Tag Archives: Buba

Did The Dutch Central Bank Lie About Its Gold Bar List?

Head of the Financial Markets Division of the Dutch central bank, Aerdt Houben, stated in an interview for newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad published in October 2016 that releasing a bar list of the Dutch official gold reserves “would cost hundreds of thousands of euros”. In this post we’ll expose this is virtually impossible – the costs to publish the bar list should be close to zero – and speculate about the far reaching implications of this falsehood. 

Recap

This story started a couple of years ago. As I am Dutch and concerned not only about my own financial wellbeing but of my country as well, I commenced inquiring my national central bank about the whereabouts and safety of our gold reserves in late 2013. One of my first actions was submitting the local equivalent of a Freedom Of Information Act – in Dutch WOB – to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) in order to obtain all written communication of the past decades between DNB and the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York (FRBNY). In 2013 I knew a large share of the Dutch gold was stored at the FRBNY, which I deemed to be an unnecessary risk. In a crisis situation, for example, the US government would be able to confiscate Dutch gold stored on American soil. Unfortunately, DNB responded it’s exempt from certain WOB requests under the banking law from 1998, article 3. (I thought the WOB hit a dead end, though recent developments have changed my mind regarding the legitimacy of the rejection. In a forthcoming post more on my WOB from 2013.)

Subsequently, on 21 November 2014 DNB shocked the financial world by announcing it had covertly repatriated 123 tonnes of gold from the FRBNY vaults. Did DNB question the trustworthiness of the FRBNY like myself? Most likely, as I see few other reasons for repatriating, next to losing trust in the international monetary system itself. The gold wasn’t sold in the Netherlands, as our gold reserves have remained unchanged at 612 tonnes since 2008. Apparently DNB felt safer having less gold stored at the FRBNY. Note, the FRBNY offers institutional clients to store gold free of charge, yet DNB favored to ship it home. From the FRBNY website:

The New York Fed charges account holders a handling fee for gold transactions, including when gold enters or leaves the vault or ownership transfers (moves between compartments), but otherwise does not charge fees for gold storage.

In the press release DNB stated repatriating gold “may have a positive effect on public confidence”. Suggesting the Dutch public – or central bank or government – does not have full faith in the FRBNY as a custodian.

The-Netherlands-Official-Gold-Reserves-Locations2
Exhibit 1. Locations Dutch gold before and after 21 November 2014.

My focus on the Dutch gold, in a way partially mine as our official gold reserves are not owned but merely managed by DNB, was sharpened in 2015. On 26 September of that year I visited the Reinvent Money conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One of the speakers was Jacob De Haan from DNB’s Economics and Research Division. In his presentation, De Haan repeatedly emphasized the importance of transparency in central banking.

De Haan DNB 2015
Exhibit 2. Slide by Jacob De Haan DNB, Reinvent Money conference 26 September 2015. Red frame added by Koos Jansen.

Through my WOB experience, however, DNB appeared to be not transparent at all. Thereby, if DNB wants to be transparent and boost public confidence, why doesn’t it publish a gold bar list? The publication of this list would provide one of the most important checks on the existence of the Dutch official gold reserves, as the list can then be cross checked with the inventory lists of gold ETFs and alike, possibly exposing multiple titles of ownership on single gold bars. And this act of transparency could be accomplished within minutes by uploading an excel sheet to the DNB website. When I approached De Haan after the conference and asked why DNB doesn’t put out a gold bar list, he offered me he would look into it. He gave me his email address and we agreed to stay in touch.

Jan de Haan dnb
Exhibit 3. 26 September 2015 at the Reinvent Money conference. On the left Jacob De Haan, on the right in the orange sweater Koos Jansen.

Many months pasted, but after countless emails and phone calls DNB finally notified me it would not publish any gold bar list. So much for transparency! The following is what DNB wrote me on 11 August 2016 as the reason not to publish:

…we do not intend to publish a gold bar list. This serves no additional monetary purpose to our aforementioned transparency policy, however it would incur administrative costs.

Administrative costs? There hardly could be administrative costs as this list should be readily available in one or more spreadsheets, I reckoned. When confronting DNB with my logic they replied on 15 August 2016:

DNB has internal gold bar lists, however the conversion of internal lists to documents for publication would create too many administrative burdens.

DNB claims to have “internal lists”, but creating “documents for publication” would create too many administrative burdens. I couldn’t believe it. The only way this excuse would hold was if DNB’s internal lists are non-digital, which then need to be either physically copied or manually inserted in spreadsheet software. However, it’s highly unlikely DNB doesn’t have a digital gold bar list in this day and age. Computers have been widely used since the eighties; that’s more than thirty years ago. One the first applications that computers supported were spreadsheet programs designed for accounting.

Roughly 65 % of the international reserves of the Netherlands are held in gold. Would DNB still keep their precious gold records on pieces of paper?

In my professional opinion the Dutch gold must be meticulously recorded in digital documents and thus publishing a bar list should cost nothing. But showing proof will strengthen my perspective. Up till now this post has been more or less a summary of my previous writings. Down below we’ll zoom in on this material, and reveal why it’s virtually impossible for DNB to gain any administrative burdens for publishing a gold bar list.

The Dutch Gold Is Fully Allocated

Let us establish the Dutch gold is fully allocated. According to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), which sets the global gold wholesale standards, gold held in allocated accounts is [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

Allocated Accounts: These are accounts held by dealers [/custodians] in clients’ names on which are maintained balances of uniquely identifiable bars of metal ‘allocated’ to a specific customer and segregated from other metal held in the vault. The client has full title to this metal with the dealer holding it on the client’s behalf as custodian.

Clients’ holdings will be identified in a weight list of bars showing the unique bar number, gross weight, the assay or fineness of each bar and its fine weight. 

Clearly, allocated accounts contain uniquely identifiable gold bars owned by one specific client.

DNB discloses the Dutch official gold reserves position according to the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual version 6 (BPM6). From DNB [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

De Nederlandsche Bank [DNB] publishes the balance of payments statistics according to the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) since October 2014.

More from DNB:

The figures for the Netherlands have been adjusted for the period since 2008.

BPM6 forces national authorities to distinguish between gold bullion and unallocated accounts, of which gold bullion can be held in allocated accounts. The German central bank wrote in June 2014 on adopting BPM6  [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

The new rules are binding for the EU member states [which includes the Netherlands] by virtue of a Council regulation amended by the European Commission.

With regard to reserve assets, gold transactions and positions will in future be subdivided into [1] gold bullion, which includes gold bars and allocated gold accounts, and [2] gold receivables, to which no specific gold holdings are assigned [unallocated accounts].

In the next chart we can see the ratio between gold bullion and unallocated accounts of all the Eurosystem’s national central banks. The data has been sourced from the German central bank, as the BundesBank’s website has the most user friendly interface. The Netherlands is said to hold 100 % in gold bullion.

Official Gold Reserves Eurosystem May 2017
Exhibit 4. The Eurosystem’s official gold reserves. The exact accounting structure of BPM6 on unallocated accounts is beyond the scope of this post.

When asked directly, DNB replied all the Dutch official gold is indeed fully allocated. Accordingly, there should be lists from all custodians that show the uniquely identifiable gold bars owned by the Dutch state, as stipulated by LBMA guidelines.

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Exhibit 5. In red it sates, “I can inform you the Dutch gold is in physical form, ‘gold bullion’ and thus allocated. In the data you can clearly see the Dutch have no gold swaps or receivables, as this would be unallocated.” Jan Nieuwenhuijs and Koos Jansen are one and the same.

Displayed above in exhibit 1, the Dutch gold is mainly stored abroad. Since November 2014 the breakdown by location is as follows: 31 % in Amsterdam at DNB headquarters, 31 % in New York at the FRBNY, 20 % in Ottawa at the Bank Of Canada (BOC) and 18 % in London at the Bank Of England (BOE).

The BOE And FRBNY Provide Clients A Gold Bar List In Digital Format

I’ve inquired at the BOE if they furnish clients digital gold bar lists that comply with LBMA standards (more specific, with Annex H of the LBMA’s Specifications for Good Delivery Bars and Application Procedures for Listing), and if clients are allowed to physically audit their precious metals at the BOE vaults. Brendan Manning of the Public Enquiries Group responded:

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Exhibit 6.
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Exhibit 7.

We can read the BOE claims to provide clients a digital gold bar list that complies with Annex H of the LBMA’s Specifications for Good Delivery Bars and Application Procedures for Listing, and clients are permitted to inspect their gold at the BOE.

When approached with the same questions, the custodian bank in New York replied it couldn’t comment on this subject. However, there is a bar list of gold stored at the FRBNY in the public domain. For the Gold Reserve Transparency Act (2011, not enacted) the US Treasury published two gold bar lists. The first list in excel sheet format covers the US official gold stored at Fort Knox, Denver and West-Point, which aggregates to 7,715 tonnes (click to download the list). The second list in PDF format covers the US gold stored at the FRBNY, which accounts for 418 tonnes (click to download the list starting on page 128). Below is a screenshot of the FRBNY list:

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Exhibit 8. Screenshot of the US gold bar list from the FRBNY.

As shown the FRBNY list fully complies with LBMA standards: included is refinery brand, unique serial/melt number, gross weight, fineness, fine weight and year of manufacturing.

At the bottom of exhibit 8 we read the original document name is “FRBNY Schedule of Inventory of Gold Held.xlsx“. The extension of the document name “.xlsx” means the file was created by Microsoft Excel software, which is the most commonly used spreadsheet application. So, either, the FRBNY keeps its bar lists in excel sheets, or is capable of converting their data to excel format.

Kindly remember the US official gold reserves are owned by the US Treasury, not by the FRBNY. We may conclude the FRBNY is able to provides its clients, such as the US Treasury, gold bar lists in electronic format. There should be no problem whatsoever if DNB would ask the FRBNY for the Dutch gold bar list in excel format.

The Bank of Canada didn’t reply to my inquiries, but it doesn’t matter at this point. It should be clear gold custodians keep their books electronically and fully comply with LBMA standards.

I did find a hint of how the BOC operates. In 1997 Professor Duncan McDowall and his team investigated all gold dealings by the BOC from 1935 until 1956 to evaluate if some of the gold stored in Ottawa had ever been intertwined with Nazi gold. McDowall’s investigation is titled “Due Diligence: A report on the Bank of Canada’s handling of foreign gold during World War II“. One of the professor’s observations with respect to the BOC’s historical documents reads [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

Fiduciary obligation is similarly represented in the Bank’s [BOC] written dealings with its clients: the entitlement of any client to have a written confirmation of the disposition of the assets they have placed in the care of a bank. A good example of such an obligation in the context of this report would be the regular production of account statements that provided foreign central banks [i.e. DNB] with precise month-end and year-end reckonings of their earmarked gold holdings [allocated accounts] in Ottawa. … Currency Division’s reports on the arrival and departure of gold to and from these accounts therefore provided a meticulous record of foreign clients’ dealings with the Bank.

Even the BOC’s gold books from before the war appeared to be impeccable. I assume the BOC’s current custodial gold bookkeeping is as precise and meticulous now as it was then

DNB Is Likely To Maintain A Gold Bar List in Digital Format

Which leaves us to speculate if DNB itself, as the fourth custodian, holds a digital bar list of the 190 tonnes stored in Amsterdam. Allow me to share why I think they do.

The fact DNB repatriated 123 tonnes in November 2014 from New York, shows they’ve revived their affinity with gold. Few central banks have brought their gold home in recent years, which clearly makes DNB a physical gold advocate. No matter how you look at it, this can’t be denied.

While repatriating DNB took the opportunity to upgrade its vault room at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Have a look at the DNB gold vault shelving system prior to November 2014 in the picture below:

DNB gold 2013
Exhibit 11. DNB gold vault prior to November 2014.

Now have a look at the new shelving system at the Frederiksplein. This next picture was taken after November 2014:

DNB gold vault
Exhibit 12. DNB gold vault after November 2014.

Obviously, DNB made the structures more robust by switching from wooden shelves to what looks to be iron. DNB consulted the BOE for a new shelving system as the BOE has an identical system since many years prior to 2014. Have a look at a photo from the BOE’s gold vault below:

BOE gold vault
Exhibit 13. BOE gold vault prior to November 2014.

Compressed:

  • DNB repatriated 123 tonnes, worth roughly 22 billion euros, from the FRBNY somewhere in the months prior to November 2014, exposing a deep and renewed affinity with gold.
  • DNB must have received a digital list from New York with the bars transported, as we know the FRBNY keeps its records in an electronic configuration.
  • While repatriating DNB consulted with the BOE for a robust shelving system in order to upgrade the vault room in Amsterdam, which reaffirms DNB’s careful attention for the gold they store.

Judging from the actions above I dare to say DNB had meticulously, and thus electronically, inventoried the 67 tonnes already stored in Amsterdam before November 2014, or registered this metal when the batch from New York arrived. So very likely all gold stored in Amsterdam is properly recorded in digital format.

A summary of the previous three chapters before we continue:

  1. All the Dutch official gold reserves are held in allocated accounts and thus there are bar lists available, which comply with LBMA standards, from all custodians.
  2. We may conclude all custodians save and distribute their bar lists electronically.

Het Financieele Dagblad

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by Het Fiancieele Dagblad, the Dutch version of the Financial Times, on 27 September 2016 for a weekend special on gold. In the interview I told two FD journalists about my views on gold and my curious encounters with DNB. The next day one of the journalists wrote me he would interview Aerdt Houben, Head of DNB’s Financial Markets Division, for the same gold special and invited me to share what I would ask Houben in his seat. I wrote back I would inquire about the gold bar list and if DNB had ever physically audited all the Dutch gold, among other topics.

In Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) from 28 October 2016 the interview with Houben reads:

FD: Some people are worried the Dutch gold might be gone.

Houben: To a certain degree the people should have trust in us. We are transparent about how much gold we hold and the locations.

FD: Are there any reports and bar lists on this, if so: why aren’t those public?

Houben: The content of the reports is also being checked by our accountants for our annual report. But the gold bar lists that would costs hundreds of thousands of euros. Because many people would have to check the contents and the many updates that are required.

In part Houben said the same as DNB mailed me months before, while specifying the administrative burdens would be several hundreds of thousands of euros. By now we know this is a fallacy.

Regarding the “reports” as mentioned in the FD: according to Houben these “reports” (whatever they are) are checked by DNB’s accountants for the annual report and presumably should proof the existence of the Dutch gold. However, in DNB’s annual report 2016 there is no mentioning of such gold related “reports”, or any gold auditing for that matter. What are these “reports”? And in case these are audit reports, why aren’t those public?

Let’s address the arguments for DNB’s excuse in the FD: “because many people would have to check the contents and the many updates that are required” . This is nonsense. For a proper audit, indeed, the bar lists would have to be checked against the physical inventory at the BOE, FRBNY, BOC and DNB. But, if the Dutch gold is audited by now, what additional checks would have to be done for publishing the bar list? Neither are any “updates” required as everything has been allocated since 2008. All DNB’s justifications have fallen apart.

I asked DNB in November 2016 by email, what exactly are the “reports” mentioned in the FD special, and why can’t DNB publish the gold bar list as provided by the BOE (the one custodian openly stating to provide clients a bar list)? DNB replied [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

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Exhibit 14.

In the red frame it reads:

In response to your messages I can inform you DNB has internal overviews of her gold possessions. These are being checked by external accountants [presumably this means the Dutch gold is audited]. As stated previously, DNB considers publishing a gold bar list to serve no monetary purpose. Thereby, creating a bar list for publication would be costly regarding the different formats delivered by our custodians. This means we will not respect your request for obtaining the gold bar list.

I presume DNB tries to communicate the gold has been audited, but how does one audit gold without a gold bar list that complies with LBMA standards? Only when cross checking bars with an inventory list that discloses all physical characteristics of the bars can audits be performed competently. Bar lists that comply with LBMA standards are indispensable for a physical audit.

Relying on audit documents (“reports“?) drafted by custodians is forgery. A physical audit has to be executed by a third party (not the owner and not the custodian). Common practise in the gold industry is to count 100 % and weigh 2 % of all bars at least once a year for an audit (source Bureau Veritas).

I don’t believe it would take DNB any effort to convert the different list formats by its custodians. It’s all digital and can be converted into one file within seconds. (Though publishing the bar list in different formats is fine too.)

By and by, publishing a gold bar list does serve a monetary purpose as it confirms how much monetary gold as nation truly holds. Without public bar lists countries can more easily create false data.

Sadly, in the email dated 5 January 2017 (exhibit 14) DNB told me it won’t reply to me anymore with respect to their bar list.

In the Tweet above it reads in Dutch:

Secrets. In the past a central bank was proud of it. Nobody was allowed to know how much gold we had and where it was stored. But the age of central banks cherishing their image of a closed fortress is long gone. Openness is our new policy.

Conclusion

The question is, who’s not telling the truth here? That would be DNB, for sure, and possibly also the BOE and FRBNY.

Just to be clear, the amount of gold leased out by DNB is nil. In 2012 the Dutch Minister Of Finance, De Jager, declared in congress DNB had ceased all gold leasing activities by 2008.

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Exhibit 15. Kamervragen 2012. In red, De Jager states, “No. DNB has notified me it ceased lending gold in 2008.”
Gold Bullion vs Unallocated Accounts The Netherlands
Exhibit 16. Gold bullion vs unallocated accounts for the Netherlands. Since January 2013 the Dutch state holds solely gold bullion.

Again, all the Dutch gold is allocated, and yet DNB declared in a newspaper the bar list can’t be published because it would cost “hundreds of thousands of euros – this has appeared to be an embarrassing statement and truly blows DNB’s credibility. If DNB doesn’t wish to disclose its bar list, for whatever reason, it would have done wise not to comment at all on this issue.

But why all the nonsense? Time to speculate. We’ll run through a few scenarios:

Scenario 1) Publishing a bar list might limit DNB’s future flexibility to intervene in financial markets. Currently, DNB hasn’t got any gold leased out. But if the bar list would be published, my central bank would be obstructed in future covert leasing activities.

Suppose, the gold price spikes in five months from now. DNB, or multiple central banks in concert, decide to lease out monetary gold in order to calm the physical market. When the leases would be undone several years later, surely the bars returned will not be the ones lend out. Following this scenario, when a bar list is published now it would be inaccurate in a few years time; showing bars that are long gone, and can show up on private gold ETF inventory lists.

If readers question wether central bankers are capable of ‘not telling the truth’, consider what DNB’s Governor said in an interview early 2012 when asked if he would repatriate any gold from the FRBNY. His answer was firm: “No”. However, shortly after, DNB started to prepare repatriating by reinforcing its headquarters. A new security barrier was constructed around the compound. DNB confirmed to me this was done to prevent any trucks from crashing the building. Likely, the Governor ‘did not tell the truth’ in the interview for strategic reasons.

Scenario 2) It’s possible the BOE claims to provide its clients gold bar lists and auditing rights, but in reality it doesn’t. Meaning, DNB doesn’t have a bar list from the BOE that complies with LBMA standards, which forces them to come up with excuses whenever confronted. This scenario could mean custodial gold at the BOE (and FRBNY) has been embezzled.

In 2016 economist Guillermo Barba pressured the Banco de México to publish a gold bar list of the Mexican gold stored at the BOE. In February 2017 Banco de México delivered Barba a list, but it didn’t satisfy LBMA standards by far. Surely this was done on purpose, because how the list was distributed can never have been how the BOE keeps it. So prior to distribution parts of the list were edited. Barba pressured Banxico once more and received a new list in March 2017 (click here to download the list). But neither did the new list satisfy LBMA standards! The column in the list that reads “serial number“, doesn’t disclose the serial numbers physically inscribed on the bars, which makes them uniquely identifiable, but shows the BOE’s internal numbering. In my opinion Barba was fooled twice by Banxico. Or Banxico was fooled twice by the BOE.

In July 2014 the Australian central bank (RBA) published its bar list of gold stored at the BOE due to intense efforts by gold blogger Bullion Baron. But alas, the RBA gold bar list does not disclose unique serial numbers (click here to download).

My colleague Ronan Manly tried to obtain a gold bar list from the Irish central bank (CBI); gold stored at the BOE. The CBI’s first response was:

The record concerned does not exist or cannot be found after all reasonable steps to ascertain its whereabouts have been taken, …

Your request was referred to two divisions within the Central Bank of Ireland, … Both divisions have confirmed that they do not hold any such records which fall within the scope of this part of your request. Accordingly, this part of your request is refused.

Eventually, after the BOE tried to block the request from CBI, Manly was duped with this file. All it really contains is a bar total and the total in fine ounces:

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Exhibit 17. Central bank of Ireland’s gold account at the BOE.

As far as I know, there has never been a serial number of a gold bar stored at the BOE released in the public domain. It can be the BOE is routinely deceiving its clients by distributing incomplete bar lists.

In the past, the central bank of Austria (OeNB) has failed to audit its gold at the BOE. The Austrian Court of Audit (Der Rechnungshof) wrote in a report in 2015 [brackets added by Koos Jansen]:

… the gold depository contract with the depository in England [BOE] contained deficiencies. With respect to the gold reserves stored abroad, internal auditing measures were lacking.

The OeNB had no appropriate concept to perform audits of its gold reserves. …

Was the OeNB blocked entrance from BOE vaults in 2015?

There is proof FRBNY clients have not been able to audit their gold in New York, at least not in 2007. The German Bundes Rechnungshof released a report in 2012 on the safety of the German gold abroad. Although the report is heavily redacted, on page 10 we read German auditors were not allowed entrance in the FRBNY gold vault to inspect their precious metals, nor were any other clients:

A possibility for the owners to physically record the holdings of their gold is not provided in the terms and conditions. According to the FRBNY, it’s a long-term practice not to allow the owners to inspect their assets in the interest of a safe working and control process. It has confirmed to the Bundesbank that these conditions for gold custody also apply to all other clients that store gold at the FRBNY.

In response to repeated requests from the internal auditors of the Bundesbank, their representatives were given the opportunity to enter the vault system in June 2007 to get an impression of the safety precautions. However, the employees were not given access to the vault compartments, but only to an entrance hall. An examination of gold was therefore not possible.

[Four redacted paragraphs follow]

Clearly the Germans were blocked from auditing their metal, and for decades all FRBNY clients had suffered the same fate.

Not surprisingly, after the developments between the OeNB, BOE, Bundesbank and FRBNY both European central banks decided to repatriate significant shares of their gold stored overseas. And both repatriate over the course of multiple years, which accentuates the friction between the custodians and their clients.

gold-storage-overview-oenb-2015-2020
Exhibit 18. Why OeNB hasn’t repatriated 140 tonnes of gold from the UK within a few months is a mystery.

Maybe DNB has experienced the same obstructions in New York as the Germans and hence decided to repatriate.

Scenario 3) DNB just doesn’t feel like publishing a gold bar list.

Who’s to say what the truth is? If readers can think of an additional scenario please comment below.

My final conclusion is that DNB is lying about its gold bar list, which is worrisome as it shouldn’t be necessary, or things behind the scenes are more convoluted and DNB is being lied to by its custodians, which is even more worrisome.

In short, producing a bar list that complies with LBMA standards should be child’s play. And only proper lists can grant us the safety of all the official gold reserves stored at the BOE and FRBNY. As of March 2017 the BOE and FRBNY stored an aggregated 10,821 tonnes of gold, of which the majority is monetary gold.

The Bundesbank, OeNB and DNB all claim their gold is audited by now, but none of them has ever released an audit report. The German central bank wrote me it doesn’t publish its audit reports “since Deutsche Bundesbank and its partners have agreed to maintain confidentiality with regard to the audits”. More secrecy and central bank collusion, no surprises there.

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Exhibit 19. Email by BuBa’s press division.

Until central bankers are fully transparent about their gold dealings we can have but mere distrust in them.

Guest Post: 47 years after 1968, Bundesbank STILL fails to deliver a gold bar number list

Written by Peter Boehringer, initiator of the German campaign “Repatriate our Gold”.

Frequent followers of the German public campaign “Repatriate our Gold“ already know how intensively we have been struggling since 2011 (and longer) with Deutsche Bundesbank to finally – after more than 50 years of external storage of Germany’s gold – get credible transparency regarding this matter. Some progress was brought about recently (2012 disclosure of the whereabouts of Germany´s gold by BuBa; 2013 partial repatriation plan announced by BuBa; 2013 and ongoing through 2015 alleged physical repatriation of approximately 200 tons to date – equaling approximately 10% of Germany’s gold abroad). But real proof and transparency is still lacking from Bundesbank’s side!

One of the oldest demands from our campaign has been (and still is!) the publication of BuBa’s gold bar number lists from all four storage locations. Lists that should have been static (i.e. unchanged) since 1968 when Germany’s gold accumulation (was) ended; a full three years before the official end of the underlying Bretton Woods system. Yesterday, October 7, 2015; a full 47 years later and after five years of our heavy lobbying against BuBa’s ridiculous “security concerns” regarding the publication of the lists, the Deutsche Bundesbank officially and finally did publish a so-called “gold bar list”. The “list-to-end-all-conspiracy-theories” was celebrated both in a BuBa press release “Bundesbank publishes gold bar list” as well as in the (naïve) mainstream media. Confer e.g. Bloomberg “Bundesbank to Doubters: Here Is Our Gold. Every. Single. Bit of It.

This article is intended to dismiss the impression which writers from both BuBa and its “external media department” at Bloomberg are clearly and provocatively trying to give: “Bundesbank to Doubters: Here Is Our Gold. Every. Single. Bit of It. Germany’s central bank has listed all of its gold.”

For the umpteenth time in 47 years, BuBa yesterday pretended to give transparency regarding Germany’s gold – but again failed miserably. I hereby challenge both BuBa’s Mr Weidmann and Mr Thiele and Bloomberg’s Mr Lorcan Roche Kelly to either withdraw their apodictic and loud but still completely unproven propaganda statement “Here is our gold – finally do believe it you stupid gold bug nutcases!!” – or to prove their so far unfounded and factually wrong statement!

buba Goldbarren07
Courtesy Bundesbank

1. No bar number list was made available by Bundesbank

Firstly, I am asking journalists and interested readers to open the 2,300 page long “custodian gold holdings – bar list” document : Everybody can see at first glance that the very first column of the “gold bar” list starting on page 7 is headlined “INVENTORY number” rather than “Producer’s Bar number”. An “INVENTORY number” however is something COMPLETELY different than the “Producer’s bar number”! It is a number artificially created on paper or a plastic sticker by the respective central bank which has nothing to do / no connection with the unique producers’ bar number pressed on the bars physically by the refineries when a bar is cast! The difference is absolutely CRUCIAL in that the very point of having a REAL gold bar number list is to enable a critical global public of gold experts and independent auditors as well as us-the-people and owners of the gold to check every individual bar not only regarding its physical existence but also to detect double countings on OTHER balance sheets (from central banks, Gold-ETFs, etc.)! The artificial and highly unusual “INVENTORY bar number” method Bundesbank has chosen to now publish “a gold bar list” completely fails in that respect. This list is worthless as a basis for sound, physical and worldwide auditing and counterchecking of all available global bar lists in order to detect and avoid double countings. We hereby claim that this approach by BuBa and its “sub-custodians” (Banque de France, Bank of England and Federal Reserve) was a DELIBERATE smokescreen chosen to confuse the worldwide public without providing transparency! This approach cannot be excused in any way by Bundesbank’s very “honest” fine print for the list: “The Bundesbank, the Bank of England and the Banque de France use internally assigned inventory numbers, whereby the Bank of England and the Banque de France only allow part of this internal number to be published. The gold bar list therefore only shows the last three digits for its gold bars stored at the Bank of England and the Banque de France.” This is NO industry-standard bar number list – individual bars could only be unambiguously identified if Bundesbank had provided the producer’s bar numbers as well as the name of the producing refinery as well as the year the bars have been cast! “Repatriate our gold” hereby officially demands this additional information which should be very easy for Bundesbank to publish!

2. Why and how many bars in list newer than 1968?

Secondly, we challenge the Bundesbank to explain why with almost 100% certainty the REAL bar number list as detailed under 1. would NOT exclusively consist of bars produced in the 1950s and 1960s – ending exactly in 1967 or 1968 latest. Since 1968, Germany’s gold hoard should have been completely untouched with one or two possible exceptions due to lendings on a very small scale according to BuBa’s own statements in the past. We-the-owners of the gold demand to know whether, why, and how many of Germany’s bars (if actually existent and uncompromised) are younger than 1968 in BuBa’s vaults or the vaults of our sub-custodians. And how it is possible that (according to the list released yesterday) almost all bars are of 995 or higher fineness – even though pre-1967 this fineness had been rather uncommon especially in the US. And why – since obviously LBMA-standards are now met by practically all bars in the new list – Bundesbank still chose to melt down bars allegedly repatriated from the US in 2013-2014 (thereby destroying old bar numbers) without any photo / video proof of this process?

3. Audit the Fed – and the BuBa and the Banque de France and the Bank of England

Once all of these very valid and justified questions are not only answered verbally but backed up by clear evidence (i.e. a REAL bar number list!) – the work will only have to begin: The Federal reserve has not published any information regarding a real audit in its vaults (US-gold or custodial gold) since 1953 – one might even say since the 1930s! Similar story at the BoE and BdF vaults and even in Frankfurt! Holt unser Gold heim” / “Repatriate our Gold” continues to demand physical and external audits performed by sworn-in auditors independent from the central banks – with all detailed results publicised. In addition, we demand the acceleration of Bundesbank’s “repatriation scheme” announced in 2013 – which is way too intransparent, too slow and not ambitious enough (only 50% of Germany´s gold in Frankfurt by end-2020)!

In summary – we have to strongly dismiss Bloomberg’s completely unfounded conclusion: “Here Is The Gold. Every. Single. Bit of It. Germany’s central bank has listed all of its gold”. We call on both Bundesbank and on an independent, investigative international media to have a second and third look into the matter – and then to definitely come to a much more critical conclusion! Bloomberg’s conclusion is either ridiculously ill-founded and / or has been pre-written by the Bundesbank itself in a vain effort to finally and for good end all gold debates: “[Obviously], Bundesbank has become tired of people asking and decided to give the doubters enough [gold] data to keep them busy for a very, very long time.” Wrong and wishful thinking: The case of the whereabouts and the physical and (un-?)compromised status of Germany’s gold has NOT been closed yesterday by Deutsche Bundesbank! The work has barely begun – but without REAL bar number lists and REAL audits, it CANNOT even BEGIN in earnest. The struggle will have to continue – Bundesbank leaves no other choice to the owners of the gold. And the issue will not go away from the desks of Mr Weidmann and Mr Thiele. “We. Demand. A. Real. Bar. List. Not. Yet. Another. Paper. Trail. Without. Any. Evidence.”

2015-06_Peter_Boehringer_klein

Peter Boehringer is founder and president of “German Precious Metal Society” – an NGO established in 2006. He is also the most widely read writer on gold matters in German language countries, a frequent speaker on precious metal conferences and the initiator of the German and international campaign “Repatriate our Gold” which has prompted similar public campaigns for gold repatriation in more than a dozen countries. He is the author of the Book “Holt unser Gold heim” / “Repatriate our Gold”, published in 2015 in German in renowned “Finanzbuchverlag” editing house. https://www.facebook.com/Holt.unser.Gold.heim.PeterBoehringer

Germany Repatriated 120 Tonnes Of Gold In 2014

The central bank of Germany, BuBa, has just released the numbers of their gold repatriation activities in 2014. More than expected the Germans shipped home 85 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), previously BuBa hinted at withdrawing 30 to 50 tonnes from New York in 2014, from France 35 tonnes were returned. Below we can see an overview from BuBa of all repatriation activities since 2013:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.15.20 AM
Source: Bundesbank
Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.15.29 AM
Source: Bundesbank

There has been a lot of fuzz about the German gold repatriation schedule, which in 2013 was set to return 674 tonnes before 2020, when only 37 tonnes reached German soil in the first year. Many eyebrows were lifted in the gold space; is there any gold left in New York? Why is it taking seven years to repatriate a few hundred tonnes? Especially the fact only 5 tonnes were returned from the FRBNY in 2013 was suspicious. In my opinion it’s very strange only 5 tonnes returned in the first year, but as far as my intelligence goes this wasn’t unilaterally obstructed by the Fed.

More speculation went round when in November The Netherlands announced they had secretly repatriated 122.5 tonnes from New York. The FRBNY publishes on a monthly basis how much gold they hold in total as foreign deposits. When we learned The Netherlands had repatriated 122.5 tonnes somewhere in between January and November 2014, some suspected most of what was drained from the FRBNY, as published by year to date FRBNY data, was brought to The Netherlands and Germany wouldn’t meet its schedule for 2014. But because the FRBNY data lags a few months analysts could only speculate as they didn’t have the total numbers of 2014.

At this moment we have FRBNY data up to November.

FRBNY foreign gold deposits November 2014

FRBNY Nov 2014

January till November 2014 the FRBNY was drained for 166 tonnes, if we subtract 123 tonnes The Netherlands got out that leaves 43 tonnes for Germany. The fact Germany claims to have repatriated 85 tonnes from New York in 2014 means they must have pulled 42 tonnes from the Manhattan vaults in December. By the end of this month (January 2015) the FRBNY will release the foreign deposit data of December and we’ll see if the numbers match. If not, there obviously is “a problem”. Otherwise, everything is going to plan and we are only left to think about what reasons BuBa has to take seven years to repatriate 674 tonnes. Perhaps this time is needed for out great leaders to shape a new international monetary system. Who knows? It can’t be because of logistical reasons as hundreds of tonnes of gold are shipped around the world every year – for example, Switzerland exported 2,777 tonnes of gold in 2013.

Federal Reserve Bank New York Lost 47t Of Gold In November

The number we all have been waiting for; The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), which is the custodian for parts of the official gold reserves of 36 nations and the IMF, e.g. The Netherlands and Germany, saw its inventory of foreign gold deposits drop by 47 tonnes in November 2014. Year to date the FRBNY has lost 166 tonnes. The FRBNY only publishes how much gold it stores in total for foreign nations and the IMF, not country specific.

The German central bank, the Bundesbank, or BuBa, first announced a gold repatriation program in 2012. BuBa then revised their program in 2013; it intended to repatriate 300 tonnes of gold from the US and 374 tonnes from France by the end of 2020. However, in 2013 they only received a meager 5 tonnes from the US and 32 tonnes from France. No worries though, said Carl-Ludwig Thiele from BuBa, in 2014 Germany aims to get 30 to 50 tonnes back from New York to remain on schedule.

BuBa Jansen

Last November the Dutch central bank (DNB) surprisingly reported it had secretively repatriated 122.5 tonnes from New York. Quickly everybody in the gold space grabbed his or her calculator. If the Dutch got 122.5 tonnes from the FRBNY somewhere in between January and November, than how much should have been withdrawn in total from the FRBNY over this period, in order for Germany to remain on schedule? Now we know, based on official numbers: 166 tonnes was withdrawn in the first eleven months of this year, The Netherlands got 122.5 tonnes, which leaves 44 tonnes that Germany potentially got out of the vaults in Manhattan.

If the remaining 44 tonnes were all for sie Germans, this means Buba could be exactly on track to repatriate 30 to 50 tonnes this year.

FRBNY foreign gold deposits November 2014

Were both the dot-com bubble and housing bubble in the US preceded by large outflows of foreign gold deposits from the FRBNY?

FRBNY Nov 2014 

The German central bank still has some explaining to do. How did the Dutch get 122.5 tonnes back in few months and do they take seven years to repatriate 300 tonnes?

Rectification: in this post I speculated The Netherlands repatriated 122.5 tonnes in two months (October and November 2014). This was obviously incorrect.

More Confirmation Germany Continues To Repatriate Gold

In addition to a post I wrote earlier about the Bundesbank continuing to repatriate gold from the US and France, in contrast to a misleading article from Bloomberg suggesting the program was canceled, I present an email I just got in from Peter Boehringer, founder of Repatriate Our Gold in Germany:

Dear E-Mail partners: A quick info in English because I know there are many people
around the world waiting for gold repatriation news from Deutsche Bundesbank (BuBa) in 2014. I always said BuBa would continue their repatriations in Germany despite many
official and unofficial news outlets claiming the opposite.

We still have no quantitative news – but this came in 8am CET today (45 mins ago).
See here for original German language interview text of BuBa´s “gold exec” Mr Thiele.
*) My translation of the text below. Followed by my short comment.

“Bundesbank has delivered gold to Germany according to plan Also in 2014, Deutsche Bundesbank has brought gold from foreign storage sites to Frankfurt. ‘We are within our plan with our delivery of gold from the Fed and the Banque de France.’. BuBa-executive Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the German Press
Agency dpa in Frankfurt.”

Boehringer comment:

  • This is really all there is, all we have right now. I would personally call it “non-news” as usual in that Mr Thiele does not give out ANY new info which we did not have before. With the possible exception that Bundesbank now officially says what I said all along throughout the year: The gold repatriation is continuing – albeit not transparent and probably way too slow but with a rate larger than 0 tonnes in 2014…
  • We still do not know exact numbers.Thiele does not seem to have given out tonnages for 2014 (in the press release we only have 2013 numbers which had been known since Dec 2013).
  • Every number below 70-100 tonnes would be shamefully little – and therefore this is exactly the range I am expecting in the final announcement with numbers (due early 2015).

So it is business as usual with Bundesbank. Too slow, too little, not transparent: this
holds true both for its information policy on gold and for its repatriation efforts! The fight for repatriation and for receiving more info from BuBa will have to continue. And since BuBa is stalling and our institutions are not helping – we the owners of the gold will have to do the work on our own. To be continued (in 2015)… Happy Christmas to everybody!

*) 22.12.2014 08:00 Bundesbank bei Gold-Verlagerung im Plan Die Deutsche Bundesbank hat auch 2014 tonnenweise Gold aus ausländischen Lagerstätten nach Frankfurt gebracht. “Mit der Goldverlagerung von der Fed in New York und der Banque de France in Paris liegt die Bundesbank voll im Zeitplan”, sagte Bundesbank-Vorstand CarlLudwig Thiele der Deutschen Presse-Agentur in Frankfurt. Die Notenbank will bis 2020 mehr als die Hälfte ihrer zuletzt 3387 Tonnen in heimischen Tresoren lagern. Dafür sollen 674 Tonnen des Edelmetalls aus Paris und New York nach Frankfurt gebracht werden. Zum Start der Aktion holte die Bundesbank 2013 fünf Tonnen aus New York und 32 Tonnen aus Paris.

Bundesbank Changes Gold Repatriation Schedule

One of the initiators of the German public campaign “Repatriate our Gold” is Peter Boehringer of “German Precious Metal Society” (est 2006). After lengthy efforts together with partner the “European Taxpayers Association”, the team finally, in January 2013, brought about Bundesbank´s decision to repatriate 300 tons of gold from the US and 374 tons from France  by end-2020. Because asking your gold back from the US being quite sensitive, the repatriation would be spread over an eight year period. This was the original allocation schedule for the German official gold holdings, 3390.6 tons, set up in January 2013:

………………… 2013 ……….. 2020
Frankfurt ……. 31% ………… 50%
New York ……. 45% ………… 37%
London ………. 13% ………… 13%
Paris ………….. 11% ………….. 0%

What I just found out, and what presumably few people in the English speaking world knew, was that the Bundesbank had made an earlier repatriation request in the fall of 2012, to ship home 150 tons  from the US in three years (ending in 2015).  So after January 2013 two repatriation schedules co-existed. They were not mutually exclusive – so most Germany expected to see back was 150 tons from the US by 2015 – and ultimately 674 tons by end-2020 from both the US and France.

bundesbank

This was the plan.. But in 2013 only 37 (remelted) tons of gold reached German grounds of which 5 tons from the US. Needless to say, this lifted a few eyebrows. The Bundesbank has now withdrawn the original schedule to repatriate 150 tons from the US before 2015, but continues plan B, to repatriate 674 tons from NY and Paris by end-2020.

The following is the translation of an article written by Peter Boehringer published on Goldseitenblog (click here to read the original post). It’s a response to a full three page title story that appeared in a German newspaper (Handelsblatt Feb 6, 2014, print version only, not online) on the latest developments regarding the gold repatriation schedule discussed in German politics.

German gold: Bundesbank moves away from specific repatriation schedule

by Peter Boehringer , Founder German Precious Metal Society
06-02-14, for Goldseitenblog

Due to new developments, the initiators of the Repatriate Our Gold action today publish a small update. The print version of the German Handelsblatt today (02.06.2014) published a substantial three page feature exclusively on the German Gold Reserves, widely known to be stored by the German Bundesbank, the Fed, the Banque de France, and the Bank of England. Under the ambiguous title “Silence is Golden,” no less than four Handelsblatt editors along with Norbert Häring, a senior and competent voice in matters of Gold vs Money, delivered a piece that is in parts pretty critical against the Bundesbank and addresses questions that are familiar to the readers of this blog.

Handelsblatt

Some of these are the same questions for which we have been labeled as paranoid conspiracy theorists by almost every mainstream publication from the beginning of our initiative in 2011-2012 right up to a few days ago. Questions which, from the perspective of the Bundesbank (BuBa), are apparently too delicate to be answered. But today, the usual rhetorical billy club of “conspiracy theory” is absent from the Handelsblatt piece. Apparently, the German mainstream publication is finally coming to the realization that it would make a ridiculous fool of itself, were it to continue to stick with its conspiracy theory vilification strategy in the face of such overwhelmingly critical BuBa-Gold inquiries from its very own readership, as well as from hundreds of reports from international observers and media, most recently even from the Financial Times.  By now, articles on the German gold repatriation demand of Repatriate Our Gold has even appeared in dozens of Chinese, Russian, American, Indian and African publications.  The German Gold, opaquely held in custody by the Fed & other central and currently worth more than 100 billion Euros, is not only the core component of BuBa’s balance sheet and the property of the German people, but it is also a geopolitical issue and an important founding stone of the suspected world fractional gold banking system.

The Handelsblatt writes today: “The policy makers are putting pressure on the Bundesbank.”

=> To which we reply:  German “Policy makes” have done almost nothing in the past 50 years.  After David Marsh in 1992 and Bruno Bandulet in 2002, and Martin Siegel and Dimitri Speck, Martin Hohmann in 2002 was the first POLITICIAN who at least posed questions – albeit without any results. The same holds for lawyer and member of parliament (MP) Peter Gauweiler. And as a staunch trans-atlanticist, his MP-colleague Mißfelder who currently serves as the German “federal commissioner for the German-American relationship” would never have jumped on the Fed-Gold topic had there not been the mounting public pressure and a need to relieve some of that pressure. In any case, “Policy makers” have not helped us a lot. But at least, a few weeks ago, Mr Mißfelder has finally and rightfully called for the retrieval of ALL foreign holdings of the German Bundesbank (i.e., 2300 tons instead of the planned 700 tons; totally new “dimensions” for BuBa´s imagination…)!

Handelsblatt: “The repatriation falters – for enigmatic reasons.”

=> Don’t let the BuBa hear that Mr. Häring, otherwise you will quickly be labeled a conspiracy theorist.  Nothing is “enigmatic” in the cellars and books of the BuBa and the Fed, absolutely nothing! We are talking (quoting BuBa) about “partner-banks whose integrity is not be questioned,” much like the purity of gold itself.  Let that be heard! 😉

Handelsblatt: “The Bundesbank no longer feels bound to the [concrete repatriation commitment time table] as they now admit for the first time [towards the HB].”

=> Interesting – because this is in fact the first time that the BuBa is partially revoking their promise, made to the German Bundestag (parliament) in 2012, for a full inventory inspection and a repatriation of “150 tons from New York by 2015”. After the 5 tons retrieved from NY in 2013 and the 30-50 tons announced for 2014, the BuBa seems to already KNOW today that not even 100 tons (= 6.7 % of the portfolio) will be forthcoming from NY in 2015! Honi soit qui mal y pense.  (“Shame on him who thinks evil of it!”)

=> Indeed, in January 2013 BuBa has come up with a new (less specific) repatriation concept that would retrieve 300 tons from NY & Paris by the end of 2020. However, the concrete repatriation time table from the Bundestag hearings of 2012 had thus far not been withdrawn – which is why the above quoted admission of the unfeasibility of repatriation by 2015 is quite remarkable!  And which naturally feeds our mistrust of the Fed’s ability and willingness to deliver the gold.

Handelsblatt: “Due to ‘logistical challenges,’ the BuBa no longer feels bound to its promise to the Bundestag.”

=> We have already dealt exhaustively with this issue in previous articles.  If even the ridiculously low amounts of 80-100 tons of gold per year are too challenging for the Fed and BuBa to transport (and that despite Weidmann’s request for help from the BIS), then one must wonder how back in 2000-2002 nearly 1000 tons of gold were delivered from the Bank of England to Frankfurt without all this fuss and public whining.  The BuBa itself has been claiming this successful transportation performance of the early 2000s since 2012.

=> And quite apart from that, the BuBa is of course free to simply ask the Fed for a swap of their bullion with a European gold holder or international dealer, upon which the bars would simply be retrieved from London, Zurich, or even Frankfurt. No physical transatlantic transport required – and everything guaranteed to be LGD compliant!  The disadvantage would be that we paranoid gold historians would never get to see in Frankfurt the old German bullion from the 1950s and 1960s that are held at the Fed (since they would be swapped with European gold). But that would be a small disadvantage given that the BuBa has already refused publication of any photos or number lists of the already allegedly repatriated and supposedly already re-melted original Fed bullion, due to “security reasons.” In fact, from the perspective of the BuBa, the swap solution would have the great advantage that we would finally have to put to rest the silly and delicate questions about the whereabouts of our original German bullion bars.  But no – even such logistically and legally simple options, by which 2300 tons of overseas gold could be “home by Christmas” are not good enough for BuBa. Honi soit qui mal y pense. (“Shame on him who thinks evil of it…”)

Handelsblatt: “Peter Gauweiler will no longer accept these delay tactics.  He calls for the ‘immediate on-site inspections of the gold stocks and their immediate delivery to Germany’.”

=> Dear Mr. Gauweiler, we happily extend our invitation to you once again to sign the Repatriate Our Gold initiative. Your clearly formulated demands are the same as ours.  Since 2011.  Let us finally reinforce our demands with the will to actually implement them!

Handelsblatt: “In 2012, the auditors of the Bundesbank could visually inspect the German bullion.”

=> It’s Groundhog’s day again.  This statement is not new.  And it remains utterly blank and vague. Furthermore, the BuBa refuses to say anything about who these ominous auditors were (names), when and what exactly they audited, what “visually inspect” exactly means, what inspection reports have been produced and who signed them – in other words, why all this information is being held “confidential”?

=> But wait – we learn some more:  BuBa board member Thiele “personally visually inspected” the German gold stocks in June 2012 in NY.  Well, Mr. Thiele, did you arrive at any counts and inspection results?  And apparently “beyond that” you have also been “in the vaults in London and Paris.”  Did you indeed meet the Queen there during a walk in the depths of the BoE?  Everything was fairy-tale-fabulous there, was it not? And your spokesman also tells us more: “Mr. Thiele could see everything that he wanted to see.”  There is but one question that arises:  what did he WANT to see?  Ninety years ago your predecessor Hjalmar Schacht explicitly wanted to see NOTHING, although at the time the former Fed chairman B. Strong simply could not find any German gold at the Fed (for “fans” of the German Reich’s gold: these were NOT the 3400 BuBa-tonnes of today!).  At that time Schacht had said succinctly: “It doesn’t matter Mr. Strong – I know you are good for it (the replacement gold).”  Hmm – we wonder whether Janet Yellen is also “good for it” in the year 2014?

Handelsblatt: “In addition, an external expert has observed the re-melting of the gold bars.”

=> Oh yeah, baby.  That sounds very good, Mr. BuBa Speaker (anonymous).  If you would now kindly provide and publish a NAME of this “expert”, his exact procedure for the “counting observation”, his signed report and his expertise – after your recent refusal to provide this information to the Handelsblatt upon their request.  Honi soit qui mal y pense.  (“Shame on those who..”)

Let us close this small update today not with our own conclusion, but with these “no-longer-conspiracy-theoretical” findings from the mouth of MP Gauweiler:

“I wonder why the Bundesbank cannot repatriate the gold and then allow it to rest in an appropriate form [as reported by GS Blog from 25.12.2013 ].  My suspicion: Apparently the bars are no longer untouched and available.  This [leads to] the presumption that the gold bars, while in storage, have been used in a manner that lacked transparency.”

=> Conclusion of the Handelsblatt: “Transparency as promised by Bundesbank looks different.”  To be continued.

******
An old piece of advice – relevant both for individuals and for our Federal Bank board managing our gold.  The convenience of naive ignorance will soon cease to work:

“There are two ways to sleep well at night: be ignorant or be prepared.”

Dutch Central Bank Tight-lipped About Gold Policy

Only 11 % of Dutch official gold reserves, which is 613 tons in total, is stored in Amsterdam. The rest is held abroad; 20 % in Ottawa, 20 % in London and 49 % in New York. Because of my believe gold will re-enter the monetary system within a few years I’m most concerned about the safety of the official gold reserves of the Netherlands held abroad. Just like the Germans are, expressed by the repatriation of some of their gold. Germany decided to repatriate 300 tons from New York and 374 tons from Paris in a seven year period, so that at least half of their gold reserves are stored at home. The following slide is from a gold report written by the German central bank, the Bundesbank:

German gold repatriation plan

From second hand I had heard the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Federal reserve (the custodian of the Dutch gold in New York) did have some correspondence in recent years about monetary gold, but the Dutch did not decide to repatriate any gold because the subject was rather sensitive, according to my source. Through which we can conclude it’s vey likely the FED doesn’t hold all the foreign gold they claim, how else can this subject be sensitive. If a friend would store a book in my home for 30 years but would like to have it back at a certain moment I would be happy to return it. Only if I would have lost or sold the book his request would be rather sensitive.

 De Nederlandsche bank

In The Netherlands we have a law called WOB (Wet Openbaarheid van Bestuur). It means the law for openness of governess, this is the Dutch version of FOIA.

On December 12, 2013 I sent the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) a WOB request to inspect all correspondence, from the past 45 years, regarding monetary gold between DNB and all other central banks, mainly the Federal Reserve.

The next day I got a call from DNB in which they told me they received the request and it would be processed, confirmed by a letter four days later.

DNB 1

Wow, great service I thought. I was looking forward to reading the correspondence.

But then on December 20, 2013, I got another letter from DNB.

DNB 2.1

Translated in short: the WOB act applies for just about everything the government does, except its gold dealings. What a surprise..

Of course I will fight this till the end.  I would also like to encourage everybody around the world to ask his central bank about their gold allocation. Do not forget the official gold reserves of a (democratic) country are owned by its citizens, not by a few politicians. So why are we not allowed to examine our own gold?

 

To be continued…