In the weeks leading up to the debt crisis in 2011, gold rose $400 an ounce to hit its nominal all-time peak of $1,895. The 2011 debt crisis was the one in which we came so close to defaulting on our debts that rating agencies downgraded the nation’s credit score. But it was good for gold. As the crisis approached, gold rose spectacularly. After the crisis was resolved, it fell dramatically but retained a portion of the gain. Can we expect a similar pattern as the current debt limit standoff progresses?
An edited version of this post appeared in the print version of The Wall Street Journal Asia and the U.S. edition of WSJ.com.
Misconceptions about inflation, the falling dollar, and the relentless rise in federal budget deficits are skewing gold advocates’ arguments; however, a strong case can be made for the metal without resorting to these misconceptions.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of physical gold in a balanced financial portfolio. The bull market of the 2000s has led many to think of gold as another way to increase wealth through price appreciation. This is mistaken. First and foremost, physical gold is insurance. When you think about buying insurance, you don’t think about a return on your investment. You think about protection against the unexpected. Gold’s core value proposition is as wealth protection when the rest of your portfolio is going down the tubes. Price appreciation in good times, if and when it occurs, is a bonus.
Read Part I In my last post I painted a dystopian future for the NFL as as a metaphor for our current banking system. You might take a look at it before proceeding. It can’t really be THAT bad. The stars of today’s too-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks are the elite financial product innovators and traders who earn huge…