The Independent: Gold has made a comeback as a de facto world currency
Sean O'Grady, in his opinion piece that appeared on London newstands in The Independent on Sunday
observes that the "Without anyone particularly noticing, gold has made an informal comeback as a de facto world currency. The currency vigilantes of Utah are, if anything, somewhat behind the times." He goes on:
Gold has had its ups and downs, but, long term, it has preserved value better than dollar bills or sterling banknotes. The $2 trillion (£1.2trn) of new money created by the US Federal Reserve since 2008 – and the proportionally larger, in relation to the size of our economy, £200bn "printed" by the Bank of England – was designed to create inflation and prevent deflation when the recession threatened to turn into a slump, with the spectre of falling prices and a rising real value of our enormous debts.
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The fear now is that that expansion in money supply will spur uncontrollable inflation, as it did in the 1970s. So, barbarous or not, the return of gold as an effective "store of value" – one of the essential attributes expected of money – should be no surprise in an era of higher inflation. It is a perfectly rational reaction, though gold offers no interest yield and, if you get your timings wrong, can lose your shirt for you.