The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is honored to present an exclusive interview with economy world expert Jim Rickards. Jim is the author of the bestseller “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis” and the forthcoming, “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System”.
Jim, as you know, China is now the world’s largest consumer of gold. While the WGC states that its “record” demand in 2013 was only 1,065.8 tonnes, the China Gold Association estimates “gold consumption” was 1,176 tonnes. On the other hand, several pundits like Koos Jansen say that the real China gold demand was much more than 2,000 tonnes last year. Who should we believe?
– There are many estimates of official and non-official accumulation of gold in China. The truth is that no one knows the exact number because China is non-transparent about the total amount of gold coming into the country and its own mining output, and it is not-transparent about how much of that gold goes for personal acquisition and now much to government reserves. So, all analysts, myself included, are working with imperfect or incomplete information. We do know that some gold comes into China using military channels and is not reported to any authority. As a result, even the best estimates may be too low. The best guide is to assume China has some target in mind, probably 5,000 tonnes or higher, and will continue to accumulate through diverse channels until that target is reached. My estimate is that China will announce it has over 5,000 tonnes of gold in early 2015. It probably has at least 3,000 tonnes today.