A nearby PM and coin dealer told me that from 1981 to 2000, certain mining interests worked to keep the price of gold around $200-$300 per ounce. I never got the reason that they did that, nor the reason that they gave up on it and allowed the price to surge twelve years ago.
I haven't heard a peep about anything like this. It seems very contrary to mining company interests, IMO. Mining is not a cheap activity in most places. They need cash and lots of it to fund their operations. Deliberately causing their earnings to be low seems not only foolish but dangerous to their business.
What I have heard, however, is that the big bullion banks, aka The Cartel, takes large short positions in gold and silver and that if the price then dips, they can make a lot of money from that price dip. They can also go long then and sell when the price gets to a nice place for shorting. If true, they are milking this cow for all she is worth, profiting greatly on both ends of the price swings. This makes a lot more sense to me than having the miners involved in price manipulations.
He also told me that, if the US were to return to the gold standard for currency, the govt. would then confiscate all gold holdings by private citizens, as it did back in the 1930's. Would that be necessary and, if so, why?
I've read a lot of articles on the web that take both sides of this issue. The BIG difference between then and now is that gold coins were circulated as money back then but they are not now. Because of this, gold ownership was common then but not now. The number of Americans who own gold coins is very small as a percentage of our population. Because of this, there would not be a lot of gold out there to be
, er, confiscated. Also, there were exceptions to this executive order for gold jewelry, gold collectible coins, and gold used in various industries.
The gold confiscation of 1933 was primarily aimed at the banks because that was where most of the gold was located. The reason for the confiscation was that the government economists believed that the depression would not end until money was freely circulated. A lot of people were holding their gold and not spending it, so it was not circulating as they wanted it to do. Most people considered their few gold coins as money of last resort, perhaps the last thing standing between them and starvation, and held onto them as long as they could. Times were hard and they never knew when they would have more gold.
While the government could do this again, it seems unlikely in view of the small amount of gold held by citizens and the effort that the government would have to go through to gather it up. Angering voters with a small issue like this is not usually done. Anyone who doesn't have any gold coins, bars, or rounds is unlikely to care about this issue, unlike most of us on here.