Not too long ago, KV featured a post about the gold reserves held by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB; Dutch National Bank). Back then we were wondering: The gold that DNB is claiming to hold, is it actually there?
Friend of KV Vrijspreker has a post up, relaying answers by the DNB, via the state secretary for Economic Affairs. Unfortunately it is more bland, opaque politico speech that doesn’t quite answer everything. This is interesting, though:
5. What was the most important reason for DNB to sell the gold in the past? Are the storage costs a reason? What are the actual costs to store the gold?
By selling gold in the past, DNB has tried to align its gold holdings with other gold holding countries. The storage costs were not a factor in the decision to sell the gold, because they are relatively low. Currently, DNB’s total annual storage costs paid to other central banks amount to a few hundreds of thousands of euros. The costs vary per location.
6. Can you confirm that since 1991 of the 1700 tons of gold about 1100 tons have been sold? Is the remark of journalist Peter de Waard correct that because of these historic sales there is a loss of about 30 billion euro? If not correct, what is the right amount?
Since 1991, 1,100 tons of gold have been sold. Back then it was concluded that DNB held relatively much gold compared to other central banks. [It was decided] to align the amount of gold with other important gold owning countries. Sales proceeds have been added to DNB’s general reserves and have been invested in interest generating investments. Comparing the actual, as a result of the financial crisis, higher gold price with the historical gold price does indeed lead to more or less the amount as mentioned by Mr. De Waard. However, one has to take into account the investment income generated since selling the gold and the fact that the result of said calculations heavily depend of the strongly fluctuating price of gold.
Why? Which other countries? What is the purpose of that policy? Was this a coordinated affair? If so, on whose orders? As Vrijspreker remarks: Many, many questions remain.