The Complete And Unabridged History Of Gold Manipulation

Tyler Durden's picture

On November 1st, 1961, an agreement was reached between the central banks of the United States and seven European countries to cooperate in achieving a shared, and very clearly stated, aim.

The agreement became known as the London Gold Pool, and it had a very explicit purpose: to keep the price of gold suppressed “under control” and pegged regulated at $35/oz. through interventions in the London gold market whenever the price got to be a little... frisky.

The construct was a simple one.

The eight central banks would all chip in an amount of gold to the initial “kitty.” Then they would sell enough of the pooled gold to cap any price rises and then replace that which they had been forced to sell on any subsequent weakness.


*Statement is subject to standard terms and conditions and is not necessarily reflective of any evidence. Government entities are excluded from inclusion based on the fact that we can't really do anything about them and anyway; they could put us out of business; and it would make things really, really bad for them. Also, bullion banks are not covered under this statement because we were told to turn a blind eye; but individual investors are, and we can categorically confirm that, to the best of our knowledge, no individuals are manipulating the precious metals markets (at this time).

But, as Grant Williams explains in this excellent and complete summary of the history of Gold price manipulation, things don't always go as planned...

Human beings, when given means and motive, have rather a poor history of eschewing the easy profit in favour of doing the right thing. Governments, when faced with dilemmas, have a rather poor history of doing the right thing as opposed to whatever they think they need to do in order to cling to power. It's quite simple.


Libor, FX rates, and mortgages trades are all fiat in nature. The contracts that are exchanged have no tangible value. (Yes, technically speaking, mortgages have houses underneath them, but the houses are so far down the securitization chain as to be invisible). Such contracts can be created at the push of a button or the stroke of a pen and manipulated easily right up until the point where they can't.


Gold is a different beast altogether.


The manipulation of the gold price takes place in a paper market — away from the physical supply of the metal itself. That metal trades on a premium to the futures contract for a very good reason: it has real, intrinsic value, unlike its paper nemesis.


If you want to manipulate the price of a paper futures contract lower, you simply sell that paper. Sell it long, sell it short, it doesn't matter — it is a forward promise. You can always roll it over at a later date or cover it back at a profit if the price moves lower in the interim.


And of course you can do it on margin.


If the trading were actually in the metal itself, then in order to weaken the price you would have to continue to find more physical metal in order to continue selling; and, as is welldocumented, there just isn't so much of it around: in recent years what little there is has been pouring into the sorts of places from which it doesn't come back — not at these price levels, anyway.


The London Gold Pool had one thing in common with the rigging of the FX, Libor, and mortgage markets: it worked until it didn't.


The London Gold Pool proved that central banks can collude cooperate to rig maintain the price of gold at what they deem manageable levels, but it also proved that at some point the pressure exerted by market forces to restore the natural order of things becomes overwhelming, and even the strongest cartels groups (whose interests happen to be aligned) — which are made up of the very institutions granted the power to create money out of thin air — can't fight the battle any longer.



...The problem now is that currently there are almost 70 claims on every ounce of gold in the COMEX warehouse and serious doubts about the physical metal available for delivery at the LBMA.


Which leads us to today...

The London Gold Pool was designed to keep the price of gold capped in an era when the world's reserve currency had a tangible backing. In defending the price, the eight members of the Pool were forced to sell way more gold than they had initially contributed in order to keep the price from going where it desperately wanted to go — higher.


This time around, the need for the price to be capped has nothing to do with any kind of gold standard and everything to do with the defense of the fractional reserve gold lending system, about which I have written and spoken many times.


Gold is moving to ever stronger hands, and when the dam does inevitably break again, the true price will be discovered by natural market forces, free of interference.


This time, however, those chasing what little gold is available will include all those central banks that have kept their holdings "safe" in overseas vaults.


The Bundesbank has seen the writing on the wall and demanded its gold back. They were told it would take seven years before their 30 tonnes could be returned to them.


My guess is, this little scheme doesn't have seven years left to play out.


Everybody outta the pool!

Full Grant Williams letter here:

TTMYGH Twisted (by the Pool)

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Lordflin's picture

Thank you... I needed a good laugh today... appear to be in an unusally cynical mood, which for a fundamental cynic does not forbode well....

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

FOFOA has written that getting up to 10 tonnes physical tonnes is not that hard (if you have the money), but he believes that it would be VERY HARD to get more than, say, 70 tonnes.

It looks like the strong hands in gold will win...

Grande Tetons's picture

How much would 1/4 ton of Silver go for today?  About 150k USD I figure.  Is it just me....or does that seem like a bargain. 

GetZeeGold's picture



Better price in a forklift while your at it......that crap is really heavy.

Atlasshruggedme's picture

Its only 550 pounds, you can move it in a couple trips. 

Tapeworm's picture

iT WAS A bargain when below 5.00

LetThemEatRand's picture

And another conspiracy theory is conspiracy fact.  I swear, I'm starting to see plants on alternative news sites talking up real conspiracy facts and then dropping shit like Niburu to throw off the casual observer.

Xibalba's picture

Nibiru?  Isn't that the place of human origin (on Earth).   /sarc

LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, the NY Giants lived there.  Just before gold manipulation started.  

But seriously, it is becoming increasingly clear that TPTB are trying to infiltrate alternative media to put out wild claims along with valid ones to make both seem wild.

Xibalba's picture

had that Zecharia Sitchin stuff hawked at me the other day....from a Hollywood guy.  

Would make a great film imho.

LetThemEatRand's picture

There's a video going around from some supposed World Bank person who mixes crazy talk with real conspiracy fact.  It's brilliant if you ask me, and will probably cause a lot of people to reject everything she says because of the obvious craziness mixed in.'

Paraphrasing:  "Greenspan deliberately blew bubbles and Ben deliberately printed money to enrich bankers.  And gold is manipulated, which I learned from moonbeams I caught from my Nibiru observatory."

Ignatius's picture

I'm gonna guess:  Karen Hudes

All I gotta do is stand next to you in a picture...

Shirt tail out the open fly -- check

String hanging from corner of mouth -- check

Droolng -- check

Say "Cheese"


LetThemEatRand's picture

That's the one.  Well played, TPTB/TBTF.

Ignatius's picture

I've been on the trail a few years now researching 9/11, etc.. 

'Poisoning the well' is well worn turf.

These guys are pretty good, hence, on top.

OutLookingIn's picture

Recently the banks have paid large amounts in fines for rigging:

1/ LIBOR benchmark rates

2/ EURIBOR benchmark rates

3/ Settlement values for currencies

4/ Reference prices for energy

5/ Benchmark lending rates

6/ Interest rates for derivatives

 Now, financial regulators suspect??? that banks may??? manipulate the gold and silver markets!!!


RockRiver's picture

Don't forget oil prices via the Platts trading window each day...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Funny how this article appears NOW, and not a year ago.

How come the ZH gold fans did not realize that their attempts at front-running the Fed's QE with ever higher gold prices would not be countered with price manipulation?

If they had, the ZH consensus would've been to "wait till there's a 30% price correction to the 10-year bull run. Instead, it was an almost unanimous chant/matra of "gold to go sky high", "gold to crash the Dollar", etc, etc.

Truth is a cruel, two-faced mistress, whose ruthless side few are "man" (mature) enough to face.

GetZeeGold's picture



Funny how this article appears NOW, and not a year ago.


Member for 42 weeks 4 days


So where the hell were you a year ago mister genius?

sleigher's picture

I haven't been here that long either, but I did read the site long before I signed up to post...  

GetZeeGold's picture



I think that's pretty you probably understand the sarc.

ZH Snob's picture

federal reserve?  no conspiracy here.

akak's picture

And once again, for all those pro-Establishment lackies like Jon Nadler, Jeff Christian and Martin Armstrong who insist that the coordinated and surreptitious manipulation of the price of gold is "impossible", and would be ineffective even if attempted, then I would like to ask them: just WHAT was the London Gold Pool, if not EXACTLY that?  And did it not operate over a period of years?  And was it not in fact PROVEN and DEMONSTRATED to be the official suppression of gold that it was by the rapid rise of the price of gold immediately upon its termination?

I guess no amount of proof will be enough for some people.  But, sheep will be sheep, and spineless Quislings will be spineless Quislings.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Sheep go "baaah.  baah.  baaaahaa!"

Quislings say: "Javohl!"   ???

akak's picture

Quislings also like to blab about their latest breakfast with some pension fund manager, and like to declare that gold has been "blowtorched" after falling in price for the last ten minutes while simultaneously talking up their most recent momo-chasing stock de jour that has risen into bubble territory after being "different this time".

StillSilence's picture

If you want to control the money, then you've got to control the money.

frankTHE COIN's picture

That agreement was done in the booth, in the back, in the corner and in the dark.

fonzannoon's picture

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Fifth Third Bancorp FITB +0.25% and its former chief financial officer have been charged with improper accounting of commercial real estate loans in the midst of the financial crisis by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The Cincinnati-based holding company has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle the charges. The former CFO Daniel Poston has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and has been suspended from practicing as an accountant on behalf of any publicly traded company or any firm regulated by the SEC. Both are accused of improper accounting on the sale of large pools of troubled loans which misled investors "during a time of significant upheaval and financial distress for the company," according to the regulator. Shares for the firm were down 0.1%

akak's picture

I think they should already change their name to 1.67 Bank.

Because, as everyone knows, four out of three people are bad with fractions, and three out of two of them don't even know it.

fonzannoon's picture

4 out of 5 people say the 5th person's an idiot.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Gold has been manipulated since a goldsmith once realized that not all people were taking out their gold and that he could write paper certificates of deposit for gold that did not exist...just lately has it become demonstrably obvious, they no longer even attempt to hide the fact....No middle-ages goldsmith would dream of writing 65 certificates of deposit for each ounce of physical gold entrusted in his care...

Al Huxley's picture

Not unless he wanted to risk losing his hands, or his testicles...

W74's picture

Ah, and here's the problem.  We the people simply need more cleavers and garden shears.

At least under the feudal system you knew the bloke who was fucking you lived just up the hill.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

That goldsmith's name was Goldman.

Confused's picture

"....fucking you lived just up the hill"


So things haven't changed all that much. ;-P

yrbmegr's picture

Next could we have a peek under the rug at the oil market?  Just, you know, if we don't have anything better to do?

Ignatius's picture

The point has been made that none of the other manipulations work unless gold is also manipulated.

Al Huxley's picture

The biggest thing about gold price manipulation by governments is that the governments of ALL significant economies have to play along for it to work.  If one goes rogue and starts taking advantage of the manipulation by the others  (which is presumably being done so they can have more 'flexibility' in their budgeting processes) then I'd say the ability to manipulate ends when the rogue state takes all the gold from the manipulators (I don't have to explicitly name countries here, do I?)

Ignatius's picture

Who tells the truth in a poker game?

They ALL cheat.

Al Huxley's picture

There's a difference between cheating within the rules (to keep the price down so you can be 'flexible with your fiat') to keep the game going, and using the rules to cheat because you're planning on shutting down the game and starting a new one that you control.

fonzannoon's picture

Yeah you usually do the second one when the first one is not working out so well.

Luckhasit's picture

Why should China care, they were one of the firsts to have fiat.  Which is why they nod their head and take that gold which they traded FRNs for i suspect. 

Hows that bond market since they said they aint buying anymore?

TheReplacement's picture

Not all significant economies in the world today were significant not so very long ago.  Some that were are not so much any more.  It's hard to achieve global domination.

W74's picture

My purchase on Monday could be classified as manipulation.  Boy was it a doozy!  It was like putting half of my shaft down the tube when I had my collective assets' head already in.  Push dem prices down moar soes I can go All-In!!!

starman's picture

Banks slapped with $2.3 billion fine for rate manipulation

Brazen Heist's picture

On a separate note, everybody should have a read of this report:

Get ready for upcoming bail-ins! Its the next wet dream of the central planners - confiscating your deposits.

"The recent EFTA Court Ruling and events in Cyprus indicate that the legal obligation of sovereigns to provide depositor insurance is limited in the event of systemic crises. While governments are credible that they will go to great lengths to protect their insured depositors, their willingness to protect uninsured depositors may not be as great had been thought."

"For a while it appeared that small deposit holders might bear some of the burden of bank. The adoption of the second proposal makes it clear that if there ever was an implicit government promise to protect all deposit holders, it no longer exists. Large deposit holders can be treated as just another type of senior unsecured creditor."

Get informed!