Why did Russia's largest bank empty its gold vaults?
Herman Gref exported a large portion of Sberbank's gold reserves. Why?
State Duma Deputy Mikhail Delyagin—who believes Russia is under siege from a Big Pharma/Big Tech coup d'état—just published a new interview on his website. And it’s very interesting.
We urge you to read the whole interview; here’s one (of many) comments that intrigued us:
Q: Recently, they say that the Central Bank began to export abroad, to London, gold. What’s the story with this?
Delyagin: This process has been going on for the past year. Exported, according to some estimates, 600 tons. [Bank of Russia chief Elvira] Nabiullina said—whoever wants to sell gold to get cash, or if you mine gold and trade it, keep in mind that the state will not buy gold from you at a market price. We will take it at a big discount. If you want to get honest money for it, please export it. The world center of gold trading is London. Accordingly, everyone began to export and sell gold there. Including Mr. Gref. The head of the formally state-owned Sberbank [Sberbank is still majority-owned by the Russian government, we think Delyagin is being facetious here—Edward] sold a huge part of his gold reserves.
Gref, you dog!
Obviously we had to investigate.
Sure enough, over a six-month period ending in May 2020, Sberbank exported two-thirds of its total gold reserves:
As finanz.ru explained, this massive outflow of gold was triggered by the central bank’s unwillingness to buy gold at market value. (The Bank of Russia later halted all gold purchases; it began buying insignificant quantities of gold in July 2021, but its total gold reserves have essentially remained unchanged since April 2020.)
But maybe there’s still something fishy going on here?
Sberbank began “actively” exporting its gold months before the Bank of Russia put the brakes on new purchases:
Sberbank has been actively selling gold since last fall [late 2019]. As of November 1, the bank had 22.5 tons, by February 1 it had 17 tons, by April 1—14.5 tons, by May 1—9 tons. Thus, in half a year, almost two-thirds of the gold reserves left the bank.
Again: this selling spree started before the Virus Scam and before the central bank stopped buying gold.
How much gold does Sberbank have now? Interfax reported on February 2:
Sberbank in December  reduced the volume of precious metals on its balance sheet by 2.1 tons in terms of gold—up to 13 tons at the beginning of January 2022.
13 tons is better than 9 tons, but it’s still a long way away from the 22.5 tons that was sitting in Sberbank’s vaults in November 2019.
We will keep exploring this issue. The Bank of Russia’s U-turn on gold purchases is a big story in Russia, but for some reason it has been entirely ignored by English language alt media. And obviously anything Herman Gref does is highly suspect.
Even lawmakers are worried. Last week, State Duma deputy Sergey Mironov called on the government to halt all gold exports. He also said Russia should “restore state sovereignty over the Central Bank and withdraw from the World Trade Organization”:
“I repeat: either we will finally take all the levers of managing the domestic economy into our own hands, or we risk being in the role of outside observers when it collapses.”
Another Duma deputy, Vladimir Gutenev, recently argued Russia should create “a stablecoin, denominated in gold and completely controlled by the state… That is, it would be an analogue of the golden ruble.”
Unfortunately it looks like Russia is getting a digital ruble, backed by nothing, instead.
By the way: what is happening with Herman Gref’s legendary Sbercoin? Stay tuned!
If you enjoy Edward Slavsquat consider subscribing for $5/month. That’s less than 400 rubles per month! Total bargain!