Don't Worry Germany - Your Gold At The New York Fed Is Safe And Sound

Tyler Durden's picture

The hurricane water surge has come and gone, devastating downtown New York, but one place, the one that represents the deepest hole burrowed south of Houston street and literally lies on the New York bedrock 80 feet below street level, is safe and sound. The place, of course, is where over 20% of the world's tungsten gold is stored. Especially that of Germany (wink wink). And Germany, whose central bank was recently caught in a series of official disclosure faux pas as described here in regards to its official gold holdings, can rest assured that nothing that hasn't already happened to its gold, happened last night.

As the WSJ explains:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York‘s downtown office remains open for business and unharmed by Hurricane Sandy, a bank spokesman said Tuesday.


The spokesman said the facility located on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan remains secure and suffered no flooding. The New York Fed is the U.S. central bank’s key point of contact with financial markets, and its castle-like construction is also the repository for a substantial amount of gold.

In other words, those who believe that the vault of the NY Fed contains over 20% of the world's gold, can continue doing so.

And as a reminder for those who missed it the first time around, here is a refresh on the world's "safest" place:

This Is Where The Gold Is(n't) - The New York Fed Guide To The Most Valuable Vault In The World


Much has been said about the secretive vault situated 80 feet below ground level at 33 Liberty street, which contains over 20% of the world's gold (allegedly*), currently estimated at over $350 billion. Some have even robbed it: with the barrier between fantasy and reality a blur, courtesy of the total farce we live in which has rendered the IPO of TheOnion impossible, there is nothing wrong with actually believing Die Hard With A Vengeance did in fact happen. But if your knowledge of the vault is limited to the perspective of one John McClane, you are missing our on a lot. Which is why the new York Fed, in those rare occasions when it is not monetizing debt, and/or telling Citadel which securities to buy, has been courteous enough to put together "The Key To The Gold Vault" - the official brochure of the warehouse where more gold is stored than at any other place in the world.

Some excerpts:

The gold stored at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is secured in a most unusual vault. It rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island—one of the few foundations considered adequate to support the weight of the vault, its door, and the gold inside—80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level.


As of early 2008, the Fed’s vault contained roughly 216 million troy ounces of gold (1 troy oz. is 1.1 times as heavy as the avoirdupois ounce,  with which we are more familiar), representing about 22 percent of the world’s official monetary gold reserves. At the time, the vault’s gold value was about $9.1 billion at the official U.S. government price of $42.2222 per troy ounce, or about $194 billion at the market price of $900 an ounce. At the current official U.S. government price, one of the vault’s gold bars (approximately 27.4 pounds) is valued at about $17,000. At a $900 market price, the same bar is worth about $360,000.


Foreign governments and official international organizations store their gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York because of their confidence  in its safety, the convenient services the Bank offers, and its location in one of the world’s leading financial capitals.


The Bank stores gold in the form of bars that resemble construction bricks and stacks them on wooden pallets like those used in warehouses. To reach the vault, the bullion-laden pallets must be loaded into one of the Bank’s elevators and sent down five floors below  street level to the vault floor. The elevator’s movements are controlled by an operator who is in a distant room and communicates by intercom with the armed guards accompanying the shipment.


Once inside the vault, the gold bars become the responsibility of a control group consisting of representatives of three Bank divisions: Auditing, Vault Services, and Custody. A member of each division must be present whenever gold is moved or whenever anyone enters the vault.


If everything is in order, the gold is either moved to one or more of the vault’s 122 compartments assigned to depositing countries and official international organizations or placed on shelves in one of the “library” compartments shared by several countries. The bars are  stacked one at a time in an overlapping pattern similar to that used to stabilize a brick wall. Each compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks, and an auditor’s seal.

And here is why we used a * footnote above:

Confidence results from the Bank’s being part of the Federal Reserve System—the nation’s central bank and an independent governmental entity. The political stability and economic strength of the United States, as well as the physical security provided by the Bank’s vault, also are important factors.

Good luck finding it then. And for those who want to pull a Simon Peter Gruber and have already rented out the dump trucks:

Storing almost $194 billion [ZH: at very old prices] of gold makes extensive security measures mandatory at the New York Fed. An important measure is the background investigation required of all Bank employees. Continuous supervision by the vault control group also prevents problems from arising by ensuring that proper security procedures are followed.


The Bank and its vaults are secured by the Bank’s own uniformed protection force. Twice a year, each federal officer must qualify with a handgun, shotgun and rifle at the Bank’s firing range. Although the minimum requirement is a marksman’s score, most qualify as experts.


Security is also enhanced by a closed-circuit television system and by an electronic surveillance system that alerts Central Watch when a vault  door is opened or closed. The alarm system signals the officers to seal all security areas and Bank exits. This can be accomplished in less than twenty-five seconds.


The gold also is secured by the vault’s design, which is a masterpiece of protective engineering. The vault is actually the bottom floor of a three-story bunker of vaults arranged like strongboxes stacked on top of one another. The massive walls surrounding the vault are made of a steel-reinforced structural concrete.


There are no doors into the gold vault. Entry is through a narrow 10-foot passageway cut in a delicately balanced, nine-feet-tall, 90-ton steel  cylinder that revolves vertically in a 140-ton, steel-and-concrete frame. The vault is opened and closed by rotating the cylinder 90 degrees. An airtight and watertight seal is achieved by lowering the slightly tapered cylinder three-eighths of an inch into the frame, which is similar to pushing  a cork down into a bottle. The cylinder is secured in place when two levers insert large bolts, four recessed in each side of the frame, into the cylinder. By unlocking a series of time and combination locks, Bank personnel can open the vault the next business day. The locks are under  “multiple control”—no one individual has all the combinations necessary to open the vault.


The weight of the gold—just over 27 pounds per bar—makes it difficult to lift or carry and obviates the need to search vault employees and  visitors before they leave the vault. Nor do they have to be checked for specks of gold. Gold is relatively soft, but not so soft that particles will stick to clothing or shoes, or can be scraped from the bars. The Bank’s security arrangements are so trusted by depositors that few have ever asked to examine their gold.

To think: so much trouble for a little tungsten...


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falak pema's picture

wow, what do u know, gold doesn't dissolve in water after all!

icanhasbailout's picture

Thank you for your money Germany

knukles's picture


Each compartment is secured by (whole buncha shit, locks, chains, fuzzy lined handcuffs and assorted bondage equipment) and an auditor's seal.

So the shit is audited.  In their own words.

No problem about it being done then, eh?

These guys just can't keep the story straight.
Great indica of lies, more lies and damned lies....


PS that crap about laying the bars in a criss cross pattern like bricks is priceless.  (Get it, priceless, ha ha ha ha ha .... fucktards)

strannick's picture

''Germany can rest assured that nothing that hasn't already happened to its gold, happened last night.''

-Wrong, their IOUs got soaked

TruthInSunshine's picture

Every rational person with even a basic understanding as to how gold backstops sovereign reserve surpluses held off shore in the form of custodial bailments (such as is the case with the NYBFR having bailment of a portion of Germany's gold reserves) needs to ask themself two simple questions and seriously ponder the potential answers:

1)  Why would a nation such as Germany, in current times, even possibly hold any significant portion of their gold reserves outside of Germany's borders?, and

2)  What would occur if there was a "run" on custodial bailees (i.e. the one receiving/holding the bailment) whereby sovereigns all demanded the physical return of their gold at same time?


Manthong's picture

“representing about 22 percent of the world’s official monetary gold reserves”

Mr.Ben Shalom, please explain that since your personal stated position is that gold is not money, why is it described it as “ monetary gold”  in your literature:?


EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Once all you Zombies wake up, no amount of worthless green toilet paper will buy an oz of Gold. The time is very, very near
SWRichmond's picture

Foreign governments and official international organizations store their gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York because of their confidence  in its safety, the convenient services the Bank offers...

Like rehypothecation!

grunk's picture

This hurricane was the Wall Street equivalent of "Ocean's Eleven."

Why do you think Lower Manhattan went dark?

Pure Evil's picture

Why is so much money wasted on security for a barbarous relic?'s picture


2)  What would occur if there was a "run" on custodial bailees (i.e. the one receiving/holding the bailment) whereby sovereigns all demanded the physical return of their gold at same time?


Then George Bailey would have to pay them all off from out of his honeymoon money.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

I see a lot of Jew names on placques in America...can someone please explain to me as to why there are no Chinese names on plaques...they built half of America didn't they?

The Fed needs to change its' current name and advertise its' real name and purpose on a placque as well as its' owners!

From: The Federal Reserve System

To: Private Synagogue And Cache For Syphoning Wealth Of Non Semitic And Aeri-Sheeple Through Inflationary Taxation And The Transfer Of Private (Jew) Debt To Public (Non-Jew) Debt

Anyone who thinks this is incorrect and wildly antagonistic I suggest you read up on the origins of the top 10 Banks in America today, join the fucking dots back to Europe, and work it out for yourself...assuming you possess at least half a brain. And let me save you the suspense in relation to all this Gold funny business and sleigh of hand; the origin of this Gold skulduggery is one the same as the Banking skulduggery (Bail Outs, QE, Libor...fuck, the list is endless).

And don't think for one minute that The BIS (Bank of International Settlements) is 'Clean The Marine', it's more than likely the epicentre of the global multi-century scam (in one guise or another). No, the BIS is a laundering machine, which expanded its' global skimming operations beyond imagination when Derivatives were created...think about it!!!! 'Swift Codes' are used as a weapon when countries don't tow-the-line.

To make the whole system simpler to understand, think of the global banking system as the Internet, Banks are like Websites, Central Banks are like ISP's, Swift Codes are like URL's (which are unique and can be blocked), your Account Numbers and BSBs are like Mac Addresses (also block-able), and the BIS is the backbone. Countries which are not part of the network are integrated semi-peacefully (Cold War, Eastern Block Countries), or by force (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam). When you think about it, the entire Cold War could well have been a Banking take-over with a conscience.

Oh, what the hell: The BIS is most assuredly THE central figure of, not the corruption WITHIN the Banking System as no such animal exists but, the corruption which IS the Banking System itself. Make no mistake, there is no problem within the Banking System, it is working just fine and it will be reinvented all over again, soon enough, once Bank Debt/Assets (Private Debt), is transferred across to the public as Public Debt/Assets (Wealth Syphoning/Transfer Mechanism). Gold will be the medium of choice (fuck, again!) and thats why there's probably little of it within Central Bank vaults. Get the fucking picture, get the scam?

The average wanker has zero cash in his wallet, zero wealth, has depreciating assets/liabilities such as cars, has equity in property assets which become liabilities in the click of a finger or the stroke of a FED (Jew) pen or key-stroke, and a shit-load of Credit Cards maxed out. When you look at this as a stand alone reality you quickly realise that physical Gold is asset without such, this is the only medium with which a wealth transfer can occur. Gold is only partly money, it is only partly commodity, it is only partly medium of exchange, Gold my friends, is mostly a medium used only during wealth transfers...history has shown us this many times over, and yet few ever recognise this.

Again, vote me down all you like, I'm still gonna tell it as it is.

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear"
- Marcus Tullius Cicero -


Feds: You know that Gold we thought we had?

Germany: Ja

Feds: Damaged due to water.

Germany: NEIN!

Feds: Comex flooded. So we wil deduct a certain amount from the leased bullion that we lent out to England who leased that out to ITALY who sold the leased paper to Spain who in turn sent the remainder amount via HMS Bounty..Unfortuntely there was a slight mishap with the courier as the crew abandoned the ship.. as it went...

(multiple shots could be heard over the phone)


ghengis86's picture

I can take a dump in a box and put an auditors seal on that too; doesn't mean I know or care how many pieces of corn are it in. You're not (and can't ) open it, so you'll just have to trust me.

Zero Govt's picture

Have you seen the 'work' the Audit firms have signed their name to in the past years regards fraudulent Bankers balance sheets?

Auditors have been 'doing an Enron' every year since 2007 on, they've learnt nothing, they're going to put their crony careers out of work because of it

knukles's picture

I wouldn't know how many cornels of corn are in each squeeeze?


Can I count them?



It's traditional

Oh  Then how do I know it's there?

Because I said I ate corn and pooped.


(mildly disturbing)

SafelyGraze's picture

"At the current official U.S. government price, one of the vault’s gold bars is valued at about $17k.
At a $900 market price, the same bar is worth about $360k."

and at the former official price (before 1920), a bar is valued at about $8k.  

and at the currrent ESF/JPM paper price, a bar is valued at about $680k

and at the current pretend-gold to outstanding dollars price, a bar is valued at about $4 million.

and at the current actual vaulted unencumbered gold to outstanding dollars price, a bar is valued at $4 trillion. 


it's still 400 ounces, however you want to otherwise denominate it



Reminds me of a song - " Don'y Cry For Me, Argentina "  The Fed was quoted today as saying " Well, they were Germans, and they asked for the German gold, in German accents, so we gave it to them - and now you are saing it was the wrong Germans ? Who knew ? "

Silver Bug's picture

The German people will be lucky if they see 1 oz of that gold back. Good luck.


The German gold is not at the bottom of the NY Fed, it is at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk. Better luck next time gents.

CPL's picture


Someone must have been concerned because it's on Bloomberg.  


I know where it is.  In the vast hidden cavern holding all the BreX gold.

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Funny story that this isn't the first time Germany's checked on the gold (which you can check out on Dr Joseph Farrell's site

Apparently from Hjalmar Schacht's own autobiography, he went to inspect Germany's gold in the vaults (back in the 30's) and the auditors couldn't find it. Schacht said to the head of the Fed, "that's alright I'm confident you'll find it. And even if you didn't I know you're good for it." What the hell is all that about? Of course the current BuBa rep sounded very similarly "confident".

As to someone's previous comment that water turns gold into tungsten, naw, it actually turns it invisible ;)

FreedomGuy's picture

Why wouldn't the Germans or anyone else not want their gold back? Why wouldn't we be willing to give it to them. After all, we do not settle debts in that barbarous relic anymore, right? All those FRN's are "good as gold", right?

Dream on.

If I am a sovereign nation concerned about about my country I get all that gold back to my country or at a minimum in a place controlled by my own a vault in my own embassy or a location guarded by my own people where I can see and count and test it for tungsten. Then I wait for currency crashes.

Arisu's picture

I can answer that: because the gold doesn't belong to "the Germans". What you meant is the "German government", and they my friend, are actively trying to deconstruct whatever is left of so-called "sovereignty".

Especially our finance cripple, Wolfgang Schäuble, is pushing for this vigorously. He also said in a recent interview that "at no point has Germany ever been fully sovereign since May 8th, 1945", see for original quote.

vast-dom's picture

all that security and trouble and the fed grand puba says gold ain't money? how does one reconcile this idiocy?

Rainman's picture

Barbarous relics have value !

Zero Govt's picture

Don't diss the Fed, they're having a really hard time of it, an even harder time grasping this new fangled thing about managing perception and the Feds stuffy corrupt public image. Here's the Feds scorecard amongst the pub lic, it ain't pretty...

Chairmans knowledge of Monetary History: 0/10

Confidence in Chariman: 1/10

Confidence in Fed/US Dollar policy: 3/10

Confidence in Feds Employment Mandate: 1/10

Confidence in Feds Banking Oversight: 0/10 

Most Negative Public Comments: "End the Fed" ..."Fuck the Fed" ...."Shoot Bernanke that MF'er"

Most Positive Public Comments: "The Chairman is a right nob" ...."Gold is a tradition, fooooooool"

Really is a piss-poor scorecard, not going well at all. You can see Benny has alot of work to do to turn this sinking Titanic of a public image around. Good luck with that Ben.

Ancona's picture


Actually, given enough time, everything is ultimately miscible in water....everything.

BandGap's picture

Nope, there is such a thing as equilibria.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

But their type of "gold" likely rusts.

BigDuke6's picture


but its a well known fact that water turns gold into tungsten.


mjcOH1's picture

And when it dries it shrinks.

Help Is Not Coming's picture

The Bank and its vaults are secured by the Bank’s own uniformed protection force. Twice a year, each federal officer must qualify with a handgun, shotgun and rifle at the Bank’s firing range.

So not only do they have their own police force but they also have their own firing range. Next they'll be telling us that they have their own subway line.

Urban Redneck's picture

Trains are more discrete and efficient for moving gold. 7,400 tons would be 740 truckloads truckloads to discretely move from point A to point B.

redpill's picture

You ask for miracles?  I give you the F.  B.  I.

fuu's picture

The quarterback is toast.

PUD's picture

Boomberg has a counter that is counting down the minutes and seconds to the futures open...fucking sick. Like a god damn dog race. "Investors"!!!

knukles's picture

Wasn't that taken at the last campaign stop?

Dr. Engali's picture

Okay that was just gross.

Heyoka Bianco's picture

What color pill will now erase that image from my head?

Cheesy Bastard's picture

It was built on bedrock?  Then it must be real.  Too bad for Fred, Barney, Wilma, Betty, Pebbles, Bam Bam, Mr. Slate, and Dino, though.

redpill's picture

Ahh the Flinstones, back when yelling at your wife in public was more socially acceptable.  WWWIIILLLLMMAAAAAA!!!!!!

knukles's picture

Old traditions die hard.
Ask Mrs. K

WmMcK's picture

That and having "gay old time".

Zero Govt's picture

New York has earned a recent reputation as a centre of financial crime and fraud, whatever the dusty history brochures of the NY Fed says you have to deal with current realities and perceived image.

Back up the truck Germany

Winston Churchill's picture

Depends on what the meaning of 'it' and 'is' is.

We all know how flexible that can be.

Kein Geld.Auf wiedersehen.