Gold’s explosive move to new nominal heights reflects more than an expansion of the European sovereign debt crisis and Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. debt. It also reflects the expectation of massive liquidity injections — in the U.S., in Europe and around the world — to pay off the massive debts that have been accumulated.
The price of gold topped $1,700 an ounce Monday, as investors continue to place their confidence in metals over currencies. The European Central Bank had attempted to allay fears by widening its bond-buying programs to include Spain and Italy, but traders remain nervous.
What really worries me about our future is the unknown that might jump up and bite us. Things that are not only unpredictable but are counter to anything we might expect. Essayist and practitioner of mathematical finance Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a term for unpredictable events: “Black Swans.”
Only once have I looked down the barrel of a gun. I can tell you it was damn disconcerting. It happened 25 years ago. The automatic rifles that were drawn on me then are pointed at America today. Yet President Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that America is facing Middle Eastern guns.
With gold and silver hitting new highs, should we continue to buy?
Switzerland has always been among the countries with the highest gold reserves. Despite reducing its reserves in the past two decades, Switzerland still has the highest gold holdings per capita and its currency, the Swiss franc, has been among the top-performing currencies in recent years.
Like many others, we keep watching the jittery European economic scene with a mixture of anxiety and fascination. From Greece and Ireland to Spain, Portugal and, most recently, Italy, the specter of sovereign debt default and its potentially horrific consequences continues to haunt Europe and the wider world beyond.
With the U.S. and Europe looking less attractive, investors naturally need to start looking at some emerging markets. The Asian healthcare market has tremendous growth potential in the next decade (and most likely beyond that). However, few people are aware of the exciting opportunities there.
Bank of America Corp. may soon agree to pay an $8.5 billion settlement to investors who lost money in the housing collapse, which would be the largest such settlement by a financial-services firm to date. “A settlement would end a nine-month fight with a group of 22 investors who hold mortgage-backed securities originally valued at $105 billion, including the giant money manager BlackRock Inc., the insurer MetLife Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The world economy is in a very fragile state, despite the fact that world gross domestic product is growing at a rate of about 4.3 percent this year. Most of the growth comes from emerging markets like China, Brazil and India. What differentiates these nations from the West is they typically have much lower levels of debt.