On June 16, 1933, EO 6073 passed into legislation as the “Emergency Banking Act (EBA)”. After only 40 minutes’ debate in the House of Representatives, with an unknown author and no printed copies available for members of the House, the Bill was passed swiftly and without due process. The wand was waved again.
At the time, Congressman Lundeen, appalled at the reckless lack of due process involved in the passing of this Bill said “I want to put myself on record against procedure of this kind and against the use of such methods in passing legislation affecting millions of lives and billions of dollars. It seems to me that under this bill thousands of small banks will be crushed and wiped out of existence, and that money and credit control will be still further concentrated in the hands of those who now hold the power…. I am suspicious of this railroading of bills through our House of Representatives, and I refuse to vote for a measure unseen and unknown.”
Meanwhile, Executive Order 6073 paved the way for Executive Order 6102 on April 5, 1933.
This Executive Order (EO) made it a criminal act to possess gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates within the continental United States and ordered that the hoarded gold be delivered to the Government on or before May 1, 1933. The official price of gold was raised from $20.67 to $35/ounce.
Although it is unknown just how much gold was confiscated by means of Executive Order 6102, numbers suggest that by January 1934, there were 195.1 million ounces and 227.9 million ounces by August 1934.
The Government had to have some place to hoard the confiscated gold. So, Executive Order 6102 paved the way to Fort Knox. The U.S. Treasury Department began construction of the United States Bullion Depository (USBD) in 1936. Completed in December of that year, at a cost of US$560,000, the Gold Vault sits in a 109,000-acre Army enclave in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The U.S. Mint states that 147.3 million ounces of gold are now tucked into Fort Knox. Guarded by Apache helicopter gunships and tucked into a bunker with a bomb-proof roof and thick granite walls, you’d think that 147.3 million ounces of gold would be safe in the vault. While Treasury officials insist that the “gold is all there”, why the resistance to a public audit? Congress begs off, saying it will cost US$60 million to test the gold. Other figures bandied about suggest US$15 million. Other so-called experts contest both figures, stating that an independent audit and assay could be conducted for as little as US$15,000.
More nefarious are that the numbers don’t add up…and never have. In his article The Great American Disaster: How Much Gold Remains In Fort Knox?, dated August 27, 2010, Chris Weber states that, at their peak in 1949, the Fort Knox reserves reputedly numbered 701 million ounces – 69.9% of all the gold on the planet. The latest figures reported by the U.S. Mint state that 147.3 million ounces of gold are now tucked into Fort Knox. Treasury subsequently downgraded this figure from 264 million ounces of gold, a decline of 79%! Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.
Clearly, the road to – and from - Fort Knox is paved in gold and not-so-gold intentions. Tales of pillaging, profiteering and skullduggery abound at the crossroads of Bullion Boulevard and Gold Vault Road. Masked interlopers didn’t rob the USDB. Reputed to be the second most secure place in the world (as reported in The Blogington’s post of September 21, 2010), the video cams, armed guards, attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and 30,000 soldiers guarding Fort Knox guaranteed that.
For over 50 years, while domestically it was a crime to hold gold, there is little doubt that well-heeled Americans - and America’s enemies, operating offshore, were able to procure gold at the bargain basement price of $35/ounce.
Not surprising that Fort Knox’s 22-ton door is locked to an audit. For almost 40 years, no visitors have been allowed in the grounds of the Gold Depository. Considered one of the eight most secure places in the world, we’re not getting in for a sneak peek anytime soon. In the last recorded “audit”, in the early 50’s, a group of Congressmen and Senators were taken on a quick tour of Fort Knox and allowed to peek into a few vaults. They reported seeing “orange-hued gold bars”. Lucy, you got more ‘splainin’ to do.