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Bernanke avoids exchange about the dollar's decisive advantage

Section: Daily Dispatches

12:41p ET Friday, January 8, 2016

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Yesterday the Brookings Institution in Washington, where former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is a "distinguished fellow in residence," posted his essay about what sustains the U.S. dollar as the primary world reserve currency. Bernanke's commentary was headlined "The Dollar's International Role: An 'Exorbitant Privilege'?" and it is posted here:

Bernanke's commentary offered four explanations for the dollar's primacy as the world reserve currency: the dollar's stable value, the liquidity of U.S. financial markets and the market for U.S. Treasury securities, the safety of dollar assets and particularly the safety of U.S. Treasury securities, and the Federal Reserve's functioning as the lender of last resort.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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But might there be another factor -- specifically, largely surreptitious manipulation of markets by the U.S. government and intermediary agents?

Bernanke's page at the Brookings Institution's Internet site provides for the posting of reply comments, so your secretary/treasurer submitted the following comment at the bottom of his essay:

"Does the Fed or any other agency of the U.S. government intervene in markets, directly or indirectly, in ways not clearly announced? If so, what are those ways and their objectives?

"More specifically:

"-- Are central banks or governments trading the gold market and related markets surreptitiously, directly or through intermediaries?

"-- If central banks or governments are in the gold market surreptitiously, is it just for fun -- for example, to see which central bank's trading desk can make the most money by cheating the most investors -- or is it for policy purposes?

"-- If central banks or governments are in the gold market for policy purposes, are these the traditional purposes of defeating a potentially competitive world reserve currency, or have these purposes expanded?

"-- If central banks and governments, creators of infinite money, are surreptitiously trading a market, how can it be considered a market at all, and how can any country or the world ever enjoy a market economy again?

"Will you comment on the documentation of such surreptitious intervention that is posted here?:


The Brookings Institution's reply mechanism captured your secretary/treasurer's name and e-mail address and acknowledged receipt of the reply. But 24 hours later the reply has not been appended to Bernanke's essay.

At the bottom of Bernanke's essay the Brookings Institution says: "Comments are welcome, but because of the volume, we only post selected comments."

As of 12:41 p.m. Eastern time today, the "volume" of posted comments is ... zero.

Is no one in the whole world interested in an exchange with the former chairman of the Fed even though he ordinarily commands hundreds of thousands of dollars for private appearances with financial houses?

Or is the former chairman of the Fed not interested in responding in public when honest answers might expose the conventional economic wisdom as mere pretense and a joke?

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

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