Repeat after us: gold is not a currency. But, just in case we are wrong, pretty soon one may see it accepted as pseudo legal, non-federal reserve note equivalent just about everywhere. First: the ICE, where “Gold bullion will be permitted for initial margin only and will be accepted by the clearing house by electronic transfer in increments of 1 troy ounce, and will be priced daily using the London Gold Fixing Price in US Dollars.” In other words, the ICE will gladly take your gold. Period.
From the ICE Clear Europe
ICE Clear Europe Announces Acceptance of Gold Bullion Collateral; Adds Triparty Collateral Management Service to Enhance Security and Flexibility
London (8 November 2010) – IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, today announced that ICE Clear Europe will accept gold bullion as collateral for all energy and credit default swaps (CDS) transactions beginning 22 November.
Acceptable collateral for ICE Clear Europe currently includes cash and government securities. Gold bullion will be permitted for initial margin only and will be accepted by the clearing house by electronic transfer in increments of 1 troy ounce, and will be priced daily using the London Gold Fixing Price in US Dollars.
In addition, ICE Clear Europe recently introduced a triparty collateral management arrangement with Euroclear Bank, the international central securities depository, through which European government bonds may be used as collateral to fulfill initial margin requirements. Both the addition of gold bullion collateral and the availability of collateral via Euroclear Bank are intended to enhance the stability and flexibility of the clearing house, particularly during periods of intensive economic stress, while providing alternatives to customers.
“We are pleased to offer these enhancements as the first clearing house in Europe to permit gold bullion as collateral,” said Paul Swann, President of ICE Clear Europe. “By working closely with members, we are continually searching for ways to lead in enhancing risk management practices. Particularly in times of economic change or uncertainty, the addition of gold and Euroclear Bank’s triparty collateral management services bring additional flexibility and security to the markets we serve globally.”
Yves Poullet, Chief Executive Officer of Euroclear Bank, said: ”As the market continues to move from unsecured to secured transactions, accessing and efficiently managing collateral is becoming increasingly important. Helping clients optimize use of their collateral held with Euroclear Bank is precisely our objective, which is easily achieved when collateralizing margin calls from ICE Clear Europe. We are delighted to be of service.”