With neither the CME nor the ICE gold futures contracts registering any trades as of yet (according to their websites), it will be interesting to see how this drama pans out.
Will they be dud contracts, like so many gold futures contracts before them that have gone to the gold futures contracts graveyard?

Pisani gold gldThe ECB very recently confirmed that its gold reserves are stored across 5 international locations. However, the ECB also confirmed that it does not physically audit its gold, nor will it divulge a bar list / weight list of these gold bar holdings…

gold vaultAll central banks still report gold as one line item of “gold and gold receivables”, which allow bullion banks to increase their unallocated balances which can then be used in myriad leveraged and hypothecated ‘gold’ trading transactions.
If you think 4 LBMA bullion banks passing a parcel of central bank gold claims around between them is excessive, wait until you see 28 bullion banks doing the same thing…

JPM gold vaultWhile it is generally known to many that the Bank of England has a vested ‘interest’ in the London gold market, the consistently close relationship between the Bank of England and the LBMA tends not to be fully appreciated:

gold-bar-vaultWelcome to the twilight zone of IMF gold sales, where transparency really means secrecy, where on-market is off-market, and where IMF gold sales documents remain indefinitely “classified” and out of public view due to the “sensitivity of the subject matter”…

crucibleWithin the top echelons of the world’s precious metals refineries, a number of names stand out due to their sheer scale and pedigree, as well as their global brand recognition in the production of a wide range of investment grade gold and silver bullion bars.

Pisani gold gldCentral banks continue to report leased and swapped gold (gold receivables) as an asset on their balance sheets.
This accounting fiction, which doesn’t follow any international accounting standards is a sleight of hand that allows the same gold to appear to be in two places at once.