Perry Wants Texas' Gold Stored in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas: The Texan government's gold holdings would be transferred from the Federal Reserve's protection to an in-state depository if a new bill becomes a law. First-term Representative Giovanni Capriglione filed House Bill 3505 on March 8, and the bill was referred to the Appropriations Committee on March 25. Presently, the Federal Reserve hold 6,643 gold bars worth $1 billion for the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). Texas Governor Rick Perry supported holding the state's gold in-state during an interview with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck on March 19, and Capriglione worked with the governor's office to draft the bill.
HB 3505 would create the Texas Bullion Depository within the office of the comptroller to hold all bullion and specie of Texas state agencies. The Texas Bullion Depository would "provide the basis for a system for precious metals-denominated intergovernmental payments and settlements" between and among government agencies and for persons doing business with state agencies." Additionally, the depository would be charged with making sure the bullion payment system continues to operate during any "systemic dislocation in a national and international financial system, including systemic problems in liquidity, credit markets, or currency markets" and creating the regulations necessary for private individuals to use this payment system.
Longtime gold standard advocate and former Texas congressman Ron Paul has endorsed the bill. Supporters such as Paul and Perry argue that the gold of Texas will be more secure and available for use in the event of a crisis, if it is protected by the Texan government instead of being held by the Federal Reserve in New York City. Texas Representative Lon Burnam (D) criticized the bill as not addressing a real problem, saying, "We’ve got plenty of real problems that we’re not going to deal with this session." On March 26, Washington Post blogger Neli Irwin reported that the gold in question appears to be actually held at the private bank HSBC, also in New York City. Germany recently began the process of transferring its gold holdings back to Germany from the Federal Reserve and the French central bank.