It seems the mood toward gold has shifted over the last few days. Both gold and silver were up significantly on no apparent news. It was as if rising metals prices were trying to tell us something.
Then, today, minutes from the last Fed meeting were released. The underlying message, between all the lines of rhetoric, is that the Fed sees a slow growing economy as being vulnerable to economic shocks. That, of course, suggests more easing is on the table.
From this, gold and silver got a double boost. First, the Fed acknowledged the vulnerability of the economy, which then, by default, puts easing back on the radar of metals investors. Stocks weren't quite so sure how to take the news. Yes, the markets like the idea of more printed money but don't like to hear that without it, the economy is vulnerable to shocks.
Now, speaking to the economy's vulnerability, what could possibly go wrong? I mean, what's a little fiscal cliff gonna hurt if we drive over it? And, so what if the Iran situation blows up? - war is our new normal. Oh, and please don't worry about Europe. All we have to do with Europe is don't talk about it and it will be fixed. Maybe, if you think really hard about the potential of something to go wrong you could come up with something. (sarcasm added)
Indeed, precious metals appear to be in a win win situation. The last economic shock saw the gold price double and the silver price triple. You can't say that about the markets. And if we get more easing, that fuels inflation. And, while inflation is said to be low and under control, try telling that to someone in the grocery store or at the gas pump. Inflation is real and will get realer if we get more easing or any kind of action to increase liquidity in the economy.
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Unless you think there is going to be a rapid increase in our rate of economic recovery by the time of the Fed's next meeting in September, the best case scenario is further confirmation of our economic vulnerability. Worst case is a reaction to an economic shock. Where will your investment dollars be?