24 June 2014, 18:16

Germany gives up plan to repatriate gold from US

Germany gives up plan to repatriate gold from US

After two years of diplomatic struggles and scandals involving the US Federal Reserve, Germany gave up on its attempts to repatriate its gold. In order to save face, Bundesbank issued an official statement that underscores its "trust" in its American partners.

The saga of German gold repatriation started in the aftermath of the European debt crisis, when a grassroots campaign began pressuring the government in Berlin to bring the gold home from New York and London. After a long and difficult media campaign, Bundesbank overcame its initial reluctance and demanded a full repatriation of the Germany's entire $141 billion gold reserve.

The Fed's reaction was extremely irritated and the issue of "German gold" became one of the most difficult diplomatic problems in the US-German relations. Every delay and every excuse cooked up by the US Federal Reserve made the campaign for repatriation even stronger, leading to an even deeper mistrust between the parties involved in the conflict.

Finally, Bundesbank was told that it will get its gold back in seven years, clearly showing that the US central banking cartel did something nefarious with the metal it has been entrusted to safeguard. Most likely, the gold has either been sold long ago or "hypothecated" to American banks trading in gold derivatives. According to Bloomberg, after repatriating just 5 tons of gold, Germany gave up.

Bloomberg quotes Norbert Barthle, the budget spokesman for Merkel's Christian Democratic bloc in parliament, who said that "the Americans are taking good care of our gold. Objectively, there's absolutely no reason for mistrust." Critics point out that there are a number of objective reasons for mistrust. One of such reasons is that there never was a German or an independent audit of the German gold store in New York or London. Moreover, the Bundesbank was never able to provide a reason for the lack of audits, claiming that it stores gold "only at central banks of the highest international reputation" and therefore an independent audit is not required.

The decision to halt the repatriation attempts bear the hallmarks of a political concession to Washington. It is very likely that in the long war Berlin will regret this decision because its chances of ever regaining control of its gold are now close to zero. However, there is still some hope left for the German gold. Hours after Bloomberg ran the story about Germany giving up its repatriation attempts, Peter Boehringer, the leader of the "Repatriate our gold" campaign, issued a statement, calling the Bloomberg piece "a 'non-news' article with a wrong headline, strange interviewees, old news, and with a clearly apologetic ideological approach.” He also said that the fight to bring the German gold back will continue.

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