It's Official: Canada Has Sold All Of Its Gold Reserves

Tyler Durden's picture

One month ago, when looking at the latest Canadian official international reserves, we noticed something strange: Canada had sold nearly half of its gold reserves in one month. According to the February data, total Canadian gold reserves stood at 1.7 tonnes. That was just 0.1 per cent of the country’s total reserves, which also include foreign currency deposits and bonds. 

As we noted, the decision to sell came from Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office.

“Canada’s gold reserves belong to the Government of Canada, and are held under the name of the Minister of Finance,” explained a spokesperson for the Bank of Canada on Wednesday. “Decisions relative to gold holdings are taken by the Minister of Finance.”
Reached by Global News on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the finance department said the sale “was done in the normal course of business for the government. The decision to sell the gold was not tied to a specific gold price, and sales are being conducted over a long period and in a controlled manner.”

This latest sell-off is indeed part of a much longer-term pattern of moving away from gold as a government-held asset. According to economist Ian Lee of the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, Ottawa has no real reason to keep its gold reserves other than adhering to tradition.

"Under the old system, (gold) backed up currencies,” Lee explained. “The U.S. dollar was tied to gold. One ounce was worth US$35. Then in 1971, for lots of reasons I won’t get into, Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard.”

Gold and dollars were interchangeable until that point, he said, but in the modern financial world, the metal is no longer considered a form of currency.  “It is a precious metal, like silver … they can be sold like any asset.”

The amount of gold the Canadian government holds has therefore been falling steadily since the mid-1960s, when over 1,000 tonnes were kept tucked away. Half of those reserves were sold by 1985, and then almost all the rest were sold through the 1990s up to 2002.

By last year, Canada’s reserves were down to just three tonnes, and the latest sales have now halved that. At the current market rate, the value of 1.7 tonnes of gold comes in at just under CAD$100 million, barely a drop in the bucket when you consider the broader scope of federal finances.

According to Lee, there may soon come a time when Canada’s gold reserves are entirely a thing of the past. There are better assets to focus on, he argued, calling the government’s decision to dump gold “wise and astute.”

* * *

Lee was right, because fast forward one month when earlier today Canada's Department of Finance released its latest official international reserves and as of this moment it's official - Canada has fully "broken away with tradition" and has exactly zero gold left.

This is what it said:

The Government of Canada sold 21,851 ounces of gold coins for settlement in February. On February 29, gold holdings stood at 77 ounces. The valuation is based on the February 29, 2016, London p.m. fix of US$1,234.90 per ounce.

And now, Canada can focus on buying "better assets." As to whether "the government’s decision to dump gold was wise and astute", we'll check back on that at some point in the near future.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
NoWayJose's picture

That's why their currency is known as a Loonie!

pillory-hillary's picture

Bring back the Maple Syrup Standard!

clooney_art's picture

Their true gold is Vancouver and Toronto housing sales to the Chinese.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

According to Lee, there may soon come a time when Canada’s gold reserves are entirely a thing of the past. There are better assets to focus on, he argued, calling the government’s decision to dump gold “wise and astute.”

Better assets, like...?

Better in what ways?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The new and improved barbarous relic.....fiat made from digital ones and zeros.

Keyser's picture

Now they can load up on NFLX, FB and TSLA... What could go wrong? 

Stuck on Zero's picture

"Canada’s gold reserves belong to the Government of Canada ..."

Hell! The gold reserves belonged to the people of Canada.

two hoots's picture

Gold is a "tender" subject on ZH. 

NidStyles's picture

Let me guess, they sold it to Israel...

Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

Just before gold really launches, of course a central planner would sell.

And, even if you don't respect gold as money, what can be better than a zero diversification strategy.

Well done.

VinceFostersGhost's picture

 

 

 

 

It's worse than we thought.....they also took the bar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplarHcB0Es

Manthong's picture

Well, at least the hosers have tar sands, eh?

Never One Roach's picture

IT's always a wise financial strategy to Buy High and Sell Low, eh.

strannick's picture

traded the gold for a 3rd round draft pick, a bag of pucks, and some fiat

mtndds's picture

Canada should not have gone FULL RETARD.

The Black Bishop's picture

This is indeed gone full retard! Whow! Norway did the same back in 2005/2006 on the basis that the gold was not giving any interest....LOL talk about having their head up their arse! Gold has NEVER been about dividends/interest rates. It is SECURITY for times like we are facing RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

CuttingEdge's picture

Damn.

I missed the celebrations when Gordon Brown emigrated.

Confused's picture

This is some kind of joke right? Opinions of gold aside, just from a general perspective, wouldnt it be at least wise to keep some of any particular asset? It would be interesting to see what trash currencies they are holding. 

espirit's picture

SDR's made from Rubles or Yuan?

Got Gold?

Pairadimes's picture

You're supposed to be selling Goldman into strength right now, not gold, you idiots! Reread the memo.

MagicHandPuppet's picture

A fool and his money are soon parted.

The9thDoctor's picture

The 5-year gold chart still looks like shit.

Four chan's picture

it's unofficial the usa has none of the peoles gold either. ft knox is empty and those who own the federal reserve have sold it. jew

The Black Bishop's picture

Seriously, who can read about Deep Storage Reserves and not chuckle? The entire system is smoke and mirrors, while the closet in the back is empty and collecting dust of the not so golden kind.

Save_America1st's picture

Doesn't all of Canada and it's gold (above or below ground) belong to Queen E anyway???  Is that where the gold went or did it end up in China?

Automatic Choke's picture

's ok, they have lots of reserves in the ground.   time to nationalize the mines.

Son of Loki's picture

<< Now they can load up on NFLX, FB and TSLA. >>

 

Herbalife ... Don't forget Herbalife!

nope-1004's picture

My belief is that this story is a lie.  The entire gold pricing mechanism is a lie, so why should a story such as this be truth?  Who in their right mind would want to sell all their gold NOW?

jcaz's picture

No one ever sells all their gold because they WANT to......

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

Who said anything about 'right minds'?

When you sell your soul to the devil... you keep dancing while he plays his fiddle.

Canadian Renegade's picture

We went Full Retard long ago.

joe6px's picture

And I thank you for all the maples, unfortunately I lost them in a canoeing accident.  With the number of waterway accidents suffered by ZH'ers you would think the government would force us to take a boating safety class.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

w'ere too busy studying finance, economics, and mental health

Hulk's picture

We call buying high and selling low "getting Leo'd" around these parts !!!

SuperRay's picture

Does this mean there'll be no more gold maple leafs available?  Love those little guys..

Bendromeda Strain's picture

With the Masonic Lizard on the inverse? No thanks... I would gladly trade my Maples and Roos cuz i can't stand the sight of her anymore.

manofthenorth's picture

"Then in 1971, for lots of reasons I won’t get into, Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard.”

Yeah do not want to get into the fact that western governments have been bankrupt and insolvent for almost 50 years, that would be a pretty uncomfortable conversation for a scum bag lying Fin Min.

I would bet that the holdings in Ft.Knox are equal to the holdings in Canada.

greenskeeper carl's picture

funny, i was thinking along similar lines

 

"The Government of Canada sold 21,851 ounces of gold coins for settlement in February. On February 29, gold holdings stood at 77 ounces."

 

thats 77 ounces more than we have at ft knox, so they are probably ahead of us.

Four chan's picture

i own more gold than canada lol

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

You only own it if you can touch it whenever you like.

The Black Bishop's picture

Uncle Scrooge got it right! I love the feel of gold in the morning!

Poundsand's picture

I used to think it was governments selling gold for price control issues.  But all governments are now bankrupt.  To keep the music playing just a little longer, they start by liquidating their assets and because an asset is only valuable to today's economist if it produces a return (to be spent immediately) gold is not a valuable asset.  It has no return. 

Fortunately, there are bankers who will help them sell it, or better yet, buy it for them in bulk to save on costs.  The bankers are just trying to help.

ATM's picture

They don't need to sell gold to keep any music playing. They own a printing press.

My guess is they are being forced to sell the gold to someone or some country or have the music stop playing and be left without a chair.

Manthong's picture

“they are being forced to sell the gold to someone or some country or have the music stop playing”

 

..heh.. heh.. keep in mind that the “teachers” are always yanking a chair out of the game.

 

lincolnsteffens's picture

Let me guess. They sold it to the Vatican. Fuck you NidStyless