zerohedge.com / By Tyler Durden / February 10, 2013, 20:16
China has been a very active purchaser of gold for its reserves in the last few years, as we extensively covered here and here, but another nation has taken over the ‘biggest buyer’ role (for the same reasons as China).
Central banks around the world have printed money to escape the global financial crisis, and as Bloomberg reports, IMF data shows Russia added 570 metric tons in the past decade. Putin’s fears that “the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly,” are clearly being taken seriously as the world’s largest oil producer turns black gold into hard assets. A lawmaker in Putin’s party noted, “the more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency.”
Putin’s gold strategy fits in with his resource nationalism, statist agenda, as Bloomberg notes when Russia defaulted in 1998 it took 28 barrels of oil to buy one ounce of gold, was 11.5 barrels when Putin came to power and when in 2005 it had fallen to 6.5 barrels (less than half what it is now), he went all in, telling the central bank to buy.
Russia has gone through bouts of hoarding before – from 1867′s Tsar Alexander II to Lenin, for now, with more than five years left in Putin’s term, Russia plans to keep on buying - “The pace will be determined by the market,” First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25. “Whether to speed that up or slow it down is a market decision and I’m not going to discuss it.”