Why Goldman Sachs is selling yellowcake uranium

Goldman Sachs is anxious to sell off some its extensive metal holdings, but there are fears about where they may end up. The metal -- is uranium. Uranium Energy Corp (NYSE MKT: UEC)


Does uranium sound like something you could buy at the bank? Turns out it is. Most of us just didn't know Goldman Sachs is unloading a whole lot of uranium. Just where it came from and where it might go is the stuff of intrigue, today we follow the yellowcake.

It's a tale that radiates strangeness ... one that culminated last week in a headline declaring that Goldman Sachs was putting a "for sale" sign on Iran's old uranium supplier. We bet you have questions ... such as, since when did banks start selling yellowcake? And how did this particular bank acquire the holdings of a company that sold uranium to Iran?

It's a story that started decades ago -- some of the details kept secret until now.

David Sheppard is the senior commodities correspondent for Reuters News and was, for the first time, able to confirm some of the details. David Sheppard was in London, England.

Marin Katusa thinks he has a pretty good idea where Goldman Sachs' uranium is going to end up ... and he's not pleased about it. Marin Katusa is the Chief Energy Investment Strategist for Casey Research. He was in Vancouver.

We requested an interview with someone from Goldman Sachs. The company turned us down, but did give us a statement. It says Goldman Sachs has not confirmed that it is selling its uranium trading desk and that the company has only ever sold uranium to nuclear power plants and other traders.

Like its many isotopes, the status of uranium is a little unstable. At times it's a dangerous substance that needs to be heavily regulated. At other times, it's simply something to buy and sell like other metals.

The story of uranium is as much a story about politics and culture as it is about security.

Gabrielle Hecht is a professor of history at the University of Michigan. She has spent years looking at the history of uranium and the role played by various African countries in the nuclear process. Gabrielle Hecht was in Ann Arbour, Michigan.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Naheed Mustafa and Howard Goldenthal.

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