Saturday, March 02, 2013

AUDIT THE FED, INDEED: Revealed - JPMorgan Gold Vault Linked by Underground Tunnel to the Vault of the New York Fed

One of the most unconventional -- and effective -- financial reporters operating today is Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge. Among the first to call attention to Wall Street's HFT ("High Frequency Trading") crooks that give certain institutional investors guaranteed advantage over retail traders, Durden today has another blockbuster scoop.

When two weeks ago we exposed the heretofore secret location of JPM's London gold vault (located under the firm's massive L-shaped office complex at 60 Victoria Embankment) we thought: what about New York? After all, while London is the legacy financial capital of the "old world", it is New York that the biggest private wealth of the past century is concentrated, and it is also New York where the bulk of the hard assets backing the public money of the world's sovereigns are located, some 80 feet below ground level in the fifth sub-basement of the New York Fed, resting on the bedrock of Manhattan.

That the topic of the gold "held" by the New York Fed - historically considered the gold vault with the largest concentration of gold bars in the world - has become rather sensitive, in the aftermath of the Bundesbank's request to repatriate it... is an understatement. Yet in the aftermath of some of the revelations presented here, we believe quite a few other countries will follow in Germany's footsteps for one very simple reason: suddenly the question of whether their gold is located at 33 Liberty, or just adjacent to it, in what we have learned is the de facto largest gold vault in the world, located across the street 90 feet below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, doesn't appear to have a clear answer...

[Although JPMorgan asked the CFTC to guard the vault's location from Freed of Information Act (FOIA) requests,] the FOIA request letter itself, while also being filed with a request for Confidential Treatment, never got it. As a result it was posted at this address. Ooops.

But a far bigger oops, is that on the first page of said declassified confidential FOIA app, in black ink, we get the missing piece:

In addition, the Exchanges are providing the Commission with the application summary of requirements for the JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. facility located at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, New York, NY.

And so, despite the extended attempts at secrecy, we finally hit the proverbial goldmine vault...

...That's right, ladies and gentlemen, as a result of our cursory examination, we have learned that the world's largest private, and commercial, gold vault, that belonging once upon a time to Chase Manhattan, and now to JPMorgan Chase, is located, right across the street, and at the same level underground, resting just on top of the Manhattan bedrock, as the vault belonging to the New York Federal Reserve, which according to folklore is the official location of the biggest collection of sovereign, public gold in the world.

At this point we would hate to be self-referential, and point out what one of our own commentators noted on the topic of the Fed's vault a year ago, namely that:

Chase Plaza (now the Property of JPM) is linked to the facility via tunnel... I have seen it. The elevators on the Chase side are incredible. They could lift a tank.

... but we won't, and instead we will let readers make up their own mind why the the thousands of tons of sovereign gold in the possession of the New York Fed, have to be literally inches across, if not directly connected, to the largest private gold vault in the world.

We think readers can do a good enough job on their own.

Gentlemen, start your repatriations!

Hat tip: The invaluable BadBlue News Service.

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