Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Armenian Nonprofit Sues The Federal Reserve

This is an unusual lawsuit, although it follows along with the groups seeking present recompense for wrongs done a long time ago. The Center for Armenian Remembrance is suing the Federal Reserve to make it provide information on the whereabouts of gold stolen from Armenians by the Otttoman Empire. If located, the gold would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars at today's prices.
The Ottoman government had seized the gold and other valuables belonging to Armenians deported and killed in the 1915 genocide, expropriating their bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. The Ottoman Liquidation Commission used a complex set of bank transfers to hide the trail of this "blood money." The Turkish Treasury placed the looted Armenian gold initially in the German Deutschebank in Istanbul. In 1916, the gold was transferred to the Bleichroeder Bank in Vienna, and from there moved to the Reichsbank (German Central Bank) in Berlin, and deposited in the account of Ottoman Public Debt.

At the end of World War I, when the Allied Powers demanded reparations from Germany and its Ottoman Turkish ally, German officials had no choice but to comply with that request, agreeing to turn over to the Allies the Armenian gold held by the Reichsbank. Accordingly, the expropriated Armenian gold was transferred to France and Great Britain in 1921.

A subsequent British document confirms the true ownership of this gold....
An earlier request from the Center had the Fed saying it had no idea where the gold went; hence, the lawsuit.

It's a good bet that this lawsuit, although not undertaken by a libertarian group, was inspired by the lawsuits over the Fed's TALF-related loans and Ron Paul's pressure to have the Fed audited.

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