Dave tips his hat to the essential nature of “visitor room facilities.” photo: noricum (flickr)
If I had to guess, most readers of Dave have never experienced a true Hollywood caliber luxury portable essentiality know as “the Executive washroom” (alia visitor’s room). If you’ve been to The Masters golf tournament in Augusta or a really big trade show that overflows the Las Vegas Convention Center or if you are an actor on the movie set of a hope-to-be Hollywood blockbuster attraction, then maybe you have experienced the portable executive washroom. Please allow Dave to describe it (emphasis is all Dave’s) to you.
First of all, it’s a full 18 wheeler tractor trailer type of configuration. It has not only exterior steps but a handicap ramp that provides a gradual ascent into a world of climate controlled comfort stations. We’re talking about those ultra-quiet diesel powered air conditioning compressors, a near unlimited flow of crystal clean water, the dual option of electric hand driers, paper towels and even the possibility of a personal attendent willing to accept gratuities in exchange for Dixie Cups of Scope mouthwash and Club Man talcum and those glass containers with the silver tops containing the blue liquid and combs that you only see in country club locker rooms. If Central Bankers operated mobile port-a-potties, this is exactly what they would look like.
Fortunately for everyone who owns a share of their nation’s sovereign wealth in the form of gold bullion (tungsten included) it’s not driven around in an eighteen wheeler where it could easily be stolen, no it’s safely buried within the bedrock of Manhattan granite under 33 Liberty at the New York Fed. It’s also stored in other places around the globe such as London and Geneva and anywhere else that JP Morgan’s “vaulting capabilities” form the basis for the colloquial possession is 9/10ths of the law as a business model.
So we shouldn’t be surprised at all when German federal auditors go all Jerry Maguire and want the Bundesbank to “Show them the money gold!” that they haven’t seen since back when BMW was still allowed to manufacture airplanes and Hitler’s brain was still inside his own eight pound human head rather than in a jar at the CIA. Like Dave learned a long time ago about the hospitality business, there are two kinds of social events, successful ones and unsuccessful ones. Successful ones have free food and drink and if they are remote in nature they have an executive washroom that is brought in for the occassion and comfort of the guests. Then there are unsuccessful social events where there is no free food, no free drink and you can spy folks hiding out behind a pine tree in search of relief. Whenever my Dad took us on one of those outings, as a Scoutmaster, he made sure that the first job at hand was the digging of a latrine, which no doubt serves the purpose of filtering out a large number of participants by either refusing to dig the latrine or refusing to participate in the daily ritual of its gradual refilling.
When Philip Missfelder, supporter of Chancellor Merkel’s center-right party forthrightly requested that the Bundesbank provide the opportunity for Mr. Missfelder to be shown the money-gold in Paris and London, the Bundesbank justifiably denied his request. Their basis for such a denial was the same expression of anti-social behavior as hosting an outdoor wedding with nary a port-a-pot in sight. Although Dave’s German is slightly non-existent, the english translation of the words “no visitor rooms in those facilities” as the justification for being denied an opportunity to view the Fatherland’s gold would seem to be the appropriate response. What if Mr. Missfelder heard the call of nature whilst attempting to count, weigh, drill and certify literally thousands of tons of gold, what’s an auditor to do? Certainly he must comply with the Roto-Rooter global initiative for a green planet as expressed in their famous slogan… When you gotta go, don’t go in the woods.
As a follow-up to the Bundesbank’s obvious attempt to avoid the ultimate embarassment of having Mrs. Merkel’s compatriot showing up in photographs in Italian Belusconi-owned tabloids attempting to knock the bark off a pine tree out back, the central bankers responded to the auditor’s report by saying that it sees no reason for a physical inspection of the bars. “There is no doubt about the integrity of the foreign storage sites in this regard.” Well that settles it.
“I currently have no doubt about the stock and the storage of the gold reserves,” said Priska Hinz a member of Germany’s budget committee. “I do not doubt the reliability of the foreign central banks.” Who would? The person you shouldn’t trust is the one who invites you to come visit and then when you unexpectedly need to visit the visitor’s room, they send you out back with a shovel like my Dad used to do. Everyone knows that it’s a winter seasonal tradition to warn folks of all ages not to eat yellow snow. That begs the Ron Paul question about sound money and the obvious answer that everything that glitters yellow isn’t money, sometimes it’s just tradition, in the fiddler-under-the-hot-tin-roof sense of the words heard through the half moon cut out from behind the outhouse door of the fox responding with the proverbial “there’s no one in here but us chickens.” Dave accepts the concept of liquid gold without the need to get up close and personal and run the risk of ceptic revelation. Let sleeping executive washroom attendants lie. It’s only going to cost you extra if you wake him up and let him offer you a paper towel while all your wallet contains in the form of washroom counterparty exchange is a Federal Reserve Note bearing the image of Abraham Lincoln and your kind attendant conveniently lacks change… ka-ching.
As the U.K.’s Guardian paper reported several passages of the auditors’ report were blackened out in the copy shared with lawmakers, citing the Bundesbank’s concerns that they could compromise secrets involving the central banks storing the gold. Everyone goes and everyone knows that rehypothecation is a messy business. No one wants to be caught in a compromising position without the paper needed to finish the job. The German federal auditor’s report was quite explicit in stating that the gold bars “have never been physically checked by the Bundesbank itself or other independent auditors regarding their authenticity or weight.” Then how does Dave know beyond a half-moon shadow of a doubt that the gold is there. It’s simple. Dave’s relying on “written confirmations by the storage sites.” We’ve got it in writing. Now everybody move along… nothing to see here and Dave needs a little privacy.