Wall Street Journal asks Does the Fed store 6200 tonnes of gold?

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

On August 10, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) custody gold and the NY Fed’s gold vault. This vault is located under the New York Fed’s headquarters at 33 Liberty in Manhattan, New York City.

The article, titled “The Fed Has 6,200 Tons of Gold in a Manhattan Basement – Or Does It?”, can be read on the subscription only WSJ site here, but is also viewable in full on both the Fox News Business and MorningStar websites, here and here. It also appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal print edition on Friday, August 11.

Wall Street Journal article about the NY Fed stored gold, August 10 2017

The NY Fed offers a ‘custody gold’ storage service to its customers, customers which are exclusively foreign central banks and international financial institutions, except notably, the US Treasury is also a gold storage customer of the NY Fed. The Fed’s gold vault, which is on level E (the lowest level) of its basement area under its downtown Manhattan headquarters, open in 1924, and has been providing a gold storage service for foreign central banks since at least the mid-1920s. Custody gold means that the NY Fed stores the gold on behalf of its customers in the role of custodian, and the gold is supposed to be stored on an allocated and segregate basis, i.e. “Earmarked gold”.

NY Fed stored gold has risen in public consciousness over the last few years arguably because of recent Bundesbank gold repatriation operations from New York as well as also similar gold repatriation from the central bank of the Netherlands. The moves by the Chinese and Russian central banks to actively increasing their gold reserves have also put focus on whether the large traditional central bank / official sector gold holders (such as Germany, Italy and the International Monetary Fund) have all the gold that they claim to have, much of which is supposedly stored at the NY Fed vault.

The main theme of the August 10 WSJ piece, as per the title, is whether the NY Fed actually stores all the gold in the vault that its claims to store, a theme which it introduced as follows:

“Eighty feet below the streets of lower Manhattan, a Federal Reserve vault protected by armed guards contains about 6,200 tons of gold.

Or doesn’t.”

Front Page – Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2017: Fed gold article bottom of page

The WSJ article intersperses a number of facts about this custody gold alongside various quotes, and while I cannot speak for anyone else quoted in the article, the quotes could probably best be described as being on the sceptical side of the NY Fed’s official claims.

Since I am quoted in the article, it seems appropriate to cover it here on the BullionStar website. The relevant section is as follows:

‘But “no one at all can be sure the gold is really there except Fed employees with access,” said Ronan Manly, a precious-metals analyst at gold dealer BullionStar in Singapore. If it is all there, he said, the central bank has “never in its history provided any proof.”

Mr. Manly is among gold aficionados who wonder if the bank is hiding something about what it’s hiding.’


Let me begin by explaining the basis of my quote.

The only reporting which the New York Fed engages in for the custody gold recorded as being held on behalf of its customers (central banks and official sector organizations) is a single number communicated each month (with a 1 month lag) on Federal Reserve table 3.13 – “Selected Foreign Official Assets Held at Federal Reserve Banks” and listed as “Earmarked Gold”.

See the following link, line item 4 for the latest reporting date of July 2017: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/intlsumm/forassets20170731.htm

As of the end of July 2017, the Fed reported that it was holding $7.84 billion of “Earmarked Gold” in foreign and international accounts. This amount is a valuation at the official US Treasury / Fed price of gold of US $42.22 per fine troy ounce, and which works out at approximately 5775 tonnes of gold.

Federal Reserve reported Foreign accounts stored gold – Earmarked Gold, July 2017. Source: www.goldchartsrus.com
The reason that this figure differs from the ~6200 tonnes number quoted by the Wall Street Journal is that it doesn’t include 416 tonnes of US treasury gold also claimed to be stored in the NY fed vaults. When the US Treasury claimed quantity is added, the figure comes to 6191 tonnes, hence the WSJ citation of circa 6200 tonnes.

NY Fed Gold – Opacity and Secrecy


Other than that, the Federal Reserve does not publicly communicate any other relevant information or details about the quantity of custody gold bars said to be stored in its vault, and furthermore, the Fed has never in its history publicly communicated any such relevant details or information.

So it is a fact that the Federal Reserve has “never in its history provided any proof” that all the gold it claims is there is really there, hence the quote is factual, and hence the connected quote that “no one at all can be sure the gold is really there except Fed employees with access” is a valid conclusion also.

I have done a lot of in-depth research into the NY Fed gold vault and its customer base, for example, see my articles “The Keys to the Gold Vaults at the New York Fed – Part 1“, and “The Keys to the Gold Vaults at the New York Fed – Part 2: The Auxiliary Vault“, and “The Keys to the Gold Vaults at the New York Fed – Part 3: ‘Coin Bars’, ‘Melts’ and the Bundesbank“, so I have made my conclusion based on that research.

The NY Fed has never provided any of the following:

– details of the names of the central banks and international financial institutions that it claims to hold gold on behalf of

– details of how much gold is held by each customer

– details of whether any of the gold stored in the vault is under lien, claim encumbrance or other title

– details of whether any of the custody gold is lent or swapped

– details of location swaps and / or purity swaps of gold bars between the NY Fed vaults and other central bank or commercial bank vaults around the world

– details of the fact that nearly all of the gold bars supposedly held in the NY Fed vault are a combination of old US Assay office gold bars and low grade coin bars made from melted coins

The NY fed has never allowed the conduct of any independent physical gold bar audits or published any results of its own audits. It has never published any gold bar weights lists (note one weight list for some US Treasury gold bars stored at the NY Fed vault made it into the public domain in 2011 as part of documentation that was submitted to a ‘Investigate the US Gold’ hearing in front of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. That weight list starts on page 132 of the pdf which can be accessed here.

Mainstream Media Cheerleaders and Detractors

The lack of transparency of the New York Fed as regards the custody gold that it stores for its central bank customers is therefore a valid point. The Wall Street Journal article of August 10 is merely highlighting this valid point. However, predictably this did not stop some mainstream US media critics from denouncing the WSJ article such as can be seen in the following tweet from a POLITICO ‘chief economic correspondent‘.

I would wager that this Ben White chap has never asked the New York Fed any serious questions about its custody gold, preferring instead to throw around tweets using accusatory language such as ‘lunatics’. But this sort of reaction is par for the course from elements of the cheerleading US mainstream media, who seem to feel an obligation to protect the Fed and the status quo of the incumbent central bank led financial system from any valid criticism.

However, I have asked the NY Fed serious questions about its custody gold.

On February 15 this year, I asked the Central Bank and International Account Services (CBIAS) unit of the Fed’s Markets group to confirm the following:

– the number of central banks and official sector institutions that have gold in storage with the NY Fed in Manhattan.

– the identities of these central banks / official sector institutions that have gold in storage.

– could FRBNY CBIAS / Account Relations provide me with gold bar weight lists for the gold holdings that these central banks and official sector institutions hold with the NY Fed?

As the first query went unanswered, I then resubmitted the query a month later in mid-March. On neither occasion did the Fed respond or acknowledge the request. Realistically, I didn’t expect the NY Fed to answer, since they have track record of being aloof and unanswerable to anyone but their own stakeholders, however, the outcome of the emails has established that the NY Fed does not engage on this issue nor provide any transparency in this area to the public.


I had expected the WSJ article to be a lot longer and more in-depth than it actually was, and to obtain some publishable response from the NY Fed. The WSJ however says in the article that:

“The Fed declined to comment”

The lack of any quotation by the Fed within the WSJ article is a glaring omission, and actually proves the complete lack of cooperation by the Fed on the entire topic of gold bar storage. The WSJ article does say that it filed Freedom of Information (FOIA) Requests with the NY Fed, which again underscores that without FOIAs, the Fed wouldn’t voluntarily reveal anything.

What these Freedom of Information requests actually contained is not, however, even revealed by the WSJ, except hilariously in one passing reference to “a heavily redacted tour guide manual“. Hilarious in the sense that the NY Fed would even see fit to heavily redact a simple tour-guide manual. To quote the WSJ:

‘The Wall Street Journal filed Freedom-of-Information requests with the New York Fed. Among the Journal’s findings, from a heavily redacted tour-guide manual provided by the Fed: Tour guides are informed that “visitors are excitable” and should be asked to “please keep their voices down.”‘

Why doesn’t the Wall Street Journal do a full publication of all the NY Fed FOIA responses that it received and publish them on its website? This at least would be some sort of backup evidence to the published article.

There are a multitude of angles that the Wall Street Journal could cover if it wanted to do a proper investigation into the gold bars supposedly stored in the NY Fed vault below 33 Liberty on Manhattan Island.

For example:

Why did the German Bundesbank take multiple years to transfer back a small portion of the gold that it claimed to have held at the NY Fed vaults, with much of that gold having to be recast / remelted into new bars en route to Frankfurt in Germany. If the gold was allocated and segregated to the Bundesbank account at the NYFed, there would have been no reason for the multi-year transfer delays and no reason to need to melt down and recast any gold bars.

Why did low-grade coin bars start turning up in the NY Fed vaults from 1968 onwards? The only place they could have come from is Fort Knox in Kentucky. The fact that these low-grade coin bars had to be used suggests there was not enough high-grade gold bars (995 US assay office Good Delivery gold bars) to satisfy central bank customer requirements at the NY Fed vault at that times. Some of these coins bars were over time shifted out of the NY Fed vaults and refined into high-grade bars and sent to the Bank of England in London. How much coin bar gold is still in the NY Fed vault.

For the 3 largest claimed gold holders at the NY Fed, which are the Banca d’Italia, the Bundesbank and the International Monetary Fund, and which between supposedly hold at least 4000 tonnes of gold at the NY Fed, there is no way to validate the accuracy of any of these holdings, neither from IMF, Bundesbank or Banca d’Italia sources, nor from the NY Fed. These gold holdings have, on paper, not changed since the early 1970s, but thats over 40 years ago and there is no way to check the accuracy of these 3 holdings which make up the lions share of all the gold supposedly held at the NYFed.

Why is there a tunnel between the NY Fed level E basement gold vault to the Chase Manhattan Plaza level B5 basement gold vault across the street? i.e. Why is a central bank vault linked to a commercial vault run by a commercial bank (JP Morgan Chase)?

Does, or has the JP Morgan / Chase in the past, facilitated the activation of NY Fed stored central bank gold into the commercial gold market via movements of gold bars from 33 Liberty to Chase Manhattan Plaza vaults?

Why is there no mention in the Wall Street Journal article of the NY Fed’s Auxiliary vault which was built in 1963 and its location, and which supposedly stores gold bars in a “wall of gold”. Was this not newsworthy?

Why did the 2004 version of the NY Fed gold vault brochure ‘The Key to the Gold Vault’ state that gold bars “belonging to some 60 foreign central banks and international monetary organizations” were stored at the NY Fed vault, and then the 2008 version of the same brochure had changed this statement to gold “belonging to some 36 foreign governments, central banks and official international organizations”.

Why the drop from 60 customers to 36 customers. I have heard from a very reliable senior ex-NY Fed executive that some central banks were unhappy to keep their gold in Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11 and wanted it stored elsewhere. You wouldn’t blame then given what happened to the Scotia gold vaults under the WTC 4 on 9/11.

Why does the NY Fed decline to comment for a Wall Street Journal article? Surely this should ring alarm bells at the Wall Street Journal?

This article originally appeared on the BullionStar website as "BullionStar quoted in Wall Street Journal article on New York Fed Gold


Tarzan Cognitive Dissonance Mon, 08/21/2017 - 21:27 Permalink

funny he asks,

Mnuchin’s Fort Knox Quip: ‘I Assume the Gold Is Still There’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin paid a rare official visit to Fort Knox to check out the nation’s gold stash on Monday -- while keeping an open mind for future film projects.“I assume the gold is still there,” the former Hollywood producer quipped to an audience in Louisville, Kentucky, 40 miles (64 km) north of the U.S. Bullion Depository. “It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.” 

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

DavidC The Fed's Ghost Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:50 Permalink

The Feds gold WAS audited in the early 1960s.

Auditor to Fed: 'I am here to audit your gold'.

Fed to Auditor: 'You can't see the gold it but here's a piece of paper with a list of what we've got'.

Auditor to Fed: 'OK, that's good enough for me, here's my signature stating it's been audited'.


Lily Tomlin 'No matter how cynical I get it is impossible to keep up'.

In reply to by The Fed's Ghost

Truthoutthere Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:08 Permalink

Ha ha haha haha ha.So the world's greatest financial criminals are expecting people to believe what they tell us.Even if it was there it is in private hands anyway.

Dragon HAwk Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

America should buy every single bar from that Private Fed, melt it down and re brand it  USA sn#xyz123  I mean it's just a barbaric relic we just want it for sentimental value, and to take real possession of course.

bunnyswanson Dragon HAwk Mon, 08/21/2017 - 17:11 Permalink

Wars have been fought for less.  US military has been pussified into a Stand of No Resistance while their country is bled dry.  But when the enemy lives next door, the options are many.  Americans fight the dirtiest fight of their life with gloves on, a bible and a prayer.  Take it to the streets.  US military power is neutered by  political correctness.

In reply to by Dragon HAwk

Clowns on Acid Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:43 Permalink

The Russians took the gold....ahmmm...the neo Nazis took the gold....ahmmm ....white racists took the gold ...lets tear gold down its the symbol of oppression for those needing a Gov't hand out...

Nostradumbass Mon, 08/21/2017 - 16:26 Permalink

A simple query reveals that there is plenty chatter about gold being removed... 

  1. WTC 9-11 Biggest Gold Heist In History | 911justicehalifax  https://911justicehalifax.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/wt...Proxy  HighlightSep 16, 2012 ... 9-11 WTC Biggest Gold Heist in History: $300 Billion in Bars ... “national Debt” the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank claims as a giant global ..... being used to remove the gold from the vaults before the South Tower fell.
  2. 9-11 Research: Missing Gold  911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/gold.htmlProxy  HighlightThe basement of 4 World Trade Center housed vaults used to store gold and ... that the trucks were being used to remove the gold from the vaults before the ...
  3. THE VAULT; Below Ground Zero, Silver and Gold - The New York ...  www.nytimes.com/2001/11/01/nyregion/a-nation-challeng...Proxy  HighlightNov 1, 2001 ... ... storage facilities under ground zero; Bank of Nova Scotia begins removal of gold and silver to undisclosed location; under Customs House is ...
  4. What Happened to the WTC Gold on 9/11? - YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3f2U75qCZoProxy  HighlightAug 4, 2014 ... Hmmmmm? I wonder who could have stolen the gold. ... TRILLION dollars go to that disappeared from the federal reserve 1 day prior to 9/11?.
  5. 9/11 Memory: Fascism & Gold - Gold Seek  news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1442260800.phpProxy  HighlightSep 14, 2015 ... It is important to recall the 9/11 event, however based in reality, not the official story. ... All manner of war and sanctions cannot prevent the removal of the ... ( gold bars) after the initial aircraft impact on the buildings, but before ... the Silver Certificates as currency instead of Federal Reserve Notes as currency ...
  6. Gold Buried Under the World Trade Center - 9/11 Encyclopedia ...  www.nymag.com/news/9-11/10th-anniversary/gold/Proxy  HighlightAug 27, 2011 ... Earlier in the morning, before the attack, an armored truck had made its way through an underground tunnel below the World Trade Center.
  7. How Much Gold Was Under WTC Complex? – American Free Press  www.americanfreepress.net/how-much-gold-was-under-wtc...Proxy  HighlightAug 27, 2011 ... The fate of nearly $1 billion worth of gold, silver and other precious metals stored beneath the WTC before 9-11 continues to baffle many.
  8. FEMA Investigator's Shock 9/11 Claim: 'Vault Contents Emptied ...  www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/former-fema-investigat...Proxy  HighlightJul 2, 2016 ... 9/11: A Conspiracy Theory: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know In ...... I have read yrs ago that the gold was removed wks before the attack, ... more anomalies are glaring proof the story we have been spoon fed was a lie.
  9. Goon Squad: Who Stole the GOLD on 9/11?careandwashingofthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/09/who-sto...Proxy  HighlightSep 28, 2011 ... 9-11 WTC Biggest Gold Heist in History: $300 Billion in Bars ... There is NO gold at Ft. Know, the crooks at the Federal Reserve already ... hard, was the cover-up to remove the gold long prior to the september 2001 incident.
  10. The Astonishing Story of the Federal Reserve on 9-11 - Daily Koshttps://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/9/10/1328813/-The...Proxy  HighlightSep 10, 2014 ... Meanwhile, things at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York weren't just chaotic, they were terrifying. Even before the first tower fell Protection ...
  11. Loose Change 2nd Edition : A critical review of the gold ... - 911Mythswww.911myths.com/loose_change_2nd_ed._a_critical_revi...Proxy  HighlightMay 20, 2006 ... I'm a founding member of the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance ... According to Wikipedia, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is located .... Update: Jim Hoffman, upon reviewing my study here, has removed ... abandoned the vehicles on foot moments before they could have made a clean getaway.
  12. FEMA Investigator Claims World Trade Center 'Vault Contents ...www.mintpressnews.com/fema-investigator-claims-world-...Proxy  HighlightJul 5, 2016 ... Reports describing the contents of the vaults before the attack suggest that ... are letting on, alluding to his intimate knowledge of the 9-11 Ground Zero crime ... We know for a fact that gold was being stored under Trade Center 4. ... It's a fact that the international Bankers that run the Fed and of course us, ...
  13. Germans give up on getting back their gold held in US | MINING.comwww.mining.com/germans-give-up-on-getting-back-their-...Proxy  HighlightJun 23, 2014 ... "The Americans are taking good care of our gold Objectively, there's absolutely no ... as well as 300 tonnes held in Manhattan by the US Federal Reserve, by 2020. ... gold reserves removes a potential irritant in U.S.-German relations. ... but Thiele answered that prior to transportation, the original gold bars ...
  14. History of the Federal Reserve System - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Federal_...Proxy  HighlightThis article is about the history of the United States Federal Reserve System from its creation to the present. Contents. [hide]. 1 Central banking prior to the Federal Reserve; 2 The Federal Reserve Act, .... The National Reserve Association would issue currency, based on gold and commercial paper, that would be the liability ...
  15. The Hows and Whys of Gold Price Manipulation - PaulCraigRoberts ...www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/17/hows-whys-gold-pr...Proxy  HighlightJan 17, 2014 ... Removed from market discipline, the banks became wards of the government ... The Fed's gold manipulation operation involves exerting forceful ..... Before 2013, the amount of gold in the GLD vault was one of the largest ...
  16. The 15 Greatest Gold Heists Of All Time | Zero Hedgewww.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-07/15-greatest-gold-he...Proxy  HighlightOct 7, 2014 ... Gold is valuable and extremely rare, and therefore the yellow metal is ... There were pics of the empty vault prior to the collapse, etc., etc., etc. ... Or the friggen tunnel between Chase and the NY Fed??? ... Comment removed, considering Cacete de Ouro's post below. ... 9/11 has to be in there somewhere.
lester1 Mon, 08/21/2017 - 20:32 Permalink

I can tell you first hand the Fed has NO GOLD. They sold it all mostly to China a long time ago so China would buy US Treasries. That was the deal.

JailBanksters Mon, 08/21/2017 - 20:59 Permalink

Why would the FED even need 1 ounce of Gold ? Seriously why ?They can create as much counterfeit money as they need, and use that counterfeit money to buy as much counterfeit Gold with Gold IOU's as needed from Comex.   

LOL123 Mon, 08/21/2017 - 22:27 Permalink

"Rumors of counterfeit gold bars aren’t rumors but fact. The question is, how widespread is the problem and who’s been victimized. Image courtesy of BullionStacker.com."http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/2015/q1/germany-tests-us-stored-g…Fadl, who paid $100,000 for the merchandise, drilled into several of the bars and found gray tungsten, which has nearly the same density as gold, making it difficult to detect. The same thing reportedly happened in Great Britain earlier this year, and finance blog ZeroHedge.com reported that in 2010 German refiner W.C. Heraeus claimed to have received a 500-gram bar from an unnamed bank that proved to be filled with tungsten."http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/19/new-york-jeweler-duped-into-buying…

Sub MOA (not verified) Mon, 08/21/2017 - 23:48 Permalink

pffft the shit is in zee rothscums basements and they don't live at the fed dummies ...who the fuck was the half wit that even asked this question ...