Swiss National Bank Sales: Lessons and Experiences


May 5, 2005, 3:00 AM EDT
Philipp M. Hildebrand (Swiss National Bank)

Event Summary

The Institute hosted a luncheon meeting May 5, 2005 to discuss the issue of official gold sales. The meeting covered both the activities of a number of central banks under the Washington Agreements and current proposals to mobilize IMF gold to help finance further debt relief for poor countries, a topic which has received little public attention in recent years.

The discussion was led by Philipp Hildebrand, member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in charge of its Market Operations. The SNB recently concluded its sales of 1,300 tons of gold in open market operations since 1999 under the auspices of the first Washington Agreement. Dr. Hildebrand discussed experiences and lessons from these gold sales that might inform future consideration of the gold issue, particularly with respect to the possibility that the IMF might sell some of its large holdings.