Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Saudi Arabia Eyes Total Dominance In Oil And Gas Markets - 7th Jul 20
These Are the Times That Call for Gold - 7th Jul 20
A Reason to be "Extra-Attentive" to Stock Market Sentiment Measures - 7th Jul 20
The Beatings Will Continue Until the Economy Improves - 6th Jul 20
The Corona Economic Depression Is Here - 6th Jul 20
Stock Market Short-term Peaking - 6th Jul 20
Gold’s Major Reversal to Create the “Handle” - 5th July 20
Gold Market Manipulation And The Federal Reserve - 5th July 20
Overclockers UK Custom Build PC Review - 1. Ordering / Stock Issues - 5th July 20
How to Bond With Your Budgie / Parakeet With Morning Song and Dance - 5th July 20
Silver Price Trend Forecast Summer 2020 - 3rd Jul 20
Silver Market Is at a Critical Juncture - 3rd Jul 20
Gold Stocks Breakout Not Confirmed Yet - 3rd Jul 20
Coronavirus Strikes Back. But Force Is Strong With Gold - 3rd Jul 20
Stock Market Russell 2000 Gaps Present Real Targets - 3rd Jul 20
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Big Pharma Stock for Machine Learning Life Extension Investing - 2nd Jul 20
All Eyes on Markets to Get a Refreshed Outlook - 2nd Jul 20
The Darkening Clouds on the Stock Market S&P 500 Horizon - 2nd Jul 20
US Fourth Turning Reaches Boiling Point as America Bends its Knee - 2nd Jul 20
After 2nd Quarter Economic Carnage, the Quest for Philippine Recovery - 2nd Jul 20
Gold Completes Another Washout Rotation – Here We Go - 2nd Jul 20
Roosevelt 2.0 and ‘here, hold my beer' - 2nd Jul 20
U.S. Dollar: When Almost Everyone Is Bearish... - 1st Jul 20
Politicians Prepare New Money Drops as US Dollar Weakens - 1st Jul 20
Gold Stocks Still Undervalued - 1st Jul 20
High Premiums in Physical Gold Market: Scam or Supply Crisis? - 1st Jul 20
US Stock Markets Enter Parabolic Price Move - 1st Jul 20
In The Year 2025 If Fiat Currency Can Survive - 30th Jun 20
Gold Likes the IMF Predicting a Deeper Recession - 30th Jun 20
Silver Is Still Cheap For Now - 30th Jun 20
More Stock Market Selling Ahead - 30th Jun 20
Trending Ecommerce Sites in 2020 - 30th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching the Precipice - 29th Jun 20
APPLE Tech Stock for Investing to Profit from the Machine Learning Mega trend - 29th Jun 20
Student / Gamer Custom System Build June 2020 Proving Impossible - Overclockers UK - 29th Jun 20
US Dollar with Ney and Gann Angles - 29th Jun 20
Europe's Banking Sector: When (and Why) the Rout Really Began - 29th Jun 20
Will People Accept Rampant Inflation? Hell, No! - 29th Jun 20
Gold & Silver Begin The Move To New All-Time Highs - 29th Jun 20
US Stock Market Enters Parabolic Price Move – Be Prepared - 29th Jun 20
Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid - 28th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching a Defining Moment - 28th Jun 20
U.S. Long Bond: Let's Review the "Upward Point of Exhaustion" - 27th Jun 20
Gold, Copper and Silver are Must-own Metals - 27th Jun 20
Why People Have Always Held Gold - 27th Jun 20
Crude Oil Price Meets Key Resistance - 27th Jun 20
INTEL x86 Chip Giant Stock Targets Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing for 2020's Growth - 25th Jun 20
Gold’s Long-term Turning Point is Here - 25th Jun 20
Hainan’s ASEAN Future and Dark Clouds Over Hong Kong - 25th Jun 20
Silver Price Trend Analysis - 24th Jun 20
A Stealth Stocks Double Dip or Bear Market Has Started - 24th Jun 20
Trillion-dollar US infrastructure plan will draw in plenty of metal - 24th Jun 20
WARNING: The U.S. Banking System ISN’T as Strong as Advertised - 24th Jun 20
All That Glitters When the World Jitters is Probably Gold - 24th Jun 20
Making Sense of Crude Oil Price Narrow Trading Range - 23rd Jun 20
Elon Musk Mocks Nikola Motors as “Dumb.” Is He Right? - 23rd Jun 20
MICROSOFT Transforming from PC Software to Cloud Services AI, Deep Learning Giant - 23rd Jun 20
Stock Market Decline Resumes - 22nd Jun 20
Excellent Silver Seasonal Buying Opportunity Lies Directly Ahead - 22nd Jun 20
Where is the US Dollar trend headed ? - 22nd Jun 20
Most Shoppers have Stopped Following Supermarket Arrows, is Coughing the New Racism? - 22nd Jun 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

Inflation and Speculating in Gold

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2010 Sep 04, 2010 - 05:32 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleSince gold stopped being money, it's become 75% more valuable on average...

SO GOLD is now at "fair value" says Bill Bonner, long-time gold bug and my former boss/partner-in-crime at The Daily Reckoning's London HQ.


No, he won't sell yet...if ever...says Bill. But gold's huge under-pricing a decade ago has clearly passed by. Value-hungry investors got their "reversion to the mean", and in the form of 400% gains, too. What one ounce of gold bought 2,000 years ago – a good suit of clothes, in Bill's oft-repeated example – it now matches, if not exceeds in price, here in late 2010.

From here, that makes it a "speculation".

Never mind that, around the birth of Christ, all clothes were hand-cut and sewn locally...rather than glued together by the world's cheapest labor, four or eight thousand miles away. A suitable outfit for visiting the coliseum or agora would have been made-to-measure, too...and today's finest tailors, at least in London or New York, will ask much more than the $1240 you'd raise by selling one ounce at current "spot gold" prices.

Never mind all that. Because Bill's point is well made, again...

Gold was a screaming buy at the start of last decade, sinking to its lowest price – in real terms – since the early '70s, as the chart above shows (courtesy of the World Gold Council, and taken from Roy Jastram's incomparable study, The Golden Constant).

But "Nobody cared! Nobody was interested," as a (very drunken) London dealer cried at me late last year. "I'd email out jokes, porn-site links, anything to get clients reading so I could repeat three simple words: 'Buy gold now!'

"But they didn't care...I don't even know if they looked at the porn..."

Today, in contrast, you can't move for anxious investors and bullish hedge funds piling into gold. Or so the media coverage would make it seem. New gold dealers – online and on Wall Street – are meantime sprouting like fungus to catch the "retail dollar", and the story's grown so old, it's even spawned its own calendar for financial hacks (the summer lull, India's post-harvest festivals, quarterly data from the mining-backed World Gold Council, the Sept-end of each year of the Central Bank Gold Agreement). Wherever you look, the only debate that counts – "It must be a bubble, so when will it burst?" – rolls on for what is now more than two years.

As for the dumb lump of metal, yes – it continues to pull in new money, nudging its purchasing power ever-closer to the big top of 1980. But look again at that chart above. For while Roy Jastram saw a "golden constant" in his two centuries of US data (and four centuries of British gold prices), the shorter-term volatility is striking. Not least since gold ceased being money 39 years ago, and became mere trinkets and collectibles instead.

"In terms of what gold will buy, it does not seem undervalued to us," Bill Bonner writes. "As near as we can tell, gold is now fairly priced.

"[So] the reward now is different. It is speculative...not inherent. We cannot expect to make money by waiting for the metal to revert to the mean. It's already at the mean."

But what is gold's mean purchasing power – the "golden constant" of Jastram's peerless research? By our reckoning here at BullionVault today, it has risen sharply since the US abandoned its last pretence of a gold standard and floated the Dollar in August 1971. Compared with the first seven decades of the 20th century, in fact, gold's real purchasing power has stood more than 75% higher on average. Which seems odd. Because without being used as money – its only utility beyond decoration – gold became only more valuable. So while its purchasing power may have looked "constant" across long historical periods from Roy Jastram's vantage of 1977 (and again to die-hard gold bugs 20 years later), its utility had in fact changed.

Gold became more useful as a way of storing purchasing power, even though it was no longer money. Or rather, because it was no longer money, in an age where "Every morning, when you look in the mirror, I want you to think 'What am I going to do today to increase the money supply?'..." as John Ehrlichman, assistant to Richard Nixon, apparently told Fed governor Charles Pardee, sometime in the early 1970s. Post-war economic policy across the West was haunted by the Great Depression, and thus flowed from the fear that, unless money was losing value, then spending and particularly investment growth would grind to a halt.

Without the spur of inflation, capital would choose to sit tight – in purses, pockets and deposit accounts – because its purchasing power today would be retained tomorrow. Savers could thus spend (or not) as they chose, rather than being forced to exchange or grow their money to realize or maintain its present value. Devaluing their money, in contrast, via persistent (and obvious) inflation would force savers into the stores and stock-broker's office. And thus today's targets for persistent (and obvious) inflation were born.

"[Harvard professor] Kenneth Rogoff is proposing that the United States use a burst of inflation to get out of its slump," writes Princeton professor Paul Krugman. "I agree...[but] if central banks can gain any leverage at all, it’s only by credibly committing to inflation over a fairly sustained period...[not Rogoff's] two or three years of slightly elevated inflation."

Bill Bonner's bang on the money, in short. Gold from here is a speculation, but a speculation only on academics getting their inside man (whether Mervyn King in London or Ben Bernanke in Washington) to apply their latest hare-brained scheme – massive new money inflation.

What price gold's utility as a store of real value if...when...they succeed?

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2010

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules