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Some Observations On Bob Pisani's Visit To GLD's Vault

Tyler Durden's picture


Earlier today, we were delighted to see that after years of ridicule and provocations, the SPDR GLD ETF finally cracked and decided to do a wholesale PR campaign to comfort the investing public it actually does own its gold, by inviting none other than Bob Pisani in its secret warehouse which allegedly contains 40 million ounces of gold, of which HSBC is custodian and the Bank of England (the same Bank of England which will soon be about 99 tons lighter in gold content once it satisfies Hugo Chavez' physical delivery request) and London Bullion Market Association (“LBMA”) are subcustodians. While the 4 minute PR campaign is enjoyable and we invite readers to watch it, what is amusing is that it is sure to set off another set of conspiracy theories. Here's the reason: amusingly the very gold bar that Pisani demonstrates so eagerly for the camera, Rand Refineries ZJ6752, is somehow, at last check, missing from the full barlist as posted daily by the GLD.Whose is it? Where did it go? When was this clip shot? Inquiring minds want to know...

As the table below shows, the full list of ZJ serial numbers goes from 6700 to 6734 (go ahead, do your own search - link here). 

ZJ6700 RAND REFINERY 404.775 402.994 9956
ZJ6701 RAND REFINERY 407 405.209 9956
ZJ6702 RAND REFINERY 405.325 403.541 9956
ZJ6703 RAND REFINERY 404.6 402.86 9957
ZJ6704 RAND REFINERY 404.825 403.084 9957
ZJ6705 RAND REFINERY 401.775 400.047 9957
ZJ6706 RAND REFINERY 406.5 404.752 9957
ZJ6707 RAND REFINERY 402.2 400.47 9957
ZJ6712 RAND REFINERY 403.55 401.814 9957
ZJ6713 RAND REFINERY 405.65 403.905 9957
ZJ6714 RAND REFINERY 403.35 401.615 9957
ZJ6715 RAND REFINERY 403.525 401.789 9957
ZJ6716 RAND REFINERY 403.4 401.665 9957
ZJ6717 RAND REFINERY 405.625 403.88 9957
ZJ6721 RAND REFINERY 405.225 404.779 9989
ZJ6723 RAND REFINERY 407 406.552 9989
ZJ6726 RAND REFINERY 407.7 407.251 9989
ZJ6727 RAND REFINERY 404.075 403.63 9989
ZJ6732 RAND REFINERY 407.45 407.001 9989
ZJ6734 RAND REFINERY 404.275 403.83 9989

... and ends there.

but this is where the conspiracy starts. Today is September 1. We assume Pisani shot the segment some time in the past week: between August 23 and August 30. Over this period the actual GLD tonnage as disclosed by GLD remained flat (fluctuated by +/- 1.51 tonnes from 1232.31 to 1230.8), so it is unlikely that any gold bars, and especially the one demonstrated by Pisani actually left the warehouse.  

Of course, Pisani may have well shot the documentary some three weeks ago, when gold peaked at 1310 tons, although we assume he would have then said 1300 tons held by the warehouse, not 1200 as he did. If that is the case, there is a small chance based purely on statistics that ZJ6752 was promptly moved out of the warehouse upon a redemption event. The chance is about 1 in 10k or so, but still...

So, as a follow up, we would kindly ask Mr Pisani to answer: when did he shoot the documentary? Does he know the fate of the bar he was holding? Did he take it with him? Is the bar currently on its way to Chavez? Or worse yet, did GLD actually lease it to someone?

And so on... And so on...

Unfortunately, Bob, as you will soon learn first hand, when it comes to such things as secret bank vaults containing the world's only remaining hard currency, which can only be seen by reporters with clearance after being driven with a blindfold through the streets of London, who have to relinquish their cell phones and "GPS devices" to confirm their existence, it, unfortunately, does not build much credibility, and it is inevitable that conspiracy theories will and do start. And unfortunately, any PR campaign always tends to backfire.

Our advice: please tell your client HSBC to open up its vault to general observation and assay: at that point, we are confident all conspiracies will end.

Until then, be prepared to be retained by HSBC on a frequent basis as more and more ask themselves: what is really in that vault?

h/t Ponzi Finance


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Thu, 09/01/2011 - 08:49 | 1622244 Yogibear101
Yogibear101's picture

Sleep well goldbugs, there's a shortage of one bar.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 08:59 | 1622264 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I recognize that bar.  Wasn't it last seen in the back of a Mini in the Italian job?

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 10:22 | 1622525 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No, you're thinking of the one Zues took in Die Hard 3.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 15:54 | 1623500 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

No.  He is thinking of the one Kelly got off of the German officer at the start of Kelly's Heros.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:05 | 1622292 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Hey, I've got a Rand ZJ6752 bar too. WTF?!


Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:12 | 1622312 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Seems to me that the vault at least could have "allowed" Pisanni to "randomly" select 4 or 5 bars and then log onto the custodian manifest, and display the website to the public for viewers to verify that the few bars he had selected were actually there. Would have been a little more believeable than the fluff job he was giving us.


Meanwhile, the joke may be on us, in that these bars are all fake, and the bank/custodian is making off with the real gold. After all, the tungsten bars had to originate from somewhere. I guess Ian Flemming will have to go back and rewrite his James Bond flick "Goldfinger"- this GLD  ETF could make Mr Goldfinger look like an amateur.


Eerily like my divorce lawyers who insited that they were "totally prepared" (13 months and $90K in fees, discovery back in 1991) to go to court and"vigorously and zealously" protect my interests, and even opened their car trunks to show me that they had packed their bags for overnight hotel stay during the litigation...only to find out that they were so ill prepared that at trial they immediately and suddenly said that I had to settle because my "exposure" was too high. Subsequently learned that they had utterly, totally, and incompetently prepared. Even the trial court agreed when I tried to sue all 4 of them for legal malpractice--they couldn't even name an expert whom they intended to produce at trial! Of course, since one of the attorneys was a cousin of the state senator, an obscure, totally unrelated case from a lower court ruling was dug up and cited as case law to defeat my lawsuit, when a more recent, well articulated applicable State Surpreme Court precedent which applied squarely to my case, was not even cited. So beware the brief glimpse!

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:22 | 1622905 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Hi Hubbs!  Still no longer a "hubby" I am guessing:) 

"Seems to me that the vault at least could have "allowed" Pisanni to "randomly" select 4 or 5 bars and then log onto the custodian manifest, and display the website to the public for viewers to verify that the few bars he had selected were actually there. Would have been a little more believeable than the fluff job he was giving us."

 Yes, Hubbs, an interview like this will happen  right after we reaudit Ft. Knox which was last audited in 1953.

Not to make you feel worse but in today's dollars your attorneys ripped you off for about a quarter mil.

Good luck to you sir and thanks for the good post!


Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:25 | 1625364 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

I like the allusion to Goldfinger... let's detonate a neutron bomb in that vault and make all the gold there radioactive, so it cannot be handled and transferred. That would certainly help support the price of the metal. 

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:11 | 1622321 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Am I wrong?  I recall a discussion about GLD here on ZH several months ago that showed pages from the GLD prospectus.  Did it not explicitly state that lending was allowed?  The video says the opposite.  Maybe I am remembering it incorrectly though.  Anyone recall?

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:28 | 1622366 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Absolutely hilarious!

Thank you!


Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:33 | 1622378 silver is money
silver is money's picture

You need real physical gold !!! not paper GLDs

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 09:58 | 1622435 Percy Pickle
Percy Pickle's picture

Tyler, we found your ZJ6752 bar - belongs to ETF Securities.

Regards, Warren

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 11:20 | 1622744 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The author points out somehting intresting:  those bars are really heavy, more than 27 pounds each.  Yet he flipped on up with just his thumb and forefinger, and held it up with just his thumb.

This guy must work out.  Those long sleeves must be hiding quite a bit of muscle.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:12 | 1622872 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

So, one absurdity answered, and another one posed...why don't you just admit that you're bonkers? It would save you an awful lot of trouble dude.

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:14 | 1625356 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

You are now entering the Twilight Zone...

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:13 | 1625353 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

Perhaps none of the gold in that warehouse belongs to GLD...

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 10:32 | 1622565 Sizzurp
Sizzurp's picture

In a real crisis, possesion is the critical factor.  In this case GLD, investors are helping shore up an emergency stash of hard assets for the UK.  Trust me, those bars could be confiscated in a nano-second, and would be in a real currency crisis. 

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:19 | 1625359 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

Es ist nicht nur die Wellen Britannia regeln.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 10:54 | 1622648 Hurdy Gurdy Man
Hurdy Gurdy Man's picture

This reporter seems to make statements that the company would be offering as warranties as his own.  If I were editor he'd be fired although I don't think I would have hired such a people pleaser to begin with.

99.5% purity may not have meant much of a difference in the past, but now that .5% impurity can have larger and larger ramifications.  I bet those gold folk have a super-secret list of which one is 99.5, 99.53, 99.6, 99.873 percent pure. 

Oh, you'd like to redeem your gold?  Here's your .5 nastiness.  The 99.873 is for the sultan, bitchez!

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:02 | 1622847 piper1
piper1's picture

  I saw the segment on the vault, and was amazed at how much was there. I thought it was false just because there was so much there. see the attached link: . 

doing the math, 1 cubic foot of gold is 1206 lbs, the bar that was held was 26.4, that is 45.68181818 bars out of one cubic foot of gold. Now the GLD claims to have 40million ounces. A standard bar is 400oz, or 26.2lbs, that would mean that GLD holds 100,000 bars. 100,000 divided by 45.68181818, gives you 2189.054 cubic ft of gold the cube root of that is 12.9843084835103. that means that all of that gold if not on pallets would fit in a space (if solid) of just under 13x13x13 ft. I watched the video, it looks like most of those tall stacks hold around 500 bars, that would require about 200 stacks for 100,000 bars(if standard). It looked to me like there was more than that there, so my question is what was there?


Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:15 | 1622888 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Interview Word Count:  "Tungsten" =  "0"

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:18 | 1622895 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

ohhh questions questions questions, spin the magical wheel, where will it stop, nobody knows.

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:11 | 1625351 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

Since all the bars have to be located in known positions so the auditors can find them, no one is going to break open a pallet just for a film crew. So any bar that is exhibited will be one that is on the move. And it's not just GLD's metal that's in that shed. See this post above...Percy Pickle 

Vote up!

Vote down!


Tyler, we found your ZJ6752 bar - belongs to ETF Securities.

Regards, Warren

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:54 | 1622962 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

ZJ6752 could become the first 400 oz bar to hold a numismatic value...............

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 13:10 | 1623029 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I bet ZH666 would too...

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 13:08 | 1623021 h4rdware
h4rdware's picture

GLD pseudo-audit media 'visit'?


...methinks... ...protest too much...


Thu, 09/01/2011 - 14:22 | 1623225 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

What is Susan Herrera still doing on CNBC when the Cleveland Browns just lost their starting left guard for the season because of injury?!

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 14:25 | 1623238 oblonsky
oblonsky's picture

have you all ever considered the possibility that one factor that contributes to the price of gold being so high is the existence of a huge ETF that has hoarded over 1200 tonnes of gold since its incipience? i mean, maybe it's just me and my naivete, but i would think that would have some impact on the gold price since that much gold has been removed from circulation. such huge investment vehicles did not exist in 2000. just a thought.

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:03 | 1625340 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

The magic of a positive feedback loop.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 15:04 | 1623360 Colorado14er
Colorado14er's picture

Just though all you ZHers would get a kick out of this (or want to pull your hair out).  This is from a person who comments on a news site that I check on periodically.  How the hell do you argue with someone like this?!  I know, I know...  still good for a laugh, no?

"Ron Paul is a racist who gets all up in a fit when the federal government does anything, oppressive or not, but has absolutely no problem with individual states enforcing oppressive policies. That is hypocrisy.

He is also anti-evolution, despite being a supposedly educated doctor who, we can guess, has seen evolution in action when he's treated patients with a new strain of the flu or a cold.

His idea of returning to the gold standard is also ill-informed, as doing so would create massive deflation, would result in inflexible fiscal policy, and would be just as artificial as fiat money (the value of gold is no more intrinsic than that of fiat currency).

"Ron Paul isn't about fiscal responsibility. He's about dissolving the government. Were it up to him, for-profit enterprise would be involved in all the not-for-profit enterprise government currently engages in, such as building and maintaining roads, education, social security, etc.

Anyway, he is a racist:

Ron Paul does not believe in evolution:

He HATES the idea of the federal government doing anything because oh, it'll lead to oppression, but he's okay with states taking away your right to have an abortion, get married if you're gay, or even burn the flag.

The gold standard is self evident. The amount of money in circulation in the U.S. is higher than the worth of all the gold in the world. Fixing the value of our currency to the price of gold would thus result in massive deflation, and would also make it impossible to control the value of our money, impossible to issue more currency as the population grows, and impossible to impose fiscal policy changes to deal with changing economic climates.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 15:58 | 1623513 moondog
moondog's picture

So you are laughing at the views of the person who doesn't like Ron Paul? Or do you also dislike Ron Paul? Please expound.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 19:28 | 1624180 thefink68
thefink68's picture

Sweet lookin tungston 

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 23:38 | 1625056 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Pissani is a shill for the cover up and is very pliable ! They didn't give Santelli the nod, did they ?       They may have posed that unlisted bar to guage the awareness of the GATA crowd ? Good feedback for planning new deceptions ?      If a tungsten bar is stamped .9989 fine, do they plate it in .9989 fine gold or just plate it with 24k ? Monedas 2011 What a wicked web of deceit is the cover up !

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 03:00 | 1625336 jackbooted gauleiter
jackbooted gauleiter's picture

What was that guy doing in my basement?


Mon, 09/05/2011 - 09:05 | 1633896 shacai
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Tue, 09/06/2011 - 18:35 | 1639858 BlackSwanCrash
BlackSwanCrash's picture


For complete post with images see : I couldn't help noticing a few more inconsistencies with the supposed GLD Vault Bob Pisani was taken around.  Did you notice that all the metal cables ties on the pallets were blue: . . but on the HSBC website both the vault pictures posted show black cable ties: . Mmm, maybe the result of the annual audits when it all gets counted. Admittedly all vault pictures have the same coloured yellow struts indicating max. stacking height, so we are probably talking the same vault complex but those standard 6 stack pallets hold 150 bars per pallet = 900 bars per stack. With 99,000 bars GLD inventory that works out at approx 110 stacks. Whilst the 2 GLD website vault photos appear to be the same room from different angles it is still possible that it could hold 110 stacks totalling the whole GLD Inventory. The vault room shown on the CNBC clip certainly has 110+ stacks in it so between the two we are looking at more than just the GLD inventory. It is probable that a vault will act as storage for more than one client, so who else's gold are we seeing here along with GLD's?  Incidently the wording from the GLD website goes thus:  "The sub-custodians that HSBC use are Bank of England and London Bullion Market Association (“LBMA”) market–making members that provide bullion vaulting and clearing services to third parties."

Anyone enlighten me why the people who store HSBC's bars are; A) sub-custodians and B) market-makers?
More serial nos. of the GLD inventory in the CNBC clip... The frame below taken at 3m40s. We can see four bars serial nos. Each of the first digits I cannot make out but the right 3 end in 23840, 23839 and 23838. The fourth just shows the last two digits '37' consecutive with the other three. The still picture is clearest from the original CNBC clip as opposed to the youtube posted versions. Interestingly enough the nos. '23837'-'23840' do show up as partial serial nos. in the Sept 2nd pdf inventory. They are listed as Johnson Matthey Brampton bars nos. '123837'-'123840' and that first digit in the picture above could just be a 1, but those bars show a 9995 purity and the JMB bars in the pdf are listed as 9997 purity. Is this a typo in the inventory? Is that a JMB logo on bar 40 above? looks like it. Curiouser and curiouser...


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