Gold dealers are notorious for laying out the lurid details of their impenetrably corrupt market before moving in for the sales close:
“The price of gold is hopelessly manipulated by the largest, most corrupt financial institutions on earth. Would you like our monthly gold purchase plan?”
We had a similar crash-and-burn sales pitch in the seventies: Yes, the Pinto explodes. Here, I’ll get you the keys so you can give it a test-drive around the block. Remember, if you lose your foot in a trap, it’s a sure sign you walked into a trap. The fact there was a large sign above the trap saying TRAP, well that’s not exactly going to sew your foot back on. Caveat emptor.
Admittedly, gold is a weird fish. True cognoscenti are as rare as, well, gold. Despite Dr. Antal Fekete’s numerous star turns on The Daily Bell (“The mistake most gold bugs make is that they identify the value of gold with its price.”1.) the latter publication still reports gold ‘rising and falling’ against those officious bits of colored paper. (Sorry, paper has demonstrable mass. I meant computer keystrokes.) Statisticians take great pains differentiating dependent from independent variables. Causality matters. Gold is the numeraire. The difference between 0/x and x/0 exceeds all definition. If you think gold’s coming or going, you’re still not getting gold.
Presently, the most notable thing about gold is that roughly the same number of USD’s are required to buy it today as was required a couple of months ago. (Well, give or take a few keystroke clicks. Geez. Sticklers for minutiae.) Deflation and a galloping dollar are unreflected in the exchange, which is to say gold is making a powerful, silent statement via this stalled trade.
By contrast, take my wife and nearly everything else: Even when fiats as a group can barely get arrested, it still takes a whole lot less of them to buy practically every other commodity. The first-order feature of commodities (sans gold) is their use-value. How frightening then is this Systemic Use Collapse? The great extinction event of global economic activity is pressing down upon us making gold’s definitional immobility look profoundly more immobile than usual, in dollar terms. Signs of a safe harbor at last?
Remember, gold doesn’t exhibit behavior. It’s more like the implacable obelisk in Kubrick’s ‘2001’. Featureless, useless, yet profoundly there. The obelisk was a unit of account for man’s evolving consciousness. As Bob Dylan remarked of Allen Ginsberg: “What I mean by ‘holy’ is crossing the boundaries of time and usefulness…Allen Ginsberg, he’s just holy.”
Gold is holy because it’s gloriously useless and immutable. It offers no handles and would never trouble itself to rise and fall against anything. Careful though: holy only in the collapsed realm of the earthbound. Souls are of inestimably more precious mettle. But that’s another strange thing about gold: invariably, it leads you to contemplate higher realms. No mere commodity, it’s like an earthbound analog for the Son of Man – Son of God; the ultimate divine paradox. Please remove all avarice from the Temple so the Messiah can get through.
On the day the house really really burns down (that day being Armageddon when people will have more pressing concerns than portfolio weightings), the fire insurance will come to mean a lot because there’ll be nothing else left. Provided you’re not counting Jesus. What’s net worth worth on Judgment Day? Goldbugs keep praying for the house to burn down because, you know, the insurance costs an arm and a leg and they’re feeling kind of silly after buying Peter Schiff’s shtick hook, line and sinker. Gold is a binary. It mints paupers and kings.
Back to house fires. Tracking daily price action on gold is like reporting there was a spark near the house, someone’s burning leaves around the corner or a wisp of smoke could be seen from the bedroom window, etc. Sorry, but those observation just aren’t ‘binary enough’. Imagine a daily spot price on fire insurance. Firefighters spend whole careers in anticlimax mode before bang a three-alarm inferno gets called in. The silly hour-to-hour reportage is grievously incommensurate to the epic, singular moment gold will ultimately herald.
Paracelsus was right. Living gold (as opposed to hoarding the physical which is the sin of coveting) is pure consciousness—the fully realized soul. The System, by contrast, is a soul-destroyer. In fact, you’ll know the Antichrist by his aversion to gold. Like a vampire encountering garlic, he’ll convulse in its presence. That’s another reason to have some gilt nailed above the threshold. The Mark of the Beast will be a celebration of ephemerality: an e-identity or a bitcoin. In a recent blog post, Jim Rickards paints a picture of the year 2024:
“All of the gold in the world was confiscated in 2020 and placed in a nuclear bomb-proof vault dug into the Swiss Alps…the purpose of the Swiss vault was not to have gold backing for currencies, but rather to remove gold from the financial system entirely so it could never be used as money again. Thus, gold trading ceased because its production, use and possession were banned. By these means, the G-20 and the World Central Bank control the only forms of money.”
Sounds plausible enough as an End Times scenario.
First though, it’s going to be hell on earth for Americans. The decades-long contortions of the Triffin Dilemma will make the walk-back from reserve status to national currency a long trek through the Valley of Death. America is the only nation on earth that lacks an answerable currency. Odd indeed that the world’s only superpower is barely a paper tiger as even paper has been deemed too real for Pax Americana’s deadly work. And please, no whistles for that military-petro-industrial monstrosity with the hijacked Franklin portrait. I’m talking about a currency right-sized and fashioned for the People’s business, one that exists in enough of a closed system that it demonstrates responsiveness to the metrics of its own supply.
Decades ago, the globalists borrowed the USD, ran in through a bomb factory and visited terror on the world. For the trade, American peepledom got some false prosperity that allowed them to swap houses back and forth in a parody of gainful labor. Every family had a real estate agent. Soon, even that shell-game got foreclosed.
Meanwhile Pax Americana exerted the soft power of economic violence on the world stage—in our names. Now the world is pregnant with dollars and returning to pre-industrialism via a killer short squeeze. The dollar merchants desperately need WW3 to feed the gathering void. Just when the planet is groaning for lack of a sustainment model, the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) promise to install a more eclipsing Ponzi. That’s no solution. USDs will be left to limp back home—all x trillion of them. Think of this unprecedented repatriation as a trillion-man army returning to a jobless home-front.
Currency de-patriation (or if you prefer, internationalization) is a fool’s game. For Americans, it was like loaning your mower to the guy who cuts The Meadowlands. The machine you eventually get back drools like an old geezer gumming the lawn. It takes days just to cut your suburban postage stamp. That approaching sound you hear are the Four Horsemen of Hyperinflation: Pain, Suffering, Misery and More Pain —or is it a million third-world ghosts hell-bent on karmic retribution? Hard to tell in this deflationary prelude, but the real swoon is coming. Meanwhile from beyond the grave, Keynes mutters, “I tried to sell you on the bancor. But no, you had to have everything for nothing.”
Just after shooting the old lady in the Flannery O’Connor’s short story ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ the serial killing Misfit pronounces: “She would of been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” That’s gold, sort of.
The day after the Big Fire, great celebration will break out among the gold crowd, strange birds that they are. Their houses reduced to smoldering ash, nonetheless they will have enjoyed the windfall of a lifetime, all at the same time. You can’t eat gold. But you might build a fort in the woods with it. Gold is like the old Gypsy curse: may your dreams come true. A twisting contrarian until the End, it will have its best day when there’s nothing left to buy but your soul.
- Antal Fekete, ‘Thank Heaven for Gold Manipulators’, April 18, 2014, The Daily Bell)