Gordon Brown's gold gambit
Gordon Brown has been eviscerated for his infamous gold sale, disposing of about 400 tonnes between 1999 and 2002 at reserve prices between $256 and $296 an ounce.
Thomas Pascoe in the Telegraph writes that it was not a short-sighted move to clear the decks of un-needed assets, rather the banking system got itself out on a limb and selling the government's gold was the only way out.
Faced with the prospect of a global collapse in the banking system, the Chancellor took the decision to bail out the banks by dumping Britain’s gold, forcing the price down and allowing the banks to buy back gold at a profit, thus meeting their borrowing obligations.
While the market manipulation which occurred when the gold reserves were sold was not illegal as the abuse at Barclays may have been, the moral atmosphere in which it took place was identical.
The crash which began in 2007 and endures still was the result of an abdication of responsibility across the financial sector. This abdication ranged from the consumer whose thirst for goods pushed him beyond into grave debt to a government whose lust for popularity encouraged it to do the same.
Image of Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron (L) and Prime Minister Gordon Brown attending the Royal British Legion Remembrance Parade November 8, 2009 in Whitehall, London. Image by Sportsphotographer.eu / Shutterstock.com