Dr. James P. Wickstrom
Hugo Chavez Nationalizes Venezuelan Gold Industry, Demands 211 Tons Be Returned From Abroad - JPMorgan, Bank Of England & ETFs Scramble For Physical Metal
This is the biggest story of the late day with implications for Jamie Dimon, precious metal ETFs, and central banks worldwide. We'll start at the beginning. Anyone holding gold, miner Rusoro is panicking.
Toronto-listed Rusoro, owned by Russia's Agapov family, is the only large gold miner operating in Venezuela. It produced 100,000 ounces last year.
The gold industry will be just the latest part of the economy to be put under state control by the socialist leader, who said he would issue the necessary decree in the coming days and called on the military to help control the sector.
"I have here the laws allowing the state to exploit gold and all related activities ... we are going to nationalize the gold and we are going to convert it, among other things, into international reserves because gold continues to increase in value," Chavez said in a phone call to state television.
CARACAS—Venezuela plans to transfer billions of dollars in cash reserves from abroad to banks in Russia, China and Brazil and tons of gold from European banks to its central bank vaults, according to documents reviewed Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.
The planned moves would include transferring $6.3 billion in cash reserves, most of which Venezuela now keeps in banks such as the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and Barclays Bank in London to unnamed Russian, Chinese and Brazilian banks, one document said.
Venezuela also plans to move 211 tons of gold it keeps abroad.
The problem for Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan is that they hold only 10.6 tonnes of gold, and all of it belongs to Venezuela, though they have pledged approximately 100 times that amount in various paper market transactions (this relates to massive fraud).JPW