R.I.P. – The London Gold Pool, 1961-1968

Most of the public is still unaware of that the gold price is currently suppressed by governments and central banks in collusion with bullion dealers. Even fewer realize that suppression of the price of gold has plenty of historical precedence. The following is the story of the London Gold Pool. I first published this article on June 14, 2009 here. At the time, there was little mention of the London Gold Pool on the internet. I first heard of it from the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, but mostly from reading Gold Wars by former European banker Ferdinand Lips. Wikipedia used my article as a reference when the entry on the London Gold Pool was first published.

When gold speaks, all tongues are silent.” – Italian proverb

This article will briefly review the history and aftermath of the infamous London Gold Pool. For those unfamiliar with monetary history, let me quickly establish the events framing the London Gold Pool.

In 1933, the FED’s monetary inflation caused the Great Depression which was also America’s first bankruptcy. FDR plundered the American people’s gold and one month later outlawed the private possession of gold, an illegal act that existed until 1975. From 1933 onwards, America was on a “gold bullion standard.”   A “gold bullion standard” exists when gold coins are not minted and owned by the people, but large international transactions with foreigners are handled in gold bar. However, the FED, America’s central bank, continued inflating the monetary supply which debases the currency and likewise increases the foreigner’s redemption of gold.  (emblem)

Following the chaos of World War II, the heads of the world’s 44 industrialized nations gathered in New Hampshire, and made the Bretton Woods agreement. The Bretton Woods agreement made the dollar the world’s reserve currency, and stipulated that all member nations’ reserves had to consist of either physical gold or currency convertible into into gold (domestically the private ownership of  “monetary” gold remained a felony until 1975). These member countries then had a “gold exchange standard” and manipulated their currencies on their national level, often trying to devalue their currencies at the same or slightly higher rates than what the dollar was being devalued, or inflated, at.  (photo of the Bretton Woods hotel used for the conference)

The Bretton Woods system began to break down very quickly. In the 1950s, the United States found itself having to redeem vast sums of gold. In the recession of 1958, the FED created $2.25 billion of excess credit, which was redeemed by foreign central banks. This annual loss of 2,000 metric tons of gold still remains the largest known loss of gold in one year by any nation in history – currently, on paper the United States is still the largest official owner of gold at about 8,100 metric tons categorized as “Custodial Deep Storage Gold.” (see note 1)

By 1971, President Nixon had declared America’s second bankruptcy.  The FED had inflated the money supply by too much to fund the Vietnam War and President Johnson’s “Great Society,” and America was no longer able to redeem foreign-held dollars into gold. The world entered the twilight zone of freely floating exchange rates. In between 1958 and 1971, the several governments and central banks fiendishly created the London Gold Pool to suppress the price of gold.


In October of 1960, gold trading on the London gold exchange reached $40/ounce, which was $5 higher then the central bank’s target price. Rampant speculation that a Kennedy presidency would lead to more inflation, along with the building of the Berlin Wall and the U-2 spy plane incident, triggered fears about economic stability.

To curtail these fears, President Kennedy pledged in February 1961 that America would maintain the official price to our foreign creditors, and the price of gold fell to $35/ounce. Fearing a relapse, the international bankers of the BIS and the FED-US Treasury secretly formed the London Gold Pool. Each member of the Pool would pledge some of their gold to keep the London market suppressed. The Bank of England would dump their gold on the London market whenever necessary, and at the end of each month the other members would reimburse the BoE in accordance with the percentage of the pool they owned. The members were:

  • 50% – United States of America with $135 million, or 120 metric tons
  • 11% – Germany with $30 million, or 27 metric tons
  • 9% – England with $25 million, or 22 metric tons
  • 9% – Italy with $25 million, or 22 metric tons
  • 9% – France with $25 million, or 22 metric tons
  • 4% – Switzerland with $10 million, or 9 metric tons
  • 4% – Netherlands with $10 million, or 9 metric tons
  • 4% – Belgium with $10 million, or 9 metric tons  (Photo)

By acting in secret, the governments hoped to stagnate the market and keep potential buyers away. In 1962, a series of events involving Soviet sales of gold led to a change in strategy by the Pool. They found themselves able to profit off the changes in gold supply, and at one time in 1965 the Pool even reached $1.5 billion, or a five-fold increase over the initial Pool gold. However, the Vietnam War expenses after 1965 combined with the French shipping its’ $3 billion in gold from the New York FED to Paris, and leaving the Pool in 1967 led to catastrophic losses.

The FED’s meeting minutes from December 12, 1967 reveal the full extent of the central bank’s panic. Here are several excerpts:

“The announcement on Thursday, December 7, of a $475 million drop [422 metric tons – auth] in the Treasury’s gold stock seemed to have been accepted by the markets as about in line with prior expectations of the costs of the gold rush following sterling’s devaluation. What the market did not know, of course, was that only a $250 million purchase of gold from the United Kingdom saved the United States from a still larger loss in the face of some foreign central bank buying… The logistical acrobatics of providing sufficient gold in London were performed with a minimum of mishaps, although the accounting niceties were still being ironed out.

“Of greater concern, however, was the fact that the drain on the pool was accelerating again… the measures taken by the Swiss commercial banks and by some other continental banks to impede private demand for gold worked quite well, although it was clear from the start that such measures could serve only as a stop-gap until some fundamental change was agreed upon. Persistent newspaper leaks–mainly from Paris–about current discussions on this subject and their reflection in gold market activity Monday and today pointed up the need for speed in reaching a decision. ” (3-4/107) (photo of then-FED Chairman William McChesney Martin, Jr.)

On page 15/107, the group then discusses placing “restraints on access to the London gold market” and it was commented that Italy and Belgium were “not prepared to stay in the gold pool indefinitely if that would mean continued substantial gold losses.” The group did agree to then implement “some program of restraints on demand, particularly in the London market, should be worked out; in the meantime, all of the participating countries were willing to stay in the pool… In particular, the British were concerned that limitations on access to the London market, by diverting demand elsewhere, would work to the detriment of that market which for the past 13 years had been the world’s principal market for gold.”

These excerpts also serve to remind us all that the central banks love their hold on the money power. However, from some of their perspectives, they may well believe they are simply doing “what’s best,” blindly disregarding the fact that all of their interventions and controls are only made necessary from their prior meddling with the free market:

“Although the German case was the most striking example of central bank operations following the meeting in Frankfurt, the availability of forward cover into guilders and Belgian francs at reasonable rates had also helped to reassure the [gold] market.” (7/107)

Under Secretary [of Treasury] Deming, who had led the U.S. delegation to Frankfurt, made the necessary arrangements, and the group met with him in Basle yesterday. Meanwhile, representatives of the countries in the gold pool met in Washington last week to make a preliminary review of possible additional measures to keep the gold market situation under control. Not unexpectedly, the gold pool also was the main topic of conversation at the regular Basle [Switzerland, the home of the BIS – auth.] meeting on Saturday and Sunday, and it was discussed in detail by the governors on Sunday evening.” (12-13/107) (see note 2)

On pages 13-14, the FED also mentions the “gold certificate plan” which I personally believe is a likely prototype for the emergency fall-back position of today’s gold cartel after the price of gold spikes on the modern futures market. A particularly damning passage concerning the erosion of America’s sovereignty from Congress to the unelected Treasury Department to the cabal of international bankers is here:

“Governmental structures differed among countries, and the United States was almost unique in assigning to the Treasury sole responsibility for external matters involving gold. In many countries the central banks had primary responsibility in that area, although they often were required to consult with their governments. Moreover, central bankers commonly felt that they had greater knowledge and understanding of the practicalities of gold markets than did officials of their governments. Accordingly, it was probably the view in most countries that a meeting of central bank governors was the most appropriate forum for discussions of the type in question. The governors recognized, of course, that in the United States the Treasury had central responsibility with respect to gold, and accordingly they were willing to meet with Mr. Deming yesterday.” [Deming, of course, was quite literally a FED stooge, just like today’s Timothy “Turbo Tax” Geithner, see note 2]

Following these minutes, on Sunday, March 17, 1968, the London Gold Pool collapsed and the global gold markets were closed for several weeks. The central bankers then decreed a “two-tier” gold price for “monetary” gold at $35/oz. and “non-monetary” gold. This system remains in place to this day, although it is clearly just an accounting sham. (see notes 3 and 7)


On Monday, March 18, 1968, Congress removed the 25% gold reserve backing requirement for Federal Reserve Notes. In April, despite further panicked attempts to suppress it, the gold price reached $44/oz. The price was then kept bottled up by actions by the Swiss, American, and English central banks, including massive gold sales from the Soviets to the Swiss and gold redemptions by America.

By 1971, more than half of the gold illegally stoled by FDR from the people had been delivered overseas, mostly winding up in the vaults of European central banks. On August 15, 1971, President Nixon was forced to declare national bankruptcy and closed the Gold Window. This meant foreigners could no longer redeem dollars for gold.

The world’s central bankers and governments rushed to Washington, D.C. and made the Smithsonian Agreement, where, against all reason, all parties agreed to go on pretending as if the gold window had never been closed and merely set new fixed exchange rates. Finally, with the gold price at $90 and the turmoil resulting from the debasement of the dollar leading to a major recession, the system of fixed exchange rates completely collapsed, marking the final nail in the coffin of the Bretton Woods monetary system. From this point onward, all currencies “floated” against each other, opening wide the door to non-stop currency debasement, inflation, and FOREX market speculation. (note 4)

In 1974, New York’s COMEX futures market was opened to gold trading, paving the way to the “paper gold” derivatives and ETF’s of our modern day. In December 2008, the nominal value of all gold derivative contracts was $395 billion USD, or roughly equivalent to 15,000 metric tons of gold. In 2007, the last reported year, the LBMA, or the London gold market, exchanged over $20 Trillion USD in gold – the 2008-9 annual market turnover will likely dwarf this.

My message is a third American, possibly global, possibly even final, bankruptcy is imminent in the coming years as I first clearly denoted in this series. Similar to the closing of the gold window in 1971 being preceded by the demise of the London Gold Pool, this bankruptcy has been preceded by former Treasury Secretary and current Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summer‘s gold price suppression plan enacted in the 1990s. (photo) (see note 5 and 6)

The “Summers Suppression Plan” has been bolder, more clever and more clandestine than the London Gold Pool, but may well be on its last legs. Though they may wear Brooks Brother suits and meet in corporate boardrooms and the highest political offices in the land, those who suppress gold are no different than mafia thugs in suits. For in doing so, they also suppress the free market and the prosperity it could deliver if the “money power” once more resides with We the People. More on Summers Suppression Plan in the upcoming parts of the Money Matrix series.

In the meantime, please mark my words. When gold speaks again, the Summers Suppression Plan will be no more.  As sure as night follows day, its fate is the same as that of the London Gold Pool.

For further reading on this subject, please see:

Lips, Ferdinand. 2001.  Gold Wars.  New York: The Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education.  Amazing perspective on gold from an ex-Rothschild banker.  The main source for the above information on the London Gold Pool.

Powell, Chris. “There Are No Markets Anymore; Just Interventions.” (2008) Article focused on the modern suppression of the gold market.

Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee. 2008. “A New Summary of GATA’s Work.”

Note 1 – The suspicious re-categorization of America’s gold hoard as “Custodial Gold,” then “Custodial Deep Storage Gold” is a critical topic in its own right and has been left unchallenged save for the efforts of a valiant few, Reginald Howe and the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA). See  the US Mint’s 2008 gold audit, “Howe vs. BIS” and “The “Smoking Gun”” for more details.

Note 2 – Of course, Treasury Under-Secretary Frederick Deming was handpicked by the FED, which is similar to having NY FED President Timothy Geithner become Treasury Secretary.  In this “Memorandum for the President” from FED Chairman William Martin in 1964, Martin recommended Deming be named as a Federal Reserve Governor, but was instead assigned to the critical “gold” position in the Treasury in 1965.

Note 3 – The FED’s reported “gold stock” of 261 million ounces is currently listed as an asset of $11 billion USD, or $42.22/oz. At current market prices, this gold would be valued at nearly $250 billion.

Note 4 – Even though the government paper of today’s fiat currencies are completely unchecked by the discipline of gold, the below quote is from the same above FED meeting minutes. Back then central bankers at least attempted to not drink from the same punch bowl they served the financial markets:

“The excessive demands for goods and services and the accompanying rise in interest rates were, once again, beginning to curtail the availability of funds for mortgage financing. The longer the excessive demands persisted, the more certain it was that a serious “credit crunch” would come. Temporarily pacifying the financial markets by rapid injections of bank reserves, bank credit, and money was no real solution. Continued provision of bank reserves at the recent rapid pace only reinforced the excessive spending and market expectations and induced even more urgent demands for credit.

“Unfortunately… vigorous fiscal action to help reduce total spending, huge credit demands, high interest rates, and inflationary pressures had not been forthcoming. Economic stabilization depended on avoiding further excessive monetary expansion. Both domestic needs and the international balance of payments position of the United States called for the same policy prescriptions. Restraint on total spending was essential to relieve financial market pressures, to foster sound economic growth, and to protect the strength of the dollar at home and abroad. Moderate monetary restraint could contribute to achievement of balanced economic expansion.” (54/107)

Note 5 – In his paper “Gibson’s Paradox and the Gold Standard” from 1988, Summers realized that when real interest rates are positive, the price of gold declines as people prefer the government’s paper currencies.  The converse is also true – when real interest rates are negative, the price of gold increases.  Therefore, when the government embarked on a lengthy period of negative interest rates, they were aware that the price of gold must be suppressed.  This isn’t exactly the work of a genius, but Summers is no dummy either.

Note 6 – In the interests of fairness, Summers claims in his June 12 address to the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) that “we only act when necessary to avert unacceptable — and in some cases dire — outcomes… Our objective is not to supplant or replace markets.  Rather, the objective is to save them from their own excesses and improve our market-based system going forward.” in relation to his actions for the Obama administration.

Note 7 – In the March 14, 1968 FED minutes (page 3/28)  “the international financial system was moving toward a crisis more dangerous than any since 1931. The hurricane of speculation that had occurred on the gold market was likely to be succeeded by a similar hurricane on the exchange markets.”  The FED then made plans to increase swap lines and ‘inject liquidity’ – or print money and extend massive amounts of credit – to continue the scheme.

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