What’s in your vault?

For decades, the U.S. government has stashed gold five stories beneath Manhattan in a vault under the Federal Reserve’s fortress near Wall Street…

Some conspiracy theorists suspect that the billions of dollars’ worth of bullion might have been looted in a dramatic heist, a la the movie “Die Hard: With a Vengeance.” Others claim that the gold has been used in a shadowy government transaction, or swapped with gold-painted bars…politicians like Rep. Ron Paul and – a few dimwit – members of Germany’s Parliament.

Now…the federal government has quietly been completing an audit of U.S. gold stored at the New York Fed. The effort included drilling small holes in the bars to test their purity.

The Treasury Department has refused to disclose what the audit has revealed so far, saying the results will be announced by year’s end. But as one former top Fed official said recently, the testing may finally prove that “Goldfinger didn’t sneak in at night” and take the gold.

“The calls for audits are saying, ‘We don’t trust the government for the last 200 years,'” said Ted Truman, a former assistant Treasury secretary and Fed official. He called perennial questions about the country’s reserves “the gold bug equivalent of the birther movement“…about right for Ron Paul…

In New York, about $21 billion in U.S. gold is locked inside the Fed’s vault. It’s stored alongside bullion from three dozen other countries and organizations such as the International Monetary Fund. All told, about 23% of the world’s official gold reserves are stored in the central bank’s vaults.

The final results still might not satisfy some. Paul, the Texas Republican and presidential contender, wants an independent audit of all U.S. gold.

In 1981, when Paul was on the Gold Commission…he argued for full gold audits every year…Like every phony fiscal conservative, he doesn’t mind wasting taxpayer dollars on his obsessive delusions…

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