Monday, April 18, 2011

Lest You Think Things Aren't Bad Elsewhere............

A Run On the Central Bank of Belarus as Devaluation Fear Forces Halt to All Gold Sales

"Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’

Ayn Rand

I was a little surprised the people fled to gold and tried to drain the central bank, desperately trying to get out of their fiat currency ahead of a suspected devaluation.

This is how it happens, on a smaller scale.

I was in Moscow in the 1990's when they were starting to flee the Russian rouble for gold, diamonds, US dollars, and vodka. It is hard to imagine what it feels like to watch your life savings simply and relentlessly evaporate away. It was a 'quiet panic' that left a very deep impression on me.

Apparently the US dollar is no longer so much a safe haven in that part of the world. At least that is what I hear.

Belarus is small. When a bigger ship starts to founder, the lifeboats may be very crowded.

It cannot happen.  The authorities will not allow it.  This is what they always say.

In some ways it is already happening.

The Feds are already rationing and throttling gold and silver sales by throwing paper and propaganda at the demand.

I wonder how much of it has been secretly siphoned away by insiders already. The time to buy income producing fixed assets is when there is 'blood flowing in the streets,' but the time to get safe and independently liquid is before that blood starts to flow.

Big things are happening, little brother.

Belarus Central Bank Halts Sales of Gold for Roubles

MINSK, April 15 (Reuters) - Belarus' central bank has stopped selling gold to local retail customers for Belarussian roubles it said on Friday, after demand for precious metals soared due to expectations of a currency devaluation.

The bank did not explain its decision.

Belarus is in talks with Russia on a $3 billion bailout package that Minsk hopes will help it avoid a painful devaluation of the rouble and offset the large current account deficit.

Belarussians bought 470 kilograms of gold from the central bank last month, up from 209 kilograms in January and February together, as they sought to protect their savings.

Analysts say that Belarus will have to eventually devalue the rouble by about 20-30 percent even if it receives aid from Moscow. However, the central bank has said it would not make any such moves until late April.

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