There have been many myths going around for some time about Gordon Browns great Gold sell off back in 1999 so here are some facts as Ive found them.
- He didn't give it away he sold it and he only sold half of it, yes HALF of it, to diversify the risks and buy like for like into other financial instruments, as Gold was deemed to volatile at the time.
- One of the big myths is that the gold was sold and poured into some big black hole created by the nasty Labour party, NOT TRUE. The money is/was still there, just reinvested in other, what was deemed to be, less volatile ways.
- The big mistake he made which I agree was ridiculous was announcing the sale before it happened which led to a crash of the Gold price with nice people shorting it down.
- Mr George Osborne recently said: "It's the right thing to do for British businesses and British taxpayers. Yes, we may get a lower price than that was paid for it - but we will get the best price possible. For the longer we wait, the higher the price the whole economy will pay." that was said about RBS shares that he sold off at an all time low losing more than Brown did selling off Half the gold.
- The other comment made by Mr Osbourne "there is never a good time to buy or sell."
- The Sale of half the Gold reserves was made after a treasury report showed that a reduction in risk of 30% could be achieved and was backed by the Tories in Parliament at the time.
- Little known fact ... Between 1970-71 the Bank of England sold nearly half of our gold reserves. Just like the Brown sell-off it was sold at a historic low of about $42.5/oz in October 1971. Only a year later it was worth $65/oz. This was done under the Tories and Edward Heath and had to be a much larger sale and loss as by the time Brown got to it half had already been sold so in effect Brown only sold a quarter of what was originally held in reserve with the Conservative Heath government selling off half.
- As noted by the Financial Times "Britain was right to sell off its pile of gold"
- The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Gordon Brown): Continuing the policy of the previous Government, this Government have accepted the principle of gold sales.
In my opinion the name calling politics and continual use of downright lies, mis-information and spin, which we see at PMQs is a massive distraction from the real problem with our system of government. Luckily Corbyn is working to turn this around but Cameron who has problems telling any form of truth is fighting against it with his continual mud slinging.