The Phaserl


Fixing the Fix – World Gold Council debate adds little


The World Gold Council’s roundtable debate on how to modernise the London Gold Fixing system, if indeed that is really needed, perhaps predictably came up with little new beyond factors which have already been well discussed in media comment on the current system and ideas to improve it.

The problem facing the London Gold Fix is a loss of credibility, whether justified or not, and the recent Financial Conduct Authority £28 million (US$ 48 million) fine imposed on Barclays, one of the Gold Fix participating banks, will not have helped in this perception. Indeed the name itself doesn’t help either. Oxford English dictionary definitions of the verb to fix, in the language of today, include ‘Influence the outcome of (something, especially a race, match, or election) by illegal or underhand means’ – or as a noun: ‘A dishonest or underhand arrangement.’ So a name change may definitely be in order in any case. London Gold Fix as a name may have been in existence for many years, but language does change and these days in financial markets perception is everything. Now the aspersions have been cast there is almost inevitably going to need to be some kind of replacement for the current system, if only to assuage the doubts that have already been raised.

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