Friday we published an interview by German newspaper Handelsblatt with Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, that was published in english on the website of the Bundesbank regarding the progress of the German gold repatriation process. This publication was clearly an attempt to convince the international audience that there were absolutely no problems in the repatriation process, apart from a slow startup. The BuBa claims to have audited all their gold in the US, as well as the shipments to Germany, the refining that took place in Europe, and claims that the bookkeeping is all according to plan…
By Koos Jansen, In Gold We Trust:
Peter Boehringer who founded the German “Repatriate our Gold” initiative wrote me his comments on this interview and gave me permission to publish it:
Handelsblatt has not asked the crucial questions and also gave Mr Thiele the chance to easily NOT answer the few relevant questions and to repeat the semi-truths he and his predecessors have been repeating for many years now. I concur with the important questions you have formulated – and of course we can think of many more for Bundesbank.
What is also interesting is the following:
a) This interview first showed up ONLY in the PRINT edition Handelsblatt (Feb 19, 2014). Due to it not being online for several days and due to its inadequacy / irrelevance / missing news in it I chose to ignore it this time.
b) A few small news-agencies published EXCERPTS on their online pages – albeit very brief ones.
c) It was BuBa ITSELF who now has posted online a full English translation of the lengthy interview on their very own website (which is unusual and clearly a reaction to Koos Jansen´s translation of my latest BuBa-gold blog into English http://www.ingoldwetrust.ch/bundesbank-changes-gold-repatriation-schedule ). They HAD to react in English…
d) This clearly shows that the interview message “Everything is fine with our gold – nothing to worry about, nothing to see here – please disperse!” [as in this scene from “The Naked Gun”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NNOrp_83RU ] was ESPECIALLY intended for a (naïve) INTERNATIONAL audience.
e) BuBa knows exactly that -in Germany- hardly any (Internet) reader still believes the official BuBa version re its gold. BuBa therefore by now is far less concerned about the German online audience than about their INTERNATIONAL reputation which has a lot to do with its INTERNATIONAL credibility re the handling of the German gold (repatriation)! Hence the ENGLISH online version.
f) Additional comments from my side: In his interview, Mr Thiele as always gives NO SHRED of evidence re his statements / allegations: This time he mentions an “audit team”, his own “observations on site in the Fed vault”, “an external auditor [present ‘some of the time’ of ‘a’ audit]”, “new audit rights of BuBa´s internal audit department [no details given]” etc etc. All these statements would be SO EASY to prove. But no single audit report is being published, we still do not know any single bar number not even of now-melted-and-recast bars, we do not even know ANY single NAME of an internal or external auditor. No one obviously is willing to give a signature under any of Mr Thiele´s unproven claims! No single photo or video footage of any US bars now in Germany as claimed by BuBa.
=> This is absurd “business as usual” from BuBa´s side: we have been experiencing this type of reaction & “non-transparency” for many years now! Clearly arrogant and inadequate and (in my opinion based on applicable German auditing laws) ILLEGAL behavior of BuBa´s! We need a full disclosure of all bar lists & transactions of gold material from/to BuBa vaults going back to at least 1999. And a valid signature by a non-anonymous reputed external auditor under a physical audit report re all of BuBa´s gold material abroad as well as in Frankfurt. In addition to a valid confirmation that no material is currently being leased out by either BuBa itself or by its “storing partner banks”.
g) Finally it is important to point out a very brief response of Mr Thiele´s in his interview: “We now consider ourselves bound to the new gold storage plan [from 2013 – repatriation of 700 tons by end 2020].”
=> This automatically and now officially confirms (what we had said from the very beginning): BuBa has now given up the short-term target [from first plan from 2012] of repatriating but a mere 150 tons from NY by 2015. [of course BuBa could still deliver on this ridiculously small promise – but with this interview, Thiele now has officially abandoned the short-term repatriation plan in favor of another one he (or his successor) will not have to deliver upon within the next 6.5 years…]
h) We also could and should ask ourselves whether Thiele’s statement “I saw myself how our money is stored there in the vault” was a Freudian slip? Or whether somebody at BuBa –after decades of denying– finally has come to the goldbugs´ ultimate conclusion “gold = money“?!