Over the weekend, University of Texas made headlines after disclosing it was the first major institution to take delivery of $1 billion in gold, although still keeping it in the Comex system. Today, the CEO of the management company Bruce Zimmerman was on Strategy Session providing the rationale for his action to David Faber. First some prehistory: "We began buying gold in September of '09 at about $950 an ounce. Our average price is at about $1,150. We've invested around $750 million in gold over that twelve months and it now has a value around $1 billion." On what Texas thinks of gold (no surprise here): "The role gold plays in our portfolio is as a hedge against currencies. The concern is that we have excess monetary and fiscal stimulus. I noted a couple of days ago, i think there was a story out about Bernanke mentioning that while they may not increase quantitative easing, they may not necessarily reduce their exposure either. So i think that may be a signal that will continue to have a good deal of monetary stimulus. We read every day what's going on in DC and across the states. We'll see what fiscal policies look like. It remains a concern for us." As to the specific reason for demanding delivery: "We had gotten to a size and our thought was that we probably will have our position for a longer as opposed to shorter term, although we could sell at any time. But rather than continuously roll the futures contracts, it became easier and more economical for us to take possession of the bullion." So how long before many if not all other public fund managers decide the same logic should apply to them as well?
As to the question of where UofT is keeping their gold: "in an undisclosed location, underground in New York." Somewhere just off Bryant Park perhaps.