The canary in the goldmine

Gold bars

The international monetary system experienced a watershed in 1971 when the US government unilaterally unhitched its currency from gold. For millennia, gold and silver underpinned the international monetary system – either directly or through government guarantees of the convertibility of local tender into precious metals.

Nearly 30 years later, in 1999, central banks began divesting their gold stocks. But in 2008, at the time of the great financial crisis, this trend abruptly reversed and has

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