Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gold as collateral

Last week one news article in particular caught my eye. Francesca Freeman of Dow Jones Newswires reported that European parliamentary committee approved a proposal to allow clearing houses to accept gold as collateral:

“The European Parliaments Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs Tuesday agreed unanimously to allow clearing houses to accept gold. The proposal, under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, will be passed to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union for another round of voting in July.”

Same type of announcements (but with less significance):
  • “In October 2009, CME Group Inc. said it would allow physical gold to be used as collateral for margin requirements, a move that was followed by rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc. in late 2010.”
  • “In February this year, JP Morgan Chase & Co. announced its decision to accept physical gold as collateral in some financial transactions.”

Also consider this:

“At the same time, many traditional collateral assets, such as European government bonds, have continued to see a deterioration in credit quality as a result of the sovereign-debt crisis.”

Oh, Really? ;-)

For thousands of years, gold has played an important part in monetary systems of the world. Most central banks still have it in their vaults despite the fact that no modern currency is officially transferable to gold with a fixed exchange rate. It used to be so. I’m not expecting that world is going back to gold standard any time soon. However, the importance of gold is clearly rising.

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