January 30, 2012

ECB independent?

Last week I received an interesting question from someone on Twitter about the independence of the ECB. He didn't believe the ECB is independent as politicians have a lot of power. As I am confronted with more question's about this independency, it is a good subject for a post. A post which I will try to keep short and most easy to read. Leading in this will be Mr Duisenbergs' speech (ECB president 1998-2003) in may 2002. Here, "The Euro-our money", was honoured by the Charlemagne Prize association. Link

In order to come to an answer to this question about the ECB we better begin to look at the currency issued by the ECB, the Euro. Known by many as the coins and banknotes in our wallet. Now, the Euro stands for far more than this. This currency has become a symbol for underlying political vision. It was born out of a believe that in reaching peace and prosperity we should unify Europe. Also, shown by the next quote, the Euro is some kind of social contract.

January 25, 2012

Will the Dutch gold ever come home?

For years the amount of gold held abroad by the Dutch Central Bank (after this named DNB) was only to guess. Nout Wellink (former president of DNB from 1997-2011) never answered any question regarding this topic. But with the new president Klaas Knot just several months in office things have changed. During an interview with Nieuwsuur last January he stated that about 67 ton was stored in Amsterdam. Better translated as "I thought it was about 67 tonnes". Link (in Dutch)

With total holdings at 612,5 tonnes, this leaves 90% of our national gold stored abroad. And as the Ministry of Finance replied before; it is stored in London, Ottawa and New York. Link (in Dutch) 
In this post my intention is to discover what made Mr Knot make this statement. As Mr Wellink had his reasons to remain in silence, so has Mr Knot his reasons to be open. Will this eventually return our gold?

January 15, 2012

Euro vs Dollar

When people say: " The Euro and the Dollar are all the same, and the causes of the problems we face today", it's sometimes hard not to giggle. The idea comes to my mind that there are in fact a lot of similarities between these two currencies. As there are similarities, there are differences. This subject isn't  easy to explain, but I'm going to give it a try! Not with throwing difficult terms at your face or hard to grasp mind games, but with some graphs. With the idea that one picture says more than a thousand words.

As we know, money has three functions:
1. Medium of exchange
2. Unit of account
3. Store of value.

January 6, 2012

Pension Fund SPVG

In case you missed it, this is about a small Dutch pension fund (SPVG) that became world news. This alone can be called an achievement as this pension fund invests for a stunning number employees of 1142. So what was the reason they became world news?
That's because this fund has been ordered to sell a great part of their gold bars (physical) due to a court ruling. Most interesting part, this was brought to court by the DNB (Dutch Central Bank). And as often, Zerohedge was quick in it's conclusion : "This latest gold confiscation equivalent event is most certainly coming to a banana republic near you.". Link

January 3, 2012


It was once said that "gold and oil can never flow in the same direction". If the current price of oil doesn't change soon we will no doubt run out of gold. 

The Western governments needed to keep the price of gold down so it could flow where they needed it to flow. The key to free up gold was simple. The Western public will not hold an asset that going nowhere, at least in currency terms. ( if one can only see value in paper currency terms then one cannot see value at all ). Another, 5 october 1997