Well, maybe not guns. This isn’t that kind of post. But I am going to talk about gold briefly. One of the more interesting ways to think about the value of gold is its value in purchasing household items. Because back in earlier times that was exactly how you paid for things. Gold is money, after all. Indeed, in the book “Hedgehogging” Barton Biggs refers to gold in such a manner:
The Old Testament recounts how, in 600 B.C., one ounce of gold bought 350 loaves of bread. As of today, one ounce will still buy 350 loaves of bread in the United States.
In my area of the country in North Carolina, one ounce of gold will get you 446 loaves of bread. So when measured in those terms, we’re overvalued even after the action we’ve seen over the past few months:
Today I heard it referred to in another way: gold vis-a-vis Cadillacs. So first, I have to present to you the definitive video clip on Cadillacs…
And now back to the gold/Caddy ratio. I stumbled across this post (hat tip: @hedgefundinvest and @FinanceTrends) that looked at the fact that in 1971 with gold pegged at $35 an ounce you needed about 11 pounds of gold to buy a ’71 Eldorado. Take away the peg and it would’ve been much less gold (at $103 an ounce you need about 5 pounds).
Now? You can get 2 Cadillac XLR-Vs for the same 11 pounds if you’re taking the $35 per ounce as your starting point. If you used 5 pounds, well you’re out of luck because you won’t have enough based on Friday’s close at $1193.50. So the starting point you choose is important.
But as for the overvaluation or lack thereof currently? At these levels it may still be overbought even though we’ve seen a pretty sharp pullback from $1,250. But I’d be wary about how much more of a decline we see here because volume has been higher even on up days and the revolt against central banks isn’t over by any stretch.
So in my mind, we’re in for more volatility not less.