Introduced by Enzo Grilli and Robert Pringle ENZO GRILLI: We have come to two topics that are important and related to one another in many respects. They pertain to where the international monetary system is going and where it should or it could go (i.e., a reform of the international monetary system). One question is the role of gold: gold as a reference, gold as a reserve, and gold as an asset. The second topic has to do with the international monetary system and what shape it could take: is fundamental reform, as opposed to marginal reform, necessary at this time? If so, why, and with what components? On the future of gold, I wonder if Mr. Pringle would like to set the stage and perhaps give us a notion of where we are from his point of view. I am glad we have left the sexiest subject to the end of our conference. Gold has long been one of those almost unmentionable subjects in the international monetary system. It has been a kind of conspiracy of silence. Central bankers have not wanted to talk about it because it is too sensitive a subject. It also brings in political considerations which central bankers have been reluctant to discuss. In the US, for instance, it is the US Treasury that decides gold policy, not the Federal Reserve. In other countries it is the central bank that decides gold policy. In either case, it is a fact that selling or buying gold...
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