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Paul again squanders chance to press the crucial questions

Section: Daily Dispatches

1a ET Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

As grateful as many of us are to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul for articulating, almost alone in the federal government, the monetary issues at the center of the international financial catastrophe, we might be even more grateful to him if he could sharpen his performance at the hearings of the House Banking Committee, at which he has not made the most of his many opportunities to interrogate Federal Reserve and Treasury Department officials.

Time for each committee member to speak at these hearings is very limited, and unfortunately Paul usually spends most of his time making speeches rather than asking crucial questions, even as those crucial questions must be well known to him. Just watch again his exchange at Tuesday's hearing with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, which GoldSeek posted here:

The exchange is 5 minutes and 15 seconds long and Paul uses 4 minutes and 9 seconds of it, most of that time just speechifying, only a few seconds of it asking questions. Too bad, because Paul still got a couple of important disclosures out of Bernanke -- that the prospect of a new international reserve currency never comes up in Bernanke's discussions with the central bankers of other countries, and that the only mention of gold in those discussions involves the plans of central banks to sell their gold reserves.

Of course those who follow these issues long have known what Paul thinks and don't really need to hear it again at these hearings. What is most important at these hearings is what the Fed, the Treasury, and other central bankers are doing and what they are trying to conceal from the public and the markets.

Imagine if, instead of speechifying for 4 minutes and 9 seconds on Tuesday, Paul had sought to press a few more questions, like:

1) Are the Fed or the Treasury intervening or encouraging or subsidizing certain actions by others in the precious metals and general equities markets, just as the Fed and Treasury commonly intervene in the currency and bond markets?

2) Does the U.S. government have any connection to the derivative positions in gold, silver, and interest rates built up at JPMorganChase and other financial houses?

3) Why is the Federal Reserve refusing to disclose all its records involving the U.S. gold reserve?

4) How often does the President's Working Group on Financial Markets meet? What does it do? Does it intervene in the stock market or encourage certain actions in the market by third parties? Does it keep records of its proceedings? Are those records available to the public? If not, why not?

5) Do the Fed and the Treasury convey to certain financial houses information that is not simultaneously available to all other market participants? Exactly what private communications do Fed and Treasury officials have with financial houses? What is the necessity of that privacy? How does that privacy not confer a favoritism that is potentially very lucrative?

Surely Paul himself could frame all these questions and many better ones without any help. Instead he always digresses and then at the last minute tiptoes up to a big issue only to have time run out with the Fed and the Treasury witnesses saved by the bell. Even as Paul knows better than nearly everyone else in Washington, it is hard not to wonder if he is afraid of being the one to prompt the answers he very well might get.

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

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