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Germans hording mountains of gold
The Local (Germany) ^ | 12 Dec 12 12:23 CET

Posted on 12/12/2012 5:33:03 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin

Like Scrooge McDuck or the dragon Smaug in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Germans are gathering vast quantities of gold - a study showed that the average German owns close to €6,000 worth of the shiny metal.

Even though Europe's largest economy has weathered the world economic crisis relatively well, Germans have still been extra jittery about their savings, a study by the Steinbeis Research Center for Financial Services in Berlin revealed.

Around 32 percent of the gold owned in Germany in the form of bars and coins was accumulated since the financial and economic crises began, the study concluded.

Commissioned by precious metal trading group Heraeus, the study also found that people with surplus cash are becoming gold-greedier. The number of Germans with a net monthly income over €4,000 who say they intend to invest in gold has doubled in the current year.

On average, every German owns around 117 grammes of gold, comprising 55 grammes of jewellery and 62 grammes of bars and coins, the study, which surveyed 2,000 people, found. Taken together with gold securities, the average German owns some €5,750 of gold.

Including the German federal bank's gold holdings, that means the Germans have gathered seven percent of the world's gold.

Gold is considered a safe investment in times of economic stress because the precious metal is thought to keep its value over a long period, can be collected and kept safe personally, and can be traded easily.

Some 69 percent of Germans have invested in gold, and roughly half of these keep at least some the metal in their homes. Around 47 percent keep their gold in a private locker in a bank. Around nine percent, meanwhile, keep some of their precious metals with a specialized gold trader.

Rich people are more likely to invest in gold bars, while those on lower incomes are more likely to buy gold coins.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
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They've seen this movie before.

The average American has their wedding ring/engagement ring.

1 posted on 12/12/2012 5:33:05 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Well, I guess I’m not average.


2 posted on 12/12/2012 5:38:22 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Once upon a time everyone in Holland owned TULIP BULBs.


3 posted on 12/12/2012 5:47:18 AM PST by Tugo (Looking for a greater FOOL)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Right.

Call it the 'Weimar Hangover'!

4 posted on 12/12/2012 5:48:26 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

6000 bucks is like 4 ozs. Not a horde at all


5 posted on 12/12/2012 5:50:18 AM PST by cb
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To: DeaconBenjamin

6000 bucks is like 4 ozs. Not a horde at all


6 posted on 12/12/2012 5:50:28 AM PST by cb
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Once upon a time everyone in Holland owned TULIP BULBs.


7 posted on 12/12/2012 5:50:43 AM PST by Tugo (Looking for a greater FOOL)
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To: muir_redwoods

Okay, so the din is growing louder. Should I seriously consider owning gold, and if so, in what form? Should I cash out my IRA and buy gold? Seems forward foolish to me, since this sort of craze has happened in the past, but I’m growing nervous with the number of stories I’m seeing about it.


8 posted on 12/12/2012 5:54:00 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin; blam; dennisw
More Americans should give some thought to economic reality, and not depend 100% on a fiat currency that can go haywire at anytime, based on history.


9 posted on 12/12/2012 5:54:53 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Probably institutional memory from super-hyper inflation after WWII.

Interestingly, I was searching last night for reputable sources to buy Gold/silver coins and bullion. I was thinking of the American Eagle series and the Englehard blanks and ingots.


10 posted on 12/12/2012 6:00:02 AM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: rarestia

Don’t ask me, I bought half my gold the week before 9/11 @ $295/oz so I think it’s a great investment. I bought the other half at @ $1200/oz; still a very good return. It’s impossible for me to be objective.

That said, I am pretty bullish on silver. I have some and want more. Paper investments are losing their charm as the government’s reach grows. But then again, I’m a rightwing tea party paranoid.


11 posted on 12/12/2012 6:05:51 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

To explain to those unfamiliar with the history, because of World War I, the Germans replaced their gold-backed currency with a fiat currency, the Papiermark. After the war, in the ensuing International depression, caused by staggering reparations, the Papiermark experienced hyperinflation.

There was a two-stage method used to restore their currency.

First, a gold-backed currency was introduced, called the Rentenmark, which was just for bank and government use. Because it was gold-backed, it was entirely stable, so with the equivalent of pennies, it could overcome many billions of Papiermark debt.

This stabilized the situation in a hurry. But then a new “street” currency, also backed with gold, the Reichsmark, was introduced. It was also very stable, and was able to completely replace the Papiermark, and was so effective as a currency that even the Nazis did not mess with it, and it remained through World War II.

The Nazis did try other bad economic stunts, like fixing prices and wages, which created an enormous black market.

Only in 1948 was it replaced with the Deutschmark. After all the chaos and destruction, the Reichsmark was exchanged for the Deutschmark at a mere 10 to 1 ratio, an exchange rate ordered by the western occupation forces.

This persuaded the German people that gold is essential to having a stable economy, and for personal protection from government and war. The German government, however, afraid of Soviet conquest and the theft of their gold, stored much of it in Britain and the US.

After the end of the Cold War, this was a policy that needs rethinking.


12 posted on 12/12/2012 6:20:06 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: muir_redwoods

Where do you buy? Online or local? When we’re talking about $1,000+ purchases, I want to have my knowledgebase set pretty firmly and buy from a reliable dealer. I’ve been asking FReepers about gold since the election, just haven’t had any definitive answers on all my questions.


13 posted on 12/12/2012 6:22:08 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: muir_redwoods

Where do you buy? Online or local? When we’re talking about $1,000+ purchases, I want to have my knowledgebase set pretty firmly and buy from a reliable dealer. I’ve been asking FReepers about gold since the election, just haven’t had any definitive answers on all my questions.


14 posted on 12/12/2012 6:22:08 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: SMARTY
Call it the 'Weimar Hangover'!

Yeah, they do look a little hungover...


15 posted on 12/12/2012 6:22:32 AM PST by southernnorthcarolina ("Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own." -- Aesop)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I always want to ask people who invest in the precious metal portfolios, do you think you will ever see your gold/silver/platinum if the world/US economy actually tank. The answer is no. The government will get it. If you don’t have possession of your asset you don’t have it. Better off investing in survival staples and ammo.


16 posted on 12/12/2012 6:32:43 AM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: rarestia
Should I cash out my IRA and buy gold? Seems forward foolish to me, since this sort of craze has happened in the past, but I’m growing nervous with the number of stories I’m seeing about it.

You should be more worried about the number of stories out there talking about the fed gov seizing IRAs and 401Ks.

17 posted on 12/12/2012 6:34:57 AM PST by SwankyC
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To: DeaconBenjamin
The average American has their wedding ring/engagement ring.

A friend of mine has piles of diamonds that were pried from rings so the rings can be melted.

18 posted on 12/12/2012 6:37:16 AM PST by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: rarestia; All

No. In the U.S. buy the metals that become precious in hard times. Lead. Brass. Copper. They are most easily traded and stored in the form of ammunition.


19 posted on 12/12/2012 6:40:07 AM PST by marktwain
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To: DeaconBenjamin

That is what I have! It is nice to know I’m average.

My brother has hundreds of thousands worth of physical gold that he bought when it was cheap. He bought junk jewelry, coins and bars.


20 posted on 12/12/2012 6:42:09 AM PST by tiki
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
For those interested in more historical details, here is a very interesting article I read this week (via survivalblog.com): Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic in 1923 Germany

Freegards.
21 posted on 12/12/2012 6:42:51 AM PST by rpierce (We have taglines now? :)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I have read that only 2% of Americans are tuned into gold coins and silver coins as being serious items of real worth. The average American is thoroughly hypnotized into believing that credit cards and blips on hard drives (they probably are oblivious to that too) are what money is

The real mind blowing activity these days is that private bank called the Federal Reserve buying up a trillion of 0Bama-debt each year. Taking the place of China which has opted out of the charade


22 posted on 12/12/2012 6:48:03 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything)
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To: Tugo

Right. Because Tulip bulbs have been a source of wealth for
5000 years in just about every culture on Earth. Let me guess, YOU hold paper, or BULLETS AND BEANS !

Me I’m holding some of each, including gold and silver.
Hard to argue with 5000 years of history if you are a conservative.


23 posted on 12/12/2012 6:49:57 AM PST by Kozak (The Republic is dead. I do not owe what we have any loyalty, wealth or sympathy.)
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To: marktwain

If that’s the case, I’m pretty well ahead of the curve, and since I have abounding respect for you as a FReeper, Mr. Twain, you have settled my unease a bit with your post. Thank you.


24 posted on 12/12/2012 6:51:31 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia

Thank you for the kind words. Food that can last a couple of years also gives me a warm, fuzzy, feeling.

To take a page from our own Travis McGee... a sailboat that you could live on might be nice.... but then there are considerable costs for upkeep.


25 posted on 12/12/2012 7:01:29 AM PST by marktwain
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To: rpierce; Travis McGee

Excellent article! Best I have ever read on the subject of Germany’s hyperinflation.


26 posted on 12/12/2012 7:05:30 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: rarestia

I have a friend who’s a pawnbroker. I pay retail but I don’t get cheated. I would never buy through the mail or online but, as I mentioned, I’m a paranoid.


27 posted on 12/12/2012 7:05:51 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: rpierce; Travis McGee

Excellent article! Best I have ever read on the subject of Germany’s hyperinflation.


28 posted on 12/12/2012 7:11:11 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: rpierce; Travis McGee

Excellent article! Best I have ever read on the subject of Germany’s hyperinflation.


29 posted on 12/12/2012 7:11:11 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
the study also found that people with surplus cash are becoming gold-greedier. The number of Germans with a net monthly income over €4,000 who say they intend to invest in gold has doubled in the current year.

Gold does nothing but sit there. It does not produce anything (other than a small amount which is used in electronics). It does not pay dividends. It does not increase in quantity as it sits in a vault. Instead it either costs money to store or is at risk of being stolen from your house. It is a horrible investment.

But the Germans are arguing that even as bad as it is, it is still better than cash, real estate, bank deposits, corporate bonds, government bonds or stocks and that shows just how bad they think the current situation is. And I think that they are right.

30 posted on 12/12/2012 7:16:48 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: rpierce
From the article (emphasis mine):

By mid-1923 workers were being paid as often as three times a day. Their wives would meet them, take the money and rush to the shops to exchange it for goods. However, by this time, more and more often, shops were empty. Storekeepers could not obtain goods or could not do business fast enough to protect their cash receipts. Farmers refused to bring produce into the city in return for worthless paper. Food riots broke out. Parties of workers marched into the countryside to dig up vegetables and to loot the farms. Businesses started to close down and unemployment suddenly soared. The economy was collapsing.

That's going to go over like a lead balloon, here in the ARMED United States of America.

31 posted on 12/12/2012 7:18:32 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Kozak
Hard to argue with 5000 years of history if you are a conservative.

This is why gay marriage and gay anything is such a joke. They want to repeal 5,000 years of Jewish + Christian religions and  culture. They want to nullify 5,000 years of Christianity and Judaism to suit themselves. The only brave new world they have is one with no morality and strong parties such as Muslims and Chinese take over...

32 posted on 12/12/2012 7:20:57 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything)
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To: KarlInOhio

>> the Germans are arguing that even as bad as it is, [gold] is still better than cash ...

Yup - it’s pretty hard to print more gold.


33 posted on 12/12/2012 7:22:08 AM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: rarestia

Please do some research on your own. Taking advice from a we forum, no matter how well intentioned, is a bad idea.

We do not know your situation, your tax issues, your family issues, where you would store it, any of that stuff.

And the thought of cashing in your retirement to buy gold sends shivers down my spine. If you think it will go up the 30% you will lose to taxes and penalties...then consider it. But think that through completely first.

I am not trying to be a jerk, but rather direct you to do a lot of research first. My advice is probably not right for you. Nor is yours appropriate for me.


34 posted on 12/12/2012 7:24:43 AM PST by Vermont Lt (We are so screwed.)
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To: Vermont Lt

I have no intent on taking the word of anyone on FR over that of my financial advisor nor do I intend on purchasing anything so pricey as gold before consulting my wife. I am simply soliciting for anyone’s experience with gold brokers either on line or over the phone.

I hear advertisements all day on the radio and TV, and I know that much of it is scaremongering. I would, however, like to have some tangible assets for long-term investments, and gold seems to be pretty solid.

Like all investments, there’s risk, and the cyclical nature of the markets, both financial and ores, leads me to believe that gold is likely to lose value at some point and will likely gain again at some point later. I know that it’s foolhardy to think that in a SHTF scenario people would take cold coins over practical goods in barter, but I figure IF (big if) the global markets and governments stabilize again, having everything in gold is not only dumb but costly.


35 posted on 12/12/2012 7:56:15 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia
Your reputable FA should have easy access to purchase physical gold of all types for delivery to your door.

Be sure to stock up from COSTCO with cases of SPAM. Gold is hard to chew.

36 posted on 12/12/2012 8:05:16 AM PST by Tugo (Looking for a greater FOOL)
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To: rarestia
I hear advertisements all day on the radio and TV, and I know that much of it is scaremongering. I would, however, like to have some tangible assets for long-term investments, and gold seems to be pretty solid.

Beware of the places advertising on TV. If you want to buy gold, you generally want it valued on its metal value. Right now that is $1711.49 per troy ounce. The places on TV will very quickly try to get you to buy collectible coins instead of bullion because there is nowhere to check their true value. If someone offers you gold for $1750 then you might say the markup is reasonable or not and be able to compare it to other sellers. On the other hand if someone offers you a "rare" coin for $2500 you don't have an absolute frame of reference on whether that's a good price or if you are being screwed on the mark up. Even if you can look up a price, are you sure that it is really a "Very Fine" coin instead of just "Fine"? There will be a big difference in value based on a very subjective grading.

37 posted on 12/12/2012 8:20:50 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: rarestia

“Where do you buy? Online or local? When we’re talking about $1,000+ purchases, I want to have my knowledgebase set pretty firmly and buy from a reliable dealer. I’ve been asking FReepers about gold since the election, just haven’t had any definitive answers on all my questions.”

I recommend you start out buying at coin shows. Google for “coin show” to find a schedule of shows around the country. Any large city should have a couple per year. Most coin dealers will have an assortment of both new and old gold coins to choose from. Shop around. I suggest you buy new bullion coins because they have a lower premium over actual gold value. Canadian Maple Leafs or South African Kruggerands would be the safest bet. If you hesitate buying at over $1,700/oz., then consider if the government is going to stop printing inflationary funny money any time soon. My last purchase 3 years ago was at $900/oz. No regrets.


38 posted on 12/12/2012 8:25:47 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Yes, that section shouted out to me too. There is much to observe, evaluate and prepare for from situation during those years in Germany.


39 posted on 12/12/2012 8:26:20 AM PST by rpierce (We have taglines now? :)
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To: KarlInOhio

German banks, for the average ‘Otto’, are less than attractive. Banks decide how much a person can withdraw from their savings account per month, not the owner of the account. If one wants to withdraw more than the bank deems ‘sufficient living expenses’, proof of need is required. Many of these banks are partly owned by the government and, over the last decades, have pushed sales of bonds and other investments that have performed so poorly several are now demanding repayment of all dividends sent to owners since inception. Many of the elderly pensioners have a majority of their assets tied up in these funds and it appears they either will or already have lost everything.


40 posted on 12/12/2012 8:50:13 AM PST by GreyHoundSailor
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To: Usagi_yo
I've never heard of Englehard blanks. I do know they produce bars and rounds (coins).

Some dealers offer low prices with high shipping. Some offer higher prices with low shipping. Some only accept large orders (thousands of dollars). Delivery offers the risk that someone will recognize the name of the dealer sending you packages. I recommend local stores where feasible.

41 posted on 12/12/2012 8:58:46 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I wouldn’t call 6000 Euros “hoarding.”


42 posted on 12/12/2012 9:01:49 AM PST by Little Ray (Get back to work. Your urban masters need their EBTs refilled.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
But then a new “street” currency, also backed with gold, the Reichsmark, was introduced.

How was the Reichsmark backed with gold? Could you exchange Reichsmarks for gold in a bank?

I do know they minted silver Reichsmarks which were in common circulation. I assumed that had a lot to do with people's willingness to attribute value to the Reichsmark.

I know that West Germany also produced and circulated silver 5 mark pieces until the 1970s.

43 posted on 12/12/2012 9:03:18 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: tiki

The blogger from Argentina (ferfal?) has stated that when the economy collapsed there, exchanges in junk jewelry were more common and preferred to coins and bars. I don’t know if the same would hold true in the US, particularly since our use of silver coins was more recent than in Argentina.


44 posted on 12/12/2012 9:06:30 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I read of the experience of a young German woman whose family operated a store during the hyperinflation. Eventually they marked the prices in British pounds (rather than constantly reprice the goods) and put the current exchange rate for marks on a chalkboard near the cash register.


45 posted on 12/12/2012 9:10:18 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: rarestia

BRAVO! That is the right answer.

There are reputable places online to buy gold and silver. Ebay is not one of them. I have bought all of mine through an online broker and I am very satisfied.

I just came across this story this morning:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/how-much-gold-and-silver-do-i-need/36682

I find that buying gold and silver online can be expensive, and you cannot get your hands on it as quickly as I would like. It takes time to get stuff processed and mailed to you.

I have not been able to find a decent dealer in my area. The storefront guys are pirates, and the coin dealers are as unhelpful as a gun store owner.

Storage is also an issue. If you are buying gold, you probably do not trust banks, so a safe deposit box might not be practical. So an in-home safe or storage option should be considered.

If you have any specific questions that you do not want published to the world, feel free to frepmail me.


46 posted on 12/12/2012 9:12:37 AM PST by Vermont Lt (We are so screwed.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

my my...somebody’s getting teed off aren’t they?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-politicians-demand-to-see-gold-in-us-federal-reserve-a-864068.html


47 posted on 12/12/2012 9:42:42 AM PST by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

It was sleight of hand. Initially, the Reichsmark was backed by the Rentenmark, which in turn was backed by gold. Then because of the depression, the backing was replaced with a peg to gold.

The Nazis then printed far more money than the peg would allow, to buy arms, then used wage and price controls to try to keep inflation under control. They also permitted the enlargement of the black market to take up the slack.

And as they invaded other countries, they tried to strip them of wealth as well. Added together, they were able to keep something of a lid on things.


48 posted on 12/12/2012 9:59:26 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

You’re right, they are Englehard rounds. I talked to my brother in law about it, he was some MSD (Medium Swinging D*) at Englehard before the BASF buyout. They made blanks but weren’t sold to the public, they were sold to Mints.


49 posted on 12/12/2012 6:10:10 PM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: Resolute Conservative

“If you can’t pick it up and run with it, you don’t really own it.” Robert Heinlein.


50 posted on 12/12/2012 6:14:33 PM PST by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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