Did A Raging Fire Burn Down JPMorgan’s Gold Vault?

As a reminder, it was Zero Hedge who broke the news in March about the location of JPM‘s vault, namely that it can be found 90 feet below street level at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza (located over half a mile away on Liberty and William Streets). Which is relevant, because as the FDNY reports, and as the video clip below vividly confirms (with the Federal Hall National Memorial distinctly visible in the background), the fire response was focused on the area on Broad street between the New York Stock Exchange and what is now the 15 Broad Street block.

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So did a sweeping fire “take place” (in broad daylight and in front of video camera armed streetwalkers) providing the fire brigade a pretext to abscond with JPM‘s gold on orders from above, or merely give JPM an alibi to say it’s gold is “gone… all gone” or rather “burned… all burned” (leaving aside the propensity of a fire to propagate in the confined oxygen constraints to be found on top of the Manhattan bedrock and far below street level)? No. For the simple reason that 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza is over two blocks away from where the fire did take place as can be seen on the map below:

In other words, if there was a “fire” in JPM‘s vault, the response would have been not at 15 Broad Street, but over half a mile away at the perfectly fire-accessible Liberty Street (between the NY Fed and 1 CMP), across from the real JPM vault fire doors which can be seen in the following interactive image:

And yes: those who may suggest that any amount of gold tonnage may have been quietly moved over two blocks by the Fire Brigade have never actually carried the not-so-light-bars of gold themselves, especially not in broad daylight.

So why the confusion?

It appears the confusion stems from the Fire Brigade‘s designation of the fire as taking place at “JP Morgan’s building” which indeed is where the Fire Brigade was located. However, it is the 23 Wall Street building, also known as the “JPMorgan building” formerly owned by JPM, and subsequently owned by Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, best known for being the site of the September 16, 1920 Wall Street bombing, when 38 people were killed and 400 injured. Ironically, as was then reported, “because the Morgan building was so well known, many assumed that the target of the assumed anarchist bombing was actually the bank itself.”

For modern generations, 23 Wall Street may be better known as the (incorrect) facade of the NYSE as represented in The Dark Knight Rises.

Of course, JPM has long since moved on from its landmark location just across from the NYSE, and now can be located at its Park Avenue headquarters (with its Bear Stearns annex), and of course, at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza.

So what is now housed in the 15 Broad/23 Wall Street block to where the FDNY was responding, if not any JPM? 23 Wall and 15 Broad Street were sold in 2003 for $100 million to Africa Israel & Boymelgreen (there is likely a far more interesting story surrounding Africa Israel and Boymelgreen here than there is about the “fire in JPM‘s vault”). The two buildings have become a condominium development, Downtown by Philippe Starck, named for French designer Philippe Starck, one of a growing number of residential buildings in the Financial District. Starck made the roof of 23 Wall into a garden and pool, accessible to the residents of the development.

Could there be a vault in the Downtown residential building, and could the FDNY have been responding to a fire in such a “commercial vault”? Of course: as anyone who has ventured into the skyscraper forest of New York‘s Financial District knows, there is an underground vault in virtually every building.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-21/did-raging-fire-burn-down-jpmorgans-gold-vault

Worth Your Weight In Gold?

While Ben Bernanke remains unable to value the precious metal, it seems the Arabs are very capable of discerning at least one relative value. In a fascinating effort to reign in Dubai’s growing obesity epidemic, the government is willing to pay its citizens (in gold) for losing weight. For each kilo of excess that is lost, the government will pay 1 gram of gold (around $42). There is no discernment – apparently – in the “Your Weight In Gold” initiative that the weight loss be ‘fat’ which make us wonder how many would ‘give their right arm’ for a few ounces of gold?

Via Reuters,

Dubai’s government will pay residents in gold for losing those extra pounds as part of a government campaign to fight growing obesity in the Gulf Arab emirate.

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The 30-day weight-loss challenge was launched on Friday to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the faithful refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

For every kilogram dropped by Aug. 16, contestants who register from Friday can walk away with a gram of gold, currently worth about $42, Dubai’s civic authority announced as part of its ‘Your Weight in Gold’ initiative.

The top three dieters can win gold coins worth up to 20,000 dirhams ($5,400). The contestant has to lose a minimum 2 kgs (4.4 pounds) to qualify for the contest.

Oil wealth and high household incomes have led to overeating, high-sugar diets and a heavy reliance on cars for getting around, leading to an explosion of diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

Five of the 10 countries where diabetes is most prevalent are in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organisation of more than 200 national associations.

Child obesity is also a growing problem.

Dubai is known for its larger-than-life offers. It has a history of giving away luxury cars and yachts in lucky draws and is home to one the largest gold markets in the region. The emirate even has gold vending machines in shopping malls.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-19/worth-your-weight-gold

JPM Eligible Gold Plummets By 66% In One Day To Just Over 1 Tonne, Total Gold At Fresh All Time Low

For over a month, JPMorgan managed to mysteriously avoid matching up the gold held in its (world’s largest) vault with the Comex delivery notice update. However, as of today, that particular can will be kicked no more. Starting yesterday, JPM reported that just under 12,000 ounces of Eligible gold (the same Registered gold that two days earlier saw its warrants detached and convert to eligible) were withdrawn from its warehouse 100 feet below CMP 1. But it was today’s move that was the kicker, as a whopping 90,311 ounces of eligible gold were withdrawn, accounting for a massive 66% of the firm’s entire inventory of non-Registered gold, and leaving a token 46K ounces, or a little over 1 tonne in JPM’s possession.

Needless to say, today’s massive move which increasingly puts JPM‘s gold holdings in the danger zone vis-a-vis future delivery notices which just refuse to stop, has pushed total JPM vault gold to a new all time low of just 436k ounces, or a little under 14k tonnes with just 12 tonnes, or 390k ounces, of Registered gold left and rapidly draining. And to think that two years ago around this time JPM had over 3 million ounces of gold in its possession.

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Finally, those who believe there is a connection between the ongoing run on JPM‘s vault gold, the suppressed price of the metal, the redemption of Bundesbank gold, and the fact that 3M GOFO has now been negative for 10 straight days or the longest period in history it has been below zero, and indicating an unprecedented gold collateral shortage, you are correct.

Finally, putting it all in context, this is what 1 ton of gold looks like in the real world courtesy of Demonocracy:

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-19/jpm-eligible-gold-plummets-66-one-day-total-gold-fresh-all-time-low