By Murray Pollitt
Pollitt & Co., Toronto
The G8 appears finished but their policymakers continue to try to bend the G20, and the world, to their will. The establishment, the Fed, the Bank of England, the Bank for International Settlements, the same gang that has been setting policy for decades, is still at it. They appear to remain in charge (with nary a whimper of criticism about the trillions of dollars' worth of damage their policies have caused) but, when it comes to gold, they are slowly losing their grip.
Besides setting the stage decades ago for sub-prime paper, CDSs, and so on, it appears policymakers embarked on a scheme, at more or less the same time, to monetize the hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of gold lying sterile in central bank vaults. The temptation was too much. One-percent income on gold for a central bank was better than nothing, so the argument ran, and for the Lehman types borrowing gold (and selling it) provided lots of money (capital) to play games with.
It was so easy. Besides, the gold carry trade involved selling lots of gold into the market and this helped keep the price down (and hopefully the dollar up), a subject near and dear to policymakers.