Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gold slump resumes

Once again, it was good economic news from the U.S. that pushed gold down. After November retail sales, consumer-sentiment and inventory-level data were higher than expected, gold hit a more than three-hour slide that took its price down more than US$30/oz. Spot gold bottomed t just below $1,110 at about 11:30 AM ET yesterday. The rest of the trading week was relatively quiescent, with the decline halted but no recovery in sight; spot gold ended at $1,115.10. The pause on Thursday proved to be a mere interruption of the continuing short-term downtrend.

Interestingly, oil also dropped - counterintuitively, given that oil should rise when better-than-expected economic data hints at higher future demand for petroleum products. Both drops share one common cause: the recovery of the U.S. dollar.

I myself didn't see that drop coming. As always, technical analysis is trumped by changing fundamentals - in this case, the rising greenback. We're seeing a discounting of a future rise in the Fed funds rate; we might even be seeing a discreet unwinding of the U.S. dollar carry trade.

At any rate, the positive correlation between gold and U.S. stocks is still eroding near-term.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Plummet's Back

As I write this post, spot gold's been hammered down more than US$20/oz to $1,117.50. Most likely, this drop was caused by November retail sales being reported as better than expected. The recovery story once again is driving gold down and the U.S. dollar up, as good news is translated to mean "Fed tightening sooner."

And, once again, the gold/stocks correlation is turning negative. The three major U.S. averages are all up.

Latest Salvation Army Gold Donations

This time, two reports. One's from the Southeaster Missourian, which reports that an anonymous donor in Cape Girardeau put a 1-oz Krugerrand in a kettle. The same story reports that the Salvation Army sold it for only $500.

The second's from Clarksville, Tennessee: someone dropped a 1 oz gold Eagle into the kettle.

Jim Rogers Says Gold Not In Bubble, But Prefers Silver

He was one CNBC recently, and this report shows he considers gold at least a hold right now:
He is holding gold right now and despite the recent spike in the metal's price, said he things the market is not experiencing a bubble.

"I wouldn't think of selling," Rogers said. "If gold goes to $1,000 (per ounce) -- or pick a number -- I hope that I'm smart enough to buy more."

With central banks now buying gold and many people worried about paper money, gold will be a great investment over the next decade and relatively few people are invested in it, he said.
However, Rogers currently prefers silver because it's been beaten down more relative to its all-time high.

Update: The Jim Rogers Blog has an important transcribed snippet from that same interview, in which Rogers says that a drop in gold to $1000 would make for a buying opportunity.

A Point To Ponder: If Gold's Rocketing Up, Why Not Gold Stocks?

This point's been made by Cam Hui, a "Humble Student Of The Markets." He calls attention to the fact that three major gold-stock indices have yet to confirm their early-2008 highs even though gold itself has shot up way past its own.

There's an easy answers to his question: the financial crisis drove gold stocks down along with other stocks. Each gold index saw a decline of 66-75%; subsequently, each has about tripled. The leverage has been there, but from a panic-low base. No-one knew that gold would hold up back then; most everyone had assumed that gold would be pilloried too. It seems that the financial crisis saw a "buying opportunity of a lifetime" for gold stocks.

I should add that the low for gold stocks was hit in November 2008, not in March. A gold junior I'm watching, currently at 14.5 cents, traded at two cents at its November '08 low.

Update: Adam of Gold Versus Paper concludes that the divergence means that gold stocks present opportunity - he's careful to specify "run-of-the mill" ones, presumably producers - and notes that gold stocks show no hint of bubble-like behavior.

Gold Skeptic Nouriel Roubini Says Goldbugs Nonsensical

As excerpted by Mac Slavo, Roubini says that there are only two reasons why gold can go up: inflation, which is nonexistent right now, and economic Armageddon, which has been avoided.

Slavo hints at a possibility that Roubini didn't mention: potential inflation, currently bottlenecked by a tightening of lending by U.S. banks. Also unmentioned is the U.S. dollar's fall.

Blogger Weighs Question of Gold Bubble.

That blogger is Raphaƫl Kahan, who's put together several metrics stretching over the past forty years to see whether or not gold's in a bubble. Most of his metrics show gold as not being undervalued, but only one - gold in comparison to the CRB commodities index - shows bubble-like behavior. He explains that this frothiness could be drained by commodities rallying too, which he expects.

He concludes that gold is not in a bubble, the gold bull market's intact, and a further drop to $1000/oz represents a buying opportunity.

Investment Manager Believes Gold Went Too High, Too Soon

From the blog Fi$cally Fit comes an analysis from investment manager Paul Schatz, who got skittish when gold was rocketing up towards US$1000. He believes that gold is (or was) on the verge of a bubble, which has resulted in "bubble-esque" behavior until last week. He believes that the gold bull market will avoid going back into bubble mode if it consolidates "over a period of months" at about $1000.

Another Physical Gold Trust Coming

This one from Sprott Asset Management, an investment company long involved in the precious-metals and mining industry. The new trust aims to raise up to US$575 million.

Interestingly, Sprott Asset Management itself owns about $700 million worth of physical bullion.

Losing Streak Snapped

Now that the safe-haven trade is ebbing, and the greenback is falling a bit, gold's made a bit of a comeback. The bottom made yesterday morning was a little higher than Wednesday afternoon's, and yesterday afternoon didn't see the push-down that the previous two afternoons have seen. This Globe and Mail report by Jan Harvey, which includes a five-day chart, notes that demand in Asia (but not India) seems to be picking up. This Wall Street Journal Online report by Devin Maylie credits a good industrial-production report from China. A Bloomberg report, written by Nicholas Larkin and Glenys Sim, ascribes the recovery to the decline in the fears that drove the U.S. dollar up.

All three reports include the new gold-analyst near-term consensus: gold will mark time until the end of the year, after which it'll begin rising again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Latest Installment Of The Salvation Army Gold Donor Watch

Two stories this time: one from Denver, Colorado and another from Spokane, Washington. The Denver chapter of the Salvation Army reported getting three gold coins this past week - two of them semi-numismatic $20 coins more than 100 years old.

Gold Price Decline Not Yet Over

Another day, another drop. Yesterday afternoon, spot gold dropped to slightly below US$1120/oz. That drop took place a little earlier in the day than Tuesday's plummet, and it bottomed at a slightly lower price. Unlike yesterday, there's been no relief rally so far today; after a slow climb to above $1130 last night, gold's drifted down to slightly more than $1120. As of the time of this post, spot gold's at $1124.50. [Update: Now, an hour later, $1129.70.]

The chart that accompanies this report, "Gold dips as dollar firms," shows the last five days's drop. The experts quoted in the story see little hope in the immediate term: "Analysts say the upward trend in gold, which took the metal to record highs at $1,226.10 an ounce a week ago, is unlikely to be resumed before year-end." However, near the end, it mentions that Indian buyers are coming back into the market. "'People are buying on dips,' said a dealer at a Mumbai bank."

This chart, courtesy of, gives a picture of gold's recent deterioration compared to its recent run-up (click to enlarge):

The line I want to draw attention to is the one at the top, the relative strength index. It's currently at a level that's about the same as the ones that prefaced the last three short-term run-ups. That level offers no guarantee, and all of the turnaround levels are well above what's normally considered a buy signal (30.) However, it does give recent precedents suggesting the correction has all-but run its course.

I should caution that the U.S. dollar is very much back in the safe-haven saddle. Ever since the Dubai World debt crisis, any international-financial trouble has pushed up the greenback. So has unexpected good economic news, because those items fuel hopes/fears of a Fed rate hike.

Formally, by the lights of technical analysis, the bull market is still intact. Along this line, Simon Constable's commentary says precisely that: "Over for gold? Not so fast." He does, however, use $1000 as a possible bottom. More and more commentators are using that figure, although some still use $1100.

Update: Vincent Fernando has posted the same chart as above, with this not-so-subtle comment: "It will be an important next few days for gold, it would appear. This chart is looking extremely ugly, and without some support, it could get much worse."

Two Articles Debating Buying Gold

The first article's been posted by the Wall Street Journal Online, and it's by Shefali Anand. The piece's title gives away the author's opinion on the matter: "Beware the Siren Call of Gold."Anand recommends only putting a small amount of one's wealth into gold, with a if-you-must tone, and also recommends doing so with a gold ETF.

The other article, posted in CBS MoneyWatch, is more balanced. The author, James Picerno, notes that the main reason for buying gold is to hedge against inflation - and there's almost none to be found nowadays. After noting this fact, he lists five reasons why gold should go up: the falling greenback, central bank purchases, an outpouring of greenbacks in the global economy, probable return of inflation, and increased individual and institutional demand. In addition to suggesting gold ETFs as a purchase vehicle, he also suggests that gold-buyers buy buying government-issued bullion coins.

Articles like the former one tend to show up after an investment drops. That's part of the news cycle, as more people are likely to read a piece panning an investment that's already gone down. Also, an author who's bearish can adopt a more confident tone if his/her conclusion's backed up by a recent plummet. Bearish authors writing in the headwinds of an advance tend to be more hesitant and conciliatory.

The first one could be seen as a short-term contrary indicator, but only to the extent that the news cycle itself can serve as one. If a contrary indicator, it's a weak one because the business press isn't flooded with similar saturnineness.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seeking Alpha Article On Possible Wreckage Of Greenback

The piece is called "The Destruction of the Dollar: It's Nearly Inevitable." The timing of its publication doesn't gibe well with recent trends - the U.S. dollar is recovering from a recent slide - but it's well-argued. The author, Paco Ahlgren, distilled points from about fifty Seeking Alpha articles he's written over the last couple of years. The overall themes are: The U.S. is now a huge debtor nation, both in the government and private spheres, and has become accustomed to permanent trade deficits. The zero-interest-rate policy is an accident waiting to happen, as an unprecedented amount of debt is either short term or at floating rates. The U.S. government's luck won't hold out forever; once the reckoning comes, there's a potential for a vicious inflationary spiral as money creation tries to outrun compensatory lenders' strikes to jack up nominal interest rates in recompense.

The points may be familiar to some, but it's a useful summary. I have to say that the risk of that inflationary spiral is there. The U.S. government was lucky this time 'round; the luck may run out next time. There's no ordainment from God commanding investors to always see U.S. Treasury securities as the ultimate safe haven. One of the mysteries of the financial crisis (to me, anyway) is why the U.S. Treasury didn't go long-term in its new borrowings. Back in the days when 30-year rates were below 3 1/4%, and everyone had to have Treasuries, they could have sold almost all they could print at 3 3/4%. Instead, they kept the terms short.

There's another SA article that I'd like to bring to your attention. Although unrelated to gold, it is related to investing. It's by Paul Kedrosky, and it debunks what the author calls "naive contrarianism." Simply put, naive contrarianism is bucking the crowd in order to feel smarter-than-thou, leading to "stopped clock" performance that seems like genius when the stopped clock is right when all the others aren't. It's called "Contrarianism: The New Consensus."

Glenn Beck And The Mainstreaming Of Gold

Outspoken commentator Glenn Beck is taking flak for recommending buying gold while having the same gold vendor that cut a sponsorship deal with him advertising on his Fox News show. Some have decried it, citing conflict of interest and lack of disclosure; others have said that it's not that big a deal given that Beck's put his own money into gold too. Unstated is the fact that Beck isn't an investment advisor, he's "merely" a TV and radio commentator. No-one should expect him to be a professional in the area of investments because he isn't. Nor has he held himself up as one.

I point to this controversy as evidence of the mainstreaming of gold. The only mainstreaming of gold I've seen on the TV [I don't get Fox News, and I don't watch much TV] was the "Dollars4Gold" and allied ads asking people to sell their gold to the advertising company. I've seen occasional commercials pushing U.S. gold eagles, but the preponderance of them have been gold-buying companies. "Buy from us" has been outweighed by "Sell to us."

Thanks in large part to Glenn Beck, this preponderance may well change. Then, we'll see the mainstreaming of gold as an investment - one of the attributes of a potential bubble.

The Beck controversy is mentioned briefly by Lawrence Weinman over at Seeking Alpha, in a blurb entitled "Gold: Glitter in Decline?"

Gold Makes Another Low

As reported by MarketWatch, gold dropped yet again yesterday and last night as the U.S. dollar continues to recover from its slide. One of the comments from the story looks short-term bearish:
"For the first time in past three months, gold has had a successive lower close for three consecutive days," said Chintan Karnani, an analyst at Insignia Consultants in New Delhi.

"This is a short-term bearish signal for gold," he said, adding that if the trend continues into Friday, the market may see prices fall to $1,071 in the near term.

Gold prices need to trade over $1,108 to be in what he calls a "bullish zone."

Still, there will be "value-based investing at lower prices," he said.
Spot gold got as low as US$1125/oz late yesterday afternoon; currently, it's trading at $1145.00, about where it was the same time yesterday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gold plummet continues

As of the time of this post, the price of gold's still dropping like the proverbial stone. Spot gold's at $1126.30. This news report, written before the lastest decline got rolling, ascribed the drop to a greenback rally and unwinding of year-end positions.

Spot silver's declining along with gold. It's now $17.56, down 61 cents on the day. And, of course, the three major U.S. averages are down about 1%.

Goldbug At Seeking Alpha Stays The Course

Daryl Montgomery avers, in "Gold Starts Its Technical Correction While Dollar Rallies," that the intermediate-term uptrend for gold is intact; so is the greenback bear market. He uses technical-analysis techniques to make the argument, but he also points out that the last two recent greenback rallies were concentrated in one currency - and can likely be chalked up to central-bank intervention, not a turn of the tide.

A goldbug published at the Market Oracle, is more pessimistic in the short term. Ned W. Schmidt, by tying gold in to year-to-year growth in Fed credit, believes that "Gold [is] in High Risk Period, Could Test Support at $970."

Update: Another technical analyst, also published at Market Oracle, concludes that the greenback may well have turned upwards. The reason given is the US Dollar Index closing above its 50-day moving average: "Taking a closer look at last week’s action, we see that the Dollar has staged its first real breach of its 50-day moving average. This is MAJOR as it is the first time the Dollar has achieved anything resembling REAL strength from a technical analysis standpoint in well over nine months...."

Barron's "Getting Technical" Columnist Still Bullish On Gold

One of the interesting divergences in this gold spill is the preponderance of technical analysts who are still bullish about the yellow metal. One of them is Michael Kahn, author of Barron's "Getting Technical" column. After starting off by saying that gold went through a needed correction, which gave momentum traders "a taste of market reality", he says that the recent parabolic rally could go back to its starting point of US$1000/oz. However, the demand for the metal makes a drop to that extent unlikely. The title of his article gives his post-correction call: "Gold's Next Leg Up is $1,350 an Ounce."

He ends by noting that the gold bull market is a multi-currency one, and with: "I consider the current smack down to be a necessary consequence of too many investors getting too bullish at the same time. Once the excesses are cleared, the bull market can resume. "

Cautionary Note From The Chicago Tribune

Taking the recent drop as a cue, the Chicago Tribune's Gail MarksJarvis points out the dangers of plunging into an asset class without knowing what moves its price: "Gold no investment safety net." This point was particularly eye-opening:
What's disturbing is that this frenzy seems to have had a special appeal for seniors. Richard "Mac" Hisey, president of AARP Financial Inc., said that seniors have been calling for help finding gold. One woman, who was worried about living on CD income, wanted to know if she should use her credit cards to stock up on gold.

She was warned not to do it. If she did use her cards, she now owes more than her gold is worth.
Ms. MarksJarvis quotes Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Capital Management, as saying that gold is overvalued relative to the entire CRB index.

Thoughtful Article On Resurrection Of Gold

The piece is by Martin Hutchinson, in which he discusses the world moving closer to a gold standard. Not a full one, but a quasi-gold standard where gold reserves are built up and used to smooth out the currency price of gold. The example he gives, for the U.S., is: selling some gold when, say, the greenback price rises above $1000 and buying some when the price falls below $900.

The reason for doing so is that inflation doesn't seeem to have the same magic as it used to. Failing that move to a gold tie, the monetarists' monetary rule - limiting increases in a mixture of monetary aggregates to 2-4% annually- could also be used.

The trouble with his example, as hard-core goldbugs know, is any such gold-price targeting leaves a large majority of the currency unbacked by gold. That point doesn't defeat Mr. Hutchinson's plan, as it doesn't depend upon full gold backing, but the lack of backing may lead to a country's reserves being cleaned out entirely. The example of selling into $1000 gold does hint at it.

Campaign For Increase In Chinese Gold Reserves Continues

This time, it's an article in the main PRC paper, the People's Daily. The proposal in question was written by an assistant professor of economics, not a government official, but it did make the main paper. The campaign evidently has some powerful backers. The professor, Jing Naiquan of Zhejiang University, made the point that the U.S. dollar's credibility was boosted by the U.S. government's large gold reserves. He was careful enough to point out that other major currencies have a major proportion of reserves in gold, but the suggestion is clear: if the PRC's renminbi is going to displace the greenback, it'd better be backed by a lot of gold.

That may be the reason why an academic is running with the ball. A high government official making the same suggestion could cause a flap in the U.S. for making that point.

More details are in this Reuters story.

Bank of Korea Says No To Additional Gold Reserves

This Bloomberg story quotes the central bank's head of the department of reserve management: “'There’s an illusion in gold,' Lee Eung Baek... said in an interview. 'We follow the big trend. Gold isn’t the trend. Out of more than 200 nations, how many countries have bought bullion?'”

Only 0.03% of the South Korean central bank's reserves are held in gold - and it loks like that portion is going to stay miniscule. South Korea ain't China, that's for sure.

Gold Still Steady After Yesterday's Bottom

As the Wall Street Journal Online reports, gold has partially recovered from its $91/oz plummet. In mid-afternoon, spot gold rallied to over US$1160 and pulled back a little; it ramped up to over $1165 in the evening. This morning, however, that gain has largely evaporated. As of the writing of this post, spot gold's down to $1144.20.

The WSJ article explains why: Fed Chairman Bernanke "reaffirmed that interest rates are likely to stay low." An expert quoted there said that too many dollar/gold traders were caught with their pants down when the greenback shot up.

Another inflation-related commodity's having a difficult time. Oil's down to below $73/barrel, thanks to a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Correlation Reverses, In The Other Direction

Last Friday, the recent positive correlation between gold and U.S. stocks reversed, to the benefit of the stock market. This afternoon, though, the correlation has gone negative to the favor of gold.

As of the time of this post, the Dow is down 0.09%, the S&P 500 is down 0.22%, and the NASDAQ is down 0.29%. On the other hand, gold bottomed at the US$1140/oz range this morning and climbed back up to $1160 at about 1:30 PM ET. As of the time of this post, it's down but still above the morning low range. Spot gold's at $1155.70.

The Weekend Respite Over, Gold's Still Dropping

After electronic trading resumed at 6 PM ET, gold continued to drop. That drop was largely erased overnight, but continued this morning. As I write this post, spot gold's down to US$1143.50, slightly up from the day's low of about $1138. This Marketwatch story explains why: the U.S. dollar is still rising.

So does this other one. U.S. stock futures have slipped, on the fear that good economic news will encourage the Fed to raise rates sooner than expected. This fear means hope for U.S. dollar buyers, as higher rates should stimulate buying greenbacks for investment purposes and/or lessening carry-trade selling of them. That's part of the topsy-turvy world of investment expectations, one that's easy to satirize as Orwellian:

"Expectations Are Facts."
"Future Is Present"
"Good News Is Bad News."

It's not that bad, as the reaction to a good (or lousy) earnings report will reveal. We're coming off a bad recession, one that seems to have ended but may not have, and the uncertainties combined with hopes of getting in early does make for unusual interpretations. We're not really at the stage where some wag could get away with writing "The Theory of Oligarchic Expectationism."

...'though someone may be tempted to try.

Update: A Wall Street Journal report explains the drop as driven by traders taking profits, and (later) by automatic sell orders kicking in at about $1150. Unmentioned is the possibility that shorters are "playing the stop-loss orders." As I write this update, the stock market's shaken off the pre-market decline and gold's bottomed at about $1140. Currently, spot gold's at $1141.50.

As luck would have it, I also have an Orwell-bit-related update: an article that makes a serious try at making sense of current markets. It's entitled "Markets confusing you?"

A "Sober Second Thought" For Gold Bugs

It's a short one, but worth a linger over: buying gold at the 1980 peak, and holding on to today, would have earned a lesser return than leaving the money in a checking account.

Gold bulls shouldn't be too surprised at this calculation. Several of them have already said that the 1980 peak was well below even last Thursday's record price, once inflation is taken into account. The original calculation comes from a Bloomberg article which is balanced, not only in terms of quoted opinion but also in alternate scenarioizing. Gold bought in 1971, right when Nixon closed the gold window, would have matched the S&P 500's performance in the same timeframe.

And, of course, buying gold in 2001 - or even 2002, right around the end of the last bear market in U.S. stocks - would have handily beat any of the three major averages. But who was buying then? And, of them, how many sold into earlier rallies for a then-unbelievable gain? Perhaps sadly, buy timing is often secondary to blind faith when realizing a gain from the bottom.

I should know. I sold a turnaround stock earlier this year, after buying it in the middle of last year's financial crisis, for about a 25% profit. I then saw the thing increase far more than tenfold subsequently. I lacked that faith. What I had instead was frustration (as it went nowhere when the general market was surging up in Dec. '08-Jan '09) and later relief (as it finally jumped up in April.) That relief and the 25% profit impelled me to sell, to a subsequent opportunity detriment.

One nit I gotta pick with the checking-account comparison: tax consequences. A checking account yields taxable interest each year; the S&P yields taxable dividends, plus capital gains when one stock's replaced by another. Anyone who bought gold in 1980, or 1971, and held on to all of it would not have paid a cent in tax; there'd just be a potential long-term-capital-gain levy. In accountant's jargon, the tax would be an accrued but not a cash liability. (The same accrual status applies to the unrealized capital gains portion of S&P 500 stocks.) Taxes on interest and dividends would be cash liabilities for the tax year they were received.

Gold Over At Seeking Alpha This Morning

Dian Chu has written a good summary of the gold market and its drivers. She concludes with the standard long-term-bullish, short-term-cautious recommendation typical of bull markets.

Prieur du Plessis uses the notorious Mark Dice video to make the point that "gold fever" has not arrived yet, becuase too few U.S. investors know or care about gold as of now. Gold hasn't been mainstreamed yet.

Joe Kunkle, though, notes that gold is in the process of being mainstreamed. He also makes the point that recent forecasts were suspiciously bullish, given the "easy money" trade of going long gold and short the greenback had worked so well for months: "Between CNBC guests calling for $2,500 gold (more than double current prices), the US Mint running out of gold coins, gold companies unravelling hedges, and even my grandparents beginning to talk to me about the price of gold, it is obvious that a bubble is forming, although it takes a certain fortitude to bet against John Paulson,..." The rest of his analysis uses option market data to show similar frothiness. He makes it clear that he's not calling for an all-out pop of a bubble.

Finally, TraderMark shows Fed-funds futures market data indicates that the market sees a good chance of a Fed rate increase as early as next March, and a greater than 50% chance for June. He reiterates his own call that the Fed won't do so until 2011, and expresses his confidence that the long gold/short greenback trade will work (though not automatically, of course) for the next several years.

Goldbug Consensus: Buying Opportunity

As explained by Peter Brimelow in Marketwatch, gold bugs have come up with a few reasons for why the gold bull market is still intact. One of them deals with silver, which hasn't plummeted to the extent which gold has. The case is made with comparisons to the past: the gold-silver ratio rises, not falls, during a precious-metals bear market. In the latest spill, it's fallen.

One example of a long-term bull turned short-term cautious is Minyanville's Przemyslaw Radomski, who writes that gold and gold stocks are in for some rough rides in the immediate term. He reiterates his case for gold going up in the long term: high sovereign debt financed at short terms. Particularly, U.S. short term debt is above the levels that the Guidotti-Greenspan rule would deem safe.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Week's Take-Out From Financial Sense Newshour Podcast

Financial Sense Newshour is a gold-bull podcast, so Friday's plummet was explained as a pullback. Part of the first segment was spent debunking the Friday jobs report, with the help of John Williams at ShadowStats. The drop in the unemployment rate was attributed to seasonal factors, and listeners were told to wait for January and February's reports to get the real score.

Regarding gold, it was speculated that China may be moving in to take advantage of the drop.

The same point made last week about gold-mining junior exploration companies was repeated this week: they're undervalued, although they're also quite volatile and are only for the patient and strong-stomached. I'll make the same point I made last week: at the climax of a gold bubble, the juniors would be flying - even the ones with little more than hopes and dreams propelling them. Right now, they're not.

To shift to a different Website: last Wednesday, Tim from "The Mess That Greenspan Made" pointed out that, for gold, what appeared to be a bubble from late 2008 until mid-last week is actually comparable to two previous upswings in the current bull market. The implication being, the current run-up isn't uniquely manic.

[I got the above link courtesy of "FromLori" over at the Free Republic.]