Germany's Bundesbank Resumes Gold Repatriation; Transfers 120 Tonnes Of Physical Gold From Paris And NY Fed

Tyler Durden's picture

Three weeks ago, when looking at the latest NY Fed data of foreign gold held at the largest central bank gold vault in the world, we showed that in the month of November not only was a near record amount of gold withdrawn from the NY Fed, which at 42 tons was the single biggest monthly outflow at the NY Fed in over a decade...

... but that though the end of November, all of the Netherlands' 122 tons of gold withdrawals had been fully accounted for. This brought up an interesting question:

"... net of the Netherlands withdrawals, there is some 44 tons of extra gold that has been also quietly redeemed (by another entity). The question is who: is it now the turn of Austria to reveal in a few weeks that it too, secretly, withdrew some 40+ tons of gold from "safe keeping" in the US? Or was it Belgium? Or did the Dutch simply decide to haul back some more. Or did Germany finally get over its "logistical complications" which prevented it from transporting more than just a laughable 5 tons in 2013? And most importantly, did Germany finally grow a pair and decide not to let "diplomatic difficulties" stand between it and its gold?

We now know the answer, and it was, indeed, the latter with confirmation coming from the Bundesbank itself. As the German Central Bank announced earlier today, after withdrawing an embarrassing 5 tonnes of gold from New York in 2013, its rate of repatriation soared, and in what appears to have been just the past two months, has transferred a whopping 85 tonnes of gold from 80 feet below street level at Liberty 33 back to Frankfurt!

From Buba:

The Bundesbank successfully continued and further stepped up its transfers of gold last year. In 2014, 120 tonnes of gold were transferred to Frankfurt am Main from storage locations abroad: 35 tonnes from Paris and 85 tonnes from New York. "Implementation of our new gold storage plan is proceeding smoothly. Operations are running very much according to schedule," said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank.


The Bundesbank took advantage of the transfer from New York to have roughly 50 tonnes of gold melted down and recast according to the London Good Delivery standard, today's internationally recognised standard. "We also called on the expertise of the Bank for International Settlements for the spot checks that had to be carried out. As expected, there were no irregularities," said Mr Thiele.


According to its new gold storage plan, unveiled in January 2013, the Bundesbank will be storing half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults from 2020 onwards. This necessitates a phased transfer to Frankfurt am Main of 300 tonnes of gold from New York and all 374 tonnes of gold from Paris.


Since the transfers began in 2013, the Bank has relocated a total of 157 tonnes of gold to Frankfurt am Main - 67 tonnes from Paris and 90 tonnes from New York. This is equivalent to roughly 23% of the total quantity to be transferred. The following table gives an overview of the gold that has been transferred to date.



As at 31 December 2014, the Bundesbank's gold reserves were stored at the following locations.


And the punchline:

The Bundesbank assures the identity and authenticity of German gold reserves throughout the transfer process - from when they are removed from warehouses abroad until they are stored in Frankfurt am Main. As soon as the gold was removed from the warehouse locations abroad, Bundesbank employees cross-checked the lists of bars belonging to the Bundesbank against the information on the bars removed. Finally, once they arrived in Frankfurt am Main, all the transferred gold bars were thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank. When all the inspections had been concluded, no irregularities came to light with regard to the authenticity, fineness and weight of the bars.

A curious amount of precautions and safeguards when transporting the "safe" and "untainted" gold held at the NY Fed to Frankfurt. Almost as if the Bundesbank, gasp, did not trust the quality and content of the NY Fed-held gold, nor its well-meaning intentions.

Ironically, it was exactly one year ago that we wrote "Germany Has Recovered A Paltry 5 Tons Of Gold From The NY Fed After One Year" in which we wrote:

The official explanation was as follows: "The Bundesbank explained [the low amount of US gold] by saying that the transports from Paris are simpler and therefore were able to start quickly." Additionally, the Bundesbank had the "support" of the BIS "which has organized more gold shifts already for other central banks and has appropriate experience - only after months of preparation and safety could transports start with truck and plane." That would be the same BIS that in 2011 lent out a record 632 tons of gold...


Welt goes on to "debunk" various "conspiracy websites" that the reason why the gold is being melted is not to cover up some shortage (and to scrap serial numbers), but that the gold is exactly the same gold as before. Finally, to silences all skeptics, the Bundesbank says that "there is no reason for complaint - the weight and purity of the gold bars were consistent with the books match." In conclusion, Welt reports that in 2014 "larger transport volumes" can be expected from New York: between 30 and 50 tons.

Welt was off by just 50% with the full 2014 repatriated amount hitting 85 tons in what appears to have been a year-end scramble following the Netherlands repatriation shocker. And, as it turns out, all it took for the Bundesbank to send its repatriation amounts surging is for the Dutch to show it how it is done: i.e., by plane because crossing the Atlantic with a Brinks' truck full of gold certainly presents some "logisitcal challenges."

Sarcasm aside, it is quite clear that "logistical difficulties" is merely a politically correct strawman. Recall the real reason for the paltry repatriation by Buba in 2013, as explained by Deutsche Bank two months ago:

... the gold community paid great attention to the decision of the German Bundesbank to “bring German gold home”. At the beginning of 2013, the Bundesbank announced it would repatriate 300 tonnes of gold stored in the US by 2020. It is well behind schedule, citing logistical difficulties. Yet diplomatic difficulties are more likely to be the chief cause of the delay, especially seeing as the Bundesbank has proven its capacity to organise large-scale gold transports. In the early 2000s, the Bundesbank incrementally repatriated 930 tonnes of German gold held by the Bank of England.

Which leads us to the only relevant question: now that the "diplomatic difficulties" have been overcome and the Bundesbank is back on track to repatriating precisely the right amount of gold from the NY Fed to indicate that it has far less faith in the US central bank than it did when it was barely conducting any transfers in 2013, just how worse as the diplomatic difficulties now? We expect to get at least a partial answer on Thursday when Mario Draghi finally announces his long-overdue €500 billion QE program, with Bundesbank's Jens Weidmann, sitting quietly in a corner, and ignored by the ex-Goldman head of the ECB, contemplated just how much more, if not all, gold (there is still some 517 tonnes of gold left to be repatriated to Germany from NY and Paris) he should withdraw now in preparation for the "next steps"?

One thing is certain: Germany sends its kindest gratitude to Ukraine, whose gold, now long gone, is most likely to be found in a far safer, and remelted, state somewhere in the bowels under Wilhelm-Epstein-Straße, number 14 in Frankfurt am Main.

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a growing concern's picture

That's a lot of trouble for a barbarous relic.

Pinto Currency's picture



In 2020 the German public can rejoice that only 1,200 tonnes of German publicly owned gold is held by the private Federal Reserve Bank in NY.

Good times are here again.

Ghordius's picture

Tyler, you are putting it as if we europeans would not trust the FED. nothing could be further from the truth. we trust the FED to do what it does best, including it's signaling system, it's care for the primary dealers and it's way with fixing problems by throwing money at things

it's the US Treasury and it's stooge, the NY-FED that we don't trust, to the very last re-cast and re-numbered bar of gold. we were shocked, once

BaBaBouy's picture

True MONEY Phys GOLD $3K In The Shorter Term ...

BaBaBouy's picture

WTF 2020??? PARIS Is A Stones Throw From BERLIN...

IF THEY WANTED... A Few Lorries Could Make The Transfer Within A WEEK!!!

hedgeless_horseman's picture



PARIS Is A Stones Throw From BERLIN...

In 1918 the Paris Gun was able to shell Paris from 120 kilometres (75 mi) away.

In 2015 you would think the Germans could retrieve "their" gold.

Has anyone called DHL?

Headbanger's picture

Geld allein macht nicht glücklich
Sie müssen auch in der Bundesbank!!

Chupacabra-322's picture

Aren't people who hoard Gold listed & considered "Domestic Terrorists" as per the:

D. ept.


H. uman

S. acrifice

BaBaBouy's picture

Meanwhile, The .01% ers Can't Get Rid Of Their FIATS Paper Fast Enough...

1792 Birch 1 Cent, Judd-4, MS65 Red and Brown. Sold for: $2,585,000.00.

Publicus's picture

These are the missing Ukrainian gold.

Fun Facts's picture

The syndicate stole Egypt's gold too.

7.62x54r's picture

Not related but hilarious:

Remember that retard at Alpari Forex, Hughes? The one who called the SNB "amateurs" for de-pegging the Swiss Franc?

Alpari is going bankrupt. They were all in on Swiss Franc to Euro interest rate arbitrage, and when the value of the Swiss Franc shot up, they lost their over-leveraged and unhedged shirts.

Killer the Buzzard's picture

Ghordius, I didn't down vote you because I assume you simply forgot the /sarc tag.

eclectic syncretist's picture


"The Bundesbank took advantage of the transfer from New York to have roughly 50 tonnes of gold melted down and recast according to the London Good Delivery standard"


smlbizman's picture

they were waiting for their amazon premire membership to be approved for the unlimited free shipping offer...

COSMOS's picture

Lets get this straight, USA bases in America and USA bases in Germany.  The Krauts got nothing back really.

GetZeeGold's picture



The US could always pull out and let Putin send aid to the domestic Russians in Germany.


There's more of them in East Germnay than there is West Germany....but do exist.

giggler321's picture

Those are just figures.  They could say whatever they wanted them to say - could to 1000tons and all the gerry's will be rejoicing in the streets but no, as only when they need them; the doors of the bundesbank vaults will be opened and the populus will know just what they have - 0

Took Red Pill's picture

Time to pull an "Italian Job"

Anasteus's picture

Agree, this all can turn out to be a mere hoax.

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

It's the melted-down bit that fascinates.

smukster's picture

Nope, just useless German perfectionism.

MontgomeryScott's picture



The Bundesbank had the FED melt the gold bars that were deposited in the FED for safekeeping DOWN, and RE-CAST? The 'entropy effect' described in the Laws of Thermodynamics state that there will be a net LOSS of weight (albeit small) because SOME of the molecules are sacrificed to make it change states (from solid to liquid; and back again). What are they trying to HIDE? Was it originally cast in the Nazi Germany era, with a fucking SWASTIKA on it?

WELL... perhaps it was cast in Arabic (from Lybia), or Slavic (from Bosnia/Herznogvina or maybe Ukraine) or Arabic (from Iraq), or cast with Tungsten fake (same atomic weight) from Clintonista Conus?;_ylt=AwrTcdChs71UEPYA7LolnIlQ...

I'm trying to recall the location of the video where the German or Swiss gold assayer (who was the first to discover the problem) is posted. I think the Chinese were the first to get these fake bars (as payment to settle daily trade), and some authentication (the 'paper trail') led directly to Ft. Knox (circa 1998).


Let's SEE the gold bars as they are deliverd to the smelter, and let's ALL SEE what they are inscribed with; and let's all SEE the gold being melted, and then re-cast; and LET'S ALL see this gold being delivered to the German Central Bank.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Exactly! Why can't school kids take field trips to see "their" Countries gold and do essays and math tests? The people's gold should be on public display and taught ti school kids as the cornerstone of the Countries wealth and independence.

Urban Redneck's picture

This is probably not the video you are looking for, but as far as I am aware it is the only OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT VIDEO ADMISSION of gold plated tungsten bars in the market.

five minute video - key admission from 2:52-3:22 (they moved the video on the Swiss Customs Admin website since I originally came across it two years ago)

or the Youtube version

giggler321's picture

Yes that is interesting - strangly though since the UK already lied about the grade of melted yellow before; why they trust them now I dont know.  They must have a melt centre someplace that could do the job and check purity themselves.

JohninMK's picture

Now in China friendly bar size.

Antifaschistische's picture

My belief is that the BUNDESBANK does not really have a problem repatriating gold.

However, if they did, I suggest that they call on ALL US Germans, to stand in line with them in NY waiting for the withdrawl.   The public spectacle would be so devestating the NY Fed would be forced to deliver....of course, if they really have the gold.   If they don't have the gold, the the public spectacle would be even greater.

Even though I'm 1/2 way across the country, I would be more than willing to fly to NY to stand in that line in support of my ancestoral hommies.

Four chan's picture

the internet needs to retire that ancient video.

agstacks's picture

No, they just had to get rid of those pesky UKRAINIAN NATIONAL BANK symbols 

pgroup's picture

Pretty sure they lost more than their shirts. They're missing their pants and tighty whiteys as well, and maybe their balls if the investors caught up to them.

A fitting end.

Freebird's picture

Whatever happened to Libya's gold?

Freebird's picture

Labia gold quite slippery no

BLOTTO's picture

Do you own Au/Ag?


Then you/we must be an extremist.

aiaiai's picture

Or an anti-Chosenite. Only Chosenites are aloowed to own gold. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhu.

Latitude25's picture

+100 for the greatest link today.  One fucking cent!!!!

mkkby's picture

Obviously, if you ask for your property back and you get a run around -- it means they don't have it, or they intend to rob you.  Germany is a toothless tiger.  They don't have the guns to demand anything.  Therefore, they will be  lucky to get another ounce by 2020.

Perhaps the only leverage they have is to leave the EU and let it rot in hell without their support.  Or they can threaten to partner with Russia/China and stick it to the reserve currency.  If you start playing those games, you better have body guards you can trust.

Freebird's picture

Any views on whether Real State is a safe heaven or should one stick to preshus metals?

Oath_Keeper's picture

I'd pick real estate over PMs, simply because you can shoot people on your property, and you can't eat PMs, but you can grow on real estate. Captain Obvious!

Soul Glow's picture

Wars are fought for gold.  Everything else is short term theater.  Iraq, Lybia, Ukraine, etc were blown apart to get gold.  The oil is for short term gains and short term power - for the best that can be done as we have seen is to get oil offline long enough to bankrupt the nation-state (Halibutron, Xi, etc made money on contracts in Iraq, not net production) - the gold is what the money changers need.

Hitler famously said he would run his empire without an ounce of gold, then looted gold from all minorities in Europe.  The first stop by the US military when entering Baghdad was the State Museum, which housed many gold relics, next was the Iraqi Treasury, then Saddam's fortitied mansion where his son was holding out in the gold vault.  Lybia was the poorest African state before Gadaffi and he built a rather large gold reserve (for African standards) and was raided by western powers so swiftly Hillary Clinton was even out of the loop.

The money changers want gold and they want all the gold for the next phase of their plan which, long in the tooth, is to go back to a gold standard.

They took everyone off a gold standard long enough for people to forget what gold is - money - and will now institute it again once the populace has very little.  This has been the plan for over a hundred years:  make holding gold illegal for the health of the state, legalize it but demonize anyone owning it, and then in the last crisis go back to it.  We are in the final inning now.

Spigot's picture

My biggest concern is not a Hitler. It is that peripheral and core nations are abandoning the "center", the nexus of the current international power confab, and pulling their attention and energy oaway from said center. When this happens all the inter-relationships at the center begin to disintegrate. Germany "growing a pair" says to me we are on the verge of a full on international revolution which will toss the big seven into a salad maker. US, UK, Japan will not fair very well in the "next world order". And probably a good thing for the world, IMO. Though a tough time for USA/UK/JAP during the transition.

Not Too Important's picture

Who's to say they're not just putting out fake inventory reports? How would anyone prove they have any gold at all? When people say the US has serious tonnage at Fort Knox, or even West Point, who knows if they're telling the truth?

The whole 'Central Bank gold buying' press might be just total propaganda, and all the gold is down in one single vault somewhere. There's what, one Olympic swimming pool worth of gold in the whole world?

Maybe we're all being scammed by everyone, when countries go back on a 'gold standard' - and it's coming - no CB anywhere really has any gold?

smukster's picture

Would be a nice one. I do consider the possibility of the PBoC at some point declaring they have 15.000 t when really two thirds of that is fake.

The puzzling thing here: Why does the Buba declare it publicly at this very moment?

Freegold's picture

There will not be another goldstandard. And if they tried it, it will fail as always. A goldstandard will fail cos we are humans and it will be corrupted as always. What we will have is a free-floating price of gold. Way way higher price! (In buying power, not nominal dollarprice).