When I first heard about Aurum Utalium, like many others, I didn’t know what it meant so I assumed it was the scientific name for gold or some other mineral. It was to do with Menzgold and until the discussions about Menzgold took center stage right after the banking crisis, I had no idea there was a word like that.
So Menzgold came, and the word started coming up on social media that that was what the gold company promised investors when they bought gold chips from them.
Most of us didn’t know what it meant and didn’t bother to find out because well “I don’t invest with Menzgold”.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago when a facebook friend made post describing what Aurum Utalium is, I almost wept. She was giving the definition of the phrase from an answers.com post (and it just so happens that there’s an extensive lot about Aurum on answers.com).
“Aurum Utalium is so often used by criminals who distribute the fake “gold offers” for 1,000 of kilograms, sometimes 5,000 kilograms and even in quantities such as 30,000 kilograms. Gold is a chemical element with the atomic number 79 and its Latin equivalent is simply Aurum. The abbreviation AU means Aurum, and nothing else.
There is no such word in Latin, and there never was a Latin word for “Utalium”. Please verify it in any Latin dictionary online. Because the terminology “Aurum Utalium” does not and cannot represent the true gold, the word was used in courts in some countries, to defend the criminal, as criminal never offered “Aurum” but “Aurum Utalium” which is the name of the fake and fraudulent yellow, shiny metal, that contained no gold inside. It was brass and alloy of several metals that none of them was a precious metal.”
As basic as this sounds, nobody in higher authority, including the countless intellectuals who have invested their monies with Menzgold seem to have even had an inkling to google the phrase and find the meaning.
It is becoming pretty clear that most people empowered to regulate different sectors of the economy always sleep on the job and in the case of SEC, it had to take the central bank to urge them to look into the operations of the gold dealership.
Menzgold was promising clients a double digit return on their investments and the Securities and Exchange Commission did not feel it needed to check whether they were licensed?
People (myself included) will defend Menzgold as long as we have no idea they are selling gold that’s non-existent but state agencies empowered to watch out for the ordinary man doesn’t have that luxury.
So many things are still not clear about the operations of the gold dealership cum investment company and we hope the Securities and Exchange Commission gets to the bottom of the who, the what and the how of Menzgold’s operations and either alert or educate the public.
This may be the end of the road for Menzgold’s investors especially if it turns out that the company sold fake gold to their clients but it also must be the end of the road for SEC officials who sat down for this to happen again.
Now this is not to say the Menzgold issue is concluded.
This may be a simple case of mislabeling. Maybe the company actually sells and take investments for gold but got the name of the product they are selling wrong. That in itself raises a lot of questions. How do you thrive in an industry you don’t understand?
The gold mystery
One of the things that account for the state of affairs with Menzgold is the mystification of gold.
If you grew up in Africa, you must have heard stories like gold is a spirit. It can just disappear if you don’t take certain “spiritual” precautions, and a lot of other things that is aimed at making it a commodity to be uncertain about. If enough people knew about gold, enough people would have known that the name Aurum Utalium is a red flag and would have asked questions or would not have invested their life savings with Menzgold at all.
In all of this, government will be the fall guy. If things doesn’t work out, government may have to step in and pay back those who have invested in the company or the political storm this will generate will be unimaginable.
Yes, we know tax-payers money can’t be used like that but what if the tax-payer was not protected by the tax-taking entity that is paid to protect him or her? Similar arguments have been made in the wake of the banking crisis and I believe Menzgold customers will be right to demand same.
This was not some punk operating in a village in the regions. This is a company that has offices all over the city and if no one was looking, our favourite fall guy gets to take the blame.