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Oct 31, 2012

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCHES -October 31, 2012-: Iran requires bank approval for gold exports | will German gold clamor ignite gold's skyrocket? | German gold clamor shows distrust...:

Iran starts requiring central bank approval for gold exports

By Yeganeh Torbati
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
DUBAI -- Iranians can no longer export gold without approval by the central bank, an official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, in a new effort by the government to restrict outflows of wealth.
The move follows media reports on Tuesday that Iran had banned the export of some 50 basic goods, as the country moves to secure supplies of essential items in the face of tightening Western sanctions that have destabilised its currency, the rial.

"The export of gold and coins without permission from the central bank has been banned," said customs official Mohammad Reza Naderi, according to the Mehr news agency.

"According to law, (the export of) coins made from precious metals has until now not needed a permit from the central bank, but current economic conditions have resulted in a decision to require a licence from the central bank for the export of these goods."

Naderi said the new policy was adopted because of exchange rate fluctuations and "challenges in the field of foreign trade," Mehr reported without elaborating.

U.S. and European sanctions against Iran's energy and banking sectors, imposed over its controversial nuclear programme, have slashed its oil revenues, which are the major source of its hard currency supplies.
This has triggered a slide in Iran's rial currency, which has lost about two-thirds of its value against the dollar in the open market over the past 15 months as Iranians have scrambled to convert their savings into dollars and euros.

The government has responded by restricting Iranians' access to hard currency, rationing the dollars it supplies to companies and individuals through the central bank and an official foreign exchange centre.
The restriction on gold exports may be designed to prevent Iranians from switching to gold from hard currencies as a way to move their savings out of the country.
It is not known how much gold may have left Iran this year. The country is not a major gold producer or exporter.

The country's gross official reserves, which include foreign currencies and gold, totalled $106 billion at the end of last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government does not disclose their size, but some analysts believe they may have shrunk by several tens of billions of dollars this year because of sanctions.

There are signs Iran is building up its gold reserves as the sanctions have made it hard for Tehran to take payment for its oil through bank transfers. Official data from Turkey, a buyer of Iranian oil, suggests nearly $2 billion of gold was sent to Dubai on behalf of Iranian buyers in August.

Will the German gold clamor ignite gold's skyrocket?

10a ET Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Interviewed today by King World News, Bill Haynes of CMI Gold and Silver wonders whether the clamor over the foreign vaulting of Germany's gold and indications that the gold has been used for surreptitious market intervention will be the trigger for an explosion in the gold price. Maybe, but only if buyers take delivery of real metal, not paper, and remove the metal from the clutches of the banking system and governments. An excerpt from the interview with Haynes is posted at the King World News blog here:


Matthew Lynn: German gold clamor shows distrust of central bank market rigging

Why Do the Germans Want Their Gold Back?
There's Something Reassuring about Physical Money
By Matthew Lynn
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

LONDON -- Where does Germany keep its gold reserves?

It might sound like a silly question. In Germany, of course. Probably in a very deep vault somewhere in Frankfurt, surrounded by the best security systems that Teutonic technical brilliance can create.
As it turns out, however, that is the wrong answer.

Much of the German gold, the second largest national reserves in the world, is held in New York, London, and Paris. Now there is a campaign under way in Germany to bring the metal back home -- and it is gathering strength all the time.

That tells us three things about the global monetary system, none of them especially reassuring.
The German gold reserves are among the most significant in the world. The country controls 3,396 tons of the stuff. That is a lot less than the United States' 8,133 tons, but then Germany is a smaller country, and it has never had the world's reserve currency. It is a lot more than the 2,451 tons held by the Italians or the 2,435 tons held by the French.
Much of it was built up under the old Bretton Woods system that operated from the end of World War II until 1971. Trade deficits and surpluses were settled by central banks in gold, and since Germany regularly ran big surpluses it ended up with a lot of the metal.
But most of it was not held in Germany itself. Much of it was held abroad, mostly in the U.S., U.K., or France. An estimated 66% is held at the New York Federal Reserve, 21% at the Bank of England, and 8% at the Bank of France. The old West Germany was on the front line of the Cold War and if the Russians had ever invaded, their tanks would have headed straight for the bullion vaults. There was no point in leaving such a tempting target open to attack.
With the Cold War a distant memory, many Germans want the gold returned to their own country. A campaign called "Bring Back Our Gold" has gathered significant support. Politicians and the popular press have jumped on the bandwagon.
Earlier this month the German Court of Auditors demanded that the Bundesbank audit its official gold holdings, and called for the repatriation of 150 tons in the next three years so that its quality can be inspected. As anyone who has ever bought some gold jewelry in a market will know, there are all kinds of tricks that an unscrupulous dealer can get up to -- all that glitters is not necessarily gold.
And while it takes a fairly fevered imagination to speculate that staff at the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England have been nipping down to the vaults and replacing the German gold with some ingots they picked up at a souk in Cairo, the hysteria around the issue is growing so intense an audit is now judged necessary.
The Bundesbank doesn't usually give in to popular pressure -- it is not that kind of institution -- but last week it put out a statement attempting to reassure people the gold was safe and promising to check on the stocks held abroad.
The cargo planes are not quite being loaded yet. But within the next five years, it is a fair bet that some new vaults will be needed in Frankfurt and some space will be going spare in New York and London.
What does the campaign tell us about the state of the global economy? Three things.
1) This generation of Germans is far more assertive about their national interest than their parents were. For 50 years most Germans were anxious to show they were citizens of the world. They dealt with post-war guilt by signing up for every international body available. Now they are quite happy to be citizens of Germany, and to stand up for their own interests.
2) Trust in financial institutions is dwindling all the time. Central banks built up a system of debits and credits because it was easier to move gold around on a ledger than to move it around on trucks. There are few more tempting targets for thieves, after all, than a cargo of ingots.
So it made sense for German gold to be stored elsewhere. But now people no longer trust those systems. They are increasingly unhappy with assets that are simply recorded on a bank's balance sheet somewhere; they want something physical they can see and touch. That is true of national gold reserves, but it is increasingly true of other assets as well.
3) Most importantly, German sentiment is hardening against the single currency with each month that passes. After all, what is a whole vault full of gold in the basement of your central bank good for exactly? Starting a new currency, of course. And, er ... that's about it.
There's nothing else you can do with it. In the most extreme circumstances, if the euro broke down chaotically and national currencies were bought back overnight, one of the key things the foreign exchange markets would look at when putting a value on the new deutschemarks, lira, or francs would be the amount of gold the central bank could back it with. That gold would seem a lot more valuable if it was held in your own country rather than a foreign one.
The campaign to bring back the German gold is in reality a campaign to bring back money that people can trust. The political establishment might not have caught up yet. But popular opinion believes it was sold a dog when it joined the euro, and is already looking forward to the day when it escapes responsibility for endless bailouts of its neighbors.
Yet it is hardly confined to Germany. Distrust of central banks rigging the monetary system is spreading from country to country. There will be many staging posts in the long road back to some form of gold-backed money -- and the German campaign is just the beginning.
Matthew Lynn is a financial journalist based in London. He is the author of "Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis" and he writes adventure thrillers under the name Matt Lynn.

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

* * *

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The Economist | New Selected Articles -October 31, 2012-: Sandy, Ellroy and Byrne

Democracy in America: Devastating
A near-perfect storm wreaks havoc on America's northeast
read more »
Prospero: Writing scandal
A word with James Ellroy
read more »

Video: Wired for sound
David Byrne on how music works
watch »

Johnson: What's in an epithet?
Tracking casual homophobia
read more »
Babbage: Tweets by beat
Seattle police turn to Twitter to spread news of their law-enforcement activities
read more »
Daily chart: Ashes to ashes
How common is cremation?
read more »
Online debate: US economy
Which candidate is better for the recovery?
read more »

NYT Politics -October 31, 2012-: Christie and Obama Tour Storm-Ravaged Coast and Exchange Compliments .

The New York Times

October 31, 2012


The Caucus

Christie and Obama Tour Storm-Ravaged Coast and Exchange Compliments

Usually political foes, President Obama and Gov. Chris Christie had words of praise for each other after a joint view of New Jersey's battered coastline.
A supporter of President Obama watches one of the presidential debates in Dover, Ohio.

Ohio Working Class May Offer Key to Obama's Re-election

With the 18 electoral votes of Ohio seen by both sides as critical, President Obama's ability to prevent erosion among working-class voters may be his best path to winning a second term.

More Politics

The Caucus

Total Cost of Election Could Be $6 Billion

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Obama and Romney in Exceedingly Close Race, Poll Finds

According to the latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News, more voters view Mitt Romney as a stronger leader on the economy and President Obama as a better guardian of the middle class.
President Obama on Tuesday visited the Red Cross in Washington, where he warned federal agencies to cut through bureaucracy.

Obama Promises Speedy Aid as Storm Takes On Added Political Weight

For a president locked in a razor-thin battle for re-election, the storm has presented a moment - both promising and perilous - to rise above the partisan fray.

Storm Brings Obstacles One Week Before Vote

Elections officials in states battered by Hurricane Sandy were asking themselves how to get ready for Election Day.
Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, rose in prominence after speaking at the Republican convention.

Utah Mayor Hopes Star Turn, and Romney's Star Power, Lift Her to the House

Mia Love would be the first black Republican woman in the House, but she says the only history she wants to make is "getting our country on track."

Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage See Room for Victories

Gay rights groups see a good chance of winning at least one or two of the four state ballot measures on same-sex marriage.

2 American Automakers Rebut Claims by Romney

Top executives at Chrysler and General Motors condemned advertisements by Mitt Romney suggesting the auto bailout recipients were shifting jobs to China.

The Caucus

Poll: Democratic Senate Candidates Lead in Ohio, Florida and Virginia

The Democratic candidates for Senate in Florida, Ohio and Virginia are leading their challengers, complicating efforts by Republicans to win a Senate majority.

10 House Races to Watch

While there are more than 10 competitive races, some of them even closer than the ones we have listed list here, these House races are 10 worth watching.

App Snapshots: Storm Diversions

A viral video about election fatigue, sleeper swing state dynamics and more politics news you might have missed -- essential and not.

Election 2012 iPhone App

A one-stop destination for the latest political news, from The Times and other top sources around the Web. Plus opinion, polls, campaign data and video.
What State Polls Suggest About the National Vote
Nearly every method for evaluating the election based on state polls seems to hint at a very slight lead in the popular vote, as well as an Electoral College victory, for President Obama.


Video: Two Ohio Women, Two Views
Dana Hogan and Kathleen Foley were interviewed as part of a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll of Ohio voters.
Graphic: A 48-Hour Sample of the Campaign Trail
President Obama and Mitt Romney traveled more than 3,000 miles each on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Video: The Women's Vote
Female voters in the swing state of New Hampshire discuss what issues are foremost in their minds in the closing days of the presidential campaign.
Interactive Feature: The Third Presidential Debate
Follow along with this interactive replay of the final debate, using fact-checks and graphics to take a closer look at attacks and assertions by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

NYT Global Update -October 31, 2012-: With City Struggling for Footing, Some Transit Is Restored

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
October 31, 2012

Global Update


With City Struggling for Footing, Some Transit Is Restored

New York officials said that limited service would be restored to the subways on Thursday and to two commuter rail lines - the Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road - on Wednesday afternoon.

Stocks Little Changed as Market Reopens

The major stock indexes ended little changed in light trading on Wednesday as the market reopened after a two-day shutdown caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Iran Offers to Send Emergency Aid Team to Stricken New York

Iranian rescuers and aid workers are on standby to fly to New York City to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the head of Iran's Red Crescent Organization said.

Lens Blog

At a Crossroad of Faith and Folklore

The Warsaw-based photographer Kuba Kaminski went to a remote region in northeast Poland to find a mysterious group said to have special powers, known as "Whisperers."

Op-Ed Contributor

A Zombie Is a Slave Forever

The creatures aren't just Halloween characters; they originated in the brutal sugar plantations of Haiti.

As Syria Escalates Bombing, U.S. Urges New Anti-Assad Bloc

The United States signaled impatience with the failure of the Syrian opposition-in-exile to form a cohesive leadership and said it would support a more robust movement to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Clinton Urges Serbia to Accept Kosovo and Its Borders

Hillary Rodham Clinton's remarks came as the United States and the European Union pressed Serbia and Kosovo to normalize relations.

Citing Violence, Bahrain Bans All Protests in New Crackdown

The government said that opposition activists had abused its tolerance for freedom of expression by allowing protests to turn violent.

F.C.C. Describes 911 and Cellphone Problems

Many of the wireless transmission towers knocked out by Hurricane Sandy are not expected back online for several days, the Federal Communications Commission said.

For Builders, the Storm Is Good for Business

Hurricane damage will help construction companies and the workers they plan to hire, many of whom have been idled and ailing from the housing bust for nearly half a decade.

When Floodwaters Rise, Web Sites May Fall

Web site managers are learning that backup power generators should not be located where it floods.
Bits Blog

Hurricane Sandy Knocks Out Gawker and Other News Sites

As Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, the resulting power failures knocked out several major Web sites, including Gawker and The Huffington Post.
Bits Blog

Google Introduces New Emergency Resources in Response to Sandy

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER, the company's nonprofit arm, has published maps showing the storm's danger zones, live video and evacuation routes and shelters.

Manchester City Has Gone Global

Something worldly is taking shape in the neighborhood where Manchester United had long been deemed king.

Europe's Rugby Powers Make Progress on Dispute

The bitter division over the future of the Heineken Cup has moved a small step closer to being resolved.

U.S. Women Hire New Coach

Tom Sermanni is considered a player's coach and has a calm demeanor. His duties will include the development of women's soccer in the United States.

A Far-Reaching System Leaves 8 Million Without Power

The storm called Sandy produced devastation along the coasts, snow in Appalachia, power failures in Maine and high winds at the Great Lakes.
The Lede Blog

State-by-State Guide to Hurricane Sandy

Check back for regular updates on evacuations, closings, power failures and flooding and wind damage from North Carolina to Rhode Island.

Obama Promises Speedy Aid as Storm Takes On Added Political Weight

For a president locked in a razor-thin battle for re-election, the storm has presented a moment - both promising and perilous - to rise above the partisan fray.
Op-Ed Contributor

Tunisia, a Sad Year Later

On the anniversary of Tunisia's first election, the country has no democracy and human rights are threatened.

Tunisia's Challenges

Moderate Islamists and liberal secularists need to ensure that democracy succeeds.
Op-Ed Columnist

The 'I' of the Storm

Here's the thick and thin of it: A Republican governor and a Democratic president united by Sandy.

DealBook Afternoon Edition -October 31, 2012-: JPMorgan Sues Boss of Trader Who Lost Billions

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
JPMorgan Sues Boss of Trader Who Lost Billions JPMorgan is suing Javier Martin-Artajo, the manager who directly supervised Bruno Iksil, the so-called London Whale, according to a lawsuit made public on Wednesday. Mr. Iksil gained that now infamous moniker after reports emerged in April that he had built up an outsize position in an obscure corner of the credit markets. That position ultimately proved devastating for the bank, resulting in a $6.2 billion loss. The lawsuit, which was filed in a London court, did not disclose the details of JPMorgan's claims against Mr. Martin-Artajo, according to a person with knowledge of the complaint.
    Icahn Takes Stake and Netflix Shares Surge The billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced late Wednesday that his hedge fund, Icahn Capital, had acquired a roughly 10 percent stake in Netflix.
    After a historic two-day closing, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to reopen trading on Wall Street on Wednesday.
    Stocks Little Changed as Market Reopens While New York's mayor and a bevy of TV news crews and camera-toting tourists were at the New York Stock Exchange for the opening bell on Wednesday, the trading floor betrayed little that was unusual.
    Knight Capital Suffers Power Failure The Knight Capital Group suffered a power outage at its headquarters in Jersey City and told clients to route their orders elsewhere, a spokeswoman for the trading firm confirmed on Wednesday.
    After Bailout, Giants Allowed to Dominate the Mortgage Business Wells Fargo and JPMorgan were allowed to gobble up small and weak competitors in the mortgage business, and now their biggest threats, Citigroup and Bank of America, are pulling out.
    Glencore Offers Concessions to Win Support for Xstrata Deal Glencore International has offered concessions to European antitrust authorities in a bid to win support for its $33 billion proposed takeover of the mining company Xstrata.
    PVH to Buy Warnaco Group for $2.9 Billion The fashion company PVH Corporation agreed on Wednesday to acquire the Warnaco Group in a $2.9 billion deal, bringing various Calvin Klein brands under one corporate umbrella.
    Facing Fresh Legal Woes, Barclays Swings to a Loss The British bank Barclays faces more legal trouble after disclosing two new investigations by American authorities, clouding already weak third-quarter results.
    Economic Reports Economic information to be released on Thursday includes the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index for October, construction spending for September, weekly jobless claims, retail sales for October and ADP employment for October.
    Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings reports on Thursday include Exxon Mobil, American International Group and Starbuck.
    In the United States On Thursday, automakers will report their North American sales for October.
    Overseas On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland for talks. 

    DealBook Video
    Business Day Live: Getting Back to Business
    Business Day Live: Getting Back to Business Markets reopen after Hurricane Sandy. | Role of government insurance program in recovery. | How wireless systems fared. | A boon for construction. | Grounded at La Guardia airport.