The List German Gold Transactions 1951-2012

The German Bundesbank decided to opt for full transparency of their gold reserves and their whereabouts since the second world war. Our details:


Extracts from a comment of the FT:
Most report, on a monthly basis, their gold reserves to the International Monetary Fund. But these data fall a long way short of full transparency. They tell us nothing about derivative positions in the gold market – for example gold loans, agreements for future sales or options transactions.

They are open to the whims of whether individual countries decide to classify a chunk of gold as belonging to their “international reserves” or being held by some other state entity (such a as sovereign wealth fund).

In one document published on its website this month, the Bundesbank lists, for example, each one of its gold transactions since 1951.

In another, it details how much gold it has held in each of New York, London, Ottawa, Paris, Bern, Frankfurt and Basel since 1951, and how much it was lending to the market at any one time.

 . It also shows that the German central bank halted all gold lending activity in 2008 when the financial crisis began – presumably because of concerns about the credit risk of the banks it was lending to.
German gold reserves

The historical lack of transparency among central banks is somewhat understandable. With 29,500 tonnes between them (a decade of global mine supply), they have the ability to disrupt the market significantly if their trades are too public. See, for example, the reaction to the UK’s announcement that it would sell a large part of its reserves in 1999.

But there is a difference between revealing your trading strategies to the world and disclosing simple facts about your reserves – such as their quantity, where they are held, whether they have been lent or swapped, and so forth – with a delay if need be.


That the Bundesbank has been nudged into this new-found transparency must be chalked up as a victory for the groups of investors – most prominent among them, the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, or Gata – that have for years been asking central banks to reveal their activities.

If central banks wish to refute suggestions from such groups that their gold does not exist, or that they are scheming to manipulate prices, they could do worse than to follow the Bundesbank’s lead.  (Source FT)

YearChange in 1000 ouncesBiggest contributors to German SurplusYear end German Gold PositionRemarks
19523203European Payment Union (EPU)3993
19535304Fed (3700), BIS9288
19548581Fed (6400) EPU, BoE, BIS17879
19558394BoE, EPU, BIS26273
195616464EPU (13283), Fed42688
195729922EPU (31280)72616Excessive gold increase required revaluation of DEM
19582794BIS (3482)75409
19609542 BIS (6420)84893
196119819BoE(11137), 4003 (BIS), IMF(2571)104672Dollar devalued from 4.20 to 4 DEM
196347072248 (BoE), 1240 (Fed)109818
1964115282491 (BoE), 6414 (Fed), 6683 (BoE res. at IMF)121368
19654591BIS(3511), IMF(3911 Europ. state)125995
1966-3378-2300 (Fed, BoE)122619
1967-1834-3564 (Fed,BoE)120785
1968884210729 (BdFrance)129689
1969-13131-14286 (Fed)116558US Dollar is devalued from 4 DEM to 3.66 DEM. Consequence: Losses in German BoP.
1970-2854-2798 (Fed, BoE)113704
19712786diverse116487Gold purchases in first months of 1971. DEM allowed to free float. May: US Dollar falls from 3.66 DEM to 3.32. Currency revaluations replace gold purchases.
1972888117355Gold rises to 50 $ (inflation-adjusted 208$)
1973-19782000Nearly any transactions
1979-23386-23386, IMF gold mechanism dissolved, remained gold returned to Fed95282goldprice 508$ (inflation-adjusted: 1697$)
1980095282gold price 573$ (inflation-adjusted: 2566$)
1981-19970No transactions95282
1998+2372323723 EFCF dissolved118975
1999-7456-7456 for introduction of ECB and euro system111519
2000-2012-2500 for German gold coins-2500 for German gold coins109035yearly between 150 and 387 for gold coins
Click for next years

The full extract movements among gold depositaries is here (click to expand):


German Gold Transactions Depositaries

George Dorgan
George Dorgan (penname) predicted the end of the EUR/CHF peg at the CFA Society and at many occasions on and on this blog. Several Swiss and international financial advisors support the site. These firms aim to deliver independent advice from the often misleading mainstream of banks and asset managers. George is FinTech entrepreneur, financial author and alternative economist. He speak seven languages fluently.
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