For decades, the U.S. government has stashed gold five stories beneath Manhattan in a vault under the Federal Reserve’s fortress near Wall Street.
The federal government has quietly been completing an audit of U.S. gold stored at the New York Fed. The effort included drilling small holes in the bars to test their purity.
The Treasury Department has refused to disclose what the audit has revealed so far, saying the results will be announced by year’s end. But as one former top Fed official said recently, the testing may finally prove that “Goldfinger didn’t sneak in at night” and take the gold.
“The calls for audits are saying, ‘We don’t trust the government for the last 200 years,’” said Ted Truman, a former assistant Treasury secretary and Fed official. He called perennial questions about the country’s reserves “the gold bug equivalent of the birther movement.”
The final results still might not satisfy some. Paul, the Texas Republican and presidential contender, wants an independent audit of all U.S. gold.
In 1981, when Paul was on the Gold Commission — a panel set up by Congress to explore expanding gold’s role in the U.S. monetary system — he argued for full gold audits every year. He has pitched legislation for an exhaustive examination of the country’s gold that could cost as much as $60 million.
“If the gold is there and everything is in order, they should welcome an audit,” Paul said in an interview.
Eh, that’s right, Mr. Paul. Not very satisfying.