First Germany, Now Austria Demands An Audit Of Its Offshore Held Gold

Tyler Durden's picture

First it was Germany, now another AAA-rated European country is starting to get concerned about its hard assets.

Overnight Bloomberg reported that following in Bundesbank's footsteps, Austria will audit its gold reserves located in the UK, which represent 80% of its total gold holdings. This gold reserve reviews held at Bank of England in London will be first conducted by external auditors, Christian Gutleder, a spokesman for the Austrian central bank, says via telephone.

As a reminder, Austria held 80% of its roughly 280 tons of gold in U.K., according to last annual report.

Gutleder explained that the Central bank has checked its reserves regularly in the past, adding that gold reserves haven’t changed since 2007. Which begs the question: why check them now then? 

According to the official explanation that review comes after euro-skeptic Freedom Party demanded more transparency, repatriation of reserves. Perhaps it is time to rename the Euroskeptic party into the "we doubt our gold is where you say it is" skeptics. A better explanation was provided by the Austrian Trend magazine, which said that "the measure is seen as a consequence of growing public pressure. There is a rising disbelief among Austrians about the existence of the gold."

Joking aside, with Euroskeptics across Europe ascendent, we wonder which central European nation will be the first to uncover that its gold is no longer where it is supposed to be (that most certainly includes the Banque de France).

Some more color from

Austria is planning to send auditors to the Bank of England in order to verify the existence of Austrias gold reserves stored in british vaults.


The Austrian accountability office will sent a delegation to London in order to check on Austrias gold reserves stored in vaults at the Bank of England. This is reported by Austrian magazine Trend. The measure is seen as a consequence of growing public pressure. There is a rising disbelief among Austrians about the existence of the gold.


“I acknowledge the request. Any grocery store is obliged to do inventory once a year. It is the only way of getting rid of these unreasonable allegations”, Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the National Bank of Austria tells Trend.


Austria officially owns 280 tonnes of gold of which 17 percent are kept in vaults inside the country. Around 150 tonnes are estimated to be stored in London.


In recent years doubts about the existence and the quality of Germanys monetary gold stored at the New York Fed and the Bank of England were raised by a rising number of skeptics. In January the Bundesbank eventually announced plans to repatriate most of Gemanys gold reserves until 2020.

So first Germany (which at this rate may repatriate its gold held in New York, London and Paris some time in the year 3000, now Austria... Who's next to confirm that all those doubts about infinite rehypothecation of physical gold with countless beneficiaries of paper receivables will be the next conspiracy theory to become conspiracy fact, after last week's surprising announcement that Barclays (the first of many) had manipulated paper gold prices on at least one occasions in the past decade.

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wee-weed up's picture

It begins... Let's hope this starts the ball rolling...

Tao 4 the Show's picture

A decade late and a metric tonne short.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

What should be rolling is bankers heads

kliguy38's picture

I CALL BULLSHIT.......these scumbag sovereigns know damn well their gold was leased........they don't give a shit....THEY'RE IN ON IT....all for show for the peeps

kchrisc's picture

Who needs gold when you can have tungsten?!

THX 1178's picture

seriously how could it have taken them that long? Are the academic economists really that fucking dumb? Oh yeah, they are.

THX 1178's picture

Next up COMEX default. Then what? 1.4 quadrillion in derivatives implode like a fucking neutron star?

strannick's picture

They are worried that its stolen, but then continue to leave it there anyway?

And the fact that the BOE will point at any old gold, and say, there it is, is good enough?

SafelyGraze's picture

as long as there is only one audit at a time, everything should be ok

the problem arises when multiple accounts must be audited simultaneously

or when a single account demands an exhibit of more than 100 bars at the same time

for various technical reasons, we find such requests to be rather problematic

the london bullioneers


palmereldritch's picture

In Austria the popular term for being Corzined is getting lederhosed

Ahmeexnal's picture

Who is going to audit that metal?  Hans & Franz?

Harlequin001's picture

What's the problem? Just send them Germany's. Same gold, same numbers, you only need the one audit, why bother with the expense?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Austria = Osterreich = Eastern Reich

All colonies. 

Rusty Shorts's picture
Gold Bullion Vault - Periodic Table of Videos


Published on Dec 7, 2012


We're INSIDE a Gold Bullion Vault.

The Bank of England protects about £197 billion ($315bn) worth of gold, according to the mostly recently published figures.

Film by Brady Haran. Featuring Professor Martyn Poliakoff.

The vaults are off limits, but the Bank of England Museum will let you lift a real gold bar:



old naughty's picture

"...these scumbag sovereigns know damn well their gold was leased..."


First come first serve? You wish.

"Your gold is safe in our storage, just get our auditors to certify for you so you may tell citizeny: "see told you they're there.""

SumTing Wong's picture

My words of 2013 were "counterparty risk." I was a year early. But I'm my own Central Bank. And I sure as hell don't trust the BOE or the Fed to be the guardian of my stuff.

August's picture

Since the Austrian Reich has been defunct for quite a while, they really should go back to "Ostmark" which at least sounds kind of cool.

Ghordius's picture

Nazi propaganda had the same idea in 1938: Ostmark_(Austria), to the point that it's now a purely historic term around the times of the "Anschluss", in Austria

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Come on, while this would make a great deal of sense, have you any idea of how offended Ghrodo's (severally fucked) view of "Solidarity" would be if the the wealthy nations in Europe shared a currency and kicked the shitty ones out? 

Grande Tetons's picture

BOE......ummmm...we are going to need a bunch of mirrors and dim lighting. 

Mentaliusanything's picture

Email Message:

To: storeman BOE vaults: Flagged Urgent.

Please arrange for 224 Tonnes of Gold bars to be Palletized in section A. You may use any gold bars available and hang a sign "Property of Austria" on the pallets.

Should you find you have insufficient (Real) Gold bars on Hand for this request, raise a purchase order for the balance required:- Tunsten Foundry section

                J. P. Morgan - New York City

Contact: J Dimon    Tel: 1300 Im wealthier than you.    Extention: 666

P.S As usual, please place the fake bars bottom and middle of pallets and supply copious amounts of the finest alcohol and large breasted waitresses for the audit teams pleasure.

cooky puss's picture

ahaha fuck me!

- J. Yelle... errr cooky puss

Bernoulli's picture

Exactly. That's also what Manfred Schmider from Flowtex knew in the 80ies and 90ies.

Great example of MEGA-FRAUD ("made in Germany").

MathWins's picture

You nailed it!  If it's not all audited at once, an audit of one country's holdings means zip, zero, nada.

Monty Burns's picture

Or when immediate repatriation is demanded,

SAT 800's picture

proof marks and serial numbers.

remain calm's picture

Everyone is going to continue to lie until China decides to show their hand. When is that? Only they know, but when they show the world someday they have 10,000 tons or 15,000 or 20,000 tons is the day all the bullshit stops. Because then it just a simple math formula. But right now China loves the lying, they are delighted the price is kept artificially low. They don't want the proper market price until they have all the gold they want. Till then, China is like lie, cheat, steal and deceive all you want. Hell, they will probably kiss Blankfein ass in tuen mun square if he could drive the price down to $900.

teslaberry's picture

bingo ----china's move is the big one. i'm not so sure they will tip their hand until they need their gold to be worth more to shore up their treasury. in which case----they will announce their gold hoard at some point into their upcoming and present financial crisis. when it gets bad enough and they use up their treasury hoard to dael with massive amounts of defaults and credit contraction------------------only then will they pull the G-bomb.

jeff montanye's picture

sounds so reasonable, i wonder, is china the only one?  plenty of countries with large forex reserves and smallish claimed gold reserves. only libya and ukraine have been corzined as of this writing.  hell south africa is tops on the list below and it's only 10%. do saudi, singapore and japan have only 2% forex in gold? brazil, malaysia and south korea only 1%? if malaysia wants to match south africa at 10% forex in gold it buys 325 tons of gold (more than austria holds and that's about half of its forex).  should japan want to, that's 3.000 tons. adds up.

sorry it doesn't display well but you do get the idea.






                                   END OF 2013


Rank   Country        Gold           Gold's share

                         (tonnes)         of national

                                             forex reserves   


6 China  1,054.1  1%

7 Russia  1,041.9  8%

8 Switzerland  1,040.1  8%

9 Japan   765.2  2%

11 India            557.7  7%

14 Taiwan   423.6  4%

17 Saudi Arabia   322.9  2%

23 Philippines    193.2  9%

24 Algeria    173.6  3%

25 Thailand    152.4  4%

27 Singapore    127.4  2%

28 Sweden    125.7  7%

29 South Africa    125.1  10%

30 Mexico    123.1  3%

31 Libya             116.6  4%

34 South Korea    104.4  1%

35 Romania    103.7  8%

36 Poland    102.9  4%

37 Australia      79.9  6%

38 Kuwait      79.0  3%

39 Indonesia      78.1  3%

41  Brazil      67.0  1%

42 Denmark      66.5  3%

44 Argentina      61.7  7%

48 Bulgaria      40.0  9%

50 Malaysia      36.4  1%

51 Ukraine      36.4  6%



DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Peru has lots of gold "in the ground", but only some +/- 30 tonnes IIRC.

old naughty's picture

If China wants to get to 10%, it will be 10,000 tons (but wait, they have hundreds of goldmines, why haven't they dug up more?)

And why are the top five not shown?


Deathrips's picture

Well...lookie here.


China, Saudia Arabia, Singapore and South Korea have alot of Ka-ching up to do...

Source please?


I personally think that these fictional reserve estimates are/have long since been sold.


When the people decide to stop selling their lives for fairy dust and unicorn shit.....


to dream.



SWRichmond's picture

When gold is revalued upwards by 10X the greatest wealth transfer the history of planet Earth occurs... to India.

US will try to prevent this by trying to heighten tensions between China and India

the unipolar world of Paul Wolfowitz and neocons is evaporating before their eyes


bigkahuna's picture

thats what they gave Venezuela.

petolo's picture

Big Big Boating Accident!

logicalman's picture

Yep, definitely theatre.

Maybe they'll make it into a photo op.

A shit load of shiny yellow stuff (not Au) with a bunch of smiling idiots standing in front of it.

Photographic evidence is not really evidence at all (I do 3D modelling and use Photoshop for a living).

(If you analyse an image carefully edits can be detected, but not easily if it's done well.)

Lionhearted's picture

You can gold plate alot of tungsten and make it look real shiny without photoshop.

logicalman's picture

Photoshop's pricing is a rip-off, but still cheaper than the plating process.

Buck Johnson's picture

I think it's a complicated question.  I think during the cold war and such many of Europes countries saw it as a plus to have their gold over in the US and UK.  But when they tried to get it back the US or UK gave assuranced that it's okay etc. etc. etc. and they didn't try again.  Once they started seeing how the US and the UK economies where mostly debt they probably demanded it and they where probably told don't demand it back at one time or you will lose the "good graces" of the US or UK and all that comes with it.  Just as Germany decided on the 2020 (which anyone with an IQ over mud would be able to tell that we don't have the gold).  They will tell Austria the same thing but longer.

papaclop's picture

Now that you mention it I recall last year there was a story about Austria earning billions of dollars leasing out their gold. Thy amounts were too large for17% leased out.

papaclop's picture

Now that you mention it I recall last year there was a story about Austria earning billions of dollars leasing out their gold. Thy amounts were too large for17% leased out.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

At least it appears that the Bank of England will allow them in to do their audit, which our FRBNY did not in the case of Germany.

Winston Churchill's picture

Everyone needs to do an audit at the same time for this to mean anything.

Musical vaults.

Pladizow's picture

@ Winston Churchill - not if the required serial #'s have been mysteriously transformed from London Good delivery bars to Asian kilo bars!

Show me the "money"!

johngaltfla's picture

Tyler, you're getting know you can always repost my stuff in full.....


First the Fed now the Bank of England, as Austria wants to Inspect their Gold

Winston Churchill's picture

Everybody has a price.As the cartels would say; gold or lead.

johngaltfla's picture

Winston, wait until the oil is priced in GOLD. Then TSHTF...and Russia holds that card over Europe like a Ninja with a sword...