Sometimes, such as after pervasive liquidations in precious metals (or is that AAPL? Has it become clear yet that with widespread "quality" collateral shortages, gold and AAPL stock have become unexpected and almost interchangeable collateral replacements) it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. A forest, in which the New York Fed is procuring (through the open market) the rehypothecated gold that the Bundesbank demanded for repatriation in January; in which JPMorgan's gold holdings have plunged by 75% since said stunning Bundesbank announcement and hit new record lows on a weekly basis paradoxically just as the price of spot gold keeps sliding ever lower; and in which China is importing unprecedented amounts of gold and adding more and more each month. So let's do a quick refresh on the forest, shall we.

Here is what we discovered in September 2011, as part of Bradley Manning's trove of declassified US cables. From Wikileaks:

3. CHINA'S GOLD RESERVES

"China increases its gold reserves in order to kill two birds with one stone"

"The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)(04/28): "According to China's National Foreign Exchanges Administration China's gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries. The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don't want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency. China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB."

And now for some empirical trees.

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