LBMA adviser, former Barclays exec will help central banks rig the gold market

by Ronan Manly, GATA A few weeks ago, through GATA, I called attention to the assertion by the chief executive of the London Bullion Market Association, Ruth Crowell, that the London gold market can never be fully transparent while central banks remain such big participants: Here is another telling comment by someone connected to the LBMA concerning central banks and the gold market, Jonathan Spall. The comment is found on the Internet site of his precious metals consultancy company, G Cubed Metals Ltd.: G Cubed Metals Ltd. was established by Spall last year soon after he left Barclays in London, where he was a product manager in the commodities area and acted as one of Barclays’ directors in the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. company. Since leaving Barclays, Spall has, he says, conducted an “independent review” of the candidates for the LBMA silver price competition (last June and July), served as an “independent chair” for the LPPM daily platinum and palladium fixings last August until they moved to an automated platform, and last October was appointed “senior adviser” to the LBMA. Spall provides his credentials at his company’s Internet site here: Other people, not identified by G Cubed, are described as the firm’s affiliates, since Spall “has teamed up with a number of other leading authorities in this field” so that “G Cubed Metals will be able to put together the right team for the job”: Spall’s telling comment about central banks is on the “Services” page of the G Cubed site. He says: “All connected with G Cubed Metals are well aware of the need for confidentiality in all financial markets as well as the additional sensitivity that comes from transacting in precious metals — particularly when it involves the ‘official sector’ such as governments, central banks, and sovereign wealth funds.” See: And a duplicate in PDF format, just in case: Confidentiality in business is often a given, and in relation to precious metals, if the “additional sensitivity” in precious metals transaction was related to physical security and security of transport and vaulting, this would fall under normal “additional security.” But the context of Spall’s comment suggests that this “additional sensitivity” means market sensitivity. This is supported by the Spall’s next observation, which clarifies that, yes, indeed, there is a need for “additional sensitivity” particularly “when it involves the official sector, such as governments, central banks, and sovereign wealth funds.” Spall therefore concedes that the London gold market and the LBMA will not provide transparency when dealing with the “official sector” because the “official sector” requires this lack of transparency. Spall’s statements thus also indicate that the commercial sector will gladly give the official sector this “additional sensitivity” — that is, this lack of transparency. So the question becomes: What transactions in gold are being undertaken by the “official sector” that require such secrecy and sensitivity? Most likely these official transactions involve the surreptitious rigging of the gold and currency markets, transactions that, in 1999, the staff of the International Monetary Fund found member central banks so determined to conceal: Spall’s advertisement for his new company is more evidence supporting the frequent assertion by GATA Secretary/Treasurer Chris Powell that “the location and disposition of national gold reserves are secrets far more sensitive than the location and disposition of nuclear weapons.”

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