The Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) has moved about 120 tonnes (worth 4 billion euros) from New York back to the Netherlands in complete secrecy. Honestly, I do not get it why so many governments still hold gold reserves while the gold standard has been abolished a long time ago. Further I do not see any reason why my government should relocate (some of) its gold reserves.
Maybe they do not trust the New York Reserve Bank? But then one would think they would have removed all their gold from the US back the Netherlands. So that could be not a reason, and it seems that the DNB only acted anticipatory on the public opinions, as certain political parties – such as the christian democrats and the far left SP – have been asking questions whether the gold reserves should not be relocated.
So the Dutch state owns about 612 tonnes of gold (worth 19 billion euros) at Amsterdam, New York, Ottawa and London. But for what reason? Not the back up a future post-euro currency, for that the reserves are only representing a very small portion of the Dutch economy – for comparison Dutch retirement funds manage about 1,100 billion worth of assets. And each year the Dutch governments pays 12 billion on interest alone.
Maintaining these gold reserves does not make any sense. So we have 19 billion worth of gold, but unless those are sold no one can do anything with it. So long it only cost money to keep it save from thieves.
My personal preference would be that my government would sell off its gold reserves all together. Not in one go, but in steps in order not to upset the gold market. The revenues should be used to create a Sovereign Investment Fund, as exist in many other countries. Not only would this be good for the economy, the dividends could be reinvested and hence the value of the assets could grow over time.