I wrote an email with questions related to the German gold reserves to the Bundesbank in Frankfurt . Unfortunately, all I received was a kind of elaborate: Let’s better say nothing.
By Lars Schall
Two days ago I was contacted by Chris Powell, the press secretary of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, GATA (www.gata.org). He wrote in an email:
“It sure would seem helpful if there was some clamor among Germans right now for a straight answer from the Bundesbank:
Any confirmation from the Bundesbank now that it has gold swap arrangements with the United States would not only be enormous news, effective confirmation of the gold price suppression scheme, but also, if obtained quickly enough, likely be decisive in GATA’s freedom-of-information lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, which the Fed is trying to persuade the court to dismiss. The Fed maintains that it can’t find many documents involving gold swaps. GATA maintains that the Fed can’t be looking very hard. If the Bundesbank acknowledged that it had gold swaps with the United States even as the Fed said it couldn’t locate any such documents, one of those central banks would be exposed as a big liar.”
Since I am interested in the question: “Where are the German gold reserves exactly located and for what reasons?”i, and furthermore because I support GATA’s to have an audit in the U.S. of their gold reserves (which would be the first since the days of President Eisenhower), I wrote the next day this message with English written questions to “email@example.com” in Frankfurt :
Betreff: Die deutschen Goldreserven / The German gold reserves
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
mein Name ist Lars Schall, ich bin freier Finanzjournalist, und in dieser Eigenschaft interessiere ich mich immer wieder einmal für die deutschen Goldreserven. Um hier etwas Licht ins Dunkle zu bringen, möchte ich ein paar Fragen stellen.
Da ich einen englischen Artikel zu schreiben beabsichtige und ich ferner in dieser Angelegenheit mit Chris Powell, dem Presse-Sekretär vom Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, GATA, sowie dem US-amerikanischen Finanzjournalisten Max Keiser zusammenarbeite, möchte ich die Fragen auf Englisch stellen.
Könnten Sie Ihre Antworten bitte dementsprechend auch an diese Email-Adressen senden:
Chris Powell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Keiser: email@example.com
Des Weiteren: weil es in dieser Angelegenheit u. a. um eine Anfrage der GATA in den USA im Rahmen des Freedom of Information Acts geht, die zu entscheiden demnächst ansteht, möchte ich Sie bitten, die Fragen relativ zeitnah zum Eingang dieser Email zu beantworten.
Bevor nun meine Fragen folgen, möchte ich schon einmal verbleiben, und zwar
mit freundlichen Grüßen,
1) Does the Bundesbank has gold swap arrangements with the United States / Federal Reserve?
2) How much of the German gold reserves are located in the United States / NY Fed? According to Dimitri Speck’s book „Die Geheime Goldpolitik“ (Finanzbuch Verlag zu München, 2010), the amount is 66%. Can you confirm that?
3) How much of the German gold reserves are located in England ? According to Mr. Speck the amount is 21%. Can you confirm that?
4) According to Folker Hellmeyer, chief analyst with the Bremer Landesbank, parts of the German gold reserves were shifted back to Frankfurt . Mr. Hellmeyer says that on the grounds of his experience at the Helaba.ii Can you confirm his statement that a good portion was relocated? How much, if true, was relocated?
5) In case the Bundesbank called a good portion of the German gold reserves back to Frankfurt from London , why did it so?
6) In case number 4 and 5 are true, why does the Bundesbank not do the same related to the gold reserves in the USA / New York City ?
7) Does the Bundesbank plan to order the German gold reserves back to Frankfurt from the United States ? If yes: why? If not: why?
8) In the past the Bundesbank stated with regards to the German gold reserves abroad „that transportation to Germany and safekeeping in the Bundesbank’s own vaults would entail high costs.“ Can you give an estimation of those „high costs“ and an answer why it costs less to keep them safe in the U.S. / NYC than in Frankfurt and/or Mainz ?
9) As the Bundesbank itself acknowledged last year in a statement to GATA consultant Rob Kirby, Germany keeps much of its gold at „gold trading centers“ abroad „in order to conduct its gold activities“: http://www.gata.org/node/7713.
a) What exactly is the Bundesbank doing in the gold market, or what things done by others in the gold market is the Bundesbank facilitating?
b) What exactly does the Bundesbank accomplish for Germany ’s interest in keeping so much of the nation’s gold abroad, in foreign hands?
c) Why can’t that be done also if the gold would be on German soil? In other words: why does „the Bundesbank needs to hold gold at the various trading centres in order to conduct its gold activities“ – and especially its gold at the NY Fed?
10) According to Chris Powell / GATA with regards to GATA’s freedom-of-information lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, „the Fed maintains that it can’t find many documents involving gold swaps. GATA maintains that the Fed can’t be looking very hard. If the Bundesbank acknowledged that it had gold swaps with the United States even as the Fed said it couldn’t locate any such documents, one of those central banks would be exposed as a big liar.“ What’s your comment on this?
I received immediate confirmation from the Bundesbak via email that my request received the number: 2010/020273. At the following day I found this message in my Inbox – first in German:
Betreff: Antwort auf Ihre Anfrage 2010/020273 – Die deutschen Goldreserven / The German gold reserves
Sehr geehrter Herr Schall,
vielen Dank für Ihre Anfrage.
Die Deutsche Bundesbank hält einen großen Teil ihrer Goldbestände in eigenen Tresoren im Inland, weitere Bestände werden insbesondere an wichtigen Goldhandelsplätzen bei den dort ansässigen Zentralbanken verwahrt. Dies hat sich historisch und marktbedingt so ergeben, weil das Gold an diesen Handelsplätzen an die Bundesbank übertragen wurde.
Bei der Verwaltung der Währungsreserven im Allgemeinen, wie auch der Goldbestände, lässt sich die Bundesbank von den Grundsätzen der Sicherheit, Kosteneffizienz und Liquidität leiten. Lagerstellenwechsel sind dabei nicht generell ausgeschlossen.
Die Verwaltung der Währungsreserven ist eine Aufgabe, die der Bundesbank als Teil des Europäischen Systems der Zentralbanken zugewiesen ist. Bitte haben Sie Verständnis dafür, dass wir Ihnen keine näheren Angaben zur Verwaltung der Währungsreserven machen können. Insbesondere mit Blick auf den vertraulichen Charakter der Angaben zu den Lagerstätten der Goldbestände können wir Ihnen nicht genauer mitteilen, an welchen Orten welche Mengen Gold gelagert werden. Auch zu Goldgeschäften können wir Ihnen mit Rücksicht auf den geschäftspolitischen Charakter keine näheren Auskünfte erteilen.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
60431 Frankfurt am Main
Then, after asking for it, in English:
Betreff:Antwort auf Ihre Anfrage 2010/020273 – Die deutschen Goldreserven / The German gold reserves
Sehr geehrter Herr Schall, hier nun die englische Stellungnahme.
The Deutsche Bundesbank keeps a large part of its gold holdings in its own vaults in Germany , while some of its gold is also stored with the central banks located at major gold trading centres. This has historical and market-related reasons, the gold having been transferred to the Bundesbank at these trading centres.
The Bundesbank applies the principles of safety, cost efficiency and liquidity to the management of foreign reserves in general, and to that of gold reserves. Generally, changing depositories cannot be ruled out in this respect.
In managing foreign reserves, the Bundesbank fulfils one of its mandated tasks as an integral part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). We trust you will understand that we are not able to divulge any further information regarding this activity. Particularly with respect to the confidential nature of information about where gold holdings are kept, we are unable to go into any greater detail concerning exact locations and the quantities stored at each of these. Likewise, owing to the strategic nature of the activity, we are not at liberty to provide you with more detailed information about gold transactions.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
60431 Frankfurt am Main
After I received this official statement that obviously refused to deal with most of my question (while addressing the topic of currency reserves that I did not mentioned at all), I’ve asked for some reactions to it.
Chris Powell said:
“Well, this is an important advance anyway: The Bundesbank refuses to say whether it has engaged in gold swaps and why. It’s as good as a confirmation.“
Max Keiser (http://maxkeiser.com/).wrote from Paris :
“They seem to think that holding their gold outside of Germany is safe – unlike the French who, under de Gaulles, sent a war ship to NYC to pick up their gold (forcing Nixon to close the gold window).
And given Jim Rickards comment that in a ‚currency war‘ Germany ’s gold would be sent to a U.S. military location and commandeered, I doubt the German people will find much comfort in knowing that their reserves are at risk.iii
Do the German people understand that their gold reserves are at great risk of disappearing as part of the ‚currency war‘? Wouldn’t they insist on having the gold shipped back to Germany ?
There is no doubt in my mind, after having been told that the Bundesbank has most of its gold in NY – by a spokesperson – while I was standing IN THE BUNDESBANK recording them saying this – that the gold is NOT THERE. I have video tape of this admission from a Bundesbank spokeswoman – who then quickly bites her tongue and walks away – after which time we were asked to leave the Bundesbank.
People have a chance to turn the tables and transfer wealth back to them – where it came from – if they return the bogus slips of fiat crap issued to them in exchange for gold and silver bullion. People around the world must be made aware of this ASAP so that they can offload the paper in exchange for bullion before the lid blows off the gold and silver suppression scam and prices triple.“
Bob Chapman, the publisher of The International Forecaster” (www.theinternationalforecaster.com), gave this response:
“Lars, all I have is an opinion and that is the US has refused to return Germany ’s gold. That means it was either sold into the market, leased, which is tantamount to a sale, or they want to use Germany ’s gold to back the dollar again. Germany must continue to pay for its sins of WWII, probably for the next 500 years. When will the German people wake up and say no, we demand our gold?! Like most countries Germany has controlled government by people who want world government and it is about time Germans get rid of such government.“
Peter Boehringer, head of the German Precious Metal Society, wrote back:
“Lars, this is the phrase answer that really everyone gets who asks – even members of the German parliament!
The BuBa will never officially say that the gold was leased away decades ago. They will also never admit that the 3000 + tonnes of gold could never be bought back from the open market or that the borrower, of course, do not longer hold this material themselves physically, since they have given it for suppression purposes for many years into the market and / or have sold some of it to the most privileged partners.
The remaining German DEMANDS will be most likely one day part of a ‚package deal‘ [any debts of Germany will be written off] and simply paid in paper money and then sold out officially.
If not, they will then sold out simply on day X of the currency reform, when all debts are written off anyway. Then accounting requirements on the equivalent of 3,400 tonnes of gold won’t be noticed in the general chaos – and it’s irrelevant whether this gold does have then (as today) a market value of EUR 115 billion or in the inflation chaos of the future 120 sextillion …”
I believe it is, like Lincoln said in Gettysburg,“altogether fitting and proper“ to conclude this article with these three sentences by J.S. Kim, the Managing Director of the investment consulting firm SmartKnowledgeU:
“Let me dispel your naïvete with a quote by former US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder: ‚The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth.‘ So it’s not just … the US ’s gold reserves that I question, but I question the validity of gold reserve numbers from every key Central Bank in the world. Ask the Bundesbank of Germany if they can prove they have custody of their reserves in their own country and you will likely not receive a straight answer to this relatively simple question either.“iv
i Max Keiser/Lars Schall: “Currency War: Germany about to lose 66% of its gold reserves“, published at chaostheorien.de on October 16, 2010 under: http://www.chaostheorien.de/artikel/-/asset_publisher/haR1/content/currency-war-germany-about-to-lose-66-percent-of-its-gold-reserves?redirect=%2Fartikel
ii Compare Lars Schal: „I don’t want speculation, I want clear investment“, Interview with Folker Hellmeyer, published at chaostheorien.de on November 9, 2010 under:
iii Compare endnote 1.
iv J.S. Kim: “Inside the Illusory Empire of the Banking Commodity Con Game“, published at chaostheorien.de on October 19, 2010 under: