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Central Bank Digital Currencies – A Future of Surveillance and Control

2 days ago

One of the most potentially far-reaching trends in the financial landscape right now is the imminent roll-out of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the parallel attacks which central bankers are waging on private digital currencies and tokens as they tee up the launch of their CBDCs.
First some clarifications. While the majority of central bank issued currencies (fiat currencies) in existence around the world are already in digital form, a fiat currency held in digital form is not the same as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
What is a CBDC?
A CBDC generally refers to electronic or virtual central bank (fiat) money that is created in the form of digital tokens or account balances which are digital claims on the central bank. CBDCs will be issued by central banks and will be

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Can Corporate Treasurers Afford to Ignore Palantir’s Gambit on Gold?

16 days ago

Recently, Palantir Technologies, the secretive software company that collects and analyses huge amounts of data on behalf of clients which include a broad array of US intelligence and spy agencies, announced in a quarterly filing with the US SEC that it had purchased $50 million in gold bars as part of an investment strategy to hedge against ‘black swan events’.
A black swan event is an event which is difficult to predict, occurs rarely, but can have a severe negative impact. The term is now commonly used when referring to unexpected shocks to financial markets.
CIA – Early investor into Palantir TechnologiesHand in Glove with US Intelligence
Palantir, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange after going public in a Direct Public Offering (DPO) in September 2020, was founded in 2003

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Infographic: Paper Silver vs Physical Silver

July 23, 2021

In the current global financial system, the international silver price is derived from trading of vast volumes of ‘paper silver’ that dwarf both physical silver exchange inventories and new physical silver supply.
To understand what is real and tangible in the silver market, it is crucial then to grasp the difference between paper silver and physical silver, and how paper silver is traded in practically unlimited quantities, while physical silver is a scarce and valuable commodity that plays a role as both an investment precious metal and an industrial precious metal.
In short, physical silver is a real tangible asset with intrinsic value, that has no counterparty risk and is difficult and costly to mine. Paper silver is not.
Paper silver is altogether different, comprising securities and

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Has Macron’s call for new IMF Gold Sales been slapped down?

July 14, 2021

By Roman Manly
The possibility of renewed monetary gold sales by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hit international headlines last month when France’s president Emmanuel Macron and former Rothschild banker made a call for such sales during a press conference in the Elysée Palace in Paris on 10 June, in advance of the G7 summit in England a few days later.
G7 Rothschild Banker
In his 10 June speech, titled “G7 / NATO Press Briefing”, while referring to plans to finance African economies via a new allocation and redistribution of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), Macron said that the SDR plan:
“should be supplemented with an agreement to also sell some of our gold reserves and finance investment. Why? Because IMF gold reserves have risen in value because of the crisis. Because gold has

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Thai central bank leads pack, buying 90 tonnes of gold over April and May

June 28, 2021

In early April this year, the Hungarian central bank stunned gold markets with the surprise announcement that it had purchased a massive 63 tonnes of gold during March, and in doing so tripled its gold reserves from 31.5 tonnes to 94.5 tonnes.
At the time, this 63.5 tonnes purchase (the details of which we covered here) was the largest year-to-date gold purchase by a central bank during 2021.
Thailand now in Pole Position for 2021
Fast forward to June and that record has now been broken, as Thailand’s central bank has now made public that over the two months of April and May inclusive, it purchased a total of 90 tonnes of gold, thereby putting the Bank of Thailand in the pole position of the global central bank gold purchases during the first half of 2021.
In fact, with China and Russia

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Central banks operating in stealth at the heart of the London Gold Market

June 3, 2021

Central banks operate at the heart of the London Gold Market, buying, selling, and lending gold, but everything they do is shrouded in secrecy.
While many people will be familiar with the term ‘London Gold Market’, most will have little knowledge about its inner workings, especially when it comes to how, and to what extent, the world’s central banks trade and lend gold in London through the Bank of England and the LBMA bullion banks.
And that’s the way they like to keep it. Never in the history of financial markets has there been a trading venue that has been more opaque, more secretive, and more impenetrable than the London Gold Market. Especially when it comes to central bank gold operations.
That the London Gold Market (meaning the wholesale market) is controlled by a cabal of LBMA

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LBMA misleads Silver Market with False Claims about Record Silver Stocks

May 11, 2021

By Ronan Manly
In a shocking retraction, the bullion bank dominated London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has just announced that it has been overstating LBMA silver vault holdings by a massive 3,300 tonnes of silver.
This overstatement relates to the total quantity of physical silver bars that the LBMA claimed were being held in LBMA vaults in London as of end of March 2021.
These LBMA vaults in London are operated by three banks, namely the infamous JP Morgan, the equally infamous HSBC, and the maybe not so infamous ICBC Standard Bank, and three security vaulters, Brinks, Malca Amit and Loomis.
On 9 April, to much fanfare, the LBMA published updated monthly vault data for London vaulted silver bars, claiming that as of end of March 2021, total silver held in LBMA London vaults had

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Hungarian central bank boosts its gold reserves by 3000% in less than 3 years

April 8, 2021

With its latest purchase, Hungary’s central bank has tripled its gold reserves to 94.5 tonnes, and since 2018 its gold reserves are up 3000%. Continue reading…
The central bank of Hungary, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), has just announced a purchase of a massive 63 tonnes of Good Delivery gold bars, and in doing so tripled the nation’s gold holdings from 31.5 tonnes to 94.5 tonnes.
In its press release about the huge transaction, published 7 April , the Hungarian central bank explains its rationale for the dramatic purchase of what is approximately 5040 large (400 oz) gold bars, highlighting that gold has no credit risk and no counterparty risk, and so reinforces sovereign trust over all economic environments (normal and extreme), while being one of the most crucial reserve assets that a

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#SilverSqueeze: Physical Silver Shortage vs. Paper Silver

February 1, 2021

The silver short squeeze in physical silver currently underway is unprecedented. Even so, the spot spot price of paper silver does not anywhere near reflect the real physical equilibrium price of silver. BullionStar may therefore in the near future have no option but to abandon setting prices based on silver spot price altogether and move to fixed prices. Continue reading…

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Dawn of Bitcoin price discovery 2009 – 2011: The very early Bitcoin exchanges

January 29, 2021

By Ronan Manly – January 28, 2021
A number of pioneering Bitcoin exchanges arose in 2009 and 2010 which paved the way for the massive crypto ecosystem which exists today.
With the rapid growth of Bitcoin and the proliferation of cryptocurrency exchanges, it’s easy to forget that a mere 12 years ago, there were no trading markets for Bitcoin and no market established Bitcoin prices.
In fact, following the mining of the first Bitcoin block on 3 January 2009 by the eponymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, it would be another 9 months until the first known Bitcoin price was recorded on 5 October 2009.  
Some common themes among the early Bitcoin exchanges were that they were operated more or less as one man outfits, they quoted extremely low Bitcoin prices, the exchanges had limited

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The Staggering Levels of Real “Inflation-Adjusted” Gold and Silver Prices

January 18, 2021

By Ronan Manly
In economics, a real value refers to any value that has been adjusted for inflation. A nominal value is a value that has not been adjusted for inflation. Inflation here refers to the general increase in price levels,
Many will be familiar with inflation adjustments that are applied to GDP, wages, interest rates, security returns, and of course consumer prices and asset prices. The resulting data is usually referred to as “real (inflation-adjusted)” data.
Economic data is adjusted for inflation so that data measured over time takes into account the inflation rate over that time period, and removes the distortive effect that this inflation would have on comparisons of data points over time. Inflation is measured by calculating the rate of change in the prices of a basket of

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Behind the Headlines of Record Gold Stocks in London Vaults

January 14, 2021

According to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), there are now record gold stocks of 9450 tonnes held in the London vaults.
While trumpeting record gold holdings may grab headlines, it’s a misleading claim if, as appears to be the case, only a tiny fraction of these total gold holdings are available to ‘back-up’ the gigantic fractionally-backed LBMA paper gold trading scheme. Continue reading…

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2020: Stellar year for bullion coin sales by the major national Mints

January 7, 2021

2020 was a remarkably strong year for gold and silver bullion coins sales by the US Mint, Perth Mint and Royal Canadian Mint.
Gold sales more than doubled at the Perth Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, while increasing by a massive 500% at the US Mint. The US Mint also took the lead in sales volume increases in silver, more than doubling its 2019 volumes. During 2020, the Perth Mint boosted silver sales by 42%, while the Royal Canadian Mint (based on the first three quarters of 2020) increased silver sales volumes by 34%.
Together the three mints shipped 87 tonnes of gold and 2359 tonnes of silver out the door to the market. (Note, as the RCM reports with a lag, the RCM volumes from the 4th quarter are annualized based on the first three quarters).
Now for the details:
US Mint
The US Mint is

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As 2020 comes to a close, Gold and Silver record best year since 2010

January 1, 2021

Gold and silver both had a strong performance in 2020, with the gold price in US dollars rising 25.12% during the year, and the silver price in US dollars rising an impressive 47.82%. These returns are based on opening prices of gold and silver on 1 January 2020 of $1517.3 and $17.86, respectively, and closing prices on 31 December 2020, of $1898.50 and $26.40, respectively.
Gold’s Continued Bull Run
With a 25.12% return in 2020, gold continues the strong run it recorded in 2019 when the gold price rose by over 18%. US dollar gold in 2020 also had its best year since 2010, a year in which it rose by 29.5%.
The 2020 low for the US dollar gold price was seen in the last week of March when the price dipped briefly below $1500 on the back of stress in the London gold market and the widening of

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GLD 10-K omits BoE gold holdings data, GLD CFO left 1 day before financial year-end

December 11, 2020

As the latest SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) annual 10-K statement hits the tape, there are a number of troubling developments which should concern the SEC and GLD investors alike. These include:
Why the GLD Sponsor CFO resigned on 29 September 2020, one day before financial year end of 30 September.
Why the latest GLD 10-K withholds data on how much gold the GLD held at the Bank of England between April and August this year despite having this data coded into its XBRL financial statement submissions to the SEC.
Why the longtime GLD auditor KPMG has raised a “Critical Audit Matter” in the latest GLD 10-K about evaluating evidence pertaining to the existence of GLD’s gold holdings. Continue reading…

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BullionStar Perspectives – Corey Keller – Expert view on the gold refining sector

November 2, 2020

Filmed in October 2020
Corey Keller is an international precious metals consultant providing contracted consulting services to precious metals companies globally through his company Keller Consulting.
With over 30 years experience in the design and build of gold refineries including processing, acquisition, disposition, logistics and project design, Corey has worked with gold refineries on five continents, including Metalor Technologies USA, and has extensive experience working with the leading gold refineries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
He has also worked with refineries in as diverse locations as Canada, Venezuela, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Honduras, and is also consulting on potential refinery design projects in Qatar, Papua New Guinea and Egypt.
Join BullionStar’s Ronan Manly

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Guest Post: Robert Pringle’s Comments on the 1999 UK Gold Sales

October 12, 2020

A recent gold related article from newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ revisited the infamous United Kingdom gold sales of 1999 which were conducted under Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time Gordon Brown.
This article prompted Robert Pringle, founder of Central Banking Publications, first executive director of the Group of 30, and former head of World Gold Council’s public policy unit, to contribute some fascinating observations about the infamous Gordon Brown gold sales based on Pringle’s own personal experiences and recollections of the event. Continue reading…
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Revolving Door at the SPDR Gold Trust – 6 CFOs since 2014

October 7, 2020

Since 2014, there have been a staggering six Chief Financial Officers in charge of accounting at the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, the famous NYSE listed SPDR Gold Trust (GLD).
Specialists in recruitment, sell-side analysts, and human resources academics all agree that high CFO turnover is something that raises red flags in corporate environments. It is also something that the SEC and hedge fund investors in GLD should take note of. Continue reading…
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