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Chinese gold standard would be a game changer

Jun 27, 2015

Bloomberg is speculating about what would happen if China adopts a gold standard to back their money.


Could gold, the world’s longest running currency be used to create a new order in global currencies? The Chinese central bank is said to be considering backing its yuan with the yellow metal. This move, says Ken Hoffman, Global Head of Metals and Mining Research for Bloomberg Intelligence, would be a “game changer….”

Hoffman estimates that to create an exchange rate of one ounce of gold for every $64,000, the country would need about 10,000 metric tons of the metal. “That’s nine times the nation’s official holdings and about 6 percent of all the bullion ever mined globally,” Hoffman says.

China has not updated their official gold holdings for some years. Yet it is clear that they have been buying feverishly. They are also the world’s largest producer of gold, but the mines sell it all to the government.

Hoffman is suggesting that when they announce their gold standard, they could have about 10,000 tons of gold. Others suggest that they could have 30,000 tons. He says that if they have 10,000 tons of gold, the price would need to be $64,000/ounce in order to back up their currency 100%.

Of course, if they have 30,000 tons, then the price of gold would only need to rise to about $21,000/ounce. Either way, this shows how we could be moving toward a sudden rise in the price of gold, and that this event probably would be triggered by China’s announcement that they are adopting the gold standard to back their currency.

Moving to a gold standard may also be a question of power for China. Hoffman says that when the U.S. adopted a gold standard after World War II, it emerged as the main power in the International Monetary Fund. In 1971, the U.S. ended the use of the gold standard and rendered the dollar a fiat currency. If China decides to go into some form of a gold standard, Hoffman says it would make the rest of the world view the metal as a currency again. “If they go for it, we’d be talking about fireworks,” he says.

Yes, if (when) China does this, the Federal Reserve banks will no longer be able to call gold a “barbaric relic.” They would have to see it as money once again, rather than as a mere commodity.

Conversely, when the Fed is forced to admit that most of its gold is just gold-plated tungsten, that is when the real fireworks will begin.

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Category: Financial
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones