Mobilization of IMF gold just a sign of central bank desperation

Mobilization of IMF gold just a sign of central bank desperation
By: Chris Powell, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Before panicking about the Reuters story appended here, reporting that the G7 conference in Tokyo likes the idea that the International Monetary Fund should raise money for itself by selling some of its gold reserves, consider a few things.

1) The prospect of gold sales by the IMF has been hanging over the gold market for years.

2) For almost a decade now central bank gold sales have been accompanied by higher gold prices, not lower prices. Gold demand has been exceeding gold production by about a thousand tonnes per year, the gap being covered only by central bank dishoarding. Even with the rising price gold production is declining, the price still not being high enough to make greater production generally profitable.

3) Mobilization of IMF gold suggests that individual central bank gold reserves are nearing exhaustion or that individual central banks are no longer willing to dishoard what they have left.

4) There's no assurance that the IMF has the gold attributed to it and no report as to where the gold its kept. Further, as the Reuters story here acknowledges, any gold sales by the IMF would require approval by the U.S. Congress, which has opposed the idea in the past. This opposition has been offered in the name of supporting developing countries whose economies rely to a great extent on gold mining, but given the secrecy and unaccountability around the gold reserves of various nations, including the United States itself, it is fair to wonder whether the opposition is not also a matter of concealing some impairment of the IMF gold.5) Though it is never questioned by the financial press, the rationale that continues to be offered for selling the IMF's gold is plainly ridiculous. That rationale is, as the Reuters story here reports, that the IMF gold should be liquidated and the proceeds invested "in financial securities with positive yields." But what "yields" could be more positive than the "yield" acknowledged for the IMF gold, an increase in value of 400 percent in five years? Is the IMF supposed to be happier with government bonds paying 4 percent per year against inflation rates several times that?

6) Those who want gold restored as the independent arbiter of the international financial system should be thrilled if all central banks and the IMF dishoarded all their gold at once and got out of the gold market for good. Until then, there really won't be a market price for gold, just a desperately manipulated one, a price well below the cost of production -- still a bargain.

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

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