Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Last week, after seeing it pop up in a number of other places, this video from The Onion about Cash4Gold wanting to buy all of the 8,000+ tonnes of U.S. gold reserves was shared here because, well, it was pretty darn funny.
You'd think that would the end of this story but, yesterday, Commodity Online (originating from India and, perhaps, not all that familiar with American-style satire) ran this story about the video, apparently not realizing that The Onion is not really "American's Finest News Source" but a satire website offering only fake news.
Cash4Gold, America's leading buyer of precious metals direct from the general public, announced an offer to purchase the U.S. national gold reserve for $240 billion.Now, these Onion videos are good, but they're not that good...
Cash4Gold stated in a press release that it learned of the federal government's plan to turn the nation's gold into cash after the Onion News Network broke the story at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington last week. President Obama and scores of other political and media leaders were on-hand as the Onion aired a video news segment announcing the emergency economic plan aimed at helping the United States pay off its debts.
The funniest part about this whole thing is that it brings a bit more attention to the absurdity of the numbers. The U.S. government has already made some $13 trillion worth of guarantees as a result of the financial crisis, it has a debt of over $11 trillion, and a 2010 budget deficit of almost $2 trillion, but their entire gold reserves are only worth a little over $200 billion.
Appearing on The Onion to explain the government's plan to work with Cash4Gold, Deputy Treasury Secretary Edward Kuehnel estimated the value of the pure gold bars that comprise the U.S. federal gold reserve at $200 billion. Cash4Gold's unprecedented $240 billion offer reflects the full melt value of the U.S. stockpile, plus an added 20 percent. Melt value refers to the value of actual precious metal contained in an item that a refinery can extract and recycle, and does not account for the decorative, artistic, historic, or sentimental value of a given item.Just the fact the Cash4Gold is purportedly paying over the melt value should have been a big tip-off that this wasn't the real deal.
As part of a current promotion called Gold Rush, Cash4Gold is currently paying an additional 20 percent on all items received before July 4. A transaction concluded with the U.S. government would put Cash4Gold 240,000 percent above its advertised goal of purchasing $100 million in gold by the July 4 Independence Day holiday.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner devised the plan to sell the federal gold reserve after viewing one of Cash4Gold's commercials on television, according to the Onion.
And, of course, a quick visit to The Onion would reveal another shocking development which probably isn't true:
I just got a "cubicle flashback" after hearing about self-evaluations about 30 seconds in...