Clients of AFE can rest peacefully knowing that their metal is stored privately in Swiss vaults, with an LBMA accredited non-bank vaulting provider.
When it comes to gold and silver ownership, it may be wise to consider the thought:
Think outside the bank
The vaults which contain AFE client gold and silver are not owned or managed by banks. It is our view that this provides additional buffers and protection in the event of future liquidity crises.
If an investor buys gold or silver and vaults it with a bank, when a liquidity crisis occurs, if the bank has problems and you vault there, you have problems.
Switzerland is unique amongst gold custody jurisdictions. At AFE we consider gold to be an important strategic asset, and therefore consider the ramifications of this during wartime and sovereign conflict.
- Switzerland is the only country in the world to remain neutral through hundreds of years of history and several world wars
- It has a history of being able to protect private gold assets, even during wartime
- Is ringed by mountains, every citizen has been trained by the army and has military grade weaponry in their home
No other gold custody jurisdiction in the world can claim this history and track record.
Switzerland itself could be called a fortress
According to the book “La Place de la Concorde Suisse” by John McPhee:
The Swiss military has, in effect, wired the entire country to blow in the event of foreign invasion. To keep enemy armies out, bridges will be dynamited and, whenever possible, deliberately collapsed onto other roads and bridges below; hills have been weaponized to be activated as valley-sweeping artificial landslides; mountain tunnels will be sealed from within to act as nuclear-proof air raid shelters; and much more.
First, a quick look at the system of self-demolition that is literally built into the Swiss national infrastructure:
To interrupt the utility of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has been suggested to me that to approximate a true figure a reader ought to multiply by two. Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage.
Near the German border of Switzerland, every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and to the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides are ready to slide.
The impending self-demolition of the country is “routinely practiced,” McPhee writes. “Often, in such assignments, the civilian engineer who created the bridge will, in his capacity as a military officer, be given the task of planning its destruction.”
McPhee points to “fake stonework, concealing artillery behind [them],” that dot Switzerland’s Alpine geology, little doors that will pop open to reveal internal cannons that will then blast the country’s roads to smithereens. Later, passing under a mountain bridge, McPhee notices “small steel doors in one pier” hinting that the bridge “was ready to blow. It had been superceded, however, by an even higher bridge, which leaped through the sky above—a part of the new road to Simplon. In an extreme emergency, the midspan of the new bridge would no doubt drop on the old one.”
It’s a strange kind of national infrastructure, one that is at its most rigorously functional—one that truly fulfills its promises—when in a state of cascading self-imposed collapse.
There are, for instance, hidden bomb shelters everywhere in an extraordinary application of dual-use construction. “All over Switzerland,” according to McPhee, “in relatively spacious and quiet towns, are sophisticated underground parking garages with automatic machines that offer tickets like tongues and imply a level of commerce that is somewhere else. In a nuclear emergency, huge doors would slide closed with the town’s population inside.”
Describing titanic underground fortresses—”networks of tunnels, caverns, bunkers, and surface installations, each spread through many tens of square miles”—McPhee briefly relates the story of a military reconnaissance mission on which he was able to tag along, involving a hydroelectric power station built inside a mountain, accessible by ladders and stairs; the battalion tasked with climbing down into it thus learns “that if a company of soldiers had to do it they could climb the mountain on the inside.”
In seeking to protect itself from outside invaders, Switzerland is prepared to dynamite, shell, bulldoze, and seal itself into a kind of self-protective oblivion, hiding out in artificially expanded rocky passes and concrete super-basements as all roads and bridges into and out of the country are instantly transformed into landslides and dust.