Does the Fed Really Have 6,200 Tons of Gold in a Manhattan Vault?

With limited inventory information available, skeptics abound.

August 11, 2017 1:07 pm
The Fed Claims It Has 6,200 Tons of Gold Locked in Its Basement. But Does It?
(Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

In the James Bond movie Goldfinger, the title villain targets the gold reserves at Fort Knox. Maybe he should’ve had his sights set on the Big Apple.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve vault, which lies 80 feet below 33 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan and is further protected by armed guards, contains 6,200 tons of gold worth between $240 billion and $260 billion. (Goldfinger wouldn’t have had any issue keeping Pussy Galore on his side with that type of haul.)

But skeptics abound, given the little inventory information available about the vault’s contents—and the overall lack of information the Fed itself has released about it. Said former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan to the Journal: “When you deposit your funds in a bank, should that bank make your account balances available to whomever asks?”

Also, a number of theories from non-Fed employees exist about the supposed tonnage. Like that they’re just gold-painted bars. Or that the bars are being leased out to manipulate gold prices.

In documents obtained by the Journal, it found that three Fed employees have to be present at all time in the presence of the gold.

No one has ever attempted a break-in, except in the Bruce Willis classic Die Hard with a Vengeance.

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