Sunday, May 31, 2009
At the G20 summit in London in April, participating countries agreed the IMF could sell 403.3 metric tons of gold as part of efforts to leverage up to $6 billion in concessional loans for low-income countries over the next few years.
In order for the sale to proceed, 85% of IMF shareholders need to approve the proposal. Since the U.S. has 17% of the votes, it has a de facto veto over the proposal, which requires Congressional approval, but IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Dow Jones Newswires this week he expects Congress will soon approve the sale.
On Friday, analysts said US Congress may approve International Monetary Fund gold sales as early as next week.
"This issue appears now fully priced into the gold market and any announcement confirming sales should not move the market - apart from perhaps a knee-jerk reaction," said John Reade, an analyst at UBS.
Gold hit a three month high Friday due to U.S. dollar weakness across a number of currencies such as the euro and pound. Traders and analysts said the metal is heading towards $1,000 a troy ounce with speculative buying reentering the market and the dollar weakening.
At 1116 GMT spot gold was trading at $974.90/oz, up 1.7% from Thursday's close.
The approval to sell gold, along with an increase in U.S. funding to the IMF, is scheduled for a debate beginning Monday as part of the 2009 Supplemental.
An initial version of the Supplemental, which includes a wider number of issues such as defense spending, was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate earlier this month.
The version passed by the House didn't include the IMF provision but the Senate did approve the limited sale as long as it is done in a way that won't disrupt the market.
Discussions over a final draft between representatives from each house are due to begin next week with a vote possible by next Friday.
"We do not believe the sales, should they occur, will harm gold prices," said HSBC analyst James Steel.
Other member states must also approve the sales plan, which may take many months, HSBC's Steel said, adding the sales are likely to be included in a new Central Bank Gold Agreement, or CBGA. The current CBGA agreement expires in September and analysts expect a new one to be announced soon.
Under the CBGA, 17 European central banks agreed to limit gold sales to 500 tons a year. The pact is adhered to on an informal basis by the U.S., the Bank of International Settlements and the IMF.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
From May 14-17, the global elite met in secret in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg conference, amid scattered and limited global media attention. Roughly 130 of the world’s most powerful individuals came together to discuss the pressing issues of today, and to chart a course for the next year. The main topic of discussion at this years meeting was the global financial crisis, which is no surprise, considering the list of conference attendees includes many of the primary architects of the crisis, as well as those poised to “solve” it.
The Agenda: The Restructuring of the Global Political Economy
Before the meeting began, Bilderberg investigative journalist Daniel Estulin reported on the main item of the agenda, which was leaked to him by his sources inside. Though such reports cannot be verified, his sources, along with those of veteran Bilderberg tracker, Jim Tucker, have proven to be shockingly accurate in the past. Apparently, the main topic of discussion at this years meeting was to address the economic crisis, in terms of undertaking, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty ... or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Other items on the agenda included a plan to “continue to deceive millions of savers and investors who believe the hype about the supposed up-turn in the economy. They are about to be set up for massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” and “There will be a final push for the enactment of Lisbon Treaty, pending on Irish voting YES on the treaty in Sept or October,” which would give the European Union massive powers over its member nations, essentially making it a supranational regional government, with each country relegated to more of a provincial status.
Shortly after the meetings began, Bilderberg tracker Jim Tucker reported that his inside sources revealed that the group has on its agenda, “the plan for a global department of health, a global treasury and a shortened depression rather than a longer economic downturn.” Tucker reported that Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister, Carl Bildt, “Made a speech advocating turning the World Health Organization into a world department of health, advocating turning the IMF into a world department of treasury, both of course under the auspices of the United Nations.” Further, Tucker reported that, “Treasury Secretary Geithner and Carl Bildt touted a shorter recession not a 10-year recession ... partly because a 10 year recession would damage Bilderberg industrialists themselves, as much as they want to have a global department of labor and a global department of treasury, they still like making money and such a long recession would cost them big bucks industrially because nobody is buying their toys.....the tilt is towards keeping it short.”
The meeting being referred to was a secret meeting where, “A dozen of the richest people in the world met for an unprecedented private gathering at the invitation of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to talk about giving away money,” held at Rockefeller University, and included notable philanthropists such as Gates, Buffett, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Eli Broad, Oprah Winfrey, David Rockefeller Sr. and Ted Turner. One attendee stated that, “It wasn’t secret,” but that, “It was meant to be a gathering among friends and colleagues. It was something folks have been discussing for a long time. Bill and Warren hoped to do this occasionally. They sent out an invite and people came.” Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer said, “Given how serious these economic times are, I don't think it's surprising these philanthropists came together,” and that, “They don't typically get together and ask each other for advice.” The three hosts of the meeting were Buffet, Gates and David Rockefeller. [See: Appendix 2: Bilderberg Connections to the Billionaire’s Meeting].
The Leaked Report
Bilderberg investigative reporter Daniel Estulin reportedly received from his inside sources a 73-page Bilderberg Group meeting wrap-up for participants, which revealed that there were some serious disagreements among the participants. “The hardliners are for dramatic decline and a severe, short-term depression, but there are those who think that things have gone too far and that the fallout from the global economic cataclysm cannot be accurately calculated if Henry Kissinger's model is chosen. Among them is Richard Holbrooke. What is unknown at this point: if Holbrooke's point of view is, in fact, Obama's.” The consensus view was that the recession would get worse, and that recovery would be “relatively slow and protracted,” and to look for these terms in the press over the next weeks and months.
Bilderberg’s Plan in Action?
Reorganizing the Federal Reserve
Following the Bilderberg meeting, there were several interesting announcements made by key participants, specifically in regards to reorganizing the Federal Reserve. On May 21, it was reported that US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “is believed to be leaning heavily towards giving the Federal Reserve a central role in future regulation,” and “it is understood that the Fed would take on some of the work currently undertaken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.”
The IMF as a Global Treasury
The Guardian Covers Bilderberg
The British paper, the Guardian, was the only major mainstream news publication to provide ongoing coverage of the Bilderberg meeting over the weekend. His first columns were satirical and slightly mocking, referring to it as, “A long weekend at a luxury hotel, where the world's elite get to shake hands, clink glasses, fine-tune their global agenda and squabble over who gets the best sun loungers. I'm guessing that Henry Kissinger brings his own, has it helicoptered in and guarded 24/7 by a CIA special ops team.” However, as the weekend dragged on, his reporting took a change of tone. He reported on the Saturday that, “I know that I'm being followed. I know because I've just been chatting to the plainclothes policemen I caught following me,” and he was arrested twice in the first day of the meetings for attempting to take photographs as the limousines entered the hotel.
Who was there?
Of course, among the notable members of the Bilderberg Group, are the world’s major central bankers. Among this years members are the Governor of the National Bank of Greece, Governor of the Bank of Italy, President of the European Investment Bank, James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, and Nout Wellink, on the board of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank was also present. There is no indication that the Governor of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke was present, which would be an odd turn of events, considering that the Federal Reserve Governor is always present at Bilderberg meetings, alongside the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William C. Dudley. I have contacted the New York Fed inquiring if Dudley visited Greece or went to any meetings in Greece between May 14-17, or if another senior representative from the New York Fed went in his stead. I have yet to get a response.
The Obama Administration at Bilderberg
Other Notable Names
Among many others present at the meeting are Viscount Étienne Davignon, former Vice President of the European Commission, and Honourary Chairman of the Bilderberg Group; Francisco Pinto Balsemão, former Prime Minister of Portugal; Franco Bernabè, CEO of Telecom Italia and Vice Chairman of Rothschild Europe; Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden; Kenneth Clarke, Shadow Business Secretary in the UK; Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services (MI6); Donald Graham, CEO of the Washington Post Company; Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Secretary-General of NATO; John Kerr, member of the British House of Lords and Deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell; Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Richard Perle of the American Enterprise Institute; Romano Prodi, former Italian Prime Minister; J. Robert S. Prichard, CEO of Torstar Corporation and President Emeritus of the University of Toronto; Peter Sutherland, former Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), first Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and is currently Chairman of British Petroleum (BP) and Goldman Sachs International as well as being a board member of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Vice Chairman of the European Roundtable of Industrialists, and longtime Bilderberg member; Peter Thiel, on the board of directors of Facebook; Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell; Martin Wolf, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times newspaper; and Fareed Zakaria, US journalist and board member of the Council on Foreign Relations. There were also some reports that this years meeting would include Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot, both of whom attended last years meeting.
Clearly, it was the prerogative of this year’s Bilderberg meeting to exploit the global financial crisis as much as possible to reach goals they have been striving toward for many years. These include the creation of a Global Treasury Department, likely in conjunction with or embodied in the same institution as a Global Central Bank, both of which seem to be in the process of being incorporated into the IMF.
Peter G. Peterson, one of the guests in attendance at the secret billionaires meeting, was the former United States Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration, Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc., from 1977 to 1984, he co-founded the prominent private equity and investment management firm, the Blackstone Group, of which he is currently Senior Chairman, and in 1985, he became Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, taking over when David Rockefeller stepped down from that position. He founded the Peterson Institute for International Economics and was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 2000-2004. The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a major world economic think tank, which seeks to “inform and shape public debate,” from which, “Institute studies have helped provide the intellectual foundation for many of the major international financial initiatives of the past two decades: reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adoption of international banking standards, exchange rate systems in the G-7 and emerging-market economies, policies toward the dollar, the euro, and other important currencies, and responses to debt and currency crises (including the current crisis of 2008–09).” It has also “made important contributions to key trade policy decisions” such as the development of the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, APEC, and East Asian regionalism.
APPENDIX 2: Creating a Central Bank of the World
Jeffrey Garten, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, former Dean of the Yale School of Management, previously served on the White House Council on International Economic Policy under the Nixon administration and on the policy planning staffs of Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance of the Ford and Carter administrations. He also was a managing director of Lehman Brothers and the Blackstone Group, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. As early as 1998, Garten wrote an article for the New York Times in which he advocated the creation of a global central bank.
[For a detailed look at the moves to create a global central bank, regional currencies, a global reserve currency and a world governing body, see:Andrew G. Marshall, The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government: Global Research, April 6, 2009]
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Andrew G. Marshall is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Andrew G. Marshall
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Monday, May 18, 2009
Paulson’s Hedge Fund Bought Gold Stock, Miners in First Quarter HUI, XAU, RMK.v, TNR.v, CGH.to, SNU.v, GBN.v, BTT.v, FVI.v, OK.v, SBB.v, RMV.to,
By Katherine Burton
May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Paulson & Co., the hedge-fund firm run by billionaire John Paulson, increased its investment in gold and gold-mining shares in the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing.
As of the end of the first quarter, Paulson was the largest holder of SPDR Gold Trust, an investment fund that buys gold bullion. The New York-based firm owned 8.7 percent of the fund, valued at $2.8 billion as of March 31, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
That position was established as a hedge, the company said in a statement, because its funds have a share class that is denominated in gold rather than in dollars or euros.
Paulson bought or added to several gold companies in the quarter as well. He purchased a 15 percent stake in Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, a fund that mirrors the move in the Amex Gold Miners Index. That stake was worth $638 million at the end of the quarter.
Paulson also bought a 2.6 percent of Gold Fields Ltd., becoming the fourth-largest holder of the Johannesburg-based gold miner.
The investment firm, which manages $26 billion, also bought an additional 2.4 million shares of Kinross Gold Corp. Paulson owned 4.4 percent of the Toronto-based gold producer and was its third-largest holder at the end of the quarter.
Paulson reported owning an 11.3 percent stake in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., also based in Johannesburg, in March.
Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson, declined to comment.
Paulson’s largest fund, the Advantage Plus Fund Ltd. returned 4.8 percent through April.
Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of each quarter’s end to list their U.S.-traded stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-U.S. securities or how much cash the firms hold.
To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York firstname.lastname@example.org Last Updated: May 15, 2009 15:58 EDT "