Category Archives: Metals & Minerals
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the vast majority of people live in extreme poverty, earning only around $400 a year. The country is reeling from instability, hunger, and disease. One in seven children dies before they turn 5 years old. And more than 5.4 million people have died since 1993 because of armed conflict. But the issues plaguing Congolese citizens are in sharp contrast to the country’s wealth. The DRC sits on untapped, raw mineral ores worth $24 trillion — money that isn’t directly benefiting the people who live there.
“Why are we living through hell in paradise?” Vital Kamerhe, a Congolese politician and leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation, asks in the film When Elephants Fight, which details how foreign interests have ravaged the Congo region. “That is the paradox of Congo.”
Foreign companies have made large investments in eastern Congo’s mines, buying from suppliers funding armed groups within the country. This type of foreign investment in the Congo’s extraction industry has led to a loss of at least $1 billion in resource revenue that could otherwise be used to reform the country’s security, health, and education sectors.
Now, two well-known activists have begun a campaign to pressure mining companies, the DRC government, and Western governments to disclose exactly what they’re doing in the region. Alongside House of Cards television star Robin Wright, JD Stier, the president of the social activism organization Stier Forward, created the #StandWithCongo campaign to get mining entities to disclose the beneficial owners of offshore companies that are profiting from these mining deals.
[…] Millions of people in 70 countries across Asia, Africa, and South America have been exposed to high levels of mercury as small-scale mining has proliferated over the past decade. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that at least 10 million miners, including at least four million women and children, are working in small “artisanal” gold mines, which produce as much as 15 percent of the world’s gold.
More than a million miners scratch out an illegal living digging for gold in at least 850 hot spots, says Yuyun Ismawati, a 2009 winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize who has conducted extensive research on small-scale mining. Many of them fall prey to corrupt authorities who take a share of the gold rather than enforcing a law that bans mercury use.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,500 islands with the world’s fourth largest population, has one of the worst mercury problems, according to Stephan Bose-O’Reilly, a children’s health expert who volunteers at the Indonesian environmental group BaliFokus Foundation.
“Indonesia is a real global hot spot,” Bose-O’Reilly said during a recent trip to Indonesia examine miners in the gold fields. “I haven’t seen anything worse than here.”
It may appear as no more than a popular children’s toy, but investors were able to secure a better return buying Lego sets over the past 15 years than from the stock market, gold or bank accounts, a Telegraph analysis found.
The value of the FTSE 100 is no higher than it was in February 2000, meaning the average annual return to savers over the past decade and half is just 4.1 per cent once dividend payouts are included.
By contrast, Lego sets kept in pristine condition have increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium, with second-hand prices rising for specific sets as soon as they go out of production. Modern sets are performing even more strongly, with those released last year already selling on eBay for 36 per cent more than their original price.
The analysis found none of the main investments favoured by savers matched returns on the plastic building bricks.
Editor’s Note: Nomi Prins is a former managing director at Goldman Sachs and a former senior managing director at Bear Stearns. I would HIGHLY recommend reading her latest book “All The Presidents’ Bankers“. It is quite possibly the best work on the history of America’s financial elite that has ever been written. She is also author of “It Takes A Pillage” and a novel “Black Tuesday“. You can check out more of her work/interviews at her website.
- Why are investors rushing to the gold markets? Interview with Nomi Prins
- Get Your Gold Now Before It’s Too Late: Interview wth Jim Rickards
- QE isn’t dying, it’s morphing
- Why the Financial and Political System Failed and Stability Matters
- Interview with Nomi Prins on Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion
- Nomi Prins On The History of the Global Banking Elite
- Dodd-Frank Turns Four and Nothing Fundamental has Changed
- Nomi Prins Interviewed on the Keiser Report
‘The Islamic State group says its leader has ordered that the organization start minting gold, silver and copper coins for its own currency — the Islamic dinar.
A website affiliated with the militant group said late on Thursday that its leader, Abu Bakr Baghdadi, has instructed his followers to start minting the coins to “change the tyrannical monetary system” modelled on Western economies that “enslaved Muslims.”
The posting says the order was approved by the group’s Shura Council, an advisory board.’
‘The bullion banks (primarily JP Morgan, HSBC, ScotiaMocatta, Barclays, UBS, and Deutsche Bank), most likely acting as agents for the Federal Reserve, have been systematically forcing down the price of gold since September 2011. Suppression of the gold price protects the US dollar against the extraordinary explosion in the growth of dollars and dollar-denominated debt.
It is possible to suppress the price of gold despite rising demand, because the price is not determined in the physical market in which gold is actually purchased and carried away. Instead, the price of gold is determined in a speculative futures market in which bets are placed on the direction of the gold price. Practically all of the bets made in the futures market are settled in cash, not in gold. Cash settlement of the contracts serves to remove price determination from the physical market.
Cash settlement makes it possible for enormous amounts of uncovered or “naked” futures contracts — paper gold — to be printed and dumped all at once for sale in the futures market at times when trading is thin. By increasing the supply of paper gold, the enormous sales drive down the futures price, and it is the futures price that determines the price at which physical quantities of bullion can be purchased.’
‘If China were to convert a relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system. It would be a gamble, of course, for China to use part of its reserves to buy enough gold bullion to displace the United States from its position as the world’s largest holder of monetary gold. (As of spring 2014, U.S. holdings amounted to $328 billion.) But the penalty for being wrong, in terms of lost interest and the cost of storage, would be modest. For the rest of the world, gold prices would certainly rise, but only during the period of accumulation. They would likely fall back once China reached its goal.
The broader issue — a return to the gold standard in any form — is nowhere on anybody’s horizon. It has few supporters in today’s virtually universal embrace of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates. Yet gold has special properties that no other currency, with the possible exception of silver, can claim. For more than two millennia, gold has had virtually unquestioned acceptance as payment. It has never required the credit guarantee of a third party. No questions are raised when gold or direct claims to gold are offered in payment of an obligation; it was the only form of payment, for example, that exporters to Germany would accept as World War II was drawing to a close. Today, the acceptance of fiat money — currency not backed by an asset of intrinsic value — rests on the credit guarantee of sovereign nations endowed with effective taxing power, a guarantee that in crisis conditions has not always matched the universal acceptability of gold.’
- China’s Gold Strategy
- Goldcorp Says Output to Decline After 2015
- Chinese unmoved by gold price drop, see it cheaper still
- Russia Buys Most Gold for Reserves Since Financial Crisis of ’98
- U.S. Mint’s Eagle gold coin October sales are highest since January
- China gold imports rise to five-month high
- The Gold Riggers: Distorting Perceptions of Economic Reality
- Greenspan Sees Turmoil as QE Boost to Markets Unwinds
- Markets Nervous Ahead of Swiss Gold Vote
- Poll: Swiss gold referendum’s support falls short of majority
- Citi: Forex-Rigging Fines Could Hit $41 Billion Globally
- Gold price seen near tipping point for mine cuts, closures
- Gold Fix Study Shows Signs of Decade of Bank Manipulation
- Barclays Fined For Manipulating Price Of Gold For A Decade
- Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein: ‘This Could Be China’s Century’
‘The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents (JP Morgan, Scotia, and HSBC) have been using naked short-selling to drive down the price of gold since September 2011. The latest containment effort began in mid-July of this year, after gold had moved higher in price from the beginning of June and was threatening to take out key technical levels, which would have triggered a flood of buying from hedge funds.
The Fed and its agents rig the gold price in the New York Comex futures (paper gold) market. The bullion banks have the ability to print an unlimited supply of gold contracts which are sold in large volumes at times when Comex activity is light.
Generally, on the other side of the trade the buyers of contracts are large hedge funds and other speculators, who use the contracts to speculate on the direction of the gold price. The hedge funds and speculators have no interest in acquiring physical gold and settle their bets in cash, which makes it possible for the bullion banks to sell claims to gold that they cannot back with physical metal. Contracts sold without underlying gold to back them are called “uncovered contracts” or “naked shorts.” It is illegal to engage in naked shorting in the stock and bond markets, but it is permitted in the gold futures market.’
- Price-fixing on gold, oil and financial products to become criminal offence
- Insider Trading and Financial Terrorism on Comex
- FCA: ‘No evidence’ of gold price rigging
- British MPs urge watchdog to probe price-rigging in gold market
- Gold Price Manipulation Was “Routine”, FT Reports
- New concerns surround the way the world gold price is set
- Barclays slapped with $44 million fine over gold price fix
- FT’s Gold Price Manipulation Article That Was Removed
- Gold Fix Study Shows Signs of Decade of Bank Manipulation
- Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says
- Matt Taibbi: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
‘Gold and currencies markets are starting to show their first nerves ahead of a referendum in Switzerland that could potentially force the country’s central bank to buy thousands of metric tons of gold and never sell it, complicating its so far credible policies to hold down the franc.
A ‘yes’ result in the so-called “Save Our Swiss Gold” vote Nov. 30 wouldn’t be the end of the matter, with the controversial measure facing several hurdles before it could ever be passed into law.
Still, a ruling in favor of the motion would force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its about $547 billion assets in the precious metal, returning to the weighting it last held in gold in 2008. This harks back to a time when Switzerland held a dominant role in global gold markets.’
- Gold price could benefit from Swiss vote
- Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years
- Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Like The Swiss Gold Status Quo Showdown
- Currency traders eye Swiss vote on gold holdings
- How the central bank squandered Switzerland’s gold reserves
- Next big market shock can come from ‘Save Swiss gold’ movement
- Ron Paul: Switzerland Gold Referendum A Healthy Conversation
- Analyst: Switzerland Is Only Country That Would Vote For Bigger Gold Reserves
- “Save Our Swiss Gold ” – Game Changer For Gold?
‘The price of gold, down more than a third in three years, is approaching the tipping point where the mining industry would see a spike in the number of producers reducing output or even shutting down operations.
Several mines globally have already suspended output in the past 18 months, but not as many as industry watchers expected as producers focused on slashing costs and reworking mine plans to extract more profitable, higher-grade ounces.
But with bullion’s slide this week to a nine-month low of $1,208.36 an ounce, those defenses may not be enough.’
- Royal Mint puts its gold bullion up for sale
- Super-rich rush to buy ‘Italian Job’ style gold bars
- The Big Picture For Gold And Silver
- The myth of ethical gold
- China opens gold market to foreigners, seeks more pricing power
- China Holds “Gold Congress” – Positioning Itself As Global Gold Hub
- Indian Trade Deficit Widens as Gold Imports Surge 176%
- Central banks continuing to boost gold reserves
- London gold fix lawsuits to be consolidated in New York
- Three reasons to invest in Gold: Interview with Alasdair Macleod
- Barclays Manipulated Gold as Soon as It Stopped Manipulating Libor
‘Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia have been accused of attempting to rig the price of silver, in a lawsuit filed in the US. The plaintiff alleges the banks, which set the price of silver each day, abused their position in the market. Deutsche Bank and HSBC have not commented on the filing, while Bank of Nova Scotia told Bloomberg news agency it would “vigorously defend” itself.
The lawsuit follows similar filings in the gold price-fixing market. Earlier this year, Barclays Bank was fined £26m ($44m) by UK regulators after one of its traders was discovered attempting to fix the price of gold. Investor Scott Nicholson from Washington said in the filing against the three banks for price-fixing: “The extreme level of secrecy creates an environment that is ripe for manipulation.”‘
‘The banks which set the global price of gold are to open the process to independent scrutiny amid evidence that it has been subject to the same manipulation as other crucial financial benchmarks.
The 95-year-old gold fixing mechanism is poised to seek an independent chairman and third-party administrator for the first time, under plans to be unveiled by its current operators. A new code of conduct for participants in the fixing process is also being finalised and is expected to be published shortly.
The reforms will represent a crucial step towards protecting a globally-recognised mechanism set in London and used across the world’s gold industry to set a reference price for bullion.’
‘Over the past 100 years the global money supply has increased dramatically, leading to rising prices, ordinary people forced into heavy borrowing and government debt spiraling out of control – US national debt, for example, currently stands at more than US$17.5 trillion (as of 30/04/14). In response to this, some people have been calling for a return to the gold standard, a monetary system where the value of national currencies is directly linked to gold. This is different to the fiat money system currently in use the world over, where the value of national currencies is determined by governments. Other people, however, are suggesting that the cyrptocurrency Bitcoin could be the answer, with many asking if it’s the “new gold standard”.’ (Truthloader)
‘Call it bitgold. It’s what you get when you combine bitcoin, one of the world’s newest would-be currencies, and gold, one of the oldest. Add mistrust of centralized authority, a dash of rebelliousness and a dollop of profit motive and you might have the Independence Coin, the first gold-backed crypto-money, unveiled this month at FreedomFest, a libertarian convention in — where else? — Las Vegas.
…Despite the skepticism, bitcoin and gold make a natural match, like kittens and milk. Gold, a store of value since ancient times, has long been popular with investors seeking a haven and doomsayers rejecting fiat currencies churned out on central bank printing presses. Bitcoin, cooked up by programmers six years ago, has been embraced by hipster anarchists and others eager to trade online while avoiding the constraints of conventional money. There are signs that the two sides are finally meeting.’
- Sexual violence and conflict minerals: international demand fuels cycle
- Blood minerals are electronics industry’s dirty secret
- There May Be Conflict Minerals in Your Smartphone
- Global Witness warns that majority of inaugural conflict mineral reports are inadequate
- Few Firms Name Sources in U.S. Conflict Minerals Reports
- Intel, HP Seen as Exceptions in Conflict-Mineral Reports
- Conflict Minerals Rules Show The Value Of Knowing Your Supply Chain
- ‘Conflict minerals’ finance gang rape in Africa
- 2008 Study: Congo war-driven crisis kills 45,000 a month
- Caliche: the conflict mineral that fuelled the first world war
‘This is a great example of how the game works. In a world in which every government on earth needs “liquidity” to survive, and the primary goal of every government is and always has been survival (the retention of arbitrary power at all costs), the provider of liquidity is king. So what is liquidity and who provides it?
In the current financial system (post Bretton Woods), the primary engine of global liquidity is the U.S. dollar and dollar based assets generally as a result of its reserve currency status. Ever since Nixon defaulted on the U.S. dollar’s gold backing in 1971, the creation of this “liquidity” has zero restrictions whatsoever and is merely based on the whims and desires of the central planners in chief, i.e., the Federal Reserve. As the primary creator of the liquidity that every government on earth needs to survive, the Federal Reserve is thus the most powerful player globally in not only economic, but also geopolitical affairs.
The example of the so-called sovereign nation of Ecuador relinquishing its gold reserves to Goldman Sachs for “liquidity” which can be conjured up by the Fed on a whim and at zero cost tells you all you need to know about how the world works.’
‘For the last few years, increasing numbers of commentators, including Max Keiser, have been predicting the collapse of the US dollar, a collapse that could be closer than you think. America currently faces a very real, impending threat — China. China accounts for more global trade than anyone else on the planet, and most of that trade happens in US dollars keeping demand for the dollar high and overseas trade at low costs. Not only this, but China holds around 1.3 trillion dollars of US debt. A debt accumulated by China’s stockpile of dollars from international trade which they lend back to the US at ridiculously low interest rates. But what happens if they stop playing the game? Well, in some respects they already have.’ (Truthloader)
‘It was almost inevitable: a week after we wrote “From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold” and days after “Barclays’ Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold “Fixer”, Is Leaving The Bank“, earlier today the UK Financial Conduct Authority finally formalized what most in the “tin-foil” hat community had known for years, when it announced that it fined Barclays £26 million for manipulating “the setting of the price of gold in order to avoid paying out on a client order.” Furthermore, the FCA confirmed that those inexplicable gold raids which come as if out of nowhere, and slam gold with a vicious force so strong sometime they halt the entire market, had a very specific source: Barclays, whose trader Daniel James Plunkett, born 1976, “sent out a burst of orders aimed at moving the price of the yellow metal.”‘
- Barclays fined £26m for trader’s gold rigging
- Barclays’ Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold “Fixer”, Is Leaving The Bank
- From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold
- Barclays’ Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold “Fixer”, Is Leaving The Bank
- Vicious Gold Slamdown Breaks Gold Market For 20 Seconds
‘Multinational corporations are infamous for pushing native people off their land in order to open a new gold mine, extract oil, or otherwise extract local resources. For decades, backlash has been thought to be both limited and ineffectual, but new evidence suggests that protests from local people are effective, extremely costly for the companies, and often lead to substantive changes to or total abandonment of a project.
Researchers at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining interviewed employees at several dozen major international corporations who are involved with extractive activities, and found that companies are increasingly having to deal with the social and environmental impacts of their work, and that it’s hurting them where it hurts most: their bottom lines.’
The New York Times touts Rwanda as a place of economic miracles, a country with almost no mineral resources that nevertheless plans to “leapfrog” straight to an information economy. What the Times fails to mention is that Rwanda’s relative prosperity is based on the extermination of its Congolese neighbors and the expropriation of their natural resources.
In the years since 1996, at least 6 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a direct result of an invasion by two U.S. client states: Rwanda and Uganda. It is the greatest slaughter since World War II, yet only a small fraction of the American public is even aware that the genocide occurred. The public remains ignorant of the ongoing crime – in which the United States is fully complicit – because the U.S. corporate media have successfully covered up the murder of millions of Congolese. More than that, organs like the New York Times act as PR agents for the perpetrators of the genocide, especially Rwanda – as exemplified by a puff piece that appeared in the Times, this week, titled “Rwanda Reaches for New Economic Model.”
- Rwanda Reaches for New Economic Model
- The Real Lesson of the Rwandan Tragedy: A Case of Military and Economic Sabotage
- French court sentences Rwandan ex-soldier for genocide role
- U.N. Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Book: Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa by Robin Philpot
Having lost their traditional herds, the local people of Karamoja, Uganda, increasingly turned to small-scale gold mining as a meager but fairly steady source of income. But with large mining interests moving into the region, even their gold could soon be taken from them. […] Recently international mining companies have begun exploration in Karamoja, looking for limestone, marble, iron ore and, of course, gold.
A Human Rights Watch report released February called attention to the threat these companies could pose if communities are not properly consulted. Because land in Karamoja is communally owned, it said, the potential for land grabbing is very real. Nangiro is certain it will soon become impossible for the Karimojong to mine their own gold.
The London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say. Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper.
“The structure of the benchmark is certainly conducive to collusion and manipulation, and the empirical data are consistent with price artificiality,” they say in the report, which hasn’t yet been submitted for publication. “It is likely that co-operation between participants may be occurring.” The paper is the first to raise the possibility that the five banks overseeing the century-old rate — Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Societe Generale SA (GLE) — may have been actively working together to manipulate the benchmark. It also adds to pressure on the firms to overhaul the way the rate is calculated. Authorities around the world, already investigating the manipulation of benchmarks from interest rates to foreign exchange, are examining the $20 trillion gold market for signs of wrongdoing.
Ivory Coast is re-emerging as the prime investment destination in French-speaking West Africa after a decade of political turmoil but President Alassane Ouattara must weed out corruption and promote reconciliation to keep cash flowing in. Long considered the jewel in the crown of France’s former West African territories, a 1999 coup destroyed the reputation of Ivory Coast – the world’s largest cocoa producer – as an island of stability in a troubled region. A bloody presidential election in 2000 and a rebellion two years later triggered an exodus of capital that undid decades of development, dubbed the Ivorian Miracle.
With peace finally restored, French construction firm Bouyges, oil companies such as Tullow and Lukoil, and South Africa’s Standard Bank are among those flocking to invest. “We lost half of our companies during that time. The level of poverty increased from 10 percent to almost 50 percent,” Trade Minister Jean-Louis Billon told Reuters. “Now we want to move forward.” A brief civil war in 2011 allowed Ouattara, who won an election that sparked the fighting, to secure the presidency and reunite a nation still divided between a rebel north and government-controlled south despite years of peace overtures.
With the former International Monetary Fund official at the helm, Ivory Coast’s $40 billion economy – comprising nearly half West Africa’s six-nation CFA currency bloc – embarked on a dramatic revival. It posted growth of over 9 percent the past two years and the government is targeting double-digits in 2014 as it seeks to make up ground on neighbouring Ghana, a new oil exporter. “Ivory Coast could become one of the motors of economic growth in Africa again,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a conference in Abidjan last week that drew 4,000 delegates and more than $800 million in investment pledges.
Large-scale infrastructure projects, shelved during a decade of political deadlock, are springing back to life. A motorway linking the port of Abidjan to the administrative capital Yamoussoukro opened late last year. Bouyges is pressing ahead with a long-delayed third bridge across Abidjan’s lagoon to unlock congestion. Heavy investment in electricity generation aims to boost output from 1,600 megawatts to 4,000 by 2020 as Ivory Coast, already a power exporter, seeks to become a regional energy hub.
‘Conflict minerals’ will no longer be used in Intel processors, the technology company announced in January. The move comes as US regulators prepare to implement new rules requiring about 6,000 manufacturers to disclose information about their use of minerals such as gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten, which are essential in the manufacture of consumer electronics such as mobile phones and laptops.
The metals are frequently sourced from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries, where many mines are operated by militia and rebel groups, sometimes with the collusion of corrupt government officials. Income from the mines helps to fund the continuing conflict in the region, which has been marked by widespread human rights abuses.
Speaking at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Intel’s new chief executive Brian Krzanich told the audience that they had been attempting to establish the sources of the metals used in their chips for years. Krzanich said it was an important issue for the company. “You begin to think about the impact of the supply chain and the potential issues you can be causing,” he said.
Intel’s move goes further than is required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which included a measure – due to be implemented this spring – requiring companies that make US regulatory filings to disclose, but not halt, their use of conflict minerals. The law is being disputed by several powerful trade associations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers. These associations claim the act infringes on their constitutional rights.
Editor’s Note: Emira Woods is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an expert on U.S. foreign policy with a special emphasis on Africa and the developing world.
A recent geological study indicates North Korea could hold some 216 million tons of rare earths, minerals used in electronics such as smartphones and high definition televisions.
If verified, the discovery would more than double global known sources and be six times the reserves in China, the market leader.
British Islands-based private equity firm SRE Minerals Limited announced the study results in December, along with a 25-year deal to develop the deposits in Jongju, northwest of the capital, Pyongyang.
The joint venture, called Pacific Century Rare Earth Mineral Limited, is with state-owned Korea Natural Resources Trading Corporation.
The potential bonanza could offer the isolated and impoverished North a game-changing stake in the rare earths industry.
Gold is moving out of western markets and into eastern markets, a new report from the World Gold Council highlights.
“The recent dynamics of the gold market have worked to ensure that lower prices (caused, in part, by ETF outflows) boosted Asian demand to an extent sufficient to absorb the gold flowing from western markets,” according to the report.
Here’s how it works:
Gold continued to work its way through the supply chain, to be converted from London Good Delivery bar-form, via the refiners, into smaller, Asian consumer-friendly denominations of kilo-bars and below. This process is borne out by recent trade statistics. Data from Eurostat show exports of gold from the UK to Switzerland for the January – August period grew more than tenfold, to 1,016.3 t.
Consumer demand in China and India dwarfs the rest of the world. Check out the chart:
The Bank of England’s involvement in the sale of gold stolen by Nazis following the invasion of Czechoslovakia has been revealed in newly released documents.
Archived material released by the BoE details how the gold bars were sold on behalf of Germany’s central bank, the Reichsbank, in 1939, after being seized during the Nazi invasion, despite the fact that British government had frozen all Czech assets being held in London at the time.
The BoE documents have been made public following the first stage of the digitalisation of the bank’s archive.
Key members of the Bank of England together with their German counterparts established the BIS, the Bank for International Settlement, which laundered the plundered gold of Europe. On its board were key Nazis such as Walther Funk and Hjalamar Schact The president of BIS was an American, Thomas McKittrick, who readily socialized with leading Nazis. Not only the BIS, but other allied banks worked hand in hand with the Nazis.