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29 ноября, 19:27

Bundesbank unveils blockchain settlement system

Central Banking Prototype system able to transfer digital coins or securities as well as settling “basic corporate actions” Prototype system able to transfer digital coins or securities as well as settling “basic corporate actions”; Deutsche Bundesbank to continue working on project to create a test concept

23 ноября, 21:10

Fear The Federal Reserve Meeting Minutes

Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth, Ever heard of an Alpha quote? That’s how best to classify, “Show me the money!!!” It didn’t take you but a nanosecond to picture Jerry Maguire screaming that line into his phone. The shame, for lack of a better word, is that another quote from the same movie, that’s almost as good, will only live on to minor fame. Getting to the not quite as famous quote requires that you navigate not one, but two scenes in the 1996 Tom Cruise blockbuster. Sports agent Maguire has landed an Odessa, Texas high school superstar quarterback. In perfect stereotypical form, the boy’s father is chief negotiator. Out Maguire drives to dusty West Texas to seal the deal, on paper, to which the father replies: “You know I don’t do contracts, but what you do have is my word. And it’s stronger than oak.” One firm handshake later, we see an elated Maguire driving off singing and pounding his steering wheel to the beat of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.” Of course, a betrayal follows as sure as night follows day and the father signs, yes signs, with a rival agent offering a sweeter as in “Sugar” deal. But what about the strength of that oak? A pumped-up Maguire arrives for the young star’s big moment and learns that in all likelihood Cushman Senior does sign contracts. To that Maguire bitterly retorts, “I’m still sort of moved by your, ‘My word is stronger than oak’ thing.” The moral we saw coming: Always get it in writing. But what happens when those written words still aren’t good enough? The occasion of the release of most Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Meeting Minutes would seem to be a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes take on all those round the table machinations. Minutes of lame duck meetings – no press conference, no action – hold even greater appeal, especially if multiple dissents accompany the decision. Hence the media jockeying for instant live reaction at 2 pm EST three weeks to the minute from the moment the statement is released. Hey, it beats waiting around five years for the meeting transcripts. Did someone mention transcripts? In 2008, Janet Yellen herself suggested – in plain English, mind you – that the FOMC deploy the Minutes as they would any other tool in their quickly dwindling toolbox of conventionality. In the event the data or the markets have not reacted to the meticulously crafted statement in the manner Fed officials intended, whip out the Minutes to reshape the public’s thinking. Rather than become a monkey on her back, Yellen’s suggestion to outright manipulate the Minutes has been embraced by her peers and the public alike; parsing the message in the Minutes has become a favorite Wall Street parlor game. That is, until today. A massage is one thing, a machete that leaves a blood trail quite another; hence the impossible task of weaving an entirely unexpected election result (especially for those on the FOMC) into the Minutes of a meeting that took place a week beforehand. Today, in other words, we will see relatively clean minutes, the prospect of which holds a whole different kind of appeal. (It may also explain the downright deluge of Fedspeak since the election. Do you get the sense there’s an unwritten Fed policy that dictates more is more when the Minutes have been disengaged?) Given the violent reaction in the bond market to the election, it’s bound to be killing Yellen to not nod as to how the Fed is apt to react come December 14th. But the truth is the market has already placed its bet, pegging the probability of a quarter-percentage-point hike at a neat 100 percent. That gets us to the “What’s next?” portion of the program, which is when things begin to look a little hazardous. The brilliant (word not used with even a scintilla of hyperbole) William White was recently honored with the Adam Smith prize, the highest on offer from the National Association of Business Economics. White’s career has been long and esteemed. In 2008, he retired from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and is now chairman of the Economic Development Review Committee of the OECD in Paris. On a personal level, yours truly has been honored to get to know White as fellow participants at The Ditchley Foundation’s annual gatherings. But back to that, “What’s next?” for Yellen et al. Let’s just say White has uncovered the answer. To mark the occasion of his receiving the Adam Smith award, White penned, “Ultra-Easy Money: Digging a Deeper Hole?” Gotta love the subtlety in that title. Do yourself a favor and Google the paper and read it in its entirety. It is blessedly readable and free of econometrics, as in approachable by those outside the insular field of economics. White has never been one to kowtow to his peers. Rather than blindly acquiesce to the notion that monetary policy can solve all the world’s problems, White rightly recognizes the elephant in the room, namely that, “by encouraging still more credit and debt expansion, monetary policy has ‘dug a deeper hole.’” White’s basic premise is that central bankers’ hubris (my word) has deluded them into believing the economy can be modelled, “as an understandable and controllable machine rather than as a complex, adaptive system.” Prior to the financial crisis, monetary policy was “unnaturally easy” and after the crisis broke, “ultra-easy.” Put differently, the failure of lower for longer was not recognized as a failure and taken as an opportunity from which to learn and grow into a new paradigm. Rather, monetary policymakers dug the hole deeper, insisting that failure be not acknowledged, but instead institutionalized. And so policy has been lower for even longer, exit delayed time and again. Into this breach, Yellen steps again, one year after her first stab at a rate hike. The rest of the world can be thankful she wears sensible shoes, as opposed to strappy, red stilettos, given the potentially dangerous landing for this second rate hike since 2006. Maybe the Minutes will reveal how heated the discussion was about the impending December hike and its aftermath. We can only hope. Most of the market’s focus since the election has been on major currencies’ moves against the dollar in reaction to the near one percentage point rise in the benchmark 10-year Treasury off its post-Brexit lows. No doubt, the move in the euro has been nothing short of magnificent. The powers that be at the Bundesbank have to be sweating out the ramifications of the next potential move given the double whammy of an interest rate increase here and a losing vote for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum on December 4th. You’d never know it given the euphoria in the stock market, but a strong dollar can be harmful to the global economy’s health. While in no way inconsequential, the euro’s weakness pales compared to that of the shellacking underway in emerging market (EM) currencies. According to the BIS, since the financial crisis, outstanding dollar-denominated credit extended to non-bank borrowers outside the United States has increased from $6 trillion to $9.8 trillion. The game changer in the current episode is the catalyst that drove the growth in EM dollar-denominated debt, namely unconventional Fed policy. The yield drought created by seven years of zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing pushed investors to show EM debt issuers the money. In prior periods, cross border bank loans were the source of the growth. Let’s see. Is it investors or bankers who are more likely and able to panic and run? “This raises the specter of currency mismatch problems of the sort seen in the South Eastern Asia crisis of 1997,” worries White. “The fact that many of the corporate borrowers have rather low credit ratings also raises serious concerns, as does the maturity profile. About $340 billion of such debt matures between 2016 and 2018.” Talk about a black box of uncertainty that’s sure to dominate the discussion at the upcoming FOMC meeting. The differences between last December and now, however, cannot be captured in any model. That should prove vexing to current members of the FOMC who’d prefer to not wander blindly onto a field littered with landmines. As White forewarns, “Future economic setbacks tied to ultra-easy money could threaten social and political stability, particularly given the many signs of strains already evident worldwide. In short, the policy stakes are now very high.” Oh how the Fed must long for the days of yore, when it was feasible to make policy in a domestic vacuum. Though the new reality set in over a matter of years, last August’s rude reminder on the part of People’s Bank of China abruptly ended that bygone era once and for all. The Fed can jawbone all it likes, in tiptoe style in the Minutes, or in gaudy fashion in an endless parade of FedSpeak. But the reality of it is, if the rest of the world’s economic vulnerabilities and systemic fault lines are laid bare by this December’s hike, Fed officials’ words won’t amount to much more than trash talk, kind of like their vociferous vows to raise rates four times this year. In the end, their word proved to be as strong as, well, West Texas Oak.

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21 ноября, 19:46

Bundesbank board member takes hard line on Basel negotiations

Central Banking German central bank “not prepared to reach an agreement at any price” German central bank “not prepared to reach an agreement at any price”; calls for no universal output floors and abandonment of advanced approach for op risk

21 ноября, 16:09

Бундесбанк: рост ВВП Германии ускорится к концу года

Крупнейшая экономика Европы, как ожидается, ускорит рост к концу 2016 г. благодаря росту промышленности и потребительских расходов, сообщил Бундесбанк.

21 ноября, 16:09

Бундесбанк: рост ВВП Германии ускорится к концу года

Крупнейшая экономика Европы, как ожидается, ускорит рост к концу 2016 года благодаря росту промышленности и потребительских расходов, сообщил Бундесбанк.

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18 ноября, 19:35

Bundesbank chief attacks EU over laxness on rules

Limits on budget deficits and debt burdens regularly breached with impunity

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18 ноября, 19:35

Bundesbank chief attacks EU over laxness on rules

Limits on budget deficits and debt burdens regularly breached with impunity

17 ноября, 14:30

European Central Bank gold reserves held across 5 locations. ECB will not disclose Gold Bar List.

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com The European Central Bank (ECB), creator of the Euro, currently claims to hold 504.8 tonnes of gold reserves. These gold holdings are reflected on the ECB balance sheet and arose from transfers made to the ECB by Euro member national central banks, mainly in January 1999 at the birth of the Euro. As of the end of December 2015, these ECB gold reserves were valued on the ECB balance sheet at market prices and amounted to €15.79 billion.  The ECB very recently confirmed to BullionStar that its gold reserves are stored across 5 international locations. However, the ECB also confirmed that it does not physically audit its gold, nor will it divulge a bar list / weight list of these gold bar holdings. Questions and Answers BullionStar recently put a number of questions to the European Central Bank about the ECB’s gold holdings. The ECB Communications Directorate replied to these questions with answers that appear to include a number of facts about the ECB gold reserves which have not previously been published. The questions put to the ECB and its responses are listed below (underlining added): Question 1: “The 2015 ECB Annual Report states that as at 31 December 2015, the ECB held 16,229,522 ounces of fine gold equivalent to 504.8 tonnes of gold. Given that the ECB gold holdings arose from transfers by the respective member central banks, could you confirm the storage locations in which this ECB gold is currently held (for example at the Bank of England etc), and the percentage breakdown of amount stored per storage location.” ECB Response: “The gold of the ECB is located in London, Paris, Lisbon, New York and Rome. The ECB does not disclose its distribution over these places. The gold of the ECB is stored there because it was already stored there before ownership was transferred to the ECB and moving it was seen and is seen as too costly.“ Question 2: “Could you clarify as to how, if at all, this gold is audited, and whether it physical audited by the ECB or by a 3rd party?” ECB Response: “The ECB has no physical audit of its gold bars. The gold bars that the ECB owns are individually identified and each year the ECB receives a detailed statement of these gold deposits. The central banks where the gold is stored are totally reliable.“ Question 3: “Finally, can the ECB supply a full weight list of the gold bars that comprise the 504.8 tonnes of gold referred to above?” ECB Response: “The ECB does not disclose this information.“   London, New York, Paris, Rome, Lisbon Given that some of the information shared by the ECB has arguably not been in the public record before, each of the 3 ECB answers above is worth further exploration. In January 1999, when the Euro currency was created (Stage 3 of Economic and Monetary Union), each founding member national central bank (NCB) of the Euro transferred a quantity of foreign reserve assets to the ECB. Of these transfers, 85% was paid to the ECB in the form of US dollars and Japanese Yen, and 15% was paid to the ECB in the form of physical gold. Initially in January 1999, central banks of 11 countries that joined the Euro made these transfers to the ECB, and subsequently the central banks of a further 8 countries that later joined the Euro also executed similar transfers to the ECB. All of the foreign exchange and gold reserves that were transferred to and are owned by the ECB are managed in a decentralised manner by the national central banks that initiated the transfers. Essentially, each national central bank acts as an agent for the ECB and each NCB still manages that portion of reserves that it transferred to the ECB. This also applies to the transferred gold and means that the gold transferred to the ECB never physically moved anywhere, it just stayed where it had been when the transfers of ownership were made. That is why, as the ECB response to Question 1 states: “The gold of the ECB is stored there because it was already stored there before ownership was transferred to the ECB”. What is probably most interesting about the latest ECB statement is that it names 5 city locations over which the ECB’s gold is stored. The 5 gold storage locations stated by the ECB are London, New York, Paris, Rome and Lisbon. Since the gold transferred to the ECB in 1999 by the national central banks would have already been stored in central banks gold vaults, these 5 city locations undoubtedly refer to the gold vaults of: the Bank of England the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the Banque de France the Banca d’Italia Banco de Portugal The fact the ECB’s gold holdings are supposedly stored at these 5 locations can be explained as follows: Table 1: Central bank FX and Gold transfers to the ECB, January 1999 Between 4th and 7th January 1999, 11 central banks transferred a total of €39.469 billion in reserve assets to the ECB (in the form of gold, cash and securities). Of this total, 15% was in the form of gold, amounting to 24 million ounces of gold (747 tonnes of gold) which was valued at that time at €246.368 per fine ounce of gold, or €5.92 billion. The 85% transferred in the form of currencies comprised 90% US Dollars and 10% Japanese Yen. See pages 152 and 153 of ECB annual report 1999 for more details. The 11 central banks that made the transfers to the ECB in January 1999 were the central banks of Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Finland, Spain and Portugal. See Table 1 for details of these gold transfers, and the amount of gold transferred to ECB ownership by each central bank. The value of reserves transferred to the ECB by each national central bank were based on a percentage formula called a ‘capital key’ which also determined how much each central bank subscribed to the founding capital of the ECB. This capital key was based on equally weighting the percentage of population and GDP each Euro founding member economy represented, therefore central banks such as Deutsche Bundesbank, Banque de France, and Banca d’Italia comprised the largest transfers, as can be see in Table 1. It also meant that these 3 central banks transferred the largest amounts of gold to the ECB, with the Bundesbank for example transferring 232 tonnes of gold to the ECB. The Bundesbank gold transfer to the ECB in January 1999 took place at the Bank of England. The Bundesbank actually confirmed in its own published gold holdings spreadsheet that this transfer took place at the Bank of England. See spreadsheet Column 5 (BoE tonnes), Rows 1998 and 1999, where the Bundesbank gold holdings fell by 332 tonnes between 1998 and 1999 from 1,521 tonnes to 1,189 tonnes and also see Column 20 where gold lending rose from 149 tonnes to 249 tonnes. Therefore, between 1998 and 1999, 232 tonnes of gold was transferred from the Bundesbank gold account at the bank of England to the ECB account at the Bank of England, and 100 tonnes was added to the Bundesbank’s gold loans. Paris and Rome The Banque de France currently stores the majority (over 90%) of its gold reserves in its own vaults in Paris, so it it realistic to assume that when the Banque de France transferred 159 tonnes of gold to the ECB in January 1999, it did so using gold stored in the Banque de France vaults in Paris. Likewise, it is realistic to assume that the Banca d’Italia, which currently stores half of its gold reserves at its own vaults in Rome, transferred 141 gold stored in its Rome vaults to the ECB in 1999. This would explain the Paris and Rome gold holdings of the ECB. While a few ex French colony central banks are known to have historically stored gold with the Banque de France in Paris, none of the founding members of the Euro (apart from the Bundesbank) are on the record as having stored gold in Paris, at least not for a long time. The Banca d’Italia is not known for storing gold on behalf of other national central banks. Lisbon and New York The Banco de Portugal currently holds its gold reserves in Lisbon and also at the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), and with the BIS. The ECB gold stored in Lisbon, Portugal most likely refers to the 18.2 tonnes of gold transferred by the Banco de Portugal to the ECB in January 1999, because a) that makes most sense, and b) the Banco de Portugal is not known as a contemporary gold custodian for other central banks. Of the other 7 central banks that transferred gold to the ECB in January 1999, the central banks of Austria, Belgium and Ireland store most of their gold at the Bank of England so are the most likely candidates to have made gold transfers to the ECB at the Bank of England. See BullionStar blog “Central bank gold at the Bank of England” for more details of where central banks are known to store gold. The Netherlands and Finland currently store some of their gold reserves at the Bank of England and at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and probably also did so in 1998/99, so one or both of these banks could have made transfers to the ECB at the FRBNY. Another contender for transferring gold held at the FRBNY is the Spanish central bank since it historically was a holder of gold at the NYFED. It’s not clear where the central bank of Luxembourg held or holds gold but it’s not material since Luxembourg only transferred just over 1 tonne to the ECB in January 1999. Greece and Later Euro members Greece joined the Euro in January 2001 and upon joining it transferred 19.5 tonnes of gold to the ECB. Greece is known for storing some of its gold at the FRBNY and some at the Bank of England, so Greece too is a candidate for possibly transferring New York held gold to the ECB. In theory, the ECB’s New York held gold may not have even arisen from direct transfers from Euro member central banks but could be the result of a location swap. Without the national central banks or the ECB providing this information, we just don’t know for sure how the ECB’s New York gold holdings arose. Another 7 countries joined the Euro after Greece. These countries were Slovenia on 1st January 2007, Malta and Cyprus 1st January 2008, Slovakia 1st January 2009, Estonia 1st January 2011, Latvia 1st January 2014, and Lithuania 1st January 2015. The majority of these central banks made gold transfers to the ECB at the Bank of England. In total these 7 central banks only transferred 9.4 tonnes of gold to the ECB, so their transfers are not really material to the ECB’s gold holdings. ECB Gold Sales: 271.5 tonnes More importantly, the ECB sold 271.5 tonnes of gold between Q1 2005 and Q1 2009. These sales comprised 47 tonnes announced on 31 March 2005, 57 tonnes announced 31 March 2006,  37 tonnes over April and May 2007 announced 1 June 2007, 23 tonnes of sales completed on 30 November 2006, 42 tonnes announced 30 November 2007, 30 tonnes of completed sales announced 30 June 2008, and 35.5 tonnes completed in Q1 2009. These sales explain why the ECB currently only holds 504.8 tonnes of gold: i.e. 766.9 t (including Greece) – 271.5 t sales + 9.4 t smaller member transfers = 504.8 t The ECB does not provide, nor has ever provided, any information as to where the 271.5 tonnes of gold  involved in these 2005-2009 sales was stored when it was sold. The fact that the ECB still claims to hold gold in Paris, Rome and Lisbon, as well as London and New York, suggests that at least some of the gold transferred by the Banque de France, Banca d’Italia and Banco de Portugal in 1999 is still held by the ECB. If the ECB had sold all the gold originally transferred to it by all central banks other than France, Italy, Portugal and Germany, this would only amount to 197 tonnes, so another 74 tonnes would have been needed to make up the shortfall, which would probably have come from the ECB holdings at the Bank of England since that is where most potential central bank and bullion bank buyers hold gold accounts and where most gold is traded on the international market. Even taking into account Greece’s 19.4 tonne gold transfer to the ECB in January 2001, and excluding the French, Italian, German and Portuguese transfers in 1999, the ECB’s 271.5 tonnes of gold sales would still have burned through all the smaller transfers and left a shortfall. So the ECB gold sales may have come from gold sourced from all of its 5 storage loacations. It’s also possible that one or more of the original 11 central banks transferred gold to the ECB that was stored at a location entirely distinct from the 5 currently named locations, for example gold stored at the Swiss National Bank. If that particular gold was then sold over the 2005-2009 period, it would not get picked up in the current locations. It’s also possible that some or all of the 271.5 tonnes of gold sold by the ECB over 2005-2009 had been loaned out, and that the ‘sales’ were just a book squaring exercise in ‘selling’ gold which the lenders failed to return, with the loan transactions being cash-settled. No Physical Audit of ECB Gold Given that the Euro is the 2nd largest reserve currency in the world and the 2nd most traded currency in the world, the ECB’s gold and how that gold is accounted for is certainly a topic of interest. Although the ECB’s gold doesn’t directly back the Euro, it backs the balance sheet of the central bank that manages and administers the Euro, i.e. the ECB. The valuation of gold on the ECB’s annual balance sheet also adds to unrecognised gains on gold in the ECB’s revaluation account. Given gold’s substantial price appreciation between 1999 and 2015, the ECB’s unrecognised gains on gold amount to €11.9 billion as of 31 December 2015. It is therefore shocking, but not entirely surprising, that the ECB doesn’t perform a physical audit of its gold bars and has never done so since initiating ownership of this gold in 1999. Shocking because this lack of physical audit goes against even the most basic accounting conventions and fails to independently prove that the gold is where its claimed to be, but not surprising because the world of central banking and gold arrogantly ignores and bulldozes through all generally accepted accounting conventions. Geographically, 2 of the locations where the ECB claims to store a percentage of its gold are not even in the Eurozone (London and New York), and infamously, the Bundesbank is taking 7 years to repatriate a large portion of its gold from New York, so the New York storage location of ECB gold holdings should immediately raise a red flag. Furthermore, the UK is moving (slowly) towards Brexit and away from the EU. Recall the response above from the ECB: “The ECB has no physical audit of its gold bars. The gold bars that the ECB owns are individually identified and each year the ECB receives a detailed statement of these gold deposits. The central banks where the gold is stored are totally reliable.“ Imagine a physical-gold backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) such as the SPDR Gold Trust or iShares Gold Trust coming out with such a statement. They would be run out of town. References to ‘totally reliable’ are all very fine, but ‘totally reliable’ wouldn’t stand up in court during an ownership claim case, and assurances of ‘totally reliable’ are not enough, especially in the gold storage and auditing businesses. The ECB is essentially saying that these ‘statements’ of its gold deposits that it receives from its storage custodians are all that is needed to for an “audit” since the custodians are ‘totally reliable‘. This auditing of pieces of paper (statements) by the ECB also sounds very similar to how the Banca d’Italia and the Deutsche Bundesbank conduct their gold auditing on externally held gold i.e. they also merely read pieces of paper. Banca d’Italia audits “annual certificates issued by the central banks that act as the depositories” (the FRBNY, the Bank of England, and the SNB/BIS). The Bundesbank does likewise for its externally held gold (it audits bits of paper), and solely relies on statements from custodians that hold its gold abroad. The Bundesbank actually got into a lot of heat over this procedure in 2012 from the German Federal Court of Auditors who criticised the Bundesbank’s blasé attitude and lack of physical auditing, criticism which the Bundesbank’s executive director Andreas Dombret hilariously and unsuccessfully tried to bury in a speech to the FRBNY  in New York in November 2012 in which he called the controversy a “bizarre public discussion” and “a phantom debate on the safety of our gold reserves“, and ridiculously referred to the movies Die Hard with a Vengeance and Goldfinger, to wit: “The days in which Hollywood Germans such as Gerd Fröbe, better known as Goldfinger, and East German terrorist Simon Gruber, masterminded gold heists in US vaults are long gone. Nobody can seriously imagine scenarios like these, which are reminiscent of a James Bond movie with Goldfinger playing the role of a US Fed accounting clerk.” Where is the ECB Gold Bar Weight List? Since, as the ECB states, it’s gold bars are “individually identified“, then gold bar weight lists of the ECB’s gold do indeed exist. This then begs the question, where are these weight lists, and why not release them if the ECB has nothing to hide? Quickly, to define a weight list, a gold bar weight list is an itemised list of all the gold bars held within a holding which uniquely identifies each bar in the holding. In the wholesale gold market, such as the London Gold Market, the LBMA’s “Good Delivery Rules” address weight lists, and state that for each gold bar on a weight list, it must list the bar serial number, the refiner name, the gross weight of the bar, the gold purity of the bar and the fine weight of the bar. The LBMA also state that “year of manufacture is one of the required ‘marks’ on the bar”. Recall from above that when the ECB was asked to provide a full weight list of its 504.8 tonnes of gold bars, it responded: “The ECB does not disclose this information.“ After receiving this response, BullionStar then asked in a followup question as to why the ECB doesn’t disclose a weight list of the gold bars. The ECB responded (underlining added): “We would like to inform you that, while the total weight and value of the gold held by the European Central Bank (ECB) can be considered to be of interest to the public, the weight of each gold bar is a technicalitythat does not affect the economic characteristics of the ECB’s gold holdings. Therefore the latter does not warrant a publication.“ It is a very simple task to publish such a weight list in an automated fashion. The large gold backed ETFs publish such weight lists online each and every day, which run in to the hundreds of pages. Publication of a weight list by the ECB would be a very simple process and would prove that the claimed bars are actually allocated and audited.   This ECB excuse is frankly foolish and pathetic and is yet another poorly crafted excuse in the litany of poorly crafted excuses issued by large gold holding central banks in Europe to justify not publishing gold bar weight lists. The Dutch central bank recently refused to issue a gold bar weight list since it said it would be too costly and administratively burdensome. The Austrian central bank in refusing to publish a weight list claimed as an excuse that it “does not have the required list online“. Last year in 2015, the German Bundesbank issued a half-baked useless list of its gold bar holdings which was without the industry standard required refiner brand and bar serial number details.  (For more details, see Koos Jansen BullionStar blogs “Dutch Central Bank Refuses To Publish Gold Bar List For Dubious Reasons“, and “Central Bank Austria Claims To Have Audited Gold at BOE. Refuses To Release Audit Reports & Gold Bar List“, and a Peter Boehringer guest post “Guest Post: 47 years after 1968, Bundesbank STILL fails to deliver a gold bar number list“). The more evidence that is gathered about the refusal of central banks to issue industry standard gold bar weight lists, the more it becomes obvious that there is a coordinated understanding between central banks never to release this information into the public domain. The most likely reason for this gold bar weight list secrecy is that knowledge of the contents of central bank gold bar weight lists could begin to provide some visibility into central bank gold operations such as gold lending, gold swaps, location swaps, undisclosed central bank gold sales, and importantly, foreign exchange and gold market interventions. This is because with weight list comparisons, gold bars from one central bank weight list could begin turning up in another central bank weight list or else turning up in the transparent gold holdings of vehicles such as gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds. Conclusion On its website, the ECB claims to champion transparency: "Transparency means that the central bank provides the general public and the markets with all relevant information on its strategy, assessments and policy decisions as well as its procedures in an open, clear and timely manner. Today, most central banks, including the ECB, consider transparency as crucial." However, by not revealing full details of its gold holdings or how much is held where, and by refusing to publish a gold bar list, the ECB seems to be merely paying lip-service to the concept of 'Transparency'.  Instead of being fixated with the ECB’s continual disastrous and extended QE policy, perhaps some financial journalists could bring themselves to asking Mario Draghi some questions about the ECB gold reserves at the next ECB press briefing, questions such as the percentage split in storage distribution between the 5 ECB gold storage locations, why ECB gold is being held in New York, why is there no physical audit of the gold by the ECB, why does the ECB not publish a weight list of gold bar holdings, and do the ECB or its national central bank agents intervene into the gold market using ECB gold reserves. The lackadaisical attitude of the ECB to its gold reserves by never physically auditing them is also a poor example to set for all 28 of the central bank members of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), and doesn’t bode well for any ESCB member central bank in being any less secretive than the ECB headquarters mothership. If gold does re-emerge at the core of a revitalised international monetary system and takes on a currency backing role in the future, the haphazard and non-disclosed distribution of the ECB’s current gold reserves over 5 locations, the lack of physical gold audits, and the lack of public details of any of the ECB gold holdings won’t really inspire market confidence, and is proving to be even less transparent than similar metrics from that other secretive large gold holding bloc, i.e the USA. This article originally appeared on BullionStar.com as "European Central Bank gold reserves held across 5 locations. ECB will not disclose Gold Bar List.'  

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13 ноября, 21:21

These New Rules Will Derail Europe's Financial System

The mainstream media has been focusing on only one thing last week, and that’s the relatively surprising victory of Donald Trump in his bid to become the next president of the USA. Despised by practically all media outlets, it was the talk of the week, but we’d almost forget there are real problems in this world. Few of you might know the banking sector will need to implement IFRS 9 as its new accounting standard on January 1st 2018, but now, 13.5 months before the due date, the European Banking Authority is ringing the alarm bell. As per the new rules, banks will have to book a special reserve on its balance sheet the moment the loan is being given to the borrower, as opposed to the current system which only requires banks to write down the assets once the payments haven’t been made in time. Whilst this does seem to be a commendable move to try to clean up the banks’ balance sheets, this might be overkill as it would be unique to put provisions aside the moment the loan has been extended (using the ‘expected credit loss’ model versus the ‘incurred loss’ accounting model). Source: Bancherul.ro This will obviously have a negative impact on the capital ratios, and the EBA says that approximately 80% of the respondents on its survey will see their capital ratios decline by approximately 75 basis points, putting additional pressure on the entire financial system. As you might remember, we have written several columns discussing the most recent stress test of the European Central Bank and EBA, and unveiled that some banks weren’t even announced in the EBA’s press release even though they completely failed the stress test. Even Deutsche Bank would have failed the stress test if it wouldn’t have been granted ‘special measures’ that other banks subject to the stress test weren’t allowed to use. But the issues don’t remain limited to the commercial and public banks. The ECB’s asset purchase program is ongoing and causing severe distress on the balance sheets of the national banks (where the purchased assets are being held). Unfortunately the central banks don’t have to disclose interim reports so we can only make educated guesses as to how much the Euro-countries have added to their balance sheets. But if you’d pull up the numbers from last year, you’ll see some shocking results. The Bundesbank in Germany saw the position on its balance sheet related to ‘securities held for monetary purposes’ increase from 50.2B EUR to 172.3B EUR, an increase of 122B EUR. The total balance sheet of the Bundesbank increased by a stunning 31% in one year, to 1.01 trillion. This increase of 240B EUR represents an increase of 3,000 EUR per German citizen, and close to 5,000 EUR per employed German. Source: Bundesbank And this was just the start. The asset purchase program continued in 2016, and we estimate the Bundesbank had to purchase an additional 110-140B EUR of ‘securities for monetary purposes’, forced by the European Central Bank. This would push the total position on the balance sheet to roughly 300 billion Euro, or 11% of its GDP. Don’t the central banks see the risks associated with this forced asset purchase program? They do. One of Germany’s neighboring countries, Belgium, seems to think this expanded asset purchase program won’t end well for anyone involved in this scheme. Surprisingly, the Belgian National Bank is listed on the stock exchange, with the Belgian government owning 50% of the shares. We won’t go into any details on the shareholders structure, but want to draw your attention to a press release from earlier this year. Apparently the National Bank of Belgium deemed it necessary to change its dividend policy, but this press release contained another very interesting feature. Source: National Bank of Belgium So suddenly a member of the ECB-system is openly talking about ‘quantifiable risks’ for the financial system associated with the ‘unconventional monetary policy’ and decides to put 300M EUR per year aside to cover these risks? This isn’t just a one-time item, as during the annual meeting of its shareholders in 2015, this Central Bank specifically mentions the risks for the financial system associated with the Asset Purchase Program when/if the interest rate increases again. Source: National Bank of Belgium The financial system in Europe is still shaking to its foundations as both the commercial banks and some of the national banks are ringing the alarm bell. The European Union simply cannot afford higher interest rates as this could collapse the balance sheets of the central banks that are part of the Euro-system. And if at least one local central bank thinks it’s risky to add this much low-yield assets to the balance sheet, why would we sleep well at night? !! Time to read our Guide to Gold !! Secular Investor offers a fresh look at investing. We analyze long lasting cycles, coupled with a collection of strategic investments and concrete tips for different types of assets. The methods and strategies are transformed into the Gold & Silver Report and the Commodity Report. Follow us [email protected][NEW][email protected]

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08 ноября, 17:43

People: Sarb reappoints deputy for second term; Central Bank of Kenya looking to replace board

Central Banking Appointments at Sarb, Central Bank of Kenya, Bundesbank and more South African Reserve Bank appoints Francois Groepe to serve another term; parliament has approved five new members to the Central Bank of Kenya board, but formal process not yet complete; and more

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25 октября, 07:00

ECB and Bundesbank part ways on HFTs

German central bank suggests that orders could be held a fraction of a second to lift confidence in times of stress

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24 октября, 16:24

Бундесбанк ожидает ускорения инфляции до 1% к концу года

В ежемесячном отчёте Бундесбанка говорится, что инфляция, скорее всего, окончит год повышением к 1%, при этом внутренний тренд роста экономики страны остаётся сильным.Источник: FxTeam

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20 октября, 14:43

Central banker delivers rebuke to banking sector

Bank executives should fix own problems, says Andreas Dombret of Deutsche Bundesbank

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20 октября, 14:43

Central banker delivers rebuke to banking sector

Bank executives should fix own problems, says Andreas Dombret of Deutsche Bundesbank

13 октября, 17:05

Прогноз: ЕЦБ сохранит устойчивую монетарную политику

Стабильные, но довольно тусклые перспективы экономического роста могут заставить Европейский перенастроить свою программу покупки активов и завить о ее продлении к концу текущего года, передает агентство Reuters со ссылкой на опрошенных экономистов.

13 октября, 17:05

Прогноз: ЕЦБ сохранит устойчивую монетарную политику

Стабильные, но довольно тусклые перспективы экономического роста могут заставить Европейский ЦБ перенастроить свою программу покупки активов и заявить о ее продлении к концу текущего года, передает агентство Reuters со ссылкой на опрошенных экономистов.

13 октября, 09:41

Экс-глава Бундесбанка: вмешательство мировых ЦБ на рынках достигло критического уровня

Монетарное вмешательство приведет к нарушениям на мировых рынках, заявил председатель совета директоров швейцарского банка UBS AG и бывший глава Бундесбанка Аксель Вебер.

12 октября, 08:11

Do European banks need more capital?

Maybe so, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are not about to get much of it, not anytime soon.  Corina Ruhe reports, and I say put on your Bayesian thinking cap for this bit: Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret…said in an interview with Boersen-Zeitung that the revised rules, due by year-end, mustn’t disproportionately affect European […] The post Do European banks need more capital? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

09 октября, 04:09

The economic consequences of the 1953 London Debt Agreement

In 1953, the Western Allied powers approved the London Debt Agreement, a radical plan to eliminate half of Germany’s external debt and create generous repayment conditions for the remainder. Using new data from the historical monthly reports of the Deutsche Bundesbank, this column argues that the agreement spurred economic growth by creating fiscal space for public investment, lowering costs of borrowing, and stabilising inflation.

15 августа 2013, 15:20

США отказываются возвращать немецкий золотой запас

Мир теряет веру в доллар как в самую надежную валюту. Волна недоверия поднялась после того, как Немецкий федеральный банк потребовал репатриации огромного количества золота, хранящегося в Федеральной резервной системе США. Некоторые обеспокоены тем, что национальные вклады других стран не будут в безопасности в США. Да и находятся ли они там вообще? Подробности в репортаже корреспондента RT Гаяне Чичакян. Подписывайтесь на RT Russian - http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=rtrussian RT на русском - http://russian.rt.com/ Vkontakte - http://vk.com/rt_russian Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/RTRussian Twitter - http://twitter.com/RT_russian Livejournal - http://rt-russian.livejournal.com/

06 февраля 2013, 00:00

Утечка информации из МВФ: «золотое» мошенничество центральных банков

О GATA и «золотом картеле» Еще в конце ХХ века наиболее въедливые эксперты стали подозревать, что на рынке золота происходит что-то неладное. А именно: даже если жёлтый металл не дешевеет, то цены на него всё равно отстают по темпам роста от динамики цен на многие другие товары мирового рынка. Золото дешевело также на фоне индексов фондовых рынков, цен на недвижимость и т.п. Никаких крупных месторождений золота в это время не было открыто, золотые метеориты на Землю не падали. Заниженные цены на желтый металл больно били по компаниям золотодобывающей промышленности. Представители нескольких компаний этой отрасли решили разобраться в загадке, для чего и создали организацию под названием GATA (Gold Anti-Trust Action). В буквальном переводе - «Действие против Золотого Треста». Как следует из названия, учредители GATA подозревали, что на мировом рынке золота действует группа злоумышленников, объединенных в трест, который манипулирует ценами на золото в сторону их занижения. В своих публикациях GATA чаще использовала термин «золотой картель». Постепенно удалось вычислить основных участников этого картеля. Среди них - Казначейство США, Федеральный резервный банк Нью-Йорка (главный из 12 федеральных банков, составляющих ФРС США), Банк Англии, ряд крупнейших коммерческих и инвестиционных банков США и Западной Европы (здесь особо выделяется «Голдман Сакс» - инвестиционный банк с Уолл-стрит). Это – ядро картеля. Время от времени в поле зрения GATA попадали и другие организации, участвовавшие в операциях картеля. В том числе центральные банки некоторых стран.  1990-е годы были периодом наибольшей активности США на мировых рынках активов. Проще говоря, американцы организовывали приватизации государственных предприятий по всему миру (в том числе в России), а для таких операций нужен был сильный доллар. Финансовые аналитики и спекулянты прекрасно знают простое правило: чем ниже цена на золото, тем крепче доллар. Самый простой и дешевый способ укрепить доллар – «прижать» цену на «желтый металл», который явно и неявно выступает конкурентом этой резервной валюты. Однако чтобы «прижать» цену, надо обеспечить повышенное предложение этого металла на мировом рынке. У тех, кто хотел сыграть на «понижение» золота, взоры обратились к несметным запасам золота, сосредоточенным в подвалах казначейств и центральных банков. Эти запасы лежали там без движения с тех пор, как в 1970-е гг. рухнула Бреттон-Вудская валютно-финансовая система. В новой Ямайской валютно-финансовой системе золото перестало быть деньгами, оно было объявлено одним из биржевых товаров – таким как нефть, пшеница или бананы. Версия о золотых манипуляциях центральных банков Как можно использовать это золото для манипуляций ценами?  Первое и главное условие сводится к тому, чтобы полностью засекретить официальные запасы желтого металла и все операции денежных властей с ними. Еще более повысить независимый статус центральных банков, для того чтобы «народные избранники», органы финансового контроля и прочие любопытствующие элементы не совали свои носы в дела этих институтов. Не допускать государственных аудиторов до «золотых закромов». В США, например, Главное контрольное управление (Счётная палата Конгресса) последний раз посещало главное хранилище официального золотого запаса США Форт Ноксболее 60 лет назад.  Далее под завесой секретности можно начинать операции с золотом. Однако не продавать его, а передавать разным частным структурам «на время», оформляя эти операции как кредиты или лизинг желтого металла. А вместо золотых слитков оставлять в хранилищах бумажки, которые являются с бухгалтерско-юридической точки зрения «требованиями», «расписками», «сертификатами» и т.п. То есть золото на балансе центрального банка сохраняется, только оно имеет не металлическую, а виртуально-бумажную (или даже электронную) форму. А «народу» это знать не обязательно. Если в эти «золотые аферы» втянуть десяток-другой центральных банков, то каждый год на рынок можно выкидывать не одну сотню тонн драгоценного металла и сбивать на него цену.  Эксперты (в том числе эксперты GATA) находили многочисленные подтверждения тому, что все это не вымысел, а результат преступного сговора центральных банков с частными банкирами и спекулянтами. И тут сразу возникают вопросы: кому центральные банки передавали золото? Было ли это золото возвращено назад в сейфы центральных банков? Известны ли эти махинации законодателям? Сколько на сегодняшний день реально осталось физического золота в хранилищах центральных банков (и государственных казначейств)? Отметим, что отдельные попытки разобраться в том, что представляют собой официальные золотые запасы, насколько официальная статистика золота отражает истинное положение дел, кто и как управляет официальным золотым запасом, предпринимались парламентариями, политиками, общественными активистами в разных странах. Например, в США такие попытки регулярно предпринимал член Конгресса США Рон Пол. Регулярные запросы в разные инстанции делала также GATA.  Денежные власти предпочитали отмалчиваться. Или же ответы были крайне лаконичными и сводились к тому, что «золотой запас страны находится в неприкосновенности». Такую же позицию занимали на протяжении последних 15 лет (с тех пор, как начались разговоры о «золотом картеле») и международные финансовые организации: Банк международных расчетов (который, кстати, активно занимается операциями с желтым металлом и был заподозрен в участии в «золотом картеле»), Всемирный банк, Международный валютный фонд (1).  Утечка информации из МВФ И вот последняя новость в этой области. Речь идет о материале, размещенном на сайте GATA в декабре 2012 года (2). Это полученное одним из экспертов GATA секретное исследование Международного валютного фонда 13-летней давности. Оно касается мирового рынка золота и роли центральных банков в операциях на этом рынке в 1999 году. Поскольку оно секретное, то его автор позволяет себе писать полную правду об операциях центральных банков.  «Информация о рынке золота неоднородна», – говорится в исследовании. «Для транзакций характерна высокая степень секретности. Наряду с относительно небольшим количеством открытых торгов на биржах, продажи золота представляют собой приватные внебиржевые сделки, о таких операциях сообщается скупо. … Официальные данные о ссудах в золоте практически отсутствуют». Вот ключевые факты и цифры из этого материала МВФ. В 1999 годуболее 80 центральных банков ссудили 15 процентов официальных золотых запасов рынку (имеется в виду величина непогашенных обязательств по золотым кредитам). В числе центральных банков, предоставлявших ссуды в золоте, были Бундесбанк Германии, Швейцарский национальный банк, Банк Англии, Резервный банк Австралии и центральные банки Австрии, Португалии и Венесуэлы. В исследовании подтверждается, что центральные банки играли на рынке золота на «понижение»: «…высокая степень мобилизации резервов центробанка через кредитные операции в золоте оказала понижающее влияние на наличную цену золота, поскольку перекредитуемое золото обычно связано с продажами золота на наличном рынке». Далее в исследовании МВФ говорится, что «кредитование в золоте заставило центробанки проявлять активность на рынке производных финансовых инструментов золота, где участвуют банки по операциям с драгоценными металлами и производители золота, продавая золото через форвардные сделки и опционы. В свою очередь, банки по операциям с драгоценными металлами приложили все усилия для защиты и укрепления долгосрочных отношений с центральными банками». Вот еще выдержка из документа МВФ: «Доля промышленно развитых стран на всём рынке официального кредитования в золоте выросла с 33 процентов в конце 1995 года до 46 процентов к концу 1998 года, поскольку некоторые центральные банки промышленных стран повысили уровень кредитования; в то же время на рынке появились новые кредиторы, в частности Бундесбанк и Швейцарский национальный банк». А вот комментарий эксперта GATA, разместившего данный материал:«При столь значительном количестве центральных банков, секретно предоставляющих ссуды в золоте тем финансовым организациям, чей основной талант, как можно было видеть в последнее время, состоит в рыночных махинациях, кто станет отрицать, кроме обычных агентов дезинформации, что рынком золота манипулируют именно для того, чтобы не позволить всему миру пользоваться свободными рынками?» 2013 год: ждём новых «золотых» скандалов и «золотых» сенсаций Раскрытия страшной тайны золота ждут уже много лет. Ещё в 2004 году Лондонский банк Ротшильдов заявил о своем выходе из «золотого фиксинга» - процедуры ежедневного определения в узком кругу цены на жёлтый металл в лондонском Сити. Тем самым Ротшильды заявили миру, что они выходят из золотого бизнеса, которым занимались на протяжении двух столетий. Однако это – всего лишь эффектный жест. Из золотого бизнеса они не ушли, а продолжили заниматься им через структуры с другими вывесками. Чувствуя угрозу надвигающегося скандала с разоблачениями «золотого картеля», эти олигархические круги решили своевременно отойти от эпицентра возможного взрыва…  Возбуждение общественности и политиков по поводу официальных запасов золота резко обострилось в 2012 году. Выяснилось, что на мировом рынке активно идет торговля фальшивым золотом в виде вольфрамовых позолоченных слитков (хотя специалистам об этом стало известно еще в 2004 году, трубить об этом мошенничестве мировые СМИ начали только в 2012 году). Возникли подозрения, что в подвалах центральных банков и казначейств находятся груды вольфрама. Рон Пол добился проведения выборочной проверки брусков металла в подвалах Форт-Нокс и Федерального резервного банка Нью-Йорка. Германия потребовала от США вернуть золото из своего официального запаса (Бундесбанк), которое хранилось в подвалах ФРБ Нью-Йорка, но встретила глухое сопротивление со стороны казначейства и ФРС США. Кончилось это тем, что председатель Федерального резерва Бен Бернанке заявил, что недавний ураган Сэнди… «уничтожил» немецкое золото. Ничего лучшего он придумать не смог. Все это лишь подкрепило мнение тех, кто давно обвиняет ФРС и другие центральные банки в мошенничестве с золотом.  Думаю, что в 2013 г. тема золота центральных банков станет еще более горячей. Например, все с нетерпением ждут обнародования результатов выборочной физической проверки слитков золота из закромов Казначейства США. Власти обещали сообщить об этом в начале 2013 года. От Германии все напряженно ожидают реакции на заявление Бернанке о таинственном исчезновении немецкого золота.  Появились вопросы и к Банку международных расчетов (БМР), активно практикующему коммерческие операции с желтым металлом - и собственным, и тем, который центральные банки предоставляют БМР в виде депозитов или кредитов. Отчётность БМР об этих операциях крайне лаконична и не даёт представления о деталях сделок, их контрагентах и конечных бенефициарах.  Международный валютный фонд будет продолжать настойчиво требовать от Китая раскрытия истинной информации об официальном золотом запасе. В 2009 г. Народный банк Китая (НБК) сообщил, что его золотые запасы увеличились сразу на 76% и составили 1054 тонны. С тех пор официальные цифры золотого запаса НБК не менялись. Мало кто верит в то, что эти цифры отражают реальное положение дел. Считается, что денежные власти Китая сильно занижают цифры, тайно переводя часть своих несметных валютных резервов в желтый металл. В Конгрессе США ожидается окончательное решение вопроса о том, будет ли ФРС подвергнута серьезному аудиту - впервые за век ее существования. Если такой аудит всё-таки состоится, то полной проверке должны подвергнуться все операции Федерального резерва с золотом. Почти все серьезные эксперты ждут от этой проверки сенсационных разоблачений.  (1) Подробнее о манипуляциях «золотого картеля» см.: В.Ю. Катасонов. Золото в экономике и политике России. – М.: Анкил, 2009, с. 57-63.  (2) «IMF study in 1999 found 80 central banks lending 15% of official gold reserves». December 9, 2012 (http://www.gata.org/files/IMFGoldLendingFullStudy1999.pdf)