It looks like there is a very good chance that Ft. Knox is full of fake gold bars. This is probably the biggest heist in history and was perpetrated by someone high up in the government (probably a lot of people were part of it). When the chickens come home to roost, expect gold to sky rocket as the supply believed to exist is probably half fake.
Both of these articles attack the different aspects of the same issue, both are worthwhile if you are interested in gold.
In response to Brian, I know this is a bit conspiratorial. However, ask yourself, if a few 400 oz bars were faked, then how do we know how many fakes might be out there? The fakes were good enough to be sent out from the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), so our choice is to expect that the bars the Chinese discovered are the only ones, or ask the question “are there more out there?”
What doesn't seem to be in dispute is that the Chinese ordered some gold bars in October and received gold plated bars of tungsten, I had read that story on a bunch of web sites when it was reported. I don't expect the mainstream media cared much as the bars came from London and went to China and once the fakes were discovered I am sure they were replaced at the time with real bars of gold in an effort to limit the outcry from the Chinese.
The thing is that we really cannot know for sure how wide spread this is unless somebody in the government orders a full audit with rigorous testing of the gold stored there, and at the federal reserve, LMBA, etc. It also would not make any difference as long as that gold just remains in the vault, when it will become an issue is when the value of the dollar drops to a point when countries like china no longer trust the dollar and demand payment in gold, then it becomes an issue if we do not have the gold to clear those debts. If they do have it and this is just an isolated incident, and the vaults of gold that the government claims to have at Ft. Knox are pure, then the issue would go away, however they have not done a true audit in over 50 years, so who knows. When you have government agencies ignoring FOIA requests and refusing to allow independent audits, you do open yourself up to conspiracy theories that could easily be stifled with more transparency.
Also a quick observation that lends credibility to the time frame presented in the second article as to when they think the swap may have occurred, is that in February of 1996 gold $415 and then started a decline and by the end of the year was $370, then by the end of 1997 was $290 and then never getting above $300 until 2001.There may be lots of reasons for this decline, but if the tungsten bar theory turns out to be true, then one of the reasons could easily be that the market was flooded with “new” gold.