Kudos to "Ranting Andy" for sourcing this story. Russia's Central Bank has announced a program to offer short term, gold-backed loans LINK It's not clear to me if this facility will will be available only to Russian banks or if non-Russian banks will have access to the program. What IS clear to me is that the Russian Central Bank, which has been an aggressive monthly accumulator of physical gold, has decided to include gold, along with high-quality bonds, as part of its acceptable collateral policy. It would not surprise me to see more eastern Central Banks offer gold-backed loans. And eventually I suspect that these Central Banks will no longer accept sovereign-issued bonds, like Treasuries, as loan collateral.
As for Bernanke's speech at Jackson Hole today, I thought it was a pathetic attempt to vindicate himself and place the failure of his monetary policies squarely on the shoulders of Congress and the White House. To blame the current economic weakness on the debt-limit debacle is utterly absurd. And in the epitome of hypocrisy and disingenuousness, he lectured that Congress needed to be more "transparent" with and accountable for its legislative procedures and objectives. I really can't believe he made a statement like that considering the fact that the Fed spent millions lobbying Congress to kill Ron Paul's audit the Fed bill. Quite frankly, and quite alarmingly I find Bernanke to be one of the more deceitful and spineless public figures in my lifetime. Nixon would be embarrassed by Bernanke's antics.
Looks like BP's oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking again: LINK We can only hope, contrary to what is likely the case, that Obama did not negotiate a "fence" around BP's liability and that the corrupt oil company will be held financially accountable for its crimes. Of course, given that the Teleprompter's track record has been to alleviate corporate accountability, I'm sure he gave BP a get-out-of-full-liability card last time around the monopoly board.
On a final note, I hope anyone reading this who owns/owned Bank of America stock took yesterday's price action as an opportunity to unload their shares or any mutual funds that have a big holding in BAC. BAC is desperate for liquidity and I would bet a 1 oz. gold eagle that Buffet's deal with the 5% takeout premium was structured as a short term "bridge" deal to keep BAC liquid until a bigger bailout can be put in place, at a time that makes it politically feasible, and takes Buffet out at that 5% premium plus accrued information. God bless crony-capitalistic insider trading!