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Bundesbank official assures NY Fed that gold issue will go away

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Published : November 06th, 2012
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... Just like the gold itself?

* * *

5:42p ET Friday, November 2, 2012

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Our friend the German financial journalist Lars Schall calls attention to remarks delivered Thursday by a member of the executive board of the German Bundesbank, Andreas Dombret, at a reception held at the Bundesbank's office in New York in the presence of the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley. Dombret's remarks, appended here, confirm that, as GATA often has reported, Germany's gold reserves are held in large part at the New York Fed to facilitate their presumably secret trading, since, as Dombret notes, "Frankfurt is not a gold-trading center."

Dombret's remarks seem meant to pretend that the clamor and controversy over the foreign vaulting and secrecy around the German gold reserves will end quickly, preserving the trust between the Bundesbank and the Federal Reserve.

And yet the Bundesbank continues to refuse to answer whether it has any gold swap arrangements with the Fed or any other agency of the U.S. government:

If the Bundesbank won't answer about that to the Germany people, why should they have any trust in their own central bank or any central bank?

The clamor and controversy probably won't be going away before the Bundesbank and Fed answer that question truthfully. And of course if that ever happens, the clamor and controversy will have only just begun.

The section of Dombret's remarks about the gold issue, copied from the Bundesbank's Internet site, is appended.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

Excerpts from Remarks by Andreas Dombret
Member of the Executive Board
Deutsche Bundesbank
Reception of the Bundesbank Representative Office, New York
Thursday, November 1, 2012

... Please let me also comment on the bizarre public discussion we are currently facing in Germany on the safety of our gold deposits outside Germany -- a discussion which is driven by irrational fears.

In this context, I wish to warn against voluntarily adding fuel to the general sense of uncertainty among the German public in times like these by conducting a "phantom debate" on the safety of our gold reserves.

The arguments raised are not really convincing. And I am glad that this is common sense for most Germans. Following the statement by the president of the Federal Court of Auditors in Germany, the discussion is now likely to come to an end -- and it should do so before it causes harm to the excellent relationship between the Bundesbank and the U.S. Fed.

Let's get back to facts and figures: I would like to remind you that our gold reserves are part of the German currency reserves. These were accumulated over time thanks, in part, to Germany's economic boom in the 1950s and 1960s. Germany's growing economic strength, especially its strong external position, resulted in rather large trade account surpluses, most of them acquired in U.S. dollars. At that time, the International Monetary System, known as the Bretton Woods system, was dominated by the U.S. currency. As long as this system was in force, which was up until 1971, the U.S. Fed was obliged to exchange its currency for gold.

Any current account surplus thus resulted in an increase in Germany's gold reserves. This gold was stored in U.S. vaults for obvious reasons. This was not only the case for the gold held by the Bundesbank -- it was, in fact, common practice. By the way: It was the only practical thing to do, since running a trade account deficit meant a decrease in gold stocks.

Thus, we are now looking back at 60 years not only of fruitful cooperation in many fields and international fora, but also of storing gold and trading via the New York Fed. As a matter of fact, it is sensible for us to do so in New York, as Frankfurt is not a gold-trading venue.

Throughout these 60 years we have never encountered the slightest problem, let alone had any doubts concerning the credibility of the Fed. And for this, Bill [Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York], I would like to thank you personally. I am also grateful for your uncomplicated cooperation in so many matters. The Bundesbank will remain the Fed's trusted partner in future, and we will continue to take advantage of the Fed's services by storing some of our currency reserves as gold in New York.

At the same time, you can be assured that we are confident that our gold is in safe hands with you. The days in which Hollywood Germans such as Gerd Frobe, better known as Goldfinger, and East German terrorist Simon Gruber masterminded gold heists in U.S. vaults are long gone. Nobody can seriously imagine scenarios like these, which are reminiscent of a James Bond movie with Goldfinger playing the role of a U.S. Fed accounting clerk.

While gold is important, we have to combat a crisis of confidence in the euro area. This is the task we need to concentrate on. And we will do so.

* * *

Join GATA here:

Vancouver Resource Investment Conference
Sunday-Monday, January 20 and 21, 2013
Vancouver Convention Centre West
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

* * *

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Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

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Data and Statistics for these countries : Canada | Germany | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Canada | Germany | All
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Chris Powell is the secretary of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) which has been organized to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities.
WebsiteSubscribe to his services
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