German Central Bank Completes Repatriation Of $28 Billion In Gold Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

Tyler Durden's picture

On January 16, 2013, the Bundesbank - one of the biggest gold holder in the world, with 3,378 tonnes - shocked the world: out of the blue, the German central bank announced that by December 31, 2020, it intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Frankfurt, up from only 31% at the time. The plan would mean repatriating a total of 674 tonnes of gold, 300 from the New York Fed's gold vault, and another 374 from the Bank of France. The transfer, the Bundesbank explained, was meant to "build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centers abroad within a short space of time."

The "politically correct" motives for the transfer, as well as the logistics and the mechanics behind it were explained in a March 2015 video released by the Bundesbank...

... the real reasons, however, is that following several reports on this website which cast doubts on Germany's gold holdings, in late 2012 the German Court of Auditors demanded that the Bundesbank undertake an audit of its gold reserves. Specifically, the court wanted to ensure that the nearly 3400 tons of gold, of which more than 2,000 tonnes held offshore, is in fact in existence - 'because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight'.  The move to repatriate was only accelerate following rumors that much of the offshore-held gold might have been "rehypothecated", and not be there anymore, that it might have been melted down, leased, or sold.

Ironically, at the time, Bundesbank Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the Handelsblatt that these moves were a “trust-building” measure, and he tried vigorously to put the rumors about the missing gold to rest. Of course, repatriating your gold from foreign central banks is precisely the opposite of a "demonstration of confidence."

Even more ironic is that speaking to Forbes, a Bundesbank spokesman said in Jan 2013 that “we have no intention to sell gold,” adding that “[the relocation] is in case of a currency crisis."  A mildly paradoxical argument since the officially stated reason for the repatriation the gold was to "build trust and confidence domestically, and to have the ability to sell gold quickly If needed."

What made matters worse is that at the end of 2013, the Bundesbank announced it had managed to repatriate only 37 tonnes of the total 700 scheduled for redemption, further spooking the local population and suggesting that conspiracy theories that the gold was missing were in fact accurate.

As a result, following blowback from both the media and the public, the Bundesbank accelerated its activity, and repatriated 120 tonnes in 2014, 210 in 2015, and another 216 in 2016, implying that the Bundesbank's faith in its foreign central bank peers had declined in inverse proportion to the accelerating redemption schedule.

Finally, Germany's push to redomicile its gold also prompted a similar partial gold repatriation by the Netherlands.

* * *

So fast forward to August 23, 2017 when in what appears to have been a very big hurry, and well over three years ahead of schedule, the Bundesbank today announced it had "completed its gold transfer process earlier than originally planned."

The news should not come as a surprise: back in February the Bundesbank announced that it had already concluded the transfer of all the planned gold from New York, leaving only French gold to be repatriated. And, as of today, that too has been completed. From the press release:

The Bundesbank has completed its gold transfer process earlier than originally planned. After the gold in New York was able to be transferred ahead of schedule in 2016, roughly 91 tonnes of gold still remained in Paris. This was relocated to Frankfurt this year and as a result, there are no longer any German gold reserves in Paris. "This closes out the entire gold storage plan – around three years ahead of the time we were aiming for," reported Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Bundesbank’s Executive Board, referring to the gold storage plan unveiled in 2013. This plan saw the Bundesbank storing half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Frankfurt am Main from 2020 onwards, requiring the phased transfer of approximately 300 tonnes of gold from New York and about 374 tonnes of gold from Paris.


The following table gives an overview of the gold transferred.



The Bundesbank had verification measures in place throughout the entire transfer process – from when the gold was removed from the storage locations abroad until it was placed back in storage in Frankfurt am Main – to ensure that it was Germany’s gold reserves that were being transferred. Once they arrived in Frankfurt am Main, all the transferred gold bars were thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank. When the inspections of transfers had been concluded, no irregularities came to light with regard to the authenticity, fineness or weight of the bars.


In spring 2018, the Bundesbank will publish an updated version of its gold bar list as at 31 December 2017 on its website.

And so, Germany's repatriation of 674 tonnes of gold - or 53,780 bars of gold - is complete, lifting the amount of gold held domestically to 1,710 tonnes or 50.6% of the total. Going forward, Germany will still have 1,236 tonnes held at the NY Fed, and another 432 tonnes of gold at the Bank of England.

Why this unexpected scramble to repatriate $28 billion in physical gold 3 years ahead of the stated schedule, remains a "mystery."

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c2nnib2l's picture

who needs gold !? 

they should exchange this gold for bitcoins and ethereum ! STUPID !

Honey-Badger's picture

LOL yeah right does anyone here believe the words of a central bank?


knukles's picture

Well I saw it.
There were hundreds and thousands of little burlap bags with gold fillings in them

The Krauts wanted their gold back. 

bamawatson's picture

so, you been bangin mnuchin's old lady

auricle's picture

Lucky for you Germany. 

eclectic syncretist's picture

This is probably one of the factors that led into treasury secretary goldmanite Munchkin going to Fort Knox to find out if there is any gold left there. Next thing you know he'll be reporting in to his bosses at Jackson's Bunghole about what he found so they can try to come up with a way to get their greedy little dirt-diggers on the public's gold that is stored at Fort Knox. 

Kotzbomber747's picture

So what happened to all the panic from a few years ago?

Remember all the doom and gloom-porn on ZH about how Germany's repatriation of gold would crash the gold market?

Quantum Bunk's picture

There was regime changed and gold theft in Libya and Ukraine and another place that I am forgetting. So yeah.

But of course. Anything but gold rules the day. We are all idiots.

bigkahuna's picture

no worries....the gold is "safe"

PorscheNoSub's picture

This may or may not be the place you are forgetting, but the French kind of randomly ransacked Mali in that time frame too. I remember (mentioned on this site in the comments or article) that the gold production of Mali very coincidentally matched the amount being withdraw over a 5 year period. 

SybilDefense's picture

The same thing that happened to the current NorKo story.  The MSM reports what they feel is necessary to spin their BS.  Even though the rhetoric is fulmonating from NK, Chiner and Roosha the past few days, crickets on the US tele.  All is well.  Now if America can only remove the 500 +/- neo Nazis with the wonderful 20k anitfa police they have created, life would be perfect.  Details at 11 (& 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 etc). Or perhaps a focus on some other stupid crap.  Heaven forbid they  report NEWS.

Since 2013 it is legal to use propaganda against the US citizen when the Smith Mundt Act was repealed by the Obama administration.  Until we demand this law be reinacted, we deserve the lies we are allowing to propagate.  Learn about this then write your elected officials.  If the MSM was held legally accountable for what they say, they will more likely say the truth.  Without truth we are destined for more of the same and worse.


Augustus's picture


That is exactly what I was going to post.  When the announcement of the relocation was made this web site was all aflutter with claims that the gold was not available.  Vaults were empty and any delay from immediate movement just proved the point.  Now that it reported done, the flutter is about why was it done with such hurry. 

So, was the predicted turmoil predicted to cause prices to increase or fall?  There seemed to be equal numbers on each side of the nonsense.  Some way or another, the end result was going to be that Pootie would rule the world using a gold backed Ruble.

Honey-Badger's picture

I guess 2 downvoters do....morons.

researchfix's picture

"LOL yeah right does anyone here believe the words of a central bank?"

Now Mr. Honey-Badger, I am a German and proud of it. And of course they are lying.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

If they got any Gold at all, it most certainly wasn't the same Gold they had stored there for decades. That Gold was sold many moons ago in the Gold suppression scheme of the 80's and 90's. Just ask Peter Munk!

remain calm's picture

The fact that it took longer than a week tells even the the severely Mentally Retarded something.

The Cooler King's picture

Better double count your stacks there, Mnuchin's wife might have shoplifted a few bars while everyone was staring at her pootie...

NugginFuts's picture

I'm glad they repatriated all of their COMEX contracts. Good on'em. Stacks of paper do nice in a downturn. 

Oh wait, they wanted something else delivered?

c2nnib2l's picture

for goodness sake I was kidding lol 

techpriest's picture

Welcome to the Internet ;) don't forget your sarc tags

andrej's picture

Which bitcoin? BTC or BCH? Or perhaps another Bitcoin? And another. And another.

And which Ethereum? ETH or ETC?

On Ethereum platform, everybody can create new cryptocurrency. It's a basic school example of a smart contract. A "Hello World" smart contract's next step (see the bottom of the page).

Unlike cryptocurrencies, no new physical gold can be invented and/or issued this way, and that's what I like about it.


Justin Case's picture

Better to diversify on at least a half dozen cryptos and some UST bills? What could go wrong ? (8>0)

Augustus's picture

You forgot to include magic beans in the diversification list.

walküre's picture

Exactly my thoughts on the pseudo "currency" from thin air as well. Cryptos are a massive scam, similar to the emperor's new clothes. There's nothing tangible and everything can be made up on the whim with a fancier algo than the last.

It's harder to raise a good flock of chickens than it is to make up your own crypto money. Alas, the cryptos don't stink and sound sexier.

syzygysus's picture

I beg to differ. Shitcoin is backed by vast stacks of shit. The problem is the pile keeps getting bigger.

andrej's picture

Errr... ever heard of fuckcoin? It's real, just like a bitcoin. Every ?????? can issue her own cryptocurrency nowadays.

That doesn't mean its price won't go up wildly, though. Plenty of opportunities to make a good money. Remember the tulips?

VD's picture

yes! all govs need to go all in on Tulipcoins! how stupid.

Scuba Steve's picture

What do you think paid for the Gold "repatriation" ?

Thought Processor's picture



Physical Gold.  


When you absolutely, positively, must have your insurance money in your own hands.

FatTony7915726's picture

The elite will appropriate themselves of this gold and take it in their bunkers for themselves, while the rest of the world will face nuclear destruction.  Elites have been preparing for decades and the gold is for them, in their multi-billion dollar hideouts stocked with water, food, comforts etc.......

Justin Case's picture

|                                    |\
|      GOLD Express        |[" " '| " "\__,
|(@)(@)" " " " ******|(@)(@)*[__]*(@)

Honey-Badger's picture

I thought it was a truck full of mexicans without insurance.

Bill of Rights's picture

Worthless pile of rocks we were told, yet they could not get it back fast enough...

813kml's picture

And its all gold fillings from the 6 billion Jews made into lampshades.

Herodotus's picture

They were too cheap to get gold fillings, they usually just went with silver.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

Yep those Gold fillings came from all the millions of German citizens and POW's the Allies starved to death after Germany surrendered.

walküre's picture

Ikea made the lamp shades..

bluskyes's picture

it was 6 trillion, the greatest tragedy in the history of the universe.

Implied Violins's picture

Careful. You can go to jail for under estimating it.

Bam_Man's picture

And it's just a co-incidence that Munchkin and his bimbo wife went to Ft. Knox the other day and declared that "the gold is all there."


813kml's picture

They did arts and crafts with a few cases of her cheap gold nail polish.

Bay of Pigs's picture

I guess people quickly forget that the gold Germany got from the NYFed a few years wasn't the same gold.

We should be highly suspect of this claim.

BrownCoat's picture

Germany wanted to melt it anyway. Now they have standard bars with their own stamps.

And no tungsten. :-)

youngman's picture

No they said it was safe.....just that..which means its in Germanys vault now...

Miss Informed's picture

That bimbo must have been rushing around all day to count all the bars. She probably got her fingernails dirty pulling apart big stacks of gold bars.

yogibear's picture

Tell you something.

Keep the gold down in price so the Federal Reserve can buy back the bars Germany owned. 

youngman's picture

I wonder now will they let gold become a market again because they dont need to keep the price down anymore....???