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Syrian Humanitarian Crisis – As Food, Fuel Prices Soar al-Assad Desperately Attempts To Get Gold

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Goldcore,

Today's AM fix was USD 1,614.50, EUR 1,305.60, and GBP 1,028.34 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,622.25, EUR 1,317.30 and GBP 1,035.33 per ounce.

Silver is trading at $27.91/oz, €22.70/oz and £17.86/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,408.75/oz, palladium at $575.60/oz and rhodium at $1,060/oz.

Gold fell $12.10 or 0.75% in yesterday in New York and closed at $1,608.30/oz. Silver fell to a low of $27.73 and finished with a loss of 1.28%.

Gold Prices/Rates/Fixes /Volumes – (Bloomberg)

Gold began to recover losses from yesterday and is being supported by concerns of another global economic downturn, potentially a sharp one. Central banks in the US, Europe and China look set to unleash further ultra loose monetary policies in order to prevent recessions or a Depression.

Germany and France both came out with very weak but slightly better than expected economic growth data which helped alleviate concerns about the eurozone debt crisis - temporarily.

We covered the Bloomberg report yesterday from SANA, Syrian state TV, that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad announced measures facilitating imports of gold bullion coins and bars.

On Sunday, al-Assad issued Legislative Decree No. 53 "on exempting crude gold imports from the importation fees and the domestic costs according to the Law No. 35 for the year 2007".

All custom duties and storage, insurance and administrative costs levied on gold imports will be replaced by a single fee of $100 per one kilogram, SANA said citing the presidential decree.

Gold bullion imports no longer require a special permit and travellers are allowed to bring gold bullion coins and bars with them into the country, the decree said.

The move is a sign of desperation due to the immense economic difficulties facing Syria as its economy is being suffocated through economic sanctions and the civil war. 

The western economic and currency war has crippled Syria and the move is a desperate one by the regime to try to get much needed hard currency into Syria.

“Syria’s currency and foreign reserves have collapsed,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in July, urging a further tightening of the financial vice. “Sanctions on oil alone have deprived Assad of billions of dollars in lost revenues, and his ability to finance his war grows more difficult by the day.”

The European Union began imposing sanctions in May 2011 on top of U.S. restrictions that date to 2004.

The Syrian pound has indeed fallen sharply in recent months from below 48 to the US dollar to 65.4 today or a loss of over 36% in the last 12 months (see chart).

Syrian Pound versus the US Dollar (2 Years) - Bloomberg 

As is being seen in Iran, the banking sector in Syria has largely been cut off from the global financial system by western sanctions.

Like Syria’s economy as a whole, its banking industry is severely damaged and some parts of it are close to stopping functioning. 

Now that rebels have carried Syria’s civil war from remote villages to the capital and the commercial hub, a banking system that survived nearly 18 months of unrest faces its biggest test.

In most of the country, banks have barely managed to stay open but the spread of major fighting to Damascus last month, and now to Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and top commercial centre, marks a new, more destructive period for the economy, putting banks under fresh pressure.

As was seen in Iraq, it is the people who suffer most from sanctions and economic and civil war and the Syrian people are indeed facing increasing hardships.

Hunger is a problem that is growing more acute by the day. As the prices of what little food is available soar, there are increasing signs of desperation among parents seeking to feed families.

Prices of fuel and medicine have also soared amid shortages compounding the misery of Syrians and leading to another humanitarian crisis.

Professor Nouriel Roubini and other financial experts have pointed out that “you cannot eat gold.”

However, people in nations suffering from currency and economic wars can testify as to how they can use gold in order to buy food, fuel and medicine for their families in difficult times.

Gold is, as it has done throughout history, protecting them and their families from the ravages of currency devaluation and economic collapse. 

For breaking news and commentary on financial markets and gold, follow us on Twitter.

Cross Currency Table – (Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Says Silver Will Average $31.60 an Ounce This Year
Silver will average $31.60 an ounce this year, platinum will average $1,565 an ounce and palladium will average $670 an ounce, UBS AG said in a report e-mailed today.

The bank had revised forecasts last month, it said.

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Says Commodity Favorites Are Gold, Corn, Soybeans
UBS AG said its favored commodities are gold and those affected by supply disruptions, such as corn and soybeans because of drought.

It also prefers raw materials that are least exposed to China’s “underperforming fixed capital formation,” such as fertilizers, UBS said in a report dated today. Those that face deteriorating demand and few prospects of production cuts include nickel and aluminum, it said.

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Sees Central Bank Gold Purchases at 350 Tons This Year
Central bank gold purchases will total 350 metric tons this year, UBS AG wrote in a report e- mailed today.

The metal will average $1,680 an ounce this year, it said. Gold traded at $1,615.95 by 8:32 a.m. in London today.

(Bloomberg) -- Omega Advisors Sells Entire Stake in SPDR Gold in Second Quarter
Omega Advisors Inc. sold its entire stake in SPDR Gold Trust during the second quarter, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

Omega held 519,100 shares as of March 31, the filing showed. SPDR is the biggest exchange-traded product backed by gold.

Johannesburg (AP) -- URGENT: Violence At South Africa Mine Kills 9
Officials say ongoing violence at a platinum mine in South Africa has killed at least nine people. The violence is happening at a Lonmin PLC mine near Marikana, a town about 70 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. In a statement Monday, Lonmin said at least four of the mine's workers have been killed in ongoing attacks. That includes two security guards who died Sunday when their car was set ablaze by angry miners.

Police Brig. Lindela Mashigo said two officers and three others were killed in more violent protests Monday.

Lonmin said the violence started when workers walked off the job Friday over pay, and it has escalated between two rival mining unions.

Lonmin is the world's third largest platinum producer. South Africa is one of the world's coal, platinum and gold- producing giants.

(Bloomberg) -- Lonmin Says Policemen Killed in Clashes, Raising Death Toll to 7
Lonmin Plc said two policemen and a suspect were killed in a violent clash at its Karee mine hostel in South Africa today, raising to seven the number of people killed in suspected union rivalry.

Barnard Mokwena, Johannesburg-based Lonmin’s executive vice president of human capital, commented by mobile phone today.

Gold Advances On Speculation Central Banks May Add To Stimulus - Bloomberg

Gold ekes out gains before U.S., euro zone data - Reuters

Silver Hoard Near Record as Hedge-Fund Bulls Recoil - Bloomberg

Greece Needs To Leave The Euro Before It Gets An Exit Order - Think Tank - eFX News

A squeeze for bullion – and especially silver – is brewing – Max Keiser

Ron Paul looking to legalise gold, silver-backed competing currencies - Mineweb

Euro Revolt Spreads To Austria: “Europe Can Only Function If Every Country Has Its Own Currency” – Testosterone Pit

Investors Prepare for Euro Collapse – Zero Hedge

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Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:16 | 2703435 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Silly rabbit... Don't you know if you get gold in your hands, the greedy schmucks will re-double their efforts to steal it from you?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:17 | 2703447 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

Preposterous thought.

Why would anyone try to steal your gold?

It's worthless; you cannot eat it!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:24 | 2703466 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

They're all 'hobbyists'... Reportedly, they like to sew it into clothes for recreation...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:28 | 2703472 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


Here’s the thing about goldbugs: they feel that the gold market owes them a living. Whenever the gold market sells off, we hear cries of “manipulation” or “rigged markets”.  This kind of conspiratorialism is almost always expressed by investors and traders with consistently appalling returns. It’s a way for goldbugs and greasy ZH day traders to absolve themselves of responsibility for their shocking trading performance. Many of the investors and traders on this site show signs of gross narcissism and schizophrenia and in some cases even mild dementia.


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:31 | 2703488 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

"...appalling returns..." -- $250 to present price? ... Top performing asset year-after-year since 2000?

And, Facebook?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:49 | 2703552 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

he's goofing on you-lighten up Francis

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:56 | 2703557 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

TO: Trillion Dollar Anus

I'm your huckleberry - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfbAFgD2mLo

"Many of the investors and traders on this site show signs of gross narcissism and schizophrenia and in some cases even mild dementia."

In phsycology thats called PROJECTION - an attempt to place your characteristics and faults upon others.

Your silly rants will do nothing to help you feel better about the opportunities you have missed.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:34 | 2703492 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Real goldbugs don't sell their gold. Personally I am not worried by any manipulation of markets that is taking place. Such manipulation may be subduing gold and levitating stock markets but in the long run such manipulation has the opposite effect. It's a bit like steroid use. It does wonderful things in the short run. In the long run it's a different story.

As for your last sentence, some examples would be interesting. Your clinical insights would be most appreciated.


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:40 | 2703518 fuu
fuu's picture

"gross narcissism"

Pretty much the point of every MDB_ post.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:53 | 2703566 oddjob
oddjob's picture

It's a bit like steroid use. It does wonderful things in the short run. In the long run it's a different story.

The Lyle Alzado trade.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:42 | 2703526 No Euros please...
No Euros please we're British's picture

MDB some of your sarcastic posts are hilarious, and I just cannot imagine why people think you are being serious and vote you down. However, after reading this last post, I am beginning to wonder if you are just a troll?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:18 | 2703451 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

That is why for every ounce of gold/silver purchased, you counterbalance with the purchase of ammo.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:21 | 2703455 RacerX
RacerX's picture

Yep gotta balance your PM portfolio with copper & lead.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2703562 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

and what are you going to do with that-lovingly stroke your rifle and think about what a badass you are

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:27 | 2703666 tsx500
tsx500's picture

sleep better !

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:28 | 2703668 RacerX
RacerX's picture

why don't you come find out tough guy.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:15 | 2703437 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Some things simply cannot be printed.  What's your counterparty risk?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:15 | 2703440 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

You posted these prices for Gold befor JP Morgan opened.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:17 | 2703444 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

"...Professor Nouriel Roubini and other financial experts..." This in the same sentence? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:17 | 2703445 midtowng
midtowng's picture

But you can't eat gold, and why would anyone ever want gold except as a food substitute?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 15:03 | 2704662 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

With gold, you can buy food, sex, whisky and other essentials of daily living.  

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:18 | 2703450 pods
pods's picture

Not even gold is going to save the Syrians from receiving some laser guided democracy.

The US is like a big drunken lout wildly swinging at anything that comes into it's debt induced tunnel vision.


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:27 | 2703476 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

+1000 that's good stuff.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:53 | 2703567 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

why don't the Russkies nut up and put some of their jets over Syrian airspace and call that dyke Hillary Clinton's bluff. it's about time  the US picks on someone their own size

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:07 | 2703614 pods
pods's picture

I think that Russia is way more strategic than we give them credit for.  They see raw materials as the key to national wealth, not credit money.

No doubt they are involved over there though.  Just cannot make it obvious enough to allow the western media to skewer them over it.

They did get involved in the Georgia-South Ossetia war, and it did not turn out that well for our fancy equipment.


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 14:17 | 2704474 Treason Season
Treason Season's picture


In a nutshell iirc Tarpley says don't count on Russia to save Sryia, they just don't have the throweight and aren't interested in it anyway. Check out his site and listen to the relevant  podcast.


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:21 | 2703457 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

This just further signifies the general move away from USSA-based vendor-financing of food, in this case the Fed-issued world reserve currency USD debt-in-perpetuity (sic) note being subverted in order to settle trade balances and buy grain. 

On that same note of the dollar's demise, I wonder how much grain isn't grown right now in Africa.  I also wonder how much grain COULD BE grown in Africa.  I wonder if a supposed African grain power nation will accept dollars or gold.  It's a very big place, you know, Africa is bigger than the Great Plains, for example, and it's fairly equitorial so I imagine there are many arable locations with extended growing seasons. 

And now I'm feeling like the EURO is the USD's hospice care agent.  When we see it less and less, well that's actually not good news. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:25 | 2703471 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

That said, 8am log flume!!!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 12:14 | 2704003 Andy_Jackson_Jihad
Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

The problem with Africa is that it's full of Africans with self determination.  That continent will never live up to its potential until the lessons of Rhodesia, Congo, Haiti, Detroit, SA etc. are learned. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 12:36 | 2704082 Andy_Jackson_Jihad
Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

The problem with Africa is that it's full of Africans with self determination.  That continent will never live up to its potential until the lessons of Rhodesia, Congo, Haiti, Detroit, SA etc. are learned. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 12:40 | 2704092 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

And the lessons to be learned are that justice, truth and freedom should not be confused with 'Americanism'

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 12:51 | 2704130 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Africa doesn't have to Americanize to be successful to Africans, they only have to grow grain and sell it to China better than America can.  That's my point.  And if they are to grow grain in any appreciable volume, and become kings, then what would their favored currency be? 

The world is done with the Fed's antics and its paper-pushing.  DONE.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:21 | 2703460 slewie the pi-rat
Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:47 | 2703543 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

Good article Slewie.

Somehow the Evil Ones must foment Pike's Last war. but... what if Assad wins? It seems he is wiling to think outside the box' with this gold thing.

For all you physical gold holders with a sense of adventue, here is the opportunity of a lifetime. My guess is that if you can sell you gold to Syria, you'll get, minimum, a 20% premium on it, and maybe as much as 50% or 100%, depending on how deep into the black market you'll be able to panetrate.

Why settle for 1600 when you cold get, minimum, 1920, and possibly even more? Then turn around and buy more gold!

Quit bitchin' about JP Morgan and how victimized you are, and put that gold to use, makin' MONEY bitchez!


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 17:10 | 2705036 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Fucking US (ands I'm a former US citizen). We destroy the Constitution going after al-Qaeda, then we give al-Qaeda arms and Stingers in Libya and now Syria when it suits us. We blow farts about democracy in everyone's face: but our midEast allies are all super-repressive monarchies (Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan). We say we're fighting radical islam, but the states we overthrow are all secular: Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. Our al-Qaeda "allies" in Syria are targeting Christians with our arms, on their way to setting up a new Islamist government. We set up for war with Iran, which has done nothing to us, while we lob drones every four days at nuclear Pakistan. 3000 dead, of which they can identify 120 as "terrorists" with the rest being civilians, women, and children.

Show me ONE country where this US foreign policy has been a success. ONE.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:24 | 2703468 lsbumblebee
lsbumblebee's picture

What "Syrian Civil War", what "rebels", is Goldcore referring to?

"Goldcore Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland."


Central Banks owned by the Rothschiild's:


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:25 | 2703470 IEndRule
IEndRule's picture

can you eat silver?


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:27 | 2703474 fuu
fuu's picture

Assad doesn't realize that this just hastens his demise.

Kinetic gold liberation in 3, 2, 1...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:27 | 2703477 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Roubini is not an authority on gold. He is a world authority on spam which he says is preferable to gold. The man belongs in a deli.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:27 | 2703479 lookma
lookma's picture


SoV  >  MoE


Fail = "However, people in nations suffering from currency and economic wars can testify as to how they can use gold in order to buy food, fuel and medicine for their families in difficult times."

Win="Gold is, as it has done throughout history, protecting them and their families from the ravages of currency devaluation and economic collapse."

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:31 | 2703487 Scalaris
Scalaris's picture

Textbook when-the-shit-hits-the-fan-grab-all-the-gold-you-can-get situation. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:34 | 2703493 nathan1234
nathan1234's picture

Assad most certainly has brains and thinks for the people.

Obama and gang have their brains in their ass and think for themselves


Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:37 | 2703499 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Probably a little late there Al-Ass-ad.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:58 | 2703583 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Assad just turned Syria into a massive gold-laundering conduit.  I call this +1 Assad. 

There will be a face-saving military intervention in some border locales on the part of the West. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:38 | 2703509 AUD
AUD's picture

I think Al-Assad should have issued Legislative Decree No. 53 a few years ago. I'd say that horse has already bolted.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:50 | 2703553 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I think Assad should stop thinking about gold and start thinking about buying a new home in another country.  

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:47 | 2703723 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture




i think you should commit suicide by cop.

you know by pulling a gun on a trigger happy police man.

i think you should it would be funny but you may have other ideas.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2703561 Carl LaFong
Carl LaFong's picture

This could never happen in America or Europe...We can always eat our FRNs

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 09:58 | 2703581 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

“Syria’s currency and foreign reserves have collapsed,” U.S. Secretary of State     Hillary Clinton said in July, urging a further tightening of the financial vice."

 Thunder Thighs strikes again! Next promotion for her "Queen of Hell"!

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:12 | 2703624 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Is that a Freudian slip?

“Syria’s currency and foreign reserves have collapsed,” U.S. Secretary of State     Hillary Clinton said in July, urging a further tightening of the financial vice."

The Syrian currency can collapse, foreign reserves will be depleted. She is stating that all currencies are collapsing. Probably nothing, but interesting coming from a family known for parsing words.

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