Le Banche Centrali (ma non solo) stampano cartamoneta ma comprano oro.

20/3/2012 Di Giuseppe Sandro Mela Tratto da Rischiocalcolato.it


Quando il cuoco si rifiuta di mangiare quello che ha cucinato non si vede proprio perché dovremmo mangiarlo proprio noi.


Adesso, l'Italia sta insidiando da vicino il Guinnes dei Primati di Fed e Bce nella stampa industriale di cartamoneta, che tra poco verrà venduta a peso. Un kilo di banconote da 20 euro, un kilo di pane calmierato.


«A Nord di Napoli, tra Giugliano e Aversa si concentrano i migliori falsari d'Europa. Qui si stampano la maggior parte delle banconote contraffatte che circolano in Europa. E sono praticamente perfette.». «Nei dintorni del comune campano [Giuliano, n.d.r.], 120mila abitanti a nord di Napoli, si concentrano il maggior numero di stamperie sequestrate nell'ambito di operazioni della Gdf. Un'area con centinaia di aziende con macchinari da 200 e 500mila euro, che per business illeciti possono fruttare anche dieci volte tanto. E gli affari non riguardano soltanto la valuta comunitaria», così almeno riferisce La Repubblica, che di falsi se ne intende al punto tale che siamo anche in dubbio che quella testata si chiami proprio così.


 Lo spirito imprenditoriale partenopeo è da urlo. Centinaia di "aziende" con macchinari da 500,000 euro l'una sono un investimento da più di 50 milioni: segno evidente che il business rende. «Dieci volte tanto»: quindi un affare da almeno mezzo miliardo (esentasse).  Se lo fanno le Banche Centrali un guadagno ci deve ben essere, quindi perché non i Napoletani? E chi lo ha mai detto che il Meridione é deindustrializzato? Rimane solo un flebile dubbio sul perché La Repubblica chiami "aziende" tali pregevoli stamperie, che una volta venivano banalizzate sotto il termine di "falsari". Forse il Governo le ha classificate, così da farsi pagare le tasse, onorate ovviamente con cartamoneta falsa. I pensionati con conto corrente tracciabile, tanto da render loro la vita più piacevole: ma ve lo vedete Totonno Mano e' Pece che usa il bancomat?


No, in realtà c'é un altro dubbio: che non sia una nuova attività governativa per ripianare il debito sovrano? Se si comprano titoli di stato "ballerini" tanto vale pagarli con cartamoneta altrettanto fasulla. C'è da giurarci che questa è un'altra bella pensata di qualche economista.


Comunque, a questa simpatica notizia, se ne associa un'altra, seria questa volta, che trova ripetute conferme nel tempo.


Mentre stampano come forsennate, già preparandosi anche alla banconota prossima ventura da 1 trilione di euro, le Banche Centrali stanno comprando oro in quantità significative.


Già a novembre il Financial Times aveva riportato la notizia «Le acquisizioni di oro da parte delle banche centrali sono state durante lo scorso anno al livello massimo degli ultimi cinquant'anni». A quanto viene riferito, con l'obiettivo di immagazzinare almeno altre 500 tonnellate di quel vile metallo.


Il 16 febbraio sempre il Financial Times riportava che la Banca Centrale cinese, che a fine 2009 dichiarava scorte auree per 1,054 tonnellate, aveva acquisito altre 227 tonnellate d'oro nell'ultimo trimestre 2011.


Il giorno successivo ritornava sull'argomento, ricordando che «le Banche Centrali detengono nelle loro riserve circa un sesto di tutto l'oro mai estratto».


Adesso viene un dubbio e poniamo quindi una domanda ai Signori Lettori:


Se le Banche Centrali comprano oro, perché non dovrebbero farlo anche i comuni cittadini?


 Financial Times. 2011-11-17. Central bank gold buying at 40-year high.

Central banks made their largest purchases of gold in decades in the third quarter as a sharp drop in prices in September spurred buying to diversify reserves.

The scale of the purchases at 148.4 tonnes on a net basis was far bigger than previously disclosed and puts central banks on track to buy more gold than at any time since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system 40 years ago, the last time the value of the dollar was linked to gold.

Analysts said the buying, led by emerging market central banks intent on diversifying their growing foreign exchange reserves, helped explain gold's rebound from a low of $1,534 a troy in September as large hedge funds such as Paulson & Co were forced to sell some gold to cover losses elsewhere.

"Central bank buying tends to follow a different heartbeat than pure investment purchases of gold," said Marcus Grubb, head of investment at the World Gold Council, a lobby group for the gold industry. "It's often based on targets set earlier in the year on gold as a proportion of foreign exchange reserves."

On Thursday, gold dropped 2.5 per cent to $1,718 a troy ounce, following other commodities such as oil and copper lower.

The WGC, which published the purchase data, declined to identify the central banks behind the majority of the buying, saying only that "a slew of new entrants emerged wishing to bolster gold holdings". The countries that have publicly disclosed their purchases include Thailand, Russia and Bolivia.

Central banks are one of the most important drivers of the gold market but disclose few details about the changes in their bullion reserves. As a group, they became net buyers of gold last year after two decades of heavy selling - a reversal that has helped propel the price of bullion to a high of $1,920.30 a troy ounce, up 600 per cent in a decade.

The purchase of 148.4 tonnes in July-September is the largest since GFMS, the consultancy which produces the data underlying the WGC reports, began compiling quarterly numbers in 2002. Before then, the last time central banks were net buyers of gold was in 1988 when they bought 180 tonnes.

Mr Grubb said the majority of buying took place in September after prices fell sharply from record highs to a low for the month of $1,534. It coincided with growing international tensions over the dollar after a dispute in Washington about raising the US debt ceiling.

Mr Grubb predicted that central bank gold buying for the full year could reach 450 tonnes, implying a purchases of a further 90 tonnes in the fourth quarter.

GFMS last month said central bank purchases were likely to be in excess of 400 tonnes and could reach 500 tonnes, an upward revision from its September forecast of 336 tonnes.

Elsewhere, the WGC reported that China overtook India to become the largest consumer of gold jewellery in the third quarter. Gold for Chinese jewellery consumption rose 13 per cent from a year earlier to 138.6 tonnes, while buying from India - traditionally the world's top consumer - fell 26 per cent.


Financial Times. 2012-01-17. Central banks increase gold lending

Central banks increased the amount of gold they lent for the first time in a decade in 2011, as they used their bullion reserves to help commercial banks raise US dollars.

Although central banks hold one-sixth of all the gold ever mined in their reserves, their activities in the bullion market are opaque, with not a single institution revealing its day-to-day operations. In addition to holding gold for their reserves, some central banks also trade the metal, lending it on the open market in order to obtain a yield.

Thomson Reuters GFMS, the precious metal consultancy that publishes benchmark statistics on the gold market, on Tuesday said that the quantity of gold lent by central banks had risen last year for the first time since 2000.

The estimate by GFMS confirms a trend that bankers and gold traders have been privately discussing for the past six months. The increase in lending came as eurozone commercial banks, suffering a shortage of dollar liquidity, rushed to borrow gold from central banks and later swap it on the market in exchange for dollars.

"There is growing evidence that short-term loans from some central banks to commercial banks could well have increased considerably [in 2011], with the latter then using gold to swap for US dollars," GFMS said.

As the squeeze in the dollar funding markets intensified, short-term interest rates for lending gold fell to record lows in late 2011. The rate for lending gold for one month fell to -0.57 per cent in early December, implying that a bank would have to pay to swap it for dollars.

The rush among eurozone commercial banks to lend gold was one of the clearest signs of the "dash for cash" late last year that weighed on the bullion price.

Goldman Sachs said in a report that "the downward pressure from European bank funding issues has left gold prices at a steep discount to the levels suggested by US [real interest rates]". The metal tumbled 20 per cent from a peak above $1,900 a troy ounce in September to a low of $1,522 in December. On Tuesday, gold was trading at a five-week peak of $1,663.

The increase in gold lending by central banks has brought an end to a decade-long decline in the amount of bullion out on loan, as falls in hedging by gold miners reduced demand to borrow the metal.

GFMS did not put a number on the increase last year, saying only that lending had risen "by a small amount". It estimates that the outstanding volume of swapped or leased gold stood at 700 tonnes at the end of 2010, down from a peak of about 5,000 tonnes in 2000.

Philip Klapwijk, head of metals analytics at the consultancy, was sceptical that the lending activity had affected the gold price. "This is a purely financial swap of gold for US dollars; it shouldn't have an impact on price," he said.

Nonetheless, GFMS maintained a cautious outlook for gold prices in the near term, predicting that the metal would average $1,640 in the first half of 2012.

"A huge amount of gold needs to be taken out of the market day in, day out by investors," Mr Klapwijk said. "I'd be astounded if we see a reversal of sentiment but it may be that investment simply underperforms our expectations and prices sag."

All the same, GFMS predicted that gold prices would once again gather steam later this year, touching a peak "just over the $2,000 mark" in late 2012 or early 2013.


Financial Times. 2012-02-16. China central bank in gold-buying push.

The World Gold Council believes China's central bank made significant gold purchases in the final months of 2011, contributing to a surge in the country's imports.

Marcus Grubb, managing director for investment at the WGC, a lobby group for the gold mining industry, told the Financial Times that buying by the People's Bank of China could explain a large discrepancy between Chinese imports and the WGC's estimates of consumer demand in the country.

"There is absolutely a discrepancy in the import figures," said Marcus Grubb. "The obvious inference is that the central bank is buying."

His comments mark the first public statement from a senior gold industry executive pointing to purchases by the Chinese central bank, a trend that many others have highlighted privately. The PBOC did not respond to questions on Thursday.

China's imports from Hong Kong, which account for the majority of its overseas buying, soared to 227 tonnes in the last three months of 2011, according to data published by Hong Kong. Mine production in the country, the largest gold producer, stood at about 100 tonnes in the quarter, implying total supply of at least 330 tonnes.

That compares to demand of 191 tonnes for gold jewellery, bars and coins - which account for the vast majority of Chinese demand - reported by the WGC on Thursday.

Most industry executives believe China has been quietly accumulating gold produced in its domestic market for years, but it rarely publishes details of its holdings. In 2009, Beijing revealed it had almost doubled its gold reserves since 2003, making it the fifth-largest holder of bullion with 1,054 tonnes.

Philip Klapwijk, head of metals analytics at Thomson Reuters GFMS, the consultancy that produced the data underlying the WGC report, agreed that the so-called "official sector" of the central bank and other sovereign institutions may have bought gold in the final quarter of the year. "It could be that the apparent surplus in the domestic market due to the scale of imports reflects official sector purchases," he said.

However, he added that some of the apparent surplus could be accounted for by stockbuilding by Chinese banks ahead of the lunar new year holiday.

Mr Grubb added that the Hong Kong trade data could yet be subject to revisions, or that other players, such as Chinese sovereign wealth funds or other financial institutions, could have accumulated stocks of gold during the quarter.

But he added: "In the medium term we do know the Chinese central bank and other Asian central banks with large foreign exchange reserves have been increasing their holdings of gold. This is consistent with that."

Central banks bought about 440 tonnes of gold last year on a net basis, the WGC said, the highest level of buying since 1964. Large buyers included Mexico, Russia and South Korea.

China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which manages China's $3.2tn in foreign reserves under the Central Bank, has said publicly that it views gold and other commodities as having limited relevance for its investments because of price fluctuations, storage costs and limited transaction volumes.

However, advisers to the central bank have been urging China to diversify its holding of foreign reserves, which is held mostly in US Treasuries and other governments' bonds.

Demand from Chinese consumers is also rising rapidly, as they pour new-found wealth into gold. The WGC on Thursday predicted that China would this year overtake India as the world's top gold consumer for the first time.

Additional reporting by Leslie Hook in Beijing


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