Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stock Market Crash and Recession Indicator Warning: Extreme Danger Ahead - Harry_Dent
2. Is This How World War III Begins, In Almost Complete Silence? - Jeff_Berwick
3.Trump Wins 2nd Presidential Debate, Betfair Betting Markets Odds Bounce - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Why Krugman, Roubini, Rogoff And Buffett Dislike Gold - GoldCore
5.End of SPX Stock Market Correction Nears - Tony_Caldaro
6.Get Ready for the Future - Exponential Machine Intelligence Mega-trend towards Singularity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Housing Market Bubble II – It’s Happening Again! - Andy_Sutton
8.FTSE BrExit Stock Market Panic Crash Resolves towards New All Time Highs - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Can Trump Still Win Despite Opinion Polls, Bookmakers and Pundits all Saying Hillary has Won? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Gold’s, Miners’ Stops Run - Zeal_LLC
Last 7 days
Stock Market Investment Success Through the “Investment Rule of 72” - 21st Oct 16
The Final Bottom in Gold - WHEN - 21st Oct 16
Gold Green Lights Upleg - 21st Oct 16
Demand for US Mints Silver Eagles has ‘Returned with a Vengeance’ - 21st Oct 16
Central Bankers Can't Stop The Death Blow Of The Post US Election Recession - 21st Oct 16
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Golden Opportunity for Frontier Asia - 21st Oct 16
Have You Taken These 4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Trading? - 21st Oct 16
The Stock Market is an Accident Waiting to Happen - 20th Oct 16
It's Rally Time for Gold and Silver Equities - 20th Oct 16
Cashless Society – Risks Posed By The War On Cash - 20th Oct 16
China's Insanely Leveraged Housing Market Will Enter Its Secular Bull Market In 2017 - 20th Oct 16
Donald Trump Bounces Going into 3rd and Final US Presidential Election Debate - 20th Oct 16
Attention Please: Phase Two of the Gold and Silver Train Now leaving the Station. All Aboard? - 19th Oct 16
How to Successfully Trade a Stock Market Crash - Black Monday October 19th 1987 - 19th Oct 16
Tesla, Apple and Uber Push Lithium Prices Even Higher - 18th Oct 16
Silver, Debt, and Deficits – From an Election Year Perspective - 18th Oct 16
UK Property Market: Slow Growth Does Not Equate To Decline - 18th Oct 16
Trump Election Victory is in Your Power - 18th Oct 16
Stock Market More to Come! - 18th Oct 16
This Past Week in Gold and Silver - 17th Oct 16
A Falling Stock Market Cannot Be Allowed - Financial Repression Is Now “In-Play”! - 17th Oct 16
Commodities, Forex and Stock Market Trend Forecasts - 17th Oct 16
Stock Market Crash..or No Crash? - 17th Oct 16
A perspective on risk rally – Risks abound but Stock Market is Confident - 17th Oct 16
Bank of England Blames Brexit for Sterling Drop Inflation, Masks QE Money Printing Cause - 17th Oct 16
From Piety to Pride to Pity, America's Racial Divide - 17th Oct 16
Is Obama Juicing US Government Spending To Get Hillary Clinton Elected? - 16th Oct 16
Seek Your Independence: Anything Else Will Destroy You - 16th Oct 16
SNL - US Presidential Debates, 1st, 2nd, VP - Like You've Never Seen them Before! - 16th Oct 16
End of Economic Growth Sparks Wide Discontent - 16th Oct 16
Donald Trump on Life Support, May Abandon Election Campaign and War on Republican Party - 15th Oct 16
The Gold Manipulators Not Only Will Be Punished, They Have Been Punished - 15th Oct 16
Black Votes Matter - Is the US on the Verge of Mass Race Riots? - 15th Oct 16
Gold Stocks Screaming Buy - 14th Oct 16
Brace Yourself for the Quadrillion-Dollar Reckoning - 14th Oct 16
The Next Recession Will Blow Out the Budget - 14th Oct 16
John Mauldin: My Infrastructure Plan to Save the US Economy - 14th Oct 16
World War III On The Brink: War Will Continue Until It Triggers Economic Collapse - 14th Oct 16
US T-Bill Rejection At Ports In Progress - 14th Oct 16
These 2 Debt Instruments Pose Peril to Millions of Investors - 14th Oct 16
China’s Rocketing Housing Market Real Estate Bubble - 14th Oct 16
DIY Winter Home Maintenance Money Saving 22 Point Checklist to Get Ready for Winter/Fall - 14th Oct 16
US Stock Market, Big Picture View - 13th Oct 16
Stock Buybacks Main Force Driving Bull Market; Rewards Investors and Starves Innovation - 13th Oct 16
SPX Gapping Down... - 13th Oct 16
Syria - Obama Stepped Back From Brink, Will Hillary? - 13th Oct 16
The Structure and Future of Gold in the Investment and Monetary World - 13th Oct 16
Can Trump Still Win Despite Opinion Polls, Bookmakers and Pundits all Saying Hillary has Won? - 12th Oct 16
Gold and Crude Oil - General Stock Market Links - 12th Oct 16
Samsung's Galaxy Battery Just The Tip Of The Iceberg - 12th Oct 16
Hillary: Deceit, Debt, Delusions (Part Two) - 12th Oct 16
Gold and Silver Metals Show Strength Relative to the USD Index - 12th Oct 16
Announcing Trader Education Week -- a Free Event to Help You Learn to Spot Trading Opportunities - 12th Oct 16
Confirmed Stock Market Sell Signals - 11th Oct 16
Hillary Deceit, Debt, Delusions - 11th Oct 16
Trump Support Crashes to New Low of 6.4 on Betfair Odds Betting Market - 11th Oct 16
The World Is Turning Dangerously Insular - 11th Oct 16
An American Tragedy: Trump Won Big - 11th Oct 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

LEARN to Trade

Is the Gold Price Manipulated?

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2016 Feb 05, 2016 - 04:45 PM GMT

By: Arkadiusz_Sieron


The claim that the gold prices are manipulated is one of the most popular notions within the gold investing community. Probably, no other market (except the silver market) holds such a belief so strongly. The core argument goes as follows: an increase in price of gold signals inflation and the decline in the value of fiat currencies, especially the U.S. dollar, which undermines confidence in the contemporary monetary system. Thus, governments, central banks and their collaborators from the financial system are heavily interested in suppressing the price of gold.

Three insights support this theory: one theoretical and two empirical. First, the Austrian theory of money and business cycle says that gold was chosen as money by the free market and a monetary system based on fiat money is inherently unstable. Therefore, the price of gold would be higher without government interventions. Second, we know that the price of gold was fixed for decades by governments or suppressed under the London Gold Pool. Third, a few financial institutions (like Barclays) have already been fined for influencing or manipulating gold prices.

However, academic research conducted recently by Dirk Bauer did not find any clear evidence of gold price suppression. So is gold manipulated or not? Let’s investigate this issue in detail, starting with the above arguments.

First, we agree that gold used to be a free-market money for thousands of years and it would probably re-emerge again without the government meddling in the monetary system. We also agree that the current financial system is inflationary and eventually doomed to collapse (as the Bretton Woods was). However, nobody knows when the current monetary system will crash – it may actually take decades or centuries (like the collapse of Roman denarius) and there is no guarantee that gold would replace the U.S. dollar as the major currency in the new monetary system (some are looking at bitcoin and similar products for this purpose). Therefore, the price of gold is lower than in a monetary system based on gold as money, but it does not imply that it is manipulated. As the yellow metal no longer serves as genuine money, its value is simply lower.

Second, yes, the price of gold was fixed under the gold standard, but it was not manipulated. Gold was simply money, while the U.S. dollar was defined as a specific unit of gold weight, which naturally created a “fix”. It is also true that the governments tried to suppress the price of gold by creating the cartel of eight central banks pooling the gold reserves in the London Gold Pool. However, it was under the Bretton Woods system and gold was still used (at least partially) as money. The central banks and governments tried to regulate the price of gold because they wanted to assure the convertibility of the greenback into gold. But today, the U.S. dollar is no longer convertible into gold, so there is no need to control the gold price. For the Bretton Woods system to remain effective, the free market price of gold would have to be maintained near the $35 official foreign exchange price, since when it was higher, it was tempting for other countries to buy gold at the official price and sell it in the London gold market, which exacerbates the drain on the U.S. gold reserves.

Actually, the history of the London Gold Pool shows that it is extremely difficult to systematically manipulate the price of gold. The market prices often diverged from $35 and the whole cartel collapsed after just a few years, bearing earlier huge costs to suppress the price of gold. Thus, even a group of the world’ eight most powerful central banks could not overcome market forces and merely stabilize the price of gold (but today, with a much larger and more liquid market the price of gold is believed by some investors to be systematically lowered). As one can see in the chart below, when the London Gold Pool ended, the price of gold rose.

Chart 1: The price of gold (in $) between April 1, 1968 and April 1, 1969 (London PM Fix)

Third, the case of Barclays (or other financial institutions) fined for influencing the setting the gold prices does not prove a systematic manipulation in the gold market. Why? Barclays was fined for failures in internal controls that enabled former trader Daniel James Plunkett to manipulate the gold price to avoid paying $3.9 million to a customer under an option contract. Therefore, what this case proves is that traders try to influence the markets to benefit their book. Nobody denies that this sort of price manipulation exists in financial markets; however, it is not the same as a global conspiracy systematically manipulating gold prices downward. In fact, traders try to influence the price of the underlying assets, including gold, around expiration dates both ways, depending on their position. Moreover, as James A. Kostohryz pointed out, they can manipulate the price only for a specific date, as later they have to unwind the positions that they initiated.

We have not discussed all arguments for and against the stance that the gold market is fundamentally rigged in this part, but neither theoretical considerations, nor historical examples analyzed so far prove that gold prices are systematically repressed by manipulation. There may be some minor and short-lived aberrations or direct manipulations, but gold market is simply too large and liquid to be systematically directed. Therefore, gold investors should base their decision on both technical and fundamental analysis of supply and demand, not the notion of manipulation. We do not deny that there are attempts to influence the price of gold, but they should not have systematic or lasting effects in the gold market.

Thank you for reading the above free issue of the Gold News Monitor. If you'd like to receive these issues on a daily basis, please subscribe. In addition to these short daily fundamental reports, we focus on the global economy and the fundamental side of the gold market in our monthly gold Market Overview reports. We also provide Gold & Silver Trading Alerts for traders interested more in the short-term prospects. If you're not ready to subscribe yet, or are unsure which product suits you, we encourage you to sign up for our mailing list and receive other free alerts from us. It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Thank you.

Arkadiusz Sieron
Sunshine Profits‘ Market Overview Editor


All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

Arkadiusz Sieron Archive

© 2005-2016 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife