International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D. C. consisting of "189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty around the world." Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money; as of 2016, the fund had SDR477 billion. Through the fund, other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.
The organisation's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty. IMF funds come from two major sources:quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds; the size of a member's quota depends on its financial importance in the world. Nations with larger economic importance have larger quotas; the quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources. The current Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund is French lawyer and former politician, Christine Lagarde, who has held the post since 5 July 2011. Gita Gopinath was appointed as Chief Economist of IMF from October 1, 2018, she received her Ph. D. in economics from Princeton University. According to the IMF itself, it works to foster global growth and economic stability by providing policy advice and financing the members by working with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
The rationale for this is that private international capital markets function imperfectly and many countries have limited access to financial markets. Such market imperfections, together with balance-of-payments financing, provide the justification for official financing, without which many countries could only correct large external payment imbalances through measures with adverse economic consequences; the IMF provides alternate sources of financing. Upon the founding of the IMF, its three primary functions were: to oversee the fixed exchange rate arrangements between countries, thus helping national governments manage their exchange rates and allowing these governments to prioritize economic growth, to provide short-term capital to aid the balance of payments; this assistance was meant to prevent the spread of international economic crises. The IMF was intended to help mend the pieces of the international economy after the Great Depression and World War II; as well, to provide capital investments for economic growth and projects such as infrastructure.
The IMF's role was fundamentally altered by the floating exchange rates post-1971. It shifted to examining the economic policies of countries with IMF loan agreements to determine if a shortage of capital was due to economic fluctuations or economic policy; the IMF researched what types of government policy would ensure economic recovery. A particular concern of the IMF was to prevent financial crisis, such as those in Mexico 1982, Brazil in 1987, East Asia in 1997–98 and Russia in 1998, from spreading and threatening the entire global financial and currency system; the challenge was to promote and implement policy that reduced the frequency of crises among the emerging market countries the middle-income countries which are vulnerable to massive capital outflows. Rather than maintaining a position of oversight of only exchange rates, their function became one of surveillance of the overall macroeconomic performance of member countries, their role became a lot more active because the IMF now manages economic policy rather than just exchange rates.
In addition, the IMF negotiates conditions on lending and loans under their policy of conditionality, established in the 1950s. Low-income countries can borrow on concessional terms, which means there is a period of time with no interest rates, through the Extended Credit Facility, the Standby Credit Facility and the Rapid Credit Facility. Nonconcessional loans, which include interest rates, are provided through Stand-By Arrangements, the Flexible Credit Line, the Precautionary and Liquidity Line, the Extended Fund Facility; the IMF provides emergency assistance via the Rapid Financing Instrument to members facing urgent balance-of-payments needs. The IMF is mandated to oversee the international monetary and financial system and monitor the economic and financial policies of its member countries; this activity facilitates international co-operation. Since the demise of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, surveillance has evolved by way of changes in procedures rather than through the adoption of new obligations.
The responsibilities changed from those of guardian to those of overseer of members' policies. The Fund analyses the appropriateness of each member country's economic and financial policies for achieving orderly economic growth, assesses the consequences of these policies for other countries and for the global e
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
Silver as an investment
Silver may be used as an investment like other precious metals. It has been regarded as a form of money and store of value for more than 4,000 years, although it has lost its role as a legal tender in all developed countries since the end of the silver standard; some countries mint bullion and collector coins, such as the American Silver Eagle with nominal face values. In 2009, the main demand for silver was for industrial applications, bullion coins, exchange-traded products. In 2011, the global silver reserves amounted to 530,000 tonnes. Millions of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins and American Silver Eagle coins are purchased as investments each year; the Silver Maple Leaf is legal tender at $5 per ounce, there are many other silver coins with higher legal tender values, including $20 Canadian silver coins. In 2011, the Utah Legal Tender Act, made silver and gold U. S. minted coins legal tender in Utah, so that it may be used to pay any debt, without being subject to capital gains tax. The price of silver is driven like most commodities.
The price of silver is notoriously volatile compared to that of gold because of the smaller market, lower market liquidity and demand fluctuations between industrial and store of value uses. At times, this can cause wide-ranging valuations in the market. Silver tracks the gold price due to store of value demands, although the ratio can vary; the crustal ratio of silver to gold is 17.5:1. The gold/silver price ratio is analyzed by traders and buyers. In Roman times, the price ratio was set at 12 to 1. In 1792, the gold/silver price ratio was fixed by law in the United States at 15:1, which meant that one troy ounce of gold was worth 15 troy ounces of silver; the average gold/silver price ratio during the 20th century, was 47:1. Physical bullion in coins or bars may have a premium of 20 percent or more when purchased from a dealer. Silver bullion bars have been available for purchase at a premium of less than 7% over the Comex spot price for much of 2015 and early 2016, while government-minted coins still command a much higher premium.
Physical coins have a higher premium. For example, one troy ounce silver eagles coins released from the US mint at a $2 premium to official distributors who sell coins for a mark up of $2.30 to $2.50 to customers depending on market conditions. In recent years ecommerce growth in the physical bullion industry has seen premiums reduced for retail investors to purchase products online with door to door shipping. Many online dealers provide international shipping and weekly discounts on a wide range of products; the price of silver has risen steeply since September 2005, being around $7 per troy ounce but reaching $14 per troy ounce for the first time by late April 2006. The monthly average price of silver was $12.61 per troy ounce during April 2006, the spot price was around $15.78 per troy ounce on November 6, 2007. As of March 2008, it hovered around $20 per troy ounce. However, the price of silver plummeted 58% in October 2008, along with other metals and commodities, due to the effects of the credit crunch.
By April 2011, silver had rebounded to reach a 31-year high at $49.21 per ounce on April 29, 2011 due to monetary inflation, concerns about the solvency of governments in the developed world in the Eurozone. The Hunt Brothers took a huge position in silver using leverage, to become some of the largest private holders of silver in the world; because of their unusually large stake in the appreciating commodity, Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt, the sons of Texas oil billionaire Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr. were accused of attempting to "corner" the market in silver in order to manipulate its price. From 1973 the Hunt brothers began what was seen as an attempt at cornering the market in silver contributing to a spike in price in January, 18 1980 of the London Silver Fix to $49.45 per troy ounce. Silver futures reached an intraday COMEX all-time high of $50.35 per troy ounce and a reduction of the gold/silver ratio down to 1:17.0. In the last nine months of 1979, the brothers were estimated to be holding over 100 million troy ounces of silver and several large silver futures contracts.
However, a combination of changed trading rules on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the intervention of the Federal Reserve put an end to both their holdings and their potential for profit on the commodity. By 1982, the London Silver Fix had collapsed by 90% to $4.90 per troy ounce. In 1979, the price for silver Good Delivery Bars jumped from about $6 per troy ounce to a record high of $49.45 per troy ounce, which represents an increase of 724%. The highest price of silver itself is hard to determine, but based on the price of common silver coin, it peaked at about $40/oz.. The fact that Good Delivery Bars sold at about a 25% premium would indicate it was a short squeeze of Good Delivery Bars, not silver per se; the brothers were estimated to hold one third of the entire world supply of held silver. The situation for other prospective buyers of silver who had not stocked up on the metal in advance of its bull run was so dire that the jeweler Tiffany's took out a full page ad in The New York Times, blaming the Hunt Brothers for the increase in price and stating that "We think it is unconscionable for
Gold as an investment
Of all the precious metals, gold is the most popular as an investment. Investors buy gold as a way of diversifying risk through the use of futures contracts and derivatives; the gold market is subject to volatility as are other markets. Compared to other precious metals used for investment, gold has the most effective safe haven and hedging properties across a number of countries. Gold has been used throughout history as money and has been a relative standard for currency equivalents specific to economic regions or countries, until recent times. Many European countries implemented gold standards in the latter part of the 19th century until these were temporarily suspended in the financial crises involving World War I. After World War II, the Bretton Woods system pegged the United States dollar to gold at a rate of US$35 per troy ounce; the system existed until the 1971 Nixon Shock, when the US unilaterally suspended the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and made the transition to a fiat currency system.
The last major currency to be divorced from gold was the Swiss Franc in 2000. Since 1919 the most common benchmark for the price of gold has been the London gold fixing, a twice-daily telephone meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms of the London bullion market. Furthermore, gold is traded continuously throughout the world based on the intra-day spot price, derived from over-the-counter gold-trading markets around the world; the following table sets out the gold price versus various assets and key statistics at five-year intervals. Like most commodities, the price of gold is driven by supply and demand, including speculative demand. However, unlike most other commodities and disposal play larger roles in affecting its price than its consumption. Most of the gold mined still exists in accessible form, such as bullion and mass-produced jewelry, with little value over its fine weight — so it is nearly as liquid as bullion, can come back onto the gold market. At the end of 2006, it was estimated that all the gold mined totalled 158,000 tonnes.
The investor Warren Buffett has said that the total amount of gold in the world, above ground could fit into a cube with sides of just 20 metres. However, estimates for the amount of gold that exists today vary and some have suggested the cube could be a lot smaller or larger. Given the huge quantity of gold stored above ground compared to the annual production, the price of gold is affected by changes in sentiment, which affects market supply and demand rather than on changes in annual production. According to the World Gold Council, annual mine production of gold over the last few years has been close to 2,500 tonnes. About 2,000 tonnes goes into jewelry and dental production, around 500 tonnes goes to retail investors and exchange-traded gold funds. Central banks and the International Monetary Fund play an important role in the gold price. At the end of 2004, central banks and official organizations held 19% of all above-ground gold as official gold reserves; the ten-year Washington Agreement on Gold, which dates from September 1999, limited gold sales by its members to less than 500 tonnes a year.
In 2009, this agreement was extended for a further five years, but with a smaller annual sales limit of 400 tonnes. European central banks, such as the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank, have been key sellers of gold over this period. Although central banks do not announce gold purchases in advance, such as Russia, have expressed interest in growing their gold reserves again as of late 2005. In early 2006, which only holds 1.3% of its reserves in gold, announced that it was looking for ways to improve the returns on its official reserves. Some bulls hope that this signals that China might reposition more of its holdings into gold, in line with other central banks. Chinese investors began pursuing investment in gold as an alternative to investment in the Euro after the beginning of the Eurozone crisis in 2011. China has since become the world's top gold consumer as of 2013, it is accepted that the price of gold is related to interest rates. As interest rates rise, the general tendency is for the gold price, which earns no interest, to fall, vice versa.
As a result, the gold price can be correlated to central banks via their monetary policy decisions on interest rates. For example, if market signals indicate the possibility of prolonged inflation, central banks may decide to raise interest rates, which could reduce the price of gold, but this does not always happen: after the European Central Bank raised its interest rate on April 7, 2011, for the first time since 2008, the price of gold drove higher, hit a new high one day later. In August 2011 when interest rates in India were at their highest in two years, the gold prices peaked as well; the price of gold can be influenced by a number of macroeconomic variables. Such variables include the price of oil, the use of quantitative easing, currency exchange rate movements and returns on equity markets. Gold, like all precious metals, may be used as a hedge against inflation, deflation or currency devaluation, though its efficacy as such has been questioned. A unique feature of gold is; as Joe Foster, portfolio manager of the New York-based Van Eck International Gold Fund, explained in September 2010: The curren
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is the institution that manages the currency, money supply, interest rates of a state or formal monetary union, oversees their commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, generally controls the printing/coining of the national currency, which serves as the state's legal tender. A central bank acts as a lender of last resort to the banking sector during times of financial crisis. Most central banks have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the solvency of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks. Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists. Functions of a central bank may include: implementing monetary policies. Setting the official interest rate – used to manage both inflation and the country's exchange rate – and ensuring that this rate takes effect via a variety of policy mechanisms controlling the nation's entire money supply the Government's banker and the bankers' bank managing the country's foreign exchange and gold reserves and the Government bonds regulating and supervising the banking industry Central banks implement a country's chosen monetary policy.
At the most basic level, monetary policy involves establishing what form of currency the country may have, whether a fiat currency, gold-backed currency, currency board or a currency union. When a country has its own national currency, this involves the issue of some form of standardized currency, a form of promissory note: a promise to exchange the note for "money" under certain circumstances; this was a promise to exchange the money for precious metals in some fixed amount. Now, when many currencies are fiat money, the "promise to pay" consists of the promise to accept that currency to pay for taxes. A central bank may use another country's currency either directly in a currency union, or indirectly on a currency board. In the latter case, exemplified by the Bulgarian National Bank, Hong Kong and Latvia, the local currency is backed at a fixed rate by the central bank's holdings of a foreign currency. Similar to commercial banks, central banks incur liabilities. Central banks create money by issuing interest-free currency notes and selling them to the public in exchange for interest-bearing assets such as government bonds.
When a central bank wishes to purchase more bonds than their respective national governments make available, they may purchase private bonds or assets denominated in foreign currencies. The European Central Bank remits its interest income to the central banks of the member countries of the European Union; the US Federal Reserve remits all its profits to the U. S. Treasury; this income, derived from the power to issue currency, is referred to as seigniorage, belongs to the national government. The state-sanctioned power to create currency is called the Right of Issuance. Throughout history there have been disagreements over this power, since whoever controls the creation of currency controls the seigniorage income; the expression "monetary policy" may refer more narrowly to the interest-rate targets and other active measures undertaken by the monetary authority. Frictional unemployment is the time period between jobs when a worker is searching for, or transitioning from one job to another. Unemployment beyond frictional unemployment is classified as unintended unemployment.
For example, structural unemployment is a form of unemployment resulting from a mismatch between demand in the labour market and the skills and locations of the workers seeking employment. Macroeconomic policy aims to reduce unintended unemployment. Keynes labeled any jobs that would be created by a rise in wage-goods as involuntary unemployment: Men are involuntarily unemployed if, in the event of a small rise in the price of wage-goods to the money-wage, both the aggregate supply of labour willing to work for the current money-wage and the aggregate demand for it at that wage would be greater than the existing volume of employment.—John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment and Money p11 Inflation is defined either as the devaluation of a currency or equivalently the rise of prices relative to a currency. Since inflation lowers real wages, Keynesians view inflation as the solution to involuntary unemployment. However, "unanticipated" inflation leads to lender losses as the real interest rate will be lower than expected.
Thus, Keynesian monetary policy aims for a steady rate of inflation. A publication from the Austrian School, The Case Against the Fed, argues that the efforts of the central banks to control inflation have been counterproductive. Economic growth can be enhanced by investment such as more or better machinery. A low interest rate implies that firms can borrow money to invest in their capital stock and pay less interest for it. Lowering the interest is therefore considered to encourage economic growth and is used to alleviate times of low economic growth. On the other hand, raising the interest rate is used in times of high economic growth as a contra-cyclical device to keep the economy from overheating and avoid market bubbles. Further goals of monetary policy are stability of interest rates, of the financial market, of the foreign exchange market. Goals cannot be separated fr
The fineness of a precious metal object represents the weight of fine metal therein, in proportion to the total weight which includes alloying base metals and any impurities. Alloy metals are added to increase hardness and durability of coins and jewelry, alter colors, decrease the cost per weight, or avoid the cost of high-purity refinement. For example, copper is added to the precious metal silver to make a more durable alloy for use in coins and jewelry. Coin silver, used for making silver coins in the past, contains 90% silver and 10% copper, by mass. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals copper, by mass. Various ways of expressing fineness have been used and two remain in common use: millesimal fineness expressed in units of parts per 1,000 and karats used only for gold. Karats measure the parts per 24, so that 18 karat = 18⁄24 = 75% and 24 karat gold is considered 100% gold. Millesimal fineness is a system of denoting the purity of platinum and silver alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy.
For example, an alloy containing 75% gold is denoted as "750". Many European countries use decimal hallmark stamps rather than "14K", "18K", etc., used in the United Kingdom and United States. It is an extension of the older karat system of denoting the purity of gold by fractions of 24, such as "18 karat" for an alloy with 75% pure gold by mass; the millesimal fineness is rounded to a three figure number where used as a hallmark, the fineness may vary from the traditional versions of purity. Here are the most common millesimal finenesses used for precious metals and the most common terms associated with them. 999.5: what most dealers would buy as if 100% pure. Refined by the Perth Mint in 1957. 999.99—five nines fine: the purest type of gold produced. 999.9—four nines fine: e.g. ordinary Canadian Gold Maple Leaf and American Buffalo coins 999—24 karat occasionally known as three nines fine: e.g. Chinese Gold Panda coins 995: the minimum allowed in Good Delivery gold bars 990—two nines fine 986—Ducat fineness: used by Venetian and Holy Roman Empire mints.
This was achieved by the Royal Silver Company of Bolivia. 999.9—four nines fine: ultra-fine silver used by the Royal Canadian Mint for their Silver Maple Leaf and other silver coins 999—fine silver or three nines fine: used in Good Delivery bullion bars and most current silver bullion coins 980: common standard used in Mexico ca. 1930–45 958: Britannia silver 950: French 1st Standard 935: Swiss standard for watchcases after 1887, to meet the British Merchandise Marks Act and to be of equal grade to 925 Sterling. Sometimes claimed to have arisen as a Swiss misunderstanding of the standard required for British Sterling. Marked with three Swiss bears. 925: Sterling silver equivalent to "plata de primera ley" in Spain 917: a standard used for the minting of Indian silver, during the British raj 900: one nine fine, coin-silver, or 90% silver: e.g. Flowing Hair and 1837–1964 U. S. silver coins 892.4: US coinage 1485⁄1664 fine "standard silver" as defined by the Coinage Act of 1792: e.g. Draped Bust and Capped Bust U.
S. silver coins 875: Swiss standard used for export watchcases. 835: a standard predominantly used in Germany after 1884, for the minting of coins in countries of the Latin Monetary Union 833: a common standard for continental silver among the Dutch and Germans 830: a common standard used in older Scandinavian silver 800: the minimum standard for silver in Germany after 1884. The karat system is a standard adopted by US federal law. K is the karat rating of the material, Mg is the mass of pure gold in the alloy, Mm is the total mass of the material.24-karat gold is pure, 18-karat gold is 18 parts gold, 6 parts another metal, 12-karat gold is 12 parts gold, so forth. In England, the karat was divisible into four grains, the grain was divisible into four quarts. For example, a gold alloy of 127⁄128 fineness could have been described as being 23-karat, 3-grain, 1-quart gold; the karat fractional system is being complemented or superseded by the millesimal system, descr
The Tanaka Kikinzoku Group, founded in 1885, is a Japanese manufacturer of precious metals materials focusing on products for the electronics and automotive industries. Tanaka's European subsidiary is Tanaka Kikinzoku International GmbH in Frankfurt and its US subsidiary is Tanaka Kikinzoku International Inc. in Chicago, United States. The name Tanaka Kikinzoku traces back to the owners' family name "Tanaka" and the Japanese word for precious metals "Kikinzoku". According to its company information, Tanaka is leading the world market for bonding wire and catalysts for PEM fuel cells. Tanaka Kikinzoku was founded as a monetary exchange firm, but became known as a company which connected manufacturing industries with platinum materials. Tanaka engaged in platinum metal recovery and the company was the first fabricator of platinum fine filament wire in Japan. During the Taisho period and early Showa period, the widespread modernization of Japan's industries saw the development of Tanaka's research and manufacture of industrial precious metals products.
Under a policy of "National Wealth", the early Showa period was influenced by the Japanese military. During the Second World War, the company was under the administration of the Army; as it was not permitted to engage in trade with other industrialized nations, Tanaka Kikinzoku was forced to promote greater domestic reliance and develop various technologies for domestic consumption. Products that contributed to Japan's postwar economic recovery occupied a large share of the industry, such as electrical contacts for power generation, nozzles for the synthetic fiber industry, precious metals materials for electrical household appliances and radios. After 1965, the Japanese economy rushed to build a foundation centered on the electrical, communications and electronics industries. During this period, the company built the foundation of the modern Tanaka Kikinzoku Group; this period of high economic growth brought increased income, widespread availability of consumer goods, higher standard of living, all defining qualities of the wealthier society of modern Japan.
The Second Gold Boom of 1981 resulted in an increased number of individual investors, bringing flourishing business to the company's retail shops. The majority of customers are companies from the electronics, automotive, telecommunications and glass industries. However, the company does maintain retail operations, such as the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo. Tanaka Kikinzoku uses precious metals to manufacture materials and semi-fabricated products for industrial applications; the company has produced the winner medals and finisher medals for every Tokyo Marathon since the first edition. European website Website of the Japanese headquarters Website of Ginza Tanaka Website of the investment branch