As the stock markets continue their tumble, one commodity continues to, well, shine: Gold prices are way up, posting their highest gain in nine months and reaching parity with platinum. In fact, in the early afternoon, the only stock in the S&P 500 that hadn't dipped belonged to a gold-mine company. So did the gold bugs — who've spent the past few years warning of a postapocalyptic economy in which fiat currency will crumble — enjoy the day?
Some went into survivalist mode. Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, marked the day by posting a podcast discussion with James Turk of GoldMoney.com, titled "The Fiat Currency graveyard." "There is a financial Katrina coming and you must not rely upon government promises, you must make your own preparations for your friends and your families," reads the introduction.
On the Blaze, Glenn Beck's website, a post about falling stocks and rising gold prices was footnoted by told-you-so comments from readers, like this one:
Where’s all the people making fun of Glenn Beck about him saying our credit rating would drop and that we should invest in gold? Where are they now? I‘m just wondering seeings as many media outlets and progressives made it a point to bash Beck daily for saying to invest in Gold and wouldn’t you know, credit rating drops and gold sky rockets.
Another joked that "For those who are too poor to stock up on gold, you better start stocking up on booze. Before long, gold and booze will be only things that are legal tender!"
Chinese investors, who might even trump Glenn Beck devotees as the world's most enthusiastic gold bugs, bought the metal with particular enthusiasm — though Asian markets also seemed to be interested in stocking up on lesser metals as well. Jewelry stores in China have reportedly seen sharply increased demand for gold bullion.
While some other market-watchers might think gold is nearing its peak value, the blog operated by Goldline — the company Beck famously shills for — features analysts explaining that they've revised their expectations upward, along with a quote from the chairman of a Chinese ratings agency, who says that "the U.S. dollar is destined to be 'gradually discarded by the world,' and that the 'process will be irreversible.'"
Goldline's predictions for peak gold prices actually track fairly closely with revised predictions from Goldman Sachs, but the presentation is a bit jarring, if you've spent any time on other business sites today: It's the economy through a looking glass. Most of the web's financial sites feature graphs of the downward-sloping stock market; on Goldline, there's a happy, upward-climbing, gold-price infographic. While the words "Euro-zone" are giving everyone else a headache, Goldline urges readers to consider European gold coins, which offer "privacy, protection, and divisibility."
And if you're interested in knowing precisely which European gold coins to purchase, CoinWeek recommends the Langbord 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle. Plus, it notes, "The renewed confidence in gold may be what it takes to break the pre-1933 generic U.S. gold coin market out of its recent sleepy period as most generics still trade at multi-year low premiums relative to their melt values."
Well, phew. Maybe President Roosevelt will stop getting dinged for slumping currency!