National Gold Reserves

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Yesterday, while wandering around on the net, I came across this fascinating chart showing the top 25 countries in gold reserves in 2009 (source: Business Insider):

While it is reassuring that the chart has United States as number 1 in the world in gold reserves (in tonnage and as a % of national reserves), I have two questions:
1. Portugal is ranked No. 14, with a stash of 382.5 gold tonnes. Why is Portugal now seeking an international bailout of its economy?
2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranks No. 3, with 3,005.30 gold tonnes. A major source of funding for the IMF are “quotas” that are measured in SDR (Special Drawing Rights) units – a special type of IMF currency, the value of which is based on a basket of international currencies. Quotas serve as the IMF’s permanent and primary pool of resources that are tapped to provide loans. Quotas determine a respective member country’s access (borrowing limits) and its voting power. [Source: Michael Sarabia, “UICIFD Briefing No. 5: Funding the IMF,” by Michael Sarabia, prepared for the University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development, November 2007.]
The United States has, traditionally and currently, paid the largest quota and, as a result, has the most voting power of any individual country. As of March 23, 2011, according to the IMF website, the United States still pays the largest quota of 37,149.3 SDRs — 16.58% of IMF’s total quotas.
Since the United States is the largest funder of the IMF, how much of the IMF’s gold reserves is from American taxpayers’ contributions?
~Eowyn

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0 responses to “National Gold Reserves

  1. sage_brush’s commentary is very useful, but what is more important to understand is that there are NO “U.S. National Gold Reserves-” in case no one has noticed the termites quietly gnawing away, in every nation that has allowed a “Central Bank” to operate, the central banks, which are private, not national, have, in cooperation with what Mencken termed “the great practical jokers of the race,” actively and ceaselessly worked to ensure the creation of such fantastic debt that the Fed is the legal owner of what we like to think of as “our” gold in Fort Knox,
    The very term Central Bank was a dirty word here until 1913, and for very good reason. What nation has the right to inform citizens, at birth, that they owe the state staggering sums? The Fed replies, “no one told you to run up such debt.”

     

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