SPDR Gold Trust gold bars at the Bank of England

BullionStar's picture

By Ronan Manly, BullionStar

One of the most notable developments accompanying the gold price rally of 2016 has been the very large additions to the gold bar holdings of the major physically backed gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). This is especially true of the SPDR Gold Trust (ticker GLD).

The gold bar holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust peaked at 1353 tonnes on 7 December 2012 before experiencing a precipitous fall in 2013, and additional and continued shrinkage throughout 2014 and 2015. On 17 December 2015, the gold holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust hit a multi-year low of 630 tonnes, a holdings level that had not been seen since September 2008.

SPDR Gold Trust - 5 year chart of gold holdings and gold price. Black line - gold holdings in tonnes. Source: http://www.goldchartsrus.com

By 31 December 2015, GLD 'only' held 642 tonnes of gold bars. See above chart. Then as the New Year kicked off in January 2016, something dramatic happened. The SPDR Gold Trust began expanding its gold holdings again, and noticeably so. By 31 March 2016, the Trust held 819 tonnes of gold bars, and by 30 June 2016, it held 950 tonnes of gold bars. The latest figure at time of writing is 981 tonnes of gold bars as of 8 July 2016. (Source: GLD Gold holdings spreadsheet). 

This is a year-to-date net change of 338.89 extra tonnes of gold bars being held within the SPDR Gold Trust. See chart below. That's a 52.8% increase compared to the quantity of gold bars the Trust held at the end of 2015, and a phenomenal amount of gold by any means, since it's over 10% of annual new mine supply, and also a larger quantity of gold than all but the world's largest central banks hold in their official gold reserves. Where is all of this gold being sourced from? That is the billion dollar question. Some is obviously being imported from Swiss refineries, but perhaps not all of it.

SPDR Gold Trust - 6 month chart of gold holdings and gold price. Black line - gold holdings in tonnes. Source: http://www.goldchartsrus.com
 

In January 2016, 26.8 tonnes of gold bars were added to the SPDR Gold Trust, while a massive 108 tonnes of gold bars were added in February 2016. The first quarter was rounded off with an additional 42 tonnes of gold bars added in March, bringing the Q1 additions held by GLD's gold custodian HSBC London to 176.91 tonnes of gold bars. Noticeably, some large 1-day increases in GLD's gold bar holdings occurred on 1 February (over 12 tonnes), 11 February (over 14 tonnes), 19 and 22 February (over 19 tonnes each day), and 29th February (nearly 15 tonnes), and also on 17 and 18 March (11.9 tonnes of gold bars added each day).

The second quarter saw a 15 tonne shrinkage of GLD's gold holdings in April, but a very large 64.5 tonne increase in May, and a 81.4 tonne increase in June, making for a Q2 increase in GLD's gold bar holdings of 130.77 tonnes. Very large 1-day gold bar additions occurred on 24 and 27 June (18.4 tonnes and 13 tonnes respectively). Overall, that's 307 tonnes added to GLD in the first half of 2016.

Adding the 31.2 tonne addition for July to date gives the 338.89 tonnes addition figure quoted above. Most of this was due to a large 1-day inflow of 28.81 tonnes of gold bars reported on 5 July.

SEC - Reveal the subcustodians

I have detailed the above GLD gold bar holding changes to provide some background and put more color on the important discussion which follows.

While looking through SEC filings of the SPDR Gold Trust last month, I came across some interesting correspondence between the SEC and the sponsor of the SPDR Gold Trust, World Gold Trust Services. World Gold Trust Services is a fully owned subsidiary of the World Gold Council (WGC).

On 29 March 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter to the SPDR Gold Trust (c/o World Gold Trust Services, LLC) essentially telling the SPDR Gold Trust to in future specify in its SEC filings the identities of the sub-custodians that are storing any of the Trust’s gold bar holdings during each reporting period. The SEC’s letter stated:

“We understand that the Custodian may appoint one or more subcustodians to hold the Trust’s gold and that the Custodian currently uses a number of subcustodians, identified on page 18. You also outline risks that may arise in connection with the use of subcustodians. In future Exchange Act periodic reports, to the extent material, please disclose the amount of the Trust’s assets that are held by subcustodians.

The page 18 referred to by the SEC is page 18 of the annual 10-K filing of the SPDR Gold Trust for the year ended 30 September 2015, which includes the following paragraph:

The Custodian is authorized to appoint from time to time one or more subcustodians to hold the Trust’s gold until it can be transported to the Custodian’s vault. The subcustodians that the Custodian currently uses are the Bank of England, The Bank of Nova Scotia-ScotiaMocatta, Barclays Bank PLC, JPMorgan Chase Bank and UBS AG.

In accordance with LBMA practices and customs, the Custodian does not have written custody agreements with the subcustodians it selects. The Custodian’s selected subcustodians may appoint further subcustodians. These further subcustodians are not expected to have written custody agreements with the Custodian’s subcustodians that selected them. The lack of such written contracts could affect the recourse of the Trust and the Custodian against any subcustodian in the event a subcustodian does not use due care in the safekeeping of the Trust’s gold. See “Risk Factors—The ability of the Trustee and the Custodian to take legal action against subcustodians may be limited.”

LBMA above refers to London Bullion Market Association. Note that the SPDR Gold Trust prospectus defines subcustodian as:

“SUB-CUSTODIAN means a sub-custodian, agent or depository (including an entity within our corporate group) selected by us to perform any of our duties under this agreement including the custody and safekeeping of Bullion.”

The SEC letter was addressed to William Rhind who was CEO of World Gold Trust Services, but who actually had resigned as CEO on 9 February 2016, something the SEC should have known since the resignation statement was also filed with the SEC. After receiving the SEC’s correspondence, Samantha McDonald, CFO of World Gold Trust Services, responded by letter to the SEC the next day, 30 March 2016, confirming that:

We will, to the extent material, disclose in future periodic reports the amount of the Trust’s assets that are held by subcustodians. Please be advised that during fiscal 2015, no gold was held by subcustodians on behalf of Trust.

Note that filings with the US SEC use the naming convention 10-K for an annual filing, and 10-Q for a quarterly filing.

Following the stipulation from the SEC to World Gold Trust Services telling it to reveal its subcustodian holdings, its intriguing to note that when SPDR Gold Trust filed its next 10-Q on 29 April 2016 for the quarter ended 31 March 2016, page 15 of this filing revealed that the Bank of England, as subcustodian, had, during Q1 2016, held up to 29 tonnes of gold on behalf of the SPDR Gold Trust. The relevant section of page 15 stated the following:

“As at March 31, 2016, the Custodian held 26,484,117 ounces of gold on behalf of the Trust in its vault, 100% of which is allocated gold in the form of London Good Delivery gold bars including gold payable, with a market value of $32,760,852,177 (cost — $32,291,685,964) based on the LBMA Gold Price PM on March 31, 2016. Subcustodians held no gold on behalf of the Trust as of March 31, 2016.

During the quarter ended March 31, 2016the greatest amount of gold held by subcustodians was approximately 29 tonnes or approximately 3.8% of the Trust’s gold at such date. The Bank of England held that gold as subcustodian.

As at September 30, 2015, the Custodian held 21,995,797 ounces of gold in its vault 100% of which is allocated gold in the form of London Good Delivery gold bars including gold payable, with a market value of $24,503,317,923 (cost — $27,103,546,125). Subcustodians held nil ounces of gold in their vaults on behalf of the Trust.”

Some Facts

From the above revelations, some facts can be stated:

  • The Bank of England held a maximum of 29 tonnes of gold on behalf of the SPDR Gold Trust on some date during Q1 2016.

Note that the wording of the 10-Q is such that it does not preclude the possibility that the Bank of England also held GLD gold at other times during Q1 2016, since it states “the greatest amount of gold” that the Bank of England held for the Trust was 29 tonnes. This implies that the Bank of England vaults could, at other times during Q1, have held less than 29 tonnes of gold on behalf of GLD.

  • As per the initial WGTS response to the SEC dated 30 March 2016, no gold was held by HSBC’s subcustodians on behalf of GLD throughout fiscal 2015 (1st October 2014 – 30 September 2015). Furthermore, GLD’s 10-Q to 31 December 2015 states that

To this can be added that according to the SPDR Gold Trust’s 10-Q for Q4 2015, “as at December 31, 2015…Subcustodians held nil ounces of gold in their vaults on behalf of the Trust

The GLD 10K (annual) for the year to 30 September 2015, filed on 24 November 2015, also contains a few statements addressing whether gold was held by subcustodians on year-end dates in 2014 and 2013. However, it states that subcustodians did not hold gold on behalf of the SPDR Gold Trust on these two dates. Page 44 states:

"As at September 30, 2014, the Custodian held 24,867,158 ounces of gold in its vault 100% of which is allocated gold in the form of London Good Delivery gold bars including gold payable, with a market value of $30,250,898,159 (cost — $30,728,152,437). Subcustodians did not hold any gold in their vaults on behalf of the Trust.”

As at September 30, 2013, the Custodian held 29,244,351 ounces in its vault 100% of which is allocated gold in the form of London Good Delivery gold bars including gold payable, with a market value of $38,792,631,793 (cost — $35,812,777,235). Subcustodians did not hold any gold in their vaults on behalf of the Trust."

How did Bank of England suddenly become a GLD subcustodian in Q1 2016?

As a member of London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL), HSBC maintains gold bullion account facilities at the Bank of England which can be used within its LPMCL gold clearing role. All 6 LPMCL bullion bank members hold gold accounts at the Bank of England. The 6 LPMCL members can also all call on each other for physical delivery of gold and allocation of gold. All of these bullion banks except ICBC Standard are also Authorized Participants (APs) of GLD, i.e. Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan, Scotia, and UBS. Other AP's of GLD include entities of Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Many of these bullion banks are also LBMA market makers in gold.

My view is that quite a number of other bullion banks that are members of the LBMA also hold gold accounts at the Bank of England, such as BNP Paribas, Natixis, SocGen and Standard Chartered, otherwise they would not be able to engage in the gold borrowing activities that they are on record of engaging in. If this is the case, then gold bars can easily be moved from central bank accounts at the Bank of England to bullion bank gold accounts at the Bank of England and vice-versa  Only APs of GLD are allowed to create baskets of GLD securities. This creation process requires that when GLD baskets created, APs have to deliver physical gold bars to HSBC.

There are therefore a number of  possibilities to explain how the Bank of England ended up being a sub-custodian for GLD in Q1 2016.

  1. An AP(s) had gold bars stored at the Bank of England, and delivered these gold bars to HSBC at the Bank of England in fulfillment of the GLD share creation process
  1. An AP(s) had an unallocated credit balance of gold with a LPMCL clearer or other entity which had gold stored at Bank of England or access to gold at the Bank of England, and as part of the clearing process the AP converted unallocated credit balances into allocated gold bars held at the Bank of England and delivered these gold bars to HSBC.
  1. An AP(s) borrowed gold from a central bank which had gold bars stored at the Bank of England and delivered these gold bars to HSBC as part of the GLD basket creation process.

The quantity of 29 tonnes is a lot of gold for an Authorized Participant or group of APs to have un-utilised in a vault at the Bank of England. It's about 2320 large Good Delivery gold bars. Likewise, 29 tonnes is a lot of gold bars for LPMCL members to have as a clearing float at the Bank of England.

Furthermore, if an AP had acquired newly refined gold from a refinery with the intention of delivering it to HSBC as part of the GLD security creation process, why would this gold be delivered to the Bank of England vaults, and not directly to the HSBC vault? It would be more practical to have delivered that gold straight to the HSBC vault.

Therefore, its plausible that at least some of the gold being held by the Bank of England as sub-custodian on behalf of the SPDR Gold Trust was sourced from gold borrowed from central bank gold holdings at the Bank of England.

Bullion Bars Database

There is further support for borrowed gold bars being held by the SPDR Gold Trust during Q1 2016.

Warren James maintains a database of the identities of the gold bars held in the GLD over time which allows comparisons between the gold bullion coming in and out of the GLD. Each bar has a unique signature based on its brand, serial number, and weight. Gold bars coming into the SPDR Gold Trust can be tracked based on whether these bars were previously held in the Trust or whether they are bars coming in that have never been held by the Trust before. When a bar returns to the list after it was previously held but disappeared from the holdings, it's called dark bullion since its identity is familiar but it's not known where the bar has been since it left the GLD and re-entered.

Up until 10 February 2016, the percentage of dark bullion bars re-entering GLD that had previously been held by the Trust was about 30% of the inflows. As the inflows into GLD rose sharply from the second half of February, dark bullion entering GLD essentially stopped and nearly all of the bars being added to GLD were bars that had never been held by GLD before. These inflows were a combination of newly refined gold and older bars which are no longer produced. For example, gold bars coming into GLD in February 2016 have included hundreds of bars from the US Assay Offices and Mints, AGR Matthey, Johnson Matthey Plc (Royston), the Australian Branch Royal Mint - Perth, Engelhard, Kazzinc etc, all of which are no longer produced.

The fact that a large amount of older gold bars arrived into GLD from the second half of February onwards would suggest that these bars came long-held holdings in the vaults of the Bank of England, and consisted of borrowed central bank gold.

Some Questions

All of the above poses a number of questions:

  • If this known 29 tonnes of gold was held by the Bank of England as subcustodian for GLD during Q1 2016 but not held by the Bank of England as subcustodian at the end of March 2016, did it physically leave the Bank of England vaults, or was it just transferred to HSBC's account at the Bank of England?

Note that nothing in the SEC filing rules or directives compels WGTS to specify if the GLD custodian HSBC is holding gold outside its own vaults, so in my view its possible that gold is held by HSBC on behalf of the SPDR Gold Trust at the Bank of England. Indeed, its possible that HSBC even leases vault space in the Bank of England vaults, a sub-leased vault facility. If the HSBC London gold vault is indeed in the location that's documented here (HSBC’s London Gold Vault: Is this Gold’s Secret Hiding Place?), then it would appear that it's not big enough to accommodate the entire gold bar holdings of GLD and all other HSBC customers' gold, especially when GLD holding are and were over 900 tonnes.

  • Since the Bank of England didn't hold any gold as subcustodian for GLD in fiscal 2015, but did in Q1 2016, how much of these large inflows of gold into GLD in Q1 and Q2 and July this year (documented above)  involved metal stored in vaults at the Bank of England? And why changed in the London Gold Market to require gold held at the Bank of England to suddenly be needed to fulfill GLD gold delivery obligations?
  • Why are LBMA practices and customs so lax that it allows HSBC the custodian, not to have written custody agreements with the subcustodians. Surely the US SEC should have picked up on this?
  • Why did the SEC not ask iShares (IAU (which has 3 custodians) and ETF Securities to also alter their SEC filings to reveal subcustodians holdings. And for that matter why did the SEC not ask iShares to amend its disclosures to specify subcustodians in the Silver ETF - SLV.
  •  Why do central banks never publish gold bar lists detailing the serial numbers of their bars, and why is the Bank of England so against allowing central banks to do so. There are a number of FOIA requests (including one I made) that providing evidence of the Bank of England refuses to allow central banks to publish weight lists / bar lists. Could it be that they do not want data on gold bar serial numbers going into the public domain as it would show that leased and swapped gold is being held by commercial gold ETFs?

Audits of the SPDR Gold Trust's gold bars

The SPDR Gold Trust 's gold bar holdings are physically audited twice per year. A partial physical audit is conducted in February/March of each year, and a full physical audit of the bars is done in September of each year. The current auditor is Inspectorate International Limited. In September 2015, Inspectorate conducted the 2015 full count of the Trust’s gold bullion held by the custodian HSBC London. That audit counted  54,807 London Good Delivery gold bars at the "London Vaults of HSBC Bank USA National Association".  Note that the official custodian of the SPDR Gold Trust changed from HSBC Bank USA to HSBC Bank Plc in late 2014, so this audit should really state HSBC Bank Plc.

Inspectorate then conducted a random sample count audit in early Mach 2016 at the "London Vaults of HSBC Bank Plc" based on a date of 19 February 2016. As of that date, the "account (GLD) held title to 56,913 London Good Delivery, large Gold Bars". However, this audit was "a statistically random count of 16,493 bars of gold", based upon the gold inventory as at 19 February 2016, and it was carried out between 29 February and 11 March "at the Custodian’s premises".

Given that the Bank of England acted as a subcustodian to the SPDR Gold Trust during Q1 2016,  the question arises as to whether  all of the other 40,420 (56,913 - 16,493) bars were at the “Custodian’s premises” during the audit,  or were some of these other bars being held in the Bank of England vaults. It's not clear why a random sample of 16,493 bars (about 206 tonnes, and 29% of the total holding) was chosen, but it's about 2/7ths of the gold bars held by GLD.

There is no mention of the Bank of England in Inspectorate's latest audit report. However, there is nothing to say that some of GLD's bars were not in the Bank of England at the time of the audit. The audit doesn't say so one way or the other, and the way its worded means that it doesn't say all of the inventory is at HSBC's vault, just that the audit was conducted at HSBC's vault.

Conclusion

Central banks continue to report leased and swapped gold (gold receivables) as an asset on their balance sheets. This accounting fiction, which doesn't follow any international accounting standards is a sleight of hand that allows the same gold to appear to be in two places at once. If gold bars that have been leased from central banks are being held in the SPDR Gold Trust, then these gold bars are being double-counted, and GLD shareholders should be made aware that the Trust is holding gold that has been ultimately borrowed from central banks. Using borrowed central bank in an ETF doesn't put the ETF on the hook, since the ETF owns this gold. But it does mean that the bullion banks will need to return the equivalent borrowed gold to the lending central bank from other sources. Importantly though, this type of activity will overstate the amount of gold held by the combined official sector and ETF sector.

The SPDR Gold Trust 10-Q for the 2nd quarter of 2016 will be filed with the SEC in about 3 weeks time, at the end of July. With the continuing large inflows into GLD in Q2 2016 it will be interesting to see whether the name of Bank of England as subcustodian of GLD reappears in the Q2 filing?

And if gold bars held by GLD are actually stored at the Bank of England vaults when the  full physical gold bar audit is conducted next September, surely the full audit report should require a passage to say that some of the gold bars audited were held at the Bank of England, and not just at the 'London Vaults of HSBC Bank'? Since the SEC have opened this issue, and created more questions than answers, perhaps it is now in the SEC's interests to go even further and ask World Gold Trust Services to fully clarify the matters raised above. Otherwise, the GLD gold bar holdings will continue to be a source of intrigue and debate in the gold world.

 

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JailBanksters's picture

Gold Trust, now there's a Oxymoron

And in the Bank of England of all Places..

They even sold the Queens Gold !!

How many times have they sold the same Gold Bar ?

Watson's picture

Let's see:
Weak world banking system, close to collapse in Italy that could well bring down EU.
EU under threat of imploding anyway:
Views of EU population on immigration;
Large scale corruption (EU audit not signed off for years);
Growth of popularist movements, trying to get back power from EU centre;
Economic strains within EUR-land.
Political ructions in UK (? 5th largest economy in world).

And everybody knows about all the above, and this is not a complete list
(obvious omissions: wobbly Deutsche Bank, and RBS is starting to look wobbly again as well).

Yet gold is _still_ well under all-time highs.

Gold was a bubble. It burst. Get over it.

Doubtless, at some time in the future, it will exceed it's all time high.
The Dow did, post 1929. Just took a few years, however...so don't hold your breath on gold.

Watson

Maestro Maestro's picture

 

 

 

Exterminate the bankers without firing a single shot by buying physical silver and gold (and platinum).

USA=EU=ISIS = BANKERS

 

 

Latitude25's picture

Right.  Bankers would never think to hedge with PMs.

FinallyFree's picture

As a new commenter that is here to learn, but that has been reading the news site for the last few years, I'd like to ask a few questions. I realize that there is an assumption here, almost universally believed, that the various central banks and bullion banks have been playing games with their gold holdings, gold lending, and price manipulation for years. I've seen a presentation on Swiss bank operations and it looks like they regularly trade gold bars and remelt them with new serial numbers and ship them to new owners. these Swiss banks are as private as possible, but I suspect every nation has spies working in the Swiss banks. Regarding the "known" gold in existence. Didn't England dispose of all of it's gold a while back just before Soros broke the bank of England? Did they reaquire more gold for their national bank? Also, I understand that Canada got rid of their gold recently, though it could easly nationalize production in an emergency. Also, I understand that some very high net worth individuals and their partners buy and run gold mines, pay the employees and take personal delivery at a loss or off of the books. Add to that, China is going around the world buying up all of the mines they can get their hands on. So therefore who knows how much gold there really is floating around? No one can force a government to disclose this information, and they don't like to be bothered with it. So I doubt others who think they have figured out total production of gold in existence. However, the stuff is so hard to get ahold of and it is so often getting melted down when it changes hands, one would have to be a fool to think that paper gold equals real gold. Again, I'm new, so please set me straight on these things. 

o r c k's picture

A question? The "experts" around here say that the daily, criminal manipulation of PM's will end. But no-one seems to know HOW it would end. They won't be able to keep up I've heard. But they have unlimited trillions to work with and legal immunity so why would they even THINK about stopping? They won't, because it's #1 on their priority list.

BobEore's picture

Welcome to Goldburg son!

You don't get to 'ask questions' here, and you are not expected to "learn'

 

anything except rote acquiscence to the cult's mythos. and obedience to it's overarching demand for unquestioning allegiance.

However, on the other hand - you are free to ignore the bullshitters and ankle bitingmindless 'troll-calling trolls' and dig your heels in here for the duration. You just have to get past their initial pathetic attempts to shake you off, and the pussies will flee back to their holes. Your call. Stick around for a few days and you questions will be answered in due course when you ask them - without the whiny tards gettin in the way!

Maestro Maestro's picture

 

 

Ask your CIA supervisor, troll.

 

 

Manipuflation's picture

If you don't hold it you don't own it.  End of story.

natxlaw's picture

Just out of curiousity, how high do you think the price of metals have to get before serious questions about the all this smoke and mirrors start affecting the price of the ETFs vs. metal. I think the ETFs can probably reach their previous highs without the bottom falling out. I mean, lots of billionaires, including the great (not so much) Soros himself, are in GLD. Are they just using it as a paper manipulator to keep the market down while they pile up physical, or will these things ultimately pay off, even if the lower custodians wind up being on the hook for settling a gold debt in an ever increasing amount of fiat?

Sheople's picture

Spoon boy:  Do not try and bend the Gold Spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.

Neo:  What truth?

Spoon boy:  There is no Gold.

Neo:  There is no Gold?

Spoon boy:  Then you'll see, that it is not the Gold Spoon that bends, it's the bent, twisted minds of the central bankers.

Neo:  Should we audit the FED?

 

Spoon boy:  *** POOF ***

 

 

joego1's picture

It's ok the Bank of England will pay you in Sterling futures.

konadog's picture

The general unwillingness to conduct legitimate audits seems to me all you need to know.

DC Beastie Boy's picture

Buying GLD is trading paper for electronic digits for a physical promise (that is never kept).

Just buy the real thing and hold it in your hand. 

quadraspleen's picture

Have SPDR actually seen their gold in vault? If not, I'd say it doesn't exist

sinbad2's picture

Yes, the Queen recently toured the Bank of England vault, with the media in tow, gold bars everywhere.

The US is the only country that will not allow anyone to see American gold, probably because LBJ sold all of Americas gold, to bomb Vietnam into surrendering.

SoDamnMad's picture

So look at the moon landing videos on the conspiracy sites and tell me the Queen walking through a room full of gold bars couldn't be faked. Hey

let's start a theory that the Queen died in Bin Ladin's cave 15 year ago. Naaa

SoDamnMad's picture

So look at the moon landing videos on the conspiracy sites and tell me the Queen walking through a room full of gold bars couldn't be faked. Hey

let's start a theory that the Queen died in Bin Ladin's cave 15 year ago. Naaa

Coldfire's picture

Being centrally held makes it easier for the government to steal when the time comes.

Flankspeed60's picture

At some point, economics text books will have to coin a new term, but for now, 're-hypothescam' is the best I can do. Or perhaps a 'Fraudian Slip,' or some such. Begs a song title - A U really really mine?' OK, groans now.

Kokulakai's picture

If you don't hold it, you don't own it.

Conax's picture

Investors in the ETF should realize that every quatloo they hand to this entity is counted as gold on the shelf, whether there is any there or not. They therefore contribute to the entity's ability to supress the quatloo pricing of the metal they think they hold. In other words, they are chumps. All pain, no gain at the ETF.

BobEore's picture

Brilliant! Now we're talking ...

about gold and silver! The question as to the whereabouts of HSBC and other banks vault locations in or outside of central London is going to become moot in the post-Brexit period we have entered.

As the "City of London" gathers itself to become the new headquarters of a pirate empire being built out of the rubble of the declining American one. China LLC - as represented by colossus ICBC - will be the lychpin of this new agglomeration. Vaults within the physical confines of CoL sovereign territory will soon be holding the bulk of China's gold - as well as that of other players in this new game.

Perhaps this is the real reason that Deutsche Bank's massive new vault outside town remains unoccupied - and that ICBC pulled out of the lease deal made in February last! Or is it connected in some way to the pending Silver Fix suit against Deutsche as well?

With sleuths such as Ronan on the case - we are now in a position to find out - these and other mysteries of the opaque world o gold. Such as the strangely under=reported role of ICE. As in ...

"ICE Benchmark Administration ... and it's "independent" subsidiary the "Intercontinental Exchange"... a shadowy private organization which just happens to have managed to gain control of
• ICE LIBOR — the world's most widely used benchmark for short term bank borrowing rates
• LBMA Gold Price — the principal global benchmark for daily gold prices
• ISDAFIX — the global interest rate swap benchmark for swap rates and spreads" https://storify.com/SuaveBel/big-gold-s-big-reach-a

Meanwhiles -

in Goldburg - they will continue to drone on about SGE... Brics n AIIB, COMEX and other comical leftovers of a past era now best forgotten! Each to their own!

Latitude25's picture

Really?  The bulk if Chinese will be in CoL vaults?  How will it all get from China to there?  Why would the Chinese want the bulk of it there?

FinallyFree's picture

I watched a presentation recently by Jim Rickards where a "Swiss banker" stated that much of the gold coming into London from the west is being purchased by the Chinese government. That gold is then sent to Swiss refiners that guarantee the purity and remelt it with a Chinese serial number and stamp. It is then sent to China from Switzerland. So the London vaults appear to be just a temporary transfer place. The Chinese appear to be housing all of their gold in China, and they are getting it everywhere in the world that they can, as long as they are getting it for a good price.

sinbad2's picture

I think China might have cut a deal with the Brits.

Countries will deposit their gold reserves at the Bank of England to facilitate trade, the UK will become the trusted intermediary

China will takeover as the financial hub in the next few years, and Britain will become China's Hong Kong sitting off the coast of Europe, which is why the UK dumped the EU. 

Latitude25's picture

+1 sinbad for clear thinking

BobEore's picture

Yes, if you remember the discussion of the subject on that strangely truncated[Silversteined>?]thread

with regards to mention of the flow of gold from Swiss refiners to London Town, I directly foreswore from the idea that "Chinese gold" would roundtrip SW-CH-SW, instead, hinting at the idea - as confirmed by the documentation linked therein - that the destination of 1kg bars made in reponse to eastern orders was indeed Londres. Since it is not in the interests of any of the parties involved to have such a traffic openly confirmed, we can only speculate that Chinese ownership of the bars is the true scenario. However, it is a speculation which makes considerably more sense - when looked at from a macro perspective - than any of the shopworn ideas of parties with a considerable vested interest in directing the discussion away from any such possibility.

Which is where Ronan's work comes into it's own. Those few who will plow through his long drawn posts will be rewarded by the details contained therein which - when pieced together as a contiguous whole, form a whole new way of interpreting the data from east and west both! As to your last question - we shall surely be getting there. Every day the forces of reactionary resistance to fresh thinking and honest reportage grow weaker here - and the readiness for a new regime of open debate grows greater.

CUTTING THROUGH AMERIKAN PRECIOUS METAL EXCEPTIONALISM!

We're on our way!

Latitude25's picture

I remember that discussion very well.  My questions are very specific.  Please answer them if you can.

BobEore's picture

But but... then the thread will be pulled!

hehe... just kiddin(I hope!)

Alright - as mentioned, we are in the dark about quite a few of the details which go into building a case for this premise - for the very good reason that those executing the plan wish it to be that way. |soo.... working with what is available + some intuitive skills, historical precedent, and the ability to see wide angle pictures give us this:

We have a pattern of growing financial cooperation and convergence between the highest echelons of financial power in the west and the highest echelons of political power in the far east- eg. China. This produced a concerted effort to upgrade the system there to one which could be mobilized to facilitate the western elites plans to reconstruct a power base from which to operate after their complete pillaging of the western world was done. I've covered various aspects of this - here is one of the most pertinent:

Sandor joined a cadre of the Rockefeller's chosen moneymen to conduct a multi-decade "upgrade" of China's decaying ideological infrastructure... turning, gradually, a decrepit and bankrupt dependency of their forefather's Wall St. "Socialization" of Sinoland into a new, shinier and more modern vehicle for their long-standing plans to 'converge' the east and west - via a convergence of the capitalist and communist modalities... and in so doing ... achieving their dream - of a neo-fuedal global nightmare land under their full control! Sandor's particular pet project being the privatization of our common owned (02)... via a 'cap n trade' carbon tax scheme only a tax-farming elitist could love... was put into motion through his CCX trading platform in 2003... and the model then introduced into China for similar employment when the time became right!\ from https://storify.com/SuaveBel/big-gold-s-big-reach-a

Next: roughly a year after the formal engagement of the Chinese big banks with the LBMA and London "fix" was announced in the metals media - and then failed to transpire, the ICBC has indeed finally "arrived" in force. Not only taking up position on all the pertinent levels of power there, they have secured the very large Barclays vault. We can presume that they didn't get it to fill it with stuffed pandas. They needed the extra time to get the goods - and then a place to stash them. Now it is ready.

They will fill it will silver secured via dogsbody's JPM massive stateside round up - and with refined gold bars from Switzerland. WHY is that you ask? Because the silver is going to be the ace in the hole strategic resource of this century - it will be moved to the motherland eventually; the gold is the foundation of the new power structure being built over top the decaying framework of EU and the rest of the western satrapies and 5 eyes powers in decline. The Chinese have been groomed for an important role in that transition - though they are not in the highest level of the executive decision making.

Hope that covers enough ground for now. Running out of light. Sack time. I'll leave you with this final quote from the same posting:

So, now we have the connections in place. The same people who rule over the mechanism by which the world's favorite store of wealth is traded - The London Gold Fix - also lord it over the trade in banking short term interest trades... and the highly complex - and huge - global derivatives trading. A fiefdom which probably dwarfs any other of it's kind! You've never heard of them, you say? Yea... it was supposed to be that way! Since few outside of the opaque world o gold's "conspiracy nuts" would ever see need to concern themselves with the doings of this outfit... the smoke and mirrors have worked great -until now- thanks to the persistent effort's of internet scribes like Alisdair and his complicit buddies in crime~ against truth in media. Their hoax stories - about BRICS, Shanghai gold exchanges... SCO and all the rest of the bafflegab... are simply false trails to feed the bagholders of BIG GOLD's scheme to defraud and destroy each and every one of you in the occidental world. 

Latitude25's picture

So you're saying that all the gold delivered through the SGE has been an illusion and the Chinese have little or nothing within China?

BobEore's picture

Jus a dawggone cotton-pickin minute there neighbor!  I said that? Not unless i've been talkin in my sleep!

This is not a zero sum game. Why would we need to posit that their gold is EITHER

all in London - OR - all in Chinatown? We don't. SGE is no illusion. Neither is China's quest for shiny supremacy. What gets left out of both those phenonmena however - when we are left to the mercies of the talkin heads in bed with Big Gold's biggest deception -

is that the Chinese are in no way capable of pulling off this kind of mega heist on their own. In the same way that everyone in the west seems to obsess on Hilary's emails and lose sight of whate really matters - the transfer of state secrets, intellectual property, and the basic infrastructure of America's economic engines by a group of complicit politcos and their financial backers - to a foreign[oops - that should be plural] power,

folks overlook the long history of western financial elites guiding every step of what is falsely written up to be an indigenous Chinese "revolution" in the C20th century against "western imperialism" - as always, the irony is breathtaking! As I've covered in this story, the current regime leadership, as with past editions, are in no way free and clear of foreign influence/control - all roads lead to the same buildings in Wall St/CoL from which spewed forth directives to insert Lenin/Bronstein/name of your favorite Ashkenazi culture bearer here, into eastern regions - in order to seize control of the political landscape/resource base. (Numbers in regards to how much gold is stored in China are meaningful only in the context of the question as to who actually owns that gold! Otherwise, we are simply discussing another Ft Knox-style endless tread mill.)

The particular application of that 'model' to China is explained here - and, in comic contrast, the fake, complicit storyline for hooking the rubes in is detailed here

between the two, the careful reader will have no trouble making out the presence of a major effort to conceal and replace actual historical fact with bafflegab ultimately serving to aid the cause of those who seek to defraud/destroy us all. I had intended to some day completely detail the intricate moves by which the great GOLD SCAM of CHINA has been arranged in both east and west. While many of the details I had assembled in preparation of that project were lost to me last fall, a considerable amount still exists. I've referred to a few of them here - not being in the business of forensic accountancy myself, I asked for help in crunching all of my raw data from one of the most prolific of silvertown's commentators - a guy with exactly those qualifications, who has applied those same skills gratis on behalf of a 'top drawer' scribe of the BIG GOLD tribe, but shied away from doing the same on behalf of the cause of truth in media when asked. GATEKEEPER - OF BIG GOLD'S MUSHROOM FARM.

Once goldnsilver holders grow finally tired of being kept in the dark and fed a diet of BS - mucho facts n figures are available to be employed in the task awaiting all who wish to get outta this coming nightmare whole. Whose in\who's out?

We're watchin the line!

 

Latitude25's picture

Why would BIG GOLD care whether western goldbugs capitulate in Martin's scenario when large Asian countries make up the bulk of physical gold demand?  Seems like a silly idea to me.

BobEore's picture

I don't think Big Gold cares about Martin's scenario; the powers behind Big Gold care only to make sure that those who would be most effective in opposing them -

that would be people smart enough to have gone to gold/silver and out of fiat -

are disabled from effective resistance by rendering their source of wealth either unusable or unavailable. Taking down the rest of the dupes is easy. Taking everybody down is necessary - to achieve their neo-feudal goals.

If I understood your statement correctly?

Latitude25's picture

For example how does Big Gold render the gold of 1.2 billion Indians unusable?  Western gold bugs are irrelevant in front of the Asian numbers.  I laugh when I hear Martin predict $700 gold not because that price will never happen but because Asian demand will be so high that Western goldbug capitulation will be irrelevant.  Martin's a clown.  Now let's see if this article gets pulled.

BobEore's picture

You'll never see a piece pulled here for dumping on Marty! It's a Goldburg tradition. I like to take a piece out of his backside from time to time, but in a kinder gentler way. 

You check back on my previous comment, you may see the intent was to specify the rendering of western goldenholders gold 'unusable.' ( If that wasn't clear I'll take the blame though.) It' those folks with guns and long tradition of using them in defense of their freedoms which was problematic for the usual suspects.

Indians, Asians in general part from Pashtuns and other gnarly folk - not so much.

The future of holding gold in "Asia" vs the future of holding one's self above water in the wester lands is basically what I would be writing about here - if we were ever to get out of the starting gate after 5+ years of misdirection/strawmen/adhoms and endless hijinks designed to keep that discussion under wraps. {Merikan-style}Precious Metal Exceptionalism is exceptionally determined to hold a gun to it's own head and pull the trigger.

Location location location. Glad you brought it up. Asia is past as prologue.

Latitude25's picture

I'm not so convinced as you that western gold holders are in trouble.  My own family has used the metal to advantage during 2 crisis of the last century.

BobEore's picture

I'm comfortable with that -

as my goal here is less to convince foilks of my pov than to make sure they've had the opportunity to develop one of their own. Which sounds simple at first - until one realizes the extent to which all such free thinking and independent due diligence has been actively discouraged in this community

by characters with cultic style control issues who literally demand adherence to the consensus trance storyline, or demean everyone who dares look outside that fishbowl(see below for fine example of attempted bullying of new arrival)/

If gold has been used as a successful hedge against predations of the state and general breakdown in the past, it is also true that parties who wish to see our freedom to think and act - independent of their control - squelched forever,

have been diligent in reviewing the past performance of their forebearers to see where loopholes and counter-strategems have been left open so as to snatch defeat from what seemed certain victory! Everyone has their own comfort level with the level of risk which is built in to staying within the system. I've attempted to lay out the areas which are parallel to the type of fraudulent activity in the world o gold - in which the very same players in that venue are suspiciously present as an element with similar larcenous intent.

Folks will either see a pattern leading to them believing - as I do - the wisdom of Claude Steiner's famous maxim

Paranoia is a state of heightened awareness. Most people are persecuted beyond their wildest delusions.

or,

relax into the warm and gentle embrace of the security state and it's ghoulish controllers, to go softly into the long night of the soul.

Personally, I prefer to remain at liberty. Even if it means sleeping on hard ground. But that's just moi!

Latitude25's picture

So why would big gold care about a few hundred Western goldbugs when there are billions in the East?

BobEore's picture

I'm of the opinion that the "goldbug" is a western phenomena - that people in the 'east' have a long and uninterrupted tradition of seeing the precious metals as a repository of wealth and defense against predations of state and social upheaval.

The distinction is important because of the nature of the western holder's distinct profile as the individualist with proclivities to defend their property and liberty with maximum ferocity and firepower. Something that give pause even to the hardened criminal elements who I refer to under the rubric of Big Gold. Gangster of whatever description always prefer easier pickings.

The gangsters in this case I have attempted to profile in their wider aspect of motive and method on several occasions. Back in the period 2009-10 I became seriously interested in what seemed to be a planned and deliberate effort going on around me to drag western society into the depths. It became necessary to understand who was doing this and what was their goal. This was at the same time my interest in the metals was developing. That happy conjunction perhaps was what allowed me to see the connections between what would appear to be a simple lust for other people's lucre - in the classic mode - tying in with another kind of heist of more - shall we say - vampiric description. Both can be called the theft of energy. The lusts of the perps are several. Money does not satisfy them. They require the dissolution of our health and well being to bolster their own. They are well on the way to achieving their goal of enslaving or killing off the rest of us.

Very little stands in their way except the stubborn determination most emblefied in elements of the Europoid dna to stand ones ground and never go down without a fight. Inveigling that same group into dependence upon a form of wealth which the perps have made plans to control/regain/insert any possible other scenario here/ and then pulling the plug on them when the time is right would achieve the goal of immobilizing the greatest part of the most effective remaining resistance against their schemes. Long experience in the business world and elsewhere has led me to look far beyond the limits of what seems "logical" or even possible in weighing the capacity of other human beings to do me harm.

As previously mentioned, I'm quite certain that I wish to remain "at large" no matter what anybody else intends, and therefore make my determinations of what might go down in the near future by gauging the record of pathological criminal insanity on the part of my enemies.

I gather from the way you have phrased your question that you believe the buying habits of Asians can influence the market price of gold. I harbor no such belief - subscribing to the notion that any POG now or in the future is more likely to be dictated by other than 'market' forces/ forces which can certainly decide to place the price higher as well as lower!

Latitude25's picture

Including gold bars from the US mint.  Better get your AGEs while you still can.  China has a voracious appetite.  Good work Ronan.

lakecity55's picture

(AP)

Americans were outraged today to find the US Gold stash at Ft. Knox had been transferred to The Bank of England.

At a hasty White Mosk presser, President Chalky claimed it was a temporary measure. "We loaned the gold to Britain because they offered us 5% in storage fees, free money, just to hold on to our gold," he said.

Continuing, Bath House added, "I have been assured by the Queen herself that we can inspect our Gold at any time." However, when AP reporters went to the Bank's Vault,  they were told the Bullion was "out for a cleaning" today, and they would have to come back next week, but to make an appointment first."

sinbad2's picture

Google the London Gold pool. LBJ sold most of America's gold reserves, except for about 2000 tons that was melted down gold coins.

The only reason the US still has that gold, is because the British refused to sell the copper coloured gold. Not long after Nixon was forced to abolish the gold standard.

The gold that the US is slowly returning to Germany is shipped to Switzerland to be purified before Germany accepts the gold, which makes me think that the gold that germany is getting is the coin melt.

OpTwoMistic's picture

What gold?

When you sell the same piece of gold hundreds of times, only possession is real.

China will fix this the first of the year when they declare the dollar is worthless and

demand the new currency will be backed by PMs.

SubjectivObject's picture

... calls to make an appointment have gone unanswered.

thefinn's picture

This is why I keep mine here. ;)

SubjectivObject's picture

That is why your's is currently, and for a long time recently, tradable for so little.

quadraspleen's picture

"tradable for so little."

Define "little"

I think you may be missing the point of owning gold

Not that it's why I buy gold, but my last batch has made 43.8% in 9 months. I'm not for trading, though. When it comes time to "trade" it, I shant be trading it for fiat. I'll be trading it for a seat out of here.

SubjectivObject's picture

"This" = The Games They Play

"That" = The Games They Play

Huh Reeeally's picture

tradable for so little can be interpreted as cheap to buy.