Gordon Brown is due to enter the Guinness Book Of Records this year as the World’s worst Rogue Trader after making losses of over US $9 billion on the disastrous gold sales he made whilst he was Chancellor. Previously the record had been held by Jerome Kerviel, the notorious French Trader at Société Générale.
Despite repeated attempts by the media to gain further information on the Prime Minister’s bungling, Downing Street had previously dodged the issue and blankly refused to discuss the exact scale of the losses. In 2007, The Sunday Times reported an 18 month struggle to gain more information, during which there were repeated attempts by the Treasury to block the matter from being made public.
It was only following a lengthy campaign by Hertfordshire Conservative Future and the recent intervention of Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, that the government was forced to disclose the exact scale of losses during a Parliamentary debate last week. In reply to Peter Lilley’s questions, Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury reluctantly admitted that the Treasury had lost several billion in the fiasco. With gold prices hitting a record high last week, the scale of the losses rocketed past US $9 billion.
Gordon Brown’s status as the Iron Chancellor now lies in tatters as the losses raise serious doubts over his unilateral decision against all expert advice, to sell over 395 tonnes of the UK’s gold reserves at rock bottom prices before he became PM. Between 1999-2002 Gordon Brown went against all professional advice from senior figures at the Bank of England and City experts, and deliberately sold gold when it was at a 20 year low. Embarrassingly, City Traders have been labeling the Prime Minister ‘Golden Brown’, ‘the man without the Midas touch’ and ‘Goldfinger Brown’
For a Prime Minister allegedly committed to ensuring accountability for public servants, this matter raises the issue of double standards over this colossal error of judgment. Unlike other famous rogue traders, Nick Leeson and Jerome Kerviel, Gordon Brown seems to have completely escaped having to face the consequences of this disastrous trade. The British public on the receiving end of Gordon Brown’s stealth taxes to compensate for these losses have not been so lucky.
A spokesman for the Taxpayers Alliance said “as a taxpayer, I would rather entrust my assets with Nick Leeson than with the Prime Minister. Selling Britain’s gold too cheaply is only one of his many errors. Bungled IT projects, the Millennium Dome and Northern Rock all prove that he can’t be trusted with taxpayer’s money. He will keep his place in the Guinness Book of Records for a very long time.”
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Conservative Future commented “the money that Gordon Brown recklessly gambled away would have paid for tens of thousands of teachers, police, doctors and nurses. We would like to thank Peter Lilley, MP for the tremendous work he has done in exposing this scandal and forcing the government to admit the size of the financial losses taken.”
The Rt Hon Peter Lilley, MP added ‘Gordon Brown should have recognition for this astonishing achievement as the greatest Rogue Trader of all time. He scandalously lost $9 billion through pure speculation on the gold price and despite clear expert advice – this soundly beats Jerome Kerviel’s loss of $7.2 billion by a country mile. Sadly the British people and our public services continue to bear the cost of Gordon Brown ignoring expert advice.’