The Gold Club (or religion of gold)

Key News

  • Greek debt markets have come under fresh assault from hot money funds after a commission of experts in Athens told the country’s parliament that it had uncovered €40bn (£35bn) of "hidden debts" during an investigation into past manipulation by the financial authorities.(Telegraph)

German Bund vs. Greek 10-yr bond Spread: Well above the credit crunch high.

German Bund vs. Greek 10-yr bond Spread

Quotable

“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

                            Groucho Marx

FX Trading – The Gold Club (or religion of gold)

My father in law wrote yesterday to give me grief about my recent gold forecast/guess as laid out in a recent Currency Currents. So happy he was with the recent bounce off the support level in the yellow metal (see weekly gold chart below).

Gold Weekly:

Gold Weekly

I’m used to the well-deserved harangues from him. But I think he is way too complacent about his position. I have concluded that most who like gold do not like it for its investment quality—it is pure and simple a religion. Thus, negative talk about one’s religion cannot be tolerated.

Nothing seems to deter gold believers. I expect my father in law will ride it all the way down. (Okay, I know what you’re thinking, gold has already put in a big correction, down from its high; it can’t go much lower is the complacent consensus complaint when we say that.) I am not talking about the corrective-move type of stuff; I’m talking about the type of hit gold takes when the US dollar enters a multi-year bull market.

Empirical evidence that every major bull market in the dollar has been met by a big sell off in gold, since currencies began floating back in 1971, won’t deter my father in law, and I know it won’t deter those who worship at the altar of GOLD. [There is an economic reason why this occurs; gold is priced in the world reserve currency—the US dollar. It must maintain global purchasing power when the world reserve currency falls in value relative to other currencies. Thus, the dollar gold price moves lower when the world reserve currency increases in value relative to other currencies. It is this way it is and has to be in a world still dominated by the dollar, with no alternative on the horizon.]

In the chart below, gold is represented by the red line and the US$ index the black line. This slide is a bit old…and was done just before gold broke out and surged to its new high on the back drop of plenty of liquidity flowing back into the market, pushing all other risky asset higher i.e. liquidity-driven risk asset classes—gold is now a risk appetite asset given the way it is acting. It is not acting as a safe haven.

Gold vs US Dollar Index

Now a recent update with a near-term chart…

near term chart

You will also notice in the above chart that gold and the dollar did move in unison for a while—during the heat of the credit crunch. Can it do that again? Yes. But if the buck is really in a long-term bull market move, as we suspect, gold eventually is toast.

We are now firmly ensconced in a situation where the entire Eurozone could be engulfed by the growing fiscal crisis among several key core countries that make up the single currency—Greece is the catalysts, other dominoes are teetering. That looks to me like a major global risk event that might suggest money is moving to a safe haven.

Well, based on the chart, that safe haven doesn’t appear to be gold, but does seem to have something to do with the rise in the US dollar…

US Dollar

With the pendulum swing quickly away from a quasi-free market approach to economics, and to one that favors collectivism and finding scapegoats in the private sector, there is not a chance in God’s green earth (a cooling earth indeed) we will be moving to a gold standard any time soon.

So, when my father in law tells me gold is an insurance policy, I just don’t get it. An insurance policy for what I ask (rhetorically)? It’s now moving tightly in line with stocks. So if stocks break, gold ain’t no insurance for that if the same correlations hold; as we suspect they will.

Real estate is likely dead for a long time; no correlation there in a deflationary world with gold—they are not moving together. If you’ve diversified into other commodities, gold is moving tightly with that basket too.

Liquidity is the mother’s milk of the stock market—and over the longer term it seems liquidity will drain out of the global asset markets; we think that is what the improvement in the US current account and the US dollar is telling us. Regulatory burdens and government taking a bigger piece of the private pie also represents a hit to liquidity.

Being an adherent to the Groucho Marx School of group think i.e. anyone who would want me as a member of their club I wouldn’t want to join. Gold bugs sure don’t want me in the club—which means I can to talk negatively and hopefully somewhat objectively about their religion.

Please remember—if you are a gold bug, and you hate this piece, please send all cards, letters, and assorted hate mail to David Newman.