Germany Kicks off International Gold Repatriation Craze

Other Central Banks Request Their Gold Back from the New York Fed

Total Gold Held by the United States for its own Account and Gold Held by Fed for other Nations is on the Decline

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Germany’s repatriation request set off a wave of gold repatriation requests

Germany kicked off the gold repatriation movement in early 2013 when it made a repatriation request to the New York Federal Reserve citing the efficacy of having their gold home in “case of a currency crisis”.

In November of 2014, the Netherlands announced that it had repatriated 122.5 tons of its gold from the New York Fed. Soon after the Dutch gold repatration news broke there was news that Belgium and Austria also were considering repatriating their gold.

Also in November 2014, The French opposition leader, Marine Le Pen made a request to the National Bank of France encouraging it to repatriate its gold.

These recent gold repatriation actions follow the failed November 2014 Save Our Swiss Gold referendum) that included as one of its planks a repatriation of Switzerland’s gold.

In 2012 Venezuela repatriated its gold.

Central banks adding gold to reserves include, Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Armenia has announced that it wishes to restore its gold reserves.

The recent spate of gold repatriations and requests/considerations to repatriate gold highlight the importance of gold as a reserve asset.

The New York Federal Reserve – Custodian of the World’s Gold

None of the gold stored in the vault belongs to the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System. The New York Fed acts as the guardian and custodian of the gold on behalf of account holders, which include the U.S. government, foreign governments, other central banks, and official international organizations.” statement on the New York Federal Reserve website.

The New York Fed has long acted as custodian of other countries’ gold. Much of the gold came to the New York Fed before and during World War II to be held for safe keeping. After the war, many European nations kept their gold at the New York Fed due to Cold War fears of a Russian invasion. At its peak in 1973, the New York Fed held over 12,000 tons of gold in custody for others.

Today more than half of that gold is gone.

photo of the New York Federal Reserve building

About 6,000 tons of gold is stored in the vault beneath the New York Federal Reserve building at 44 Maiden Lane, New York, New York.

The New York Federal Reserve Is Shipping Gold Out

Gold is leaving the vaults of the New York Federal Reserve. Countries want their gold back for a variety of reasons.

Here is a chart showing the recent depletion of gold held at the New York Fed gold vault.

Gold Held at the New York Fed November 2000- November 2016

Fed Gold Holdings 2000 -2016 for other countries

Here is a chart showing the long term depletion of US gold and gold held at the New York Fed gold vault.

U.S. Gold and Gold Held at the New York Fed 1880-2016

US gold holdings 1880 - 2017
The Bretton Woods Agreements from 1944-1973 were a major drain on U.S. gold reserves.

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