Monday, March 30, 2009

Socionomics, Scandal and Gold

Socionomics posits (well, my interpretation of socionomics) that during the wave of pessimism that follows a wave of optimism, a lot of the delusions and frauds that were allowed to fluorish during the good times get swept away, as does some of the legitimacy of insitutions that were revered during the boom.

The gigantic shift in mood towards extreme pessimism that we are just entering should shatter the foundations of many "rock solid" institutions that have been above reproach for generations. We may - just may - be seeing that develop over in Kentucky...

Is there any gold inside Fort Knox, the world's most secure vault?
Chris Ayres in Los Angeles for the TimesOnline
It is said to be the most impregnable vault on Earth: built out of granite, sealed behind a 22-tonne door, located on a US military base and watched over day and night by army units with tanks, heavy artillery and Apache helicopter gunships at their disposal.

Since its construction in 1937 the treasures locked inside Fort Knox have included the US Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, three volumes of the Gutenberg Bible and Magna Carta. For several prominent investors and at least one senior US congressman it is not the security of the facility in Kentucky that is a cause of concern: it is the matter of how much gold remains stored there - and who owns it.

They are worried that no independent auditors appear to have had access to the reported $137 billion (£96 billion) stockpile of brick-shaped gold bars in Fort Knox since the era of President Eisenhower. After the risky trading activities at supposedly safe institutions such as AIG they want to be reassured that the gold reserves are still the exclusive property of the US and have not been used to fund risky transactions...

h/t HPH

Memeering Alert

Also, the article has a wonderfully blatant attempt at memeering. At the end of the "newsie" part of the story, there is a subheading entitled "Conspiracy Theories" and has blurbs talking about FEMA concentration camps, multiple references to aliens and the Georgia Guidestones. None of these topics has anything to do with the mundane accounting task of auditing a physical asset. Do note how "they" want to immediately associate mundane accounting (as relates to gold stored at Fort Knox) with wacky conspiracy theories. My, my, my. Are several someones nervous? Possibly.

Most likely some intern at TimesOnline was asked to link "further reading" to the topic and lazily did a keyword search on "conspiracy" and just plugged in some fun facts. That said, the word "conspiracy" never occurs in the story itself...

No answers, but much to ponder.

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