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U.S. govt. starts responding to GATA questions

Section: Daily Dispatches

5:10p EST Saturday, January 8, 2000

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GATA's campaign to get answers about United States
policy toward gold is having some success, as you'll
see from the attached Reuters story published today.

While U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers
seems here to be almost pointedly ignoring GATA's
more crucial questions -- questions about the gold
DERIVATIVES market, rather than about the physical
market -- it's clear that the clamor GATA has raised
through its recent advertising in Washington and the
letter-writing of its members have been noted at the
highest levels.

We're going to keep at it. Please help us.

Please post this as seems useful.

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

* * *

Summers Says U.S. Not Selling Any Gold Reserves

Filed at 11:24 a.m. ET Saturday, January 8, 2000

BOSTON (Reuters) - The United States has not sold any
of its gold reserves and has no plans to do so, U.S.
Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said on Saturday.

quot;I categorically deny assertions that U.S. gold
reserves were being sold off or that there is any plan
to sell them off,quot; Summers told reporters on the
sidelines of an economics conference.

His denial came amid talk in the gold markets that some
of the weakness in the gold price over recent years may
have been caused by direct U.S. sales of gold.

The International Monetary Fund, for its part, has
begun to sell its gold to raise cash to pay for debt
relief for some of the world's poorest nations. But the
gold never actually reaches the market place: In a
complicated transaction, the fund sells its gold at
market prices to member countries that owe it cash. The
members then use that cash to repay their obligations
to the fund.

The deal creates windfall profits for the IMF because,
under a quirk of international finances, IMF gold is
valued at some $48 per ounce, while the market price is
around $285.

The idea of off-market gold sales was hatched as a way
to placate those who feared that direct sales of IMF
gold could drive prices lower and hurt the very
countries the debt relief is designed to help. Some
poor debtor countries are also gold producers.