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French central bank's chief market rigger says they never explain

Section: Documentation

1:30p ET Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Though the French central bank is, like other Western central banks, the agency of a nominally democratic government, its gold and currency market interventions will remain secret, the bank's director of market operations, Alexandre Gautier, wrote yesterday in a reply to our friend Fabrice Drouin Ristori, chief executive officer of

In presentations to the London Bullion Market Association in 2013 and last year, Gautier reported that the Banque de France has been trading gold for its own account and the accounts of other central banks "nearly on a daily basis" and that central banks lately have been managing their gold reserves "more actively":

Citing those presentations, Ristori last week wrote to Gautier asking for details about the Banque de France's gold trading, including its objectives and counterparties:

Replying yesterday, Gautier refused to elaborate on those presentations, writing: "I cannot expand beyond their contents because Banque de France does not make public the management of its foreign exchange reserves. Furthermore, we very seldom give interviews."

... Dispatch continues below ...


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Of course this particular episode of the unaccountability of central banking will not surprise anyone who has been following GATA. The question that now should be prompted by Gautier's reply to Ristori is: Why doesn't the Banque de France disclose its "management" of its foreign exchange reserves? We may assume that the answer is that the objective of this "management" is largely market manipulation and that transparency would defeat the objective.

Secret intervention in markets by central banks -- the destruction of markets, what even some central bankers themselves have called "financial repression" -- is such a big financial news story, the only one that matters anymore, and would be so easy for mainstream financial news organizations to pursue. They would need to ask only: Are central banks secretly trading in the gold, currency, bond, and stock markets, directly or through intermediaries, or not? If they are doing such trading, is it just for fun or does it have policy purposes? If it does have policy purposes, what are they? And to be successful do these policy purposes require deception and expropriation of certain investors?

Gautier's acknowledgments -- that the Banque de France trades secretly in the gold market "nearly every day" for itself and other central banks and that the bank won't account for it -- are great gifts to journalists. He practically writes the story for them. Of course GATA can provide much more documentation for such a story:

But journalistic courage in the West lately seems to consist mainly of publishing juvenile and gratuitiously insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhhammad -- peace be upon him -- and daring the religious crazies to do something about it. Who in Western journalism has the courage to put to central banks some specific questions about their secret market interventions? Such questions are easily formulated --

-- and if enough journalists started asking, the government security agencies couldn't get away with killing them all.

At least Ristori is still alive as of this hour -- peace be upon him too -- and he has posted his reply from Gautier at Goldbroker here:

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

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