Texas wants its gold back.
Governor Greg Abbott is building a depository for gold and said he wants to repatriate $US1 billion worth of it from the Federal Reserve of New York, reports Bloomberg’s Lauren Etter.
That would make Texas the first state to have its very own storage space for gold.
But the gold that lawmakers want to repatriate is actually about $US350 million short of $US1 billion, and it also doesn’t belong to the state but to the University of Texas Investment Management Co., according to the report.
Still, that didn’t stop Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who reportedly said: “We want to show off our strength and resilience… This is to be able to say ‘Hey, listen, Texas is unique, it’s stable, it’s strong and we can show that by letting other states and individuals know that, yes, Texas has a billion dollars worth of gold. Does your state have a billion dollars worth of gold?”
The gold that lawmakers want to repatriate currently resides, not at the New York Fed, but in a rented vault in midtown, according to the report.
The endowment fund pays less than $US1 million a year to lease the vault, so the fund’s CEO said he hopes the state of Texas would not charge any higher than that for the new space.
Some people are sceptical that Capriglione & co have an ulterior motive. He does have support from the Tea Party, which advocates for a monetary supply that’s convertible to gold. But he denies that and said he’s not trying to create some sort of Texas currency.
Most lawmakers were on board for the new law, but one Democrat Senator who voted against the repatriation told Bloomberg he did so “cause it’s weird.”