -- WSJ ESSAY BY WARSH]
In commentary published in The Wall Street Journal in December 2011 Warsh wrote about what he called "financial repression" by governments. Warsh wrote: "Policy makers are finding it tempting to pursue 'financial repression' -- suppressing market prices that they don't like." Warsh added, "Efforts to manage and manipulate asset prices are not new":
Soon after his essay was published I reached Warsh by e-mail and asked him if he had learned about "financial repression" through his service on the Federal Reserve Board. I also asked him if he would identify the asset prices he had written were being manipulated by policy makers. Warsh cordially wished me a nice day.
At a hearing in 2001 in U.S. District Court in Boston an assistant U.S. attorney, defending the U.S. government against GATA consultant Reginald Howe's lawsuit complaining of gold market rigging, asserted that the government has the authority to manipulate the gold market exactly as Howe's lawsuit complained -- authority conferred by the laws establishing the Federal Reserve and the Exchange Stabilization Fund:
[ILLUSTRATION 22 -- U.S. EMBASSY CABLE FROM BEIJING]
But the government of China knows all about Western gold price suppression policy and isn't afraid to talk about it. The U.S. State Department diplomatic cables obtained by the Wikileaks organization and published in 2011 include cables from the U.S. embassy in Beijing to the State Department in Washington that were translations of reports from Chinese government-controlled news organizations. These translations included stories and commentaries about gold price suppression by the United States.
For example, the Chinese newspaper World News Journal wrote: "The United States and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don't want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the United States in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency. China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries toward reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the renminbi."
So not only do the Russian and Chinese governments know all about the gold price suppression scheme. The State Department cables show that the U.S. government knows that China knows:
Many people in the gold business in China also know about gold price suppression by the U.S. government and its allies.
[ILLUSTRATION 23 -- SUN ZHAOXUE]
For example, thanks to gold researcher Jan Nieuwenhuijs, in January 2014 GATA published the remarks of the president of China's gold mining association, Sun Zhaoxue, to a financial conference in Shanghai. Sun Zhaoxue said gold price suppression is U.S. government policy to maintain the dominance of the U.S. dollar in the ongoing international currency war:
[ILLUSTRATION 24 -- ZHANG JIE]
And in 2013 GATA distributed commentary by Zhang Jie, deputy editor of the Chinese publication Global Finance and a consultant to the China Gold Association, who said the U.S. Federal Reserve manipulates the gold market to protect the U.S. dollar's standing as the world reserve currency: Zhang said: "Through continuous gold leasing the gold in the market can be circulated and produce derivatives, creating more and more paper gold. This is very significant for the United States. Gold leasing is a major tool for the Federal Reserve and other central banks in the West to secretly control and regulate the gold market, creating gold credit derivatives and global credit conflict":
The U.S. government's public archives are actually full of records documenting the government's longstanding objective of removing gold from the world financial system to maintain the dominance of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency.
[ILLUSTRATION 25: KISSINGER-ENDERS MINUTES]
Perhaps most descriptive are the minutes of a meeting at the U.S. State Department in April 1974 between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his assistant undersecretary of state for economic and business affairs, Thomas O. Enders.
The meeting addresses the growing desire among western European countries to revalue their gold reserves upward, thereby increasing gold's role in the international financial system and threatening the dollar's status: Secretary Kissinger asks: "Why is it against our interest to have gold in the system?"
Assistant Undersecretary Enders answers him.
Mr. Enders: It's against our interest to have gold in the system because for it to remain there it would result in it being evaluated periodically. Although we have still some substantial gold holdings -- about $11 billion -- a larger part of the official gold in the world is concentrated in western Europe. This gives them the dominant position in world reserves and the dominant means of creating reserves. We've been trying to get away from that into a system in which we can control. ... Secretary Kissinger: But that's a balance-of-payments problem. Mr. Enders: Yes, but it's a question of who has the most leverage internationally. If they have the reserve-creating instrument, by having the largest amount of gold and the ability to change its price periodically, they have a position relative to ours of considerable power. For a long time we had a position relative to theirs of considerable power because we could change gold almost at will. This is no longer possible -- no longer acceptable. Therefore, we have gone to Special Drawing Rights, which is also equitable and could take account of some of the less-developed-country interests and which spreads the power away from Europe. And it's more rational in ... Secretary Kissinger: "More rational" being defined as being more in our interests or what? Mr. Enders: More rational in the sense of more responsive to worldwide needs -- but also more in our interest. ...
So there you have it. The top officials of the U.S. State Department just explained to you that whichever government or group of governments has the most gold has the crucial “reserve-creating instrument,” the instrument that can create money, and can control the instrument's valuation and implicitly the valuation of every currency in the world. Of course money is power and infinite money is infinite power. The interest of the United States, at least as it was perceived at that meeting at the State Department in April 1974, was to dominate the world by controlling money creation and the valuation of all currencies.
[ILLUSTRATION 26 -- CENTRAL BANK INCENTIVE PROGRAM]
The U.S. government has created special mechanisms for secret market intervention against gold, quite apart from its Exchange Stabilization Fund. With the approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the operator of the major U.S. futures exchanges, CME Group, offers governments and central banks volume discounts for secretly trading all futures contracts available in the United States:
That central banks and governments are secretly trading all major futures markets in the United States signifies that central bank intervention in world markets is now likely comprehensive -- that there really are no markets anymore, just interventions, that the main objective of central banking now is to prevent markets from happening at all,and that the market economy that has been the engine of progress and democracy around the world has already been greatly impaired if not destroyed. This is the financial news story of the century, but the mainstream financial news organizations won't report it. It is too sensitive.
[ILLUSTRATION 27 -- CFTC FINES JPMORGAN]
In recent months several major investment banks active in the gold market have confessed to their own manipulation of the gold and silver through fake trading orders called “spoofing.” They have paid substantial fines for this market rigging. The biggest confession came from the biggest bank in the United States, JPMorganChase & Co., which in September agreed to pay a fine of $920 million and cooperate with a criminal investigation of market rigging;
[ILLUSTRATION 28 -- UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX STUDY]
In May last year a study by the University of Sussex Business School in Britain concluded that the gold futures market is indeed heavily manipulated, seemingly contrary to regulations, but regulators are overlooking it.
The regulators, and particularly the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, are overlooking the manipulation of the gold futures market because such manipulation is perfectly legal, at least in the United States, when it is done by or at the direction of the U.S. government itself. That's because a federal law, the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, expressly authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department to secretly intervene in and manipulate not just markets in the United States but markets anywhere in the world -- even markets in Africa. Please reflect on that: The U.S. government has authorized itself to manipulate African markets. Does your law authorize the U.S. government to manipulate your markets?
[ILLUSTRATION 29 -- MOONEY LETTER]
GATA repeatedly has asked the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission if it has jurisdiction over market manipulation that is committed by or at the direction of the U.S. government. So has U.S. Rep. Alex X. Mooney, Republican of West Virginia. But the commission refuses to answer the question, not even for a member of Congress. Of course this refusal to answer is essentially an answer anyway, a confirmation that the U.S. government is secretly rigging markets all around the world and the commission can't do anything about it because it's legal, at least under U.S. law:
But then GATA did get an answer to this question back in 2001 when, in federal court in Boston, we brought our first lawsuit against the Bank for International Settlements, the U.S. government, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the major investment banks that act as their agents in the gold market. An assistant U.S. attorney, a lawyer for the government, asked the court to dismiss our lawsuit because, he said, under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 the U.S. government does indeed claim the power to rig the gold market exactly as our lawsuit complained:
The court did dismiss our lawsuit but for technical jurisdictional reasons, not for the reason urged by the assistant U.S. attorney.
[ILLUSTRATION 30 -- G-10 GOLD AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE COMMITTEE]
Ten years later GATA did beat the government -- the Federal Reserve particularly -- in a freedom-of-information lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit was about the Fed's refusal to let GATA inspect its gold records:
The court ruled that all the Fed's gold records were exempt from disclosure except one -- the minutes of the G-10 Gold and Foreign Exchange Committee meeting of April 1997. When the Fed finally produced those minutes, they showed Western finance ministers and central bankers plotting in secret to coordinate their policies toward gold. That is, they all were ganging up against gold again. So while the Fed won 99 percent of the substance of the lawsuit, technically the Fed lost the case, so the court ordered the Fed to pay court costs to GATA. Here's a copy of the Fed's check:
[ILLUSTRATION 31 -- FEDERAL RESERVE CHECK]
* * *
I'm sorry to have taken so long with these documents. But there are many, many more, and I emphasize them because the disparagement of GATA's work long has been that we're pushing “conspiracy theory.”
But there's nothing wrong with the word “conspiracy” here. The problem is the word “theory.” We are dealing with conspiracy fact, and that shouldn't be so hard to understand. For by definition government itself is a conspiracy whenever its officers convene in secret to formulate and implement a course of action. Most of the documents GATA has discovered and compiled are proofs of conspiracy. Central bank gold price suppression policy is a conspiracy that essentially controls the valuation of all capital, labor, goods, and services in the world -- a conspiracy that controls nearly everything. GATA maintains that any setting of economic valuations should be done in the open in free markets, or, if government insists on setting valuations, then done in the open democratically and accountably. There is other evidence of official intervention that I hope to discuss with you Wednesday. I also hope to discuss with you then why all this should matter to Africa particularly, whether gold price suppression by the governments of the developed world will ever end, and, if so, how it might end. Then there is the matter of what the victims of this conspiracy -- victims like the people of Africa -- can do about it. In any case, thanks for your kind attention and indulgence today. Being able to speak with you is an honor and a blessing, so thank you again.
[ILLUSTRATION 32 -- CONTACT INFORMATION]
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Part Two / Wednesday, February 17, 2021
[ILLUSTRATION 1 -- TITLE]
The many documents we reviewed Monday establish the gold price suppression policy of Western governments, as well as its long duration. But even people unaware of those documents might easily come to suspect this policy on their own.
Consider the telling action of the gold market itself
The gold price is often smashed out of the blue in the futures markets when there is no news relevant to gold particularly or the currency markets generally. There are often waves of selling in gold futures by some entity that seems not to care about obtaining the best price for the metal it purports to be selling. An ordinary seller staggers his sales, selling a little at a time, to avoid depressing the market price along the way. If you dump a lot of your asset on the market all at once, you crash the price. But careful, profit-maximizing selling of an asset is often not what happens with gold. Some entity frequently bombs the market, dumping huge amounts of futures contracts all at once, precisely to knock the price down. This is an entity that profits not from a rising price of gold but from a falling price, and an entity that seems to have access to infinite money. Such attacks are almost certainly government interventions, likely conducted through the Bank for International Settlements and brokers representing government agencies. They knock the gold price down to keep government currencies and bonds up. There is also much counterintuitive action with the gold price. It often reacts the opposite of what you would expect. When there is some financial disaster or geopolitical crisis, gold often falls instead of rises. This likely is also the result of government intervention.
Consider the refusal of governments and central banks to explain.
[ILLUSTRATION 2 -- U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE BUILDING]
Anyone who doubts Western gold price suppression policy can erase his doubt just by trying to put a question or two to Western governments and central banks, as GATA long has done. Are central banks secretly involved in the gold market? Are they trading directly or through intermediaries like the BIS or investment banks? If so, what is the objective of this trading? Are they trying to manipulate currency values? Just what are they doing, for whom, and why? Why are central bank board of directors meetings and deliberations secret if not to prevent the public and the markets from learning about secret interventions by government? Exactly what is government policy toward gold? Is there any policy, or is the government completely indifferent to the monetary metal? If you put such questions to a central bank and ever get any response, please let me know. If, as is more likely, you get no response, or an evasive one, at least you'll have confirmed that a central bank doesn't want you to know what it's doing -- doesn't want its own people to know what it's doing.
Consider the failure of mainstream financial news organizations.
While mainstream financial news organizations occasionally report about gold, their reporting is always superficial. If you follow that reporting for long, you will see that the first rule of mainstream financial journalism about gold is: Never put to a central bank a critical question about gold, or any question about gold. Indeed, for some time I have thought that the greatest power of Western central banking is not its power to create and deploy infinite money but rather its ability to intimidate financial news organizations -- or the innate cowardice of those organizations. For the gold price suppression scheme cannot work without deception, surreptitiousness, and misunderstanding. If mainstream financial news organizations ever exposed the scheme, investors would not participate in the markets that were being rigged, like the gold futures market. In that case investors who wanted gold would purchase only real metal and remove it from the banking system. They would not purchase gold futures or gold supposedly held in trust for them by investment banks. Why are financial news organizations so negligent about gold? Partly it is because central banks and governments generally are newsmakers and can shut off the flow of news to any news organization that offends them. And it is partly because the biggest advertisers for financial news organizations are the investment banks that themselves are agents of central banks in various markets, including the gold market. Any news organization that alienates the investment banks with critical reporting about market manipulation risks losing their advertising.
[ILLUSTRATION 3 -- WALL STREET JOURNAL FRONT PAGE]
Let me tell you about an exception that proves the rule here. In 2016 while I was attending a conference in Hong Kong I got a telephone call from a reporter for the leading financial newspaper in the United States, The Wall Street Journal. She said she wanted to do a story about gold market manipulation. I was skeptical, having long been providing documents to her newspaper without result. But we talked at length and I e-mailed her much of the documentation. For weeks and then months I kept getting calls and e-mails from the Wall Street Journal reporter, so I kept sending her more material. I introduced her to four or five gold market experts associated with GATA. She interviewed them. Eventually the reporter's inquiries seemed to be going nowhere and I got tired of her. I told her that she was barking up the wrong tree, that she should stop bothering me -- that I was merely an amateur observer of the official scene and that she should try some ordinary journalism. She should go to the source. That is, she should try putting questions not to me but to the government institutions responsible for gold price suppression policy and the actions she claimed to be investigating. She should try questioning the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, not just GATA and the people associated with it. In August 2017, more than a year after the reporter's first call to me, and after GATA Chairman Bill Murphy had begun pushing her, her story was published on the front page of The Wall Street Journal:
The story quoted several of the experts to whom I had introduced her, and reported the complaint that the Federal Reserve was secretly intervening in the gold market to suppress the gold price. But the story missed the crucial detail. That is, the story never put a question to the Fed itself. The story let GATA's experts accuse the Fed but never asked the Fed to respond to the accusation. Of course this violated the first rule of journalism -- that if you report something unfavorable about someone or some institution, you must seek and report the response, and there is a refusal to respond, you must report that. This shows you how sensitive the gold issue really is. It is so sensitive that it caused the leading financial news organization in the United States to violate the first rule of journalism, to cheat its readers of the most basic information. I suspect that The Wall Street Journal may have sought comment from the Federal Reserve and that the Fed said it didn't want to talk about the issue and didn't even want to be quoted as saying it didn't want to talk about it. Refusing to comment would look incriminating. So the newspaper obliged the central bank, as it almost certainly would not do for any other subject of a news story. The newspaper simply omitted the crucial detail. How lovely and interesting it might be if west Africa's ambassadors in Britain and the United States called on the major financial news organizations there to urge them to start reporting about gold price suppression by governments and central banks. GATA is full of specific questions journalists could put to governments and central banks if news organizations ever wanted to discover what really is going on in the gold market. Those questions are posted at GATA's internet site and will be linked in the internet posting of this presentation:
[ILLUSTRATION 4 -- MINE PIT]
Consider the failure of mining companies to act in the interests of their investors and the countries whose natural resources they exploit.
GATA has been alerting gold mining companies to gold price suppression policy for 20 years now. GATA people have spoken at mining conferences in North America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. A few mining companies -- very few -- have responded favorably, spoken publicly about the issue, and even supported GATA financially. But most mining companies have ignored the issue. It terrifies them. The gold mining industry has an international trade association -- the World Gold Council -- but the council actually represents very few mining companies, mainly the biggest ones, and has never addressed gold price suppression by governments and central banks. Indeed, the World Gold Council seems to exist mainly to ensure that there never is a world gold council, never any association to defend the gold-mining industry and gold-producing countries against hostile central banks. Thus the World Gold Council forecloses the possibility that the gold mining industry might ever stand up for itself. It is not hard to understand the timidity of gold-mining companies. First, mining is the industry most vulnerable to governments -- for mining permits, for royalty requirements, and for enforcement of environmental regulations. Mining companies are properly scared of doing anything that might alienate their governments. Second, mining is the most capital-intensive business. Developing the typical mine requires hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars and sometimes even billions of dollars. Such financing usually is available only from the biggest investment banks, banks that are formally agents of the major central banks. So gold-mining companies fear that if they complain about the rigging of the gold market, their own banks will cut them off. But I would ask the miners and the gold-producing countries: Do you want to risk dying on your feet or just die on your knees?
[ILLUSTRATION 5 -- NIGERIA'S CAPITOL BUILDING]
Consider the failure of the governments of gold-producing countries.
GATA has made many forays into South Africa and has had some contact with the country's central bank but has gotten nowhere there. The gold-mining industry in South Africa long has been declining and the South African government doesn't seem to mind, even as it cannot claim to be ignorant about Western gold price suppression policy. The South African government knows all about it. West Africa may have more of an excuse, since GATA has made no particular efforts here. But do your governments know all they should about the region's historic mineral resources and gold's past and potential role in the world financial system? Do they know that gold remains the secret knowledge of the world financial system, that it remains the measure of everything? I doubt it.
For nearly every west African country is a member of the International Monetary Fund, whose major objective is to demonetize gold -- one of west Africa's primary exports. Over the years the IMF has periodically sold gold in the name of raising money to help poor countries but actually to knock the gold price down to protect the reserve currency status of the U.S. dollar.
Indeed, the IMF is based in Washington and the United States holds controlling voting power in the IMF. The IMF's charter requires major decisions to be reached by 85 percent of the organization's votes. The United States holds 16½ percent of the votes. So every IMF member country could vote to have the IMF do or not do something and the vote would fail because it had only 83½ percent of the votes when 85 percent were needed. The IMF can't do anything unless the United States consents. That is, the IMF is an agency of U.S. imperialism. Not coincidentally, the IMF also prohibits its member nations from linking their currencies to gold, even the currencies of its gold-producing members. Thus the IMF essentially requires its members to stick with the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency.
GATA does not urge countries to adopt a gold standard. But except for gold-producing countries whose currencies are also international reserve currencies or potential reserve currencies, like China, why would any gold-producing country join an international organization that forbids it from making the most of its own gold resources? Do African governments even know what the IMF's gold policy is -- that is, to assist U.S. policy to drive gold out of the international financial system and thereby weaken gold's price?
Are the dollar loans given by the IMF to developing countries that produce gold worth the double slavery those loans impose -- first the burden of repayment, and second the subservience to the currency of a colonial master? No west African countries seem to be members of the Bank for International Settlements. But since the BIS is a major mechanism of gold price suppression, west African countries also might want to pay the BIS a visit in Switzerland. Your countries also might want to invite to your own foreign offices the ambassadors from the major countries that control the BIS board and ask them a few questions about gold price suppression policy.
You might ask them about the BIS documents I showed you Monday. If your countries have Russian and Chinese embassies, you might want to invite their ambassadors to your foreign office to discuss what the Bank of Russia and the People's Bank of China know about gold price suppression policy. They know a lot.
Why does all this matter? What can be done about it? How might it end?
All this matters not only because west Africa is being deprived of a market price for a primary export but also because the rigging of the gold market is the rigging that facilitates the rigging of all markets everywhere. If you rig the currency markets, you rig everything currencies can buy, especially commodities -- and west Africa produces many commodities in addition to gold.
The rigging of the gold market is part of a much broader scheme by which a secretive and unelected elite in the United States and Western Europe controls the value of all capital, labor, goods, and services in the world and thereby impairs or destroys all markets and democracy itself everywhere, obstructing the progress of mankind. This scheme enables the West and especially the United States -- rich countries -- to live off the labor and resources of the developing world -- poor countries.
This point was made by the Russian central banker I told you about Monday, Oleg Mozhaiskov, in his address to the London Bullion Market Association meeting in Moscow in 2004. If the United States did not issue the world reserve currency, it could not live beyond its means and consume so much more than the fruit of its own labor as it long has been doing. In that case the United States might risk falling to the level of a developing country -- just like the countries of west Africa.
But the unearned wealth that accrues to the United States from its being the issuer of the world reserve currency is not entirely a benefit. For it has comprehensively corrupted my country -- its markets, its politics, and its public morality. When you have so much unearned wealth you tend to do stupid, corrupt, and immoral things. You forget the value of honest labor. You exploit and lord it over others. And you make your money a god.
For these reasons America needs an end to gold price suppression and market rigging as much as the developing world does. The nations that rig the currency markets are operating a totalitarian and parasitic system. It is actually an old story, the latest manifestation of the everlasting war of the financial class against the producing class -- only it is hidden well enough that the producing class hasn't yet figured it out. The producing class is doomed until it does figure it out.
This totalitarian and parasitic system might end in various ways.
First it's a question of world politics at the highest levels. The system may end simply upon exhaustion of the relatively small gold supply that is needed to keep the futures and spot gold markets operating. Supply was exhausted in March 1968 when huge offtake forced the London Gold Pool to close. Since last March there have been signs that gold supplies are again critically tight in London and New York, the markets where price suppression concentrates.
How much more gold from their reserves are the central banks suppressing the gold price prepared to lose? We don't know. That's top-secret information. If you knew how much metal they were still prepared to lose and when it would run out, you could get very rich. The system may end when one country decides to pull the plug on it, exchanging U.S. dollars and Treasury bonds for more gold -- real metal -- than is available.
France's insistence on exchanging dollars for gold in 1967 and 1968 was a big factor in the collapse of the gold pool. Even a smaller country might be able to destroy the system by selling U.S. government bonds and buying enough gold and removing it from the banking system.
Or the system may end as part of a plan by the major central banks to avert the catastrophic debt deflation that now threatens the world -- a plan to inflate the debt away, essentially to default on it, by devaluing the major currencies against gold. This has happened before.
[ILLUSTRATION 6 -- PETER MILLAR STUDY]
For example, a study in 2006 by the Scottish economist Peter Millar concluded that to avert such a catastrophic debt deflation, central banks would need to raise the gold price by a factor of seven to 20 times in order to reliquefy themselves -- to dramatically increase the value of their own gold reserves as their currencies devalue along with the debts of government and society generally:
[ILLUSTRATION 7 -- BRODSKY AND QUAINTANCE STUDY]
In May 2012 the U.S. economists and fund managers Paul Brodsky and Lee Quaintance published a report asserting that central banks probably were already redistributing gold reserves among themselves in preparation for just such a currency devaluation and an upward revaluation of gold, even in preparation for gold's return as formal backing for currencies. Brodsky and Quaintance did not seem to have inside information. Rather, they were speculating. But it was plausible speculation and it has been supported in recent years by the switch of central banks from being net gold sellers to net gold buyers: http://www.gata.org/node/11373
[ILLUSTRATION 8 -- BIS BASEL III STANDARDS]
There is much speculation now that the Bank for International Settlements itself is pushing central banks in the direction of currency devaluation, doing this with what are called the “Basel III” revisions to international banking standards. The revised standards, which are to take effect in June, will reclassify unencumbered physical gold as what is called a “Tier I” asset, an asset equal to cash and government bonds in the calculation of the capital assets of commercial banks. The revised standards will diminish the value of “paper” gold on a bank's balance sheet -- gold credits based on metal that doesn't necessarily exist. Because of the Basel III standards, the commercial banks that trade gold may gain an incentive to hold the real metal and stop playing as much with gold derivatives:
But the end of gold market rigging by central banks may also be a matter of education and publicity -- a matter of whether governments that are not part of the gold price suppression scheme, as well as investors around the world, will ever realize that as much as 90 percent of the world's investment gold, supposedly being held in trust at investment banks, is, to put it politely, oversubscribed. That is, most of the investment gold people think they own may not exist. If there is ever such a widespread realization and if delivery of the imaginary gold is ever demanded, the price of the metal may rise to multiples of its current price even as the holders of “paper gold” discover that they have been irredeemably cheated.
While the prospect of much higher gold prices of course excites gold producers and investors, it raises its own questions. Will governments let gold investors keep extraordinary gains, or will governments impose windfall profits taxes on them or even try to confiscate gold? Decades ago confiscation was undertaken in the United States and other countries. If the gold price soars, will governments let mining companies keep taking metal out of the ground at current royalty rates, or will royalty requirements be sharply raised? Will governments even let private companies keep mining gold at all? On the other hand, if there is no general realization of the frauds of "paper gold" and central bank rigging of the gold market, then gold price suppression, the destruction of markets generally, and the oppression of the developing world may go on forever. Africa must not let that happen -- and Africa may be able to stop this crime just by standing up for itself, by realizing that the continent cannot be fully free when, for international trade, it is dependent on another country's money and rigged markets.
To stop this crime Africa must confront Western governments and central banks.
Gold was nearly everybody's money for thousands of years, it could be everybody's money again, and Africa is sitting on so much of the metal. Gold is the decisive instrument of your liberation. Yet Africa, like Central and South America and Asia, is full of rich countries insisting on being poor, insisting on remaining slaves to a colonial power that suppresses the value of the developing world's resources.
Those who struggle against Western central bank gold price suppression policy are up against nearly all the money and power in the world. But they have justice on their side, which favors the continued ascent of man. Africa can help force the gold issue into the open and thereby advance the ideals of democratic, transparent, and limited government, of fair dealing among nations, of individual liberty, self-determination, and the brotherhood of man, which, in the end, are what gold as money has always been about.
Africa can be free in fact, not just in appearance, and can devise its own prosperous future at last, a big colony no more. You have the resources -- not only gold but oil, other minerals, agricultural production, and vast human talent if you can ever fully educate and protect the health of your people.
While the colonial powers are still operating, they no longer can shoot you or put you in prison for wanting to be yourselves in your own country. You are free if you will be free. You need only some patriotism and courage. Are they within you still, as they were within you during your independence movements in the last century? Look for them in your past. Look for them in America's own past. They are still there. You can find them again.
[ILLUSTRATION 9 -- CONTACT INFORMATION]
Of course GATA wishes you every success and will be delighted to help. If you'd like more information about GATA's work, assistance locating any of the documents I've mentioned, or other information about the issues we have discussed, please e-mail me at CPowell@GATA.org. In any case please consider going to our internet site -- http://gata.org/ -- and subscribing to our free daily electronic newsletter. We aim to keep our friends updated about important or just interesting developments in the monetary metals. Thanks again for your kind attention and indulgence -- and for the hope you have given me.
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