Follow the Yellow Brick Road
by Jeff Thomas
For over a hundred years, it’s been theorised that author L. Frank Baum wrote his 1900 book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, as a fanciful way to explain the economic situation at the time and that the Yellow Brick Road was a reference to the path created by gold ownership.
Whether or not the theory is correct, for many people today, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” might serve as a mantra for alleviating economic woes.
What will happen is that one day, gold will suddenly be up $100 per ounce, then the next day, $200 per ounce. At first the pundits will be claiming that it’s an anomaly, but as it continues rising, a point will be reached when the average person says to himself, “This seems to be a trend. I’d better buy some gold.” Unfortunately, once the trend is underway, the price that day will have no bearing on whether gold is available. Your local coin shop may be sold out. If you go online, the mints may say that demand is exceeding supply. Large entities will be buying all they can get and the smaller buyers will be way down on the order list, unlikely to take delivery of even a single ounce.
These Are the Good Old Days
Gold has experienced a four year bear market and only recently has begun to rise again. But is it in reality a barbarous relic? Not by a long shot. For over 5,000 years, whenever people have experienced erratic economic periods, they’ve bought gold in order to stabilise their economic position. This has particularly been true whenever fiat currencies have been on the rise and were in danger of hyper-inflating, as in recent years. Most currencies are in decline against the U.S. dollar—a currency which, itself, is very much in danger of collapse in the not-too-distant future.
In the ’70s, I was buying gold in London, as it rose from $35. It reached a high of $850 in January, 1980, then crashed. When gold dropped below $400, I began buying Krugerrands.
Sounds like a bargain, and yet, word on the street was that gold was headed further south.
But I was buying long. I was not playing the market; I was building my economic insurance policy. I wasn’t too fussed over price fluctuations, as my gold holdings were meant to cover me if my other investments proved to be a mistake.
At present, gold is well above the high of 1989, but, if we adjust for inflation, we see that gold is actually a bargain at present. This excellent Casey Research chart from 2014 explains it better than mere words:
This tells us that $8,800 would not be an unreasonable level for gold today, if conditions were as dire as they were in 1980. However, conditions are far more dire—debt levels are far beyond any historical levels and markets are in a bubble, just waiting for the arrival of a pin.
A decade ago, when gold topped $700, I predicted $1,500 at some point and even my closest colleagues wondered what I’d been smoking. But it turned out that my prediction was, if anything, conservative. Over the last four years, some of the world’s most informed prognosticators—Eric Sprott, Peter Schiff, Jim Rickards, and Jim Sinclair—have all predicted gold to rise to between $5,000 and $7,000, and some have suggested numbers as high as $50,000.
But this hasn’t happened.
Are they wrong? No, it just hasn’t happened as of yet.
Conversely, Harry Dent has predicted a drop to $750. So, who’s right? Well, actually, they may all be right. After a crash in the markets, deflation is a certainty, as brokers and investors dump investments of every type in order to cover margin losses. This panic sell-off will most assuredly include gold, even though the holders will not wish to sell their gold. This panic promises to create an immediate and possibly very dramatic downward spike in gold.
However, large numbers of long-term investors already have their orders in for any price below $1,000. If the spike drops below that number, it will therefore be brief, as every ounce that hits the market at $999 is scooped up.
In addition, the Federal Reserve will make good on its decades-long promise to roll the printing presses to counter any sudden deflation. That very act will light the fuse on the gold rocket and send it skyward.
Will the Sun Rise in the Morning or Set in the Evening?
The argument over whether gold will drop to $750 or rise to $5,000 is a pointless one. Any understanding of basic economics assures us that we shall see both sudden deflation and dramatic inflation. It’s as natural and inevitable as sunrise and sunset. (By the way, several of the above individuals have standing bets with each other as to the $750 number. The prize? An ounce of gold.)
But it matters little who will win the bets. What matters is the overview. Rickety economic times are now upon us and they will soon morph into crisis times. In such times, precious metals always return to centre stage, as paper currencies and electronic currencies return to their intrinsic worth of zero.
Gold does not so much rise against fiat currencies, as fiat currencies collapse against gold.
Most assuredly, we shall see a dramatic rise in gold, but, just as in the ‘70s, the average person will fail to understand why and will simply chase the upward trend. When gold hits $2,000, but no one is willing to sell for under, say, $2,500, those who are chasing the trend will pay the $2,500 and that will become the new price across the board. Then it will leap higher—again and again, as monetary panic grips the investment world. The inflation-adjusted 1980 price of $8,800 should not be a surprise at all—in fact it would be low, as, in the coming years, conditions will be far more dire than in 1980.
Gold may well blow through $10,000. Even the $50,000 figure is not impossible, as we shall be seeing a runaway bull market where those chasing the trend carry gold beyond any rational value.
But gold has an intrinsic value. 2,000 years ago, an ounce of gold could buy you a good suit of clothes. That’s still true today. A gold mania will fuel the gold price beyond anything logical, but a correction will be equally inevitable, dropping it to its intrinsic value.
We shall see a gold rise for the record books. The wise investor should already have stocked up his supply of physical gold and gotten rid of gold ETFs. He should already have his seat belt fastened and ready for take-off. We’re off to see the wizard.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Les doy cordialmente la bienvenida a este Blog informativo con artículos, análisis y comentarios de publicaciones especializadas y especialmente seleccionadas, principalmente sobre temas económicos, financieros y políticos de actualidad, que esperamos y deseamos, sean de su máximo interés, utilidad y conveniencia.
Pensamos que solo comprendiendo cabalmente el presente, es que podemos proyectarnos acertadamente hacia el futuro.
Gonzalo Raffo de Lavalle
Las convicciones son mas peligrosos enemigos de la verdad que las mentiras.
Quien conoce su ignorancia revela la mas profunda sabiduría. Quien ignora su ignorancia vive en la mas profunda ilusión.
“There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.”
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.
No soy alguien que sabe, sino alguien que busca.
Only Gold is money. Everything else is debt.
Las grandes almas tienen voluntades; las débiles tan solo deseos.
Quien no lo ha dado todo no ha dado nada.
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.
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