By Chris Powell
The Bank of England refuses to explain what appears to be a huge discrepancy in its accounting of the gold it holds in custody, a difference of as much as 1,200 tonnes between the total reported in the bank's annual report in February and the total reported in a "virtual tour" of the bank posted this month at the bank's Internet site.
The discrepancy was noted by Alasdair Macleod last week during an interview with Max Keiser on the "Keiser Report" program on the Russia Today television network:
Responding to Macleod's assertions, your secretary/treasurer wrote to the bank's public information office Sunday seeking clarification about the bank's custodial gold.
A reply was quickly sent from the bank but it was unclear. So your secretary/treasurer wrote back asking for plain answers to these questions:
1) Will the bank confirm any difference in the amount of gold reported held in custody in February and the amount in custody reported by the new Internet site application?
2) Did Alasdair Macleod misconstrue anything about the Bank of England's custodial gold in his remarks on the "Keiser Report" program on Russia Today?
3) Is the bank declining to acknowledge changes in the amount of gold in its custody? If so, could you explain why?
4) Does the bank prefer to be reported to be declining to acknowledge substantial changes in the amount of gold in its custody?
A reply received today from the head of the bank's public and internal communications division, Chris Shadforth, provided affirmative answers to Questions 3 and 4:
"The number of bars mentioned in the app cannot be used to infer a change in the amount of custodial gold held by the Bank of England as the figure is deliberately non-specific," Shadforth wrote. "The bank will not be offering any further comment on this matter."
That is, the information provided to the public by the bank about its custody of gold is for entertainment purposes only and the facts of surreptitious intervention by central banks in the gold and currency markets are not to be discussed, in accordance with the findings of the secret March 1999 report of the International Monetary Fund, revealed by GATA last December, which related that central banks conceal their gold swaps and leases to facilitate secret market intervention.
So Macleod will stand uncontradicted and participants in the financial markets -- at least the few who pay attention -- may fairly assume that the smashing of the gold price in April well may have been related to a huge outflow of metal from the Bank of England's vault.
And once again the great asset of Western central banking in surreptitious market manipulation is shown to be the refusal of mainstream financial news organizations to put specific and critical questions to central banks and to report their refusals to answer.