Will Gold Be the Turd in G-20's Punch Bowl?


". . .gold is still too much a creature of official manipulation. . ."

With a glower of contempt toward the bankers, gold remains easily aloft above $1,000, developing thrust for the next big move. We wrote here a while back that blast-off from $1,000 would follow the realization that G-20 can do nothing to restore stability to the world's tottering financial system. Now, the question is whether anything at all will be "realized" in the wake of the Pittsburgh meeting. We hesitate to call it a summit because the event seems to have slipped off the news media's radar. Unable to recall the actual dates of the session, we searched Google's news pages in vain for this information. Tellingly, there was only a sidebar from the New York Times about how the meeting would probably be a net positive for Pittsburgh's economy.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, G-20 scouts have been in the city for weeks, wallowing in expense-account lunches and dinners well ahead of the actual event. "Since early August, journalists, dignitaries and safety officials have been visiting our city, eating at our restaurants, shopping in our stores and staying in our hotels," said the town's young mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, 29. "That's just the short-term gain. In the long-term, you really can't put a dollar value on the amount of free marketing we've received worldwide."

In reality, about the only thing we can conceive of that would lend real importance to G-20 would be an explosive rally in gold. That would at least remind the attendees that market forces are about to drown them all if they are unable to come up with a convincing stall tactic. And what would that be? How about China announcing that they are going to implement metal backing for the yuan? Now that would be a shocker! Rude, too—akin to telling your host that you'll bring your own toilet paper to the next meeting. A big rally in gold would also force the news media to make sense of it all. Sure, the rally would be a turd in the punch bowl. But it's not as though the story could simply be ignored. Unfortunately, however, gold is still too much a creature of official manipulation to pull such a stunt. Not now, but maybe next year.

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