18 October 2007

US changes gold reporting to include "swaps"

Is the U.S. government sneaking gold out of Fort Knox? This may be exactly the case, as evidenced by a very curious change in U. S. Treasury reporting on gold supplies.

Up until April 27th of this year, the U. S. Treasury reported on a weekly basis its international reserve position on this form:


On this form, the gold supply (valued at the old fixed price of $42.22 per ounce) is reported as $11,041 million.

The following week, the Treasury changed the form and, as first spotted by Bill Rummel and reported in the Free Market Gold and Money Report, the new form has a change to its reporting of the gold supply. No longer is the gold supply listed as simply 'gold stock', it is now reported as "gold stock including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped” (our emphasis).

See the new report here: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/20075141738291821.htm.

Very interesting. This is a strong indication the Treasury may be sneaking gold out the back door.

A 'gold swap' is really pushing gold out the back door. It is not sold, it is, ahem, loaned for the value of the gold. Generally, it is loaned to bullion banks who then do the selling on the open market. If this is going on, the current climb in the price of gold is even more remarkable, given that it is occurring when, literally, Fort Knox gold may be in play and being sold.

The new report from the Treasury is sufficiently vague, which makes it difficult to know exactly what is going on as far as specifics of gold swaps, it is just enough cover your butt info so that if anyone ever does an audit at Fort Knox and the gold at Fort Knox doesn't equal what the Treasury is reporting, the Treasury's reply can be "Oh yeah, that's part of the gold we loaned out," and then point to the "gold swap" clause on the new form and say, "Oh yeah, this is where we report the gold swaps."

Sounds like a good time for Congress to demand an audit of just how much gold actually is in Fort Knox.

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