There was some interesting news earlier this week when the major news outlets announced the Dutch Central Bank has increased its gold reserves by almost 10 tonnes. This announcement surprised the entire world but shortly thereafter the Central Bank released an update stating that its total amount of gold in its vaults remained unchanged and that the IMF numbers were wrong.
We weren’t surprised at all by this fact as we actually discovered several more mistakes in the IMF-filings last year. Back in October, the IMF filings were showing the gold holding of Spain to have decreased to zero (yes, zero!) which would have been an important event. We got in touch with the Central Bank of Spain in Madrid to hear what its renewed strategic plan was, but a spokesperson of the Central Bank was completely astonished to hear its gold reserve would be zero, firmly declaring there has been no change in Spain’s gold reserve whatsoever (see the next image for the email trail).
This was obviously a surprising fact to see a central bank disputing the correctness of official IMF-filings so we reached out to the IMF itself. At first, the supranational organization continued to say its numbers were correct, but finally had to cave after we sent the official reply from the Central Bank of Spain, disputing the numbers. The spreadsheet with Spain’s gold position was corrected soon, and after we asked whether or not this happens frequently, the IMF spokesperson assured us this was a one-time event and that ‘no other countries were impacted’ (see next image).
Fast forward to a few weeks later.
We were checking up on Portugal’s gold position and were astonished to see that – once again according to the IMF filings – its gold position had decreased again. Keeping the Spain-situation in mind, we reached out to the Central Bank of Portugal where they were also surprised to hear about our findings. Another email had to be sent to the IMF pointing out yet another (huge) error in their official filings, just weeks after the supranational organization reassured us that mistakes of this magnitude wouldn’t be repeated.
Long story short, we aren’t surprised at all to see another error in the IMF-filings but as this is the third huge mistake in just a few months time (and there probably are several more erroneous numbers out there, waiting to be discovered), the International Monetary Fund definitely has some credibility issues. Which raises a lot more questions about the accounting numbers in the national and global banking system. But there is always one simple answer to this: the only thing that really can be trusted is the physical gold in your hands!
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