Germany wants 674 tons of solid gold bars back. The Federal Reserve Bank must gather their portion of Germany’s $36 billion in gold together and return it. The 54,000 solid gold bars are reportedly stored in both New York City and at the Banque de France in Paris.
The transfers of the gold across the Atlantic Ocean will be both highly guarded and happen in “small” and multiple shipments, the Washington Post reports. Germany reportedly worked to bolster its gold reserves in the decades after World War II.
It is reportedly common practice to store much to the world’s gold at central bank vaults around the globe. The solid gold bars are often kept approximately 80-feet below street level for protection purposes. When one central bank or government sells its gold bars to another, the gold can be transferred securely to another vault just a few feet away.
A Netherland Information Services report had this to say about the request to return the gold:
“More and more citizens, politicians and economists in Europe are questioning whether the foreign gold reserves, which their country possesses on paper, are still in fact physically there. Germany decided last month to move to verification. In the next three years, the German Bundesbank is to recall about 4 percent of its gold reserves from America, at the same time looking to see if the ingots are pure.”
The decision to repatriate German gold comes after a critical independent Federal Auditors’ Office report last year, The Blaze reports. In the report, concerns relating to the oversight of gold reserves stored abroad were raised. The German Federal Court of Auditors pushed for an inspection of the gold.
Some Germans allegedly fear that the purchase of bonds from struggling nations (Greece in particular) could bring upon massive inflation. One theory behind Germany’s request for the return of its gold is that the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the Banque de France could be “putting one over” on the Bundesbank and that some of the stored gold could be missing.
Bundesbank Board Member Carl-Ludwig Thiele had this to say during a recent press conference:
“In Germany, a lot of emotion is attached to the topic of gold reserves.”
Fiscal experts are reportedly paying close attention to the reasons behind Germany’s sudden request for the return of its gold. Concerns about the instability of its currency link back to the Weimar super inflation era of the 1920s, some experts maintain.