The NBR comes with revelations, for the first time, related to the gold reserve during the communist period that was used by Nicolae Ceausescu either to guarantee external loans or to pay the external debt by selling tens of tons of gold, according to Mediafax.
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The National Bank of Romania published a study book on the Evolution of the gold stock of the National Bank of Romania during the communist period, respectively during 1946-1989, Ziarul Financiar writes.
The authors come up with revelations for the first time related to the NBR’s gold reserve in the context of the communist period when it was used by Nicolae Ceausescu for the accelerated payment of foreign debt, which unbalanced and drained the country’s economy.
The evolution of the gold stock of the National Bank of Romania (1946-1989) represents the third part of the four of an ample work that aims at reconstituting the gold stock of the central bank of Romania from its creation until 2020.
Unlike the two previous chronological sequences, the period 1946-1989 was no longer individualized according to the criterion of legal coverage of the lion in gold. This change was determined by the changes in the role of gold internationally, as well as by the measures of the communist regime in Romania which led to the imposition of the centralized economy and severe restrictions on the possession of gold by the population.
Consequently, the data series for the period 1946-1989 no longer included the gold-plated stock of the national currency, but took into account the value evolution, in lei, and the quantitative one, in kg, of the total gold stock of the NBR. , with details on: gold in the country, in the NBR’s treasury (bullion and coins) and outside it, as well as gold from abroad (Bank for International Settlements, Bank of England, UBS Zurich, Federal Reserve Bank, Eurobank Paris, National Bank of Hungary, the National Bank of Czechoslovakia, the National Bank of Switzerland, etc.). The data of the series resulted from the research of the sources found in the NBR Archive, completed and compared with those from the CC fund of the PCR, from the National Archives of Romania.
Among the difficulties listed and explained in the methodology chapter of the 1946-1989 series were, in addition to the contradictory data, the “fiction” of the statistics compiled by the communist authorities. The main role of the gold stock in the period 1946-1989 was to contribute to the financing of the country’s balance of payments deficits, for which reason its continuous increase characteristic of the period 1929-1945 was replaced by a sinuous evolution, in which after the decrease dramatic in the first communist decade the stages of accumulation were followed by others of capitalization.
For the communist era, the perspective of the witness standing at the armored door of the BNR treasury was maintained with the mission to record the golden entrances and exits, but also to try to explain these movements, by linking them to events and phenomena. domestically and internationally between the moment of nationalization of the National Bank of Romania and the year of the collapse of the communist regime.
Thus, the following were taken into account: the decisions of Bretton Woods (1944) on the role of gold in the functioning of the international monetary system, the creation of the special reserve asset of the International Monetary Fund, SDR or “paper gold”, the abandonment of the gold standard. foreign exchange, as well as the attributions of the National Bank of Romania (Bank RPR – State Bank and, then, National Bank of RSR) in the possession and administration of precious metals, according to the regulations that defined a very restrictive gold regime.
At the same time, the capitalization of the NBR’s gold stock was considered, from the payment of the sanctions in the Paris Peace Treaty and the payment of grain and technology imports to the deposit of the IMF membership quota and the early payment of the external debt.