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lundi, 17 août 2015

La géopolitique et l’or

Le Bulletin Popescu

La géopolitique et l’or

Le rôle de l'or dans la géopolitique et l'influence sur le marché de l'or de la géopolitique à travers les banques centrales.

(9 Août 2015)

mercredi, 20 mai 2015

China’s Silk Road Economic Project Will Include Gold

Ex: https://www.bullionstar.com

China’s Silk Road Economic Project Will Include Gold

The Chinese government seems to be very keen on developing the New Silk Road Economic Belt as fast as possible; an initiative, said to be designed by President Xi Jinping himself, that will increase economic cooperation in the wide Eurasian region. At a stunning speed China and Russia take the lead in strengthening ties in the area. For the wind down of the US dollar hegemony the Silk Road economic project is an important tool. As part of this project two clubs are rapidly developing as we speak, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Additionally, China is incorporating gold into the Silk Road project.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

The AIIB is an international financial institution proposed by China in 2013 to finance infrastructure projects in Asia. The Chinese government has been frustrated with the slow pace of reforms in established institutions like the IMF and World Bank, which are dominated by the US. China’s rapid economic growth in recent years has made them pursuing a greater input in these institutions, but the US has neglected to honor these requests appropriately, forcing China to launch its own institutions.

Despite the US has been pressuring its allies from signing up as AIIB prospective founding members only Japan obeyed, signaling a demise of US power and failing US foreign policy. In a milestone event many western countries have submitted for membership in March and April 2015, amongst others the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Australia and Israel. The AIIB articles of agreement are expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

China is now playing multiple games at the same time by developing the AIIB and concurrently pressuring the IMF to reform. One of China’s goals is for the renminbi to be included into the IMF’s basket of currencies the Special Drawing Right (SDR). On April 30, 2015, the IMF’s Director Of The Communications Department, Gerry Rice, stated in a press briefing about the SDR review “Yes, the work has begun” (see this video at 28:15). The first IMF board meeting on the SDR review originally scheduled in May 2015, has been “deferred, because the work is underway” (see the same video at 31:30).

The Eurasian Economic Union

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, first suggested the idea of creating a regional (Eurasian) trading bloc during a speech at Moscow State University In 1994. Afterwards Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan formed a free trade zone, which turned into a customs union, followed by a single economic space, finally reaching an economic union (the EEU) on May 29, 2014, when an agreement was signed by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Worth noting is that according to Pravda.ru Nazarbayev is of the opinion the US dollar is an illegal and non-competitive means of payment, “the world currency was not de jure legitimate because it was never adopted by any communities or organizations. There is no such international law,… the world currency market is not a civilized market, as the system of world currency issuance is not being controlled”. Nazarbayev believes the world is heading towards a new monetary system, from “defective capitalism” to “the new capitalism that would be based on a non-defective currency.” Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan in September 2013 where he raised the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt at the Nazarbayev University. In March this year China and Kazakhstan signed 33 deals on industrial capacity cooperation.

The EEU is aggressively expanding; its latest official members are Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. By looking at the EEU flag, that displays the whole of Asia, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to expect they’ll continue expanding. Turkey has mentioned it likes to join and there are talks with Vietnam to form a free trade area.

Russian news outlet RT has disclosed that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have signed a decree on cooperation in tying the development of the EEU with the Silk Road economic project. “The integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and Silk Road projects means reaching a new level of partnership and actually implies a common economic space on the continent,” Putin said. Furthermore, columnist for Russian news outlet Sputnik, Pepe Escobarstated, “What we have here, above all, is the China-led New Silk Road directly connecting with the Russia-led EEU. China and the EEU are bound to set up a free trade zone”. The EEU could potentially grow into a very significant power bloc.

More from Escobar:

The always-evolving strategic partnership is not only about energy – including the possibility of Chinese-controlled stakes in crucial Russian oil and gas projects – and the defense industry; it’s increasingly about investment, banking, finance and high technology.

…The partnership’s reach is extremely wide, from Russia-China cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the Russia-China stake in the new BRICS development bank, and to Russian support to the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Foundation.

…Beijing and Moscow, along with the other BRICS nations, are fast moving to trade independently of the US dollar, using their own currencies. In parallel, they are studying the creation of an alternative SWIFT system – which will necessarily be joined by EU nations, as they are joining the AIIB.

There have also been talks for an EEU joint currency titled Altyn, which refers to an ancient currency that used to circulate in Eurasia. In the past Altyn has never been minted in gold, although in Turkic, a language family spoken in Eurasia, Altyn does mean Gold.

Make sure English captions are turned on in the next video clip from Russian television about Altyn.

Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and China have all substantially increased their official gold reserves since the first quarter of 2000. Kyrgyzstan to a lesser extent and Armenia has currently no official gold reserves.

NaamloosSource: World Gold Council

“One Belt One Road” And Gold.

It was first disclosed by Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, in a speech at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre April 12, 2015; China has ambitions to include gold in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) economic project. From one of Cheng’s slides we can read:

China Gold Market – the next 10 years – Integrate gold cooperation into One Belt, One Road

– Mr. Xu Luode, President of Shanghai Gold Exchange and a National People’s Congress (NPC) delegate proposed that to integrate gold market development into the strategic development plan of “OBOR” to the NPC & CPPCC ended in mid-March, 2015.

– His proposal suggested that cooperation and development mechanism to involve major gold producers/users along the OBOR.

– This initiative to be led by People’s Bank of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Commerce and other related ministries, should be developed by leveraging the Shanghai Gold Exchange as the trading hub, and be integrated into the “OBOR” plan.

– Related specialized plans and supportive policies will also be developed to balance the regional developments in China and accelerate the interconnection with countries along the routes.

At first I was a bit skeptical towards these statements; when the Xi Jinping launches new projects all the subordinate bureaucrats need to show that their respective departments will contribute to this. Previously the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) has been very clear about its international ambitions with the SGE International Board, but before any of this is realized let’s not copy-paste every idea they put out, I thought.

However, the first signs of cooperation in the gold industry along OBOR are reality, time to pay attention. On May 11, 2015, China’s largest gold mining company, China National Gold Group Corporation (CNGGC), announced it has signed an agreement with Russian gold miner Polyus Gold to deepen ties in gold exploration. The cooperation will include mineral resource exploration, technical exchanges and materials supply.

“China’s Belt and Road Initiative brings unprecedented opportunities for the gold industry. There is ample room for cooperation with neighboring countries, and we have advantages in technique, facilities, cash, and talents,” said Song Xin, General Manager of CNGGC and President of the China Gold association. Song Yuqin, Deputy General Manager of the Shanghai Gold Exchange has stated, “Asians have a tradition of collecting gold. The gold trade is expected to become a significant component of transactions by ‘Belt and Road’ countries.”

Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on: koos.jansen@bullionstar.com

jeudi, 05 mars 2015

La Russie affirme que DSK avait découvert que les réserves d’or américaines avaient disparu


La Russie affirme que DSK avait découvert que les réserves d’or américaines avaient disparu

Ex: http://nationalemancipe.blogspot.com

La Russie affirme que le directeur général du FMI a été emprisonné parce qu’il avait découvert que les réserves d’or des États Unis avaient disparu.
Un nouveau rapport préparé pour le Premier ministre Poutine par le Service de sécurité fédéral ( FSB ) dit que l’ancien chef du Fonds monétaire international (FMI)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn a été inculpé et emprisonné aux États-Unis pour des crimes sexuels pour l’empécher de révéler sa découverte du 14 mai : l’ or des États-Unis situé au Bullion Depository à Fort Knox etait "manquant ou porté disparu ".

Selon ce rapport secret du FSB, M. Strauss-Kahn était devenu «de plus en plus génant» plus tôt dans le courant du mois les États-Unis ont commencé à retarder la livraison promis au FMI de 191,3 tonnes d’or convenu dans le deuxième amendement de l’accord signé par le Conseil exécutif en avril 1978 qui devaient être vendus pour financer ce qu’on appelle les droits de tirage spéciaux ( DTS ) comme une alternative aux monnaies de réserve. Ce nouveau rapport stipule Strauss-Kahn avait soulevé la question avec des fonctionnaires du gouvernement américain proche du président Obama, il a été “contacté par la CIA qui a apporté la preuve que tout l’ or détenu par les États-Unis " avait disparu.
Strauss-Kahn reçoit la preuve de la CIA il prend donc des dispositions immédiates pour se rendre a Paris, mais lorsqu’il est contactépar les agents travaillant pour la France de la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure ( DGSE ) et sachant que les autorités américaines étaient à sa recherche , il s’enfuit de New York vers l’aéroport JFK et les agents lui ordonnent de ne pas prendre son téléphone portable parce que la police des États-Unis pourrait suivre son emplacement exact. 
Strauss-Kahn a été arrêté sur un vol Air France a destination de Paris, cependant, ce rapport dit qu’il a fait une «erreur fatale» en appelant l’hôtel à partir d’un téléphone dans l’avion et en leur demandant de lui faire parvenir sont téléphone portable qu’il avait oublié . Ainsi les agents américains ont été en mesure de repérer son appel et l’arrêter. 
Durant la dernière quinzaine, le rapport stipule que , Strauss-Kahn a demande à son ami intime et banquier Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar de récupérer aux États-Unis les éléments de preuve fournis par la CIA. Omar, cependant, et exactement comme Strauss-Kahn ,il a été accusé hier par les États-Unis pour délit sexuel envers une femme de chambre dans un hôtel de luxe, une accusation que les services du FSB a démenti . Omar est agé de 74-ans et est un fervent musulman. 
Poutine , après la lecture de ce rapport secret a pris la défense de M. Strauss-Khan et devient le1er leader mondial à dire que le directeur du FMI a été victime d’un complot des Etats-Unis . Poutine a ajouté : “Il est difficile pour moi d’évaluer les politiques des motifs cachés mais je ne peux pas croire à la version des faits tels qu’ils ont été présentés."
Intéressant à noter à propos de tous ces événements est que l’un des premiers États-Unis du Congrès, et en 2012 candidat à la présidence, Ron Paul ] a longtemps affirmé sa conviction que le gouvernement américain a menti sur ses réserves d’or détenues à Fort Knox. et accuse la Réserve fédérale de cacher la vérité au sujet des réserves d’or américaines, il a présenté un projet de loi à la fin 2010 à la force une vérification d’entre eux , mais qui a été ensuite été battu par les forces du régime Obama. 
Lorsque la question a été directement posée par des journalistes s’il croyait qu’il n’y avait pas d’or à Fort Knox Paul a donné la réponse incroyable, ” Je pense que c’est une possibilité . ” 
Il est également intéressant de noter qu’à peine 3 jours après l’arrestation de M. Strauss-Kahn, le député Paul a fait un nouvel appel aux États-Unis de vendre ses réserves d’or en disant: « Compte tenu du prix élevé et le problème de la dette énorme il faut par tous les moyens vendre au prix le plus haut. Cependant, des rapports des États-Unis diffusés en 2009 affirment qu’il n’y a pas d’or à vendre, en 2009 : 
“En Octobre 2009, la Chine a reçu une cargaison de lingots d’or. L’or régule les échanges entre les pays pour payer leur dettes et le soi-disant équilibre du commerce. La plupart de l’or est échangé et stocké dans des coffres sous la supervision d’un organisme spécial basé à Londres, le London Bullion Market Association (LBMA ). Lorsque l’envoi a été reçu, le gouvernement chinois a demandé que des tests spéciaux soient effectués pour garantir la pureté et le poids des lingots d’or.Auatre petits trous sont percés dans les lingots d’or et le métal est ensuite analysé. Dans cet essai, quatre petits trous sont percés dans les lingots d'or et le métal est ensuite analysé.résultat les lingot etaient faux ce qui à amené les chinois a traiter les banquier US d'escroc et demandé a sa population de se reporter massivement sur les réserves d'argent
Pour les effets pratiques sur l’économie mondiale devrait-il être prouvé que les États-Unis, en effet, a menti sur ses réserves d’or ? La Banque centrale de Russie hier a ordonné que le taux d’intérêt élevé de 0,25 à 3,5 pour cent et Poutine a ordonné l’interdiction d’exportation sur le blé et les céréales cultures a partir du 1er Juillet pour remplir les coffres du pays avec de l’argent qui, normalement, aurait du être versée aux États-Unis. 
Les américains ont le droit de savoir que leur pays se prépare a un terrible effondrement économique de leur nation et ce sera plus tôt que prévu. 
Posté par rusty james 

vendredi, 12 décembre 2014

Envolé l'or dont les Etats-Unis étaient dépositaires depuis la seconde guerre?

Envolé l'or dont les Etats-Unis étaient dépositaires depuis la seconde guerre?

Auteur : Vicky Peláez
Traduction Florence Olier-Robine
Ex: http://zejournal.mobi

« Qui contrôle l'argent contrôle le monde »

Henry Kissinger

L'année 2014 entrera dans l'histoire comme l'année de l'effondrement du système international et de l'affrontement multidimensionnel entre les Etats-Unis, l'Union Européenne et son bras armé, l'OTAN, face à la Russie et aux pays des BRICS [Acronyme pour les 5 principaux pays émergents : Brésil, Russie, Inde, Chine, Afrique du sud. Ndlt] qui se sont risqués à briser l'unipolarité d'un monde dominé par les Etats-Unis.

En réponse à cette bravade, le Grand Patron a fixé toute une série de mesures répressives contre la Russie et entamé une guerre financière soigneusement planifiée en jouant avec les prix du pétrole et des métaux précieux, notamment l'or.

Les Etats-Unis espèrent ainsi surseoir à leur inévitable déclin économique et enrayer la diminution de leur contribution au Produit Intérieur Brut Mondial. Actuellement, l'apport des Etats-Unis d'Amérique au PIB Mondial se monte à 22 pour cent alors que les prévisions montrent que celui de la Chine atteindra 18 pour cent en 2016. Pour maintenir sa domination sur le monde, Washington cherche donc à renforcer les deux traditionnels piliers de son hégémonie : le pouvoir militaire et le rôle du dollar comme monnaie de réserve mondiale.

Mais le dollar accuse une fragilité qui n'a pu être dissimulée aux yeux du monde. Selon le journaliste financier, Bill Holler, « l'or est au dollar ce que la kryptonite [Petite pierre/matériau imaginaire de l'univers des « comics », en référence directe à Superman (elle affecte ses supers pouvoirs et constitue son talon d'achille). Ndlt] est à Superman. C'est pourquoi, à certaines étapes de la politique monétaire, il faut maintenir les cours de l'or au plus bas afin d'assurer la valeur du dollar. »

Tous les matins, par téléconférence entre le bureau principal du LIBOR [Taux Inter Bancaire pratiqué à Londres. Ndlt] (London InterBank Offered Rate) et cinq banques internationales, le prix de l'or est établi, tout comme le taux d'intérêt de 10 autres monnaies de réserve, qui, lui, est soumis à l'approbation de 18 des plus grandes banques mondiales.

Il est de notoriété publique que les grandes banques nord-américaines ont pris le contrôle du secteur financier mondial depuis et durant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. C'est précisément en ces temps troublés que plus de 122 pays se virent dans l'obligation de déplacer leurs réserves d'or à la Réserve Fédérale des Etats- Unis, plus précisément à la Federal Reserve Bank of New York [L'une des douze banques de la Réserve Fédérale des Etats-Unis. Ndlt] et au dépôt de Fort Knox [Abrite la réserve d'or US depuis 1937. Ndlt] (Kentucky).

Immédiatement après le montant des réserves d'or nord-américaines passa de 9 mille millions en 1935 à 20 mille millions. N'oublions pas le rôle clé qu'a joué l'or, aux côtés du New Deal du président Franklin D. Roosevelt [1882-1945 ; 32ème président des Etats-Unis ; On lui doit notamment le New Deal, plan de relance économique et de lutte contre le chômage, entre autres. Acteur majeur de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Ndlt], dans la conclusion de la Grande Dépression de 1929 aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique.

En effet, le 5 avril 1933 le président Roosevelt émet l'ordre 6102 qui interdit la possession d'or pour les citoyens américains ou étrangers résidant sur le territoire, que ce soit en pièces, en lingots ou en certificats, les forçant à les vendre à la Réserve Fédérale pour 20,67 dollars l'once troy d'or [Unité de mesure de masse pour les métaux et pierres précieux. Ndlt ] (31,1 grammes). Les contrevenants encourent une peine de prison de dix ans et une amende de 10,000 dollars. Grâce à cette seule mesure, on estime à trois mille millions de dollars l'augmentation du Trésor US.

C'est ainsi qu'en 1944, leurs coffres remplis d'or, du leur et de celui des autres, alors que la défaite imminente du nazisme est déjà pressentie, Washington décide qu'il est temps de prendre la tête du Nouvel Ordre Economique Mondial. L'annonce en est rendue publique en juillet 1944, lors de la conférence internationale tenue à Bretton Woods (USA). On y adopte un étalon de change-or où les Etats-Unis sont chargés de maintenir le cours de l'or à 35,00 dollars l'once et on leur accorde le droit de convertir des dollars en or à ce prix, sans restrictions ni limitations. Le boom économique américain de l'après-guerre doit aussi beaucoup à l'or accumulé par le pays.

De plus si les Etats-Unis se devaient d'être généreux envers leurs alliés, en particulier le Japon et l'Allemagne de l'Ouest, leur principale motivation était surtout leur souci de démontrer la supériorité du système capitaliste sur le modèle socialiste. Presque tout était financé par les réserves d'or mais ces largesses avaient un prix. Et, postérieurement, quand le coût de la guerre du Vietnam les ponctionna plus encore, elles avaient atteint un seuil critique en 1968.

Tout ceci obligea le président Richard Nixon à mettre un terme aux accords de Bretton Woods et à désolidariser l'or du dollar, déclarant ce dernier nouvelle monnaie de réserve mondiale. Depuis lors, le dollar dépend exclusivement de la capacité d'impression de la Réserve Fédérale à mettre la monnaie en circulation. On évalue qu'aujourd'hui elle imprime un billion de dollars par an.

La domination du dollar est telle que les réserves des Banques Centrales de 193 pays sont à 67% en dollars, environ 15% en euros et les18% restants en devises nationales. Les Etats-Unis sont parvenus à mettre en place un système financier international qui protège leur économie de l'effondrement, malgré leur déficit commercial de 500 000 millions et leur dette tant intérieure qu'extérieure de 70 millions de millions de dollars.

Les autres pays du monde sont si étroitement engagés vis à vis de la Réserve Fédérale qu'ils ne peuvent cesser de l'alimenter sur leurs deniers pour éviter l'effondrement de l'actuel Système Financier Mondial. On calcule qu'environ 2,5 mille millions de dollars rentrent chaque jour dans les caisses américaines en provenance de sources étrangères.

Mais qu'est-il arrivé à l'or que les 122 pays avaient stocké aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique ?

Personne ne le sait vraiment. Selon la Réserve Fédérale, en 1945 Fort Knox en était venu à stocker 20 000 tonnes d'or qui en 2013 se réduisaient à 4175 tonnes. Dans le même temps, selon le web officiel de la Maison de la Monnaie, il y aurait environ 5 000 tonnes métriques d'or dans les coffres de la Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Réserve Fédérale de New York). Mais ces chiffres restent sujets à caution, car personne n'a pu les accréditer.

Déjà dans les années Reagan, lors de l'affaire de l'Irangate [Scandale politique des années 80 aux USA . Certains membres du gouvernement auraient vendu des armes à l'Iran pour financer les « Contras », mouvement contre-révolutionnaire nicaraguayen de lutte armée regroupant les opposants au régime sandiniste de Daniel Ortega. Il s'agissait donc bien de renverser un régime politique dit « communiste ». Ndlt], les Etats-Unis, par manque de liquidités, avaient du recourir au narcotrafiquant bolivien Roberto Suárez Gómez pour commercialiser 500 tonnes de cocaïne sur le sol américain afin de financer les Contras et en finir avec le sandinisme au Nicaragua.

Ce qui est arrivé à l'or déposé dans les caves souterraines des 5 et 7 WTC après la tragédie du 11 septembre 2001, demeure également un mystère. En effet, il devait s'y trouver, selon les informations officielles pour environ 1000 millions de dollars en or. Et seuls 230 millions ont été retrouvés. Par ailleurs, l'hebdomadaire US American Free Press a publié le 27 août 2011 une interview de l'ex parrain de la mafia Tony Gambino qui déclare « je sais que le gouvernement de George W. Bush non seulement avait connaissance, mais a aussi contribué à organiser le 11 septembre aux fins de, premièrement provoquer une guerre en Irak, deuxièmement s'emparer de l'or caché sous le World Trade Center ».

En février 2014, le républicain membre du Congrès Paul Ron tira la sonnette d'alarme quand il déclara que depuis 40 ans il n'y avait eu ni audit à Fort Knox ni accès autorisé à aucun des membres du Congrès qui aurait pu permettre de s'assurer de l'existence de l'or. Durant la séance, il parvint même à mettre en doute la réalité des richesses supposées à Fort Knox ou à la Banque de Réserve de New York. Une tentative avortée de l'Allemagne pour rapatrier 300 des 1 560 tonnes conservées à New York décupla les doutes quant aux stocks d'or aux Etats-Unis. En définitive, l'Allemagne n'a recouvré que 34 tonnes et la promesse de livrer les 266 tonnes restantes dans les sept ans à venir.

L'ex sous-secrétaire du Trésor, Paul Craig Roberts, ajoute « les Etats-Unis d'Amérique ne détiennent pas d'or et ne peuvent donc le restituer, c'est pourquoi l'Allemagne a été sommée d'entériner cette situation et de cesser de réclamer ce qui lui appartient. Les Etats-Unis ont fait pression sur leur Etat allemand pantin pour qu'il taise la vérité et fasse paraître un communiqué modifié. »

De par la crise économique que traversent les Etats-Unis, on pourrait en conclure que le Grand Patron a dilapidé son or et celui des autres, mais à ce jour, personne n'est réellement en mesure de savoir ce qu'il se passe dans les profondeurs de Fort Knox et dans celles de la Banque de Réserve Fédérale. Entre temps de nombreux pays font tout leur possible pour rapatrier leur or en pensant à l'avenir compliqué qui se profile.

Il y a quelques années, l'ex président Hugo Chávez réussit à recouvrer 39 des 300 tonnes du trésor vénézuélien dont les Etats-Unis étaient dépositaires.

Mais, qu'en sera-t-il pour les autres pays ?

mercredi, 10 décembre 2014

La Banque Nationale de Belgique envisage aussi de rapatrier ses réserves d'or

La Banque Nationale de Belgique envisage aussi de rapatrier ses réserves d'or

Ex: http://www.express.be

La Banque Nationale de Belgique (BNB) envisage de rapatrier les réserves d’or du pays, a indiqué Luc Coene, le gouverneur de la Banque Nationale, au cours d’une interview donnée à VTM Nieuws.

Récemment, les Pays-Bas et l'Allemagne ont aussi annoncé le rapatriement de leurs stocks d'or détenus à l'étranger. La Banque nationale d'Autriche a annoncé au mois de mai de cette année qu’elle allait envoyer des experts indépendants à Londres pour faire un inventaire des réserves d'or que le pays détient dans les coffres de la Banque d'Angleterre. Plus récemment, le peuple suisse s’est prononcé sur un référendum envisageant la possibilité du rapatriement des réserves d’or du pays. Et en France, Marine Le Pen,  la dirigeante du parti d’extrême droite Front National, a réclamé un audit et le rapatriement des réserves d’or conservées à l’étranger.

Selon Luc Coene, cette question devrait aussi se poser en Belgique, et pour y répondre, la Banque nationale doit explorer la possibilité d'un rapatriement proactif.

Il avertit que ces opérations peuvent avoir des conséquences importantes. Non seulement, il faut s’assurer de pouvoir transporter ces réserves en toute sécurité, mais de plus, il faut également obtenir la garantie qu’elles pourront faire l’objet d’un stockage sécurisé en Belgique.

La Belgique dispose d'une réserve d'or de 227 tonnes. La plus grande partie est conservée dans les coffres de la Banque d'Angleterre à Londres. L’or y avait été transféré au cours de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale pour éviter que les Nazis ne s’en emparent.

dimanche, 16 novembre 2014

Oui à l’initiative populaire «Sauvez l’or de la Suisse!»


«Les réserves d’or ne sont pas matière à spéculation pour politiciens et responsables de la banque centrale, c’est notre fortune nationale»

Oui à l’initiative populaire «Sauvez l’or de la Suisse!»

Interview de Lukas Reimann, conseiller national UDC, SG

Ex: http://www.horizons-et-debats.ch

thk. Le 30 novembre, le peuple suisse décidera sur un projet d’une extrême importance, à savoir le pourcentage d’or de nos réserves monétaires. Depuis 1999, la Banque nationale suisse (BNS) a liquidé plus de la moitié de notre fortune nationale, économisée pendant des décennies, en jetant des tonnes d’or sur le marché. Lors de la crise financière et économique, la BNS commença à soutenir l’euro en liant le franc suisse à l’euro. Suite à ces achats de soutien massifs, la Suisse détient actuellement presque un demi-billion de devises étrangères, majoritairement en euros. En raison de ces ventes massives et de l’utilisation accrue de la planche à billets, la part d’or s’est réduite à moins de 10%. Ainsi la Suisse dépend de l’euro pour le meilleur et pour le pire et devra, en cas d’une nouvelle faiblesse de cette monnaie unique, continuer à créer de l’argent pour la soutenir. Le total du bilan continue à augmenter, sans aucune garantie matérielle. Puisque ces questions ne relèvent pas seulement du domaine de la finance, mais avant tout de celui de la politique d’Etat, le conseiller national Lukas Reimann plaide clairement en faveur de l’initiative populaire fédérale «Sauvez l’or de la Suisse». Au cours de l’interview ci-dessous, il en explique les tenants et les aboutissants.

Horizons et débats: Quelle est l’importance des réserves d’or pour notre pays? Pourquoi faut-il en augmenter la quantité actuelle?

Lukas Reimann: Les réserves d’or et la votation populaire de ce mois sont d’importance existentielle pour notre pays. En fin de compte, il en va de la liberté et de l’indépendance de la Suisse. Il s’agit de se décider si nous voulons être apte à définir nous-mêmes de manière autonome et indépendante le fondement de notre système et de notre politique monétaires ou si nous voulons dépendre, pour le meilleur et pour le pire, du dollar ou de l’euro, c’est-à-dire des évolutions dans les pays respectifs. Actuellement, nous sommes totalement soumis à ces blocs économiques. Cela peut avoir de graves conséquences: au temps de l’étalon-or, la stabilité monétaire s’est maintenue aux Etats-Unis pendant 136 ans. Depuis 1913, la puissance d’achat a baissé de 95%, ce qui est énorme, car les institutions étatiques font frénétiquement tourner la planche à billets. Voilà des perspectives qui ne conviennent pas à la Suisse. Stabilité et prospérité sont autre chose.

Quels sont les avantages de la couverture-or?

La monnaie-papier se prête à toutes sortes de manipulations et de reproductions, ce que l’or ne permet pas. La monnaie-papier est soumise à la politique monétaire inflationniste pratiquée actuellement par les banques centrales dans le monde entier. L’or, par contre, ne l’est pas. C’est pourquoi il a une importance cruciale pour notre pays. Nous ne pouvons être indépendants que si nous disposons à nouveau d’une propre part de réserve. Cela a bien fonctionné pendant de longues années. La couverture-or garantit autant notre indépendance que notre stabilité. Si nous ne formons pas de réserves, nous serons perdus lors de la prochaine crise monétaire et financière. Elle viendra certainement.

Ne s’agit-il pas d’entraves superflues pour la BNS?

Jusqu’en 1999, l’année de la mise en vigueur de la nouvelle Constitution fédérale, la Suisse connaissait la couverture-or. Nous avions placé 40% de nos réserves monétaires en or ce qui nous a permis de parfaitement maîtriser toutes les crises. Il ne faut jamais jeter par-dessus bord un système qui a fait ses preuves au cours de temps difficiles en ménageant le pays et ses habitants de maintes calamités. Le franc suisse était sûr et stable grâce à notre couverture-or. Même aujourd’hui, le franc continue de jouir de sa bonne renommée grâce à sa couverture-or d’antan. Malheureusement, le clivage entre la réalité et la bonne renommée s’élargit constamment. Nous voulons de nouveau normaliser cette situation. En réalité, l’or a renforcé la Banque nationale dans sa capacité d’agir et dans son indépendance de manière décisive.

Pourquoi les différents pays ont-ils constamment réduit leurs réserves d’or bien que fondamentalement l’or continue à passer pour un placement sûr dans le monde financier?

Cela montre à quel point le débat est malhonnête. Si l’on sait combien il est important, pour le particulier, qu’il place sa fortune également dans des valeurs réelles pour avoir dans un cas d’extrême urgence, une réserve, il est d’autant plus important que l’Etat, en tant que tel, soit préparé au cas d’urgence en disposant d’une part suffisante en or.

Quelles sont les conséquences pour l’Etat s’il ne dispose pas de réserves d’or?

Cela paraît évident. La monnaie-papier se prête à n’importe quelle manipulation et à la reproduction illimitée, tout en racontant aux citoyens que tout cela n’occasionne pas de coûts. C’est faux. Plus on imprime d’argent, moins il vaut. Si l’on imprime de la monnaie à volonté, on provoque ou un effondrement monétaire ou une dévalorisation massive de chaque pièce de monnaie. Voilà une politique monétaire désastreuse favorisant ceux qui dépensent de l’argent et font des dettes et punissant ceux qui vont travailler régulièrement en mettant continuellement un peu d’argent de côté. On punit aussi le retraité recevant de l’Etat toujours la même rente avec toujours moins de puissance d’achat. On punit également le salarié qui se rend quotidiennement au travail parce que son augmentation de salaire ne compense plus la perte de valeur à laquelle est soumis son argent. Voilà donc, finalement, un impôt dissimulé, une expropriation dissimulée, que pratiquent les Etats. L’or est capable d’y remédier!

Quand a-t-on annulé la couverture-or?

C’est historiquement très intéressant, cela a commencé avec la Première Guerre mondiale. Pour la financer, il fallut se séparer de l’argent couvert par l’or. Ensuite, on pouvait faire tourner la planche à billets à volonté. Cela c’est poursuivi lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, lors de la guerre du Viêt-Nam etc. Avec chaque guerre, on a réduit davantage la couverture-or pour que les Etats puissent imprimer tout l’argent qu’ils désiraient. Les monnaies soumises à ce procédé sont aujourd’hui en train de se désintégrer. Il est incroyable de voir quelle était la valeur de ces monnaies autrefois et ce qui en reste actuellement.

Je pense que quand au dollar, cela saute aux yeux …

Le dollar a connu une stabilité constante pendant plusieurs décennies, tant qu’il avait une couverture-or. Depuis que celle-ci n’existe plus, nous constatons une dévalorisation du dollar de 95%. Une menace identique pèse sur le franc suisse, si nous continuons de la sorte. Il faut être claire à ce sujet. Ce qui était possible avec la couverture-or est en danger avec la politique actuelle. Il se passera avec le franc suisse exactement la même chose qu’avec toutes les autres monnaies si l’on fait tourner la planche à billets sans limite.

On peut dire que l’économie basée sur les dettes, comme actuellement, et l’endettement exorbitant des Etats n’ont été possibles que parce que leurs monnaies n’ont plus de couverture-or. Qu’en est-il en Suisse?

Il y a deux aspects pour lesquels la Suisse a fait cela, bien qu’il n’y ait pas eu de nécessité ni d’urgence. En outre, c’est totalement incompréhensible et insensé. Une raison pour laquelle cela a été fait est qu’on voulait que la Suisse puisse elle-même décider à quel point elle veut s’endetter et imprimer de l’argent. Personne ne peut s’y opposer, personne ne s’en aperçoit, cela ne dérange personne. Voilà une chose bien agréable pour les politiciens. On peut faire des promesses avant les élections et financer certains petits projets pour s’acheter la faveur des électeurs. Cependant, personne ne parle des conséquences néfastes et désastreuses d’un tel comportement à longue échéance. Le deuxième aspect c’est l’internationalisation. On a commencé à exercer de fortes pressions sur la Suisse. D’abord, on a reproché à la Suisse que son or était de l’or volé par les nazis, puis on a inventé une quantité d’autres bêtises afin de forcer le pays à vendre son or. On voulait à tout prix éviter qu’il existe au monde des pays qui misent encore sur les valeurs réelles, sur une monnaie sûre. Cela n’a pas réussi dans tous les pays. Celui qui ne suit pas sa propre voie ne peut, en matière de politique monétaire, être indépendant ni des Etats-Unis ni de l’UE ni de quelque autre pays. Moins notre Etat dispose d’or, plus nous dérivons vers la dépendance. On a beau dire qu’on n’est pas pays membre de l’UE – si, de fait, on se lie à l’euro, on en sortira tout aussi dépendant que les pays membres de la zone euro.



On peut donc dire que la politique monétaire de la BNS est également expansive?

Oui, en comparaison, nous sommes même plus expansifs que la BCE ou la FED. Ces dernières années, le bilan de la BNS s’est énormément élargi et nous avons vendu des quantités d’or incroyables. En pourcents, notre élargissement du bilan et plus grand que celui des Etats-Unis ou de l’UE.

Pour acheter des euros, nous avons donc produit d’avantage d’argent?

Oui, nous avons acheté des euros et des dollars à hauteur de centaines de milliards ce qui n’empêche pas les adhérents de cette politique de dire que l’initiative sur l’or constitue un risque à cause du prix de l’or. Mais si l’euro ne baisse que de 20%, ce qui n’est malheureusement pas irréaliste – même la BCE confirme qu’il y aura une dévalorisation – cela coûtera cent milliards de francs et plus à la Suisse. Dans une telle situation, l’or est beaucoup plus sûr. Il n’a pas cessé, depuis plus de 3000 ans, de fonctionner comme moyen de paiement, ayant survécu jusqu’à présent à toutes les crises. En vérité, face à des crises sérieuses, l’or est de plus en plus recherché tout en se stabilisant encore davantage. Aujourd’hui, on assure tout face à n’importe quel risque. Eh bien, l’or est une assurance pour la fortune de tout un pays. Les réserves d’or ne sont pas matière à spéculation pour politiciens et responsables de la banque nationale. Elles sont la fortune nationale, le résultat du travail assidu de plusieurs générations. D’où prenons-nous le droit de détruire en quelques années ce que les citoyennes et citoyens suisses ont créé dans notre pays. Je trouve cela révoltant.

Dans ce contexte, je me demande qui achète l’or. Si plus personne ne veut d’or et tout le monde le jette sur le marché, il devrait être à disposition à prix cassé en énorme quantité. Ce n’est cependant pas le cas.

Non, en effet, ce n’est pas le cas. Il y a naturellement des pays qui ont une autre vue des choses. Ils ont reconnu l’importance de l’or dans une époque caractérisée par l’augmentation illimitée de la masse monétaire et des crises monétaires croissantes.
Ces deux dernières années, la Chine a acheté davantage d’or que celui que la Suisse possède encore actuellement. D’autres banques centrales, tournées vers l’avenir, ont également compris que l’or est la chose la plus sûre et la plus stable pour le pays et sa population. Une fois de plus, la Suisse court après les banques centrales américaine et européenne et ainsi, aveuglement, vers la perdition. J’espère vivement que le peuple suisse s’en rende compte à temps et sera capable d’arrêter cette course funeste.

Qu’en est-il des réserves des autres pays?

En Suisse, 85% de nos réserves monétaires sont des monnaies étrangères, majoritairement des euros. Nous ne disposons plus de valeurs réelles, tandis que nos voisins l’Allemagne, l’Italie et la France détiennent des réserves d’or de 70%. Nous n’avons plus même 10%. Voilà ce qui est très risqué et dangereux – mais certes pas l’initiative sur l’or. Celle-ci produit de la sécurité dans une telle situation. Chaque citoyen désireux d’acheter une voiture ou une maison à crédit doit présenter une garantie qui correspond normalement au minimum à 20% du prix d’achat. Ce n’est donc pas trop exiger d’attendre d’un Etat qu’il possède une garantie de 20%, dans un portefeuille hautement risqué.

Quels sont les documents à hauts risques dans ce portefeuille?

Avec ses monnaies étrangères, la BNS a acheté, des actions de jeux de hasard et des participations à de grandes entreprises d’armement aux Etats-Unis, ainsi que des obligations émises par d’autres Etats. Personne ne pourra me faire croire que les responsables de la BNS ont agi de la sorte selon leurs propres convictions. Il est évident que Bruxelles nous a abordé en disant: «C’est le moment de nous aider, achetez des euros!» Il ne faut pas augmenter les montagnes de dettes à l’infini. Un certain moment venu, toute confiance sera perdue. Quand les gens se rendront compte des manipulations, les montagnes de dettes s’écrouleront.
Alors il y aura une perte totale au niveau des monnaies ou une inflation massive. Indépendamment de ces scénarios, il faut avoir une garantie sensée, sinon le tout est hautement risqué. L’initiative représente l’assurance urgente contre ce qui va se passer au cours des années à venir.

On entend souvent le reproche que suite aux achats supplémentaires qui devraient être faits si l’initiative passe, nous aurons trop d’or qu’on ne pourra plus revendre par la suite.

D’abord il faut que nous ayons cet or, l’initiative exige un minimum de 20%. Si l’on dispose de davantage d’or et qu’on est exposé à un cas d’urgence extrême, on pourra en tout temps revendre de l’or par droit d’urgence. Nous disposons de suffisamment de mécanismes pour pouvoir intervenir dans une telle situation. Mais puisque notre monnaie sera beaucoup mieux protégée grâce à la couverture-or, cette situation n’apparaîtra pas.

On entend constamment que les pays asiatiques achètent l’or des Européens. Le fait que la Suisse ait vendu une grande partie de son or, était-ce le résultat des tentatives de pressions mentionnées ou s’agissait-il également de se soumettre de plein gré aux puissants? Selon ce que vous venez d’expliquer, il n’y avait guère de nécessité financière à cela.

Il n’y a effectivement aucune nécessité de vendre de l’or. La BNS avoue elle-même aujourd’hui que les ventes d’or à un prix aussi bas étaient une erreur. Si elle n’avait pas vendu une tonne d’or par jour pendant plusieurs années, la BNS disposerait actuellement d’une réserve de 50 milliards de francs. C’est une somme gigantesque représentant presque le budget annuel de la Suisse. Certes on peut se tromper mais il faudra en tirer les bonnes conclusions. La moitié de notre fortune nationale a disparu, il faut donc tout faire pour préserver l’autre moitié, voilà le but de l’initiative. Après avoir vendu 1300 tonnes, on lança encore 250 tonnes sur le marché pour acquérir des euros. On a échangé une valeur sûre contre une monnaie et des obligations à haut risque. Cela reste totalement incompréhensible. Il y a naturellement des gens qui craquent face aux pressions de l’extérieur, mais il y a malheureusement aussi, à l’intérieur de notre pays, des internationalistes et des forces autodestructrices qui tentent d’affaiblir la Suisse.

Quelles sont les forces principales qui s’opposent à l’Initiative sur l’or?

Tous les partis politiques, le Conseil fédéral, les médias – en réalité, le comité d’initiative se trouve seul contre tous. Certes, dans tous les partis on retrouve des personnes qui nous soutiennent. Parmi eux, il y a aussi des parlementaires cantonaux, également du PLR (Libéraux-Radicaux). Le PBD (Partie bourgeois-démocratique) de Bâle-Ville s’est exprimé en faveur de l’initiative de même que la plupart des partis cantonaux de l’UDC (Union démocratique du centre). Un grand nombre de citoyens soutient l’initiative mais tous les puissants qui veulent manipuler la fortune nationale s’y opposent. J’espère que le peuple se rendra compte du caractère explosif de cette situation et ne se placera pas du côté des puissants qui manipulent le système monétaire et détruisent la propriété des citoyennes et citoyens. Le système de la «monnaie fiduciaire» que nous retrouvons dans de nombreux pays est une fraude envers tous les citoyens qui apportent leur contribution à la société avec leur travail quotidien et, également, envers tout les épargnants.

Selon les premiers sondages, il y aurait actuellement dans la population une majorité en faveur de l’initiative.

C’est tout à fait compréhensible. Selon ce sondage, il y a actuellement 17% d’indécis. Si nous réussissons à en convaincre encore 6%, nous atteindrons 50%. Tout citoyen qui s’intéresse à son porte-monnaie et à l’avenir de son pays et qui refuse de faire confiance aux «banksters» et aux spéculateurs doit voter «oui». Mais pour le moment rien n’est décidé: nous devons nous battre pour chaque voix, car la campagne de dénigrement des adversaires ne fait que commencer!

Monsieur Reimann, je vous remercie de cet entretien.    •

(Interview réalisée par Thomas Kaiser)

jeudi, 25 septembre 2014

This Is Why Russia and China Are Now 'The Enemy'

This Is Why Russia and China Are Now 'The Enemy'

The suppression of gold prices is essential at all costs to the Anglo-American banking interests. The saber rattling and attempts to lure Russia and China into military conflict are about who controls the financial world. Russia and China keep accumulating the eternal currency – gold. The American Empire and their EU disciples continue to accumulate debt and print fiat currencies. Has fiat paper ever won out over gold in the long-run? Change is coming. Revolution is in the air. You can sense the desperation of the ruling oligarchs. Their fiat world is beginning to crumble. But they will not go without a bloody fight.

Reprinted from The Burning Platform.

vendredi, 19 septembre 2014

Will The Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back?

Will The Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back?

achat-de-lingots-dor-en-suisse.jpgOn November 30th, voters in Switzerland will head to the polls to vote in a referendum on gold. On the ballot is a measure to prohibit the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from further gold sales, to repatriate Swiss-owned gold to Switzerland, and to mandate that gold make up at least 20 percent of the SNB’s assets. Arising from popular sentiment similar to movements in the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, this referendum is an attempt to bring more oversight and accountability to the SNB, Switzerland’s central bank.

The Swiss referendum is driven by an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the conduct not only of Swiss monetary policy, but also of Swiss banking policy. Switzerland may be a small nation, but it is a nation proud of its independence and its history of standing up to tyranny. The famous legend of William Tell embodies the essence of the Swiss national character. But no tyrannical regime in history has bullied Switzerland as much as the United States government has in recent years.

The Swiss tradition of bank secrecy is legendary. The reality, however, is that Swiss bank secrecy is dead. Countries such as the United States have been unwilling to keep government spending in check, but they are running out of ways to fund that spending. Further taxation of their populations is politically difficult, massive issuance of government debt has saturated bond markets, and so the easy target is smaller countries such as Switzerland which have gained the reputation of being “tax havens.” Remember that tax haven is just a term for a country that allows people to keep more of their own money than the US or EU does, and doesn’t attempt to plunder either its citizens or its foreign account-holders. But the past several years have seen a concerted attempt by the US and EU to crack down on these smaller countries, using their enormous financial clout to compel them to hand over account details so that they can extract more tax revenue.

orsuisse.jpgThe US has used its court system to extort money from Switzerland, fining the US subsidiaries of Swiss banks for allegedly sheltering US taxpayers and allowing them to keep their accounts and earnings hidden from US tax authorities. EU countries such as Germany have even gone so far as to purchase account information stolen from Swiss banks by unscrupulous bank employees. And with the recent implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Swiss banks will now be forced to divulge to the IRS all the information they have about customers liable to pay US taxes.

On the monetary policy front, the SNB sold about 60 percent of Switzerland’s gold reserves during the 2000s. The SNB has also in recent years established a currency peg, with 1.2 Swiss francs equal to one euro. The peg’s effects have already manifested themselves in the form of a growing real estate bubble, as housing prices have risen dangerously. Given the action by the European Central Bank (ECB) to engage in further quantitative easing, the SNB’s continuance of this dangerous and foolhardy policy means that it will continue tying its monetary policy to that of the EU and be forced to import more inflation into Switzerland.

Just like the US and the EU, Switzerland at the federal level is ruled by a group of elites who are more concerned with their own status, well-being, and international reputation than with the good of the country. The gold referendum, if it is successful, will be a slap in the face to those elites. The Swiss people appreciate the work their forefathers put into building up large gold reserves, a respected currency, and a strong, independent banking system. They do not want to see centuries of struggle squandered by a central bank. The results of the November referendum may be a bellwether, indicating just how strong popular movements can be in establishing central bank accountability and returning gold to a monetary role.

See the Ron Paul File

vendredi, 23 mai 2014

Gold and Geopolitics


Gold and Geopolitics

By Dan Popescu

“Gold is the sovereign of all sovereigns”


They say that gold is a geopolitical metal. Gold is real money with no counterparty risk and, furthermore, an excellent wealth preserver in time and space. Like fiat currencies (dollar, euro, yen, Yuan etc.), gold’s price is also influenced by political events, especially those having an international impact. Alan Greenspan, ex-chairman of the Federal Reserve, said that gold is money “in extremis”. This is why gold is part of most central banks’ reserves. It is the only reserve that is not debt and that cannot be devalued by inflation, contrary to fiat currencies.

Observe in chart #1 that central banks own 30,500 tonnes of gold, or 19% of above ground gold. However, this number is an underestimation, because several countries (e.g. China, Saudi Arabia) report only a portion or none at all of their gold holdings. In addition, if they do, they do not do it in a timely manner.

Global Gold Stock

I think that the official amount of gold held by some countries (through different institutions) is rather close to 40,000 tonnes. Even if this gold represents only 20% to 25% of the total gold stock, it can be quickly brought to market and in sufficient quantities to have an impact on the market price. The annual gold market is only 4,477 tonnes per year; it is thus easy for United States or the European Union to influence gold’s price, since they own respectively 8,333 and 10,779 tonnes of gold.

Currencies mirror the health of the countries issuing them. When a country manages its economy well and offers a good social and political environment, demand for its currency increases and, thus, it appreciates, whereas the opposite happens when the economy and politics of the country are poorly managed. The fiat currency is the image of the country and its value only depends on the trust people have in its economy. When the international monetary system is on the brink of collapse because of an exorbitant global debt, there is a flux taking place toward real assets (land, buildings, jewelry, gold, silver etc.). Gold is real money, contrary to the different countries’ currencies, which are fiat money and can be devalued by monetisation of the debt.

Since the beginning of history, gold has taken center stage in geopolitics. History tells us that the Roman Empire invaded Dacia (Romania today) at the start of the 2nd century B.C. to take control of the rich gold mines of the Carpathians. The Empire had depleted all of its gold mines and its expenses were growing rapidly. The roman economy was based on war and those wars were costing more and more gold while they would bring in less and less. By that time, the Romans had taken a liking for luxury items that they did not produce themselves, like fine silk from China, pearls from the Persian Gulf, perfumes from India, ivory from Africa, etc. Roman gold was being used for those purchases and a lot of it was needed. Later, in the 1500s, the quest for gold became the objective of the conquest of the Americas after the return of Christopher Columbus who had discovered the Aztec and Inca gold. During the Second World War, Hitler put together a team with the mission of getting hold of the gold and other treasures of the conquered nations. Nazi Germany used all of its available resources to win the war, and gold was an important weapon in Hitler’s economic arsenal (gold stolen from occupied countries’ central banks between 1939 and 1942). It is interesting to note that private ownership of gold was forbidden, by left or right leaders, totalitarian or democrats, from Lenin in Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Mao in China to Roosevelt in the United States.

In 1944, at the Bretton Woods Conference, the United States took advantage of the great weakness of world after the Second War and imposed a monetary system based on the dollar, but backed by gold. Following a crisis opposing the United States and Europe, but mainly France, gold backing of the dollar was abandoned in 1971. Deficits and debts brought about by less productivity and some costly wars (Korea, Vietnam) started to weigh heavily on the dollar. The US dollar has become, since 1971, the international monetary standard, without any gold backing. However, gold has remained the “de facto” standard lurking in the shadows, should a major monetary crisis occur, watching for the first mistake to regain its center role. Many countries, like Canada, sold all their gold in the 90’s but, in general, the official holdings, as can be seen in chart #1, have barely diminished.

A new era started in the 90’s with the end of the Cold War and, thus, the beginning of a world disarmament. An era of peace and prosperity seemed to have started under the almost absolute dominance of the United States. During this optimistic period, gold fell from $850 to $250 an ounce. This period was short lived, because the September 11 terrorist attack in New York, the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the 2008 financial crisis and, recently, the annexation of Crimea by Russia have changed all that.

During the 2008 crisis – that almost succeeded in bringing down the current international monetary system – gold made a stunning comeback into the system. During the crisis, gold became the only accepted guarantee in order to get liquidity. What was significant was that after having been ignored for decades, gold was coming back into the international monetary system via settlements of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). These transactions themselves confirm that gold was coming back into the system. They revealed the poor state of the financial system before the crisis and showed how gold has indirectly been mobilized to support the commercial banks. Gold’s old emergency usefulness has resurfaced, albeit behind closed doors at BIS in Basel, Switzerland.

Starting in 2008, we can also observe that western central banks stopped selling gold and that emerging countries’ central banks accelerated their gold buying. The extreme indebtedness of Western countries coupled with a rebirth of the emerging markets economies have destabilized even more an international monetary system based on an already much weakened US dollar.

Global Gold Reserves vs Global Gold Production

A confidence crisis has also reappeared between countries, especially between emerging countries and the United States. We are in a transition period in geopolitics and we are witnessing an economic shift and transfer of wealth from West to East. The new wealth owners are also asking for accrued political power internationally, in all the institutions where the European Union and the United States have a dominant position.

In order to protect the actual monetary system based on the dollar and that gives it exorbitant privileges, the United States manipulates the gold price, the only possible alternative if the dollar were to be replaced (or a SDR baked by gold). The United States is also trying to discourage countries and individuals to sell the dollar by way of negative public statements, but also by selling short on futures’ markets. Let us not forget that 40% to 60% of the US dollars circulate outside the United States. For the same reason, emerging countries are worried, and rightly so, that their reserves, mainly in dollars, will be confiscated by way of devaluation of the dollar. It is also possible that their gold reserves stored in the U.S. will be confiscated for so-called “force majeure” political reasons, in the interest of the “nation”.

Gold is money “in extremis”, and this is why it should not be stored out of the country. Only exception being an exceptional situation like a war, and only for a short time. I think that the only motivation countries had to store their gold in New York was greed through the possibility to speculate on gold at the risk of losing this “in extremis” reserve. Actually, this is what happened to Portugal; during the 2008 crisis and the Lehman Brothers’ default, the country lost its gold it had lent out. In times of crises or wars, it is very important not only to have legal ownership but also physical possession of the gold. Geopolitical alliances may change at any time and access to this “in extremis” money could be restrained or even refused.

In the current geopolitical framework that Ian Bremmer has so well called G0 (no country dominates; each one has advantage but also disadvantages), an international power struggle is occurring between the United States, the European Union, Russia and China. In this new Cold War, albeit in a G0 environment rather than in a G2 (United States and Soviet Union), where the European Union is not really allied with the United States and where China is not really allied with Russia, uncertainty prevails. In addition, other actors may influence this new Cold War that just got started since the annexation of Crimea by Russia. In a previous article on the gold wars, I mentioned the role of accelerator, agitator or troublemaker that third parties like Russia or Saudi Arabia could play. That is what happened with Russia, in Crimea, one month later. There is a war on the price of gold led by western countries, but there is also a war for gold ownership between all the countries; eastern countries being the ones that wish to exchange their dollar reserves for gold and as fast as possible.

In this new Cold War, which also includes a currency war, the role of gold has become central in the international political strategies of all countries involved. During this period of major risks and uncertainty, and until the return of a new geopolitical, economic and monetary order, gold will shine. Gold is money “in extremis” and is the only real money without any counterparty risk. This is why gold is considered, and rightly so, a geopolitical metal.

Official Gold Reserves in Tonnes – Developed Countries vs Emerging Countries

Official Gold Reserves as a Percentage of Total Foreign Currency Reserves

Official Gold Reserves as a Percentage of GDP – Developed Countries vs Emerging Countries

Public Debt as a Percentage of GDP – Developed Countries vs Emerging Countries

Reproduction, in whole or in part, is authorized as long as “GoldBroker.com all rights reserved” is mentioned along with a link to this page.

mardi, 27 août 2013

La Réserve Fédérale des Etats-Unis empêche l’Allemagne de rapatrier son or

La Réserve Fédérale des Etats-Unis empêche l’Allemagne de rapatrier son or

Ex: Telesur

Les Etats-Unis refusent de rendre l’or que l’Allemagne a mis à l’abri dans la Réserve Fédérale des USA et a, par ailleurs, empêché les représentants allemands de visiter le coffre de la Banque Centrale de ce pays pour vérifier l’état des tonnes d’or entreposées.



La méfiance par rapport au dollar pourrait s’intensifier après que la Bundesbank allemande ait demandé le rapatriement de son or entreposé dans la Réserve Fédérale des États-Unis, mais que Washington ait refusé de le faire avant 2020.

L’agence d’information russe, RT, a publié que les représentants allemands se sont vus refuser le permis de visiter le coffre de la Banque Centrale des États-Unis.

« L’Allemagne, qui y a entreposé près de la moitié de ses réserves en or, a de bonnes raisons de s’inquiéter. En général, les institutions financières des USA sont connues pour vendre ce qui n’existe pas réellement », écrit RT sur la publication de son portail Web.

Ils citent l’exemple de 2012, lorsque la banque Goldman Sachs vendait des certificats d’or en assurant qu’ils étaient garantis par l’or authentique de ses coffres. Cependant, comme cela s’est su par après, il n’y avait pas d’or dans ces coffres, et la banque travaillait sur base d’un système de réserve fractionnaire, en supposant que peu de dépositaires exigeraient de récupérer leur or.

Le fondateur et président de l’Association Allemande de Métaux Précieux, Peter Boehringer, considère que ce refus des États-Unis est un mauvais signe.

« Nous avons exercé beaucoup de pression sur la Bundesbank, nous lui avons envoyé énormément de questions, ainsi que d’autres entités. Nous voulons savoir pourquoi elle n’agit pas en tant qu’audit approprié, pourquoi ils ne font pas pression sur la banque centrale de son partenaire, tout particulièrement sur la Réserve Fédérale, pour qu’elle soit un audit adéquat. Pourquoi n’est-il pas possible de rapatrier cet or ? Il y a donc énormément de questions sans réponses », dit-il.

« Les USA et la Réserve Fédérale financent actuellement entre 60 et 80% de la dette fédérale récemment publiée, les bons du Trésor. Et son achat libre est une mauvaise nouvelle pour la dette des USA. Cela met en évidence que quelque chose va mal pour la qualité du dollar des États-Unis comme monnaie de réserve. La Chine et l’Inde vont probablement consommer 2.300 tonnes d’or conjointement cette année, ce qui équivaut presque à 100% de la production mondiale », explique-t’il.

La Réserve Fédérale des États-Unis est une des organisations les plus secrètes au monde. Depuis bien des années, elle entrepose de grandes quantités d’or de différents pays. Si auparavant elle était considérée comme l’endroit le plus sûr pour les réserves de beaucoup de pays, maintenant la situation a changé, puisque l’or qui y est entreposé s’épuise du fait de sa vente, son cautionnement ou son utilisation comme garantie financière.

En janvier de cette année, la Bundesbank allemande a informé de sa décision de rapatrier 674 tonnes des réserves officielles d’or déposées à l’étranger d’ici 2020.

Jusqu’au 31 décembre 2012, la banque allemande conservait 31% de son or sur le sol allemand. Avec cette mesure, ils estiment que cette quantité s’élève à 50% avant le 31 décembre 2020.

« Les réserves d’or d’une banque centrale créent de la confiance », indique l’entité financière dans un communiqué qui assure que cette mesure augmentera la confiance en sa propre économie.

L’Allemagne possède la seconde plus grande réserve d’or au monde ; 3.396 tonnes. Au cours des prochaines huit années, 674 tonnes vont être rapatriées depuis New-York et Paris, avec pour objectif que 50% de cet or soit entreposé sur le sol allemand. 13% des réserves d’or allemandes sont entreposée à Londres et y resteront entreposées. Les réserves d’or déposées à New-York devraient passer de 45% à 37%. Les 374 tonnes actuellement entreposées à la Banque de France à Paris retourneront sur le sol allemand.

Source : Telesur

Traduit par SanFelice pour Investig'Action

lundi, 18 février 2013

Zusammenbruch des US-Dollar: Wo ist das deutsche Gold?

Zusammenbruch des US-Dollar: Wo ist das deutsche Gold?

Peter Schiff

Die Finanzwelt wurde im Januar durch die Ankündigung der Deutschen Bundesbank erschüttert, einen erheblichen Teil ihrer im Ausland gelagerten Goldbestände nach Deutschland zurückzuführen. Bis zum Jahr 2020 will Deutschland etwa die Hälfte seiner Goldreserven wieder in Frankfurt lagern, darunter auch 300 Tonnen aus den derzeit bei der amerikanischen Notenbank Federal Reserve (Fed) eingelagerten Beständen. Die Ankündigung der Bundesbank erfolgt nur drei Monate nach der Weigerung der Fed, einer Überprüfung der bei ihr gelagerten deutschen Goldbestände zuzustimmen. Es stellt sich also die berechtigte Frage, ob diese Weigerung der Auslöser für die deutsche Ankündigung gewesen ist.

Wie auch immer die Antwort ausfallen mag, in Deutschland scheint man offenbar immer mehr die wirkliche Lage zu erkennen, auf die sich Zentralbanken in der ganzen Welt schon seit Längerem vorbereiten: Der Dollar wird weltweit nicht länger als sicherer Zufluchtsort gesehen, und die amerikanische Regierung hat massiv an Glaubwürdigkeit und Vertrauen als Bank für andere Länder eingebüßt.

Angesichts des Eindrucks, dass es der Fed anscheinend unmöglich ist, das Gold, das nach Recht und Gesetz Deutschland gehört, innerhalb eines angemessenen Zeitraums auszuhändigen, sieht es auch so aus, als wären diese Befürchtungen berechtigt. Deutschland gehört zu den entwickelten und einflussreichen Industrienationen und verfügt über die zweitgrößten Goldreserven weltweit. Wenn ein solches Schwergewicht nicht mehr überzeugt ist, dass Washington seine Zusagen einhält, wer könnte es dann noch ruhigen Gewissens sein?

Mehr: http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/deutschland/peter-schiff/zusammenbruch-des-us-dollar-wo-ist-das-deutsche-gold-.html

dimanche, 18 novembre 2012

Come l’Iran elude il blocco occidentale. Il Triangolo del petro-oro Turchia-Dubai-Iran

Come l’Iran elude il blocco occidentale. Il Triangolo del petro-oro Turchia-Dubai-Iran

di Tyler Durden

Fonte: aurorasito

Negli ultimi mesi vi è stata molta speculazione errata sul perché l’Iran, escluso dal regime di mediazione SWIFT sui petrodollari, vedrebbe implodere la propria economia mentre il paese non ha accesso ai verdoni, non potendo quindi effettuare scambi internazionali; il fattore trainante dietro le sanzioni internazionali che cercano di rovesciare il governo dell’Iran facendo morire la sua economica. Mentre vi sono stati periodi d’inflazione rilevante, finora il governo locale sembra essere riuscito a metterci una pietra sopra, frenando la speculazione del mercato grigio, e l’Iran continua a operare più o meno grazie ai suoi allegri metodi nel commercio internazionale, che è certamente vivo, in particolare con la Cina, la Russia e l’India quali principali partner commerciali. “Come è possibile tutto questo” si chiederanno coloro che sostengono l’embargo totale occidentale sul commercio iraniano? Semplice, l’oro. Perché mentre l’Iran potrebbe non avere accesso ai dollari, ha ampio accesso all’oro. Questo di per sé non è una novità, ne abbiamo parlato in passato: l’Iran ha importato notevoli quantità di oro dalla Turchia, nonostante le smentite del governo turco. Oggi, per gentile concessione della Reuters, sappiamo esattamente ciò che sarà l’equivalente della Grande Via della Seta del 21° secolo, e quanto sia stato efficace l’Iran, da bravo topolino da laboratorio, nel sottrarsi al grande esperimento dei petrodollari da cui, secondo la saggezza convenzionale, non ci sarebbe scampo. Vi presento il petro-oro.
Tutto inizia, contrariamente alle smentite ufficiali del governo, in Turchia. La Reuters spiega: “Corrieri che trasportano milioni di dollari in lingotti d’oro nei loro bagagli volano da Istanbul a Dubai, da dove l’oro viene inviato in Iran, secondo fonti del settore che conoscono il business. Le somme in gioco sono enormi. I dati commerciali ufficiali turchi suggeriscono che quasi 2 miliardi di dollari in oro sono stati inviati a Dubai per conto di acquirenti iraniani, ad agosto. Le spedizioni aiutano Teheran a gestire le sue finanze di fronte alle sanzioni finanziarie occidentali. Le sanzioni, imposte sul controverso programma nucleare iraniano, l’hanno in gran parte escluso dal sistema bancario globale, rendendogli difficile poter effettuare trasferimenti internazionali di denaro. Utilizzando l’oro fisico, l’Iran può continuare a muovere le sue ricchezze al di là delle frontiere.”
Quindi …. l’oro è denaro? In altre parole viene ampiamente accettato; si tratta di una riserva della ricchezza, ed è un mezzo di scambio? Huh. Qualcuno lo dica al Presidente. Potrebbe non esserne a conoscenza. Pare proprio di sì, almeno nei paesi che non vivono giorno per giorno sul bordo del quadrilione di dollari in derivati, ragione delle armi di distruzione immediata e di massa. “Ogni moneta nel mondo ha una identità, ma l’oro è un valore senza identità. Il suo valore è assoluto dovunque tu vada“, ha detto un trader di Dubai che conosce il commercio dell’oro tra la Turchia e l’Iran. L’identità della destinazione finale dell’oro in Iran non è nota. Ma la scala delle operazioni attraverso Dubai e la sua crescita improvvisa, suggeriscono che il governo iraniano vi abbia un ruolo. Il commerciante di Dubai e altre fonti familiari al business, hanno parlato con Reuters in condizione di anonimato, a causa della sensibilità politica e commerciale della questione. Che cosa ottiene in cambio la Turchia? Qualunque sia, l’Iran risponde alle esigenze della Turchia, naturalmente. “L’Iran vende petrolio e gas alla Turchia, con pagamenti effettuati a istituzioni statali iraniane. Le sanzioni bancarie statunitensi ed europee vietano i pagamenti in dollari o euro, così l’Iran viene pagato in lire turche. La lira ha un valore limitato nell’acquisto di merci sui mercati internazionali, ma è l’ideale per fare baldoria acquistando oro in Turchia.” E così, in un mondo in cui evitare il dollaro viene considerato dalla maggioranza una follia, Turchia e Iran, in silenzio ed efficacemente, hanno creato la loro scappatoia, in cui le risorse naturali sono scambiate con una valuta locale, che viene scambiata con l’oro, e che poi viene utilizzato dall’Iran per acquistare qualsiasi cosa, e tutto ciò di cui necessita, da tutti quegli altri paesi che non rispettano l’embargo imposto dagli Stati Uniti e dagli europei. Come quasi tutti i paesi dell’Africa. Perché l’oro parla, e i petrodollari camminano sempre più.
Ciò che è inquietante, è che anche Dubai sia entrato nella partita, e le tre vie di transazione potrebbero presto diventare il modello per tutti gli altri paesi che non hanno paura di subire l’ira dell’embargo dello Zio Sam: “A marzo di quest’anno, quando le sanzioni bancarie hanno cominciato a mordere, Teheran ha effettuato un forte aumento di acquisti di lingotti d’oro dalla Turchia, secondo i dati sul commercio del governo turco. L’esportazione d’oro verso l’Iran dalla Turchia, uno dei maggiori consumatori e depositari di oro, è arrivata a 1,8 miliardi di dollari a luglio, pari a oltre un quinto del deficit commerciale della Turchia di quel mese. Ad agosto, tuttavia, un improvviso crollo delle esportazioni turche d’oro dirette in Iran, è coinciso con un balzo delle sue vendite del metallo prezioso negli Emirati Arabi Uniti. La Turchia ha esportato un totale di 2,3 miliardi dollari in oro ad agosto, di cui 2,1 miliardi dollari erano in lingotti d’oro. Poco più di 1,9 miliardi, circa 36 tonnellate, sono stati inviati negli Emirati Arabi Uniti, come dimostrano gli ultimi dati disponibili dell’Ufficio di Statistica della Turchia. A luglio la Turchia ha esportato solo 7 milioni in oro negli Emirati Arabi Uniti. Nello stesso tempo, le esportazioni d’oro dalla Turchia dirette verso l’Iran, che oscillavano tra 1,2 miliardi e circa 1,8 miliardi di dollari ogni mese da aprile, sono crollate a soli 180 milioni ad agosto. Il commerciante di Dubai ha detto che da agosto, le spedizioni dirette verso l’Iran sono state in gran parte sostituite da quelle attraverso Dubai, a quanto pare perché Teheran voleva evitare la pubblicità. ‘Il commercio diretto dalla Turchia verso l’Iran si è fermato perché c’era semplicemente troppa pubblicità in giro’, ha detto il commerciante. Concessionari, gioiellieri e analisti di Dubai hanno detto di non aver notato alcun grande ed improvviso aumento dell’offerta sul mercato dell’oro locale ad agosto. Hanno detto che ciò suggerisce che la maggior parte delle spedizioni negli Emirati Arabi Uniti venga inviata direttamente in Iran. Non è chiaro come l’oro passi da Dubai all’Iran, ma vi è una corrente di scambi tra le due economie, in gran parte condotta con i dhow di legno e altre navi che attraversano il Golfo, a una distanza di soli 150 chilometri nel punto più stretto. Un commerciante turco ha detto che Teheran è passata alle importazioni indirette perché le spedizioni dirette venivano ampiamente riportate sui media turchi e internazionali, all’inizio di quest’anno. ‘Ora sulla carta sembra che l’oro vada a Dubai, non in Iran’, ha detto.”
Che cosa succede se gli Stati Uniti chiedono che lo scambio tra Dubai e l’Iran finisca? Niente: un altro paese si affretterà a sostituirlo nel triangolo d’oro, e poi un altro, e poi un altro ancora. Dopo tutto, sono pronti ad intervenire nelle condizioni molto redditizie della domanda/offerta delle transazioni. Proprio come avviene nel flusso bancario che sostiene il mercato delle obbligazioni e degli stock scambiati giorno per giorno. Che cosa accadrebbe se la stessa Turchia si ritirasse? “Gli acquirenti possono anche voler rendere i loro acquisti meno vulnerabili a qualsiasi possibile interferenza da parte del governo della Turchia. Lo stretto rapporto della Turchia con l’Iran ha cominciato a scadere da quando i due stati si trovano sui lati opposti della guerra civile in Siria, con la Turchia che sostiene la caduta del presidente Bashar al-Assad e l’Iran che rimane il più fedele alleato regionale di Assad.” Quindi, ancora la stessa cosa: l’Iran semplicemente troverebbe un paese della regionale che ha bisogno di greggio, e molti, molti di costoro sono in giro, e offrirebbe uno scambio oro-greggio che manterrebbe il mini-ciclo petro-oro a galla. Eppure assai ironicamente, nonostante tutte le ostilità palesi tra l’Iran e la Turchia sulla Siria, le due nazioni continuano a trattare, suscitando la domanda su quanto credibili siano tutte quelle storie sull’animosità medio-orientale tra questo o quel paese, o questa o quella fazione o etnia. Non c’è da sorprendersi: l’oro supera tutte le differenze. Tutte.
Infine, la realtà è che nessuno, in realtà, infrange alcuna regola. Non vi è alcuna indicazione che con il commercio di oro Dubai stia violando le sanzioni internazionali contro l’Iran. Le sanzioni delle Nazioni Unite vietano l’invio di materiali connessi al nucleare in Iran e congelano i beni di alcuni individui e imprese iraniani, ma non vietano la maggior parte del commercio. Gli Emirati Arabi Uniti non hanno ancora rilasciato i dati relativi al commercio per agosto. Dai funzionari della dogana di Dubai non è stato possibile avere un commento, nonostante i ripetuti tentativi di contattarli. I dati commerciali turchi confermano che l’oro viene trasportato per via aerea a Dubai. Secondo i dati, 1450 milioni dollari di oro turco esportato, in totale, ad agosto sono stati spediti tramite l’ufficio doganale nell’aeroporto Ataturk. Quasi tutto il resto, 800 milioni, è stato spedito dal più piccolo aeroporto di Istanbul, il Sabiha Gokcen. Le esportazioni totali di tutte le merci della Turchia verso gli Emirati Arabi Uniti, sono ammontate a 2,2 miliardi di dollari ad agosto. Di tale somma, 1,19 miliardi dollari sono stati registrati presso l’aeroporto Ataturk, mentre 776 milioni dollari sono stati registrati al Sabiha Gokcen. Un broker doganale che fa affari nell’Ataturk, ha detto che i corrieri si imbarcano sui voli per Dubai della Turkish Airlines e della Emirates, portandosi il metallo nel bagaglio a mano, per evitare il rischio di perderlo o di vederselo rubato. L’importo massimo di lingotti d’oro che è permesso prendere a un passeggero è di 50 kg, ha detto. Ciò suggerisce che durante agosto, diverse centinaia di voli dei corrieri potrebbero aver portato l’oro a Dubai per conto dell’Iran. “E’ tutto legale, dichiarano, danno il loro codice fiscale e tutto viene registrato, quindi non c’è nulla di illegale in questo“, ha detto il broker. “Al momento, c’è un bel po’ di traffico a Dubai. Anche a settembre e ottobre l’abbiamo visto.”
I dati sul commercio mostrano che quasi 1400 milioni di dollari delle esportazioni dalla Turchia agli Emirati Arabi Uniti, ad agosto, provenivano da una o più società con un numero di codice fiscale registrato nella città costiera di Izmir, la terza più grande della Turchia. I funzionari doganali dell’Ataturk hanno rifiutato una richiesta della Reuters di fornire i documenti di identificazione degli esportatori, dicendo che le informazioni sono riservate. L’identità delle società che gestiscono il commercio non poteva essere confermata. I commercianti hanno detto che a causa del rischio di attirare attenzioni indesiderate da parte delle autorità statunitensi, solo poche aziende sono disposte a mettersi in gioco. E il gioco è fatto: un sistema libero perfettamente controbilanciato, in cui si fanno transazioni e nessuna traccia viene lasciata. Ancora più importante, questo è il piano per il futuro, come sempre più paesi eludono l’assoggettamento al regime dei petrodollari, così onnipresente nel secolo passato, ma che si sta lentamente e inesorabilmente spostando a beneficio dei paesi che non sono insolventi, e che in realtà producono cose necessarie per il resto del mondo.

Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio - SitoAurora

Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

samedi, 17 novembre 2012

Cina e Russia acquistano oro, sbarazzandosi dei dollari USA

Cina e Russia acquistano oro, sbarazzandosi dei dollari USA
di Michel Chossudovsky

Fonte: aurorasito



Vi sono le prove che le banche centrali di varie regioni del mondo stiano costituendo le loro riserve auree. Ciò che viene pubblicato sono gli acquisti ufficiali. Ma la gran parte degli acquisti di lingotti d’oro delle banche centrali, non vengono resi noti. Vengono effettuati tramite imprese di terze parti contraenti, e con la massima discrezione. I depositi o gli strumenti del debito in dollari statunitensi, vengono in effetti negoziati in oro, mettendo a sua volta sotto pressione il dollaro statunitense. A loro volta la Cina e la Russia hanno aumentato la produzione nazionale di oro, una gran parte della quale è stata acquistata dalle rispettive banche centrali: “Da tempo si ritiene che la Cina stia costituendo di nascosto le sue riserve di oro attraverso l’acquisto della propria produzione locale. La Russia è un altro importante estrattore d’oro, dove la banca centrale acquista l’oro da un altro ente statale, la Gokhran, il braccio del marketing e deposito centrale della produzione di oro del paese. Ora viene riferito da Bloomberg che il direttore della Banca centrale del Venezuela, Jose Khan, ha detto che il paese vuole aumentare le proprie riserve di oro attraverso l’acquisto di più della metà dell’oro prodotto delle miniere d’oro dell’industria mineraria nazionale in rapida crescita. In Russia, per esempio, Gokhran ha venduto circa 30 tonnellate di oro alla Banca Centrale, nell’ambito dell’esercizio contabile interno, alla fine dell’anno scorso. In parte, così si diceva al momento, era stata fatta una vendita diretta, invece di mettere il metallo sul mercato, danneggiando forse il prezzo dell’oro. La Cina è attualmente il più grande produttore mondiale di oro e lo scorso anno ha confermato di aver aumentato le proprie riserve auree della Banca centrale di oltre 450 tonnellate nel corso degli ultimi sei anni.”
Mineweb.com – Il più importante sito sulle miniere e gli investimenti minerari del Mondo Venezuela taking own gold production into Central Bank reserves – GOLD NEWS, Mineweb


Il dato sulle 450 tonnellate corrisponde all’aumento delle riserve auree della banca centrale da 600 tonnellate nel 2003, alle 1054 tonnellate nel 2009. Se ci basiamo sulle dichiarazioni ufficiali, le riserve cinesi di oro aumentano di circa il 10 per cento all’anno. La Cina è divenuta la nazione con la più grande produzione d’oro in tutto il mondo, con circa 270 tonnellate. L’importo dell’acquisto da parte del governo appariva inizialmente di 90 tonnellate all’anno, o poco meno, 2 tonnellate a settimana. Prima del 2003, la banca centrale cinese annunciava che le riserve d’oro erano raddoppiate a 600 tonnellate, come indicato per gli acquisti corrispondenti prima di tale data. Perché  un importo così piccolo, ci si può chiedere? Pensiamo che le questioni locali e nazionali offuscano la visione della banca centrale, mentre il governo acquista oro dal 2003, e che ora ha messo a bilancio della banca centrale. Quindi possiamo concludere che il governo centrale si è garantito che la banca continui ad acquistare l’oro.
How will Chinese Central Bank Gold Buying affect the Gold Price short & Long-Term?”, Julian Phillips, FSO Editorial, 05/07/2009.

La banca centrale della Russia ne detiene oltre 20 milioni di once (gennaio 2010)

Le riserve della Banca Centrale della Russia sono aumentate notevolmente negli ultimi anni. La BCR ha riferito, nel maggio 2010, l’acquisto di 34,2 tonnellate di oro in un solo mese. Russian Central Bank Gold Purchases Soar In May – China Too? | The Daily Gold
Lo schema seguente mostra un aumento significativo degli acquisti mensili da parte della RCB dal giugno 2009.

Le Banche centrali del Medio Oriente stanno costituendosi le loro riserve auree, riducendo al contempo il possesso di depositi in dollari. Le riserve auree degli stati del GCC sono inferiori al 5 per cento: “Gli economisti del Dubai International Financial Authority Center hanno pubblicato un rapporto che chiede agli Stati locali di costituire riserve d’oro, secondo The National. Nonostante l’elevato interesse nell’oro, gli Stati del GCC controllano meno del 5 per cento delle riserve totali in oro. Rispetto alla BCE, che detiene il 25 per cento delle riserve in oro, vi è molto spazio per una crescita.

I Paesi del GCC dovrebbero aumentare le loro riserve di oro per aiutare a proteggere i loro miliardi di dollari di attività dalle turbolenze nei mercati valutari globali, dicono gli economisti della Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA). Diversificare le loro riserve in dollari USA con il metallo giallo, potrebbe contribuire ad offrire alle banche centrali i rendimenti d’investimento più elevati della regione, dicono il dottor Nasser Saidi, capo economista della DIFCA, e il dottor Fabio Scacciavillani, direttore per la macroeconomia e statistica presso la stessa autorità. “Quando si ha a che fare con una grande incertezza economica, passare agli asset di carta, qualunque essi siano – azioni, obbligazioni, altri tipi di capitali – non è attraente“, ha detto il dottor Saidi. “Questo rende l’oro più attraente.” Il calo del dollaro negli ultimi mesi, ha intaccato il valore dei proventi del petrolio del GCC, prevalentemente ponderati con il biglietto verde. GCC urged to boost gold reserves. (The National)

Secondo quanto riporta il Quotidiano del Popolo; “Le ultime classifiche delle riserve auree mostrano che, a partire da metà dicembre, gli Stati Uniti rimangono al vertice mentre la Cina continentale è al sesto posto, con 1054 tonnellate di riserve, come ha annunciato di recente il World Gold Council. La Russia è salita all’ottavo posto perché le sue riserve auree sono aumentate di 167,5 tonnellate dal dicembre 2009. La top ten del 2010 rimane la stessa, rispetto allo stesso periodo dello scorso anno. Ma l’Arabia Saudita è uscita dai primi 20. Paesi e regioni in via di sviluppo, tra cui l’Arabia Saudita e il Sud Africa, sono diventati l’elemento principale che trascina l’incremento delle riserve auree. …. Il Fondo Monetario Internazionale (FMI) e la Banca centrale europea sono i venditori d’oro più importanti, e le riserve auree del FMI sono diminuite di 158,6 tonnellate”.
China’s gold reserves rank 6th worldwide – People’s Daily Online.

Si dovrebbe comprendere che gli acquisti effettivi di oro fisico non sono l’unico fattore per spiegare l’andamento dei prezzi dell’oro. Il mercato dell’oro è segnato dalla speculazione organizzata dalle grandi istituzioni finanziarie. Il mercato dell’oro è caratterizzato da numerosi strumenti cartacei, fondi indicizzati dell’oro, certificati sull’oro, derivati OTC sull’oro (comprese opzioni, swap e forward), che svolgono un ruolo importante, in particolare nel breve termine, sull’andamento dei prezzi dell’oro. Il recente aumento e il successivo calo dei prezzi dell’oro, sono il risultato di una manipolazione da parte di potenti attori finanziari.

Copyright © 2012 Global Research

Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio – SitoAurora

Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

vendredi, 26 octobre 2012

George Soros, die Rothschilds, AFRICOM und das Gold Liberias

George Soros, die Rothschilds, AFRICOM und das Gold Liberias


Einem Bericht zufolge hat das Angebot der liberianischen Präsidentin Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in Liberia einen Stützpunkt für das United States Africa Command (AFRICOM, eines der sechs Regionalkommandos der US-Streitkräfte) einzurichten, mehr damit zu tun, die Goldbergwerke von George Soros und Nathaniel Rothschild zu schützen, als Stabilität und Menschenrechte in der Region voranzubringen.

George Soros ist ein amerikanischer Geschäftsmann ungarischer Herkunft, Investor, Philosoph und Philanthrop. Der heute 82-Jährige steht an der Spitze des Soros Fund Management und ist zugleich Vorsitzender der Open Society Foundations. Er gilt als der New Yorker Hedgefonds-Manager sowie als knallhart und äußerst erfolgreich.

Vor allem seit Mitte der 1960er Jahre benutzte er seinen immensen Einfluss dazu, bei der Umgestaltung der politischen Landschaften einiger Länder mitzuhelfen, und spielte sogar in einigen Fällen eine wichtige Rolle beim Sturz von Regimen, die seit Jahren, manchmal sogar seit Jahrzehnten an der Macht gewesen waren. Was die USA angeht, so kann man mit Fug und Recht behaupten, dass Soros gegenwärtig die amerikanische Politik und Kultur stärker als jede andere lebende Person beeinflusst.

Mehr: http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/geostrategie/red...

jeudi, 02 février 2012

Against the Gold Standard



Against the Gold Standard

By Brooks Adams

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

Editor’s Note:

What follows is chapter 11, “Modern Centralization,” from Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilization and Decay, second ed. (1895). This chapter is long, but well worth reading.

Here Adams explains, with a wealth of historical detail, the economic evil wrought by gold and silver currency, particularly a single gold standard. Currency is the life blood of economic progress. Gold and silver, however, are scarce and subject to hoarding. Thus they lead to the economic equivalent of anemia.

Adams argues that the technological groundwork of the Industrial Revolution existed long before the middle of the 18th century. What stood in the way of putting that technology to work was lack of capital, for money consisted of gold and silver, which are scarce commodities subject to hoarding.

The gold supply also fluctuates wildly based on highly arbitrary factors, such as gold strikes, speculative bubbles and panics, and the plunder of vast gold rich peoples like the Aztecs, Inca, and the various principalities of India.

Adams argues that one of the necessary conditions for the Industrial Revolution in England was the immense influx of gold and silver seized in India beginning in the 1750s. This loosened the money supply enough to allow industrial pioneers like James Watt and Matthew Boulton to capitalize their visions and revolutionize production. (Of course, a Social Credit economy armed with fiat currency, could have expedited the Industrial Revolution without the necessity of wholesale plunder to seize gold and silver.)

Gold and silver money are also deflationary. This means that as economic production grows, money becomes scarcer and more costly. This means that borrowers are ruined, for to pay back debts denominated in increasingly scarce gold or silver, they must work harder and harder with each passing year until their debts consume the whole of their production. 

When gold is plentiful due to a random event like the California gold rush, the economy is stimulated. But if the economy is particularly productive, the supply of precious metals can never keep pace with economic growth, which thus leads to a deflationary contraction, causing people to lose farms and businesses to their creditors. Thus gold and silver currency are a cause of economic booms and busts. With gold and silver currency, producers are ruined by their very productivity. But nothing is more destructive than a pure gold standard, because gold is scarcer than silver and thus even more subject to hoarding.

brooks-adams.jpgIn discussing the phenomena of the highly centralized society in which he lived, Mill defined capital “as the accumulated stock of human labor.” In other words, capital may be considered as stored energy; but most of this energy flows in fixed channels, money alone is capable of being transmuted immediately into any form of activity. Therefore the influx of the Indian treasure, by adding considerably to the nation’s cash capital, not only increased its stock of energy, but added much to its flexibility and the rapidity of its movement.

Very soon after Plassey the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London, and the effect appears to have been instantaneous, for all authorities agree that the “industrial revolution,” the event which has divided the nineteenth century from all antecedent time, began with the year 1760. Prior to 1760, according to Baines, the machinery used for spinning cotton in Lancashire was almost as simple as in India;[1] while about 1750 the English iron industry was in full decline because of the destruction of the forests for fuel. At that time four-fifths of the iron in use in the kingdom came from Sweden.

Plassey was fought in 1757, and probably nothing has ever equaled the rapidity of the change which followed. In 1760 the flying-shuttle appeared, and coal began to replace wood in smelting. In 1764 Hargreaves invented the spinning-jenny, in 1779 Crompton contrived the mule, in 1785 Cartwright patented the power-loom, and, chief of all, in 1768 Watt matured the steam-engine, the most perfect of all vents of centralizing energy. But though these machines served as outlets for the accelerating movement of the time, they did not cause that acceleration. In themselves inventions are passive, many of the most important having lain dormant for centuries, waiting for a sufficient store of force to have accumulated to set them working. That store must always take the shape of money, and money not hoarded, but in motion.

Thus printing had been known for ages in China before it came to Europe; the Romans probably were acquainted with gunpowder; revolvers and breech-loading cannon existed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and steam had been experimented upon long before the birth of Watt. The least part of Watt’s labor lay in conceiving his idea; he consumed his life in marketing it. Before the influx of the Indian treasure, and the expansion of credit which followed, no force sufficient for this purpose existed; and had Watt lived fifty years earlier, he and his invention must have perished together. Considering the difficulties under which Matthew Boulton, the ablest and most energetic manufacturer of his time, nearly succumbed, no one can doubt that without Boulton’s works at Birmingham the engine could not have been produced, and yet before 1760 such works could not have been organized. The factory system was the child of the “industrial revolution,” and until capital had accumulated in masses capable of giving solidity to large bodies of labor, manufactures were necessarily carried on by scattered individuals, who combined a handicraft with agriculture. Defoe’s charming description of Halifax about the time Boulton learned his trade, is well known:

The nearer we came to Halifax, we found the houses thicker, and the villages greater, in every bottom; . . . for the land being divided into small enclosures, from two acres to six or seven each, seldom more, every three or four pieces of land had an house belonging to them.

In short, after we had mounted the third hill, we found the country one continued village, tho’ every way mountainous, hardly an house standing out of a speaking distance from another; and, as the day cleared up, we could see at every house a tenter, and on almost every tenter a piece of cloth, kersie, or shalloon; which are the three articles of this countries labor. . . .

This place then seems to have been designed by providence for the very purposes to which it is now allotted. . . . Nor is the industry of the people wanting to second these advantages. Tho’ we met few people without doors, yet within we saw the houses full of lusty fellows, some at the dye vat, some at the loom, others dressing the cloths; the women and children carding, or spinning; all employed from the youngest to the oldest; scarce anything above four years old, but its hands were sufficient for its own support. Not a beggar to be seen, nor an idle person, except here and there in an alms-house, built for those that are antient, and past working. The people in general live long; they enjoy a good air; and under such circumstances hard labor is naturally attended with the blessing of health, if not riches.[2]

To the capitalist, then, rather than to the inventor, civilization owes the steam engine as a part of daily life, and Matthew Boulton was one of the most remarkable of the race of producers whose reign lasted down to Waterloo. As far back as tradition runs the Boultons appear to have been Northamptonshire farmers, but Matthew’s grandfather met with misfortunes under William, and sent his son to Birmingham to seek his fortune in trade. There the adventurer established himself as a silver stamper, and there, in 1728, Matthew was born. Young Boulton early showed both energy and ingenuity, and on coming of age became his father’s partner, thenceforward managing the business. In 1759, two years after the conquest of Bengal, the father died, and Matthew, having married in 1760, might have retired on his wife’s property, but he chose rather to plunge more deeply into trade. Extending his works, he built the famous shops at Soho, which he finished in 1762 at an outlay of £20,000, a debt which probably clung to him to the end of his life.

Boulton formed his partnership with Watt in 1774, and then began to manufacture the steam-engine, but he met with formidable difficulties. Before the sales yielded any return, the outlay reduced him to the brink of insolvency; nor did he achieve success until he had exhausted his own and his friends’ resources.

He mortgaged his lands to the last farthing; borrowed from his personal friends; raised money by annuities; obtained advances from bankers; and had invested upwards of forty thousand pounds in the enterprise before it began to pay.[3]

Agriculture, as well as industry, felt the impulsion of the new force. Arthur Young remarked in 1770, that within ten years there had been “more experiments, more discoveries, and more general good sense displayed in the walk of agriculture than in an hundred preceding ones”; and the reason why such a movement should have occurred seems obvious. After 1760 a complex system of credit sprang up, based on a metallic treasure, and those who could borrow had the means at their disposal of importing breeds of cattle, and of improving tillage, as well as of organizing factories like Soho. The effect was to cause rapid centralization. The spread of high farming certainly raised the value of land, but it also made the position of the yeomanry untenable, and nothing better reveals the magnitude of the social revolution wrought by Plassey, than the manner in which the wastes were enclosed after the middle of the century.

Between 1710 and 1760 only 335,000 acres of the commons were absorbed; between 1760 and 1843, nearly 7,000,000. In eighty years the yeomanry became extinct. Many of these small farmers migrated to the towns, where the stronger, like the ancestor of Sir Robert Peel, accumulated wealth in industry, the weaker sinking into factory hands. Those who lingered on the land, toiled as day laborers. Possibly since the world began, no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder, because for nearly fifty years Great Britain stood without a competitor. That she should have so long enjoyed a monopoly seems at first mysterious, but perhaps the condition of the Continent may suggest an explanation. Since Italy had been ruined by the loss of the Eastern trade, she had ceased to breed the economic mind; consequently no class of her population could suddenly and violently accelerate their movements. In Spain the priest and soldier had so thoroughly exterminated the skeptic, that far from centralizing during the seventeenth century, as England and France had done, her empire was in full decline at the revolution of 1688. In France something similar had happened, though in a much less degree. After a struggle of a century and a half, the Church so far prevailed in 1685 as to secure the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. At the revocation many Huguenots went into exile, and thus no small proportion of the economic class, who should have pressed England hardest, were driven across the Channel, to add their energy to the energy of the natives. Germany lacked capital. Hemmed in by enemies, and without a seacoast, she had been at a disadvantage in predatory warfare; accordingly she did not accumulate money, and failed to consolidate until, in 1870, she extorted a treasure from France. Thus, in 1760, Holland alone remained as a competitor, rich, maritime, and peopled by Protestants. But Holland lacked the mass possessed by her great antagonist, besides being without minerals; and accordingly, far from accelerating her progress, she proved unable to maintain her relative rate of advance.

Thus isolated, and favored by mines of coal and iron, England not only commanded the European and American markets, at a time when production was strained to the utmost by war, but even undersold Hindu labor at Calcutta. In some imperfect way her gains may be estimated by the growth of her debt, which must represent savings. In 1756, when Clive went to India, the nation owed £74,575,000, on which it paid an interest of £2,753,000. In 1815 this debt had swelled to £861,000,000, with an annual interest charge of £32,645,000. In 1761 the Duke of Bridgewater finished the first of the canals which were afterward to form an inland water-way costing £50,000,000, or more than two-thirds of the amount of the public debt at the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War. Meanwhile, also, steam had been introduced, factories built, turnpikes improved, and bridges erected, and all this had been done through a system of credit extending throughout the land. Credit is the chosen vehicle of energy in centralized societies, and no sooner had treasure enough accumulated in London to offer it a foundation, than it shot up with marvelous rapidity.

From 1694 to Plassey, the growth had been relatively slow. For more than sixty years after the foundation of the Bank of England, its smallest note had been for £20, a note too large to circulate freely, and which rarely traveled far from Lombard Street. Writing in 1790, Burke mentioned that when he came to England in 1750 there were not “twelve bankers’ shops” in the provinces, though then, he said, they were in every market town.[4] Thus the arrival of the Bengal silver not only increased the mass of money, but stimulated its movement; for at once, in 1759, the bank issued £10 and £15 notes, and, in the country, private firms poured forth a flood of paper. At the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars, there were not far from four hundred provincial houses, many of more than doubtful solvency. Macleod, who usually does not exaggerate such matters, has said, that grocers, tailors, and drapers inundated the country with their miserable rags.[5]

The cause of this inferiority of the country bankers was the avarice of the Bank of England, which prevented the formation of joint stock companies, who might act as competitors; and, as the period was one of great industrial and commercial expansion, when the adventurous and producing classes controlled society, enough currency of some kind was kept in circulation to prevent the prices of commodities from depreciating relatively to coin. The purchasing power of a currency is, other things being equal, in proportion to its quantity. Or, to put the proposition in the words of Locke, “the value of money, in general, is the quantity of all the money in the world in proportion to all the trade.”[6] At the close of the eighteenth century, many causes combined to make money plentiful, and therefore to cheapen it. Not only was the stock of bullion in England increased by importations from India, but, for nearly a generation, exports of silver to Asia fell off. From an average of £600,000 annually between 1740 and 1760, the shipments of specie by the East India Company fell to £97,500 between 1760 and 1780; nor did they rise to their old level until after the close of the administration of Hastings, when trade returned to normal channels. After 1800 the stream gathered volume, and between 1810 and 1820 the yearly consignment amounted to £2, 827,000, or to nearly one-half of the precious metals yielded by the mines.

From the crusades to Waterloo, the producers dominated Europe, the money-lenders often faring hardly, as is proved by the treatment of the Jews. From the highest to the lowest, all had wares to sell; the farmer his crop, the weaver his cloth, the grocer his goods, and all were interested in maintaining the value of their merchandise relatively to coin, for they lost when selling on a falling market. By degrees, as competition sharpened after the Reformation, a type was developed which, perhaps, may be called the merchant adventurer; men like Child and Boulton, bold, energetic, audacious. Gradually energy vented itself more and more freely through these merchants, until they became the ruling power in England, their government lasting from 1688 to 1815. At length they fell through the very brilliancy of their genius. The wealth they amassed so rapidly, accumulated, until it prevailed over all other forms of force, and by so doing raised another variety of man to power. These last were the modern bankers.

With the advent of the bankers, a profound change came over civilization, for contraction began. Self-interest had from the outset taught the producer that, to prosper, he should deal in wares which tended rather to rise than fall in value, relatively to coin. The opposite instinct possessed the usurer; he found that he grew rich when money appreciated, or when the borrower had to part with more property to pay his debt when it fell due, than the cash lent him would have bought on the day the obligation was contracted. As, toward the close of the eighteenth century, the great hoards of London passed into the possession of men of the latter type, the third and most redoubtable variety of the economic intellect arose to prominence, a variety of which perhaps the most conspicuous example is the family of Rothschild.

In one of the mean and dirty houses of the Jewish quarter of Frankfort, Mayer Amschel was born in the year 1743. The house was numbered 152 in the Judengasse, but was better known as the house of the Red Shield, and gave its name to the Amschel family. Mayer was educated by his parents for a rabbi; but, judging himself better fitted for finance, he entered the service of a Hanoverian banker named Oppenheim, and remained with him until he had saved enough to set up for himself. Then for some years he dealt in old coins, curiosities and bullion, married in 1770, returned to Frankfort, established himself in the house of the Red Shield, and rapidly advanced toward opulence. Soon after he gave up his trade in curiosities, confining himself to banking, and his great step in life was made when he became “Court Jew” to the Landgrave of Hesse. By 1804 he was already so prosperous that he contracted with the Danish Government for a loan of four millions of thalers.

Mayer had five sons, to whom he left his business and his wealth. In 18 12 he died, and, as he lay upon his death-bed, his last words were, “You will soon be rich among the richest, and the world will belong to you.”[7] His prophecy came true. These five sons conceived and executed an original and daring scheme. While the eldest remained at Frankfort, and conducted the parent house, the four others migrated to four different capitals, Naples, Vienna, Paris, and London, and, acting continually in consort, they succeeded in obtaining a control over the money market of Europe, as unprecedented as it was lucrative to themselves.

Of the five brothers, the third, Nathan, had commanding ability. In 1798 he settled in London, married in 1806 the daughter of one of the wealthiest of the English Jews, and by 1815 had become the despot of the Stock Exchange; “peers and princes of the blood sat at his table, clergymen and laymen bowed before him.” He had no tastes, either literary, social, or artistic; “in his manners and address he seemed to delight in displaying his thorough disregard of all the courtesies and amenities of civilized life”; and when asked about the future of his children he said, “I wish them to give mind, soul, and heart, and body—everything to business. That is the way to be happy.”[8] Extremely ostentatious, though without delicacy or appreciation, “his mansions were crowded with works of art, and the most gorgeous appointments.” His benevolence was capricious; to quote his own words, “Sometimes to amuse myself I give a beggar a guinea. He thinks it is a mistake, and for fear I shall find it out off he runs as hard as he can. I advise you to give a beggar a guinea sometimes. It is very amusing.”[9]

Though an astonishingly bold and unscrupulous speculator, Nathan probably won his chief successes by skill in lending, and, in this branch of financiering, he was favored by the times in which he lived. During the long wars Europe plunged into debt, contracting loans in depreciated paper, or in coin which was unprecedentedly cheap because of the abundance of the precious metals.

In the year 1809, prices reached the greatest altitude they ever attained in modern, or even, perhaps, in all history. There is something marvelously impressive in this moment of time, as the world stood poised upon the brink of a new era. To the contemporary eye Napoleon had reached his zenith. Everywhere victorious, he had defeated the English in Spain, and forced the army of Moore to embark at Corunna; while at Wagram he had brought Austria to the dust. He seemed about to rival Caesar, and establish a military empire which should consolidate the nations of the mainland of Europe. Yet in reality one of those vast and subtle changes was impending, which, by modifying the conditions under which men compete, alter the complexion of civilizations, and which has led in the course of the nineteenth century to the decisive rejection of the martial and imaginative mind.

In April 1810 Bolivar obtained control at Caracas, and, with the outbreak of the South American revolutions, the gigantic but imaginative empire of Spain passed into the acute stage of disintegration. On December 19 of the same year, the Emperor Alexander opened the ports of Russia to neutral trade. By so doing Alexander repudiated the “continental system” of Napoleon, made a breach with him inevitable, and thus brought on the campaign of Moscow, the destruction of the Grand Army, and the close of French military triumphs on the hill of Waterloo. From the year 1810, nature has favored the usurious mind, even as she favored it in Rome, from the death of Augustus.

Moreover, both in ancient and modern life, the first symptom of this profound economic and intellectual revolution was identical. Tacitus has described the panic which was the immediate forerunner of the rise of the precious metals in the first century; and in 1810 a similar panic occurred in London, when prices suddenly fell fifteen per cent,[10] and when the most famous magnate of the Stock Exchange was ruined and killed. The great houses of Baring and of Goldsmid had undertaken the negotiation of a government loan of £14,000,000. To the surprise of these eminent financiers values slowly receded, and, in September, the death of Sir Francis Baring precipitated a crisis; Abraham Goldsmid, reduced to insolvency, in despair committed suicide; the acutest intellects rose instantaneously upon the corpses of the weaker, and the Rothschilds remained the dictators of the markets of the world. From that day to this the slow contraction has continued, with only the break of little more than twenty years, when the gold of California and Australia came in an overwhelming flood; and, from that day to this, the same series of phenomena have succeeded one another, which eighteen hundred years ago marked the emasculation of Rome.

At the peace, many causes converged to make specie rise; the exports of bullion to the East nearly doubled; America grew vigorously, and mining was interrupted by the revolt of the Spanish colonies. Yet favorable as the position of the creditor class might be, it could be improved by legislation, and probably no financial policy has ever been so ably conceived, or so adroitly executed, as that masterpiece of state-craft which gave Lombard Street control of the currency of Great Britain.

Under the reign of the producers, values had generally been equalized by cheapening the currency when prices fell. In the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, the penny had been systematically degraded, to keep pace with the growing dearth of silver. When the flood of the Peruvian bullion had reached its height in 1561, the currency regained its fineness; but in 1601 the penny lost another half-grain of weight, and, though not again adulterated at the mint, the whole coinage suffered so severely from hard usage that, under the Stuarts, it fell to about two-thirds of its nominal value. A re-coinage took place under William, but then paper came in to give relief, and the money in circulation continued to degenerate, as there was no provision for the withdrawal of light pieces. By 1774, the loss upon even the guinea had become so great that Parliament intervened, and Lord North recommended “that all the deficient gold coin should be called in, and re-coined” and also that the “currency of the gold coin should, in future, be regulated by weight as well as by tale . . . and that the several pieces should not be legal tender, if they were diminished, by wearing or otherwise, below a certain weight, to be determined by proclamation.”[11]

By such means as this, the integrity of the metallic money was at length secured; but the emission of paper remained unlimited, and in 1797 even the Bank of England suspended cash payments. Then prices advanced as they had never advanced before, and, during the first ten years of the nineteenth century, ‘the commercial adventurers reached their meridian. From 1810 they declined in power; but for several preceding generations they had formed a true aristocracy, shaping the laws and customs of their country. They needed an abundant currency, and they obtained it through the Bank. On their side the directors recognized this duty to be their chief function, and laid it down as a principle that all legitimate commercial paper should always be discounted. If interest rose, the rise proved a dearth of money, and they relieved that dearth with notes. Lord Overstone has thus explained the system of banking which was accepted, without question, until 1810: “A supposed obligation to meet the real wants of commerce, and to discount all commercial bills arising out of legitimate transactions, appears to have been considered as the principle upon which the amount of the circulation was to be regulated.”[12]

And yet, strangely enough, even the adversaries of this system admitted that it worked well. A man as fixed in his opinions as Tooke, could not contain his astonishment that “under the guidance of maxims and principles so unsound and of such apparently mischievous tendency, as those professed by the governors and some of the directors of the Bank in 1810, such moderation and . . . such regularity of issue should, under chances and changes in politics and trade, unprecedented in violence and extent, have been preserved, as that a spontaneous readjustment between the value of the gold and the paper should have taken place, as it did, without any reduction of their circulation.”[13]

With such a system the currency tended to fall rather than to rise in value, in comparison with commodities, and for this reason the owners of the great hoards were at a disadvantage. What powerful usurers, like Rothschild, wanted, was a legal tender fixed in quantity, which, being unable to expand to meet an increased demand, would rise in price. Moreover, they needed a circulating medium sufficiently compact to be controlled by a comparatively small number of capitalists, who would thus, under favorable conditions, hold the whole debtor community at their mercy.

If the year 1810 be taken as the point at which the energy stored in accumulations of money began to predominate in England, the revolution which ended in the overthrow of the producers, advanced, with hardly a check, to its completion by the “Bank Act” of 1844. The first symptom of approaching change was the famous “Bullion Committee,” appointed on the motion of Francis Horner in 1810. This report is most interesting, for it marks an epoch, and in it the struggle for supremacy between the lender and the borrower is brought out in full relief.

To the producer, the commodity was the measure of value; to the banker, coin. The producer sought a currency which should retain a certain ratio to all commodities, of which gold was but one. The banker insisted on making a fixed weight of the metal he controlled, the standard from which there was no appeal.

A distinguished merchant, named Chambers, in his evidence before the Committee, put the issue in a nutshell:

Q. At the Mint price of standard gold in this country, how much gold does a Bank of England note for one pound represent?
A. 5 dwts. 3 grs.
Q. At the present market price of standard gold of £4 12. per ounce, how much gold do you get for a Bank of England note for one pound?
A. 4 dwts. 8 grs.
Q. Do you consider that a Bank of England note for one pound, under these present circumstances, is exchangeable in gold for what it represents of that metal?
A. I do not conceive gold to be a fairer standard for Bank of England notes than indigo or broadcloth.

Although the bankers controlled the “Bullion Committee,” the mercantile interest still maintained itself in Parliament, and the resolutions proposed by the chairman in his report were rejected in the Commons by a majority of about two to one. The tide, however, had turned, and perhaps the best index of the moment at which the balance of power shifted, may be the course of Peel. Of all the public men of his generation. Peel had the surest instinct for the strongest force. Rarely, if ever, did this instinct fail him, and after 1812 his intuition led him to separate from his father; as, later in life, it led him to desert his party in the crisis of 1845. The first Sir Robert Peel, the great manufacturer, who made the fortune of the family, had the producer’s instinct and utterly opposed contraction. In 1811 he voted against the report of the Bullion Committee, and then his son voted with him. After 1816, however, the younger Peel became the spokesman of Lombard Street, and the story is told that when the bill providing for cash payments passed in July, 1819, the old man, after listening to his son’s great speech, said with bitterness: “Robert has doubled his fortune, but ruined his country.”[14]

Probably Waterloo marked the opening of the new era, for after Waterloo the bankers met with no serious defeat. At first they hardly encountered opposition. They began by discarding silver. In 1817 the government made 123 and 274/1000 grs. of gold the unit of value, the coin representing this weight of metal ceasing to be a legal tender when deficient by about half a grain. The standard having thus been determined, it remained to enforce it. By this time Peel had been chosen by the creditor class as their mouthpiece, and in 1819 he introduced a bill to provide for cash payments. He found little resistance to his measure, and proposed 1823 as the time for the return; as it happened, the date was anticipated, and notes were redeemed in gold from May 1, 1821. As far as the coinage was concerned, this legislation completed the work, but the task of limiting discounts remained untouched, a task of even more importance, for, as long as the Bank continued discounting bills, and thus emitting an unlimited quantity of notes whenever the rate of interest rose, debtors not only might always be able to face their obligations, but the worth of money could not be materially enhanced. This question was decided by the issue of the panic of 1825, brought on by the Resumption Act.

At the suspension of 1797, paper in small denominations had been authorized to replace the coin which disappeared, but this act expired two years after the return to specie payments. Therefore, as time elapsed, the small issues began to be called in, and, according to Macleod, the country circulation, by 1823, had contracted about twelve per cent. The Bank of England also withdrew a large body of notes in denominations less than five pounds, and, to fill the gap, hoarded some twelve million sovereigns, a mass of gold about equal to the yield of the mines for the preceding seven or eight years. This gold had to be taken from the currency of Europe, and the sudden contraction caused a shock which vibrated throughout the West.

In France gold coinage almost ceased, and prices dropped heavily, declining twenty-four per cent between 1819 and 1822. Yet perhaps the most vivid picture of the distress caused by this absorption of gold, is given in a passage written by Macleod, to prove that Peel’s act had nothing to do with the catastrophe:

There was one perfectly satisfactory argument to show that the low prices of that year had nothing to do with the Act of 1819, namely, that prices of all sorts of agricultural produce were equally depressed all over the continent of Europe from the same cause. The fluctuations, indeed, on the continent were much more violent than even in England. . . . The same phenomena were observed in Italy. A similar fall, but not to so great an extent, took place at Lisbon. What could the Act of 1819 have to do with these places?[15]

The severe and protracted depression, while affecting all producers, bore with peculiar severity upon the gentry, whose estates were burdened with mortgages and all kinds of settlements, so much so that frequently properties sank below their encumbrances, and the owners were beggared. At the opening of Parliament, both Houses were overwhelmed with petitions for aid. Among these petitions, one of the best known was presented to the Commons in May, 1822, by Charles Andrew Thompson, of Chiswick, which serves to show the keenness of the distress among debtors owning land.

Thompson stated, in substance, that in 1811 he and his father, being wealthy merchants, purchased an estate in Hertfordshire for £62,000, and afterward laid out £10,000 more in improvements. That in 1812 they entered into a contract for another estate, whose price was £60,000, but, a question having arisen as to the title, a lawsuit intervened, and, before judgment, the petitioner and his father had experienced such losses that they could not pay the sum adjudged due by the court. Thereupon, to raise money, they mortgaged both estates for £65,000. In July, 1821, both estates were offered for sale, but they failed to bring the amount for which they were mortgaged. Estates in other counties which cost £33,166, had been sold for £12,000, and through the depression of trade the petitioners had become bankrupt. In 1822 the petitioner’s father died of a broken heart; and he himself remained a ruined man, with seven children of his own, ten of his brother’s, and seven of his sister’s all depending on him.[16]

The nation seemed upon the brink of some convulsion, for the gentry hardly cared to disguise their design of effecting a readjustment of both public and private debts. Passions ran high, and in June, 1822, a long debate followed upon a motion, made by Mr. Western, to inquire into the effects produced by the resumption of cash payments. The motion was indeed defeated, but defeated by a concession which entailed a catastrophe up to that time unequalled in the experience of Great Britain. To save the “Resumption Act” the ministry in July brought in a bill to respite the small notes until 1833, a measure which at once quieted the agitation, but which produced the most far-reaching and unexpected results.

According to Francis, the country banks augmented their issues fifty per cent between 1822 and 1825,[17] nor was this increase of paper the only or the most serious form taken by the inflation. The great hoard of sovereigns, accumulated by the Bank to replace its small notes, was made superfluous; and, in a memorandum delivered by the directors to the House of Commons, no less than £14,200,000 were stated to have been thrown on their hands in 1824 by this change of policy.[18] The effect was to create a veritable glut of gold in the United Kingdom; prices rose abnormally—fifteen per cent—between 1824 and 1825.

As values tended upward, a frenzy of speculation seized upon a people who had long suffered from the grinding of contraction, and meanwhile the Bank, adhering to its old policy, freely discounted all the sound bills brought them. In 1824 prices rose above the Continental level, and gold, being cheaper in London than in Paris, began to flow thither. The Bank reserve steadily fell. In March, 1825, the fever reached its height, and a decline set in, while the directors, anxious at the condition of their reserve in May, attempted to restrict their issues. The consequence was sharp contraction, and in November the crash came. Mr. Huskisson stated, in the House of Commons, that for forty-eight hours it was impossible to convert even government securities into cash. Exchequer bills, bank stock, and East India stock were alike unsalable, and many of the richest merchants of London walked the streets, not knowing whether on the morrow they might not be insolvent. “It is said” the Bank itself “must have stopped payment, and that we should have been reduced to a state of barter, but for a boxful of old one and two-pound notes which was discovered by accident.”[19] What happened in the Bank parlor during those days is unknown. Probably the pressure of the mercantile classes became too sharp to be withstood, perhaps even the strongest bankers were alarmed; but, at all events, the financial policy changed completely. Contraction was abandoned, the Bank reverted to the system of 18 10, and in an instant relief came. “We lent by every possible means, and in modes we had never adopted before; . . . we not only discounted outright, but we made advances on deposit of bills of exchange to an immense amount.” The Bank emitted five millions in notes in four days, and “this audacious policy was crowned with the most complete success, the panic was stayed almost immediately.”[20]

With an expansion of the currency sufficient to furnish the means of paying debts, the panic passed away, but the disaster gave the bankers their opportunity; they seized it, and thenceforward their hold upon the community never, even for an instant, relaxed. The administration fell into discredit, and turned for assistance to the only men who promised to give them effective support: these were the capitalists of Lombard Street, whose first care was to obtain a statute prohibiting the small notes, which, they alleged, were the cause of the misfortune of 1825. The act they demanded passed in 1826, and about this time Samuel Loyd rose into prominence, who was, perhaps, the greatest financier of modern times. Cautious and sagacious, though resolute and bold, gifted with an amazing penetration into the complex causes which control the competition of modern life, he swayed successive administrations, and crushed down the fiercest opposition. Apparently he never faltered in his course, and down to the day of his death he sneered at the panic-stricken directors, who only saved themselves from bankruptcy by accidentally remembering and issuing a “parcel of old discarded one-pound notes . . . drawn forth from a refuse cellar in 1825.”[21]

Loyd’s father began life somewhat humbly as a dissenting minister in Wales, but, after his marriage, he entered a Manchester firm, and subsequently founded in London the house of Jones, Loyd and Co., afterward merged in the London and Westminster Bank, one of the largest concerns in the world. Samuel did not actually succeed his father until 1844, but much earlier he had grown to be the recognized chief of the moneyed interest, and Sir Robert Peel long served as his lieutenant. Loyd was the man who conceived the Bank Act of 1844, who succeeded in laying his grasp upon the currency of the kingdom, and in whose words, therefore, the policy of the new governing class is best stated:

A paper-circulation is the substitution of paper . . . in the place of the precious metals. The amount of it ought therefore to be equal to what would have been the amount of a metallic circulation; and of this the best measure is the influx or efflux of bullion.[22]

By the provisions of that Act [the Bank Act of 1844] it is permitted to issue notes to the amount of £14,000,000 as before—that is, with no security for the redemption of the notes on demand beyond the legal obligation so to redeem them. But all fluctuations in the amount of notes issued beyond this £14,000,000 must have direct reference to corresponding fluctuations in the amount of gold.[23]

Thus Loyd’s principle, which he embodied in his statute, was the rigid limitation of the currency to the weight of gold available for money. “When . . . notes are permitted to be issued, the number in circulation should always be exactly equal to the coin which would be in circulation if they did not exist.”[24] In 1845 the Bank Act was extended to Scotland, except that there small notes were still tolerated; the expansion of provincial paper was prohibited, and England reverted to the economic condition of Byzantium—a condition of contraction in which the debtor class lies prostrate, for, the legal tender being absolutely limited, when creditors choose to withdraw their loans, payment becomes impossible.

Perhaps no financier has ever lived abler than Samuel Loyd. Certainly he understood as few men, even of later generations, have understood the mighty engine of the single standard. He comprehended that, with expanding trade, an inelastic currency must rise in value; he saw that, with sufficient resources at command, his class might be able to establish such a rise, almost at pleasure; certainly that they could manipulate it when it came, by taking advantage of foreign exchanges. He perceived moreover that, once established, a contraction of the currency might be forced to an extreme, and that when money rose beyond price, as in 1825, debtors would have to surrender their property on such terms as creditors might dictate.

Furthermore, he reasoned that under pressure prices must fall to a point lower than in other nations, that then money would flow from abroad, and relief would ultimately be given, even if the government did not interfere; that this influx of gold would increase the quantity of money, by so doing would again raise prices, and that, when prices rose, pledges forfeited in the panic might be resold at an advance. He explained the principle of this rise and fall of values, with his usual lucidity, to a committee of the House of Lords, which investigated the panic of 1847:

Monetary distress tends to produce fall of prices; that fall of prices encourages exports and diminishes imports; consequently it tends to promote an influx of bullion. I can quote a fact of rather a striking character, which tends to show that a contracting operation upon the circulation tends to cheapen the cost of our manufactured productions, and therefore to increase our exports.[25]

He then stated that during the panic he had received a letter “from a person of great importance in Lancashire,” begging him to use his influence with the ministry “to be firm in maintaining the act,—to be firm in resisting these applications for relaxation,” because in Lancashire the manufacturers were struggling to “resist the improperly high price of the raw material of cotton.” “That letter reached me the very morning that the letter of the government was issued [suspending the act], and almost immediately the raw cotton rose in price.”

Q. The writer of that letter was probably a man of considerable substance, a very wealthy man, with abundant capital to carry on his business?
A. He had recently retired from business. I can state another circumstance that occurred in London corroborative of the same results. Within half an hour of the time that the notes summoning the Court of Directors . . . were issued, parties, inferring probably . . . that a relaxation was about to take place, sent orders to withdraw goods from a sale which was then going on.[26]

The history of half a century has justified the diagnosis of this eminent financier. As followed out by his successors, Loyd’s policy has not only forced down prices throughout the West, but has changed the aspect of civilization. In England the catastrophe began with the passage of the Bank Act.

No sooner had this statute taken effect than it necessarily caused a contraction of the currency at a time when gold was rising because of commercial expansion. Between 1839 and 1849 there was a fall in prices of twenty-eight per cent, and, severe as may have been the decline, it seems moderate considering the conditions which then prevailed. The yield of the mines was scanty, and of this yield India absorbed annually an average of £2,308,000, or somewhat more than one-sixth.

America was growing with unprecedented vigor, industrial competition sharpened as prices fell, and the year of the “Bank Act “ was the year in which railway building began to take the form of a mania. The peasantry are always the weakest part of every population, and therefore agricultural prices are the most sensitive. But the resources of a peasantry are seldom large, and, as the value of their crops shrinks, the margin of profit on which they live dwindles, until they are left with only a bare subsistence in good years, and with famine facing them in bad. The Irish peasants were the weakest portion of the population of Great Britain when Lord Overstone became supreme, and when the potato crop failed in 1845 they starved.

Although the landlords had lost their command over the nation in 1688, they yet, down to the last administration of Peel, had kept strength enough to secure protection from Parliament against foreign competition. By 1815 the yeomanry had almost disappeared, the soil belonged to a few rich families whose revenue depended on rents, and the value of rents turned on the price of the cereals. To sustain the market for wheat became therefore all-important to the aristocracy, and when, with the peace, prices collapsed, they obtained a statute which prohibited imports until the bushel should fetch ten shillings at home.

This statute, though frequently amended to make it more effective, partially failed of its purpose. A contracting currency did its resistless work, prices dropped, tenants went bankrupt, and, as the value of money rose, encumbered estates passed more frequently into the hands of creditors. Thus when Peel took office in 1841, the Corn Laws were regarded by the gentry as their only hope, and Peel as their chosen champion; but only a few years elapsed before it became evident that the policy of Lombard Street must precipitate a struggle for life between the manufacturers and the landlords. In the famine of 1846 the decisive moment came, and when Sir Robert sided, as was his wont, with the strongest, and abandoned his followers to their fate, he only yielded to the impulsion of a resistless force.

As a class both landlords and manufacturers were debtors, and, by 1844, cheap bread appeared to be as vital to the one as dear corn was to the other. With a steadily falling market the manufacturers saw their margin of profit shrink, and at last Manchester and Birmingham believed themselves to be confronted with ruin unless wages fell proportionately, or they could broaden the market for their wares by means of international exchanges. The Corn Laws closed both avenues of relief; therefore there was war to the death between the manufacturers and the aristocracy. The savageness of the attack can be judged by Cobden’s jeers at gentlemen who admitted that free corn meant insolvency:

Sir Edward Knatchbull could not have made a better speech for the League than that which he made lately, even if he were paid for it. I roared so with laughter that he called me specially to order, and I begged his pardon, for he is the last man in the world I would offend, we are all so much obliged to him. He said they could not do without this Corn Law, because, if it were repealed, they could not pay the jointures, charged on their estates. Lord Mountcashel, too (he’s not over-sharp) said that one half the land was mortgaged, and they could not pay the interest unless they had a tax upon bread. In Lancashire, when a man gets into debt and can’t pay, he goes into the Gazette, and what is good for a manufacturer is, I think, good for a landlord.[27]

In such a contest the gentry were overmatched, for they were but nature’s first effort toward creating the economic type, and they were pitted against later forms which had long distanced them in the competition of life. Bright and Cobden, as well as Loyd and Peel, belonged to a race which had been driven into trade, by the loss of their freeholds to the fortunate ancestors of the men who lay at their mercy in 1846. Peel himself was the son of a cotton-spinner, and the grandson of a yeoman, who, only in middle life, had quitted his hand-loom to make his fortune in the “industrial revolution.”

In modern England, as in ancient Italy, the weakest sank first, and the landed gentry succumbed, almost without resistance, to the combination which Lombard Street made against them. Yet, though the manufacturers seemed to triumph, their exultation was short, for the fate impended over them, even in the hour of their victory, which always overhangs the debtor when the currency has been seized by the creditor class. By the “Bank Act” the usurers became supreme, and in 1846 the potato crop failed even more completely than in 1845. Credit always is more sensitive in England than in France, because it rests upon a narrower basis, and at that moment it happened to be strained by excessive railway loans. With free trade in corn, large imports of wheat were made, which were paid for with gold. A drain set in upon the Bank, the reserve was depleted, and by October 2, 1847, the directors denied all further advances. Within three years of the passage of his statute, the event Loyd had foreseen arrived. “Monetary distress” began to force down prices. The decision of the directors to refuse discounts created “a great excitement on the Stock Exchange. The town and country bankers hastened to sell their public securities, to convert them into money. The difference between the price of consols for ready money and for the account of the 14th of October showed a rate of interest equivalent to 50 per cent per annum. Exchequer bills were sold at 35s. discount.” . . . “A complete cessation of private discounts followed. No one would part with the money or notes in his possession. The most exorbitant sums were offered to and refused by merchants for their acceptances.”[28]

Additional gold could only be looked for from abroad, and as a considerable time must elapse before specie could arrive in sufficient quantity to give relief, the currency actually in use offered the only means of obtaining legal tender for the payment of debts. Consequently hoarding became general, and, as the chancellor of the exchequer afterward observed, “an amount of circulation which, under ordinary circumstances, would have been adequate, became insufficient for the wants of the community.” Boxes of gold and bank-notes in “thousands and tens of thousands of pounds” were “deposited with bankers.” The merchants, the chancellor said, begged for notes: “Let us have notes; . . . we don’t care what the rate of interest is. . . . Only tell us that we can get them, and this will at once restore confidence.”[29]

But, after October 2, no notes were to be had, money was a commodity without price, and had the policy of the “Bank Act” been rigorously maintained, English debtors, whose obligations then matured, must have forfeited their property, since credit had ceased to exist and currency could not be obtained wherewith to redeem their pledges.

The instinct of the usurer has, however, never been to ruin suddenly the community in which he has lived: only by degrees does he exhaust human vitality. Therefore, when the great capitalists had satisfied their appetites, they gave relief. From the 2d to the 25th of October, contraction was allowed to do its work; then Overstone intervened, the government was instructed to suspend the “act,” and the community was promised all the currency it might require.

The effect was instantaneous. The letter from the cabinet, signed by Lord John Russell, which recommended the directors of the Bank to increase their discounts, “was made public about one o’clock on Monday, the 25th, and no sooner was it done so than the panic vanished like a dream! Mr. Gurney stated that it produced its effect in ten minutes! No sooner was it known that notes might be had, than the want of them ceased!”[30] Large parcels of notes were “returned to the Bank of England cut into halves, as they had been sent down into the country.”

The story of this crisis demonstrates that, by 1844, the money-lenders had become autocratic in London. The ministry were naturally unwilling to suspend a statute which had just been enacted, and the blow to Sir Robert peculiarly severe; but the position of the government admitted of no alternative. At the time it was said that the private bankers of London intimated to the chancellor of the exchequer that, unless he interfered forthwith, they would withdraw their balances from the Bank of England. This meant insolvency, and to such an argument there was no reply. But whether matters actually went so far or not, there can be no question that the cabinet acted under the dictation of Lombard Street, for the chancellor of the exchequer defended his policy by declaring that the “act” had not been suspended until “those conversant with commercial affairs, and least likely to decide in favor of the course which we ultimately adopted,” unanimously advised that relief should be given to the mercantile community.[31]

There was extreme suffering throughout the country, which manifested itself in all the well-known ways. The revenue fell off, emigration increased, wheat brought but about five shillings the bushel, while in England and Wales alone there were upwards of nine hundred thousand paupers. Discontent took the form of Chartism, and a revolution seemed imminent. Nor was it Great Britain only which was convulsed: all Europe was shaken to its center, and everything portended some dire convulsion, when nature intervened and poured upon the world a stream of treasure too bountiful to be at once controlled.

In 1849 the first Californian gold reached Liverpool. In four years the supply of the precious metals trebled, prices rose, crops sold again at a profit. As the farmers grew rich, the demand for manufactures quickened, wages advanced, discontent vanished, and though values never again reached the altitude of 1809, they at least attained that level of substantial prosperity which preceded the French Revolution. Nevertheless, the fall in the purchasing power of money, and the consequent ability of debtors to meet their obligations, did not excite that universal joy which had thrilled Europe at the discovery of Potosi, for a profound change had passed over society since the buccaneers laid the foundations of England’s fortune by the plunder of the Peruvian galleons.

To the type of mind which predominated after 1810, the permanent rise of commodities relatively to money was unwelcome, and, almost from the opening of the gold discoveries, a subtle but resistless force was working for contraction—a force which first showed itself in the movement for an uniform gold coinage, and afterwards in general gold monometallism. The great change came with the conquest of France by Germany. Until after the middle of the nineteenth century, Germany held only a secondary position in the economic system of Europe, because of her poverty. With few harbors, she had reaped little advantage from the plunder of America and India, exchanges had never centered within her borders, and her accumulated capital had not sufficed to stimulate high consolidation. The conquest of France suddenly transformed these conditions. In 1871 she acquired an enormous booty, and the effect upon her was akin to the effect on England of the confiscations in Bengal; the chief difference being that, unlike England, Germany passed almost immediately into the period of contraction.

The spoliation of India went on for twenty years, that of France was finished in a few months, and, while in England the “industrial revolution” intervened between Plassey and the adoption of the gold standard, in Germany the bankers dominated from the outset. The government belonged to the class which desired an appreciating currency, and in 1873 the new empire followed in the steps of Lombard Street, and demonetized silver.

Germany’s action was decisive. Restrictions were placed on the mints of the Latin Union and of the United States, and thus, by degrees, the whole stress of the trade of the West was transferred from the old composite currency to gold alone. In this way, not only was the basis of credit in the chief commercial states cut in half, but the annual supply of metal for coinage was diminished. In 1893 the gold mined fell nearly nine per cent short of the value of the gold and silver produced in 1865, and yet, during those twenty-eight years, the demand for money must have increased enormously, if it in any degree corresponded with the growth of trade.

The phenomena which followed the adoption of the gold standard by Western countries were precisely those which had been anticipated by Loyd. Lord Overstone had explained them to an earlier generation. In one of his letters on the “Bank Charter,” as early as 1855, he developed the whole policy of the usurers:

If a country increases in population, in wealth, in enterprise, and activity, more circulating medium will probably be required to conduct its extended transactions. This demand for increased circulation will raise the value of the existing circulation; it will become more scarce and more valuable, . . . in other words—gold will rise. . . .[32]

By the action of Germany, Overstone’s policy was extended to the whole Western world, with the results he had foreseen. Gold appreciated, until it acquired a purchasing power unequalled since the Middle Ages, and while in the silver-using countries prices remained substantially unchanged and the producers accordingly prospered, prostration supervened in Europe, the United States, and Australia. As usual the rural population suffered most, and the English aristocracy, who had been respited by the gold discoveries, were the first to succumb. They not only drew their revenues from farming land, but, standing at the focus of competition, they were exposed to the pressure of Asia and America alike. The harvest of 1879 was one of the worst of the century, land depreciated hopelessly, and that year may probably be taken as marking the downfall of a class which had maintained itself in opulence for nearly three hundred and fifty years.

This Tudor aristocracy, which sprang up at the Reformation, was one of the first effects of the quickened movement which transferred the center of exchanges from Italy to the North Sea. They represented sharpening economic competition, and they prospered because of an intellectual gift, an aptitude they enjoyed, of absorbing the lands of the priests and soldiers amidst whom they dwelt. These soldiers were the yeomen who, when evicted, became pirates, slavers, commercial adventurers, religious colonists, and conquerors, and who together poured the flood of treasure into London which, transmuted into movement, made the “industrial revolution.” When by their efforts, toward the beginning of the nineteenth century, sufficiently vast reservoirs of energy in the shape of money had accumulated, a new race rose to prominence, fitted to give vent to this force—men like Nathan Rothschild and Samuel Loyd, probably endowed with a subtler intellect and a keener vision than any who had preceded them, financiers beside whom the usurers of Byzantium, or the nobles of Henry VIII, were pigmies.

These bankers conceived a policy unrivaled in brilliancy, which made them masters of all commerce, industry, and trade. They engrossed the gold of the world, and then, by legislation, made it the sole measure of values. What Samuel Loyd and his followers did to England, in 1847, became possible for his successors to do to all the gold standard nations, after 1873. When the mints had been closed to silver, the currency being inelastic, the value of money could be manipulated like that of any article limited in quantity, and thus the human race became the subjects of the new aristocracy, which represented the stored energy of mankind.

From the moment this aristocracy has determined on a policy, as, for example the “Bank Act” or monometallism, resistance by producers becomes most difficult. Being debtors, producers are destroyed when credit is withdrawn, and, at the first signs of insubordination, the bankers draw in their gold, contract their loans, and precipitate a panic. Then, to escape immediate ruin, the debtor yields.

Since 1873 prices have generally fallen, and the mortgage has tended to engulf the pledge; but, from time to time the creditor class feels the need of turning the property it has acquired from bankrupts into gold, and then the rise explained by Overstone takes place. The hoards are opened, credit is freely given, the quantity of currency is increased, values rise, sales are made, and new adventurers contract fresh obligations. Then this expansion is followed by a fresh contraction, and liquidation is repeated on an ever-descending scale.

For many years farming land has fallen throughout the West, as it fell in Italy in the time of Pliny. Everywhere, as under Trajan, the peasantry are distressed; everywhere they migrate to the cities, as they did when Rome repudiated the denarius. By the census of the United Kingdom taken in 1891, not only did it appear that over seventy-one per cent of the inhabitants of England and Wales lived in towns, but that, while the urban districts had increased above fifteen per cent since the last census, the population of the purely agricultural counties had diminished.[33]

Moreover, within a generation, there has been a marked loss of fecundity among the more costly races. The rate of increase of the population has diminished. In the United States it is generally believed that the old native American blood is hardly reproducing itself; but, in all social phenomena, France precedes other nations by at least a quarter of a century, and it is, therefore, in France that the failure of vitality is most plainly seen. In 1789 the average French family consisted of 4.2 children. In 1891 it had fallen to 2.1,[34] and, since 1890, the deaths seem to have equaled the births.[35] In 1889 legislation was attempted to encourage productiveness, and parents of seven children were exempted from certain classes of taxes, but the experiment failed. Levasseur, in his great work on the population of France, has expressed himself almost in the words of Tacitus: “It can be laid down as a general law that, if in such a social condition as that of the French of the nineteenth century, the number of children is small, it is because the majority of parents wish it should be small.”[36]

Such signs point to the climax of consolidation. And yet, even the rise of the bankers is not the only or the surest indication that centralization is culminating. The destruction, wrought by accelerated movement, of the less tenacious organisms, is more evident below than above, is more striking in the advance of cheap labor, than in the evolution of the financier.


1. History of the Cotton Manufacture, 115.

2. A Tour Thro’ the whole Island of Great Britain, ed. 1753, iii, 136, 137.

3. Lives of Boulton and Watt, Smiles, 484.

4. First Letter on a Regicide Peace.

5. Theory and Practice of Banking, i, 507.

6. Considerations of the Lowering of Interests, Works, ed. 1823, v, 49.<

7. The Rothschilds, Reeves, 51.

8. The Rothschilds, Reeves, 192, 199.

9. Ibid., 200.

10. Wherever reference is made to comparative prices of commodities, the authority used has been the tables published by W. S. Jevons in Investigations in Currency and Finance, 144.

11. Ruding, Annals of the Coinage, iv, 37.

12. Overstone Tracts, 49.

13. History of Prices, i, 158.

14. Political Life of Sir Robert Peel, Doubleday, i, 218, note.

15. Theory and Practice of Banking, Macleod, ed. 1893, ii, 103.

16. See Hansard, New Series, viii, 189.

17. History of the Bank of England, i, 348.

18. Ibid., 347.

19. History of the Currency, MacLaren, 161.

20. Theory and Practice of Banking, Macleod, ii, 117, 118.

21. Overstone Tracts, 325.

22. Ibid., 191.

23. Ibid., 318.

24. Theory and Practice of Banking, ii, 147.

25. Overstone Tracts, 573.

26. Overstone Tracts, 574.

27. Cobden and the League, Ashworth, 174.

28. Theory and Practice of Banking, Macleod, ii, 169, 170.

29. Hansard, Third Series, xcv, 399.

30. Theory and Practice of Banking, ii, 170.

31. Hansard, Third Series, xcv, 398.

32. Overstone Tracts, 319.

33. See Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, liv, 464.

34. Dénombrement de 1891, 261.

35. Annuaire de L’Economie Politique, 1894, Block, 18.

36. La Population Française, ii, 214.


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00:05 Publié dans Economie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) | Tags : économie, or, étalon or, brooks adams | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

jeudi, 03 décembre 2009

Deutschlands Goldreserven an USA verpfändet?

goldreserven.jpgDeutschlands Goldreserven an USA verpfändet?

Verschleierungstaktik der Bundesregierung

Die offiziellen Goldreserven der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, knapp 3.500 Tonnen mit einem Marktwert von rund 80 Milliarden Euro, gehören theoretisch zu den zweitgrößten der Welt. Dass dieser Schatz nicht im eigenen Land, sondern größtenteils in der Federal Reserve Bank of New York gelagert wird, wirft die Frage auf, wie es tatsächlich mit der Souveränität der Bundesrepublik bestellt ist. Denn ob die unter dem Straßenpflaster von Manhattan gebunkerten Goldbestände überhaupt noch verfügbar sind, ist ungewiss. Unter Finanzexperten heißt es nämlich, „die Amerikaner betrachten das deutsche Gold als eine Art Wohlverhaltenspfand“. Anders ausgedrückt: als eine Art Geisel für bundesdeutsches Wohlverhalten gegenüber den USA.


Die Goldbestände entstanden vor allem in den 1950er und 1960er Jahren als Gegenfinanzierung der damaligen Überschüsse in der Leistungsbilanz: Lohn und Symbol des Wirtschaftswunders unter Ludwig Erhard. Sie sollten Deutschland in Zeiten schwerer Krisen absichern. Dieser Goldschatz ist vom deutschen Volk als wichtiger Teil der nationalen Währungsreserven hart erarbeitet worden. Dass so gut wie der gesamte Bestand in die USA „ausgelagert“ wurde, hat die Bundesregierung stets verheimlicht.

Auf Anfragen von Bürgern an die Bundesbank, wie es mit dem Verbleib des Goldes bestellt sei, folgen allenfalls schwammige Antworten. Entsprechend reagiert auch die Bundesregierung. Als der frühere CDU-Bundestagsabgeordnete Martin Hohmann 2002 eine Reihe von Fragen zu den deutschen Goldbeständen an die Parlamentarische Staatssekretärin im Bundesfinanzministerium, Dr. Barbara Hendricks, richtete, reagierte diese ausweichend und irreführend: „Die Deutsche Bundesbank hält einen großen Teil ihrer Goldbestände in eigenen Tresoren im Inland. Sie lässt allerdings auch Goldbestände an wichtigen Goldhandelsplätzen wie z. B. London verwahren.“

Diese Antwort ist eine grobe Verdrehung der Tatsachen. Denn inzwischen ist bekannt, dass nicht ein „großer Teil“ der deutschen Goldbestände, sondern nur ein kümmerlicher Rest im eigenen Land deponiert wurde. Zwischenzeitlich wurde zudem aufgedeckt, dass auch die seinerzeit von der Bundesregierung gegebene Begründung für die Auslagerung des Goldes nicht der Wahrheit entsprach. Berlin teilte mit, die „Aufbewahrung“ im Ausland habe sich „historisch und marktbedingt so ergeben, weil die Deutsche Bundesbank das Gold an diesen Handelsplätzen übertragen bekam“. Und: „Es macht aber auch aus betriebswirtschaftlichen Gründen Sinn, solange die Lagerung dort kostengünstiger ist als der Transport nach Deutschland und der Bau zusätzlicher Tresoranlagen.“ In einem kritischen Kommentar dazu heißt es, verschwiegen werde, „dass die Fremdlagerung unserer Goldreserven einen ganz anderen historischen Hintergrund hat. Tatsächlich wurde das deutsche Gold von den Amerikanern als Faustpfand für gutes Verhalten in der Zeit des Kalten Krieges angesehen.“


Schon 1945 hatten sich die einmarschierenden Amerikaner des deutschen Reichsbankgoldes bemächtigt. Deshalb war die Reichsmark (RM) nur theoretisch bis zu ihrem Ende 1948 (Währungsreform) durch Gold gedeckt. Die D-Mark-Eröffnungsbilanz zum 21. Juni 1948 wies folglich kein einziges Gramm Gold auf. Aber bereits 1958 konnte die erst ein Jahr zuvor gegründete Bundesbank eine Goldreserve im Wert von 11,1 Milliarden DM melden! Dieses Gold war dank der hohen Exportüberschüsse im Rahmen der Europäischen Zahlungsunion (EZU) in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland geflossen.

In diesem Zusammenhang: Außenhandelsüberschüsse wurden in der vor 60 Jahren gegründeten EZU zu über 50 Prozent in Gold und Devisen beglichen. Der Rest wurde als Kredit stehengelassen und kam den Ländern zugute, die Defizite hatten. „Die EZU war nichts anderes als ein Verrechnungs- und Beistandskreditsystem. 1958, als 14 westeuropäische Länder die Konvertibilität ihrer Währungen einführten, wurde sie überflüssig“, heißt es in einer finanzpolitischen Betrachtung.

Unter den führenden Zentralbanken mit Goldbesitz sei die Bundesbank die einzige, die nur einen winzigen Teil ihres Bestandes auf eigenem Territorium aufbewahre. Es sei überhaupt „bemerkenswert“, dass die Bundesbank als „einzige“ der führenden Zentralbanken so verfahre. Weder die USA noch Frankreich oder Großbritannien kämen auf die Idee, ihr Gold in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zu bunkern. Ein Finanzexperte: „Man hätte annehmen können, dass die Bundesbank nach der Wiedervereinigung und Auflösung des Ostblocks (Ende des Kalten Krieges) mit gutem Grund darauf pochen würde, zumindest einen Teil des Goldes zurück nach Frankfurt zu holen. Im Interesse guter Beziehungen zur internationalen Finanzwelt werden die Goldbarren wahrscheinlich bleiben, wo sie sind.“ Denn dies entspräche dem Wunsch Washingtons.


Sehr aufschlussreich in Bezug auf den Verbleib der Goldreserven ist, was David Marsh, Korrespondent der Financial Times von 1986 bis 1991, in seinem 1992 veröffentlichten Buch „Die Bundesbank – Geschäfte mit der Macht“ schreibt. So stellt es u. a. fest: „In den Tresorräumen in Frankfurt liegen nur etwa 80 Tonnen, d. h. knapp über 2 Prozent des Gesamtgoldes. Der Rest ist auf die Tresore anderer Zentralbanken, der Federal Reserve Bank in New York, der Bank of England und zu einem kleineren Teil auch der Banque de France verteilt.“ Vertraut sind intime Kenner der Frankfurter (Banken-) Szene auch mit dem so genannten „Blessing-Brief“, der in der Öffentlichkeit weitgehend unbekannt ist.

Karl Blessing stand der Bundesbank von 1958 bis Anfang 1970 vor. Zwischen ihm und der Bundesregierung existierte ein geheimes Verwaltungsabkommen. Besonders gefragt war die Kooperation zwischen Frankfurt und Bonn, als Gold wieder einmal in den Mittelpunkt der Währungspolitik rückte und als Washington Ende der 1960er Jahre einen neuen finanziellen „Ausgleich“ für die Stationierungskosten von US-Militär-Truppen in der Bundesrepublik forderte. Auf entsprechenden Druck zeigte Bonn zunächst nicht die gewünschte Haltung. Daraufhin wurde der Bundesbankpräsident tätig. Per Brief – „Blessing-Brief“ – sicherte er der Federal Reserve die „Immobilisierung“ der deutschen Goldreserven zu. Er versprach, dass die Bundesbank die Reserven nicht aus den USA abziehen werde, „solange die USA Stützpunkte in Deutschland unterhalten“. Dabei soll es einen „dezenten Hinweis“ aus US-Regierungskreisen mit Blick auf Berlin-West gegeben haben.


Nach Beendigung des Kalten Krieges und dem Verschwinden des Eisernen Vorhangs gibt es keinen nachvollziehbaren Grund mehr für ein Verbleiben der deutschen Goldreserven in fremden Händen. Doch Hintergrundinformationen ist zu entnehmen, dass die Bundesbank nicht frei entscheiden kann, wo deutsche Goldreserven gelagert werden. Nach Aussage eines früheren Bankers könne die Bundesbank ihr Gold allenfalls unter einem Vorwand und nur in kleinen Mengen aus New York abziehen – alles andere würde als „Misstrauensbekundung“ bewertet.

Während sich Notenbanken weltweit verstärkt mit dem Edelmetall absichern, soll Deutschland offenbar weiter in der Abhängigkeit der Federal Reserve Bank of New York bleiben. Dass in letzter Zeit der Goldpreis einen Höhenflug verzeichnet, nutzen andere Staaten im nationalen Interesse. Doch der für unser Land zu ziehende Nutzen setzt die uneingeschränkte staatliche Souveränität der Bundesrepublik voraus. Zwar vermittelt die Bundesbank nach außen stets den Eindruck, dass sie jederzeit Verfügungsrechte über die deutschen Goldbestände habe. Aber in Washington bzw. in New York geht man davon aus, dass auch die schwarz-gelbe Regierungskoalition keine Ansprüche erhebt und der deutsche Goldschatz größtenteils dort bleibt wo er ist. Offenbar spielt für Regierende hierzulande keine Rolle, dass es sich um deutsches Volksvermögen handelt.

Hans Weidenbach

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mercredi, 23 juillet 2008

Quand l'US Army pillait les trains d'or juif en Bavière...


Quand l’US-Army pillait les trains d’or juif en Bavière en 1945

L’an dernier le Congrès américain et la Maison Blanche ont mis sur pied une commission, qui devait rechercher les valeurs ayant appartenu aux victimes de l’holocauste et voir si ces valeurs ne s’étaient pas retrouver sur le territoire des Etats-Unis. Le président du Congrès juif mondial, Edgar Bronfman a été nommé président de cette « Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets » (= « Commission Consultative présidentielle sur les avoirs de l’holocauste »). L’élite politique des Etats-Unis estimait qu’elle avait un devoir à remplir : au cours des dernières années, l’Amérique a accusé de nombreux pays (ndt : la Suisse , la Suède , l’Autriche, la Belgique , etc.) de s’être enrichis indûment en s’appropriant toute ou partie de la fortune des victimes juives du national-socialisme. Ces pays ont été cloués au pilori par les médias. L’élite politique américaine voulait prouver qu’elle acceptait une enquête en Amérique même ; on pensait que l’Atlantique était un fossé bien large, que l’Europe était loin et que la Commission —mon Dieu !— ne trouverait rien in God’s own country !

Vers le 15 octobre 1999, une commission d’études a publié un rapport provisoire sur la direction du représentant du Ministre américain des finances, Stuart Eizenstat. Le lendemain, le résultat révélé par ce rapport provisoire faisait la une de tous les grands quotidiens américains. La Commission s’était penchée sur un cas devenu quasi légendaire, celui du « train d’or hongrois ».

A la fin de l’automne 1944, quand les troupes soviétiques, progressant depuis la Transylvanie , se mettent à franchir les frontières de la Petite Hongrie du Traité du Trianon, Adolf Eichmann, officier SS, prend des mesures de protection exceptionnelles à Budapest. Il réquisitionne plusieurs trains pour évacuer ce qu’il y a lieu d’évacuer vers l’Ouest ; la destination de ces trains est la Suisse neutre. Dans l’un d’eux ont été entreposées les réserves d’or de la Banque nationale de Hongrie ; dans un autre convoi, ont été entassées les peintures et les sculptures du Musée National hongrois.

A la fin de la guerre, ces deux trains ont été rapatriés en Hongrie. Un troisième train contenait les objets de valeur appartenant à plus de cent mille Juifs de Hongrie, qui furent ensuite déportés. Il s’agissait d’œuvres d’art, d’argenterie, de porcelaine, de tapis précieux, de bijoux, de diamants bruts, d’objets en cristal, de collections de monnaies et de timbres postaux, ainsi que des lingots d’or et deux serviettes pleines contenant de la poussière d’or, sans compter de très nombreuses montres et des appareils photographiques.

Des généraux américains se sont partagé le butin contenu dans 24 wagons !

Ce troisième train n’est jamais arrivé en Suisse. Le 16 mai 1945, quelques jours après la fin des hostilités en Europe, des soldats américains découvrent ce train à l’abri dans un tunnel près du village de Werfen. Il s’agissait de 24 wagons plombés (deux autres wagons avaient déjà auparavant été pillés par des soldats français). Le contenu des 24 wagons a été ensuite amené dans un dépôt de l’US Army à Salzbourg. Comme des inventaires avaient été dressés, le gouvernement hongrois a pu procéder à une évaluation du contenu : le trésor fabuleux du « train d’or » s’élevait à 204 millions de dollars américains (au cours de 1945). Si l’on adopte le cours du change que le Congrès Juif mondial a imposé aux banques suisses, cette somme correspondrait aujourd’hui à près de 2 milliards de dollars américains.

Une partie de ces biens a immédiatement été envoyée en Allemagne et confiée aux organisations juives, qui les ont mis aux enchères, pour obtenir des liquidités, qui ont été utilisées pour soigner et soulager les innombrables « personnes déplacées ». Plus tard, 1181 peintures ont été confiées par les autorités américaines à l’Etat autrichien, quand l’Autriche était encore considérée comme une nation alliée. Mais une part considérable de ces biens du « train d’or » est tombée aux mains de généraux américains, qui avaient installé leurs quartiers dans les villas et les châteaux de l’aristocratie autrichienne.

Le premier à s’être emparé de ces biens fut le Commandant des troupes américaines d’Autriche occidentale et Commandant de la Place de Salzbourg, le Général Major Harry J. Collins. Il donna un ordre de réquisition, où il commanda pour sa résidence et pour son wagon personnel de chemin de fer, des services de cristal et de porcelaine pour 45 personnes, 30 jeux de nappes et de serviettes de lin, 12 candélabres d’argent, 13 tapis d’Orient, 60 jeux d’essuies de bain. Et cet homme avide de beaux objets a ajouté : « tout doit être de la meilleure qualité, être du travail fait main par des artisans du plus haut niveau ». Quatre autres généraux se sont servi dans les masses de biens volés ; leurs patronymes sont cités dans le rapport remis récemment aux autorités américaines : Hume, Luade, Howard et Linden.

On n’a pas pu savoir ce que sont devenus ces objets de valeur après le départ des Américains hors d’Autriche, mais on peut imaginer que la Commission poursuivra son enquête… Son président y veille et on sait qu’il est un dur à cuire qui ne se laissera jamais intimidé. Ce qui restait du « train d’or » a été distribué via les magasins de l’administration militaire ou a purement et simplement été subtilisé.

L’existence du « train d’or » était connue depuis des années. On lui a même consacré des livres. L’auteur de l’un de ces livres, Kenneth D. Alford, cite un certain Capitaine Howard A. MacKenzie, qui a formulé une simple remarque sur le sort du « train d’or » : « … la seule différence entre Allemands et Américains en ce qui concerne les pillages réside en ceci : les Allemands ont dressé avec précision l’inventaire des patrimoines pillés, tandis que chez les Américains régnait la libre entreprise incontrôlée ».

Entre le gouvernement américain et le régime communiste hongrois, eut lieu une longue bataille juridique, assez stérile, où, finalement, le gouvernement communiste hongrois n’a rien reçu. Pour justifier cela, les services américains utilisaient généralement l’argument qu’une restitution ne serait pas possible, car les propriétaires des pièces ne pouvaient plus être retrouvés. Dès le premier jour de la publication du rapport provisoire de la Commission , la communauté juive de Budapest s’est manifestée et a réclamé la restitution des biens ou un dédommagement. La Commission elle-même a recommandé au gouvernement américain de payer des dommages et intérêts. Dans l’avenir, c’est certain, une pénible bataille juridique va s’éterniser et on entendra encore souvent parler du « train d’or » de Hongrie.

Il faut procéder à un examen critique du rôle de l’US Army

Vu le rôle peu glorieux de l’armée américain dans ce cas, cette révélation servira sans doute de leçons aux médias américains, si prompts à désigner les autres à la vindicte de l’opinion publique mondiale. Les donneurs de leçons d’Outre-Atlantique auront l’occasion de méditer le vieux dicton anglais : « When you live in a glass-house, you don’t throw stones » (= Quand on vit dans une maison de verre, on ne s’amuse pas à lancer des cailloux).


(texte issu de Junge Freiheit, n°43/1999).   


00:05 Publié dans Histoire | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : affaires européennes, europe, hongrie, judaica, or, etats-unis, us army | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook