Today's blog is about a relatively short article, which contains a relatively short statement that's a bombshell, and as regular readers here know, when I read bombshell statements in short articles, I have to wonder just what the scenario behind it really is. The article was spotted by E.G. (to whom a big thank you), and by many others who seemed to have spotted it a couple of days later (again, a big thank you).
The article concerns that gold repatriation movement that began a few years ago when Germany announced it wanted to bring a bunch of its gold reserves being held in the London, Paris, and in the vaults of the New York Federal Reserve, home. According to most estimates, Germany holds the world's second largest gold reserves behind the United States. What was quite odd about the German repatriation, however, was that it started as a "popular" movement (as far as I can tell), when some in Germany began to push for the repatriation and a public assay of Germany's gold reserves. In other words, for whatever reason, someone somewhere was concerned not just about who was holding Germany's gold (France, Britain, and the USA), but they were concerned about its purity. You might recall that France and Britain apparently had no problems returning the amounts of Germany's gold that Germany requested. The slacker in the process, which wanted "more time" was the New York Fed. You'll recall at that time that this little factoid sent my suspicion meter into the red zone, for I pointed out that in 1928, Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht went to visit his "good friend", Governor Strong of the NY Fed, was taken on a tour of the bullion vaults of the bank, and asked to see Germany's gold. As Schacht recounts the episode in his memoirs, the staff went off looking for the gold, but returned and Governor Strong had to inform Schacht that apparently the NY Fed could not find Germany's gold. Schacht records that he simply smiled and said something to the effect of "That's ok, I know you're good for it."
In any case, once Germany's gold was "returned" questions were raised about the audit and assay, but that story slid away, as other nations soon began to demand their gold back (perhaps as a result of the somewhat less-than-clear German audit? I don't know): Venezuela, Austria, and The Netherlands all made noises about it, but Venezuela became quite insistent, and was told that it could not have its gold back from the Bank of England's vaults because the type of regime in Venezuela was not trustworthy, or something along those lines. Right about the same time, there was a strange little article out of the United Kingdom showing pictures of Queen Elizabeth II taking a tour of the gold vaults of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. And of course, Russia and China and India have been buying gold like crazy (oh, and let's not forget those stories from both China and Canada, of tungsten bars and coins wrapped in gold, perhaps having a connection to why some in Germany wanted it's gold reserves returned and assayed).
And finally, in recent years, we've heard various large prime banks, and even some central banks like the Bank of International Swampery... er... Settlements talking about crypto-currencies backed by bullion. In fact, The Bank of England started floating (no pun intended) the idea right in the middle of the German gold repatriation business, and more recently the Bank of International Swampery has been doing "studies" of the idea.
But now you can add several more countries to the list according to this article in Zero Hedge:
Now, as I mentioned, there are a couple of short statements in this article that caught my eye that I think a little bombshells, and perhaps clues to what may be going on:
Just a few short days after Poland’s government touted its economic might after completing the repatriation of 100 tons of the barbarous relic; and with Hungary's anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban also ramping up holdings of the safe-haven asset to boost the security of his reserves, more Eastern European nationalist leaders are demanding their country's gold back on home soil.
As Bloomberg reports, former Slovak Premier Robert Fico, whose odds of returning to power are rising quickly, urged parliament to compel the central bank into repatriating the nation's gold stocks, which are currently stored in the U.K..
Perhaps most vocally reflecting what many other nations also believe - sometimes your international partners can betray you.
Citing a 1938 pact by France, Britain, Italy and Germany allowing Adolf Hitler to annex a chunk what was then Czechoslovakia, Fico told reporters:
“You can hardly trust even the closest allies after the Munich Agreement.
I guarantee that if something happens, we won’t see a single gram of this gold. Let’s do it as quickly as possible.”
Additionally, Serbia’s strongman leader Aleksandar Vucic took note, ordering the central bank to boost reserves and prompting the purchase of nine tons in October.
Vucic said last week that more should be bought because “we see in which direction the crisis in the world is moving.” (All boldface emphasis in the original, italicized emphasis added)
Now, the Serbian leader's comments I strongly suspect are the "standard" line; gold needs to be repatriated because the US dollar's days as the global reserve currency are numbered, yet, there's no other currency strong enough to take its place, and hence countries need gold to help jump started bi-lateral agreements in trade, along the lines of those agreements worked out by Russia and other countries: "We'll trade in our own currencies, by-pass the dollar, and settle accounts in gold."
That indeed is a plausible explanation, and it's the one most commonly floating around right now. But I strongly suspect (and here comes the daily high octane speculation) that there are much deeper and more hidden reasons for this, that are suggested by the Slovakian premier's remarks about the theft of Czechoslovakia's gold after the 1938 Munich agreement, and that are also suggested by the lengthy rehearsal of the "repatriation" movements I rehearsed at the beginning of this blog. The Czechoslovak gold had been deposited in accounts in the Bank of International Swampery prior to the Munich conference, and in addition, some gold was kept by the Czechs in the Bank of England. But after Hitler's annexation of Bohemia in 1939 in clear violation of the international treaty he had signed in 1938 in Munich, a treaty which stipulated he would not seek any further annexations of Czech territory, the Nazis demanded, and both the BIS and the Bank of England granted access to the Czech gold accounts and deposits. It was pure theft, and it is interesting that Mr. Fico, the Slovakian premier, raises the spectre in today's context. In so many words, he is saying he does not trust the central banking system, and that no one else should either. Oh, and by the way, the head of the Reichsbank in 1938 and 1939 was - you guessed it - Hjalmar Schacht. Maybe he needed that Czech gold to replace the gold the NY Fed couldn't find.
So what's going on? Where's the high octane speculation? Well, if one is going to move to any sort of bullion based currency system, it's a good idea to have accurate knowledge of (1) how much gold there really is, and (2) how pure it is. Or to put a finer point on it: if central banks can not find a country's reserves, and then participate in the theft of another country's reserves, would you trust them to keep accurate books if they introduce a crypto-currency "backed" by bullion? I wouldn't. And the only way to find out not only "how much" but "how pure" is to bring it home, assay it, and have everyone compare notes. Otherwise, any bullion-backed currency system will still be a sham, because the central banks are still the ones telling you "how much" and "how pure." And once that gets locked into a crypto-system, then that physical bullion need no longer be a concern... unless of course certain uppity countries start asking for the real deal. Or, if you're like Texas rather than Slovakia or Serbia, just start your own bullion depository, and thumb the nose at the entire system. If you're going to "reset" the entire global system (as another theory out there has it), and base it on gold, are you going to trust the central and prime banks' figures on the amounts and purity of gold that's out there?
There's another hidden reason too. If you're any of these countries, and you've been watching this bullion-bearer bonds- hidden system of finance story, you're already aware that there's fraud in and outright theft in the system on a massive scale, and again, the only way to know how much, is to bring the gold home, and start comparing notes, or in this case, ledgers.
And then you publish the results.
Of course, this is all high octane speculation, but if any part of it be true or come to pass, then my advice is, if you're a central bankster, it might be time to learn a useful trade, like farming, book binding, side-walk sweeping (I know some cities in California that have been the beneficiaries of your policies).
See you on the flip side...