Apr 16, 2007

The Sunday Times: Goldfinger Brown’s £2 billion blunder in the bullion market

April 15, 2007

Chancellor ignored advice on sell-off
Holly Watt and Robert Winnett

GATHERED around a table in one of the Bank of England’s grand meeting rooms, the select group of Britain’s top gold traders could not believe what they were being told.

Gordon Brown had decided to sell off more than half of the country’s centuries-old gold reserves and the chancellor was intending to announce his plan later that day.

It was May 1999 and the gold price had stagnated for much of the decade. The traders present — including senior executives from at least two big investment banks — warned that Brown, who was not at the meeting, could barely have chosen a worse moment.

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