- DALLAS (Business Wire) --
Blanchard & Co.'s anti-trust lawsuit against Barrick Gold and J.P.
Morgan Chase alleging that they conspired to control the price of gold
can proceed to trial, a federal judge in New Orleans ruled in a decision
- The judge, Helen G. Berrigan, denied a "summary
judgment" motion by Barrick and Morgan Chase to dismiss the lawsuit.
She found that Blanchard, the New Orleans-based coin and bullion dealer,
had proven its standing to sue and the appropriateness of its claims under
the Sherman Act.
- The judge pointedly rejected Barrick's claim to be immune
from suit as the agent of central banks in the implementation of their
policy on gold.
- Welcoming Judge Berrigan's decision, Blanchard CEO Don
Doyle thanked the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee and its consultant,
Reginald H. Howe, for their work in bringing the first federal lawsuit
alleging manipulation of the gold price. That lawsuit was dismissed on
technical grounds in U.S. District Court in Boston in March 2002. Doyle
said Blanchard had learned much from the Howe case and used it to build
its own case.
- Barrick and Morgan Chase have 10 days to apply to Judge
Berrigan for permission to appeal her decision to the 5th Circuit Court
of Appeals. If her dismissal of the Barrick/Morgan Chase "summary
judgment" motion stands, the Blanchard lawsuit would proceed with
Blanchard empowered to compel Barrick and Morgan Chase to produce evidence
and testimony prior to trial.
- "Blanchard's success in court is a victory for gold
producers and investors, the free market, and a more honest international
financial system," GATA Chairman Bill Murphy said. "The Blanchard
case now promises embarrassing disclosures about secret collusion between
Barrick, Wall Street, and central banks to control the price of gold. GATA
congratulates and is deeply grateful to Blanchard & Co." Murphy
continued: "For five years GATA has painstakingly developed the evidence
of the surreptitious suppression of the gold price. We've done a good job
but we haven't had the power to compel the perpetrators to disclose their
records and answer questions under oath. Now Blanchard & Co. will have
that power in pursuit of the truth about the gold market. The results may
be explosive - and liberating not only to mining companies and gold investors
but also to the developing countries that have been devastated for so long
by the gold price suppression scheme. Justice is coming."
- Judge Berrigan's decision allowing the Blanchard lawsuit
to proceed has been posted at GATA's Internet site in Adobe Acrobat format
- Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, Dallas
- Bill Murphy, 214-522-3411