JPMorgan Reopens New York Gold Vault, Concurrently Launches Vaulting Facility In Asia (In Desperate Bid For Physical?)

The key actor in the LBMA precious metal price-suppression scheme, JPMorgan, is now getting directly involved in physical gold sequestering: the FT reports that JPM has reopened its underground gold vault in New York that was mothballed in the 1990s. The timing is just a little peculiar: not ten days earlier, Jamie Dimon's bank, which has long been alleged to be the biggest shorter of the precious metal in the world via synthetic positions to the tune of 100x leverage, JPM opened a precious metals vaulting facility in Asia: "The facility, located in the Freeport area of Singapore, will provide gold and precious metal storage capabilities for corporate, institutional and retail clients in Asia-Pacific." Is JPM just seeing a terrific business opportunity in warehousing gold... or is the firm, which also happens to be gold custodian for Blackrock's IAU ETF with its 4+ tons of the metal, merely looking to find a way to transfer metal from the US to Asia, or vice versa. Or is JPM suddenly in dire need of actual physical now that gold is at all time highs, and clients are demanding delivery. What better way to unwind the ponzi than to transfer from one physical storage client who is depositing gold to one who is demanding it? Alternatively, the firm could be merely preparing the biggest mouse trap ever for when Executive Order number 6102.5 comes into play. Of course, all conspiracy theory conjecture aside, the most likely reason is simply that there is all that physical out there, which people have bought up and now are more than happy to give it to the one LBMA bank which is notorious for having a solitary purpose in life which is merely to decimate the price of gold... After all, Gordian's Knot and all that.

More from the FT:

Investors are piling money into gold in record quantities, pushing the price on Friday to a record nominal high of more than $1,320 a troy ounce. That has made the vaulting business highly lucrative, since banks often charge a small percentage of the value of the gold stored.

Many commercial banks dismantled their vaults in the 1980s and 1990s. But now they are rushing to build: JPMorgan recently built a vault in Singapore, while Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital are considering opening new vaults in London.

The demand for storage comes as investors are buying physical gold rather than investing in precious metals futures or mining equities. Private investors hold about 30,000 tonnes of gold, according to the consultancy GFMS – more than a sixth of the world’s gold and, for the first time in modern history, more than central banks.

The vault reopened by JPMorgan last month joins a handful of others in Manhattan, including those owned by HSBC and the Bank of Nova Scotia, and the largest gold depository, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s facility, which holds reserves from 36 countries

For those hoping to see an exponential rise in the number of gold-repositories (LBMA backed no less, so you know they are safe), holding one's breath may not be the best idea:

Many historic vaults cannot be reopened as they have been converted into restaurants: one New York vault built in 1902 for John Pierpont Morgan is now home to a steakhouse.

After all, bankers are human too: where else will they buy their $80 porterhouses, expensed exclusively to their one real end-client: the US taxpayer...