Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bring Our Gold Home

Holt unser Gold heim is the title of a German web page with 15,000 supporters requesting that Germany's precious metal be immediately repatriated, gold the Bundesbank (Buba or German Fed) has bunkered in foreign countries. In an earlier blog I wrote about the reasons why Germany kept and still keeps a big chunk of its gold reserve in France, in the UK, and in the States and why the Buba would like to recuperate part of it. The US Fed stores the German gold in New York buried in caves dug deep into Manhattan rock. Too deep and too hidden as some German hardliners argue.

Assiduous Wagnerians assume the Hoard of the Nibelungen somewhere at the bottom of the Rhine River where it is forever lost. However, the Manhattan gold resurfaces from time to time although so far only in the press. An article published in Der Spiegel this Monday drew my attention again to a subject that in the meantime is loaded with conspiracy theories.

In 2013 the Bundesbank repatriated 32 of 181 tons of gold from France but only 5 of 1531 tons from the States.The reasons given by the BuBa for the sloppy repatriation over the Atlantic were flimsy: Transports from Paris are simpler and therefore we were able to start up quickly. On the other side, the bullion stored in the basement of the Fed in New York does not possess the elongated shape with beveled edges of the "London Good Delivery" standard but has a previously common form. They will need to be remelted. And the capacity of smelters is just limited. This argument is the long awaited grist to the mills of those conspiracy theorists who maintain there is no longer any gold in US vaults.

Thus Americans and not Germans got excited about an article titled: The Fed only gave Germany back 5 tonnes of gold in over a year.

Here are some immediate comments on the article:

- Central banks don't trust each other?
- To H with that. Consider it as partial payment for WWI and WWII.
- Can't understand what the issue is since the Fed does not put any
    value in gold?
- Germany does not deserve it, regardless of whether it is worth anything.
- Dudes, there is no gold in Ft. Knox and hasn't been for years.
     It is all in banks and not much of it left. If you can't show it and
     won't show it it is probably not there don't you think?
- Very likely there is none, otherwise we could have sent Knox gold to Germany
     in place of the stolen German gold. When the truth of this comes out,
     it will rank with the Nazi's looting of Europe and more.

Location of German gold; present and final situation. With the British pound and the
US dollar still "global" currencies the gold left in the Bank of England and the
New York Fed will serve to calm down currency fluctuations should the need arise.
©Der Spiegel
The BuBa, however, remains calm and follows its plans (see graphic) although the 2013 repatriation was costly: 600,000 euros, melting included. At the end the total amount for bringing our gold home will probably greatly exceed 10 million. Yet this is a minor thing compared to the changing of the tide: With the Cold War presently reloading should we not better leave our gold in the States?

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