India Shows Hedge-Fund Savvy With Huge Gold Buy
Commentary by William Pesek
Didn’t India get the memo? Developing nations are supposed to keep their excess cash in Treasuries, the U.S. president and his Treasury secretary are no doubt thinking. Gold? That relic of the past that doesn’t pay interest or dividends and can’t be eaten? A fool’s game best left to the dinosaurs out there.
India is going its own way with a $6.7 billion gold purchase. The transaction turned heads in markets. It should do the same in capitals from Beijing to Washington.
View of the Day: Gold dances to its own tune
By James Turk Published: November 5 2009 15:33 | Last updated: November 5 2009 15:33
Gold’s recent surge to record highs has not been accompanied by the usual market actions explaining its advance – instead, different factors are at work, says James Turk, chairman of GoldMoney.
He notes that the US dollar remains trapped within the same range it has occupied for several weeks. Nor, he says, has gold been tracking other commodities, as evidenced by the CRB Index, which remains below last month’s high. Oil and even silver have not been able to better their highs from October – at least not yet.
“For now, gold is marching to a different drummer,” says Mr Turk. “We are seeing a scramble for physical metal, and that demand is driving gold higher. Buyers are opting for physical gold, not paper gold.”
He points out that when gold was trading at $870 an ounce back in early April, the SPDR Gold Trust – the world’s largest gold exchange-traded fund – recorded ownership of 1,127 tonnes of the metal. Since then, SPDR’s holding has shrunk by 20 tonnes, but gold has climbed by more than $200. “It is a clear example that buyers want physical gold and not paper gold. They are opting for the real thing, not a substitute.
“Why? Because risk aversion has returned to centre stage as worries about bank solvency have resurfaced. It is possible we have been in the eye of the hurricane. Physical gold does not have counterparty risk, which makes it the safest haven of all.”
Aren't we sitting on a gold mine?
The price isn't right, but it doesn't matter -- all that glitters won't be sold
By Martha C. White The Big Money Sunday, November 8, 2009
Buried in the Treasury's International Reserve Position report is an intriguing bit of math. The document details the total amount, by weight, of the Treasury's gold reserves, plus a dollar value for said metal. But some fast division reveals something interesting: The Treasury marks the value of its gold at $42 an ounce, the price settled on in 1973, two years after the United States scrapped the Bretton Woods System, which had held gold at $35 an ounce for decades.
Wait -- what? Spot gold is heading toward $1,100 per ounce, and the Treasury is embracing a Cold War relic of a price? If the Treasury's bling were valued at the spot price, we'd be sitting on a literal gold mine of nearly $288 billion. Why doesn't the Treasury account for the huge run-up in gold prices?