Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gold Leasing

I tried to do a little research a while back when the price of gold went down from about $400/ounce to about $250 and stayed there for quite a while. I assumed it was being somehow manipulated to prop up the dollar (that's right, I am a conspiracy buff). I got nowhere, though because somewhere (circa 1995?) some countries {cough, Israel, cough} stopped reporting their reserves AND something called gold leasing began, or at least began to be reported.

In my admittedly very dim understanding of leasing, it is a tool that is used by governments to count as reserves gold that it does not actually hold. Whether it is physically in some other place or gone to the private sector, I can only speculate. I'll spare you my half-baked theories, but it is interesting to note that European reported holdings have decreased substantially while only those of Spain(!), Russia and Kazakhstan have increased. I'm thinking that the net decrease in reported holding could account for the temporary lowering in the dollar price of gold (greater supply leading to lower price leading to increased demand and higher price on the private market). All I can show for it is a well-scratched head. Perhaps someone with more intellectual horsepower... MM?

It's also interesting that there is no wiki entry for gold leasing. Spooky. And why did they cancel "The Lone Gunmen" just when it started to get good?

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