IMF Chief Warns America on “Exorbitant Privilege”, Brings Back Flashbacks To de Gaulle And The London Gold Pool

Tyler Durden's picture

From Gold Core

IMF Chief Warns America on “Exorbitant Privilege” / Cazenove’s Griffiths Says “Essential to Own Gold” - $8,500/oz Is Possible

Gold is trading at USD 1,615.20, EUR 1,132.70, GBP 991.92 and CHF 1,293.10 per ounce. Gold’s London AM Fix was USD 1613.75, EUR 1129.76, GBP 991.67  (10:41 GMT). Gold is set to finish a turbulent July higher showing its safe haven attributes again. Gold is higher in all fiat currencies month to date and is 7.6% higher in U.S. dollars.

Gold is flat in dollars and slightly higher in euros and British pounds. The pound is weaker after poor UK consumer sentiment figures underlined the risk of another UK recession. Global equities have remained reasonably robust despite the continuing drama in Washington regarding the debt ceiling negotiations.

Cross Currency Rates

Asian equities were quite resilient and only had marginal losses overnight (Nikkei -0.69%, Hang Seng -0.53%, STI +0.1% Shanghai -0.3%, Sensex -0.19%, Kospi -1.05%).

Similarly European equity indices while lower are reasonably robust despite the continuing political failure in Washington overnight to reach a deal. The FTSE is 1.02% lower and the CAC and DAX 1% and 1.4% lower respectively.

The Italian 10 year has risen to 5.91% and Irish 10 year yields have risen to 10.83%.

While US debt markets remain calm with little move up in yields, it must be remembered that the Federal Reserve has been buying US treasuries (with digitally created money) to lower overall interest rates and thus stimulate lending and this may be artificially depressing US interest rates.

A U.S. default remains highly unlikely – unless American politicians continue to play Russian roulette for the sake of power.

The more challenging and real risk is that posed by the coming downgrade or downgrades of US debt, the threat to the dollar as global reserve currency and continuing currency depreciation and debasement.

IMF Chief Warns America on “Exorbitant Privilege”

New IMF Chief Christine Lagarde has warned overnight that the global reserve currency status of the dollar is at risk due to the “worrisome” US debt debate.

Failure by the United States to raise the debt ceiling would likely lead to a decline in the U.S. dollar and raise "doubts" among those using it as a reserve currency, Lagarde said.

"One of the consequences could be a decline of the dollar as a reserve currency and a dent in people's confidence in the dollar."

The U.S. currency has had an “exorbitant privilege because it was the reserve currency that most central banks had,” Lagarde said in an interview on PBS’s “Newshour” yesterday. “If there was a dent in this exorbitant privilege and the confidence that most people have towards the dollar, it would probably entail a decline of the dollar relative to other currencies.”

The use of the “exorbitant privilege” phrase by the former French finance minister is important and not an accident.

It echoes the former French President, Charles de Gaulle’s comment regarding the dollar being “America’s exorbitant privilege” at a landmark press conference in 1965 that led to the end of the London gold pool or government cartel which attempted to keep the gold price fixed at $35 per ounce.

The Bretton Woods Agreement had conferred upon the U.S.  significant economic and monetary advantages (which it enjoys to this day) when it was agreed that the US dollar would be the world's reserve currency replacing the British pound, which performed this function for over 100 years due to the classical gold standard.

This made the dollar “sovereign” among currencies and conferred significant privileges denied other currencies. 

French President Charles de Gaulle challenged America’s exorbitant privilege in 1965 and extolled the virtues of gold as money and as a reserve currency: "Any workable and acceptable international monetary system must not bear the stamp or control of any one country in particular. Truly, it is hard to imagine any standard other than gold. Yes, gold, whose nature does not alter, which may be poured equally well into ingots, bars, or coins, which has no nationality, and which has, eternally and universally, been regarded as the unaltered currency par excellence ..."

 Lagarde’s comments echo those of President Sarkozy in 2007 when he told George Bush and the Congress that "the dollar cannot remain solely the problem of others.”  . . .  “If we're not careful monetary disarray could morph into economic war. We would all be its victims."

Lagarde’s comments suggest that the IMF is considering or has plans for an alternative reserve currency.

The comments echo those of other G10 leaders and especially the Russians and Chinese who have been increasingly vocal about the risks posed to the dollar. Indeed, Putin recently called the US a “hooligan” for flooding the world with printed dollars.
Leading international financiers such as George Soros and Warren Buffett have also warned about the risks posed to the dollar. Although Buffett has remained quiet about the risk more recently.

Cazenove’s Griffiths Says “Essential to Own Gold” - $8,500/oz Is Possible

Interviewed yesterday by King World News, Cazenove Capital's highly respected strategist, Robin Griffiths, remarked that you “have to own” gold. He said that the real inflation adjusted high from 1980 (using the more accurate RPI) was over $8,500 per ounce and gold could reach that level in the coming years.

He said that silver was volatile but would likely outperform gold.
Griffiths said in January that fiat currencies were being "printed into oblivion," and so not owning gold is "a form of insanity."

He continued saying that not owning gold “may even show unhealthy masochistic tendencies, which might need medical attention."

Robin Griffiths is highly respected. He was chief technical strategist with HSBC for over 20 years and has 44 years investment experience and is considered to be one of the top strategists in the world.

Cazenove Capital is one of the oldest investment houses in the world tracing its origins back to the 17th century and the company was founded in 1823. It manages money on behalf of blue blooded clients and is widely believed to manage some of the British Royal family’s wealth.
Other News

Citigroup have said that gold looks like it could go higher and does not look overvalued. Citigroup said that $5,000/oz was not likely to be reached unless there was a “meaningful deterioration in the macroeconomic environment.”

UBS said this morning that gold sales to India for May are up 161% year-on-year – another sign of robust demand from India.
For the latest news, commentary, charts, infographics and videos on gold and financial markets follow us on Twitter


(Business Week) -- Gold Pares First Monthly Increase in Three After Rally to Record

(Business Week) -- China Gold Demand May Surpass India This Year, Goldcorp Says

(Bloomberg) -- Gold Set for Monthly Gain as U.S. Lawmakers Wrangle Over Debt-Ceiling Deal

(Google News) -- IMF Chief: Dollar Status in Doubt if Debt Crisis Persists

(CNN) -- 3 Ways Obama Could Bypass Congress - Treasury Could Create $1 Trillion in Platinum Coins


(King World News) -- KWN: Robin Griffiths Audio - $8,500 Gold & What the Super Wealthy are Doing With Their Own Money

(Finanical Times) -- Gold not as stretched as you might think, Citi says

(NY Magazine) -- Could We Solve the Debt-Ceiling Crisis With Trillion-Dollar Coins?

(Financial Times) -- Britain isn’t just in very deep trouble. It’s doomed

(MoneyWeek) -- How to take advantage of the US debt ceiling hysteria

(MoneyWeek) -- When will it be time to sell your gold?

(MarketWatch) -- Platinum’s a Precious Metal, Too

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cossack55's picture

Will they then switch to Charmin?

trav7777's picture

this just shows how ROW needs the US to continue to grow debt.

Without unabated debt accumulation, there is no future for the export ponzis that comprise the "strong, sound economies" of the world.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture


Relativity bichez....

Regrdless of it's moral characterization, debt is the game.

And by the way, if one day you decide to throw a tantrum and take the ball and go home, you are indeed, a "radical" relative to the de facto rule set.

buzzsaw99's picture

It's touching how much the frenchie cares about us. :shniff!:

Sophist Economicus's picture

Yup, one thing that will NOT be Exorbitant at all will be watching that stink hole get wiped off the face of the earth in 'Europe Eats Itself - Part Three' -- coming soon to a cable news channel of your choice

falak pema's picture

It aint for the's for the USD, dummy...the pivotal role of this fiat in the world economy. You need to clean out all your orifices...

kito's picture

nothing the scum sucking imf says can ever be taken at face value. f them.

GetZeeGold's picture


Ditto for the BIS......uck them all.

16 trillion bitchez......given away......according to the GAO Federal Reserve audit.

You didn't know about that? That's too bad.......MSM hard at work again.



AnAnonymous's picture

Or, or and it is the most likely, the default event known by the US will not affect the USD in any meaningful way.

Bear with it, people lose confidence in a currency when other people refuse to accept it.

With the US extortion business, and the USD gaining value thanks to commodity resources which all countries are interested in, the end of the USD will occur when this peg extinguishes itself, that is when no longer enough commodities are to be traded to keep the USD alive.

And that is what this IMF (US extension) paid shill wants to offuscate: that a US default will not affect anything, contrary to what all their 'theories' point at.

TheJudge2012's picture

Of course Lagarde wants to make sure we don't get our house in order and keep the ponzi scheme going. When the dollar collapses the global financial crime syndicate will be happy to back all currencies with their SDRs.

Crassus's picture

Guessing she means the "exorbitant privilege" of a Roman Empire tax on the balance sheets of nations that must hold dollars against financial sense.

angmikey's picture

Past time to DEFUND the IMF. There really aren't enough words to describe how corrupt they are.

Zero Govt's picture


yes and the primary funder of the IMF is? .....the US Govt, the bankrupt US Govt no less

sorry, typo there, the main funder of the IMF is the US taxpayer (you)

Should US taxpayers sit on their arses having the US Govt rob their wage packets month after month, moan about what the US Govt is doing while they blindly accept they are sponsoring it themselves?

What would it take to knock the sleep-walking zombies (US taxpayers) out of their stupor and wake them up to the fact they are funding, sponsoring and encouraging the State to continue pissing away their money on illegal wars, State socialism/fascism and international bodies like the IMF rammed with hypocrites like Madam Retard? 

Can i suggest everyone stops moaning about the US Govt (ie. STFU) while you're funding/fueling it and paying the wages of these parasites

Stop Paying Tax... Stop Feeding the Parasites ...Stop Funding the Sewer of Society, Govt

AnAnonymous's picture

No US tax payer involved in the IMF ponzi...

dizzyfingers's picture

ILU zero gov. We're slaves if we don't rise up. Damn, where are those guillotines?!

Bob's picture

Race to the bottom! 

Watch shit break out somewhere else soon, maintaining everyone's order in line. 

Zero Govt's picture

Funny Madam Lagarde but isn't the bankrupt and completely incompetent US Govt raiding its pensioners funds for the same reasons you ran out of cash and also robbed your pensioners during your 'financial stewardship' in the French Govt not a couple of months ago?

Smacks of the pot calling the kettle black Madam Retard, uh, Legarde?

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Hey frenchie.... zip it.

I am The Chief

oogs66's picture

And Lagarde has just the law firm the u.s. can use that would make the IMF feel better towards their primary donation provider. 

slaughterer's picture

Lagarde, irrespective of her institutional function, has a point.  The USA no longer respects the weighty responsibilities attached to possessing this "exorbitant privilege."  It is not just the IMF.  Ask the Chinese: do you know how many times Beijing has called DC in the last few weeks to say the same thing?  The US government is not behaving in a way which justifies its reserve currency privilege.  The image of Boehner overseas is of a thug, and of Reid is of a senile fool--does the world really want these people to manage its reserve currency?  On the flip side: Do the politicians even know what damage the USA will suffer if the USD is eliminated or replaced as reserve currency?   Time to get serious, otherwise the entire world, and not just China, will be decoupling from this nation of spendthrift fools.     

trav7777's picture

who gives a fuck what China thinks?  Let's let those who aren't ponzis cast stones

BobPaulson's picture

There is no viable fiat currency in better shape than the USD, so this is like telling the IMF to go into a round room and pee in the corner. They will resist every suggestion that something you can't print could be a currency, because it puts them all out of a job.

GoinFawr's picture

Erm, not even the NOK Bob? I don't mean as the world's reserve currency, but as far as a 'fiat currency in better shape than the USD'...

@ trash777777: In the creditor/debtor relationship, who holds the opinion that counts?

dizzyfingers's picture

"The entire world" hates the US. They might suffer a bit from a US collapse but they would love to see the US squirm. And wouldn't they happily join the fray involving which currency would replace the USD?

If default happens, please, all sheeple in the US, remember that all who voted are responsible for all that's happening.

Sadly. Stupidly.

giovanni_f's picture

From now on, beware of hotels, Christine.

slaughterer's picture

I think Christine has more to worry about with the legality of her past dealings with B. Taupin, et. al. in France.  No porter howling about sexual assault from Christine at a Sofitel is needed.  She is already in a healthy blackmail situation. 

scratch_and_sniff's picture

She can rape me if she wants, "once you go grey, there's no other way". I seen a photo of her arm pits the other day, supreme, ummm i love a hairy french arm pit - if i close my eyes i can convince myself its a muff.

Robert Neville's picture

Of course the French banker whore wants us raise the debt limit. She knows that if we get serious about cutting spending the IMF will be one of the first to the guillotine, let alone all of the European subsidies unwittingly paid for by the American taxpayer.

Juan Wild's picture




No surprise, I was wondering how long it would take her to boldly reveal her alliance. Christine, John, Barry - The Global Elitest Tanning Club.

Undecided's picture

You know somethings on the move when discount brokers start selling physical gold and silver like questrade, since they don't make any real money from doing so lol.

Preserving costomers Bitchez!


fishface's picture

today full of bad news again...

a cheerfull litte song came to my mind

Watching The World Go Bye Bye...just changed the by to byebye (adaptation to modern times) 

Watching the world go bye bye
Under a sunny sky
Strolling 'round the park on a Sunday afternoon
Oh how the moments fly
Watching the world go bye bye
When you're with your love
Life is a beautiful tune

roccman's picture

“Exorbitant Privilege”


Scamerica gets to bomb women and children and take whatever the fuck we want whenever the fuck we want it from anyone on the planet and stand behind "freedom" as the reason why.

Bazza McKenzie's picture

Don't raise the debt ceiling and it has some very profound results.

Since a large part of the Fed's money printing has gone to buy Treasuries, then the US Govt spends this essentially fraudulent money devaluing the $.  No increase in Treasuries and suddenly nowhere for the Fed to send all that new money. That puts a crimp on Fed money printing and actually strengthens the $US once the consequences are understood.

Now the other big buyer of Treasuries is China.  Not out of love for the US or because they think it a good investment but in order to balance their huge trade surplus they have to recycle those $s into the US. That is how they keep the yuan in line with the $.  No new Treasuries and where are they going to put those $s? Up goes the yuan relative to the $US and down go their exports.

You can understand why China is now sweating big time over the possible failure to increase the debt ceiling. They aren't worried about a devaluation of the $ relative to the world at large, just relative to the yuan and a massive stoppage in their exports.  Imagine all the the civil unrest in China.

Incidentally, if China's exports to the US are dramatically reduced because it no longer has anywhere to park excess $s, lots of opportunity to rebuild manufacturing in the US.  That actually means job growth in the private sector, though in the short to medium term it cuts jobs in the public sector and in those industries selling to the government.

This is looking like win-win.

dizzyfingers's picture

"if China's exports to the US are dramatically reduced because it no longer has anywhere to park excess $s, lots of opportunity to rebuild manufacturing in the US"

A possible silver linking to the black sub-prime/credit collapse clouds?

Time to flood D.C. with demands NOT to raise debt ceiling.

old austrian's picture

Excuse my pedantry, but it was Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who coined the 'exorbitant privilege' phrase but no matter. Perhaps Mme Lagarde thinks that the EUR is a viable alternative reserve currency but I fear she will be disappointed....

falak pema's picture

he did, but as finance minister of charles le grand; so he was his mouthpiece and he repeated what his boss said in internal meetings. The french in those days were exporting surpluses and building up gold reserves, under advice of a guy called Jacques Rueff who was an ardent gold standard monetarist. So de Gualle was waving his finger at the US and telling them I'm leaving NAto and you guys are spending too much on great society and viet shenanigans. He was right; 'cos it scared the shit out of Nixon, that his successor, Pompidou, would pull the plug on Fort Knox in 1971. France was still in export surplus and USA was in deep deficit for that age...nothing like today ofcourse. Now we are in US stratospheric exorbitance. Irrational exuberance oblige!

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

the best thing for the dollar would be not to raise the debt ceiling, she's got her hand out like the rest of them

Fascist Dictator's picture

Griffiths said in January that fiat currencies were being "printed into oblivion," and so not owning gold is "a form of insanity."

He continued saying that not owning gold “may even show unhealthy masochistic tendencies, which might need medical attention."


This is the best statement I've read in a long Nice way to start the day!

dizzyfingers's picture

If BigPharma reads your comment there'll soon be a pill for it.

Use of Weapons's picture

Bank of Moscow says its total capital adequacy ratio and Tier 1 ratio remain above BIS minimum requirements at 8.7% and 5.4% respectively, and added that it expects to deliver a net profit of 3 billion roubles for FY 2011, emphasizing that the Bank of Moscow Group has met every covenant on its public debt and never defaulted.


MOSCOW, July 29 (Reuters) - Bank of Moscow avoided a Eurobond default on Friday as its annual report revealed 105 billion roubles ($3.8 billion) of provisions for doubtful loans sent it into the red in 2010.


If Bank of Moscow had failed to present 2010 accounts by the end of July, it could have violated covenants attached to some$2.5 billion in eurobonds, allowing bondholders to demand immediate repayment.


It isn't trillions, but I hadn't seen this mentioned. Note that BoM is only 7th in Russia in assets, down from 5th.

Thorlyx's picture

Actually, the quote "Exorbitant Privilege" is from then FinMIn Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1960.


Jimmy Carter was right's picture

This is all very frightening, really.  A gold standard and a new reserve currency in the making.  This is where the Aldous Huxley/George Orwell scenarious start from.

Goatboy's picture

Dubious as Soviet economy/sociology textbook?

While US debt markets remain calm with little move up in yields, it must be remembered that the Federal Reserve has been buying US treasuries (with digitally created money) to lower overall interest rates and thus stimulate lending and this may be artificially depressing US interest rates.


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