July 24, 2024

Gold Will Soar On Imminent U.S. Bailout of Europe

It is only a matter of time before the U.S. becomes deeply involved in the bailout of Europe.  Consider Geithner Takes Tougher Tone On Europe as reported by Bloomberg.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will urge European governments to step up their crisis- fighting efforts amid Obama administration concerns that the region’s woes may hurt the U.S. economy.

Geithner will press European Union finance ministers when he meets with them this week, a euro-area official said.“The U.S. has always been discretely preoccupied and discretely present, and now it’s starting to be intensely preoccupied and intensely present,” said Nicolas Veron, a senior fellow at Bruegel, a Brussels-based economics research group.

Geithner’s trip to Wroclaw will be his second to Europe in a week.The visit “underlines the nervousness of the administration in the U.S. about what’s happening in Europe” and the effect the region’s debt crisis is having on U.S. financial markets, Julian Jessop, chief global economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in an interview yesterday.

President Barack Obama told a group of Spanish-language journalists at the White House on Sept. 12 that “we’re deeply engaged with Europeans to try to solve this crisis.”

The European crisis was “very, very damaging in the American economy last summer,” Geithner told Bloomberg Television on Sept. 9.

“The way the U.S. handled the financial crisis and the lessons learned from that could become a much more important part of the IMF message to Europe,” said Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Treasury’s Geithner is clearly laying the groundwork for a major role by the United States in bailing out the European Union.  The potential for a collapse of the European banking system is viewed as an unequivocal threat to the economic health of the United States by the U.S Treasury, the White House and the Federal Reserve.

U.S. participation in bailing out Europe will not be unilateral but rather in conjunction with the IMF and the European Central Bank.  The U.S. financial commitment, however, will be open ended.  The blueprint for saving the EU will be similar to that used by the U.S. during the financial meltdown of 2008 – virtually unlimited lending to prevent the sovereign default of insolvent European Union members.

The looming bailout of insolvent European nations, particularly Greece which is hopelessly bankrupt, will be the definitive signal that a return to sound finances has been utterly abandoned.  Rather than allowing market forces to correct the systemic imbalances in the financial system, the problem will be papered over by more debt, more printed money and massive debasement of paper currencies.

Gold, the enemy of central banks, will soar as governments frantically print and borrow to “save” Europe.

Negative Opinions on Gold

With all of the positive articles on gold, one reliable way of getting attention is to publish an article forecasting an impending plunge in the price of gold. Two recently published articles caught my attention for their decidedly negative stances on gold.

I previously wrote a post exploring bullish analyst opinions on gold. I guess this post will present the flip side.

IMF Gold Dump Theory

The first article examines the opinions of a so-called “interventional analyst” who sees the price of gold plunging on December 10. He sees the initial plunge and subsequent declines bringing the price of gold 40% lower to around $455 per ounce. All of this would take place in a matter of weeks. The plunge would be caused by the IMF dumping 3,000 tonnes of gold, flooding the market and destroying prices.

Even though his current prediction seems a bit ridiculous, apparently he has previously called this year’s collapse in the Dow, the plunge in oil prices, and the current recession. Of note, his gold track record is much less spectacular. According to a quote from the article, he has been advocating shorting gold since it was $413.

Since December 10 is tomorrow, at least we won’t have to wait very long to see if his most recent prediction is correct.

Gold is for Barbarians Theory
Alternate Title: I Like Getting Attention

The second article was published on Seeking Alpha. The author wrote a previous piece that called gold a “sucker’s bet.” He stated that gold should trade below $600, predicted “a lot of sources of selling.” He also questioned gold’s historical status as a store of value (he prefers oil) and denied gold’s ability to protect against inflation. The article was well circulated, resoundingly ridiculed, and received over 100 comments.

He’s back for more in his second article. First he mentions that gold has “plunged” since his first article. Gold is really down about 10% and has been climbing back daily. The decline also corresponded with a horrific decline in world stock markets, which probably had more to do with gold’s weakness than the author’s reasons. Next, he repudiates all of the negative comments received on his prior article in three short sentences, and finally rehashes his prior arguments against gold. He slips in a quip about gold not being used as currency since the time of nomadic herders.

As unremarkable as the article was, it still attracted nearly 100 comments. I guess the moral of the story is that if you want to get the most attention, just make bold claims that are the opposite of the prevailing opinion and common sense.