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Paul Mylchreest: LBMA disconnects gold's price from metal's fundamentals

By: Chris Powell, GATA

 -- Published: Thursday, 30 January 2020 | Print  | Disqus 

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Our friend Paul Mylchreest, now an analyst for financial research firm Hardman & Co. in London, demolishes the London Bullion Market Association with an "open letter" released today, blaming the group's trading and reporting systems for suppressing the offtake of gold to about 5 percent of what it would be otherwise. These systems, Mylchreest suggests, benefit primarily the LBMA's major members, bullion banks that short the metal, as well as central banks.

LBMA operations, Mylchreest writes, contrive a price for gold credit and derivatives rather than for the metal itself, and as a result the nominal price of gold has been declining for years even as fundamental factors in favor of gold have been strengthening.

Mylchreest writes: "We believe that the reason the price of gold can defy fundamentals is due to structural trading practices in London. The LBMA estimates that 95 percent of trades are in unallocated gold contracts, which are 'gold credit,' not gold bullion, meaning that the London over-the-counter market has been almost entirely derivative-ized.

"This has virtually eliminated the need to deliver gold bullion.

"With only 5 percent of gold trades requiring metal delivery, demand for actual gold bullion is diluted by a factor of around 20. On the supply side, therefore, the number of short contracts can theoretically be expanded in an almost elastic fashion without commensurate bullion delivery risk.

"It's logical that diluting bullion demand by substituting it with gold credit, in combination with an elastic supply of this gold credit, will lead to a 'gold price' disconnected from bullion fundamentals.

"Consequently, the source of gold mining company revenue and value of investors' assets has been crowded out of price setting by the sheer volume of gold credit.

"Some will see this derivative-ization as creating an uneven 'playing field,' since it dramatically increases the capacity to sell/short unallocated gold. Commentators might conclude that the main beneficiaries are major banks/short sellers.

"We estimate that the aggregate loss in cash flow to gold mining companies worldwide from the fall in the gold price during October 2012 to December 2015 was more than $157.5 billion. Many mining executives and investors remain unaware of their plight. ..."

Mylchreest notes central bank participation in the LBMA's trading scheme. He continues: "After analyzing trading volumes, we conclude, that, at this time, for much of the typical trading day central banks might be heavily influencing London gold trading. This has been widely speculated in the past, but perhaps not the scale."

If gold credits and derivatives did not dominate the gold market in London, Mylchreest concludes, London could run out of real metal "in a matter of hours."

Mylchreest asks the LBMA to consider reforming itself.

"We would welcome being part of this debate and, in short, our recommendations for reform would include, but are not limited to, the following, with the goal of transitioning to accurate price discovery for gold bullion:

"-- The LBMA should be reformed from a trade body into an exchange.

"-- Regulation should cover the entire London trading day and have statutory backing.

"-- Level the playing field by removing the advantages to banks/short sellers by eliminating the convention of trading gold credit/derivatives in the form of unallocated gold.

"-- Volume and price of all trades should be reported shortly after execution.

"-- And vault data should be provided not later than one month in arrears."

Mylchreest appends to his open letter a report detailing the fundamental factors arguing for a substantial increase in the gold price.

His open letter is titled "Price Gold Bullion, Not Gold Credit" and it's posted at the Hardman & Co. internet site here:

Of course investors should send the link to the executives of the gold-mining companies whose shares they own and ask for comment, as if most such executives don't already know all about the LBMA's racket and are too scared to complain about it. But with enough clamor the executives might learn how to spell "fiduciary responsibility."

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

Toast to a free gold market
with great GATA-label wine

Wine carrying the label of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, cases of which were awarded to three lucky donors in GATA's recent fundraising campaign, are now available for purchase by the case from Fay J Winery LLC in Texarkana, Texas. Each case has 12 bottles and the cost is $240, which includes shipping via Federal Express.

Here's what the bottles look like:

Buyers can compose their case by choosing as many as four varietals from the list here:

GATA will receive a commission on each case of GATA-label wine sold. So if you like wine and buy it anyway, why not buy it in a way that supports our work to achieve free and transparent markets in the monetary metals?

To order a case of GATA-label wine, please e-mail Fay J Winery at

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing
Stuart Englert's "Rigged"

"Rigged" is a concise explanation of government's currency market rigging policy and extensively credits GATA's work exposing it. Ten percent of sales proceeds are contributed to GATA. Buy a copy for $14.99 through Amazon --

-- or for an additional $3 and a penny buy an autographed copy from Englert himself by contacting him at

* * *

Join GATA here:

Mining Investment Asia
InterContinental Hotel, Singapore
Tuesday-Thursday, March 17-19, 2020

Mines and Money Asia
Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong
Tuesday-Wednesday, March 31-April 1, 2020

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

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