While governments no longer require gold to be a part of their currency reserves, it still plays an important role in international finance. It helps to protect currencies from economic and political shocks and is a “liquid asset” that can be sold in case of emergencies.
It’s often difficult to come up with a realistic estimate of how much gold is owned globally. That’s because many countries choose to lie about their gold holdings in order to gain a political advantage.
Canada’s David Sprott
Among his many other accomplishments, Sprott was the first Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of Waterloo and served as the first Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics. He was an influential leader in statistics and actuarial science, and played a key role in the development of computer science at the University.
He was a prolific researcher who made many important methodological and applied contributions to the field. His main interest was in the study of likelihood functions and their applications to statistical inference.
He also published several books, including a popular textbook on statistical inference called “Statistical Inference: A Modern Approach,” which has become a standard reference in the field. Throughout his career, Sprott was also active in the world of photography and enjoyed spending time outdoors. He and his wife Muriel, who passed away in 2009, had two children, Anne and Jane. They lived in a charming cottage near Muskoka.
India’s Priyanka Gandhi Vajpayee
As India’s prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first non-Congress leader to complete a full term of five years. He was also the architect of a number of major economic reforms that helped put India on the road to later growth and prosperity.
Vajpayee also played a key role in the country’s nuclear programme and was one of the architects of India’s Goldern Quadrilateral and Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, ambitious road-building projects that connected Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. His leadership was crucial in helping India emerge from a recession and turn its economy around.
In 2004, the Congress was in a weak position and faced a BJP which had its eyes on power. Priyanka Gandhi, then a junior minister in Sonia Gandhi’s cabinet, was seen as a potential harbinger of hope and promise.
Russia’s Oleg Deripaska
One of the richest Russians on the global map is Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire who founded aluminum giant Rusal. He also owns En+, a London-listed firm that owns assets in metals and energy.
The oligarch was placed on the sanctions list in 2018 over allegations of money laundering, murder, bribery and racketeering. He has been linked to organized crime, according to a report from the Trump administration.
Several of his businesses were targeted by U.S. Treasury measures last April, but he fought back against them. He gathered a team of lawyers, consultants, bankers and well-connected friends, and he worked to win postponements on the measures.
Meanwhile, a former FBI agent is accused of working with Deripaska to help him get off the sanctions list. Prosecutors allege that Charles McGonigal, a special agent who supervised counterintelligence at the agency’s New York office, accepted secret payments for helping the oligarch.
China’s Xi Jinping
The world’s top 19 owners of gold — which also includes Russia and China — have a combined total of 7,134 tonnes, worth almost $130 billion. Germany is second with 2,814 tonnes, followed by the United States, Italy and France.
According to a table compiled by the World Gold Council, the UK ranks in 17th place with 674 metric tons. Its holdings are made up primarily of gold from small artisanal mines, and this can be difficult to account for.
Xi Jinping is the Chinese president and general secretary of the Communist Party, which controls the country’s monetary system. He has consolidated power over the past five years, launching an anti-corruption campaign that has removed countless political rivals and sweeping security crackdowns in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
He is set to serve a third term as China’s leader, and will be reappointed as party general secretary next year. His reign is characterized by authoritarian rule at home and increasingly aggressive foreign policy.