• Steve H. Hanke
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    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Bundesbank Official Statement On Gold Repatriation

Tyler Durden's picture


When we first heard about it, we thought Handelsblatt had gotten something very wrong. The implications were just so staggering. Turns out the news was spot on. Here is the official announcement from the Bundesbank, which roundly refutes all the spin the Frankfurt bank spoon-fed the people in October and November when it repeated time after time that there is nothing wrong with keeping German gold in NY and Paris, and on the contrary, it was better for everyone involved.

From the Bundesbank:

By 2020, the Bundesbank intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Germany. The other half will remain in storage at its partner central banks in New York and London. With this new storage plan, the Bundesbank is focusing on the two primary functions of the gold reserves: to build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centres abroad within a short space of time.

The following table shows the current and the envisaged future allocation of Germany’s gold reserves across the various storage locations:

  31 December 2012 31 December 2020
Frankfurt am Main 31 % 50 %
New York 45 % 37 %
London 13 % 13 %
Paris 11 % 0 %


To this end, the Bundesbank is planning a phased relocation of 300 tonnes of gold from New York to Frankfurt as well as an additional 374 tonnes from Paris to Frankfurt by 2020.

The withdrawal of the reserves from the storage location in Paris reflects the change in the framework conditions since the introduction of the euro. Given that France, like Germany, also has the euro as its national currency, the Bundesbank is no longer dependent on Paris as a financial centre in which to exchange gold for an international reserve currency should the need arise. As capacity has now become available in the Bundesbank’s own vaults in Germany, the gold stocks can now be relocated from Paris to Frankfurt.

* * *

So it took the Bundesbank over 10 years to figure out that "the Bundesbank is no longer dependent on Paris as a financial centre in which to exchange gold for an international reserve currency should the need arise."

Well, as long as it has nothing to do with the recent political schism between socialist beggar France and the only country left in Europe that is not an all out parasite, all is well.

Finally, compare the above statement with the following from November:

Remarks On German Gold Reserves:


Please let me also comment on the bizarre public discussion we are currently facing in Germany on the safety of our gold deposits outside Germany – a discussion which is driven by irrational fears.


In this context, I wish to warn against voluntarily adding fuel to the general sense of uncertainty among the German public in times like these by conducting a “phantom debate” on the safety of our gold reserves.


The arguments raised are not really convincing. And I am glad that this is common sense for most Germans. Following the statement by the President of the Federal Court of Auditors in Germany, the discussion is now likely to come to an end – and it should do so before it causes harm to the excellent relationship between the Bundesbank and the US Fed.


Let’s get back to facts and figures: I would like to remind you that our gold reserves are part of the German currency reserves. These were accumulated over time thanks, in part, to Germany’s economic boom in the 1950s and 1960s. Germany’s growing economic strength, especially its strong external position, resulted in rather large trade account surpluses, most of them acquired in US dollars. At that time, the International Monetary System, known as the Bretton Woods System, was dominated by the US currency. As long as this system was in force, which was up until 1971, the US Fed was obliged to exchange its currency for gold.


Any current account surplus thus resulted in an increase in Germany’s gold reserves. This gold was stored in US vaults for obvious reasons [ZH: sorry, we don't have an econ PhD: what are the "obvious reasons"?]. This was not only the case for the gold hold by the Bundesbank – it was, in fact, common practice. By the way: it was the only practical thing to do, since running a trade account deficit meant a decrease in gold stocks.


Thus, we are now looking back at sixty years not only of fruitful cooperation in many fields and international fora, but also of storing gold and trading via the New York Fed. As a matter of fact, it is sensible for us to do so in New York, as Frankfurt is not a gold trading venue.


Throughout these sixty years, we have never encountered the slightest problem, let alone had any doubts concerning the credibility of the Fed [ZH may, and likely will, soon provide a few historical facts which will cast some serious doubts on this claim. Very serious doubts]. And for this, Bill, I would like to thank you personally. I am also grateful for your uncomplicated cooperation in so many matters. The Bundesbank will remain the Fed’s trusted partner in future, and we will continue to take advantage of the Fed’s services by storing some of our currency reserves as gold in New York.


At the same time, you can be assured that we are confident that our gold is in safe hands with you. The days in which Hollywood Germans such as Gerd Fröbe, better known as Goldfinger, and East German terrorist Simon Gruber, masterminded gold heists in US vaults are long gone. Nobody can seriously imagine scenarios like these, which are reminiscent of a James Bond movie with Goldfinger playing the role of a US Fed accounting clerk.


While gold is important, we have to combat a crisis of confidence in the euro area. This is the task we need to concentrate on. And we will do so.

Until we don't, three months later, and decide to repatriate said gold after all...

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Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:54 | 3157236 jomama
jomama's picture

and of course Au and Ag are down on the news in this ass-backwards world of ours.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:56 | 3157244 stateside
stateside's picture

This might give Barrick (FED) enough time to produce gold from their "deep storage deposits" in Latin America and Africa so that some of this gold will be available by 2020.


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:56 | 3157245 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Why anyone would let the world's biggest theives watch over their treasure is beyond me.  I would like to say my usual Fk the US gov't but then again most gov'ts in this world do suck ass.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:28 | 3157364 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Roger that (who would entrust their nation's treasures with admitted thieves? Makes no sense at all.)

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:59 | 3157257 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

He who has the most gold will win the fiat game.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:00 | 3157259 Bahamas
Bahamas's picture

Why bothering so much after such a barbarous relic..didn't they hear what Princeton University expert said about gold.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:59 | 3157262 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Reads like the Angles and the Saxons are done with the French.  France is probably the next Spain/Greece.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:57 | 3157468 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:02 | 3157274 topshelfstuff
topshelfstuff's picture

 Exactly, saying "by 2020", and also saying "to build trust and confidence domestically", followed by

the Bundesbank intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Germany.

The other half will remain in storage at its partner central banks in New York and London.

While capacity has now become available in the Bundesbank’s own vaults in Germany, the gold stocks can now be relocated to Frankfurt

All this maks no sense, and certainly Not going to build Trust & Confidence. Meanwhile, the request to View, Inspect and Audit their US supposed Holdings has slowly evaporated and not mentioned

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:04 | 3157281 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Blythe can only come up with 1% per year out of the US and 0 out of the City of London.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:04 | 3157286 MyBrothersKeeper
MyBrothersKeeper's picture

The statement makes sense.  UK not part of Euro and US still reserve currency.  What it also tells me is that if the US dollar even is in jeapordy of not being the reserve currency, Germany will take back that gold as well.  London is close enough that when push comes to shove they could just go over there and get it if need be.

side note: the obvious reason to leave the money in US  when on gold standard based on trade surpluses is that every time the time came to match the gold hold with the trade surpluses, why would you want gold being shipped back and forth at incremental intervals.  The Fed Rreservce could easily move the gold within the vaults without shipping back and forth.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:10 | 3157313 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

Then by that reasoning the US should have an equal amount of gold stored at BUBA.  Not going to happen.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:07 | 3157298 wcvarones
wcvarones's picture

Why take eight years?   Is it going to take the Fed that long to find that much gold?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:12 | 3157320 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



7 years, 8 years, infinity.......what's the difference?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:46 | 3157427 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

8 years seems long enuff to finish a term in office, fade into the background, and quietly disappear.   The "event" then happens on some *other* sucker's watch.

Hey, has anyone actually *seen* Hank Paulson recently?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:12 | 3157318 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

Sounds like a trial ballon was shot down by the FED.  They negotiated it down to this.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:13 | 3157324 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

White House now requires ‘We the People’ petitions to have 100,000 signatures for official response


Im sure its a coincidence with the pending gold petition...

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:15 | 3157325 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Time to play guess the quote. Who said?

"Look motherfuckers, we get 50%. You want half in 7 years or nothing ever?"

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:25 | 3157351 Eugend66
Eugend66's picture

Or, who said: Look, Mfuckers we will buy gold on the market using USD and then trade only in EUR with you?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:14 | 3157326 youngman
youngman's picture

I could not see it....but did they put a couple of those little icon faces with the wink wink on the letterhead.......just askin??????

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:17 | 3157330 fuu
fuu's picture

" As capacity has now become available in the Bundesbank’s own vaults in Germany, the gold stocks can now be relocated from Paris to Frankfurt."

So how did they manage to free up vault space?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:28 | 3157360 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

They had to give their money to the piigs banksters, er I mean throw it down a rat hole or something like that so they have extra room now...

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:21 | 3157341 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

At this rate the FED would need to come up with 37.5 tons or 1.2 million oz. ($2B) a year.  World production is about 80 million oz per year.  

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:27 | 3157356 cxp
cxp's picture

The Indian stocks have serious downside from here




The infosys results seems to suggest that US recovery is doing well. 

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:31 | 3157359 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

"The days in which Hollywood Germans such as Gerd Fröbe, better known as Goldfinger, and East German terrorist Simon Gruber, masterminded gold heists in US vaults are long gone."

Seriously? There was ever a time that Diehard 3 was an actual fear? They are fictional characters motherfuckers. Don't insult everyone's intelligence, we all know who the real bad guys are. The shit is turning into farce.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:31 | 3157371 magpie
magpie's picture

Will there still be a Buba in 2020

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:32 | 3157373 UncleFurker
UncleFurker's picture


Soooooooo, yesterday Germany said it's going to repatriate gold from the USA and France, and then today it's just France?

I wonder who the "don't even THINK about it" phone call came from?


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:41 | 3157406 Antifederalist
Antifederalist's picture

Sorry France. It 's a small club and you are not in it.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:47 | 3157433 sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

Why should the Germans announce what they are doing?  Why not wait until after they bring it back?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:53 | 3157457 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Its so Gerd and Simon can crew up for the heist. 

"It was in there when we locked the doors, guys, but..."

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:51 | 3157455 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture


"As capacity has now become available in the Bundesbank’s own vaults in Germany..."

What a joke - a ton of gold is about the size as a good ice chest...they couldn't find space for 600 ice chests in the Bundesbank storage vault?    

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:44 | 3157639 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

Got to give these scumbags the time to confiscate Gold from the GLD and the public because chances are that Clinton and Rubin leased all of Germanys Gold too.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:53 | 3157456 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Gold was their SHTF currency to hedge against currencies other than the Euro.  Once France had the Euro, holding SHTF currency in France provided no diversification.  Gold held in France can only be converted back to Euro since all gold in central banks is paper gold and must be settled in fiat. 

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:58 | 3157475 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

That gives the FED time to shuffle around its questionable stores of gold and send Germany about 43 tonnes a year.  Doesn't sound like a gold shock to me nor any extreme pressure to the upside.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:04 | 3157484 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Are they dumb, do they think we are, or are they sending a subtext message, when they say that they want to keep AU in London and NY to trade for currency!?

Well, better keep some in China, etc, eh?

The point is: trade AU for 'fiat'???


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:05 | 3157507 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Central bank gold is always traded for fiat because it's like Comex.  Settlement is in fiat when the metal can not be located.  Like Comex, there are multiple contracts against each ficticious lump of metal.  Reserve ratio, bitchez!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:05 | 3157510 JohnGaltsChild
JohnGaltsChild's picture

The irony is that pressure from outside the USA is the USA's best hope for a legitimate monetary revision.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:07 | 3157515 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

The gold will be moved by the Hindenburg II...

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:12 | 3157524 Sizzurp
Sizzurp's picture

I don't think this will be good enough for the electorate in Germany.  They don't trust our Fed, and who can blame them.  This is going to be a continual slide towards 100% by 2014 as public outrage grows.  Each new press release will make it look worse. Then again, maybe the Fed privately told Buba no dice on the gold.  The gold swaps must be a real mess for them to try and unwind, if they are able to at all.  It sure would be interesting to know exactly how that phone call went between Buba and the Fed, I imagine there were some spincter clenching moments on each end of that conversation.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:28 | 3157569 Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

NYC from 45 to 37%

Paris from 11 to 0%

"Well, as long as it has nothing to do with the recent political schism between socialist beggar France and the only country left in Europe that is not an all out parasite, all is well."

I'd see it differently : Merkel knows the French have properly stored her gold for all these years and they can deliver the yellow stuff ovenight without a hike...


As for the Yanks... Merkel knows it's better ask them to cough out the yellow stuff progessively and give them enough time to gather 1 barre here 1 barre there. Otherwise Fort Knox is going to shut down you know...

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:43 | 3157630 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

Just enough time for the US criminals circus to raid the GLD.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:43 | 3157631 Germany4Liberty
Germany4Liberty's picture

2020....just in time

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:45 | 3157647 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

7 years to do an electronic transfer?  What, do they have dial-up?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:08 | 3157710 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

It helps to read the article before you comment on it. Germany plans to move actual Gold bars/ingots from France and the US to its vaults in Germany (If there's any left and hopefully isn't mostly Tungsten).

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:02 | 3157660 Monedas
Monedas's picture

There is a total disconnect between the headline and the reality .... if it takes 8 years to repatriate 19% (19%/8 = 2.375% per year) .... it will take 21 years (50%/2.375% = 21.05 years) to repatriate the remaining 50% ?   29 years of repatriation .... payable to the bearer on demand ?  

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:15 | 3157735 Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers's picture

Would love to see a rundown on how much gold the US allegedly stores for which nations.  I could easily see this being the equivalent of a "run on the banks" with other nations.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:20 | 3157742 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I fail to see how anyone could consider anything as valuable as gold bars safe in NYC, even supposedly deep underground in vaults. How many people do you think are spending 24/7 trying to figure a way into those vaults? Has to be in the thousands. Sooner or later - voila.

Or, a few clever banksters ( there are at least a few) have already figured out how to liberate all that gold, and already done it, and the whole point is moot.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:29 | 3157771 yogibear
yogibear's picture

In other words we make a statement to calm the sheep.

Look at the actions, not the statement. It comes down to an event that's coming that risk the gold being stored at the fed.

What event might that be?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:32 | 3157784 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

I guess that MF Global thing really got to the Germans. It took them time to look up the word, "Corzined."

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:34 | 3157788 topshelfstuff
topshelfstuff's picture

This story avoids and distracts away from the start of the demand by German legislators in Oct 2012.

German Court Demands Bundesbank Audit Sovereign Gold ... www.zerohedge.com/.../german-court-demands-bundesbank-audit-so...

Oct 22, 2012 – In an 'audit-the-fed' style effort, the court wants to ensure that the nearly ... The Bank of England, The Bank of France, and the US Federal Reserve. ... has demanded that the Bundesbank undertake an audit of its gold reserves.


The report also noted that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York refuses to allow the gold's owners to view their own reserves.


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