France: Piggy Bank

In his gold war against the U.S., Charles de Gaulle in the past 20 months has amassed a huge hoard of bullion. With Finance Minister Michel Debre acting as De Gaulle's Goldfinger, the French this year have been cashing in dollars for gold at a $54 million-a-month rate. Last week the Bank of France reported that as of Aug. 1, France had hoarded $5.13 billion in gold.

Gold now constitutes 86% of all French reserves, compared with 73% at the end of 1964. Moreover, the government is squirreling away the precious metal at such a rate as to account for...

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