Transcript of Kissinger Economic Policy Meeting

The below recently declassified transcript of an internal meeting between Kissinger and his advisers shows an alarming degree of incompetence from all sides.  Remember, this was during a period of great economic turmoil, after the Nixon Shock, and the infancy of the modern Forex market as we know it.

There are those who believe in conspiracy theories, that Kissinger with international advisers spent the weekend with Nixon plotting to default on the Gold obligations thus creating the floating currency system, in order to implement a one world currency decades later.  What this transcript indicates, if not proves, is that there is no conspiracy, and the people who created the modern Forex market have no clue what they are doing, and had no model or even a plan for that matter, when they created the Forex market.


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1973–1976
VOLUME XXXI, FOREIGN ECONOMIC POLICY, DOCUMENT 63


63. MINUTES OF SECRETARY OF STATE KISSINGER’S PRINCIPALS AND REGIONALS STAFF MEETING 1

Washington, April 25, 1974, 3:13–4:16 p.m.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to international monetary policy.]
Secretary Kissinger: Now we’ve got Enders, Lord and Hartman. They’ll speak separately or together. (Laughter.)
Mr. Hartman: A trio.
Mr. Lord: I can exhaust my knowledge of gold fairly quickly, I think.
Secretary Kissinger: Now, I had one deal with Shultz—never to discuss gold at this staff meeting—because his estimate of what would appear in the newspapers from staff meetings is about the same as mine.
Are you going to discuss something—is this now in the public discussion, what we’re discussing here?
Mr. Enders: It’s been very close to it. It’s been in the newspapers now—the EC proposal. 2
Secretary Kissinger: On what—revaluing their gold?
Mr. Enders: Revaluing their gold—in the individual transaction between the central banks. That’s been in the newspaper. The subject is, obviously, sensitive; but it’s not, I think, more than the usual degree of sensitivity about gold.
Secretary Kissinger: Now, what is our position?
Mr. Enders: You know what the EC proposal is.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes.
Mr. Enders: It does not involve a change in the official price of gold. It would allow purchases and sales to the private market, provided there was no net purchase from the private market by an individual central banker in a year. And then there would be individual sales between the central banks on—
Secretary Kissinger: How can they permit sale to the private market? Oh, and then they would buy from the private market?
Mr. Enders: Then they would buy.
Secretary Kissinger: But they wouldn’t buy more than they sold.
Mr. Enders: They wouldn’t buy more than they sold. There would be no net increase in gold held by the central banks that was held by the EEC. It could be held by others.
I’ve got two things to say about this, Mr. Secretary. One is: If it happens, as they proposed, it would be against our interests in these ways.
Secretary Kissinger: Have you accepted it or is this just a French proposal?
Mr. Enders: It’s an informal consensus that they’ve reached among themselves.
Secretary Kissinger: Were they discussed with us at all?
Mr. Enders: Not in a systematic way. They’re proposing to send over to Washington the Dutch Finance Minister and the Dutch Central Governor would talk to the Treasury.
Secretary Kissinger: What’s Arthur Burns’ view?
Mr. Enders: Arthur Burns—I talked to him last night on it, and he didn’t define a general view yet. He was unwilling to do so. He said he wanted to look more closely on the proposal. Henry Wallich, the international affairs man, this morning indicated he would probably adopt the traditional position that we should be for phasing gold out of the international monetary system; but he wanted to have another look at it. So Henry Wallich indicated that they would probably come down opposing this. But he was not prepared to do so until he got a further look at it.
Secretary Kissinger: But the practical consequence of this is to revalue their gold supply.
Mr. Enders: Precisely.
Secretary Kissinger: Their gold reserves.
Mr. Enders: That’s right. And it would be followed quite closely by a proposal within a year to have an official price of gold—
Secretary Kissinger: It doesn’t make any difference anyway. If they pass gold at the market price, that in effect establishes a new official price.
Mr. Enders: Very close to it—although their—
Secretary Kissinger: But if they ask what they’re doing—let me just say economics is not my forte. But my understanding of this proposal would be that they—by opening it up to other countries, they’re in effect putting gold back into the system at a higher price.
Mr. Enders: Correct.
Secretary Kissinger: Now, that’s what we have consistently opposed.
Mr. Enders: Yes, we have. You have convertibility if they—
Secretary Kissinger: Yes.
Mr. Enders: Both parties have to agree to this. But it slides towards and would result, within two or three years, in putting gold back into the centerpiece of the system—one. Two—at a much higher price. Three—at a price that could be determined by a few central bankers in deals among themselves.
So, in effect, I think what you’ve got here is you’ve got a small group of bankers getting together to obtain a money printing machine for themselves. They would determine the value of their reserves in a very small group.
There are two things wrong with this.
Secretary Kissinger: And we would be on the outside.
Mr. Enders: We could join this too, but there are only very few countries in the world that hold large amounts of gold—United States and Continentals being most of them. The LDC’s and most of the other countries—to include Japan—have relatively small amounts of gold. So it would be highly inflationary, on the one hand—and, on the other hand, a very inequitable means of increasing reserves.
Secretary Kissinger: Why did the Germans agree to it?
Mr. Enders: The Germans agreed to it, we’ve been told, on the basis that it would be discussed with the United States—conditional on United States approval.
Secretary Kissinger: They would be penalized for having held dollars.
Mr. Enders: They would be penalized for having held dollars. That probably doesn’t make very much difference to the Germans at the present time, given their very high reserves. However, I think that they may have come around to it on the basis that either we would oppose it—one—or, two, that they would have to pay up and finance the deficits of France and Italy by some means anyway; so why not let them try this proposal first?
The EC is potentially divided on this, however, and if enough pressure is put on them, these differences should reappear.
Secretary Kissinger: Then what’s our policy?
Mr. Enders: The policy we would suggest to you is that, (1), we refuse to go along with this—
Secretary Kissinger: I am just totally allergic to unilateral European decisions that fundamentally affect American interests—taken without consultation of the United States. And my tendency is to smash any attempt in which they do it until they learn that they can’t do it without talking to us.
That would be my basic instinct, apart from the merits of the issue.
Mr. Enders: Well, it seems to me there are two things here. One is that we can’t let them get away with this proposal because it’s for the reasons you stated. Also, it’s bad economic policy and it’s against our fundamental interests.
Secretary Kissinger: There’s also a fundamental change of our policy that we pursued over recent years—or am I wrong there?
Mr. Enders: Yes.
Secondly, Mr. Secretary, it does present an opportunity though—and we should try to negotiate for this—to move towards a demonetization of gold, to begin to get gold moving out of the system.
Secretary Kissinger: But how do you do that?
Mr. Enders: Well, there are several ways. One way is we could say to them that they would accept this kind of arrangement, provided that the gold were channelled out through an international agency—either in the IMF or a special pool—and sold into the market, so there would be gradual increases.
Secretary Kissinger: But the French would never go for this.
Mr. Enders: We can have a counter-proposal. There’s a further proposal—and that is that the IMF begin selling its gold—which is now 7 billion—to the world market, and we should try to negotiate that. That would begin the demonetization of gold.
Secretary Kissinger: Why are we so eager to get gold out of the system?
Mr. Enders: We were eager to get it out of the system—get started—because it’s a typical balancing of either forward or back. If this proposal goes back, it will go back into the centerpiece system.
Secretary Kissinger: But why is it against our interests? I understand the argument that it’s against our interest that the Europeans take a unilateral decision contrary to our policy. Why is it against our interest to have gold in the system?
Mr. Enders: It’s against our interest to have gold in the system because for it to remain there it would result in it being evaluated periodically. Although we have still some substantial gold holdings—about 11 billion—a larger part of the official gold in the world is concentrated in Western Europe. This gives them the dominant position in world reserves and the dominant means of creating reserves. We’ve been trying to get away from that into a system in which we can control—
Secretary Kissinger: But that’s a balance of payments problem.
Mr. Enders: Yes, but it’s a question of who has the most leverage internationally. If they have the reserve-creating instrument, by having the largest amount of gold and the ability to change its price periodically, they have a position relative to ours of considerable power. For a long time we had a position relative to theirs of considerable power because we could change gold almost at will. This is no longer possible—no longer acceptable. Therefore, we have gone to special drawing rights, which is also equitable and could take account of some of the LDC interests and which spreads the power away from Europe. And it’s more rational in—
Secretary Kissinger: “More rational” being defined as being more in our interests or what?
Mr. Enders: More rational in the sense of more responsive to worldwide needs—but also more in our interest by letting—
Secretary Kissinger: Would it shock you? I’ve forgotten how SDR’s are generated. By agreement?
Mr. Enders: By agreement.
Secretary Kissinger: There’s no automatic way?
Mr. Enders: There’s no automatic way.
Mr. Lord: Maybe some of the Europeans—but the LDC’s are on our side and would not support them.
Mr. Enders: I don’t think anybody would support them.
Secretary Kissinger: But could they do it anyway?
Mr. Enders: Yes. But in order for them to do it anyway, they would have to be in violation of important articles of the IMF. So this would not be a total departure. (Laughter.) But there would be reluctance on the part of some Europeans to do this. We could also make it less interesting for them by beginning to sell our own gold in the market, and this would put pressure on them.
Mr. Maw: Why wouldn’t that fit if we start to sell our own gold at a price?
Secretary Kissinger: But how the hell could this happen without our knowing about it ahead of time?
Mr. Hartman: We’ve had consultations on it ahead of time. Several of them have come to ask us to express our views. And I think the reason they’re coming now to ask about it is because they know we have a generally negative view.
Mr. Enders: So I think we should try to break it, I think, as a first position—unless they’re willing to assign some form of demonetizing arrangement.
Secretary Kissinger: But, first of all, that’s impossible for the French.
Mr. Enders: Well, it’s impossible for the French under the Pompidou Government. Would it be necessarily under a future French Government? We should test that.
Secretary Kissinger: If they have gold to settle current accounts, we’ll be faced, sooner or later, with the same proposition again. Then others will be asked to join this settlement thing.
Isn’t this what they’re doing?
Mr. Enders: It seems to me, Mr. Secretary, that we should try—not rule out, a priori, a demonetizing scenario, because we can both gain by this. That liberates gold at a higher price. We have gold, and some of the Europeans have gold. Our interests join theirs. This would be helpful; and it would also, on the other hand, gradually remove this dominant position that the Europeans have had in economic terms.
Secretary Kissinger: Who’s with us on demonetizing gold?
Mr. Enders: I think we could get the Germans with us on demonetizing gold, the Dutch and the British, over a very long period of time.
Secretary Kissinger: How about the Japs?
Mr. Enders: Yes. The Arabs have shown no great interest in gold.
Secretary Kissinger: We could stick them with a lot of gold.
Mr. Sisco: Yes. (Laughter.)
Mr. Sonnenfeldt: At those high-dollar prices. I don’t know why they’d want to take it.
Secretary Kissinger: For the bathroom fixtures in the Guest House in Rio. (Laughter.)
Mr. McCloskey: That’d never work.
Secretary Kissinger: That’d never work. Why it could never get the bathtub filled—it probably takes two weeks to fill it.
Mr. Sisco: Three years ago, when Jean 3 was in one of those large bathtubs, two of those guys with speakers at that time walked right on through. She wasn’t quite used to it. (Laughter.)
Secretary Kissinger: They don’t have guards with speakers in that house.
Mr. Sisco: Well, they did in ’71.
Mr. Brown: Usually they’ve been fixed in other directions.
Mr. Sisco: Sure. (Laughter.)
Secretary Kissinger: O.K. My instinct is to oppose it. What’s your view, Art?
Mr. Hartman: Yes. I think for the present time, in terms of the kind of system that we’re going for, it would be very hard to defend in terms of how.
Secretary Kissinger: Ken?
Mr. Rush: Well, I think probably I do. The question is: Suppose they go ahead on their own anyway. What then?
Secretary Kissinger: We’ll bust them.
Mr. Enders: I think we should look very hard then, Ken, at very substantial sales of gold—U.S. gold on the market—to raid the gold market once and for all.
Mr. Rush: I’m not sure we could do it.
Secretary Kissinger: If they go ahead on their own against our position on something that we consider central to our interests, we’ve got to show them that that they can’t get away with it. Hopefully, we should have the right position. But we just cannot let them get away with these unilateral steps all the time.
Mr. Lord: Does the Treasury agree with us on this? I mean, if this guy comes when the Secretary is out of the country—
Secretary Kissinger: Who’s coming?
Mr. Enders: The Dutch Finance Minister—Duisenberg—and Zijlstra. I think it will take about two weeks to work through a hard position on this. The Treasury will want our leadership on the hardness of it. They will accept our leadership on this. It will take, I would think, some time to talk it through or talk it around Arthur Burns, and we’ll have to see what his reaction is.
Mr. Rush: We have about 45 billion dollars at the present value—
Mr. Enders: That’s correct.
Mr. Rush: And there’s about 100 billion dollars of gold.
Mr. Enders: That’s correct. And the annual turnover in the gold market is about 120 billion.
Secretary Kissinger: The gold market is generally in cahoots with Arthur Burns.
Mr. Enders: Yes. That’s been my experience. So I think we’ve got to bring Arthur around.
Secretary Kissinger: Arthur is a reasonable man. Let me talk to him. It takes him a maddening long time to make a point, but he’s a reasonable man.
Mr. Enders: He hasn’t had a chance to look at the proposal yet.
Secretary Kissinger: I’ll talk to him before I leave. 4
Mr. Enders: Good.
Mr. Boeker: It seems to me that gold sales is perhaps Stage 2 in a strategy that might break up the European move—that Stage 1 should be formulating a counterproposal U.S. design to isolate those who are opposing it the hardest—the French and the Italians. That would attract considerable support. It would appeal to the Japanese and others. I think this could fairly easily be done. And that, in itself, should put considerable pressure on the EEC for a tentative consensus.
Mr. Hartman: It isn’t a confrontation. That is, it seems to me we can discuss the various aspects of this thing.
Secretary Kissinger: Oh, no. We should discuss it—obviously. But I don’t like the proposition of their doing something and then inviting other countries to join them.
Mr. Hartman: I agree. That’s not what they’ve done.
Mr. Sonnenfeldt: Can we get them to come after the French election 5 so we don’t get kicked in the head?
Mr. Rush: I would think so.
Secretary Kissinger: I would think it would be a lot better to discuss it after the French election. Also, it would give us a better chance. Why don’t you tell Simonthis?
Mr. Enders: Good.
Secretary Kissinger: Let them come after the French election.
Mr. Enders: Good. I will be back—I can talk to Simon. I guess Shultz will be out then. 6
Mr. Sonnenfeldt: He’ll be out the 4th of May.
Mr. Enders: Yes. Meanwhile, we’ll go ahead and develop a position on the basis of this discussion.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes.
Mr. Enders: Good.
Secretary Kissinger: I agree we shouldn’t get a consultation—as long as we’re talking Treasury, I keep getting pressed for Treasury chair-manship of a policy committee. You’re opposed to that? 7
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to international monetary policy.]
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 3, Secretary’s Staff Meeting, April 25, 1974. Secret. According to an attached list, the following people attended the meeting: Kissinger, Rush, Sisco, Ingersoll,Hartman, Maw, Ambassador at Large Robert Mc-Closkey, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Easum, Hyland, Atherton, Lord, Policy Planning Staff member Paul Boeker,Eagleburger, Springsteen, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Press Relations Robert Anderson, Enders, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Jack Kubisch, andSonnenfeldt.
2 Meeting in Zeist, the Netherlands, on April 22 and 23, EC Finance Ministers and central bankers agreed on a common position on gold, which they authorized the Dutch Minister of Finance, Willem Frederik Duisenberg, and the President of the Dutch central bank, Jelle Zijlstra, to discuss with Treasury and Federal Reserve Board officials in Washington. (Telegram 2042 from The Hague, April 24, and telegram 2457 from USEC Brussels, April 25; ibid., Central Foreign Policy Files)
3 Jean Sisco was Joseph Sisco’s wife.
4 From April 28 to 29, Kissinger was in Geneva for talks with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
5 France held a Presidential election on May 19.
6 George Shultz’s tenure as Secretary of the Treasury ended on May 8, when he was replaced byWilliam Simon.
7 The summary attached to the front page of the minutes notes that “The Secretary is inclined to oppose the proposal on grounds of non consultation by the Europeans as well as on the proposal’s merits. The Secretary agreed to talk to Arthur Burns in this sense.”

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We've been closely watching the Crypto Currency Market if you can call it that, with all the fake data, fraud, and related problems.  One thing stands out - it's not so different than FX, commodities, futures, or stocks.  Market dyn...

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies flash-crashed Saturday night, one day after the US Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas four cryptocurrency exchanges in an ongoing probe into bitcoin manipulation that began in late July - following the launch of bitcoin futures on the CME, according to the Wall Street Journal
CME’s bitcoin futures derive their final value from prices at four bitcoin exchangesBitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and KrakenManipulative trading in those markets could skew the price of bitcoin futures that the government directly regulates.
In delay reaction, Bitcoin fell as much as $433 or 5.6% in Saturday night trading, with some noting that the flash crash happened shortly after a 90th ranked crypto exchange, Coinrail, had suffered a "cyber intrusion", and was likely the more relevant catalyst for the crypto price drop.
While major Cryptocurrencies were down from 4.5 - 5.5%, Bitcoin Cash dropped over 8.4%. 
The CTFC subpoenas were issued after several of the exchanges refused to voluntarily share trading data with the CME after being asked last December. Of note, the CFTC regulates the CTC. 
According to the WSJ, the CME, which launched bitcoin futures in December, asked the four exchanges to share reams of trading data after its first contract settled in January, people familiar with the matter said. But several of the exchanges declined to comply, arguing the request was intrusive. The exchanges ultimately provided some data, but only after CME limited its request to a few hours of activity, instead of a full day, and restricted to a few market participants, the people added.
What is curious, is that if there was indeed manipulation since the launch of bitcoin futures, it was to the downside, as the price of cryptos peaked around the time the crypto futures were launched, and are down well over 50% in the 6 months since.
Coinbase in particular has been under the watch government regulators. On February 23, Coinbase sent an official notice to around 13,000 customers to notify them they were legally required to turn over their information to the IRS
The IRS had initially asked Coinbase in July 2017 to hand over even more detailed information on every one of its then over 500,000 users in an attempt catch those cheating on their taxes. However, another court order in Nov. 2017 reduced this number to around 14,000 “high-transacting” users, which the platform now reports as 13,000, in what Coinbase calls a “partial, but still significant, victory for Coinbase and its customers.”
Coinbase told the around 13,000 affected customers that the company would be providing their taxpayer ID, name, birth date, address, and historical transaction records from 2013-2015 to the IRS within 21 days. Coinbase’s letter to these customers encourages them “to seek legal advice from an attorney promptly” if they have any questions. Their website also states that concerns may also be addressed on Coinbase’s Taxes FAQ. The ongoing legal battle between Coinbase and the US government dates back to November, 2016, when the IRS filed a “John Doe summons” in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
On Feb. 13, personal finance service Credit Karma released data showing that only 0.04 percent of their customers had reported cryptocurrencies on their federal tax returns. 
And in April, former New York Attorney General, Eric "we could rarely have sex without him beating me" Schneiderman, launched a probe of 13 major cryptocurrency exchanges according to the Wall Street Journal - claiming that investors dealing in the fast-growing markets often don’t have the basic facts needed to protect themselves.
Former AG Schneiderman’s office said the program, called Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative,  is part of its responsibility to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial markets, and its goal is to ensure that investors can have a better understanding of the risks and protections afforded them on these sites.
CFTC Commissioner: Crypto is a "modern miracle"
While the CFTC, IRS and New York Attorney General's office are all cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges, it seems to all be part of the government's embrace of virtual currencies.  Last week CFTC Commissioner Rostin Benham called cryptocurrencies a "modern miracleat the Blockchain For Impact Summit held at the UN in New York last week. 
But virtual currencies may – will – become part of the economic practices of any country, anywhere.  Let me repeat that:  these currencies are not going away and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet.  Some places, small economies, may become dependent on virtual assets for survival.  And, these currencies will be outside traditional monetary intermediaries, like government, banks, investors, ministries, or international organizations.
We are witnessing a technological revolution.  Perhaps we are witnessing a modern miracle. -Rostin Benham
Rostin hinted at the upcoming legal action against the exchanges during his speech:
Under the CEA and Commission regulations and related guidance, exchanges have the responsibility to ensure that their Bitcoin futures products and their cash-settlement process are not readily susceptible to manipulation and the entity has sufficient capital to protect itself.  The CFTC has the authority to ensure compliance. In addition, the CFTC has legal authority over virtual currency derivatives in support of anti-fraud and manipulation including enforcement authority in the underlying markets.

Meanwhile, the official Bitcoin website removed references to Coinbase, Blockchain.com and Bitpay, according to Crypto News - only one of which, Coinbase, was subpoenaed. 
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The CFTC officially recognized bitcoin as a commodity in September of 2015 when it went after Coinflip for operating a platform for trading bitcoin options without the proper authorization. Since the agency effectively asserted its dominance over the bitcoin market with that decision, this is the first time it has given its blessing to an bitcoin options trading platform. Expect a burst of institutional trading activity to follow - especially since they approved institutional options trading in July
This post sponsored by Total Cryptos @ www.totalcryptos.com  

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