The Inside Story on the Gold-for-Oil Deal that could Rock the World’s Financial Centers
The Inside Story on the Gold-for-Oil Deal that could Rock the World’s Financial Centers by Michael J Kosares for USA Gold
TDC Note – Originally written in 1997 still applies today – this was brought to my attention by a reader in the comment section.
This is a very detailed multi-page article that was written over about a years time. Below is merely an excerpt.
It’s just a guess but wouldn’t it make sense that China got their hands on this information a few years ago and this is what they based their gold-for-oil contract?
“Think now, if you are a person of “great worth” is it not better to acquire gold over years, at better prices? If you are one of “small worth”, can you not follow in the footsteps of giants? I tell you, it is an easy path to follow!” –ANOTHER (THOUGHTS!) 1/10/98
When the once highly secretive London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) — its venerable membership comprising the world’s largest gold dealers — published its daily clearing volume for the first time in January 1997, it rocked the tight-knit world of international gold traders and analysts.
According to this first of many subsequent LBMA press releases, thirteen hundred tonnes of gold (representing more than 50% of the world’s annual mine production) changed hands daily in this fog-shrouded center of the global gold market. This figure represented over $10 billion per day and $4 trillion per year in bullion banking activity!
The gold market had always stood in austere, quiet contrast to the highly charged, mega-volume world of stocks and bonds. Now this first LBMA report forced analysts, investors, and brokers to reassess their understandings of the gold market. While some revelled in the glow of the large LBMA numbers, others began to raise some very important and rather unsettling questions. First, Why was this much gold on the move? Second, Where was all this gold going? And third, Where was all this gold coming from?
Then, in October of 1997 at the internet’s only gold discussion forum of the day (hosted by Kitco), a series of remarkable postings began appearing under the pseudonym “ANOTHER“, offering plausible answers to those questions. What followed in a seemingly incongruous stream of thought over many months was, in the fullness of time, seen to blend into a logical whole by many astute readers following the complete text. If you are not similarly moved to at least reassess your own view of the international financial scene after reading what’s revealed below, then you are either firmly entrenched in your world view, or you’ve been numbed by too many hours of Wall Street’s cheerleader (CNBC) and too many Friday nights with Louis Ruykeyser.
What matters most to us here at USAGOLD is ANOTHER’s educational value to all who would take the time to read and think through his (at times) arcane and cryptic commentary of international economic dealings behind-the-scenes. ANOTHER demonstrates a feel for and understanding of the gold and oil markets that indicates connections at the highest echelons of international finance, yet for reasons having to do with his “position,” as he has indicated, he wishes to remain anonymous. If his “THOUGHTS!” are theory; they are good theory. If they are speculation; they are reasonable speculation. If they are supposition; they are well-grounded supposition.
In the final analysis, ANOTHER offers one of the more plausible hypotheses for why the financial markets have acted as they have in the past few years, and therein lies his immense value to the reader, no matter who he is. Again, knowledge as is conveyed in his series of “THOUGHTS!” is rarely to be found outside the highest levels of international finance, and is seldom to be seen bandied about on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal or your favorite financial newsletter.
As explained by ANOTHER, an opportunistic arrangement for massive physical gold acquisition among important petroleum producing and exporting nations could be comfortably facilitated within these astronomical trading volumes now being publicly revealed via the LBMA. For the oil states this meant receiving real money (as opposed to government-sponsored paper) in payment for their depleting oil reserves. For the industrialized countries, this meant a continuing supply of cheap oil to fuel the economic boom already in progress. These transactions were to be cleared through the bustling London gold market. Up until late 1996, the volumes were a tightly kept secret so “the deal” proceeded without the knowledge of the general public.
When the LBMA went public with its figures, it raised the shroud off “the deal.” But by then, according to ANOTHER, it no longer mattered. The oil states had already (almost inadvertently) cornered the gold market. As implied by ANOTHER’s own words, his motivation for these postings was the discovery by “big traders” in the Far East of this opportune facility to buy gold at ever lower prices. Their subsequent heavy purchases of physical gold upset the delicate balance. Now there was no longer a reason to keep it secret, and hence, the revelation of this extraordinary tale.
His choice to use an Internet forum to tell his story is surely a “story” in itself. Many who have read ANOTHER’s “THOUGHTS!” speculate why he would choose this particular venue for his revelations. Why not a magazine article? Or a book? Rather than turning this Foreword into a treatise on the merits of the Internet, let it suffice to say that if ANOTHER and his motives are as implied, then there is probably no better venue than the Internet; allowing his “THOUGHTS!” to be disseminated rapidly, anonymously, and without editing by intermediaries. In addition, they could be efficiently targeted to go directly to the core market audience — the gold analysts, brokers and investors who frequent such Internet sites as this, devoted strictly to the yellow metal. And after all, as a utility, isn’t this capacity for specialization and instant communication what the Internet is all about?
We encourage you to find time to read and consider these remarkable postings of ANOTHER with an open mind. In the field of gold and international economics, these posts are sure to remain as fascinating and worthy of careful study as anything you will find on the web today.
A note on the text: No attempt has been made to correct typographical errors, misspellings, punctuation, grammatical and/or textual errors as originally submitted. This archive of ANOTHER’s online commentary is presented here in its unedited entirety in the order his “THOUGHTS!” were posted via the Internet — beginning at the Kitco website (from October 1997 to April 1998) then proudly hosted here at our expanded USAGOLD website (from May 1998 onward) through mutual agreement and cooperation with ANOTHER.
Date: Sun Oct 05 1997 21:29
ANOTHER ( THOUGHTS! ) ID#60253:
Everyone knows where we have been. Let’s see where we are going!
It was once said that “gold and oil can never flow in the same direction”. If the current price of oil doesn’t change soon we will no doubt run out of gold.
This line of thinking is very real in the world today but it is never discussed openly. You see oil flow is the key to gold flow. It is the movement of gold in the hidden background that has kept oil at these low prices. Not military might, not a strong US dollar, not political pressure, no it was real gold. In very large amounts. Oil is the only commodity in the world that was large enough forgold to hide in. Noone could make the South African / Asian connection when the question was asked, “how could LBMA do so many gold deals and not impact the price”. That’s because oil is being partially used to pay for gold! We are going to find out that the price of gold, in terms of real money ( oil ) has gone thru the roof over these last few years. People wondered how the physical gold market could be “cornered” when it’s currency price wasn’t rising and no shortages were showing up? The CBs were becoming the primary suppliers by replacing openly held gold with CB certificates. This action has helped keep gold flowing during a time that trading would have locked up.