Overstock.com is stocking up on gold and food to feed its employees in the event of a major catastrophe.
Jonathan Johnson, chairman of the online retailer and a Republican candidate for Utah governor, last week discussed the company’s preparations in a keynote speech before the
United Precious Metals Association in Salt Lake City.
“We want to be able to keep our employees, paid, safe, and our site up and running during times of financial crisis,” he said. “We’re not big fans of Wall Street, and the big banks, and we don’t trust them. We foresaw the financial crisis.”
The company has about $10 million in gold and precious metals, and three months of food for each employee and one other person in its inventory, he said. Overstock.com was founded in 1999 and has 1,500 employees, according to its website.
Gold more than doubled from a 2008 low of $712.50 an ounce to a record high of $1,923 in 2011 as central banks including the Fed tried to spur growth by cutting rates and rolling out "quantitative easing" programs. As the global economy recovered, gold fell 40 percent to its current price of about $1,166.
Johnson’s speech touted the advantages of gold over paper currency, especially as central banks like the Federal Reserve expand the money supply in an effort to boost economic activity.
“At some point, there is going to be another significant financial crisis,” he said.
Johnson also touted the benefits of the United Precious Metals Association, a monetary cooperative that provides alternatives to paper currency for saving and spending. Johnson announced his candidacy for the Utah governor’s race in August.
Gold bulls say the precious metal will rebound as the global economy slips into recession and forces central banks to fire up the monetary printing presses like they’ve done since the financial crisis.
“Gold is portable, divisible without losing its value, beautiful, extremely scarce, and virtually indestructible. It is simply the best form of money known to mankind,”Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies Llc., said in a blog post
. “The case for keeping your wealth in gold only becomes more bolstered when real interest rates are negative, faith in fiat currencies is crumbling, and nation states are insolvent.”
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