Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thinking the unthinkable: The NY Times notices gold

It is the resurgent passion of the doomsday crowd, a bet that everything will go wrong. No matter what has you worried, they say, the answer is gold.

Inflation, deflation, government borrowing or the plunging euro — you name it — the specter of these concerns has set off a dash to gold, driving the precious metal to new highs and illustrating how fears of economic turmoil have moved from the fringe to the mainstream.

And gold bugs, often dismissed as crackpots who hoard gold bars in the basement, are finally having their day.

“I just think you’re in a world where a lot of chickens are coming home to roost,” said John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold fund. “Gold is an escape hatch.”

The most visible new gold enthusiasts range from the Fox News commentator Glenn Beck on the right to the financier George Soros on the left, with even some sober-minded Wall Street types developing a case of gold fever. While their language may differ, they share a fundamental view that the age-old refuge of gold is relevant again, especially as other assets like stocks and national currencies show signs of weakness.

Now, individual investors are following their example around the world. The United States Mint is running short of gold coins, and the South African mint increased Krugerrand production by 50 percent late last month, to its highest level in 25 years, on brisk European demand.
Read the rest here.

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