Looking again at the European situation, Lassonde says, "Italy has the means to get themselves out of trouble, they're sitting on almost 2,500 tonnes of gold with which, even at today's price, assuming that they do for example a gold-backed bond with a 35% premium, they could easily raise $150bn and if not more."

He adds, "If you add it all up - in the European central banks - there is probably something like 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes of gold. They could raise $2 trillion and solve their problems."

This gold, he suggests could be sold to China, which is currently not getting much of a return on its three trillion odd in foreign exchange.

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