When Vladimir Putin says U.S. abusing their monopoly of the dollar, putting the global economy at risk, not just words. The Russian president is doing on this bet.
© Photo: Fotolia, vasabii
Under Putin, Russia has not only become the world's largest oil producer, but also the world's largest buyer of gold. Over the past decade, the Russian Central Bank has added to its reserves of 570 metric tons of the metal. According to the IMF, the treated Bloomberg, is a quarter more than the second-ranked China. Weight of gold three times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.
"The more a country of gold, the more it will have sovereignty, if the dollar, euro, pound or any other reserve currency will some cataclysm," — said by telephone from Moscow member of the lower house of parliament from Putin's "United Russia" Eugene Fedorov.
Gold, which is coveted all the rulers of Russia, including Tsar Nicholas II and his Bolsheviks had killed the leader of Vladimir Lenin, has risen in price during Putin's procurement of nearly 400%. Central banks around the world printing money to be saved by the global financial crisis, depleting the appetite of investors against the euro and the dollar and strengthening the pursuit of security.
In 1998, the year in which Russia defaulted on its domestic debt of $ 40 billion, an ounce of gold was worth, according to Bloomberg, as much as 28 barrels of crude oil. A year later, when Putin came to power, this ratio has declined to 11.5 barrels per ounce. In 2005, when it dropped to 6.5, amounting to less than half its current level, the president ordered the central bank to buy.
In November 2005, during a trip to the Far East region of Magadan, where the work of "Polyus Gold" and "Polymetal", Putin ordered the Bank of Russia "not ashamed" of the metal. "They [the provisions] are called -" gold ", so there is nothing to be ashamed", — Putin said, according to the published transcript on the Kremlin website.
- "Krasnoyarsk Nonferrous Metals Plant named V.N.Gulidova"
At the time, the gold price was a record for 18 years and reached $ 495 an ounce. Moscow's central bank reserves were 387 tons — or 2.2% of the total reserves (165 billion dollars). For a month the proportion of gold in reserves reached, according to Bloomberg, 3,5%.
February 8 at 19:24 Moscow time an ounce of gold for immediate delivery was worth 1,670 dollars. Gold rises in price twelfth year and last year's price has increased by 7%. Analysts expect that in 2013 this trend will continue. The median value of 26 treated Bloomberg forecasts, by year-end metal will cost 1,825 dollars per ounce.
"Putin's strategy for gold is in line with its statist policies and resource nationalism", — said Tim Ash (Tim Ash), head of the department for the study of emerging markets in the London office of Standard Bank. "This game is a defensive style, but she had worked, is not it? — Said Ashe, while in Moscow — in politics and business need luck, and this guy has it. "
The bottom of the Brown
Other world leaders were less lucky. Gordon Brown as Treasury sold gold 30 consecutive months up to March 2002 and managed to sell 400 tons. Prices at the time were a record low in two decades. London tabloids dubbed this period "Brown bottom".
Marcus Grubb (Marcus Grubb), who heads the department of investment analysis at the World Gold Council, said that the policy of quantitative easing, which is conducted by the leading economy in order to maintain the prices of financial assets, increases the demand for gold in the developing world. Before the crisis, central banks have sold a total of 400-500 tons of gold each year. Now they buy about 450 tons a year, according to Grubb on the phone from London, where his organization is located. The leaders in this process, Russia and China.
While Putin heads the pursuit of gold, which are emerging markets, developed countries dump their stocks. Most of gold over the past decade has sold Switzerland. Sold it, according to the International Monetary Fund in November, 877 tons now would cost about $ 48 billion. France ranked second with 589 tons, and Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal have sold more than 200 tons each.
However, even after Putin's gamble of buying gold with his Russian stocks takes 958 tons, according to a published Feb. 8 report by the World Gold Council, only the eighth largest in the world. The first place is occupied by the United States with 8134 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3391 ton, followed by the Washington-based IMF with 2,814 tons. Italy, France, China and Switzerland take place from fourth to seventh. If Russia holds 9.5% in gold reserves, America, Germany, Italy and France — more than 70%.
About two-thirds of Russian reserves are stored in a greenish-gray building on the streets of Truth in the center of Moscow. This street is named in honor of the "Truth", the official newspaper of the Communist Party, the editors of which was in the same place.
According to the government's website, January 24, 2011, Vladimir Putin, who was then prime minister, became the first Russian leader to visit the store. Together with the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of George Luntovsky he walked to an area of 17,000 square meters (the actual storage area -1500 square meters). During the visit, the Prime Minister was photographed with a golden nugget in hand. Most bars weigh 10 to 14 pounds. They are stored in plastic or wooden crates. Not far from them is stored extra margin notes.
Technically, the exclusive right to buy all the gold mined in the country belongs to Gokhran — public service storage of precious metals. In practice, it allows commercial banks to buy gold directly from mining companies, usually in the form of project financing, the chairman of the Moscow-based Russian Union of Gold Sergei Kashuba.
When the central bank buys gold, he buys it from these commercial banks, including the lead role in last year played Sberbank, "Nomos-bank", VTB and Gazprombank, Kashuba said. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, produced in Russia last year 205 tons of gold. This puts it in fourth place after China, Australia and the United States.
- Gold Ingots
According to Kashuba, throughout the production chain to meet strict security measures. Carry partially refined gold from the mines in the Far East and Siberia in the north for processing in other parts of the country are allowed only two organizations. One Feldsvyaz — courier service, directly subordinate to Putin. Second — Special communication — has been allocated in 1939 from the
NKVD (Stalin's secret police) specifically for the transport of precious metals and state secrets.
Russia in the past been through bouts of gold accumulation. Tsar Alexander II ordered his government to begin to hoard gold in 1867 — a few months after he sold Alaska now ranks second among U.S. states for the extraction of gold, for $ 7.3 million. His grandson, Nicholas II was introduced in 1897, the gold standard. In 1906, he, in order to save the system from the speculators had to take out a loan from France.
Nicholas, the last Russian tsar, was forced to release the ruble in 1914, when war broke out in Europe. Lenin's revolutionary government has reintroduced the gold standard in 1922. Although the Soviet rubles and were later formally backed by gold, selling metal citizens ceased in 1930, depriving the bind any sense.
When Lenin's Bolsheviks seized power in 1917 in St. Petersburg, then known as St. Petersburg, one of their first targets was the State Bank, with its gold reserves. According to the website of the Bank of Russia, they captured him on November 7 at 6:00 am. Soon after, they nationalized all banks, confiscating gold from their safes and vaults.
No hidden reserves
Sneak communists in what concerned the gold reserves of the country, has led many to believe that the party elites have accumulated a huge amount of gold, and brought it out of the Soviet Union before, in 1991, he fell apart.
The last head of the Soviet State Bank Viktor Gerashchenko twice served as head of the Bank of Russia, has repeatedly denied these speculations.
"Regarding the gold party I answer the same: what are you, stupid or something?" — Said the 75-year-old Gerashchenko magazine "Billboard" last February.
Now, when there is still more than five years of Putin's presidency, Russia plans to continue to buy.
"The pace will be determined by the market — said January 25 in Davos, first deputy head of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev. — Speed up or slow them down — it's a market solution, and I'm not going to discuss it. "