Dylan Grice, a strategist at SG Securities in London, thinks global conditions today could unleash another gold boom like the one in the 1970s. Then, as now, the world lost confidence in the U.S. dollar as a store of value. Back then, central banks started hoarding gold instead. Today, he notes, they are net purchasers of gold for the first time since 1988.
And although gold has risen a long way, so has the U.S. money supply. Mr. Grice calculates that even at today's prices, the bullion that the U.S. government holds in places like Fort Knox is still only worth enough to back 15% of the U.S. monetary base. That is near a record low.
At the peak of the gold mania in 1979-80, gold prices rose so far that the backing exceeded 100%. How far would gold rise if that happened again? To around $6,300 an ounce, Mr. Grice says.
Don't ask me. Ask the Wall Street Journal.