Switzerland should not take sides in the dispute between paper gold traders and those businessmen who try to bring back gold bonds as the cornerstone of economic stability. It should just provide a level field for the players. Switzerland should allow the establishment of a gold bond market, the fountainhead of peace and progress, simply on the basis of the past record of gold bond trading.
Unfortunately, this is not the case today. To get a license for a company to float and trade gold bonds would face endless bureaucratic wrangles, while licensing a new gold ETF would be a shoo-in.
Regulatory oversight is not a problem. Floating and trading gold bonds is an open book to everybody. But as the example of the recent collapse of MF global shows that no amount of regulations can hide crooked dealings in futures trading.
The charge that gold is unreliable on account of its wildly fluctuating price is not valid. The volatility of the gold price is not a reflection of gold’s value, but that of the dollar in which the gold price is quoted.
Gold is gold, and paper is paper. A gold coin or a gold bar does not have to be trusted if one does not trust the government or the bank that has stamped it. Gold can be tested with scales and acids.
What we have said about the refinancing of European sovereign debt hinges all upon a functioning gold bond market. As a matter of priority, the solution of the crisis must start with bringing gold bonds back. This is where Switzerland could offer the greatest positive contribution: be the home of the new gold bond market the world so badly needs.