THE BUNDESBANK, DEUTSCHEBANK, AND THAT GOLD THING…AGAIN
No sooner does one post a blog or an analysis these days, then the story is either expanded and corroborated, or some detail is amended, or another dot appears to connect to the whole puzzle that is a world gone mad. Well, that's true today. Just last Thursday in my News and Views from the Nefarium I speculated that the Bundesbank, which has hitherto refused to publish anything like an inventory of its gold bars held in Germany, France, the OId Lady of Threadneedle, and the NY Fed, finally did do so, a tome of some 2,300 pages in fact. And I speculated that this might be a bit of a message, a shot across the bow, so to speak, that the Bundesbank know something is hugley awry with the western system, and that there's a slight malodorous air wafting to Europe from Wall Street. Indeed, as some commenters here have suggested, there does seem to be some sort of quiet back-channel economic warfare going on between the USA and Germany, evident in the vast fines imposed on Deutschebank, and more recently, the "emissions" scandal engulfing Volkswagen. I suspect readers here know what the real concern in the District of Corruption is, namely, to head off, by any means possible, any Russo-German rapprochement, and to keep the NATO choir singing Washington's chorales.
But now there's a possible different take on the Bundesbank's moves, in this article from Zero Hedge shared by Mr. D:
You'll note that the article cites extensively the comments of Herr Peter Boehringer, leader of Germany's popular, and one is tempted to say, populist, gold repatriation movement. But that's not the least of it. The reall shenanigans are detail by Herr Boehringer in a three-fold analysis of what the Bundesbank claims to have done, and what is has actually done, not the least of which is that the list is an inventory list, and not a founderer's bar number stamp list, a crucial difference:
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!
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 that 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” 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!
(Bold emphasis, and italics emphasis, in the original. Bold-italics emphasis added)
You'll note that with the statement that a real bar stamp list would allow a close check of "double countings on OTHER balance sheets" reveals what the movement's real concerns are: rehypothecation. So, as far as the repatriation movement in Germany is concerned, the Bundesbank's list was meant to silence the doubts voiced by the movement. It was not a message addressed to the NY Fed or the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
And this brings me to my high octane speculation of the day (a two-parter, as we're going to see in tomorrow's blog), a high octane speculation highlighted by asking the simple question: Surely the Bundesbank should have, and would have, known that such an inventory list would not silence the movement's concerns, but only enhance them?
That indeed is the point: it probably would have known, and nonetheless published the list, with the predictable reaction. This suggests to me, once again, that the real recipients of the message lie not in Germany's gold repatriation message, but in London and New York, and the message is: "we know something is wrong, and we're letting you know we know, and we want our gold." The real question is, does Germany need its gold?
And the answer to that is probably yes. But for that, we have to wait for tomorrow.
See you on the flip side...
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