Guten Tag, Mr. Dudley? We’d like our gold back.
A “trust-building” measure after an enormous hullabaloo.
“In 2016, we brought back again substantially more gold to Germany than initially planned; by now, nearly half of the gold reserves are in Germany,” Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told the German tabloid Bild in what has become an annual Christmas interview about gold – to soothe the nerves of his compatriots.
Because they’d been frazzled, apparently, by this whole saga.
The German Bundesbank, which is in charge of managing Germany’s gold hoard of 3,381 tons, the second largest in the world behind the US, got into hot water in 2012 when rumors were circulating that some or much of its 2,000 tons of gold stored in New York, London, and Paris might not be there anymore, that it might have been melted down, leased, or sold.
The ensuing hullabaloo left some folks at the Bundesbank red-faced. Then the Rechnungshof (the federal government’s independent office of financial control) told the Bundesbank to rethink its overseas gold hoard. So the Bundesbank got to work. And in January 2013, it promised that by 2020 it would bring back all 374 tons of its gold that it kept at the Banque de France in Paris and 300 tons of its gold at the New York Fed.
Bundesbank Executive Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the German daily Handelsblatt at the time that these moves were a “trust-building” measure, and he tried vigorously to put the rumors about the missing gold to rest.