New African Magazine - Gold In Court

Section:

AFRICA/WORLD

A US court is to decide whether or not to allow a civil suit, which alleges that American government officials and other international banks conspired to manipulate the gold market to the detriment of African gold producers, to continue to the discovery stage.

Reginald Howe, an American lawyer, filed the case in December last year against the US Treasury, the Bank for International Settlements (based in Switzerland), the US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve president William McDonough, and the former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers.

The other defendants are: the Citibank Group, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

At the first hearing on 5 November, Howe told the court that the defendants had used various price fixing means from 1994 to date to manipulate the gold market to their advantage and to the detriment of gold producing countries in Africa and elsewhere.

The activities, Howe said, were orchestrated by certain bullion banks, officials in the Clinton Administration and the US Treasury acting outside the scope of their legal and constitutional authority.

Should the case be allowed to proceed to the next stage, the defendants could be compelled by Howe to produce evidence and testimony before a trial. No date has been set for the court's decision.

A lawyer representing the US Treasury, seeking an outright dismissal of the case, told the court that Howe's claims were not backed with concrete facts.

Howe, supported by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA), is representing himself in the case.

(See our special report on gold, pages 29-37).

Copyright International Communications Dec 2001

Publication date: 2001-12-01