25 years ago I visited Comex at the World Trade Center, watching the feverish activity in the gold pit from behind the glass wall in the gallery. A gentleman standing next, unknown to me, remarked: “One day this make-believe charade will come to a bad end. All that these guys are doing down there is creating ever more claims to the same lump of gold — just as governments have been doing before they met their ignominious fate.” Later that day I went to see the Director of Research of Comex. During our chat that lasted about an hour he intimated that he was greatly disturbed by the mystery that the gold basis has been steadily declining year in and year out. Perhaps it was the fact that he could not solve the puzzle that bothered him so much that he quit his job a few months later. I must confess that I could not solve that puzzle myself until the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center came tumbling down many years later. For me it was a symbolic event, conjuring up the unknown gentleman and bringing back his cryptic remark. We are watching a game of musical chairs. When th
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