WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Americans waking up to Zimbabwe Ben's dollar debasement?

Gallup:



My first reaction to this was concern that perhaps gold love had become so widespread that we were perhaps at risk of a bubble.

But of course this poll asks about opinion, not ownership. How many of those 28% actually have a significant portion of their net worth or retirement assets in gold?  How many actually own a single ounce?

What defines a bubble is not what people say, but what they do.  Think about the housing bubble.  Everybody was in it.  People were becoming mortgage brokers and house flippers by the thousands.  Broke and unemployed 20-year-olds were getting loans from Countrywide to buy multiple houses.  Or consider the internet stock bubble.  Cabbies and waitresses were trading CSCO, JDSU, and EDIG.  How is that remotely like what's happening now with gold?

Americans are busted.  The median family net worth was $120k at the peak of the housing bubble, and likely zero or negative now.  The median 401(k) balance is only $23,000, and you can't even own gold in most 401(k)s.

This poll is about Americans having been burned by all the other asset classes: Greenspan's housing bubble, the centrally planned stock market, and Zimbabwe Ben's negative real rates on bonds and savings.  Americans now see that gold is the only safe haven from central bankers and deficit spenders gone wild, but they don't have enough money to buy much of it.

I'd like to have seen Gallup ask, "How much of your retirement funds are in gold, stocks, real estate, bonds?"  Try it yourself: ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers whether they have any of their retirement funds in gold.  I know you won't find 28% of their wealth in gold, and I'd be surprised if 28% of them own a single bullion coin at all.

1 comments:

¼ + ½ = ¾ said...

My first reaction to this was concern that perhaps gold love had become so widespread that we were perhaps at risk of a bubble.

I don't see the sample size, but if sufficiently large, the two sets of numbers are likely statistically identical (within margin of error) from 2011 to 2012.

If anything, "gold love" has gone down since last year, while "bank account love" has gone up, which flabbergasts me. A five-figure account of mine at a certain large bank, just had its interest rates *reduced* from 0.4 to 0.35%. Unbelievable.

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