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News, Commentary & Analysis
Celebrating our 40th year in the gold coin & bullion business
Michael J. Kosares, Editor
December, 2012

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SPECIAL REPORT

Royals ask tough questions. . .

Queen Elizabeth checks out Bank of England gold room

Back in 2008, when the financial system was on the verge of breakdown, Queen Elizabeth asked a now famous question during a visit to the London School of economics: "Why didn't anyone see this coming?"

The answer she got left something to be desired, so apparently she decided to give it another try yesterday during a visit to the Bank of England's gold vault. Sujit Kapadia, a member of the BoE's Financial Services Committee responded by likening the 2008 crisis to an earthquake saying it was difficult to predict. He also mentioned that "people thought markets were efficient, people thought regulation wasn't necessary."

Last, he said, "People didn't realize just how interconnected the banking system had become."

"People had got a bit. . .lax, had they?" the Queen asked.

Once again, she had gotten the same standard boilerplate response that was offered up at the time of the 2008 crisis. Perhaps attempting to push for something better and underline the concern expressed by the Queen (and one held by good many others), Prince Philip ventured to ask

"Is there another one coming?"

queensreview

It is fitting that questions such as these would be raised amidst one of the largest single gold hoards on Earth, the Gold Room at the Bank of England on Threadneedle Street in London, United Kingdom.

I have seen this look before. It is the one that usually comes at decision time and accompanies the question "Well, dear, shall we proceed?" The Windsor family, after all, is still among the wealthiest in the world, and the Prince did ask the right question -- one on the minds of many with assets to protect. . . . Are those British sovereigns I see sitting in the foreground?

While at Threadneedle Street, the Queen also signed a million pound bank note which will be displayed at the Bank. Needless to say, one million pounds in gold would be considerably more formidable than a single bank note.

One wonders what might be on the mind of the Queen as she takes-in all this gold. Britain once owned one of the largest gold hoards on earth, but most of the gold in this room belongs to other countries who have deposited it with the Bank of England.

Photos reproduced with the permission of Getty Images.

Comments by Michael Kosares, USAGOLD

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