| David James |
In November 2010 Lord James claimed in the House of Lords that he had been approached by a secretive "megarich" organisation, which James referred to only as 'Foundation X', wishing to fund massive public works projects in the UK with vast currency reserves backed by gold bullion. A Labour Party staff member and political blogger who wrote about the story speculated that the organisation in question is the Office of International Treasury Control. possibly an organisation though unknown or unacknowledged by any government to date. However, James has stated that he had not been approached by the Office of International Treasury Control, that there were no links between Foundation X and the Office of International Treasury Control, that the Foundation X was a viable organisation, and that the offer was in good faith. Further, in the course of the recorded speech James uses a comparison to the "total value of the Vatican Bank Reserves" to denounce the validity of the "total amount of bullion ever taken from the earth's crust" as given by a "12-year-old issue of National Geographic" (the alleged single source for this figure), which had been used by Lord Strathclyde to dismiss the claim for the assets of Foundation X to be backed by bullion. In this speech Lord James of Blackheath neither identifies Foundation X with the Vatican or the Vatican Bank nor does he hint on any such connection.
Denial by the Treasury
On Saturday 6 November 2010; the HM Treasury issued a statement which contradicted James' earlier claims; denying that any meeting took place between Lord James and Treasury commercial secretary Lord Sassoon and a representative of the group which had been referred to as 'Foundation-X'.
"Fed Fraud" speech
James attracted some press and blog attention after another speech in the House of Lords on 16 February 2012, in which he claimed a massive $15 trillion money-laundering fraud from the United States Federal Reserve in the name of "Yohannes Riyadi" – a man who may or may not exist. James offered to provide evidence and asked for an official investigation (Hansard, transcription 16 February 2012, Column 1016, from 5.20 pm).[clarification needed]
- Lords Hansard 1 Nov 2010 : Column 1536
- Did somebody just try to buy the British government? Charles Stross, 3 November 2010
- The Lord, the cabinet minister, "Foundation X" and a mysterious £5 billion… Hopi Sen, 2 November 2010 (republished by The Guardian)
- Have we uncovered "Foundation X"? Hopi Sen, 3 November 2010
- Lord James: Foundation X not a scam Tom Espiner, 4 November 2010 15:54
- Lord James of Blackheath in Lords Hansard: 1 Nov 2010 Col. 1540
- Treasury has 'decided not to pursue' £22bn Foundation X proposal David Meyer, 6 November 2010