money gold


Recently I was in Vancouver, BC for the Agora Financial Symposium, which carried the tagline "A View from the Peak". There were many peaks discussed and analyzed: oil, food, water and debt, to name a few. The price of gold and silver got a lot of discussion, and forecasts abounded. Discussions and opinions were not limited to the speakers, of course – the hallways, restaurants and sidewalks were filled with animated discourse, colorful scenarios and useful information. As you can guess, I loved every minute of it!

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The first part of this interview covered Paul van Eeden's background and laid out his views on gold, inflation and interest rates. In this final segment, we'll discuss what to do about this situation – how to translate this view of the world into investment action.

More on Gold, Inflation and Interest Rates continued – Episode 5


Last year, in July of 2007, I attended the Agora Financial investment Symposium in Vancouver, BC. There were a lot of excellent speakers and sessions covering all aspects of investment, with quite a bit of emphasis on natural resources and a strong international flavor. One of the speakers who impressed me the most was Paul van Edeen. On my return home I subscribed to his newsletter – which has since become one of my favorites.

More on Gold, Inflation and Interest Rates – Episode 4

I recently came across a presentation made on May 20th to the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs by Dr. Benn Steil, a Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, entitled "Financial Speculation in Commodity Markets" (pdf). Dr. Steil also gave a speech the week before at the New York Hard Assets Investment Conference entitled "Is the Dollar Doomed?" (text and audio).

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I realized yesterday that it is easy to calculate the price of an ounce of silver in gold grams if you know the gold-silver ratio (Duh!) You just divide the ratio into 31.1035 (the number of grams in an ounce.) And the ratio is well documented throughout much of history. For instance, the website Measuring Worth provides annual values for the gold-silver ratio going back to 1687. I've used this data to create a new long term chart showing the price of silver from 1700 to today, and added it to the Silver chart page.

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Another fun look at the news, without the distorting effects of the US Dollar. For context, be sure to check out the charts on crude oil and gasoline.

From a March 11, 2008 story in the Associated Press:

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Another story that caught my fancy, restated in terms of gold for your entertainment. Enjoy!

From a March 11, 2008 story in the Financial Times:

As stated in dollars:

Wall St enjoys best one-day rise since 2002
By Chris Bryant in New York
Published: March 11 2008 13:01 | Last updated: March 11 2008 20:41

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Here are excerpts from three news stories from 7-Mar-2008, as they were written, and as I would read them. In each case, I have simply taken the USD figures given in the story and converted them to gold grams, then reworded the story to fit the new numbers. In some cases, I've added YTD data to put the reported figures in a larger perspective.

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As the likelihood that an official "recession declaration" will be issued for the US economy increases, true prices of many items continue to fall. Gasoline, for example, is now at it's lowest price in about 10 years. Uranium also continues to slump, ending January at 2.63 grams per pound.

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With the US Dollar making new lows, and the stock market in disarray, 2008 is off to a shaky start. The Fed is faced with few options, none of them very pretty. If they cut rates to try to soften the recession and prop up asset prices, they further lower the value of the currency those assets are priced in, hurting their true value. But the political consequences of doing the right thing – letting a recession wring the weakness out of the economy – are just too painful to seriously contemplate, especially in a presidential election year.

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