- Gold is the Spectre Haunting Our Monetary System. A Central Banks Scramble for Gold Has Begun
by James Rickards, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
For a century, elites have worked to eliminate monetary gold, both physically and ideologically.
This began in 1914, with the UK’s entry into the First World War. The Bank of England wanted to suspend convertibility of bank notes into gold. Keynes counselled wisely that the bank should not do so. Gold was finite, but credit elastic.
By staying on gold, the UK could maintain its credit, and finance the war effort. This transpired. The House of Morgan organised massive credits for the UK, and none for Germany. This finance was crucial, and sustained the UK until the US abandoned neutrality and tipped the military balance against Germany.
Despite formal convertibility of sterling to gold, the Bank of England successfully discouraged actual conversion.
Gold sovereigns were withdrawn from circulation and turned into 400-ounce bars. This form of bullion limited gold ownership to the wealthy, and confined gold’s presence to vaults. A similar disappearance of gold as a circulating currency occurred in the US.
Yet, like Banquo’s ghost, gold insists on its seat at the monetary table. The US holds 8,133 tonnes of gold. The members of the eurozone and ECB hold 10,788 tonnes. China reports holdings of 1,788 tonnes, but actual holdings are closer to 4,000 tonnes, based on reliable data from Hong Kong exports and Chinese mining.
Russia has 1,447 tonnes, and has been acquiring over 200 tonnes per year. Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam, among other nations, have added to their gold reserves recently. (Pity the UK, which sold more than half its gold at rock- bottom prices between 1999 and 2002).
After decades as net sellers of gold, central banks became net buyers in 2010. A scramble for gold has begun. What drives gold’s new allure? In some cases, central banks are constructing a hedge against US dollar inflation.