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If only Nouriel Roubini knew a little more about gold
11a ET Saturday, October 24, 2009
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini disparaged gold in an interview with Index Universe's research director, Dave Nadig, that was published Friday. Here's the exchange:
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IU.com: When you say "stay away from risky assets," many people hear that and think, 'Aha, gold!'
Roubini: I don't believe in gold. Gold can go up for only two reasons. [One is] inflation, and we are in a world where there are massive amounts of deflation because of a glut of capacity, and demand is weak, and there's slack in the labor markets with unemployment peaking above 10 percent in all the advanced economies. So there's no inflation, and there's not going to be for the time being.
The only other case in which gold can go higher with deflation is if you have Armageddon, if you have another depression. But we've avoided that tail risk as well. So all the gold bugs who say gold is going to go to $1,500, $2,000, they're just speaking nonsense. Without inflation, or without a depression, there's nowhere for gold to go. Yeah, it can go above $1,000, but it can't move up 20-30 percent unless we end up in a world of inflation or another depression. I don't see either of those being likely for the time being. Maybe three or four years from now, yes. But not any time soon.
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If GATA had been part of the interview, we might have asked Roubini to elaborate with a few follow-up questions.
1) What if the monetary inflation already has occurred over decades and has been masked, in regard to gold, by Western central bank gold sales, leasing, and underwriting of bullion bank derivatives, activities meant to mask that inflation and support government currencies and bonds and suppress interest rates?
2) Since it is generally acknowledged that in recent years gold demand has greatly exceeded supply and that the gap has been filled by massive dishoarding of gold by Western central banks, what if, inflation or deflation aside, the day comes when central bank reserves available for dishoarding are simply exhausted? What happens to gold then?
3) Is Roubini aware of the Federal Reserve's recent admission that it has gold swap agreements with foreign banks that the Fed insists on concealing? (For that admission, see http://www.gata.org/files/GATAFedResponse-09-17-2009.pdf.) What does Roubini imagine the purposes of those swap agreements might be? Could those swap agreements indicate the continuation of a long and often surreptitious U.S. government policy of suppressing the gold price, a policy documented extensively by GATA and others? (See http://www.gata.org/node/7894 and http://www.gata.org/node/6242.)
Roubini is a brilliant guy who has identified much that is wrong with the world financial system and who lately has fascinated the financial news media. Imagine the possibilities if someone in his position was to go beyond the financial news media's superficiality in regard to gold, or if the financial news media were to question his own superficiality -- or, for that matter, any other supposed expert's.
Index Universe's interview with Roubini is headlined "Nouriel Roubini: Big Crash Coming" and you can find it here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
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