May 2011: Systemic reorganisation

There is an unmistakable cloud of foreboding overhanging the world economy – but the positive aspects, too, cannot be ignored altogether. The OMFIF Bulletin for May tries to take note of these apparently contradictory developments. The rise in the price of gold and other commodities – although tempered by a sell-off earlier in May – offers the chance, according to our advisory board chairman Meghnad Desai, of a reorganisation of the world money system in which the yellow metal would play an important de facto and even de jure role. This has implications for Europe, too. Stephane Deo, a new advisory board member, chief European economist for UBS, outlines how the large increase in the value of the Eurosystem’s gold acts as an important buffer against potential losses on the European Central Bank’s purchases of peripheral county bonds. A gold lining, indeed. Mind you, that may not appeal to the Germans who (followed by Italy and France) are the main owners of gold in Europe – and may not be keen to share revaluation profits.

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