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Why is Putin stockpiling gold? By Brett Arends

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Image uploaded from a quicklink I can't imagine it means anything cheerful that Vladimir Putin, the Russian czar, is stockpiling gold as fast as he can get his hands on it. According to the World Gold Council, Russia has more than doubled its gold reserves in the past five years. Putin has taken advantage of the financial crisis to build the world's fifth-biggest gold pile in a handful of years, and is buying about half a billion dollars' worth every month. Perhaps it is due to the effort by the BRICs to reconstitute the SDR, with some gold in the basket of currencies, as a major instrument for international trade when the US dollar falters as the world's reserve currency. It is the most important thing that no one is even discussing. Big things are underway behind the scenes, the kind of sea change that everyone understands after the fact, but almost no one sees coming, especially those whose gaze is fixed from...

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