The International Gold Trade PDF provides a comprehensive survey of a rapidly evolving picture. It is intended for anyone with a personal or professional interest in gold, particularly in its markets and its trading.
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Activity in the gold markets has focused investors’ attention on this unique commodity. To provide the reader with a better understanding of the trade the book is set out in three sections. The first sketches the structure of the gold market from the point of view of the commodity analyst before reviewing in detail the institutions and practices of bullion and futures trading; the second looks at gold mining setting the boom of the past decade in the context of a longer term perspective; the third surveys the used of gold, past and present, and discusses the metal’s future prospects.
With a specific gravity of 1932 gold is a heavyweight among metals, exceptionally malleable and ductile, a good conductor of heat and electricity, and immune to tarnish. Impervious to corrosion by water or air, it is also resistant to all but the strongest acids.
One of only two metals that is not a shade of grey (the other is copper) gold is distinguished by its attractive colour and appearance. Prized for beauty, versatility and scarcity, gold has held a unique position in human history, often for better, sometimes for worse. Its role has been far from unchanging, the uses of gold varying greatly between one society and another and one era and another. For gold in the public sphere our own century has spanned the most dramatic swings of fortune. From its zenith at the centre of the monetary system before the First World War gold has been down-graded to little more than a vestigial official store of value today.
Yet this has brought undoubted benefit to the ordinary citizen. In the past the preserve of treasuries, bankers and the rich, gold has become much less exclusive. Not particularly rare, it has nevertheless been thinly dispersed by Nature, but with the benefit of modern technology and an appropriate commercial climate it has become readily available to a much wider section of the population, able to enjoy its decorative qualities and its appeal as personal adornment. Unprecedented quantities of gold are now turned into jewellery and other decorative articles each year. Yet at the same time its role as a private store of wealth is perhaps fading in a world where the array of alternative vehicles for investment grows wider by the day. If gold has become more democratic it has also, in an age of consumerism, become less mysterious, more of an everyday commodity.
The geography of gold has shifted profoundly, with growing prosperity opening up big new markets in newly industrialised and developing countries in Asia. Accompanying these geographical shifts and the march of liberalisation eastward has been the internationalisation of gold trading. Yet the traditional centres have found new roles and retained their eminence. The supply of gold has changed dramatically. Larger amounts of bullion routinely flow on to the market than at any time in history, and from more diverse sources than in the past. No longer virtually synonymous with South Africa, gold mining is nevertheless still dominated by English-speaking countries, a position heightened by its uncertain future in the states which once made up the Soviet Union.
This book provides a comprehensive survey of a rapidly evolving picture. It is intended for anyone with a personal or professional interest in gold, particularly in its markets and its trading. While I have tackled some of the more esoteric corners of the industry I hope the book remains accessible to the non-specialist. It is set out in three sections; the first sketches out the structure of the gold market from the point of view of the commodity analyst, before reviewing in detail the institutions and practices of bullion and futures trading; the second looks at gold mining, setting the boom of the past decade in the context of a longer term perspective; the third surveys the uses of gold, past and present, and looks briefly at the metal’s future prospects.
In writing this book I am fortunate to have had the benefit of experience with Commodities Research Unit and previous involvements with precious metals. My sincere thanks go to all those who have helped with advice and information, and my special appreciation to Willem Beunderman and to Ted Arnold. Errors of fact or opinion, however, are my own.
Table of Contents- The International Gold Trade PDF
About the author
Anthony Warwick-Ching (‘Tony’) is a seasoned economist whose long career has taken him all the way from mining in Africa to journalism, consultancy and a spell in the City. With a wealth of experience and contacts across a range of industries, he brings a unique level of knowledge to the story he tells in this timely and indispensable book. Previous publications include books on the gold market and recycling, and papers on metals, mining, oil and shipbuilding.
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