A farewell to gold: Canada winds down its holdings – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – March 4, 2016)


Canada’s golden age is over – at least in a manner of speaking. The latest report on the country’s official international reserves, published Thursday, shows zero gold on the ledger.

The government has been winding down its holdings of the precious metal for years, but this is the first time it has declared itself to be effectively gold-free since the exchange fund account was established in July, 1935.

Other countries still maintain significant holdings. The United States, for instance, holds 8,133.5 tonnes of gold, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the World Gold Council.

Germany owns 3,381 tonnes while the International Monetary Fund, Italy and France all have more than 2,000 tonnes of the shiny substance tucked away in their vaults.

Canada’s farewell to gold is sure to perturb fans of the metal, but it leaves most economists remarkably unperturbed.

“These days, gold has no legal purpose that is required under monetary policy,” said Ian Lee, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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