Jan Skoyles of The Real Asset Company was recently interviewed by Max Keiser on Russia Today.
In an insightful interview, Jan goes into detail about the disastrous decision by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown to sell off half of Britain’s gold reserves (395 tonnes) between 1999 and 2002, in exchange for a trio of fiat currencies whose value has since plummeted to record lows. The gold, which was sold at the “Brown’s bottom” price of $275 an ounce – the lowest gold has been in over two decades – would now fetch over $1500 an ounce.
Trading the security and stable purchasing power of gold for dollars, euros and yen — whose supply has been constantly expanded and whose value has been consistently debased — was clearly a short-sighted and monumental blunder. As Jan points out, gold has “proven Gordon Brown wrong” and has rocketed ever since his foolish sell-off.
Gold has consistently maintained its value, whereas the pound has lost 90% of its value since 1967 – which means that three generations of savers have effectively been stolen from by monetary policy.
Turning to the destruction of savings by the current UK government, Keiser highlights the lack of discussion by the mainstream media of gold as a savings instrument, despite it being the only such instrument “that has worked for the last 5000 years”. Meanwhile savers, clueless to the impact that rising inflation and low interest rates are having on their saved wealth, continue to hold that wealth in the national fiat currency in overleveraged and potentially insolvent banks. So much for gold being a “valueless asset” – yes, I’m looking at you Warren Buffett.
So what can the average citizen do to protect themselves? Jan suggests we buy back the gold that Gordon Brown sold off and thereby create a financial shield against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune which are raining down upon us all. For less than £500 per UK taxpayer, we can buy back every ounce and this time it will be held by prudent citizens rather than a feckless government or central bank.
Whether you choose gold or some other means of preserving your wealth, as we lurch ever closer to monetary collapse and the bankruptcy of the public sector in the UK it’s more important than ever.
“Trading the security and stable purchasing power of gold for dollars, euros and yen”
The purchasing power of gold on 14 May 2012 (GBP 31048/kg) was 82% of what it was on 5 September 2011 (GBP 37835/kg).
In nominal terms, the $275 “Brown bottom” price was just 32% of the $850 peak reached in 1980 (in real terms the loss would have been even greater).
According to Lloyds TSB, “the typical British household has £5,000 in savings and investments”:
For your “average citizen”, who might need to dip into savings, cash can look a lot safer than gold.
If an emergency arose, and your £5000 gold savings cashed out to £4100 (82%) or £1600 (32%), you might not be too impressed by gold’s “stable purchasing power”.
You might argue that as long as the government is investing on our behalf, they should take a longer-term view. And it was certainly stupid for Gordon to sell when he did, and in the manner that he did. But it doesn’t follow that the “average citizen” can protect themselves by converting their GBP savings to gold holdings. On practical timescales, gold is just too volatile for most people.
It seems to me that some gold dealers are quite unscrupulously trying to scare the masses into gold purchases that are really only appropriate for people who can afford to take a longer-term perspective to wealth preservation.
Of course, that’s nothing next to the immorality of our government overlords. They know that the “average citizen” is forced to hold a certain cash balance, if only for emergencies. And they stealthily confiscate a portion of that balance every year through inflation.
Some more alarming stats on the situation of the “average citizen”:
A new report from First Direct, the bank, warns that one in three UK households have less than £250 in accessible savings.
A fifth of all households have no savings at all.
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