Venezuelan leader to withdraw $11B in gold reserves to protect against “disturbances” in financial system
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Despite a report from the World Gold Council showing that demand for the precious metal has subsided, gold soared to a new record high today on the back of another stock market plunge and an announcement from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that the country’s gold mining industry would be nationalized.
Gold touched a new record high of around $1827 dollars an ounce as the Dow Jones plunged by 500 points in early trading.
Gold soared to new heights even in the face of a World Gold Council report that said demand was down 37% year on year.
However, the report noted that there was “increasing acceptance of higher price levels” globally, which explained a modest 3% fall in recycling gold on the supply side.
Although today’s new high for gold is obviously being driven by a flight to safety as the stock market crumbles, Hugo Chavez’s announcement last night that he was to nationalize the country’s gold mining industry undoubtedly has had an impact on today’s trading.
Chavez likened the people that control the gold industry to “the mafia,” stating, “We can’t keep allowing them to take it away,” as he made public plans to withdraw $11B in gold reserves from U.S. and European banks, including 99 tonnes held with the Bank of England and other reserves held by J.P. Morgan Chase, Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered, France’s BNP Paribas and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia.
Of the country’s 365.8 tonnes of gold, 211 tonnes is believed to be held abroad.
“At the time of these disturbances, it’s preferable to recover our assets, in this case the gold, and have it here in the vaults,” Venezuelan Central Bank president Nelson Merentes said, adding that it would be re-invested in more stable economies like China, Russia and Brazil.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the move was part of a plan to create a “new international monetary system” as an alternative to the crisis-hit dollar reserve structure that currently governs the financial world.
Chavez’ decision to pull gold reserves out of the United States and Europe is only going to increase concerns about lack of mine supply, which is already set to fall by around 5.1 per cent this year. This will ensure gold sails through the $2000 barrier sooner rather than later.
As the George Washington Blog notes, “Nationalizing Venezuela’s gold means less gold available in the free market, and the scramble for physical gold to make good on Venezuela’s recall demand could challenge the 100-to-1 leverage levels of paper gold derivatives to physical gold.”
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
This article was posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 8:10 am