Distrust in the countries and companies that currently store gold have led Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, and Venezuela to move some of their gold stored in New York, London, and Paris back home.
China never bothered to store its gold abroad and has also moved to take control of pricing.
Now the same distrust is hitting New York from within: The Texas Legislature on Monday ratified and sent a bill to Gov. Greg Abbott to enable the state to build a bullion depository in Texas and repatriate $1 billion worth of gold the University of Texas Investment Management Co. is currently storing with HSBC Bank in New York.
The bill was introduced by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who told the Star-Telegram: “We are not talking Fort Knox. But when I first announced this, I got so many emails and phone calls from people literally all over the world who said they want to store their gold … in a Texas depository. People have this image of Texas as big and powerful … so for a lot of people, this is exactly where they would want to go with their gold.”
He did not get into detail why Texas doesn’t trust New York anymore, but another fellow Texan did.
Kyle Bass, a hedge-fund manager famous for shorting subprime mortgages, urged UTIM as part of his responsibility as a board member of the endowment to take delivery of its paper “gold” future contracts in 2011, which it did. The next step is taking it home, but why?
“As a fiduciary, which I am in that position to the extent you own gold and you are going for a long time, and it’s not a trade … We looked at the COMEX at the time and they had about $80 billion of open interest between futures and futures options. And in the warehouse they had $2.7 billion of deliverables. We are going to own it a long time. You are on the board, you are a fiduciary, so that’s an easy one, you go get it.”
Bass is implying that there is much more financial gold out there than physical, and that it is prudent to actually hold the physical.
Since then, speculation intensified that even banks storing gold on behalf of clients (like HSBC) have leased it out, so it can remain on the books but is not actually present physically.
So if you want to be really, really sure you actually own gold, follow Texas and store it in your own backyard.