As readers know, the daily and weekly gyrations in the price of gold (and silver) don’t concern our Maui pawn shop too much. We make our money off commissions, so when gold goes up $25 or down $30, it doesn’t affect us that much.
But when gold gets near a top or a bottom, then we start paying attention. Today, the Dow-Jones average topped 16,000 for the first time and the S&P topped 1,800 for the first time. As often happens when stocks are up, gold is down, by $17 to about $1,273. That’s near the lowest for the 21st century.
Will it go lower? We have no idea. But here’s a good roundup of differing views from Bloomberg News. Some of the big noises in the Republican Party, like Rep. Paul Ryan, are gold bugs and, the story says, trying to get the Federal Reserve to tie the valuation of the dollar to the commodity price of gold.
Not everybody thinks that is a good idea:
“It’s a stupid idea,” Joseph Gagnon, a former Fed economist, said in an interview. “It’s pretty clear the Fed thinks so, too, since they do the opposite. They go out of their way to exclude commodities.”
It looked different, at least to vice presidential candidate Ryan, in 2010. His prophecy didn’t turn out too well:
To Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, record gold prices in 2010 heralded “a lower standard of living for many Americans.” Representative Ted Poe of Texas foresaw “a blast of inflation that will crush the middle class” adding: “Where gold prices go, other prices follow.” Fellow Texas Representative Ron Paul, a perennial critic of the Federal Reserve, warned that “confidence is being lost in the entire fiat monetary system,” a reference to money created by central banks.
But the price of gold didn’t keep going up, up, up. Instead, it has dropped by a third.
The gold bugs may yet turn out to be right, but not so far.