The link above is a US Gold Certificate issued in 1934 exclusively to the Fed by the US Treasury. This was done for accounting purposes as a result of
Executive Order 6102 which required all US citizens and others living in the US to surrender their physical gold to either the US Treasury or to banks
which were part of the Federal Reserve. In turn, these banks surrendered the gold thus gathered to higher level banks, and eventually those banks
turned over the gold to the US Treasury. The US Treasury built the Fort Knox Bullion Depository to store all the gold it had 'confiscated' from the
American public. In theory, this EO was supposed to be of temporary nature. The idea being that once the US economy was stablilized that the gold
could be sold back to the American public in a reverse sequence of what is described above.
However, this never happened.
Instead, the US went directly from Great Depression to WWII, and then into the Cold War, where the western world was bullwarked by a new monetary
system called the Bretton Woods system, which allowed foreign nations to exchange dollars for gold but still prohibited individuals from doing so. As
the only undamaged western power in the world in 1945, it made sense politically, economically, and ethically. Whatever you may believe, its easy in
retrospect to see a conspiracy here, forgetting that aside from the American Revolution and Civil War, that the US was never in greater danger of
failing as a nation.
Therefore, as others have said in this string, the Fed does not own any gold by itself (it does hold gold for others in its NY vaults), but instead
owns those Gold Certificates pictured above. However, those Gold Certificates no longer carry the legal wieght of claims to actualy gold, based on the
same EO cited above, and backed by US Supreme Court decisions in the 1930s. In other words, any US citizen, government, or organization that owns a
Gold Certificate issued prior to 1935 merely owns a piece of paper redeemable for the face vaule in other forms of currency, goods or services - NO
GOLD though. [Interestingly, if the Fed were to auction off the $100,000 certificates as collector items, they would probably draw over a million
As to some persons, wondering why the US would keep 25000 soldiers to guard its gold - well it doesn't really. Fort Knox is also the home base for
the US Army Armor Schoold and several units. There is exactly one 'alert' mechnized infantry company that has a rotational duty to back-up security
forces at the Bullion Depository if some sort of major event occured which threatened that location. [Yes, others could be summoned if necessary]
Now, as to the other issues raised here concerning whether the gold actually exists at Fort Knox, whether the Fed is maliciously manipulating the
economy, whether there are lots of gold plated tungstun bricks circulating around the globe - these are all good questions, each worthy of its own
Concerning the value of gold over other items in a survival situation, the arguements made here sort of miss the point. Naturally any object essential
to your being able to live to the next day is more important than gold if that is all have. For example, even food and water are second class to a
life preserver or a raft if you are thrown into the water miles from shore. So, to those holding gold now, its not a question of either or, its more a
question of basic survival items plus gold. Every gold holder I know, has firearms, food stores, and other such things as well as gold. The issue is
what if the world doesn't go totally Mad Max? In any scenario short of that, gold will most probably have an economic value that transcends a
nation's ability to survive, anything like printed or digital currencies will not [Based on several millenia of historical record.]
Finally, to those who argue against the possibility of a gold standard, I simply say - let's wait and see. Every pyramid scheme eventually fails.