some interesting gold stuff from kaplan

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    **The value of gold jewelry sold globally has risen from about $15 Billion USD in 1986 to
    just under $30 Billion in 2000, effectively doubling. Such demand topped out in 1996 and 1997
    (when the equities markets were screaming higher and the “wealth effect” was most evident) at
    about 35 Billion USD.
    **From 1991 to 2002, mine production has been increasing at a snail’s pace, but has just
    surpassed 2500 tons per annum, while gold demand has ranged from 3000 tons per
    annum to a high of about 4200 tons in 1997, and approaching 3500 tons for the 2002 year.
    The “structural deficit” of this market has been met by official gold sales from Central Bank
    reserves, scrapping of metal, and forward selling aided by the gold lease market.
    **Central Bank sales of gold has varied in size over the years, with perhaps only 40 tons sold in
    1994 to a high of over 600 tons sold in 1992. Over the past three years, these sales have been
    running at about 550 tons per annum, as Central Bankers have effectively sold into the rally in the
    gold market.
    **Central Bank lending of gold was as low as about 30 tons of gold in 1991, to rocket as high as
    close to 500 tons in 1997, but for the last two years, the market has seen Central Banks
    calling back their loans and we have seen a substantial reduction in the gold being lent
    out. In 2001 and 2002, the gold leasing “pool” decreased by 100-150 tons per annum.
    **Contrary to public perception, the public holds most of the gold in the world, rather than the
    Central Banks of the world. Of the 145,200 tons above ground, Central Banks control 29,600
    tons. Jewelry (some of which truly is “investment” rather than adornment) comprises about
    73,400 tons, and private investment is approximated at 22,200 tons.
    Perusing such “bottom-line” fundamentals is important for the investor/speculator, as it becomes
    most clear that the trends are decidedly bullish. And, if you add in what is occurring in today’s
    world, from a geopolitical and financial perspective, it only makes it more so. OK, I lied a little, I
    did comment on the statistics above.
    I was interested in seeing a chart of the purchasing power of gold in Britain dating from 1596 to
    the present, put together by the World Gold Council. While there were many variances from the
    geometric average, and such deviances sometimes lasted for a hundred years, it appears that
    now, the purchasing power of gold in England IS JUST ABOUT the same as it was 400
    years earlier. My apologies to all the 400 year olds in England who already knew this.
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