If you've been following the game of Three Bar Monte (a variation of three card monte, but using gold and/or tungsten bars and central banks, and not playing cards and a TV tray in Central Park) being played between the NY Federal Reserve and some of the world's central banks, you've got to be wondering - as all the rest of us are - just what the heck is going on.
Well, let's rehearse the Three Bar Monte game thus far. It all began, you'll recall, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez brought his gold home. Then Putin based Russian ships there, Chavez got cancer, and died. Then Ecuador and a bunch of other people wanted their gold too, and the Chinese began to buy tons of the stuff, only to find, you'll recall, that some of their small bars were gold on the outside, and tungsten on the inside. Then Germany decided it would be a nice idea to bring their gold home - all 3,400 tons of it - and all hell broke loose, or rather, didn't break loose, as Germany was able to get back significant amounts of their gold from the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, and even from from the Banque de France, but the NY Fed was somewhat slower than evolution, delivering to Germany only about 5 tons of the over 1,000 tons supposedly on deposit there. Now, if you're a regular reader here, you'll also recall that I pointed out this wasn't the first time that the NY Fed had difficulty finding Germany's gold, for in 1928, then Reichsbank President Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht (his parents were horribly confused)visited his good friend, Benjamin Strong, then the governor of the NY Fed. Touring the vaults, Schacht asked to see the Reichsbank's gold, and lo and behold, the staff couldn't find it. At this juncture Schacht records in his memoirs that he merely smiled at his good friend Strong, and said "That's ok, I know you're good for it." Episodes like this, plus the very light treatment Schacht received at the Nuremberg Tribunals, have convinced some people that he "had something" on his Western counterparts.
Then came Baron Blackheath's little speeches in the House of Lords, dutifully recorded by Hansard's, and what an interesting read they are, for Baron Blackheath was the first politician in a major power that I can recall in recent memory who drew attention to the bizarre figures of the amounts of gold bullion estimated to be in existence. Then, just as suddenly, he shut up. But then, Switzerland decided that they too would like their gold back, and the Dutch joined in.
But while the NY Fed was busy telling Germany "Shut up about this and go away and no, you can't have your gold back," apparently the Dutch were able to procure at least some of theirs:
Note the figure cited there: 122 tons. Add Germany's approximately 3,400 held overseas, and we get 3522 tons. Add the USA's supposedly 8,500 tons (depending on who you cite), and you get 12,022 tons. But China, recall, wants to buy 10,000 tons:
Now follow me here. if China wants to buy that 10,000 tons of gold from the parties already listed, that will leave some 2,022 tons of gold for everybody else, which is approximately close to the figures of Italy's gold cited in the above-referenced article, at 2,451.8 tons. (The figures are beginning to look a little dodgy, even for an econophysicist.) If, however, China's 10,000 tons of gold are not assumed to be paper gold, but real bullion, and coming from somewhere else, then we now have 22,022 tons of gold. Add Italy's 2,452 tons of gold (rounding up a bit), and now we have 24,474 tons of gold. Now official estimates of all the gold ever mined in history are somewhere between 158,000 and 174,000 tons (see United States Bullion Depository and How Much Gold Is There In The World ?, admittedly not the best sources). But surely, with such tonnage, the NY Fed should have no difficulty filling Germany's request to repatriate its gold.
But then there was Baron Blackheath on the floor of the House of Lords and dutifully recorded on 16 February 2012, column 1017 in Hansard, and which I reported in my book Covert Wars and Brekaway Civlizations (p. 81):
(Lord Blackheath): When this came about, I took it to my noble friend Lord Strathclyde and asked what we should do with it. He said, "Give it to Lord Sassoon. He is the Treasury." So I did, and my noble friend Lord Sassoon looked at it and said immediately, "This is rubbish. It is far too much money. It would stick out like a sore thumb and you cannot see it in the Royal Bank of Scotland accounts." He went on to say, "The gold backing is ridiculous. Only 1,507 tonnes of gold has been mined in the history of the world, so you cannot have 750,000 tonnes."(Emphases added.)
Now, when someone starts talking about amounts of gold estimations on the floor of the House of Lords, and in figures far below other "estimates," I tend to sit up and pay attention, especially when the other figure bandied about that day was some 4.3 times the high end estimates for bullion in the world!
So what happened to the German gold repatriation effort? Well, in spite of the attempt to bury the request and pretend it never happened, according to one of the leaders of the German gold repatriation effort, the movement is very much alive and well:
Consider these paragraphs:
"Eric King: “But, Peter, the Germans asked to see their gold supposedly stored at the New York Fed and they were told, ‘No,’ by the Fed. The absurd excuse given to the Germans was that their entry into the vault would somehow represent a ‘security risk.’ This is of course preposterous but that was the lie that was used to conceal whatever truth the New York Fed did not want the Germans to discover -- namely that their gold was already sold into the market.”
"Boehringer: “That’s absolutely right. I can only agree with you that it is preposterous. Even the 5 tonnes that have been repatriated back to Germany from the Fed had to be recast. Why in the world would our original serial-numbered gold bars deposited into the Fed for safekeeping have to be melted down and recast into new bars?
"This caused great concern on our end because it only increased the speculation that the German gold had already been sold into the market and was not safely stored in the New York Fed’s vault. This is my opinion also. I don’t believe that the Fed has our gold and that’s why they would not allow for the gold to be seen by German officials.
"This is one of many things that make the German people so suspicious about the U.S. Federal Reserve. But we the German people are still entitled to ask for it back from the Fed and that’s what we are doing. But contrary to patently false information recently published on a major internet site in the United States, the pressure inside Germany is building for the Bundesbank to get our gold back onto German soil. That kind of misinformation is potentially damaging to the cause and so we will fight against this every step of the way."(Emphasis added)
Shades of Hjalmar Schacht.
So what exactly is going on?
For that, we'll have to wait for part two.
See you on the flip side...