08 July 2010

BIS and the Gold Swaps: Curiouser and Curiouser

Here is an update on the BIS Gold swap story from The Wall Street Journal via GATA's Chris Powell.

Gold swap mystery deepens as BIS gets correction from Wall Street Journal
Submitted by cpowell on 07:41PM ET Wednesday, July 7, 2010.
Section: Daily Dispatches

10:47p ET Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Wall Street Journal this evening updated and corrected its report about the gold swaps undertaken by the Bank for International Settlements, disclosing an e-mailed statement from the BIS stating that the swaps were with commercial banks, not central banks as the newspaper first reported.

The updated story suggests that some puzzlement continues about the swaps:

"The enormous amount of gold involved, nearly tripling what the BIS itself owns, left many market participants wondering about the nature of the deals. The BIS declined to identify the commercial banks involved. ... It isn't clear what prompted the banks to borrow from the BIS instead of their central banks."

Further, without citing authority the paper says "the gold hasn't entered the open market," but "if the banks that loaned the gold are for some reason unable to make good on the loan, the BIS could opt to sell the gold in order to get its money back, which could amount to flooding the market with an unexpected boost to the global supply."

But gold being money that for years has been appreciating against nearly all currencies, as noted for you a few minutes ago here --


-- why would any institution want to sell gold "to get its money back?" -- unless, of course, "flooding the market" and suppressing the gold price wasn't the real objective?

Another unanswered question is where the European commercial banks got all that gold, "349 metric tons ... nearly tripling what the BIS itself owns." The European commercial banks aren't known for holding that much metal on their own account. (If you rent a safe-deposit box at a European commercial bank, you might want to check its contents in the morning.)

While the story has changed in an important way, the first principle of journalism hasn't, and journalists here haven't yet demanded information from the primary sources, the BIS and the commercial banks themselves. Nor has there been any change in the conclusion that must be drawn from the story so far. That is, the secrecy and the involvement of the BIS, an admitted gold market rigger, impugn the transaction as part of another gold market rigging scheme.