When in 1999 the (then) Minister of the Exchequer Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown (who was later rewarded by the Brits with nothing less than a Prime Ministership…) decided to “lighten” U.K.’s coffers from their gold reserves by almost half, he could never have expected that this garage sale  would add a brand new connotation to the expression: “Fool’s Gold“!…
Reason: the gold auctions took place at the lowest point of gold’s price curve (around $270/oz) which later became known as the “Brown Bottom“.

The “reasoning” behind this exemplary show of economic genius (according to a 2002 H.M. Treasury’s Review of the Sale) can be summarised as follows:
“… On the other hand, gold is expensive to store and keep secure, and it can be inconvenient to trade if transactions involve a change of storage location.
However, a case can be made for preserving a role for gold in a country’s reserves management strategy on the basis of, amongst other things, risk management.
Historically, the correlation between the return on gold and the return on other assets commonly held in foreign exchange portfolios has been low (and over some periods even negative). As such, gold can play an important role in diversifying a country’s reserves portfolio. However, it should be noted that gold is not unique in this respect and other assets with similar properties (NB: ????…) could be considered for diversification purposes..”
To enjoy the H.M. Treasury’s Review in its full glory please click HERE