You do the math since no one actually knows how many bars there are at Fort Knox! Each gold bar weighs about 27 pounds and is worth around $500,000.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — With the price of gold at record highs, presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul wants to make sure the U.S. gold bars at Fort Knox are really there.
Paul called a congressional hearing Thursday to grill federal officials about his bill to audit and inventory all of the gold reserves at Fort Knox, Ky., West Point, N.Y., and Denver, even though Treasury officials insist that the gold is audited annually and is all there.
During the hearing, Paul suggested that the Federal Reserve of New York, which has 5% of the U.S. gold reserves, has the ability to secretly sell or swap gold with other countries without anyone knowing.
In September, Treasury completed its latest audit, showing that U.S. gold reserves total 9,300 tons with a market value of $320 billion, Thorson said. The recent run-up in gold prices -- the precious metal is trading at about $1,515 an ounce -- puts the market value at $340 billion as of Wednesday, according to Thorson's testimony.
“The Fed is pretty secret, you know,” said Paul, who leans Libertarian. “Congress doesn’t have much say on what’s going on over there. They do a lot of hiding.”
Paul, a Texas Republican who wants to convert the U.S. monetary system to one based on the gold standard, says the federal government owes it to taxpayers to make sure U.S.-owned gold is safe. (Ron Paul: Bernanke’s biggest critic)
“This is one of the few legitimate functions of government: To check our ownership and be fiscally responsible and find out just what we own and whether it’s really there,” said Paul, who is among those running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Audits by the Treasury Department and Government Accountability Office are based on samples. Paul wants to open up Fort Knox and other reserves and count the bars manually.
“We know where it is. We know how much there is. We know it’s there. None of it has been removed,” said Treasury Inspector General Eric Thorson.
Degree in History (focus Jewish studies) and Spanish, New Mexico State U. 1990