Over the past three years, gold has found itself in an odd place: while it still remains the ultimate “safety” trade and store of value should everything go to hell following social and monetary collapse, when it comes to “coolness” it has been displaced by various cryptocurrencies, all of which have vastly outperformed the yellow metal in recent months. Meanwhile, central banks continue to pressure the price of gold to avoid a repeat of 2011 when gold nearly broke out above $2,000, putting the fate world’s “reserve currency” increasingly under question. As a result, gold has traded in a rather somnolent fashion, range bound between $1,100 and $1,300 over the last few years, failing to break out on either side.
But is that a fair price for gold?
That is the question Deutsche Bank’s Grant Sporre set out to answer in a special report released overnight, which among other things finds that gold is a “metal” full of paradoxes.
Here is what Deutsche Bank found: as Sporre contends, in order to determine whether gold is cheap or expensive, one must first define what gold actually is.
At its simplest form and yes we are stating the obvious, gold is a shiny yellow metal, relatively scarce and mined from the earth’s crust. Valuing the metal should then be just as easy? Gold is a simple commodity, governed by supply and demand, and valuing it should bear some relationship to the cost of digging it out of the earth? But it turns out; gold’s nature is far more mercurial. Gold can be many things to many different people – a store of value, a financial asset, a medium of exchange, a currency, an insurance policy against disruptive events or global uncertainty and even a ‘barbarous relic*’ according to John Maynard Keynes. (*As with any famous quote, there are suggestions that the term was not originally coined by Keynes himself, nor that he was actually referring to gold, but rather to the constraints of the gold standard at the time).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 1, 2017.