According to a poll taken by one of the financial news programs this morning, 55% of those polled are betting on gold to now outperform the S&P. The remaining 45% will remain with the ship. Will the ship sink? We hope not. That would entail dire consequences for everyone. I find this statistic a little surprising as the talking heads try very hard to keep hope alive of a strong recovery, booming stock market and a return to normal - whatever that is. I think most of us hope for the same, however it is difficult to ignore some grave statistics. This morning I was sent some statistics on the financial status of our country, let me share just a few that may shed light on a growing positive sentiment for gold.
- Total credit market debt in the United States, including government, corporate and personal debt, has reached 360 percent of GDP.
- In February, there were 5.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening.
- Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008. Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.
- Mortgage purchase applications in the United States are down nearly 40 percent from a month ago to their lowest level since April of 1997.
- According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March 2010, an increase of nearly 19 percent from February, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.
- U.S. banks repossessed nearly 258,000 homes nationwide in the first quarter of 2010, a 35 percent jump from the first quarter of 2009.
- For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
Perhaps it is statistics like these, leaking out in the face of Bernanke-like spins on the state of our economy, that are causing investors to take a more serious look at gold. While Chairman Bernanke says he does not understand why gold demand and gold prices are rising, investors are beginning to understand perfectly. Let's face it, more and more people are beginning to buy gold.This is not just a domestic sentiment either - it's global and the status of gold supply and demand is changing by the minute. Reports abound that gold coin demand is booming. Is there a looming shortage? When you think about it, there should never be a shortage, there will always be someone willing to sell at a higher price. One thing is for certain, though. If stock buyer sentiment shifts to gold, there could be an explosion of gold demand from an entirely new class of buyer. If 55% of the people polled believe gold will outperform the S&P, what are they buying? What are they selling? I guess time will tell.