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BIS Engaged in Gold Swaps to About 380 Tonnes
BIS Engaged in Gold Swaps to About 380 Tonnes

Catherine and News & Commentary,
July 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

By Jesse
These swaps have significance because of the speculation that the public sale of gold by the IMF, which was secretive and selective, was not a legitimate sale to raise funds, but a means of bailing out the bullion banks who had taken gold previously on lease and sold it into the public markets, but were unable to return it because of the tightness of supply in the physical bullion market, increasingly disconnected from the NY based paper market.
Several private bullion buyers, including Eric Sprott, are reported to have made firm and well priced offers to buy large tranches of gold from the IMF, only to be curtly turned away as ‘ineligible.’ The IMF is selling at the prices they determine ex-market to the people to whom they wish to sell. It appears that they may be managing this through BIS.
Continue reading IMF - BIS Engaged in Gold Swaps to About 380 Tonnes; Organized Looting of Sovereign Wealth
Just as Gordon Brown sold England's gold at artificially low prices to bail out the bullion banks in NY and the City, so the IMF and its constituent members are selling the public stores of gold, largely from a few developed western nations, to support what essentially appears to be a crony capitalist banking fraud involving the secretive sale of public assets at artificial prices with the gains pocketed by a few state-sponsored banks.
"Gold swaps are usually undertaken between monetary authorities. The gold is exchanged for foreign exchange deposits (or other reserve assets) with an agreement that the transaction be unwound at an agreed future date, at an agreed price. The monetary authority acquiring the foreign exchange will pay interest on the foreign exchange received. Gold swaps are typically undertaken when the cash-taking monetary authority has need of foreign exchange but does not wish to sell outright its gold holdings (at least not on their own books - Jesse). In that manner, gold is a leveraging device. Gold swaps sometimes involve transactions where one of the parties is not a monetary authority (usually it is another depository corporation). Gold swaps between monetary authorities do not usually involve the payment of margin."

Repurchase Agreements, Securities Lending, Gold Swaps and Gold Loans, An Update - IMF
Some parties have mistakenly asserted that since a swap is not a lease for accounting purposes, which is quite correct, then the gold could not have been sold. That is just a simplistic misconception. A swap transfers the benefits of the assets from one party to another for a period of time in exchange for interest paid, generally on forex received. Its does not sell the property but it transfers the mineral rights for a time, if you will.

The party that then holds that gold asset can just hold it, or they can utilize it in some way, such as leasing it out for a period of time to another party, like a bullion bank, who can subsequently sell it. These types of 'three way deals' were very commonly seen when Lehman and Bear Stearns started to unravel and they needed ot be unwound, and were a key component of the whole issue of hidden counter party risks. Remember that?

So on the books of the first party there are in fact no leases or sales shown, just swaps of varying duration and terms. But the swap has delivered an asset, in this case gold, into the hands of a party who may have no qualms about leasing that asset out to a third party to obtain funds, and that third party is likely to sell it. I would of course agree that this does not PROVE anything. How can it when the books of some of the parties are still opaque, and audits rarely conducted to verify ownership. But after what we have just seen over the last three years in these games of asset merry-go-round, how can anyone just blatantly dismiss that can and likely is happening, where there is an easy profit to be made. Especially considering the past history of transactions between the bullion banks and the central banks.
Personally I would view this report as bullish for the price of gold, since it is past history, and almost certainly an indication of concerns about Comex offtake. In other words, shortages are appearing, and fresh sources of bullion are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

John Brimelow reports that:

"The news of the day, of course, was the discovery by the Virtual Metals analyst (Matthew Turner) that the BIS engaged in what appears to have been the biggest gold swap in history prior to the end of their FY end on March 31st. (first of the wire services to report) says:

“In its 2010 annual report, the BIS said that "gold, which the bank held in connection with gold swap operations, under which the bank exchanges currencies for physical gold," stands at 8,160.1 million in special drawing rights, equivalent to 346 tonnes this year, up from nil in 2009.

While the data is relevant to the end of BIS’ 2010 financial year in March, data posted to the International Monetary Fund and carried by Bloomberg show the swap still growing in April, analyst Andy Smith of Bache Commodities noted.

To now, this implies a swap of about 380 tonnes from the end of 2009, he said in a report.”
The new Washington Agreement, which started at the end of last September, allowed signatories to engage in gold derivative transactions for the first time in a decade. Very convenient.

Although none of the major bullion banks (actual or potential CB counterparties) will want to discuss this, the high probability is that much of this gold was actually sold into the market. Very likely this accounts for the contra-seasonal slump of gold in December, which it will be recalled was neither preceded by the usual loss of physical premiums nor accompanied by the usual open interest action.

This in effect means the end of the Washington Agreement restraint on CB gold selling, at a time when several signatories are in bad shape. Most likely this is what caused the selling pressure in gold today, especially after the NY open."
As we have most recently seen with the bloated CDS and CDO credit markets, long standing control frauds can cause quite a splash when they inevitably collapse. We need to bear this in mind when the governments start making their excuses, once again, for taking the 'necessary actions' to support the banks for the good of the people, from whom they have once again stolen billions to provide a fat living for their friends and themselves.

I have been wondering, as I am sure that you have as well, Why Now? Why did the IMF and BIS 'throw the kitchen sink' at the gold bullion market at this particular time?

I think the answer can be found in the setup of the market. Gold was knocking on the door of resistance at $1260, a key point that could have triggered a break away rally. At the same time, according to figures provided in his daily Comex commentary, there were an extraordinary number of contracts standing for delivery in silver and especially gold. Indeed, if the numbers are correct, a breakaway rally would have encouraged almost 2 million ounces of gold to be demanded of the Comex, a call on their 2.64 million ounces of dealer supply that could have literally 'broken the bank.'

As Volcker and Greenspan have both said, the central banks must stand ready to sell gold into the market to prevent its price from rising and displacing the confidence of the markets in the power of the central banks to manage their currency markets.

Economists are debating the reason why individuals and businesses are saving, and not spending money as a response to the Federal Reserve programs. Here is a comment I wrote in response to an essay by Brad DeLong in the recent issue of The Economist, Why Are Firms Saving So much? I am not editing it here, and since it was done as an only draft, please bear with its somewhat raw form.

"Private firms and individuals are saving too much. DeLong seems to think they are being irrational, because they are doing so out of fear of a commercial credit crunch.

I think this is partly true. But some of the savings activity by companies (and individuals) is obviously because they are not seeing the turnaround in the economy that would give them the confidence to build up their capacity and inventories. They clearly fear another downturn based on what they are seeing.

Now, Mr. DeLong dismisses this, presumably because there is a central bank called the Fed, and it owns a printing press, and stands ready as a lender of last resort.

I think businesses know this, and the attitude and condescension is wholly unnecessary and distracting from the real issue.

Businesses, and individuals, simply do not believe that the Fed is interested in them, as opposed to let's say, the too big to fail banks. For whatever reason, Bernanke has blown his credibility, and done so most likely by talking a better game than he has played as the lender of last resort to the general economy, and not to a select circle of cronies, among which are not the local and regional banks, and certainly not commercial business.

The other fact, although I confess that I cannot prove it with data, is that the banks have troubles of their own, and prefer to use a portion of their funds for speculation, especially those TBTF fellows who are sitting on a lot of dodgy paper.

And finally, what has really changed in an economy that was almost wholly dependent on stock bubbles and mortgage fraud, and a consumer saturated with debt?

So, history stories notwithstanding, the solution to this might be a little closer to home than one might imagine otherwise from reading Mr. DeLong.

The efforts of the Fed and Treasury have NOT been focused on the locus of commercial transactions between private companies and individuals. Rather they have been preoccupied with the speculation in financial derivatives and paper assets that have little or no real connection anymore to the economy. So how can one even wonder that the people have lost faith in this effort? Only if one assumes that they are irrational fools, incapable of understanding economics because they, after all, lack the necessary credentials and PhD's, as the Federal Reserve fellow so recently observed."
Despite all their dissembling and market antics, I think the Fed's worst fears are coming true. The people of the US are losing confidence in the Federal Reserve and its economic policies, and those of the Treasury which has badly mishandled the banking crisis. The problem is that Washington is talking to New York, and assuming the rest of the country will accept whatever it is they choose to do.

Crunch time is coming, and it will not be pretty. A loss of confidence and a hoarding of funds in savings is a prelude to Gresham's Law, and the first whiff of what I would have never expected could occur: hyper-inflation, preceded by a terrific market crash in late September. That is just how bad that the policy errors of Summers and Bernanke have been, and how badly the Congressional plutocrats have misunderstood the will of the people and failed to enact reforms.

It is going to be a long, hot summer.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Gold Swap Mystery Deepens

Catherine and News & Commentary,
July 8, 2010 at 10:07 am

[Image: gata_logo_300x63.jpg]
By C. Powell
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.”
Continue reading Gold Swap Mystery Deepens as BIS Gets Correction From Wall Street Journal
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.
The Wall Street Journal's updated and corrected story is appended.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
* * *
Commercial Banks Used Gold Swaps
By Carolyn Cui and Liam Pleven
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Bank for International Settlements said it loaned billions of dollars backed by gold to commercial banks in recent months.
Most of the loans -- known as gold swaps -- were conducted with European banks in exchange for foreign currencies, mainly U.S. dollars, according to data released last week in the BIS's annual report.
"The operations concerned were purely market operations with commercial banks," the BIS said in an email statement. The statement came in response to a Wall Street Journal article on Wednesday that said the BIS swaps were with central banks.
The sheer size of the recent swaps -- involving 349 metric tons of gold, valued at about $14 billion currently -- indicates the stress that the international banking system is under, particularly in European countries facing investor concerns about sovereign-debt woes.
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.
The BIS report indicated that all its outstanding gold swaps are set to expire in less than one year, when the borrowers are obliged to repay the loans and repurchase the gold. The swaps are backed by gold held at central banks.
The Basel-based international agency is known as a bank for central banks. It takes deposits from central banks but lends to a broader spectrum of financial institutions, including commercial banks and corporations.
Through an arrangement called "gold swap," financial institutions exchange gold with the BIS in return for cash, agreeing to buy back the gold at a later date. The practical implications for the gold market are limited, because the gold hasn't entered the open market.
By contrast, the BIS reported that it had no gold swaps outstanding at the end of the prior fiscal year. Gold swaps have rarely been used at the BIS in recent years, largely because capital was often readily available in the marketplace.
It isn't clear what prompted the banks to borrow from the BIS instead of their central banks. "It's odd, but it could be bad," said Andy Smith, senior metals strategist at Bache Commodities Group in London.
Analysts note that the time of the transactions -- mostly taking place in January --coincides with a flare-up in worries about a sovereign-debt crisis in Greece spreading across Europe.
If the borrowings were prompted by the need to enhance liquidity, it would have "a greater resonance" in the gold market, said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of GFMS Ltd., a London-based metals consultancy. "Whatever your long position was in gold, you would rationally decide there were more risks attached to it," Mr. Smith said. "Something untoward might happen with this gold that was being swapped."
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.
On Wednesday, the gold contract for July delivery eked out a gain of $3.80 per troy ounce to settle at $1,198.60 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is now off 5% from its record hit on June 18.
Prices of gold are up 9.4% so far this year, so banks might have to record losses on the swaps and pay more to buy back the gold from the BIS, though they may also have hedged that risk.

* * *
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve are Manipulating the Gold Market

by Bob Chapman

Global Research, July 8, 2010
The International Forecaster - 2010-07-07

Recently we were again witness to three gold market takedowns. The first was engineered just prior to and into gold and silver options expiration. Then prior to the ETF GLD gold option expiry and the last manipulative attack commenced just prior to the dreadful unemployment housing and inventory statistics. This sort of action began in 1988 with the signing of the Executive Order by President Ronald Reagan entitled the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets,” ostensibly created to neutralize events such as the October 1987 collapse of the US stock market. Needless to say, that was not the real intention of the creation of such an order. As it has turned out the Treasury and the N.Y. Fed manipulates markets 24/7 worldwide, and they have a particular interest in the suppression of gold and silver prices; they being the antitheist of the US dollar. It should be noted that there were several times that the US Treasury and the privately owned Fed manipulated gold and silver prior to August 1988. We have found in 50 plus years of tracing this manipulative activity by the US government that it happens over and over again. There is no doubt in our minds that a great deal of what is done by government in gold and silver is done by the commercials, who privy to inside information go along for the ride. In the options operation prices are driven down for Comex options as well as GLD options, so that they expire out of the money and as well the perpetrators can cover some of their short positions. This is not difficult to execute, because other traders see what is going on and they get involved as well making the tasks easier.

This spring Andrew Maguire went public with a scam being pulled by JPMorgan Chase in the rigging of silver futures on the LBMA, an exchange similar to Comex in London. This caper was explained to the CFTC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, months ahead of it occurring and they chose to do nothing about it. Making matters worse, when confronted with the evidence in public hearings, the CFTC didn’t want to hear about it. Maguire broke the story to others who confronted the CFTC who received lip service. The CFTC was forced to conduct a civil investigation and the Justice Department as well is conducting a criminal investigation, which we believe will go nowhere. Realizing that the CFTC, Justice, Morgan and the government are working together against the public in this matter, we are told by our sources that class action suits are being prepared and that the first one should be filed soon. It is a sad day for Americans when justice has to be forced from a corrupt government. In the end we will win but it will be a painful process.

We have found it interesting that the IMF prohibits members from tying their currencies to gold. All of you out there who believe the IMF’s, SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, will be gold backed are mistaken. This historical operating position was further proven when on August 15, 1971 the US closed the gold window. This was the advice Mr. Nixon received from Paul Volcker, who was an early member of the Trilateral Commission and is an Illuminist. Volcker has also been a leader against the US using gold in its monetary policy. Since 8/15/71 there has been an official war against gold by the elitists behind the curtain. It was that seminal event that essentially changed the future of America and the world. At that time US debt was just short of $500 billion. Today short-term debt is $14 trillion and long-term debt is $105 trillion. The engineer of the failure of the US banking system and the failure of the dollar and the rejection of it is at the feet of Mr. Volcker. What he has done to America at the behest of his Illuminist masters is reprehensible. That was eventually followed by the elimination of Glass Steagall and the looting and the collapse of our financial system. This is the result of the corruption of our system.

The result of this treachery is the coming with the complete collapse of the stock market and the end of real estate as an investment. The powers that be have destroyed a once great nation. Everywhere you look, budgets of towns, cities, counties, states and governments are in a shambles. The entire world is becoming their world. You have no doubt seen the elitists’ answer, which is we all switch to the SDR, another fiat currency, devalue all currencies versus the SDR and allow defaults among nations, just as we predicted would happen, although not in this particular way. The solutions being proffered are not solutions at all, only different methods of paying back the bankers and keeping them in business.

That keeps the leaders of the system solvent and throws the debt on the citizen. Mind you, these same bankers were the ones who destroyed our system – or better yet their system – in order to bring about world government. It should not be surprising that gold has been the investment leader.

The Illuminist bankers believe this time they are capable of shutting down the entire system and replacing it with S.D.R.s, so that they can control everything financial worldwide. This is what we have been telling the public for over 50 years and no one wanted to listen. We were called conspiracy theorists. We were dead on correct. The SDR is a stepping-stone to a world currency that can never work. Just look at the horrible results of the unnatural euro. The hunger for power, time after time, makes the rich and powerful become even more insane than they already are. G-8 is now G-20, part of the formation of amalgamation and the recognition of the failure of the euro and the EU as well. We find it ludicrous that the elitists want a broke IMF to fix the monetary system with an SDR. The same IMF that said they would never sell gold into the open market, yet that is what they are doing every day. Their plan is to back the SDR with taxes obtained from world citizens and a carbon tax. That is what the BP oil episode is all about. Don’t expect a gold or silver based currency, because that inhibits the bankers’ ability to own and run the system that has made them so rich and powerful. Sound money is something they never want to see again.

The idea of a Northern euro we believe is undoable. If the big debtors have to pay back their debt they’ll be in depression for 30 years. If they default they can return to their cheap domestic currencies, which would make their exports competitive. That Northern Union creditor group would be stuck with $2 trillion in bad paper. In addition we are very skeptical as to whether they have any gold left and if they do how much to back a new currency. The ECB probably sold off enough gold to suppress the gold price leaving the central bank with probably only 7% of the 15% they originally had. The ECB has the same situation that the Fed has, they are enveloped in debt - much of it sovereign debt. England and others have the same problem. The ECB continues to buy junk bonds because it has no choice but to do so.

These financial and economic matters are very perplexing and social and political issues complicate them. The theory of corporatist fascism, that is so prevalent in America today, has spawned an economic policy of centralism, debt and monopoly driven by the privately owned Federal Reserve, banking and Wall Street. The tune is borrow and go deeper into debt to the bankers until America is bankrupt. This last chapter will be kicked off with more taxes and more fiscal debt. This will be accompanie4d by massive unemployment and eventually a deflationary depression. The unemployment problem is being deliberately allowed to worsen both by the administration and Congress, which won’t address the real reasons our nation is in such a state of failure. What else can you call the loss of 5 million jobs from free trade, globalization, offshoring and outsourcing, which is still going on and the loss of 8.4 million via recession/depression. That is 13.4 million jobs supposedly being filled by a birth/death model and service and retail jobs with little remuneration. Those who control our government, politicians and our economy are about to kick Americans when they are down. Those who control government and their emissaries loathe capitalism and love collectivism. The average American so disgusts our controllers that, if they could they would remove 80% from society.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

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