Austrian Press Agency cites GATA in report on possible audit of Austria's gold

Section:

12:43p ET Monday, November 26, 2012

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Austrian Press Agency today cited GATA at length in its follow-up story about the status of the Austrian central bank's gold and the possibility of an audit. The story has been published by the Austrian national newspaper Die Presse in Vienna --

http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/boerse/1316941/GATA_Goldinventur-de...

-- and as well as by other Austrian news organizations:

http://www.format.at/articles/1248/938/347245/es-teile-goldreserven

http://www.news.at/a/scheitert-goldinventur-von-oenb-gold

A translation of the APA story by our friend the German freelance journalist Lars Schall is appended.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

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Auditors Could Fail in Taking Reliable Inventory of Austrian Gold

The U.S.-based organization Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee alleges that Western central banks have manipulated the price of gold for decades.

By Austrian Press Agency
via Die Presse, Vienna
Monday, November 26, 2012

http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/boerse/1316941/GATA_Goldinventur-de...

The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) last week revealed a lot about the 280 tons of gold held by the Republic of Austria, but to which part of it they really have access is hard to identify, according to a U.S. organization that has been working for 15 years on the international gold market.

"In order to know that, the bank would have to disclose not only how much it has lent out up to date, but also whether the gold is held in allocated or unallocated accounts," Chris Powell of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) told APA over the weekend.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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The OeNB was forced to admit last week in Parliament that 80 percent of Austria's national gold is in London and explained that the bank has earned 300 million euros in the past decade with gold-leasing operations. After an expert commented that this suggested that a large part of the gold was leased out, the bank leaked that currently only 16 percent of the reserves are affected. The bank gave no explanation for the relatively high income from gold lending.

According to GATA, allocated gold means that the bars are accurately weighted and have serial numbers that can be directly attributed to the owner and the bars must be handed over at the depositor's request. Unallocated gold is merely a claim against the storing institution, in this case, for example, the Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

GATA believes that these claims are unsecured; whether this is really the case was never officially announced. Institutions such as BoE and BIS conduct gold swaps by a volume of several hundred tons each per year.

In the case of unallocated gold, the OeNB would have had neither the right to get particular bars back nor would there be a list that could be used for an inventory of the physical assets.

"As a consequence it could be virtually impossible to audit reliably a large part of the gold reserves," GATA Secretary Powell said in his email. As has been reported, in 2013 the Austrian Court of Auditors will review the National Bank and its foreign exchange reserves, but to date it has left open whether this will include the physical gold holdings.

GATA alleges that Western central banks have manipulated the price of gold for decades to support their currencies -- especially the U.S. dollar -- and to maintain artificially low interest rates. Many of these gold transactions are carried out with reserves of central banks, so they may be storing in their vaults only half the gold that officially counted.

Critics dismiss this as "conspiracy theory" and describe these theories as "far-fetched". But GATA publishes on its Internet site (http://www.gata.org) official documents and statements that more or less should prove secret interventions by central banks.

* * *

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