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Presenting Warren Buffett's "Gold Cube"

Tyler Durden's picture


Recall from Warren Buffett's 2011 letter to investors:

Today the world’s gold stock is about 170,000 metric tons. If all of this gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side. (Picture it fitting comfortably within a baseball infield.) At $1,750 per ounce – gold’s price as I write this – its value would be $9.6 trillion....You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond.

Below is what said gold cube containing all the world's gold would look like, with distinctions for the various types of gold currently in existence:

source: Deutsche


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Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:38 | 2832753 BigMike
BigMike's picture

What percent of that is Tungsten?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:41 | 2832760 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Barbarous Relic Cube

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:27 | 2832942 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Can we, somehow fit it up Buffet's ass?

And then for "bonus track" make Charlie choke on it?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:53 | 2834495 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

It is pretty malleable stuff at the right temperature; could take a while to pass the whole brick through mind you.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:40 | 2832761 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

that cube wouldn't even cover social security in the us for the next presidential term.  better up the value a tad.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:46 | 2832786 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Given that we add 11 Tn a year in future obligations, it won't even cover 1 year. [Number per Bloomberg. ]

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:40 | 2832762 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:40 | 2832764 koaj
koaj's picture

2.2% would be around Mr T's neck


I pity the fool that sells me gold plated tungsten bling!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:40 | 2832766 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

only slightly bigger than Becky Quicks box

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:18 | 2832918 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Probably smells better too.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:41 | 2832767 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

OT: silver, bitchez!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:49 | 2832800 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Silver looks strong in the face of everything else getting blowtorched.  I expect a move to 81.5 on the DXY before Bernanke begins his QEX program on Oct 10th, but with this strength in silver the DXY may not get there.  We will see.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:53 | 2832811 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Silver making no sense (for today) unless you realize that for the time being paper drives physical. If you accept that take a look at SLV on a 15-minute. Makes perfect sense. And RSI below 60.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:18 | 2832921 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Gold options expiry hijinx.  that's why the gold and silver spot graphs have similar topography but gold has that shift downward and does not recover. 

I checked around and Jesse's Cafe Americain explains it nicely.  Harvey Organ always mentions it but I never quite understood until JCA laid it out. 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:56 | 2834498 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

You want hijinks; WTF natty?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:42 | 2832768 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Hey Warren, have you checked for tungsten?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:44 | 2832777 Salt
Salt's picture

Drill baby, drill!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:44 | 2832776 BrigstockBoy
BrigstockBoy's picture

I like to fondle feels good.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:53 | 2832812 Robbob
Robbob's picture

Goldmember, is that you?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:15 | 2833097 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Which is what counts, amirite?

Who cares what gold feels!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:44 | 2832779 the iD
the iD's picture

hollow GLD rhombus. SLV klein bottle. FRN mobius strip.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:01 | 2833059 akak
akak's picture

Fiat currency tessaract.

US Treasuries hypersphere.

Credit default swaps black hole.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:48 | 2832783 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Look at the ratio of the stores in ground...Past the peak gold, my fellow Bitchez!

Edit:When we run out, will that challenge its place in the world as a store of value?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:04 | 2832862 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Hmmm...... someone's "estimate" of below-ground stocks? Or merely the "proved and inferred" resources of all the gold companies' leases currently known?

If you can figure out where this came from, I'd be interested. But consider: if all of the "below-ground" stocks were conclusively known, the junior exploration gold companies would go out of business. Wherever this number comes from, it may well be very low, compared to the gold remaining in the earth's crust. The best this could possibly be is the known reserves of economical extraction grade for all the gold companies worldwide.

And do you think we've even explored 20% of the earth's crust for gold deposits? What about that stuff in the ocean? I find it tough to put too much credence in this estimate. There's still places we haven't even LOOKED, let alone measured. And confirmation drilling builds more reserves all the time.

As for it's place, I suspect it will continue to store value MUCH BETTER than colored pieces of paper....

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:53 | 2833032 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

It really doesn't matter.  You will probably always be able to mine some gold, but there is still a finite amount on the planet.  In the universe there is unlimited gold.  You just can't get to it.  Same will be true with the oceans and 50 miles below the surface.  It might be there, but its not feasable to reach it.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:35 | 2833870 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture


Yes, it is like peak oil, not the end of oil but of cheap oil,same with gold.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:46 | 2832790 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And so if the 7B people in this world began to blowtorch and chisel the rock to get some how long would it take for it all to be gone?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:48 | 2832794 sudzee
sudzee's picture

My 'below ground stock' is about 96%.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:56 | 2832825 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

What percent of gold is under water? Or is that included in below ground?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:49 | 2832798 youngman
youngman's picture

That is my below grond stocks...cause i buried mine.....mine..get it..pun entended

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:04 | 2832818 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture


We don't get it cause we've gone Full Retard. See MDB's statement above.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:49 | 2832801 spentCartridge
spentCartridge's picture

 Mine just looks like a chip off the old block.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:52 | 2832809 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Gold is not an "investment".  Gold is "insurance" against the malevolence of governments and the ignorance of individuals such as you.  Have a nice day playing with your paper assets!


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:59 | 2832845 Confundido
Confundido's picture

Gold is not insurance. Gold is money!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:08 | 2832884 walküre
walküre's picture


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:32 | 2834467 RichardP
RichardP's picture

One of the characteristics of money is that it is a store of value.  Store of value.  Is that not insurance?  If  gold = money = store of value = insurance, then gold = insurance, no?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:25 | 2832935 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Officially, gold is not money ... it's an asset (according to Benjamin Shalom)

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:17 | 2833104 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

A traditional asset at that.

Me? I like tradition.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:07 | 2832881 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Insurance is nothing more than legal gambling. Parasites like Buffet have made billions on the backs of hard working people selling them insurance. Gold was here long before insurance, and will be here long after.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:53 | 2832810 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Psst is that you Warren.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:56 | 2832822 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's a little  more than three quarters of an ounce per person in the world. It seems I had more than my share before some damn group of  squirrels dug it up from the back yard and ran off with it.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:56 | 2832827 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

If you could put all the gold currently mined in a cube in the middile of a baseball field, it would probably suddenly disappear due to an unfortunate boating accicdent.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:05 | 2832867 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I was thinking more along the lines of the ultimate "banker trap." Lure them all in to the ball field and then...


As sung by Judy Collins with an insect buzzing accompaniment in the background....

"And where are the drones?
Quick, send in the drones.
Don't bother - they're here."


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 16:24 | 2833416 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

Is gold lost in boating accidents above or below ground or is there a third category for underwater?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:57 | 2832834 johnjkiii
johnjkiii's picture

Know who controls 97% of the world's Tungsten?


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:57 | 2832836 ragnar336
ragnar336's picture

over the past 10 years, apple inc. was a much better choice than gold. ill take 10k% increase in price per share + the liquidity > golds measly returns over he same period per troy ounce.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:34 | 2832969 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Thanks for signing up 3 weeks ago to share that.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:48 | 2833012 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Good point.  Gold clearly needs another row of icons.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 00:50 | 2837715 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Shit, Rags, if you were even smarter you would have traded the gap too.....

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:57 | 2832837 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Guy on Bloomberg saying don't buy gold because last time govt took gold for $20 and week later it was $35.  Don't we all think gold price is being suppressed at the moment?  What could be the reason??

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:58 | 2832839 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I'm not sure I can even get that into my boat.............

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:01 | 2832853 Vuke
Vuke's picture

Mine sunk while trying.......

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:59 | 2832847 Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters's picture

black cube saturn worship...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:11 | 2832897 onebir
onebir's picture


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 16:00 | 2833294 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

The cube of total global gold shown above, at about 8615 cubic metres, is more than four times bigger than the Muslim Holy Ka'aba (or 'cube') in Makkah (Mecca) Saudi Arabia, somewhat around 2000 cubic metres, and the holiest spot in Islam, to which 1 billion Muslims turn when they pray.

The Ka'aba is said to be originally the site of a chapel of prayer built by the ancient Jewish patriarch of the Bible, Abraham

Ka'aba dimensions are given differently in different places (can't rely on Wiki-rubbish, of course).

Here is an architectural drawing of the Ka'aba, not quite perfectly rectangular, presenting it as around 14 metres high, length and width 13 metres x 11.5 metres (about 46 ft high, 43 ft x 38 ft for the Yanks) - some pictures here as well

Images of the interior of the Ka'aba were rare until recently, but here is a video of the inside, however, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - the men in the film are likely from the custodial families guarding the Muslim holy places:

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 17:42 | 2833745 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

You know some one has had sex in there.

Do you think this post will cause another "incident?" Will Hillary and Obama be mad at MsCreant for saying such a thing?

But don't you just know it?


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 20:40 | 2834184 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

At least the goat will never talk about it.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:48 | 2834494 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Bhhhaad shovelhead. Bhhhhhad.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:01 | 2832854 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

If the gold is not in a banker vault, government vault, or circulating as currency, it might as well not exist.  Once it leaves a fiat system, Greshams law says it will not come back.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:37 | 2834480 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Good money drives out bad?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:02 | 2832857 unrulian
unrulian's picture

how much tungsten in in Fort Knox? or do they just keep the vault locked?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:06 | 2832874 walküre
walküre's picture

How did the Israelites manage to build the golden calf after their Exodus from Egypt and while they were wandering around in the desert for 40 years? Have we ever gone back to that desert to look for more gold? I mean it must have just literally bubbled to the surface there unless the Israelites (a.k.a Jews) were able to take gold back from Egypt and didn't lose any of it during the alleged run through the Red Sea when it was parted. Maybe there's gold at the bottom of the Red Sea then? And how did they get to take gold out of Egypt anyway? Did Egypt have a central banker who declared gold was a barbaric relict back then already? Did he prefer to print FIAT, I mean chisle FIAT into stone tablets? The Jews we're told were persecuted and enslaved and all that but somehow they were let go, managed to leave the persecutors and on top of it, they got to keep their gold and take it out of Egypt.

So many questions and yet, only one official lie to cover them all. Don't ask questions!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:37 | 2832979 fuu
fuu's picture

You take it literally? Strange.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:37 | 2832981 Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:

Exodus 12:35

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:51 | 2833022 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

"borrowed"  ... lmao  ... aaand it's gone.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:59 | 2833050 Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

Well, the Egyptians had enslaved them for 400 years...

And the gold was eventually returned to Egypt. (1 Kings 14:25 and 2 Chronicles 12:1-12).

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:07 | 2832880 Random_Robert
Random_Robert's picture

What is "other"


is that, like, GLD and other rehypothecation claims on the same paper promise to deliver from somewhere else on the cube?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:44 | 2832994 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

That would probably be gold held by commerical users for manufacturing purposes, like certain Chinese companies: 

Chinatungsten Online (Xiamen) Manu.& Sales Corp. is a very professional and serious company, specializing in manufacturing and selling tungsten fake gold coin and other tungsten related products for more than two decades. We are a professional tungsten fake gold coin manufacturer. Our tungsten gold fake coin is only for souvenir and decoration purpose. Here we declare: Please do not use our tungsten fake gold coin and other fake gold coin products for any illegal purpose. We can provide all kinds of tungsten fake gold coin as your requirements. Our tungsten fake gold coin products are qualified.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:09 | 2832885 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

more laughs from Yahoo financial....... Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans reiterated his support for QE3 and said the Fed should do even more.  BUY GOLD

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:11 | 2832889 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

"You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond."

Kind of like a stack of USD, yet people kill for it. Ain't that weird???

Incredible logic you have there Warren. Truly mind-blowing. I'd give a whole penny just to have dinner with your tired old ass.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:09 | 2832890 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

And this doesn't even include the claimed 135,000 metric tons of the "Yamashita" gold that was confiscated by members of the Black Eagle Trust.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:11 | 2832895 spentCartridge
spentCartridge's picture

How big would a 'all the silver in the world that was ever mined (and hasn't been used for industrial purposes)' be?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:23 | 2832934 moonstears
moonstears's picture

+/- 52 BILLION OZT, silver all time  approx 10X the amount. Gold's denser so about 12X this cube's size, as a rough guess.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:16 | 2832914 Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond.

But if you give your wife or girlfriend some jewellry made from the cube, she just might.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:19 | 2832923 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Strange...that diagram seems familiar, but I can't quite place - OH, SNAP! I know...


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:26 | 2832940 q99x2
q99x2's picture

What is meant by "existance?"

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:36 | 2832977 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Standing by a door.  No.  Wait.  That would be exitstance....

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:28 | 2832946 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Here's an idea. 

Given it's properties, it seems like this "gold" of which you speak would make an ideal money, no?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:32 | 2832962 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Jewelry over 50%? Shit man, we should be doing a "Normandy Style" invasion of India! /sarc

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 16:32 | 2833453 fuu
fuu's picture


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:04 | 2833810 Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

Please! Don't give the Starshit Trooper bunch any ideas! They already have a pretty full plate. Speaking of starship travel, that gold cube must be the bullion Borg continuum. Guess i'm a bullion Borg.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 16:06 | 2832971 Freegold
Freegold's picture

A very large chunk of that jewellery is wearable savings owned by asians. All that cheap labor over the years will transform into a very large bonus some day soon.

50K+ gold payday!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:51 | 2833020 ilovefreedom
ilovefreedom's picture

Did anyone else notice without "below ground stock" the number is 166,500 tons, and with it is 217,500 tons?

I think precious metals bewilder Buffet since he can't read a financial statement from them and it truly takes dozens of macroeconomic factors to determine it long term trajectory. Being so heavily invested in the status quo, him suddenly being in support of precious metals investing would be like Berkshire abandoning Coca Cola in support of plain water.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 14:57 | 2833044 ImnotPOTUS
ImnotPOTUS's picture

Another way to look at supply and demand for what is something is worth.....

Global population 2011 @ 6,973,738,433 (estimate).

If you divvy up the gold per person it is 0.85988 ounces per person, worth $1,506.77 per the traders as of right now.

The International Bank of Settlements guesses that the total notional value of all the fiat money in the world in 2011 Q1 was $685 trillion give or take.

In fiat money you're share is $98,276.13 of all the fiat pies put together.

So am I worth my weight in Gold?????

A fat American is worth $5.5 million in Gold, as the saying goes.

Copy paper costs about $1.00 a pound. Am I worth my weight in paper fiat money. I am happy to say, even though I am a typical American, I am not pushing 50 tons on the scale so not even close. So is a human in a fiat world worth $1,500 or $100,000?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:04 | 2833066 VonSalza
VonSalza's picture

Gold cube - Resistance is Futile

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:24 | 2833126 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

This senile old crook is fondling his tube... and IT doesn't respond either... hope he loses all his stash... the insect... he supports radical muslims like Soetero, so who knows what drives his drivel?? Even the arch-slut Madonna knows barry is a muslim 'roid...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:42 | 2833202 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

I don't care how the block feels when I fondle it.  Same as my other relationships.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 16:00 | 2833299 Xavier Snoweman
Xavier Snoweman's picture

Gold “investors” do absolutely nothing for this country whatsoever.  Hoarding gold instead of investing in bonds and equities demonstrates a sick narcissism and complete disregard for building the economy. Real investors actually help people by investing in blue chip companies employing thousands of Americans, or buying US treasuries and enabling the government to do its job. What do gold investors do to help the economy? Absolutely nothing. Unlike real investors Gold hoarders are purely in it for themselves, and serve no purpose to society whatsoever.


Sheeit....miss the boat much, brother?  Half the world works for less than 4 bucks a day.  There ain't no jobs for Americans anymore.  Invest all you want in blue chips and stimulate some foreign economy if you like, but amend your post...por favor.

Frank Cross said it best in Scrooged, "You wanna save somebody?  Save yourself."   That's what I'm doing...nothing narcissistic about it.

Now kiss my grits!!!!!!!!!!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 17:30 | 2833693 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

CONCLUSION: Half of the gold is used to get in girls' panties.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:06 | 2834418 swanpoint
swanpoint's picture

i spent almost all my money money on beer and chicks... The rest I just wasted.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:07 | 2833823 deflator
deflator's picture

So gold can be quantified in a finite cube? Well that automatically makes it inferior to fiat according to defenders of the status quo. Fiat is infinite with the implication that growth of everything else is also infinite. Of course what they really mean is that the U.S. government can grow into infinity.

 Where is the rehypothecated gold section? Private investment?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:14 | 2833841 soopy
soopy's picture

So? What's the point?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 19:20 | 2834004 mt paul
mt paul's picture

my tungsten sniffing dog

wil be worth his weight

in gold soon...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 21:40 | 2834289 quo vadis
quo vadis's picture

63.95% in "Jewellry" plus "Other". Right.

Perhaps the bulk of this sum should more properly be termed "unmentionable secret hoard of clandetine elites"...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:02 | 2834411 swanpoint
swanpoint's picture

the 69 x 69 foot long cube might not respond but i sure would get a boner, just like uncle warren when the paper boy spanks down a fresh copy of omaha world herald or when the octagenerian of little o-town sees them big 'ol trains pumping their pistons

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 23:03 | 2834413 ExploitedCitizen
ExploitedCitizen's picture

My ultimate goal in life is a washroom made entirely of gold and silver.  Like Dr. Nakamatsu.

If gold drops in price greatly, I am one step closer to my lifes dream.  If it shoots up in price, my holdings are worth more.

Either way works for me, but I would prefer to be taking a golden shower every night.  *cue snarky comments* mwahaha

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 03:10 | 2834656 TheMadNumismatist
TheMadNumismatist's picture

This is something I have been wondering about for some time: how much gold is laying at the bottom of the ocean in shipwrecks. In the SS Central America, which sunk is 1857, the manifest had around 15 tonnes of gold. Multiply that by the amount of wrecks still unfound, and a massive amount of this supposed supply is unavailable.

I also do not see the Vatican allowing their crucifixes being melted down to satisfy demand. At a rough estimate I would suggest as much as one quarter of the estimated supply is unavailable for one reason or another.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 05:37 | 2834713 silverdragon
silverdragon's picture

How big is the silver cube?

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