Gold News

Gold and the US "Recovery"

Latest jobs data, plus the rising US trade deficit, show how the world – and Gold Investing – is changing...

LAST WEEK'S better-than-expected but still poor US employment figures were generally taken as a sign that the recovery is here, but L-shaped with a slightly rising bias, says Julian Phillips of the

The new stimuli from government will be positive and hitting where they should. Tax breaks on new equipment and infrastructural development taste the same as digging holes and filling them in did in the 1930s. We have to wait and see if the economy will respond. We sincerely hope it will. But do investors even in the US believe that a recovery will see a fall in the Gold Price? We think not!

We ask the question: Will a recovery help the US Dollar? One of the factors that US investors have looked at in the past, but which has broken down this year, is the belief that if the Dollar falls gold will rise and vice versa. Cast your mind back to the pre-credit crunch time and what did we see?

The US trade deficit was a regular $60 billion a month or more, because imports were cheaper than locally made goods. So consumers bought imports. Consequently the Dollar drifted over time, and drifted lower. With US consumers now more thrifty than then, and now buying cheap imports in place of local products, we expect the same to be true in a slow recovery.

In fact, the trade deficit has already been rising faster than expected, and for this very reason.

Asian manufacturers add to their expertise as time goes by, and so the quality of their goods (but not necessarily the price) also rises, claiming more market share than ever before. So in even a slow US recovery, expect a rising trade deficit. Which is of course Dollar negative. But what should be of greater concern to all investors and savers, however, is the internationalization of the Yuan. Once this internationalization of the Chinese currency has gained traction, we will see the use of the US Dollar in international trade decline and fairly rapidly. The unused Dollars will have nowhere to go except home. On the world's foreign exchanges the result will be a faster decline in the Dollar's exchange rate. And unless there is a structural change in import demand within the US, the United States itself will contribute further to the Dollar's fall.

The only quick way out for the US is protectionism, which will help stop this decline. However, this will bring a far greater level of instability and uncertainty in foreign exchanges than we see now. This will be extremely positive for Gold Investment.

The overall impact of a recession or even worse, a depression, is that the quantity of money shrinks, even in the investment world. Yes, in that scene gold is sought out as a preserver of wealth, but perhaps not in as great a volume as in an uncertain, unstable, recovering economy. The shock of the last three years on the developed world could not have been greater as the US economy and its position in the global economy reached it zenith, then buckled. In the years since then there has been a considerable metamorphosis in investment thinking. The rosy future has gone. The fact that any day could bring some more bad news, more uncertainty and more instability, is firm in all of our minds. Consequently, prudence is taking as greater place as muted optimism in the investment world and investment strategies are adjusted accordingly.

As part of that new prudence Gold Investments have found a solid place in successful portfolios. The strategy is to act as a counter to other, poor-performing asset classes. As this attitude to gold continues to grow, more and more investment managers are getting to know the value of gold, even if they don't want it in their portfolios. More and more of those managers are turning from disliking gold, to liking it. This does not necessarily mean that there is a steady drift by developed world investment managers into gold, but it does mean that each time there is another shock to the monetary system and investment world the speed and investment volumes with which investment managers turn to gold, increases. So battered are we in the last three years by bad news that we are extremely sensitized to it and react quickly.

The benefits of even a slow recovery over a recession, as far as it concerns Gold Prices, is that greater volumes of investment funds will be available for investment in gold and gold-related products. A rapid recovery would have fanned a positive attitude to more productive investments, and could well have deflected US investment managers from investing in gold. Even as the recovery struggles to take hold, however, current doubts about the recovery keeps fear and uncertainty in place.

The failure of the recovery to gain pace after so much has been injected into the economy so far, has fanned uncertainty and increased cautionary investing policies. It is going to take far more than simply unemployment figures that were not as bad as expected, to convince investors that a recovery has really taken hold. If the current efforts of the Obama Administration fail, it will be nigh on impossible to convince the investing public that all is well in downtown, USA.

Such a mood is internationally infectious and will spread globally. Should that happen gold will accelerate its move to center stage, in the investing world.

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JULIAN PHILLIPS – one half of the highly respected team at – began his career in the financial markets back in 1970, when he left the British Army after serving as an Officer in the Light Infantry in Malaya, Mauritius, and Belfast.

First he worked in Timber Management and then joined the London Stock Exchange, qualifying as a member and specializing from the beginning in currencies, gold and the "Dollar Premium". On moving to South Africa, Julian was appointed a macro-economist for the Electricity Supply Commission – guiding currency decisions on the multi-billion foreign Loan Portfolio – before joining Chase Manhattan and the UK Merchant Bank, Hill Samuel, in Johannesburg.

There he specialized in gold, before moving to Capetown, where he established the Fund Management department of the Board of Executors. Julian returned to the "Gold World" over two years ago, contributing his exceptional experience and insights to Global Watch: The Gold Forecaster.

Legal Notice/Disclaimer: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Gold Forecaster/Julian D.W. Phillips have based this document on information obtained from sources they believe to be reliable but which it has not independently verified; they make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Gold Forecaster/Julian D.W. Phillips only and are subject to change without notice. They assume no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Furthermore, they assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this report.

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