I linked Barry Ritholtz's gold bug swipe along with other items in an Around the Web post. Anything linked (or republished from guests for that matter) on this site is to be taken as 100% their view, not mine. You, the reader are tasked with using your own brain to consider, discount or ignore any of it as you see fit.
What do I think of Ritholtz's view on gold, personally? I think ole' Barry is picking some easy, low hanging fruit to use up virtual ink over at Bloomberg, per his contract (real or implied). I mean really, gold did not react to Greece and he takes that as a negative for the metal?
The fact that gold did not do what legions of promoters and fear mongering pitch men insist it is supposed to do is a positive, not a negative. It brings us closer to the resolution of the bear market as opposed to delaying it with fear mongering promotions (ref. last summer's Russia-Ukraine-Ebola triple play of unsound 'fundamentals').
"I thought gold was an investor's best friend during Armageddon."
Really Barry, I think that you have gotten caught up in a personal 'back and forth' with the more unsavory of the gold bug "community", as Daddy Gold Bug Jim Sinclair calls it. You are using the same cartoons in reverse that the worst of the "community" uses when it tries to stir fear and greed in naive cult members followers.
As those of us who actually care about reality (as opposed to media-driven hype) have tried to point out repeatedly over the years, gold is not about Armageddon (Bird Flu, Ebola, Cyprus, Greece, war, death, destruction or any of that crap). Gold is simply a marker, a barometer showing the state of confidence in the financial system and its managers (Central Banks) at any given time.
"Further reducing enthusiasm for gold is the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy. Despite forecasts of imminent collapse, the major economic data -- including employment, wages, spending, housing, autos and consumer sentiment -- have all trended higher over the last five years. Tales of an impending depression were greatly exaggerated."
I could not agree with you more, Barry. Back in 2012 we began gauging big breakdowns in the technical case for precious metals and by January of 2013 we (well, NFTRH) cross referenced the ratio of Palladium (cyclical) to Gold (counter cyclical) with a 'channel check' of the Semiconductor Equipment industry to put forward a view that an economic bounce - beginning in manufacturing and later to spread out to the services sectors - was likely to come.
I am a gold bug. I saw the "improvement of the U.S. economy" when it was appropriate to see it, ahead of time. When you obsess on the other kind of gold bug, the media star with the Armageddon-like predictions and inflammatory 'analysis', or Kool-Aid drinking hate mailers, you do a disservice to your readership because you only present the other side of something that is not real to begin with. You in essence stand up a Straw Man and periodically set fire to him, really to no one's benefit.
"Regardless, gold seems to [be... jeez msm, edit much?] going nowhere fast. Feel free to send me an e-mail explaining how wrong and stupid I am. I have an archive of all the messages warning me that gold would teach me a lesson in humility. "You'll see" these e-mails smugly assure me, "your comeuppance will be here any day now." My plan was to respond to each on its fifth-year anniversary with a chart showing the performance of gold versus all other asset classes and the details of how much money has been lost."
Gold is going to be relevant again when confidence wanes and the current boom cycle starts to show its age and reveal its unsound origins. Until then, gold is a dumb rock that people can hold as insurance and nothing more. That is all it ever was, anyway. But that does not sell in the mainstream media to mainstream people. Cartoon-like depictions of half insane Luddites clinging to that dumb rock do. Media stars lampooning those Luddites do too.
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