Telegraph notes mystery German gold withdrawal and GATA's clamor about it

lemetropole's picture

Telegraph notes mystery German gold withdrawal and GATA's clamor about it

Bundesbank Slashed London Gold Holdings in Mystery Move

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Germany withdrew two-thirds of its vast holdings of gold from Bank of England vaults shortly after the launch of the euro more than a decade ago, according to a confidential report that emerged on Wednesday.

The revelation came as Germany's budget watchdog demanded an on-site probe of the country's remaining gold reserves in London, Paris, and New York to verify whether the metal really exists.

The country has 3,396 tons of gold worth E143 billion (E116 billion), the world's second-largest holding after the United States. Nearly all of it was shifted to vaults abroad during the Cold War in case of a Soviet attack.

Roughly 66 percent is held at the New York Federal Reserve, 21 percent at the Bank of England, and 8 percent at the Bank of France. The German Court of Auditors told legislators in a redacted report that the gold had "never been verified physically" and ordered the Bundesbank to secure access to the storage sites.

The report called for repatriation of 150 tons over the next three years to test the quality and weight of the gold bars. It said Frankfurt has no register of numbered gold bars.


The report also claimed that the Bundesbank had slashed its holdings in London from 1,440 tons to 500 tons in 2000 and 2001, allegedly because storage costs were too high. The metal was flown to Frankfurt by air freight.

The revelation has baffled gold veterans. The shift came as the euro was at its weakest, slumping to $0.84 against the dollar. But it also came as the Bank of England was selling off most of Britain's gold reserves -- at market lows -- on orders from Gordon Brown.

Peter Hambro, chair of the UK-listed gold miner Petropavlovsk, said the Bundesbank may have withdrawn its bullion in self-protection since it did not, apparently, have its own specifically allocated bars in London. "They may have decided that the Bank of England had lent out too much gold and decided it was safer to bring theirs home. This is about the identification. Can you identify your own allocated gold, or are you just a general creditor with a metal account?"

The watchdog report follows claims by the German civic campaign group "Bring Back Our Gold" and its US allies in the Gold Anti-Trust Committee that official data cannot be trusted. They allege central banks have loaned out or "sold short" much of their gold.

The refrain has been picked up by German legislators. "All the gold must come home: It is precisely in this crisis that we need certainty over our gold reserves," said Heinz-Peter Haustein from the Free Democrats.

The Bundesbank said it had full trust in the "integrity and independence" of its custodians, and is given detailed accounts each year. Yet it hinted at further steps to secure its reserves. "This could also involve relocating part of the holdings," it said.

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Cap Matifou's picture

The gross of the german gold may exist only in form of dusty IOUs.

Bundesbank has its gold in New York to trade with it

Meh's picture

Today's Drudge Report has an article that says some German deputies are making a trek to Iran, and that there are people in Israel and the US want it to cut it short. It seems GERMANY is IRAN'S BIGGEST TRADING PARTNER, according to the article. And Iran is supposed to be under sanctions...but they're using GOLD instead of dollars to get around it. Maybe this is why the Germans want/need their gold. Check it out:

silverserfer's picture

I am waiting for some one here to rip apart this hot steaming pile of horseshit that came out today on cnbc "the germans are coming for their gold" 


silverserfer's picture

they're fine, all of their gold holdings are safely stored vials of gold leaf bullion.

wintermute's picture

Tungsten can now be nano-etched to reflect the wavelengths which give gold its color!

wintermute's picture

Itsgt1, interesting idea why George Bush (junior) went to war against Saddam, but I think there is another reason which is woven through the fabric of history for the last 10,000 years.

GB wanted Saddam taken down because there was unfinished business with his father, Bush senior, who won a war against Saddam. Though Saddam claimed otherwise because he was still in power when GB senior had lost his re-relection. Power means everything to people like Saddam.

GB junior finished his fathers business for him - and won because he was still in power when Saddam was hiding like a rat in a hole in the ground...

ltsgt1's picture

That could be a factor. However, do you remember the condemnation against GB junior from the Europeans regarding the 2nd gulf war? I don't think they were mad because of the war, they were mad because GB took down the petrol euro.

Iranians take a combination of Russian ruble, Chinese RMB and now gold for their oil. They know Bush wouldn't cross the Russian and the Chinese like he did the Europeans.

knukles's picture

George Jr did it because momma Barbara wouldn't give him dessert unless he took care of it for daddy.

knukles's picture

Ya'll realize this sorta sound like the same clusterfuck of it don't add ups like all the other extraneous garf floating about whether Benghazi, The Saving of Europe and it;'s Euro, etc.
If they took all that gold back from the BoE some 10 years ago, what's all the confusion about over the last week or so about the Bundesbank having trouble telling, at the outset, everybody just Where The Gold Is?

As Desi woulda said to Luci:

"Sumptin' don't n't add up here, Luchi..."

Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

"since it did not, apparently, have its own specifically allocated bars in London"


I love this.

These dudes need to take a page from some teenagers that are dealing some pot.


"Hey dude! Will you hang on to my bag 'a weed? My mom's checking my room!"

"Sure! No problemo!"


A few days later...


"Dude! Can I have my bag of weed back?/I'm comin' over to grab my weed! My mom's finished checking my room!"

"Umm... You can't have it."

"Why not?!"

"I'm holding on to it for you!"


Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it.

I'm betting that friendship will be rapidly going down hill.




ebworthen's picture

Gordon Brown selling England's gold at market lows = all in with a pair of deuces; brilliant Mr. Brown, brilliant.

ltsgt1's picture

Europe had been paying the US for protection since WWII. After the collapse of the Soviet Unions, Europe stopped subsidizing US military expenses or supporting the US dollar via the creation of euro.

Since Germany no longer fear the Russian bear after the wall came down, it's only logical that they wanted their gold stored within Germany.

I believe the G. W. Bush took down Saddam Hussein because Iraq was going to trade their oil in euro. Bush did it to protect the US global reserve currency status. Europeans were eager to take down Ghaddafi because he didn't want euro but gold backed dinar for Libya oil.

Gold is real money. As the dollar and euro become increasingly unstable, more and more nations would desire possession of gold.

No Euros please we're British's picture

So far no one has explained, if this gold was flown to Frankfurt, where is it now? Current records show most of German gold is still held in the UK, France and the US. I also saw a report that suggested the gold went nowhere, it was a swap with the Fed so just re-allocated from the UK to the US.

Of course the bottom line is still the same. Just who believes this gold hasn't been sold or loaned out. Sorry Germany, if you don't hold it you don't own it.

BurningFuld's picture

That's  why Brown "Sold 250 tons". It was part of the Gold he had to send back to Germany. Get it?

covert's picture

maybe the anti-trust committee should bust up the fed and un?

mick_richfield's picture

Servants do not bust up their masters.  Usually.

Sabremesh's picture

The fact that Germany removed almost 1000 tonnes of gold from the Bank of England in 2001 is a shocking revelation. This has not been in the public domain until now, which proves how much there is going on behind closed doors that we simply don't know about.

DeadFred's picture

The truly shocking part is that we're hearing about this at all. GATA didn't make this happen, someone on the inside did. Confidential documents were leaked. Normally muzzled politicians are opening their mouths. It indicates a power struggle among the 'They' we always talk about.

mick_richfield's picture

Well -- it also could be the unfolding of a plan.

Only a fool would think that the global fiat currency regime can last forever. 

The people behind it are evil, but they are not fools.

Peter Pan's picture

Slowly slowly even the big institutions are waking up to the fact that many so-called conspiracy theories are becoming more and more truth-like by the day. All we need to remember is that extreme power brings extreme arrogance to the point that people feel they can do anything they like and get away with it.

For all the failings of the Greeks of today, at least the ancient Athenians had the city's gold incorporated as detachable parts to the massive statue of Athena at the Parthenon. In this way, the Athenians could see where the gold was and in the case of an emegency it could be removed to pay for wars etc.

Now there's an idea for a tourist attraction. Put all the gold at and around the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

DeadFred's picture

What heresy! The statue of liberty was designed to be robed in copper not tungsten.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Funny alleged quote from some staff working at the US Fort Knox in Kentucky, reported to have said laughingly that the only gold there was in the security guards' teeth.

In any case, almost no one has seen the US gold in 38 years - here's an article with photos, of the last outsider visit to the Fort Knox gold vault, by members of the US Congress and some journalists on 23 September 1974.

They even visited the little-known tunnel leading out of the gold vault - but no worries, they said, the tunnel still surfaces 'inside' the building ...

Visitors admitted that a lot of the gold they felt they saw, was the off-coloured coin-melt gold of lower purity, from the US regime's confiscation and banning of nearly all private gold in 1933-34 (not reversed until 1975). Interesting piece:

Peter Pan's picture

As someone once said, they should rename Fort Knox to Fort Nix.

Razzle Dazzle's picture

Looking forward to this playing out. No doubt a bit of overcommitment, frenzied buying to restock the shelves, maybe this will trigger a frenzy of reconciliation by other countries and less trusting parties. I can see it now, "I know we left those bars somewhere".

Heck those gold mining shares of mine maybe worth something. Buy miners, sell paper gold on the steep part of the curve before the banks close their doors. Dohh...I meant to keep that to myself.