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There is a meme that is going around that states:

The German government has been storing about half of its gold supply with the US FED, apparently in the NYC FED vaults. Germany decided to bring home all its gold, but the FED has said that isn’t possible to do, and it would need until 2020 to be able to accomplish the transfer.

The German government then asked to visit the FED vaults to inventory the gold and determine its actual existence, but the FED refused to permit Germany to examine its own gold. The reasons given were “security” and “no room for visitors”. And nothing else.

Source

The "news" article is posted with out any credible sources. So my question is:

  • Does Germany actually store ~50% of its physical gold reserves in the US Federal Reserve?
  • Has Germany requested that the US Return the Gold it has entrusted the the US Federal Reserve?
  • If so has the US refused to honor the request?
  • Has Germany requested an audit of the actual gold in the reserves?
  • Has the US refused the Audit Request?
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Does Germany actually store ~50% of its physical gold reserves in the US Federal Reserve? Yes

Has Germany requested that the US Return the Gold it has entrusted the the US Federal Reserve? Yes, but only part of it, and all the gold they store in Paris

Has Germany requested an audit of the actual gold in the reserves? Has the US refused the Audit Request? Yes and yes

Will the transfer only finish at 2020? Yes


Here are more credible news source telling the same story:

The startling news that Germany is repatriating its gold reserves from the United States and France has got precious metals speculators worried that this is the first major sign that trust between central banks across the globe could be deteriorating.

...

Still, it is momentous that the New York Fed has the largest known depositary of monetary gold– some 23% of the globe’s gold bars, including half the hoard of the Netherlands and considerable holdings from other nations. Germany will feel a lot more secure counting its own gold bards, rather than depending on an audit from the central banks of France and the U.S. Mark it down as the strongest European power flexing its perfect right– and setting off a wave of speculation. Are foreign gold reserves safe in New York- or could they be expropriated? Very doubtful. Could the the New York Fed be lending out gold bars as security for sovereign loans? I reckon that’s illegal.

Bundesbank announced last week that they’ll repatriate 674 metric tons of their total 3,391 metric tonne gold reserves from vaults in Paris and New York to restore public confidence in the safety of Germany’s gold reserves. The transfer from the Federal Reserve is set to take place slowly over a seven year period and will only be completed in 2020.

Also, this picture:

pic

You can see that currently 45% of Germany's gold is stored in New York, and ~20% of it will be moved to Germany. Also, at the end of the process Germany will be holding 50% of its own gold.

The financial world was shocked this month by a demand from Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate a large portion of its gold reserves held abroad. By 2020, Germany wants 50% of its total gold reserves back in Frankfurt – including 300 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Bundesbank’s announcement comes just three months after the Fed refused to submit to an audit of its holdings on Germany’s behalf. One cannot help but wonder if the refusal triggered the demand.

  • Der Spiegel, a report from Oct. 2012 telling about Germany's plan of inspecting and returning gold from abroad:

For decades, almost half of Germany's gold has been stored deep below the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Now, with the euro crisis swirling, German politicians are asking their central bankers to take stock of the reserves. Some even say that the gold should be shipped home.

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    The claims for audit and transfer came together. Also, the transfer is not because the audit request was denied, and not all the sum is transferred from NY. – SIMEL Aug 21 '13 at 8:41
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    @jwenting - I do not care so much about the order of either... I expected that this entire article was false. It turns out that the important parts are very true. How ever I read the original article thinking that 100% of the german gold in US holdings, would be returned but rather just 20%. – Chad Aug 22 '13 at 5:02
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    @jwenting, it doesn't say anything about the German-French relations. Germany wanted to have 50% of its gold in Germany. I guess that is's easier to transport 375 Tons of Gold by land from Paris than by plane from NY or London. Also, it'll not go anywhere, it'll stay in Frankfurt. – SIMEL Aug 22 '13 at 10:23
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    It'd go by train either way, and there's now a train running from London to Paris from where it can go to Frankfurt no doubt. No, gold shipments like that are done for political reasons first, not logistical ones. If they wanted that they'd sell the gold in one location at local market prices there, then buy new gold bullion on the open market in Frankfurt at local market prices there. Price difference is small enough it'd be cheaper than the cost of trucking the stuff halfway across the continent (let alone from the US to Germany). – jwenting Aug 22 '13 at 12:20
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    @Chad hmm, there is that, but I don't consider it a likely scenario. Even the Germans aren't foolish enough to think they can be victorious against even the French right now, not when the French have nuclear weapons and even worse, EU commissioners. – jwenting Sep 19 '13 at 3:51

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