Talk:Sale of UK gold reserves, 1999–2002

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Please explain what you mean by "speculative" and "opinionated". The article is reporting events starting in 1999 to 2002, up to early October 2009. How is that speculative? It also refers to the Tory disaster of Black Wednesday, so I don't see "opinionated" but YMMV. Feel free to chip away inadvertent POV. -- Testing times (talk) 19:28, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

The article claims that the events are likened to black wednesday, but the reference for that statement (a times article) only states that the blunder was on a similar scale (although with the rising price of gold, the cost of browns bottom now dwarfs the 'loss' incurred by the UK leaving the ERM). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pperrin uk (talkcontribs) 02:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


I would like to move the page to something like "Sale of UK gold reserves", which I believe would facilitate a more neutral discussion of the topic. "Brown Bottom" sounds like a tabloid headline.--yoctobarryc 18:44, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

The new title is descriptive but I think Brown Bottom is a better title because that is how the period/decision is referred to by commentators and economists. The article on the withdrawal of Britain from the ERM is titled Black Wednesday an equally tabloid style headline but sometimes events take on their own name as happened with the sale of gold reserves. Slakelives (talk) 21:48, 14 February 2012 (UTC)


A price of gold graph would add much to this article. And a photo of Gordon. --Dweller (talk) 11:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Like this one, "All time gold chart", which shows the spectacular timing of the sale and demonstrates the chump in "chump change". (talk) 19:20, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

What is "Brown Bottom"?Edit

What is "Brown Bottom" . . . Who made this up? This article must be renamed. Sure, it's a semi-notable event but clearly one article in The Times does not warrant full notability for the phrase "Brown Bottom". This shit makes Wikipedia look weak. (talk) 20:10, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I have sympathy with that view. I'm British and follow politics quite closely, and didn't know what "Brown Bottom" meant until I read this article. As you say, the event itself may be notable. The name, I'd suggest, is not - unless it can be shown in multiple reliable sources, not all derived from the Times one. (talk) 20:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I came to this page after doing a google search for "Brown Bottom" after seeing the phrase on the Hargreaves Lansdown investment web site. If the page is renamed ("Sale of UK Gold Reserves"?), a few redirects would be handy as the phrases "Brown Bottom" and "Brown's Bottom" do both seem to be in wide use now even if they did have a single point of origin. Ian (talk) 12:51, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Here is a link I just found Market Oracle article regards UK gold sale Ian (talk) 12:57, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
As I noted above if this article is to be renamed as "Sale of UK gold reserves" in order to remove any allegedly politicised element then the article on Black Wednesday ought to be renamed "British withdrawal from the ERM" - both changes are silly; in politics some events clearly are bad for one person or one party or ideology etc and this will be reflected in the naming and we need not shy away from this. Brown bottom is called that by many people precisely because it was a disastrous policy and this is universally accepted, well by everyone except Gordon Brown - the name isn't supposed to be neutral. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Slakelives (talkcontribs) 21:51, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I found the page by googling gordon brown gold sale so, while a title of "Brown Bottom" gives some degree of poetic justice (that's "my" gold he gave away there), I don't think it matters too much what the article is called. (talk) 19:26, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm British and have never heard of the term. From a quick check, it appears to be a pun used by industry insiders and journalists. This isn't encyclopedic. Why is it in bold text ? It doesn't register in Google's literature search. -- John (Daytona2 · Talk · Contribs) 10:09, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Done to save US institutions or LBMA membersEdit

The blog source for the assertion that this was done to save US institutions has a posted comment :

garyj 07/11/2012 12:36 PM ... Here is further grist  :

"In front of 3 witnesses, Bank of England Governor Eddie George spoke to Nicholas J. Morrell (CEO of Lonmin Plc) after the Washington Agreement gold price explosion in Sept/Oct 1999. Mr. George said "We looked into the abyss if the gold price rose further. A further rise would have taken down one or several trading houses, which might have taken down all the rest in their wake. Therefore at any price, at any cost, the central banks had to quell the gold price, manage it. It was very difficult to get the gold price under control but we have now succeeded. The US Fed was very active in getting the gold price down. So was the U.K."

from [1] which quotes :

"There is also a credible speculation that the sale was designed to benefit a few of the London based bullion banks which were heavily short the precious metals, and were looking for a push down in price and a boost in supply to cover their positions and avoid a default. The unlikely names mentioned were AIG, which was trading heavily in precious metals, and the House of Rothschild. The terms of the bailout was that once their positions were covered, they were to leave the LBMA, the largest physical bullion market in the world.

"LONDON, June 1, 2004 (Reuters) -- AIG International Ltd., part of American International Group Inc., will no longer be a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) market maker in gold and silver, the LBMA said on Tuesday."

"LONDON, April 14, 2004 (Reuters) — NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd., the London-based unit of investment bank Rothschild, will withdraw from trading commodities, including gold, in London as it reviews its operations, it said on Wednesday."

from [2].

Veneroso Associates Gold Watch 18 May 1999 quote the Gartman Letter as reporting the rumour. - Rod57 (talk) 06:58, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

See also chapter 72, page 172-174, of Willem Middelkoop's book 'The Big Reset, War on Gold and the Financial Endgame', Amsterdam University Press, ISBN 978 94 6298 027 3, E-ISBN 978 90 4852 950 6 (PDF), E-ISBN 978 90 4852 951 3 (ePub), where he also spells out Gordon Brown's actions were to push down the price of gold. It says Gavyn Davies, then Goldman Sachs head of commodities, approached the Treasury, he was also married to Susan Nye who ran Gordon Brown's private office. -- Ralph Corderoy (talk) 12:05, 17 September 2021 (UTC)


This article reads like an attack piece from the Conservative media. It throws out every criticism under the sun with no time at all given to the reasons it was done and the positives of the decision.

It should show both arguments.

Even in terms of facts it's a bit selective to tell this story. For instance neglecting the unforseen nature of the massive Spike in gold in the decades to come. (talk) 21:35, 19 November 2021 (UTC)