Ron Paul has always said this whole ball game can change rapidly ....
FORBES (04/22/12) "Beijing is planning to avoid U.S. financial sanctions on Iran by paying for oil with gold. China’s imports of the metal are already large, and you can guess what additional purchases are going to do to prices."
"On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The NDAA, as it is called, attempts to reduce Iran’s revenue from the sale of petroleum by imposing sanctions on foreign financial institutions conducting transactions with Iranian financial institutions in connection with those sales. This provision, which essentially cuts off sanctioned institutions from the U.S. financial system, takes effect on June 28."
Bye bye reserve status. The folks @ CNBC today are going to look like complete idiots.
UPDATE -- Jim Sinclair's take on this move:
The implications of China paying for Iranian oil in gold is the most important event in the modern history of gold
1. It is reasonable to assume that China has been threatened with total or at least selective exclusion from the SWIFT system if it pays in any currency for Iranian oil.
2. Gold has been decided by China as the means of making payment for massive international purchases free of the SWIFT system.
3. Other Asian and Middle Eastern nations will now see the gold they hold as money free of Western economic interference.
4. Gold now is not only money free of liability, but also free from interference regarding settlement by the long arm of Western influence.
5. The SWIFT system is becoming ever more a weapon of Western international political will.
6. In case of war anywhere, it is now demonstrated for all to see that only gold will buy the materials required. Paper currencies are under the SWIFT system's control in settlement.
7. Far from being a barbaric relic, gold is now clearly the money of state survival in every sense.
8. It is reasonable and possible for the supply of physical gold to fall far behind the size of the massive short positions now common to algorithm and hedge fund paper shorts. That will make an effective cover at a reasonable price as compared to a certain day's close impossible the following day on an exogenous event.
9. It may not be possible to use TA of any nature to determine a price of overvaluation for gold. Should the USA decide to take on China in full out economic war with the physical market totally illiquid, such as through isolation from the SWIFT system, consider the gold price that might result.