Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Forbes Billionaires' Wrapup, Gold, And Double-Dip Recession

Forbes' Matthew Miller notes that the 2010 Billionaires' Predictions is still popular over at their Website, and opines on the meaning of a newfound popularity of gold in their ranks. He opines that it's fear of a double-dip recession:
So, if billionaires are still in love with gold despite it's massive run up in the past 12 months, they must be still scared of what the economy looks like in the near term.

My take on this: we're in for a double dip recession. The equity markets will likely fall at least 20% in the next six months as unemployment remains high, the dollar remains weak and consumer demand languishes....
That's his take on it, but so far the greenback hasn't followed the script. My own, necessarily outsider's, interpretation is that they anticipate a bout of stagflation. Gold has done well during this recession, despite a huge drop early on in it, but the last recession the gold did well in was 1973-75's. Subsequently, except for the present one, recessions have not been good for gold.

There could be a more quotidian reason for the favoring of gold: U.S. Treasury yields are simply too low right now to make them the best safe-haven choice. The bull market in Treasuries has lasted almost thirty years, is aging, and may be already at an end. This last recession, gold has done better than Treasuries...making for a noticeable shift in the tide.

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