Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Ron Paul announced today the Subcommittee will convene for a hearing on improving the U.S. Mint's bullion coin programs. The hearing will take place on Thursday, April 7 at 10 a.m. in room 2128 Rayburn.
Subcommittee Chairman Paul said, "I look forward to this hearing on the Mint's bullion coin program, identifying ongoing problems with coin production and hearing from the coin industry on possible solutions."
The hearing, entitled "Bullion Coin Programs of the United States Mint: Can They Be Improved?," is designed to identify any problems with the Mint's bullion programs and determine any necessary changes to improve the programs. The U.S. Mint sells bullion coins at a cost equal to the value of the precious metal--gold, silver, or platinum--plus a markup to cover production and marketing costs. These coins are sold to investors through a network of "authorized purchasers." The bullion coin programs have been impacted as a result of the economic slowdown and the financial crisis. As investors sought to hedge against inflation, the Mint in the last two years has in some instances been unable to meet demand.
Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus said, "Many have expressed concerns that the Mint buys a large percentage of the blanks to make its bullion coins from a supplier overseas rather than having them made here in the United States. Our country is the third-largest gold producer in the world and a major silver producer. We have very capable refiners with excess capacity, and we have plenty of people in this country who are looking for jobs. It is my hope this hearing will help Subcommittee members understand why the Mint has not moved to bring this work back to our shores."