Swiss Gold Sales are Insignificant
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, June 14, 2007
In my article last week, I spelled out various statistics on gold, as measured in tonnes.http://www.silverstockreport.com/2007/tiny_size_of_gold_market.html
155,000 tonnes of gold were produced in the whole world, in the entire history of mankind.
2500 tonnes of gold are produced by the world's mines each year.
5000 tonnes of gold are actually traded each year (best estimate).
500 tonnes of gold are sold each year by European Central banks under the "Central Bank Gold Agreement". (CBGA)
Recent news of Swiss gold sales of 250 tonnes over two years will fall under the existing, known CBGA. Thus, there is no material change in the status of the gold market.
Furthermore, there is no change in the fact that paper money is still being created at the same rates as yesterday.
The world's central banks continue to print up as much paper money in one year, as the total value of all the gold ever mined in all of human history. Both annual paper money creation, and all the gold in the entire world ever mined in all of human history, are both worth about $3.3 trillion, or $3,300 billion.
Swiss gold sales of 250 tonnes are worth $5 billion.
Swiss gold sales pale in size in comparison to the Bank of China's $1200 billion of reserves. China hopes to diversify 5% of that into gold, which is $60 billion.
Where is China going to get $60 billion worth of gold, or about 2871 tonnes?
This remains the unanswered question in the gold market.
China's reserves: Golden dragon or sitting duckhttp://english.people.com.cn/200706/07/eng20070607_381820.html
Therefore, you can see how ridiculous and misleading the following headline is:
Swiss sales dash hopes of gold recoveryhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/06/14/bcngold114.xml
On the contrary, Swiss sales of 250 tonnes are a non event, and will not remotely satisfy China's oft-repeated desire and need for 2871 tonnes of gold.
Not even Resource Investor reports the facts correctly (and I advertise there!):
Switzerland Central Bank to Sell 250 Tonnes of Goldhttp://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=32973
RI reports that Virtual Metals claims that Portugal has 79% of its reserves in gold.
Matt Turner, commodities analyst with Virtual Metals, told RI it was significant that the bank said gold as a percentage of reserves had gotten too high, since many European countries have a higher share of gold reserves.
Greece has 80% of its reserves by value in gold, Portugal 79%, Italy 66%, Germany 63%, Netherlands 56% and France 56%. If these banks were to reduce their reserves to 30%, Germany would have to sell 1,802; Italy 1,341; France 1,273; Switzerland 394; Netherlands 311 and Portugal 235 tonnes.
However, GATA has shown that Portugal has already leased out 70% of their gold. Therefore, Portugal's gold cannot be sold twice at the same time!http://gata.org/node/4194
GATA.ORG therefore writes a different headline regarding the Swiss gold sale:
Switzerland keeps bailing out its banks short goldhttp://gata.org/node/5168
If the Swiss gold has already been leased, then this gold may be "phantom gold" sold directly to banks that are short gold, to let them off the hook for their gold leases. In other words, no gold at all may come to market from the Swiss sales.