Gold is one of the most hated investments this year with the prospect that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates and strengthen the dollar’s value. That would make bullion less viable as a hedge against inflation.
But some investors see weakness in the yellow metal as the best buying opportunity since the 1970s, when gold surged from $100 an ounce to more than $920, says Albert Edwards, head strategist at Societe Generale.
“Western central banks have set us up for an even bigger version of the 2008 great financial crisis/recession,” he writes in a July 30 report
obtained by Newsmax Finance. “This time, rock-bottom interest rates and large fiscal deficits will mean only one thing: QE will be stepped up to such a pace that you will hear the roar of the printing presses from Mars. Gold is a must-have holding in that world.”
QE refers to quantitative easing, an economic stimulus program by central banks that purchase bonds and other assets to drive down the cost of borrowing. The Federal Reserve used QE to buy more than $3.5 trillion of government and mortgage debt from 2009 to 2014 as the global economy recovered from the worst decline since the Great Depression.
With the prices of commodities
such as oil, iron ore and copper collapsing in the past year, Edwards foresees greater efforts by central banks to spur demand. He established his reputation as a perma-bear in 1996 with his Ice Age thesis that argued that stocks will collapse and bond values will climb because of deflation.
Gold more than doubled in price between 2009 and 2011, when it reached a peak of $1,917.90 an ounce, as central banks worldwide cut interest rates to support an economic rebound. It has since fallen more than 40 percent to about $1,090 an ounce with the growing likelihood of a Fed rate hike.
Media reports that warn of steeper declines are everywhere, including a Bloomberg News survey
of analysts and traders that says gold will fall to $984 before January. The Washington Post says gold bugs
are mostly hucksters “just trying to scare seniors out of their money,” while another study cited
by MarketWatch foresees gold falling to $350 an ounce.
Edwards says gold optimists are comparing the yellow metal’s decline to a similar period in the 1970s, when bullion rose 550 percent between 1970 and 1974 before falling by 50 percent. It subsequently surged nine-fold between 1976 and 1980 as inflation surged.
“Gold bulls are not worried by a 50 percent correction,” Edwards says. “They see it as a necessary prelude to liftoff.”
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