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Zimbabwe To Trade Diamonds For Gold As It Prepares To Launch Gold-Backed Currency

Tyler Durden's picture


A week ago we presented the idea floated by once hyperinflationary Zimbabwe, oddly jeered by most, that the country is seeking to move to a gold-backed currency, adding, somewhat surrealistically, that the "days of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency are numbered." And if anyone should know a hyperinflationary basket case, it's Zimbabwe. Well, today this bizarre story just went fuller retard, after the country announced that it may exchange diamonds for gold "so that it can have a gold-backed currency, according to a recent proposal from the governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank." Indeed we speculated previously why: "Zimbabwe, a country rich in natural resources, took so long to figure out that it was nothing but a puppet in the hands of western monetary interests." Well, others are now getting this idea - Commodity Online reports that "The country is a resource hub: It sits on gold reserves worth trillions. It has the world’s second largest reserves of platinum, has got alluvial diamonds that can fetch the nation $2 billion annually and even boasts of chrome and coal deposits." And since Zimbabwe is now fully on board this whole "pioneering" thing perhaps it should just go ahead and create the first diamond-platinum backed currency. Just don't give China and Russia ideas about floating a new reserve currency that actually has real commodity backing. What's that, you say? They are launching one soon? Oh well.

From Commodity Online:

The Zimbabwean dollar is no longer in active use after it was officially suspended by the government due to hyperinflation. The United States dollar, South African rand, Botswanan pula, Pound sterling, and Euro are now used instead. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions with the new power-sharing regime, says Wikipedia.

But the central bank of Zimbabwe—Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)—believes that the US dollar is no longer stable.

According to Dr Gideon Gono, RBZ Chief, the inflationary effects of United States’ deficit financing of its budget may impact foreign countries and would lead to a resistance of the green back as a base currency; cited

Writing in a blog in New Zimbabwe, Gilbert Muponda, an entrepreneur based out of Zimbabwe has welcomed the proposal of a gold-backed Zimbabwean currency. He has applauded the proposal of the central bank governor to sell diamonds for gold.

On the other hand, for the country to move to some semblance of a gold standard, it may wish to consider shifting form a despotic dictatorship controlled by Robert Mugabe to something a little less "centrally planned."

The government’s protectionist measures have kept the mining companies at bay. The government wants the foreign miners to sell controlling stake in ventures to local blacks, which is obviously frowned up on by all. The companies, given the uncertain situation, have refrained from investing further in expansion activities in Zimbabwe.

The country cannot access foreign credit as the ZIDERA Act passed by the United States in 2001 blocks US entities from trading with certain Zimbabwean institutions and individuals This has forced the US representatives in lending agencies like World Bank, IMF, IFC, and ADB to take a favorable stance when it comes to Zimbabwean credit requests.

That said, where there's a will there's a way. And since this story refuses to go away, it probably means that Zimbabwe will definitely give it the old college try. Once again, the question is not what happens in Zimbabwe, but elsewhere, should the experiment prove to be even remotely successful.


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Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:32 | 1295557 brian0918
brian0918's picture

Gold and silver breaking north!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:44 | 1295621 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

What will my 10 trillion dollar Zimbabwe bank notes convert to in troy oz?  I would take $10,000,000,000,000 to one oz of gold all day long.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:50 | 1295659 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture

HA I have a 100T Zim note!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:32 | 1295833 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Probably will be a collector item someday worth far more fiat than its currently worth!



Sat, 05/21/2011 - 06:29 | 1297856 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Maybe in the near future, those bills will be worth a 5 carat blood diamond!



Fri, 05/20/2011 - 19:51 | 1297024 Nick Fecteau
Nick Fecteau's picture

Haha!  I ordered mine yesterday! 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:21 | 1295674 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:21 | 1295772 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:48 | 1295623 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Holy shit! Hold onto ya butts.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:09 | 1295653 Michael Victory
Michael Victory's picture


The fascination with Gold.

Touch it, smell it, kiss it, save it.




Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:22 | 1295803 DocLogo
DocLogo's picture

So either "Al Queda" is discovered operating out of Zimbabwe or another "organic" people-power, Twitter revolution begins there.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:22 | 1296809 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Gold backed currencies have already been classified as "weapons of mass destruction" by the FED.  Look for military action by NATO, IMF, World Bank, JP Morgan Foreclosure squads and anyone else the FED can get to attack the hostile rouge central bank.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:25 | 1301743 dropdeadfed
dropdeadfed's picture

Exactly.  If not by force then some other kind of bullshit media fiction followed by sanctions and tariff package.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:48 | 1296161 Aquiloaster
Aquiloaster's picture

Nah uh uh, you didn't say the magic word.

Nah uh uh, you didn't say the magic word.

Nah uh uh, you didn't say the magic word.

Nah uh uh, you didn't say the magic word.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:31 | 1296318 tmosley
tmosley's picture

NICE reference.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:45 | 1295874 redpill
redpill's picture

Ride, Sally, Ride!

Sat, 05/21/2011 - 04:04 | 1297802 Jalaluddin
Jalaluddin's picture

Zimbrazoo breaking south!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:33 | 1295558 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

is this why gold is popping

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295710 Arius
Arius's picture

some crazy goldbugs at Goldman getting ready for the rapture...


btw, never count out Gideon Gono...zimbabwe is turning out to be the rehersal case...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295744 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

seems like gold shorts are panicky.  it would not take much

my guess is that the side of the boat with dollar longs/short PMs is getting crowded

eur looks sick

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:15 | 1295765 Arius
Arius's picture

got to pay the piper at some point more free couldnt happened to a nicer group of people!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:49 | 1295892 ZapBranigan
ZapBranigan's picture


No, it's Laissez Faire Friday...manipulation efforts often wane whilst planning yachting events for the weekend.  Don't worry though, once they see that it has spiked, they will attempt a smack-down reigning-in Au below the psychological 1500 before the close.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:34 | 1295565 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Gono for President!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:55 | 1295684 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Gono is the scumbag who looted the country for years.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:41 | 1295857 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Hey, I don't live in Zimbabwe but the leaders of my country do the same thing!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:39 | 1295858 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Gono is our president and he's only been looting the country for 2.5 years.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:37 | 1295567 Troy Ounce
Troy Ounce's picture


Great idea. Even when Mugabe is in charge. Accepted with a kiss on the mouth!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:38 | 1295570 GoldenDragon
GoldenDragon's picture

I expect that if Zimbabwe actually makes such a move, NATO will need to invade for "humanitarian" reasons.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:46 | 1295617 speconomist
speconomist's picture

How long do they have until the invasion happens?

This would be too much, after Sadam and Qaddafi.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:07 | 1295960 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

The trend line for invasions if sloping sharply downward. If you extrapolate from the early Afgahanistan/Iraq days through Libya on to Zimbabwe what do you get? Maybe a half dozen drunkards in a broken-down hummer armed with shotguns. I'm bearish on invasions, I think there's another plan to take down this threat. Bribery? Hotel maids?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:39 | 1295576 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

So then Zimbabwe is next to be bombed for 'humanitarian reasons'? Libya was last to be quietly moving to a gold backed currency.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 18:01 | 1296878 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

We are bombing Libya FOR THEIR OWN GOOD, you racist bastard.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 18:45 | 1296929 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Zimbabwe is the former Brit colony known as Rhodesia.

Let them be the open oppressor again.

Hypocrisy needs sunshine these days.

Euros = hypocrites. Shout it to the world.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:36 | 1295577 sabra1
sabra1's picture

time for another no fly zone, eh oBLAHma?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:39 | 1295580 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Heh heh exactly.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:39 | 1295591 falak pema
falak pema's picture

China play in Africa via Zimbabwe as stalking horse of the gold backed monetary standard. There you are, it is now showing its strategic face...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:08 | 1295729 Arius
Arius's picture

here is their reply to the west for ignoring their candidate for the imf job...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:07 | 1295982 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Have they thrown that towel in?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:39 | 1295592 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

I wonder if the US$ will be pegged to the new Zimbabwe$. <sarc of course>

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:42 | 1295593 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

This will indeed be an interesting development to follow.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:44 | 1295602 akak
akak's picture


"Clone of Osama Bin Laden recently discovered to be hiding in a compound in Harare, coincidentally adjacent to the residence of President Mugabe."

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:46 | 1295606 KlausK
KlausK's picture

OT, just out: Lots of transitoryness for Germany - food prices up 10%. As you know: If we do inflation over here, we do it Autobahn style.

Google says:
The Germans have to adjust to rising costs for food: dairies, slaughterhouses, roasters and other food producers raised their prices in April so sharply than it has been almost three years.

They rose by an average of 7.2 percent the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said on Friday. "A stronger increase was most recently in August 2008, whereeight percent, " it said. The prices for butter and fruit and vegetable juices shot up bymore than a third up. Coffee cost 17.8 percent more meat (except poultry) 10.6percent more.

One reason for the steep upward trend in higher prices for agricultural commodities on world markets. Arabica coffee rose in price from the beginning to the end of Aprilby nearly a quarter, while corn cost almost 15 percent more.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:42 | 1295608 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

The usual people have been exploiting them and other Africans for diamonds. Diamond while having value, even in industry, is a highly variable asset, hard to find buyers and subjective values. Gold much better store of wealth.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:47 | 1295638 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

Off your game. No where to go but down after 250+ junks.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1295679 akak
akak's picture

Your mentor, HarryWanger, was a better troll than you Hamy.

The trick lies in being less obviously transparent, and at least occasionally mixing in some truth with the half-truths and dissembling.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:08 | 1295741 Arius
Arius's picture

you mean like mixing diamond, gold and some fiat currency...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:13 | 1295760 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Another Cash for Gold shop opened up here in Pasadena, CA.  Just exactly who are they buying all that metal?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:14 | 1295763 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'How far goldbugs have fallen'...I guess $20 below all time high is a great tragedy?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:42 | 1295611 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Hmmm, trade for diamonds (which are plentiful and only valuable thanks to DeBeers cornering the market?)  No thanks.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:55 | 1295689 reachsb
reachsb's picture

Don't forget that due to the world-wide mining boom (namely in precious metals), mining companies use diamond tipped drills to crush the ore. No other material has been useful for this purpose. And you have no idea what the replacement rates of these diamond tipped drills are because they only have a finite life. Kinda poetic if you ask me.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:20 | 1295793 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Or you can get manmade diamonds which are significantly cheaper and better in nearly all ways.

Doesn't have the price rarity factor. Thats why I would absolutely never buy diamonds, or pay "good money" for it. Chasing good money for bullshit.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:59 | 1296399 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The buy / sell spreads are extremely high.  It is almost a racket.

Gold is a much better store of wealth.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 16:48 | 1296729 Keri at Bankste...
Keri at Bankster Report's picture

Agreed: I will NEVER, NEVER, ever, ever, EVER buy a diamond, and no one who knows me would ever give me a diamond (excluding family hierlooms, of course)  , because I make that position very well known!  I wish more women would reject diamonds: we're the ones supporting this decades long bubble, yet most women couldn't tell the difference between a CZ and a diamond, anyway, without taking the gems to a jeweler.

Diamonds are not rare, and to call them "blood diamonds" is a vast understatment.  Of course they have wonderful industrial applications. Zimbabwe is smart to trade diamonds for gold.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:23 | 1296803 akak
akak's picture

Good for you Keri!

I must admit that I have NEVER seen or understood the vast attraction of so many women to diamonds.  Something so tiny that can cost thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars is simply not even remotely worth such a price, no matter how sparkly it may be.

Now, a nice gleaming hunk of shiny metal, on the other hand, has always had an immediate and almost instinctual attractiveness to me.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 21:19 | 1297225 Keri at Bankste...
Keri at Bankster Report's picture

Akak, I have long thought that a woman's demand for a diamond ring is really just a demand for obsequious obedience from the man, honestly.  It is so transparently illogical, especially to a man (as men traditionally have been the bread-winners) that such a tiny thing should NOT have so much value, that for a woman to get a man to actually buy one and give it her is, sort of, a sign that he is willing to value her opinion over his---even when she is WRONG!

Sorry to be that blunt, ladies, but you are WRONG if you think a diamond has some kind of value.  If you offer it sentimental value, then that is different, but there is no real value in a diamond.  Furthermore, you are supporting a cartel-run industry that exploits desperate people the world-around and causes widespread misery in many nations wherein the idea of spending several months pay on a silly trinket would never be an option (and, in fact, would cause a family to fall into starvation).  But "diamonds are forever," right?  Right: if by "forever" you mean "until my unsustainable control-based relationship succombs to divorce."

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:31 | 1296824 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I always suggest the Black Opal. Probably the most beautiful stone out there- especially a harlequin. 

The folk tale about them causing divorce was started by Debeers when the competition first started in the 1800's.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 21:11 | 1297214 Keri at Bankste...
Keri at Bankster Report's picture

Lol! I have never heard of that, and I wouldn't put it past DeBeers, either, as their entire business model is based on deceiving vast numbers of people.

I looked those up, those black opals, and they are very cool indeed and at $50 for a super cool ring, they much more reasonably priced if you absolutely must decorate your fingers with eye-catching objects.  Incidentally, the buying of things one cannot afford and the taking on debt really ARE contributors to divorce (I think "money problems" are one of the biggest sources of conflict for relationships), and this trend seems to start in some relationships with the purchased on that "DeBeers says I simply must have it" diamond engagement ring.

Well, I don't think I "simply must have it," and so here's one woman who's not buying the cartel's lies.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:33 | 1296071 BlaZingPenguin
BlaZingPenguin's picture

So long as people believe them to be worth something just like fiat currency they will accept diamonds

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 23:50 | 1297526 ultarnerd
ultarnerd's picture

I have a very low opinion on diamonds too,for assorted reasons.I do however like jade especially the white stuff.Unbelievable price increases and I mean fantastic and as far as I know no synthetics yet but that probably will change considering the prices now.Jadeite is similar but different can also be extremely expensive.Price on the finest white jade has gone from about $100.00 per kg in about 1980 I think? to about $100,000 per kg in about 2000 but am only guessing here as I forgot the actually dates so do your own searches or I can find where I saved the info on my computer.I have no idea on todays prices it  may have gone down too but I do not find it very cheap on eBay now from reputable sellers.If you look on eBay make sure they are US or similar sellers as most of the Chinese stuff is fake or other types of white stones but you do sometimes get good prices on real jades because of this very lack of trust,Forces some honest Chinese to get far less for their products.

I got some very nice old pieces.I have noticed some very old white jades on eBay selling from reputable sellers actually selling for what must be less than the cost of just the raw jade to make the same item,that's fantastic if you ask me.Mostly into silver now.Could say more.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:44 | 1295616 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

"We must trade guns for ploughshares!"


okay, that didn`t work...


"We must trade ploughshares for pickaxes!"

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:44 | 1295622 Zing
Zing's picture

Why no silver?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:49 | 1295648 reachsb
reachsb's picture

Silver is a derivative to Gold so don't worrry - it will catch up. If the world moves onto a Gold standard, there isn't too much gold to go around to back that standard and Silver will have a very important role to play in that. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:49 | 1295629 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

diamonds? brilliant idea. they should put marilyn monroe on the $100.  you want a "benjamin" or a "marilyn" ?

get that ice, or else no dice    (marilyn monroe)

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:46 | 1295631 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Diamonds are about to be as cheap as dirt if this has any legs.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:05 | 1295715 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Debeers is going to be none too happy with this development. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:03 | 1295945 Transitory Anomaly
Transitory Anomaly's picture

It won't be base on diamonds they aren't as fungible as gold. This is why the article says they want to use diamonds to buy gold.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:02 | 1296215 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Yes, and if diamonds begin bidding directly for gold it's going to expose some long standing but well hidden facts about the diamond market too.  Diamond prices will collapse.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:33 | 1296330 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Despots have a preference for diamonds as a storage of personal wealth over gold.  A 20kg attache of rough diamonds is man portable in the event of a coup attempt.  The same is not true of an equivalent value of gold.  Since there are a number of 3rd world despots who control gold mines, I am sure they work out an amicable trade. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:06 | 1296428 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Any despot who runs with a briefcase full of diamonds isn't going to have a well funded exile. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:07 | 1296431 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

OK...  Yes, a handful of diamonds is worth a lot, a Third World despot could indeed carry a fortune with 20 kg of diamonds on his way out.

But, most ZH readers are not Third World despots.  Gold is a much better store of value, as spreads between buy and sell prices (retail) are astronomic.  They will only offer you some 1/3rd of the selling price if you want to have them buy yours.

Sat, 05/21/2011 - 07:00 | 1297876 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I don't recommend ZH readers run out and get ripped of buying overpriced gemstones.  Precious stones are an insiders' business and despotic Heads of State all have their preferred insiders they do business with.  I was suggesting that if Mugabe wants to trade some his personal or national stash for gold, there are a lot of countries and despots with gold that might be eager to trade.

Despots have always loved gemstones (historically in the form of crown jewels).  Chuck Taylor traveled with them and even used to give them out as party favors to his favorite hooker/supermodel friends.  So far this year as a result of bread riots by the oppressed- at least three despot palaces have been sacked- Ben Ali (Tunisia), Qdaf (Libya), and Gbagbo (Cote d'Ivoire).  A year or two ago there was an assault on the presidential palace in Equatorial Guinea (launched by foreigners, and unrelated to the Thatcher incident in 2004).  There are a whole bunch of rulers who either already have or are currently drawing up contingency plans in the event that the same fate befalls to them.  When a certain African despot was gunned down in his driveway in the 80's a case of diamonds he had conveniently disappeared.  The country's national gold reserves, which aren't even publicly disclosed amounted to less than 8 good delivery bars worth about $1 million at the time, far less than the diamonds.     

Portability of $1 Billion in Wealth (a convenient reference for UHNW despots in case you don't trust the bankers not to confiscate it before the UN gets around to voting on sanctions or you can transfer it somewhere else.  Incidentally, it is generally legal for the bankers to lever up and generate more profits for themselves while waiting for the square wheels of international justice to turn)

Land = Immobile (Remember the Alamo)
Oil $100/barrel = 1.36M DWT = 6 VLCCs (each the same size as a US aircraft carrier or the Chrysler Building)
Gold $1500/oz = 22.86 tons = 2 truckloads = 1,667 Good Delivery Bars
Cash (USD $100 FRN) = 10 pallets = 1 truckload
$/carat varies, but increases exponentially with rarity (size and quality)
If one is has a trained eye and limits their pilfering of the nationalized mine output to: 
above $1000/carat stones then 1,000,000 carats = 200 kgs = 1 car load
above $10,000/carat stones then 100,000 carats = 20 kgs = 1 person load

Guillotines Bitchez! Don't forget to sack the Garde-Meuble when storming the Bastille...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:24 | 1296795 Keri at Bankste...
Keri at Bankster Report's picture

I think Urban Redneck is just trying to point out that there is a certain price support for diamonds amoungst the powercenters.  He is absolutely correct that an attache of diamonds is worth far more than gold (which you'd never be able to drag around because of the weight), and that diamonds are priced much higher than gold on a unit-mass basis.  And thanks to Antrwerp, the laundering of diamonds is a piece of cake.

Also, he's right that when despots extract wealth from their host nations, they often convert the national gold into personal diamonds for just these reasons.  If anything, a despot who choses to convert diamonds to gold would be signaling a decreased likeliness of jettisoning the nation (though "decreased risk" with despots is still a very high risk).

Off topic, but did you hear that Obama wants to "forgive" Egypt of over $1 Billion in loans owed to the US?  As if Egypt, and not Mubarak, owes the US the money!  Why doesn't he hunt down Mubarak---he's the US's puppet, and the one who has billions in US money.

Yeah, so, there goes another billion bucks (nothing new: Bush I "forgave" more than $7 Billion to Mubarak when he supported the Iraq sanctions in 1990).  Yet another example of the dollar being backed by not the M1, M2, or M3, but rather the M4--the M4 rifle.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 18:23 | 1296908 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Keri, if you're not connected in Antwerp or possibly New York, you won't get more than 25% of wholesale for large lots of cut diamonds. 

The only diamonds that have any real value are the ones that are truly rare.  A few colored diamonds and those that are perfect and of unusual size.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:58 | 1295632 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

Now if we could just get the Peruvian and Mexican presidents to Nationalize and make Silver money we have a double whammy. More and more brown people waking up to the fact that multinational corporations and paper markets are raping their countries dry. I say Saud dollars need black ink. Russian wheat dollars, Canadian Lumber currency, South African Debeer chits and Peruvian and Mexican silver certificates. Come on Carlos Slim talk to your President Bro. They are ripping you off at $4-$35 an ounce. Take this money out of the hands of banker scum.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295737 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

For the record, Canada's commodity currency would be backed by oil from the tar sands, wheat, beef, marijuana, and some fresh water.  The various weightings have yet to be nailed down.

South Africa would use a gold/platinum/uranium-backed currency.

As for diamonds, do not invest in diamonds, do not trade diamonds.  It is a cartel, and if your name ain't DeBeers (typical Rockefeller/Rothschild operation) you can't sell diamonds for top dollar.  Period.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 18:47 | 1296933 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

hmm.. a marijuana-backed canadian dollar? now that's change i can believe in!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:47 | 1295633 sabra1
sabra1's picture

when you get rid of american influence, a country can actually thrive,

"til the americans overthrow you!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:51 | 1295640 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

If it aint freely convertible at a fixed rate it aint gold backed.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:53 | 1295656 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Why does it have to be a fixed rate? 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:58 | 1295695 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

If its value varies in relation to gold then what is really backing it?

Full faith and credit?

Without gold backing it with a fixed value then it is just another form of fiat.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295735 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Paper is paper and gold is gold.  If you ever hope to have paper that is anywhere near honest, it has to be compared to gold valued in a free market.

The minute governements "set" a price for anything the manipulation begins.

If a government were to stock its vaults with gold and issue paper against it, then they would have to buy and sell gold to manage the value of the paper...and that's how it should work.  Not holding my breath though.  And yes, the paper would need to be fully convertible.  But it couldn't be anything but concvertible in a properly designed system.  If the governement mismanaged the paper and people lost trust, they'd just trade it for gold in the open market.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:09 | 1295743 tenaciousj
tenaciousj's picture

What you are describing is what we currently have.   The dollar is compared to gold valued in the free market.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:15 | 1295764 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Not if the supply of dollars is limited to the amount of gold on hand. You could call them paper.kilos or paper ounces rather than use the word dollar, but if the paper only equals the gold on hand and that paper is freely convertible to gold then you have a gold backed currency.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:12 | 1295756 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Your last paragraph about gold being freely convertible with paper at a fixed rate is the key to gold backing.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:59 | 1295700 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well if you don't care about the currency holding value then fiat is fine.  The dollar is fully convertible into gold right now at a floating rate, can get physical too.  Is the US on a gold standard then?  If you want a freely convertible floating standard, guess what we have it.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:11 | 1295749 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Exactly.  But it's not government "sanctioned".  Government needs to be constitutionally restricted from making ANY laws about gold for it to work.  No cross border controls, no setting of artificial values, no restrictions against writing contracts specifying payment in gold.

As I said, not holding my breath.  Such a system would absolutely break the power of the printers and subject any fiat paper to the discipline of gold.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:21 | 1295783 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


Allow gold to compete freely with the dollar and everyone can write contracts or pay bills with gold or the prohibitions on gold contracts or gold wages.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:28 | 1295813 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

In addition, open the mint to gold.  The mint would be required to accept gold of established purity, turn it into the coin of the realm at no cost and return it to the citizen.

Prohibit gold loans that require payment of interest in gold (interest payable in fiat currency would be acceptable with gold loans).

As soon as collecting interest payments in gold, or establishing a fixed price of gold is allowed, you're right back to the systems the moneychangers have exploited for thousands of years.  Those two things must be avoided at all costs.  They're the shyster's hook that has always been used to manipulate even so called gold standards.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:20 | 1295792 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well then EU is a gold standard?  I know no gold taxes or controls to move it in EU.  Arguably they could be selling, but is not that the right of the private central banks to sell gold they have stolen?  I may not be an EU scholar but I'm not aware of any EU law preventing contracts to reference gold IE XXX Cars for XXX oz of gold.

And constitutional restrictions is laughable.  If you think that looks why don't you look at the US.  A written constitution is worth the paper it's written on.  A written restraint on government means nothing if the people will not enforce it, and the mass man is far to stupid to ever be the watchmen for liberty.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:23 | 1295808 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Storm is calling for an acceptance of gold as government sanctioned legal tender along with fiat such as the euro. Europe isnt quite there yet.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:31 | 1295837 Shameful
Shameful's picture

And I want a pony and playboy model.  Think I have a better chance of getting my wishes first.  No government would be suicidal enough to run a paper currency along side any commodity back currency.  Not going to happen.  Because in the end it would kill the paper ponzi scheme.  Those that want convertibility, well we have it.  If they want mass acceptance, why?  Can we not take out coins and sell them for fiat to spend on goods and services now?  Likewise we can take our saved fiat and buy gold.

Even if it was sanctioned all that would happen is the gold(commodity) money would kill the paper money.  It would be a great opportunity to borrow in paper and go long "real money" and wait for the paper money to die, govs can't help but to inflate.  But the idea of keeping official sanctioned multiple currencies does not work.  Look at the fixed bi-metalism system of the past.  Would not be any different with floating paper/metal system.  Cracks and damage would show up in the system immediately and stress over time.  After all what sane person would want to get locked into paper if they watched Gresham's law at work?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:58 | 1295920 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Like so many, your imaingation fails when it comes to systems that restrict governments and force them to live within their means.

Fiat currency, issued interest free by the Treasury, would circulate right along side gold as long as it remained honest.  The minute it was abused, gold would tell the tale by demanding more and more fiat currency in exchange for gold. 

People who insisted on borrowing to live beyond today's production would be able to do so.  In fiat currency.  If the inflation of the fiat money supply were to exceed a few percent per year people would begin to convert it to gold.  If the government wanted to play monetary games by expanding and contracting the money supply in response to economic changes they could do so.  But gold would always be standing by as guardian and ulitmately refuge if the irresponsibility became too intense or lasted too long.

Spend currency, save gold.  Convert between the two as your personal economy demanded or desired.

Those who have begun to account their wealth in ounces instead of prices are well on the way to adopting the mindset nescessary to comprehend a system of this nature.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:22 | 1296032 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Yes because the government will gleefully put into place rules that restrain itself and then follow them.  Your right my imagination does fail me, because I can't imagine such a fantasy land.  Is the sky purple in this world you speak of, and does it rain donuts from the sky?  The state is force, a monopoly of force.  So why would it close an favoured avenue of looting willingly?  So when can we expect the oligarchs to chain themselves to stop the looting as well?  You seem to labor under the delusion that the government is for the mass man.  It's not, it's a tool of a small group of powerful people to exploit the mass man.

Fiat cannot remain honest because the temptation is to large, leading to Gresham's law.  History is replete with examples.  As is stands now one can spend fiat and save gold, no difference than what you propose, only not state ordered.  By the gov calling attention to it all the gov does is hasten it's fiat's death which it will not do.  They want to milk the mass man for all he is worth.  We have a gold exchange system under a floating standard, how is that working out for us so far?  It works well for the controlling groups, mainly because the mass man is to dumb to realize what is happening, so why on earth would the gov call attention to it's own crime?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:52 | 1296179 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Yes because the government will gleefully put into place rules that restrain itself and then follow them.

No my friend...that's your job.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295736 tenaciousj
tenaciousj's picture

Because if it is not fixed then prices on everything will have to fluxuat depending on the price of gold for that day/hour/minute.

Suppose your a shop owner that bought inventory when gold was at 1500/ounce.  But when the items were sold, gold was at 1580/ounce.  Unless you adjusted the price on your inventory upward, you just lost money relative to how many ounces of gold your paper will convert in to.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:12 | 1295757 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

So price your product in micrograms of gold.  Let the amount of paper currency you'd accept in trade be the thing that fluctuates.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:24 | 1295797 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

You are not suggesting a gold standard.

You are suggesting that gold be allowed to compete with the dollar as full legal tender and allow the people to choose which one they use

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:30 | 1295821 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:39 | 1295859 tmosley
tmosley's picture

"Gold standard" is a blanket term, which applies both to a standard set by the government, with circulating notes that can be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold, as well as to systems where circulating coins are the unit of account.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:48 | 1295644 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Nice - lets see if these folks can keep the criminals away or else Zimbawae's redeemable gold will end up being gold foiled wrapped around a chocolate bar

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:51 | 1295645 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture


"All for one and one for all!"

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1295647 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:52 | 1295649 Rynak
Rynak's picture

It seems that there is some truth to the saying, that the last will be the first.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:50 | 1295658 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Me thinks they'll end up deciding to back their currency with monkey shit instead.  Now, if the Chinese announced this.....

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:50 | 1296382 Strider52
Strider52's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:51 | 1296386 Strider52
Strider52's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:58 | 1296394 Strider52
Strider52's picture

Methinks "Monkey Shit" is hilarious. Made my Friday.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:51 | 1295661 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Smart! But Gono better not travel anywhere for awhile. Along with the Fed/Bankstas and EUR/JPY/USD/GBP fiat trolls, the mercenaries from De Beers will be waiting for him. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:54 | 1295664 sabra1
sabra1's picture

when you get rid of american influence, a country can actually thrive,

"til the americans overthrow you!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:55 | 1295670 Troy Ounce
Troy Ounce's picture


The same story applies to South Africa: mega rich in PM. But the ANC government wants people to believe in the Rand, a piece of paper which decreases in value every year with 10-15% (officially < 5%, but hey, everybody knows this manipulative game by now.)

COSATU, the biggest trade union in South Africa and alliance partner of the ANC government also cannot think any further than running after the Rand.

Instead, COSATU should educate their members on how to start saving f.i. 1/10 Krugerrands and have their black empoverished members smiling all the way to the mines.

Problem is...they have no idea.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1295675 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Computer burp

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:54 | 1295676 Troy Ounce
Troy Ounce's picture


The same story applies to South Africa: mega rich in PM. But the ANC government wants people to believe in the Rand, a piece of paper which decreases in value every year with 10-15% (officially < 5%, but hey, everybody knows this manipulative game by now.)

COSATU, the biggest trade union in South Africa and alliance partner of the ANC government also cannot think any further than running after the Rand.

Instead, COSATU should educate their members on how to start saving f.i. 1/10 Krugerrands and have their black empoverished members smiling all the way to the mines.

Problem is...they have no idea.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:00 | 1295702 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

South africa, or africa in general is the perfect place for a bancor type commodity backed currency.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:00 | 1295683 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Computer Burp

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:58 | 1295688 sabra1
sabra1's picture

check out all these turkish earthquakes, something big about to happen!


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1295692 rosethorn
rosethorn's picture

Research conducted after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 in the US (Infant Mortality Changes Following The Three Mile Island Accident(pdf)) found that

“An examination of the monthly changes in infant mortality in Pennsylvania and the nearby areas of Upstate New York as given in the U.S. Monthly Vital Statistics reports indicate that the mortality rate rose significantly shortly after the Three Mile Island accident in the directions where the plume of radioactive gases was known to have moved. The number of reported infant deaths per month rose from a minimum of 141 in March of 1979 just before the accident to a peak of 271 in July declining again to 119 by August. This is an unprecedented and highly significant rise of 92% in the summer months when infant mortality normally reaches its lowest values.”

This research indicates that a quantity of roughly 14 curies(518 gigabecquerels) of radioactive iodine-131(I-131) was released from the Three Mile Island facility and that I-131 was the cause of the increase in mortality.

By contrast, at Fukushima, Asahi Shimbun reported that by 24 March the accident might have emitted 30,000 to 110,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131. A widely cited Austrian Meteorological Service report estimated the total amount of I-131 radiation released as of 19 March ranged from 10 petabecquerels to 700 petabecquerels .  A Japanese government estimate issued April 12 calculated the total I-131 release at 130 to 150  petabecquerels total release by the April date.  The amount of I-131 released from the Fukushima site has been enormous relative to the US incident.

The half-life of I-131 is only eight days, but the Japanese authorities have not been able to gain control of the reactors or fuel rods at the site.  It is likely I-131 is still being released.  A dynamic chart of potential deposition of this isotope can be found here.

It seems clear that among the many losses that northern Japan will realize from this disaster is a heavy toll of infant lives.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:33 | 1296074 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Interesting aside there.

Here is an equally interesting one: same tack, bad news...



Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1295694 LRC Fan
LRC Fan's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:02 | 1295699 MagicHandPuppet
MagicHandPuppet's picture

And in other news, the bamster-administration just received confirmed, super-duper "intelligence" reports that Al-CIA-da has procurred a recent stronghold in Zimbabwe.  The latest intell is that their newest "million-dollar compound" just happens to be right next to the Bank of Zimbabwe.  It is feared that these terrorists are set on destroying "American freedom and our way of life".  Amerrrrican bombers put on full alert while cooridinates of compound are verified using top secret mumbo jumbo.  Collateral damage expected to be minimalized.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:23 | 1296290 metastar
metastar's picture

Spot on!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:00 | 1295707 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

like i would trust a gold backed currency in zimbabwe

yep, got it in the vaults folks, even got our own auditors signing off on it

no need to hold on to the real thing when you can hold on to our zimbabwe fiat instead, u can trust us

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295747 baseball13
baseball13's picture

"No, no, no....we have a world-class custodian - JP Morgan/USBC is our custodian, trustee and auditor. You certainly can trust them! They do this for the GLD and they MUST be honest AND reliable!..."

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:05 | 1295711 Scoobywan
Scoobywan's picture

Uh, it seems everyone forgot this is Africa... not one country in Africa is run well, this won't work at all. They can't even feed the populace.

I know, lets all continue to live in most arid regions on earth and reproduce often, hopefully someone will send us some free food, while we sit on our asses and do nothing.

Actually now that I think about it, that sounds alot like Haiti, but wait Haiti isnt one of the most arid regions on earth...what could be the problem....

-25 times 25 is -625, but wont let me enter 4 character answer

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:52 | 1296184 Matto
Matto's picture

Yeah sweet - even after all that help from the IMF and Worldbank they still can't get it together, I mean come on, they've had the smatest guys in the room trying sooo hard to help them out for sooo long - the only possible answer is they are absolute basket cases who can't sort themselves out. 

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 16:56 | 1296749 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

I got an email some time ago. here it is for you.





Abdoulaye Wade ( Senegal )- age 83

Hosni Mubarak ( Egypt ) - age 82

Robert Mugabe ( Zimbabwe ) - age 86

Hifikepunye Pohamba ( Namibia ) - age 74

Rupiah Banda ( Zambia ) - age 73

Mwai Kibaki ( Kenya ) - age 71

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ( Liberia ) - age 75

Colonel Gaddafi ( Libya ) - age 68

Jacob Zuma ( South Africa ) - age 68

Bingu Wa Mtalika (Malawi) - age 76

John Evans Atta-Mills (Ghana) - age 67

Average Age: =======================75.6

Approximately 76 years


Barrack Obama ( USA ) - age 48

David Cameron ( UK ) - age 43

Dimitri Medvedev ( Russia ) - age 45

Stephen Harper ( Canada ) - age 51

Julia Gillard ( Australia ) - age 49

Nicolas Sarkozy ( France ) - age 55

Luis Zapatero ( Spain ) - age 49

Jose Socrates ( Portugal ) - age 53

Angela Merkel ( Germany ) - age 56

Herman Van Rompuy ( Belgium ) - age 62

Average Age: ==================== 51.1

Approximately 51 years


DIFFERENCE: ==================== 25 years


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:04 | 1295714 reachsb
reachsb's picture

The world has come a full circle. It was only in 2008 that pundits were calling the Bernank - Zimbabwe Ben. Guess they will have to use another nickname now. How about Nippon Ben? Or Irish Ben? 

This is almost surreal. The Gold mining industry is a very big user of diamond tipped drills to crush the raw ore (no other material can withstand the pressure). So now we have to pay in Gold to purchase diamonds which will then be used to dig up more Gold :) Almost poetic.

Hopefully, this movement remains nascent and doesn't go global. Can you imagine if OPEC started demanding payment in Gold? That's why I believe that QE3 will be delayed. 


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:05 | 1295716 citrine
citrine's picture

What's wrong with diamond-backed currency?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:08 | 1295738 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

A single commodity is too volatile and your money supply depends on strange things like how many holes there are in the ground and number of marriages.

A multiple commodity bancor is more stable. Just like a single bond may have more volatility than a bond fund.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:17 | 1295775 Womb Service
Womb Service's picture

Diamonds are essentially worthless. Let's just say that price discovery is "hindered" in that market. Google DeBeers. You should be able to figure it out.

Gold on the other hand...

Zimbabwe becoming Galt's Gulch. Who woulda thunk it?

Don't think the bankers will let this happen...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 14:17 | 1296278 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Don't make your reservations for Bongo-Bongo Airways just yet.  This is a Zimbabwe press release.  Don't you remember what happened to the white farmers' property rights, and then the white farmers?  Galt's Gulch?, more like New Baltimore.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 17:35 | 1296836 akak
akak's picture

I traveled through Zimbabwe in the middle 1980s, talking to many people, both white and black, along the way, and the uneasy air of anxious anticipation of ill-defined, negative economic and political outcomes prevailing there at that time was uncannily familar to that which hangs over the USA today.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:17 | 1295780 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture


Diamonds are as plentiful as grains of sand...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:46 | 1295893 citrine
citrine's picture

Thanks to everyone for the responses.

False Capital, I appreciate the link!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:42 | 1295873 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Good lord, please ignore the people above, except for the one with the fungibility link.

Diamonds don't make a good currency because each one is different. On the other hand, gold is gold is gold.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:54 | 1296193 firefighter302
firefighter302's picture

Non-fungible and man-made.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:05 | 1295717 Shameful
Shameful's picture

No thanks, why would I hold ZIM paper even allegedly gold backed.  Anyone who would trust Mugabe and Gono after the past experience deserves what will happen to them.  Think I would rather just hold physical gold somewhere then trust a dictator and central banker.  But then I would sooner trust a drug dealer and car thief then a dictator and central banker.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:20 | 1295781 centerline
centerline's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:56 | 1296202 Matto
Matto's picture

i'd get a few of those new zim dollars, at least we're all clear on we're they're coming from.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:10 | 1295748 sabra1
sabra1's picture

it's no coincidence the US is invading africa!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:11 | 1295750 superman07
superman07's picture

This Just In!

The news reported this morning that the number 2 leader of AlQueida after the death of bin laden has been spotted in the terrorist stronghold of.......................Zimbabwe.

President Obama is sending over a carrier group and a Marine expiditionary force to ensure the vile terrorists do not get away!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:21 | 1295789 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

That sounded so plausible I actually google news-ed Zimbabwe just now! :).


Maybe in another few months.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:12 | 1295753 centerline
centerline's picture

Hmmm...  the continuation of an experiment maybe?  How to level off after a hyperflationary rocket shot without jettisoning the central bank in the process?


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:12 | 1295754 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

I thought I'd just throw this in, for those who have never been to southern Africa, this guy has a very nice photo "blog" of his African Adventure:

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:17 | 1295771 centerline
centerline's picture

nice.  thanks.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:16 | 1295769 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

bully for zimbabwe and an idea whose time has come but from the most unlikely of places....only gold (and silver) can satisfy the needs of currency....other commodities are totally ridiculous....folks need to ask what money is then and only then ask if it is suitable for backing don't cut it...i will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out why.....of course trading diamonds for gold is a good idea...


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:17 | 1295773 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Somebody buying gold for tomorrow's rapture?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:25 | 1295815 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I bought gold and silver in April from Lear Capital. I'm still waiting for it. Starting to get pissed.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 13:45 | 1296147 jowenchrist
jowenchrist's picture

hey - just buy locally - i've never had a problem buying silver or gold in my home town; with a small premium over spot for uncirculated silver eagles - no fuss - no muss - no waiting - no brainer - physical all the way sheeple !

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 22:25 | 1297341 prole
prole's picture

lol that's a good one jo, but come on man, like the sheeple have any silver!

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