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In the States and London or whatever international market. In Europe we buy it by the gram. The metric system any day.

Platinum has always cost significantly more than gold before the crisis. Since mid-2011 gold has consistently cost more than Pt. There's simply not enough gold to satisfy the demand.

While Pt prices can crash as in the winter of 2008, gold just doesn't.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 05:02:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gold is not a good place to sit - it is vulnerable to mining advances (and if people really start working the hot vent copper deposits, that is going to mean a large side stream of gold production), and is counter cyclical - it is an asset to buy when everyone is piling into the next big thing and regard gold as boring, ie: in no way now.
Most importantly, the investor profile is very, very volatile.
People buy gold because they are scared. This means that an external price shock of any kind is highly likely to kick off a stampede out of gold.
by Thomas on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 08:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I see on the Kitco charts, gold was wildly speculated in 1979-80 when it hit $840 an ounce and then collapsed to $300-400 for two decades. The present run picked up momentum in 2006 and has since tripled. The January 1980 event was certainly fed by high inflation and international political unrest. It was much different from the slow climb now going on.

I suspect it's China and India that are investing heavily  while the IMF hasn't put its gold up for sale for some time now, 2009 if I'm not mistaken.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 10:39:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And there was a speculative frenzy - think Tulip Bulbs.

MacKay's 1841 book Extraordindary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds should be required reading in secondary school.

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 02:30:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agree.

Gold doesn't have an Internal Rate of Return.  Thus, the future price totally determines the ROI with the future price being amid whatever frenzy (or not - see my comment to De Gondi, above) The Market® is undergoing at that instance in time.  

As a purely savings vehicle gold does have some redeeming qualities.  But not to the extent the gold bugs fantasize.

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 02:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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