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Key Gold Headlines

POSTED ON March 31, 2012  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Emerging Market Central Banks Driving Gold Higher
CNBC – Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold Resources, a miner with operations in western Africa, says that emerging market central banks are underpinning today’s elevated and rising gold price. In a financially volatile world, Bristow maintains, emerging market central banks are using gold to mitigate their foreign exchange risks and as a general hedge. Bristow also thinks this will drive the yellow metal for years to come.
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POSTED ON February 28, 2012  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Gold Again Above $1,700 on Fed’s Extended Zero-Rate Pledge
Reuters – Gold rallied hard on January 25, climbing 2.5% intraday to above $1,700 an ounce, on news that the Fed is extending its promise to maintain near-zero interest rates until late 2014. The Fed’s previous low-rate pledge was set to expire in mid-2013. The rally was gold’s biggest intraday gain in four months, and eclipsed the day’s modest gains in equities and other commodities. “Ben Bernanke is saying if you keep your money under your mattress, you lose out as the purchasing power of the US currency is being eroded,” remarks Axel Merk, the currency expert from Merk Funds.
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Gold Proves Safest as Goldman Forecasts Record
Bloomberg – US Treasuries step aside; the world’s oldest safe-haven asset is making a comeback. According to the Bloomberg Riskless Return Ranking, gold has outperformed all other commodities over the past five years when adjusted for volatility. The next-best performer has been gold’s junior sibling: silver. No surprise, then, that Goldman Sachs likes what it sees in the yellow metal market. The bank forecasts gold futures to climb to $1,940 an ounce in the next twelve months.
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China Gold Hoarding Turns More Traders Bullish
Bloomberg – Mainland China imported a record-breaking 85.7 tons of gold bullion via Hong Kong last October. It shattered that record and set a new one in November, importing a whopping 102.8 tons. China recently overtook India to become the world’s largest gold-jewelry market. The exploding imports via Hong Kong may also be a sign that the People’s Bank of China is looking to further diversify its reserve holdings. “The thing that’s caught people’s minds is the massive increase in Chinese buying,” says Ross Norman , CEO of Sharps Pixley Ltd., a bullion brokerage in London. “Gold has demonstrated time and time again its ability to hold purchasing power.”
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Sprott Positive on Gold
Reuters – Eric Sprott, the renowned Canadian fund manager, remains positive on precious metals for the coming year. Sprott anticipates gold will rally to $2,000 an ounce and beyond in 2012. Sprott is even more sanguine on silver, which he anticipates will rally to $50 an ounce and beyond. Sprott points to strong physical demand from mainland China and Turkey, where consumers are purchasing specie at record rates, as an important driver of the secular bull market in gold – in addition to the more fundamental litany of concerns about the global economy. Sprott prefers physical bullion as an asset choice, especially in light of the MF Global swindle.
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Miners See Gold Hitting $2,000 This Year
TheTelegraph(UK) – The folks digging the yellow metal up out of the ground see rosy times ahead. A survey by accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that a preponderance of gold-mining company executives believe the price of gold will keep increasing in 2012 for a 12th consecutive year. The average prediction from the survey came in around $2,000 an ounce. Accordingly, gold mining companies have increased their price targets for this year by 20%. Miners underestimated their price targets in 2011, predicting the yellow metal would end the year at only $1,500 an ounce.
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POSTED ON January 28, 2012  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Will European Sovereigns Have to Sell Their Gold?
MarketWatch – To make ends meet, European sovereigns may soon have to dig deep into their pocketbooks and jettison some of their gold reserves. At 2,452 tons, Italy enjoys the world’s fourth-largest gold reserves. Current value: $123 billion. Rome’s budget deficit for 2011: $80 billion. France, meanwhile, has bullion worth $122 billion and a budget deficit of $150 billion. China, on the other hand, owns very little gold. It is eagerly looking to diversify its reserves comprised largely of paper IOUs. When the bullion changes hands, so will the power, says MarketWatch.
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Bullion Could “Easily” Crack $2,000
The Telegraph – Richard Davis, manager of the BlackRock Commodities Income Investment Trust, told the UK paper The Telegraph in a video interview this month that gold could “easily” top $2,000 in the next twelve months. This is especially the case if investment demand remains strong. Davis notes that the macro concerns underlying investment demand are all still with us. Moreover, investment demand is the only factor that has ever driven a long-run bull market in gold. In inflation-adjusted terms, gold has yet to reach its 1980 peak of approximately $2,300, Davis points out.
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BoA Targets $2,000 – $2,500 Gold in 2012
CS Monitor – Sabine Schels, a commodities strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, bucks the latest short-term hysteria following a correction in the price of gold and says it will continue its relentless climb in 2012. Schels believes gold will rally and reach $2,000 to $2,500 this year, noting there is no let up in investor interest anywhere on the horizon. The main drivers of investor interest, according to Schels, include the negative outlook for sovereign debt, loose monetary policy in the developed world, and the need for emerging market central banks to diversify their reserve holdings.
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The Ron Paul Portfolio
Total Return Blog, Wall Street Journal – US Representative and Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has placed the majority of his eggs in one basket: gold. Surprising? No, not really. Rep. Paul’s Congressional colleagues, mainstream money managers, and crony capitalists scoff at his portfolio’s extreme concentration in one asset class. The problem with their argument, however, is that few of them have made money as of late, notwithstanding flipping Treasuries. Representative Paul, on the other hand, has held true to his investment philosophy for the past 30 years. And events just keep proving him more and more right. Perhaps there is some logic to his use of fundamental values to guide his decisions – in politics as well as economics.
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POSTED ON December 31, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Central Bank Gold Purchases Surge in Q3
Wall Street Journal – Central banks have purchased 7X as much gold in the 3rd quarter of this year than the same period last year, the latest World Gold Council quarterly report reveals. The combined purchases amount to a whopping 148.8 metric tons of gold. By comparison, in the third quarter of 2010, central banks purchased only 22.6 metric tons. Although a significant number of the buyers from 2011 remain anonymous, Marcus Grubb, managing director of investment at the Council, hints the answer may lie in central banks from surplus countries in East Asia, Central Asia, and Latin America.
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US Federal Debt Now Exceeds $15 Trillion
Washington Times – In case you were looking for one more reason to stockpile precious metals to hedge against coming inflation, history’s greatest debtor nation passed a new milestone this month: Washington’s debt load now tops $15 trillion! The achievement comes as a result of a one-day, $56 billion (no, not million) increase to the nation’s bar tab. Bottoms up as the politicians dither and squabble, and extend the after-, after-party for just a few hours longer. Will we reach the $16 billion mark before the tab comes due?
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Swiss National Bank Returns to Profit
Financial Times – It has been a challenging year for chairman Phillip Hildebrand and the Swiss National Bank; the man and the institution paradoxically charged with stemming the stratospheric rise of a fiat currency managed too well. The first and second quarters of 2011 saw the central bank report combined loses of SFr10.8 billion. The third quarter, however, was starkly different. Thanks to the bank’s gold holdings and foreign exchange reserve positions, investments that both saw gains, Mr. Hildebrand posted a redeeming SFr16.6 billion, or US$19 billion, profit. It remains unknown precisely how much the bank has spent to cap the swissie to the euro at the 1.20:1 level.
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Salvation Army Receives Golden Donation
Press Citizen, Iowa City – Some Iowan out there really knows how to do a good deed. A Salvation Army red kettle outside the Coralville Walmart this year received a gold coin worth almost $200 from an anonymous donor, continuing what has become a now four-year-old tradition in Johnson County. Given the donation was made in the form of an appreciating gold coin, it is really a gift that’ll keep on giving. And to round it off, Salvation Army red kettles do not dispense receipts; so we can be pretty sure this donor will not be writing off the act of kindness on his or her taxes.
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POSTED ON December 3, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Deutsche Bank’s Lewis: Gold, Agriculture, Are “Safest Long Positions”
Bloomberg – Michael Lewis, Deutsche Bank’s Global Head of Commodities Research, reports that gold and other commodities are “still cheap” and that gold’s recent rally, while record-breaking, is “not yet extreme.” Demand from emerging markets remains strong for all commodities. Lewis noted that gold is below its 1980 peak in terms of rate of appreciation, inflation-adjusted producer price, and inflation-adjusted consumer price. ETFs and central bank purchases are new sources of demand that were not present in the late ’70s.
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The World Does Not Need to End for $10,000/oz Gold
Wall Street Journal – Shayne McGuire, manager of the $100 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas, made a daring move in ’07 when he allocated aggressively into gold at $650/oz, against the anti-gold conventional wisdom of the pension industry. Thanks to McGuire’s courage, the fund was up 15.6% in its fiscal year ending in June ’10. Now, he has released a book saying gold will hit $10,000/oz before the rally is over. He points out that as little as 1% of total global stock and bond holdings moved into the metal would cause this ten-fold rise in price. Predicting a return to gold as money in the midst of high inflation, McGuire says that while “it seems like an aggressive call,” it’s really just “a return to normal.”
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JP Morgan: Dollar to Become World’s Weakest Currency
Bloomberg – JP Morgan’s research dept. predicts that the US dollar will continue to slide toward becoming the “world’s weakest currency.” They see the dollar hitting a target of 75 yen next year, 21% below its high of 95 yen earlier this year. JP Morgan’s analysts are perplexed that “The U.S. has the world’s largest current-account deficit but keeps interest rates at virtually zero.” This is widely understood to be a recipe for currency weakness. Bloomberg noted that the dollar has declined against 12 of its 16 most-traded counterparts this year.
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POSTED ON November 30, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Criminal Charges Leveled Against Goldline Execs
ABC News – The Santa Monica City Attorney’s office has leveled fraud and theft charges against executives at Goldline, the prominent California gold dealer, in a 19-count criminal complaint. At its core, the complaint argues Goldline persuaded customers interested in buying gold bullion to instead buy numismatic coins worth significantly less than the advertised face value. In certain cases, the complaint alleges Goldline sold coins at double their market value. Santa Monica officials launched the investigation into Goldline over a year ago. Goldline has risen to prominence thanks to the endorsements of leading conservative radio and TV personalities including Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee.
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Qatari Wealth Fund to Invest $10bn in Gold Sector
The Telegraph – The Qatari royal family this month confirmed that it plans to invest up to $10 billion in the gold sector via its sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Holdings. The first investment tranche of $1 billion is to be made in, of all places, Greece. Qatar Holdings will invest in Goldfields, a miner listed on the London Stock Exchange that is presently developing the largest gold-mining project in the Hellenic Republic. Greek authorities anticipate the cash infusion will create 1,500 sorely-needed jobs.
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Tenant Pays The Donald in Gold
FOX Business – If you live in a Trump property, you can now pay your rent in gold. Trump has, for the first time, accepted approximately $200,000 worth of bullion from a tenant to cover the rent for the 50th floor of 40 Wall Street. An outspoken critic of the Fed’s money printing, Trump stated: “It’s a sad day when a large property owner starts accepting gold instead of the dollar. The economy is bad, and Obama’s not protecting the dollar at all… If I do this, other people are going to start doing it, and maybe we’ll see some changes.”
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Miner Gets Physical with Dividend Payout
Wall Street Journal – Gold Resource Corp., a Colorado Springs, Colorado company with operations in southern Mexico, has come up a novel way to distinguish itself. The company announced this month that it will soon start making dividend payments on its stock in bullion rather than US dollars. Jason Reid, president of Gold Resource Corp., argues that many investors (one assumes especially those buying gold mining stocks) would rather hold physical gold or silver than fiat currencies that governments will continue to debase.
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POSTED ON October 31, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

China Buys Gold to Challenge US Dollar
Al Jazeera – America’s diplomats know the world will one day pull the plug on the US dollar’s life support system. A recently published, unredacted Wikileaks cable from the US Embassy in Beijing shows that the concern has, in fact, been at the front of their minds. The cable quotes an editorial in a Chinese government-sponsored newspaper claiming Beijing is increasingly buying gold to encourage the rise of monetary alternatives; in effect, as the cable quips, to “kill two birds with one stone” by simultaneously undermining the US dollar’s and euro’s status as reserve currencies.
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Hedge Fund Heavyweight Sees Gold at $2,200
Bloomberg – Tony Hall, the moonlight boxer and hedge-fund heavyweight who returned a whopping 33 percent for his clients last year, prefers to fight from the gold corner. Golden-glove Hall believes that the yellow metal could work its way up to $2,200 an ounce by the end of 2011. Hall notes that in today’s turbulent economic environment, gold is attractive due both to its safe-haven and inflation-hedge qualities. For Hall, the latest correction in gold to the $1,700 level is a good opportunity to jump back into the ring.
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Gold-Backed Dollar Puts ‘Fair Value’ at $10,000 an Ounce
Bloomberg – If every US dollar in circulation were actually backed by the full faith and credit of incorruptible gold and not by politicians’ hollow promises, you would need approximately 10,000 greenbacks to buy one ounce of the yellow metal, a recent report maintains. Dylan Grice, a London-based global strategist at French bank Société Générale, crunched the numbers and says that the $10,000 figure is the actual “fair value” of gold. Significantly, the calculation suggests that in playing catch-up, gold has the potential to quintuple its current spot price.
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Industry Eyes Gold at $2,000+
The Globe and Mail – According to the average prediction of participants at the London Bullion Market Association’s conference, the gold industry’s biggest annual gathering, gold is primed to crack the $2,000 an ounce threshold over the coming year. Participants expressed über-bullish sentiments based on their direct experience with buyers and sellers. For instance, Steven Nathan, marketing director at the Rand Refinery in South Africa, had this to say about the popular Krugerrand coin: “Demand is insatiable. It’s the strongest period ever right now.” Incidentally, in years past, the conferences’ average predictions have often turned out to be excessively cautious.
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POSTED ON August 3, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Gold Mining Commanding a Premium
Financial Post – Gold, like oil, is getting harder and harder to find. That is the conclusion of a recent report by Clarus Securities. Employing data from the Society of Economic Geologists, analyst Laurie Curtis finds that deposits yielding high quantities of gold per ton of ore extracted peaked in the 1980s. The cost of discovery, in particular, has nearly quintupled to $47 an ounce in 2009, up from $10 an ounce during the 1980s. Higher capital expenditure and a steadily increasing gold price will be the only way for supply to keep up with today’s surging demand. Read Full Article>>

Gold Standard Emerging as World Order Unravels
The Telegraph – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, international business editor of The Daily Telegraph, writes that with Japan and the West likely at debt saturation, gold is making a comeback to its historical role as an anchor of stability in a sea of liquidity. Squabbling politicians in Washington and Brussels make for good theater, but generate little confidence in the eyes of investors as regards the medium- to long-term resilience of the purchasing power of their respective fiat currencies. No alternative asset class exists that is capable of absorbing the impending wave of wealth on the lookout for safekeeping. With the post-Bretton Woods global monetary order growing increasingly threadbare by the day, a new gold standard is just over the horizon, forecasts Mr. Evans-Pritchard.
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Swiss Mull Re-Linking Franc to Gold
MarketWatch (WSJ) – The Swissie has performed admirably over the course of past three years as the flight to quality has taken center stage. But for the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), a strong, resilient Franc is not enough, and certainly does not equate with a bulletproof Franc backed by solid gold. Later this year, the Swiss Parliament, which decoupled the Franc from gold as recently as the year 2000, is expected to debate the introduction of a parallel Gold Franc. The little Alpine nation still holds almost as much bullion as gargantuan China. Per capita, it is #1, with $6K in gold per person – six times the amount per person held by the US.
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POSTED ON July 3, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Crisis of Confidence in US Dollar Possible: UN
Financial Post – Ban Ki-Moon has just won a second term as UN Secretary-General. Kudos. The eroding value of his tax-exempt salary denominated in US dollars, however, is less cause for celebration. A mid-year review of the world economy by the UN’s economic division points out that a continued decline in the value of the US dollar vis-Ã -vis a basket of other major currencies could precipitate a crisis of confidence, and possibly a collapse. Such an eventuality would with certainty imperil the global financial system. Rob Vos, a senior economist who contributed to the review, explained to Reuters that the brain trust isn’t arguing that a collapse will happen tomorrow, but that the headwinds are fast compounding, and a point of no return could come sooner rather than later.
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EU Facilitates Use of Gold as Collateral
The Australian – The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs resolved unanimously in late May to permit clearing houses to accept gold as collateral. The decision must still pass muster at the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in July. Nevertheless, the Committee’s harmony of opinion represents a significant shift in political sentiment regarding the utility of gold as a store of value. Since the 2008 financial crisis, investors and financial institutions have clamored for alternative sources of collateral. Traditional collateral assets, such as European government bonds, have seen their credit quality erode.
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Mining Chief Sees $2,000 Gold
The Australian– Richard O’Brien, Chief Executive of the world’s largest gold producer, Newmont Mining, commented on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia that the price of gold would likely reach $2,000 within five years. Mr. O’Brien said the newfound wealth generated by China’s growing middle class and a devaluing US dollar would underpin the rise. For 2011, however, he forecast the price would likely remain in the $1,500 to $1,600 bracket. At the very least, the mining chief believes gold will remain above $1,000 an ounce for ‘the foreseeable future,’ no matter the state of global markets.
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Utah Legalizes Gold, Silver Coins as Currency
Denver Post – Utah, the rugged “Beehive State,” became the first US jurisdiction to authorize the use of gold and silver coins as currency in late May. The move exempts the sale of precious metal coins from state capital gains taxes. State lawmakers passed the bill to protest Federal Reserve monetary policy, noting that citizens are losing faith in the dollar and deserve alternatives. A groundswell of gold- and silver-backed depository accounts that offer debit-like cards that consumers can use to make purchases is expected. Minnesota, North Carolina, Idaho, and almost a dozen other states are considering similar measures.
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POSTED ON June 3, 2011  - POSTED IN Key Gold Headlines

Factbox: Gold Milestones on the Way to the Summit
Reuters – On Monday, May 2nd, gold attained an all-time record high of $1,575.79/oz. In commemoration of this historic milestone, a Reuters Factbox captures some important dates in gold’s trading history since the early 1970s: August 1971, Nixon takes dollar off gold standard; January 1980, gold peaks at record $850/oz on inflation concerns; August 1999, gold bottoms at $251.70/oz as central banks dump holdings; November 2005, gold cracks $500/oz, highest level since December 1980; March 2008, gold breaks through $1,000/oz barrier only months before Lehman bankruptcy. It has been a sprint to $1,500 an ounce and beyond ever since.
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Mexican Central Bank Quietly Buys Almost 100 Tons of Gold
MarketWatch – Discreetly, Mexico’s central bank added a whopping 93.3 tons of gold bullion to its reserve holdings in February and March. The move, reported by IMF statistics, is in tune with recent net central bank buying of gold following two decades of sales, according to the World Gold Council. The majority of the Bank of Mexico’s reserves are in US dollar-denominated assets – from which it is ostensibly seeking to diversify. Russia likewise expanded its gold holdings by 18.8 tons and Thailand by 9.3 tons over the same timeframe.
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Forbes Predicts US Gold Standard Within 5 Years
Human Events – In an exclusive interview with Human Events, celebrity businessman and owner of the Forbes media group Steve Forbes predicts the US will return to a gold standard within the next five years. “What seems astonishing today could become conventional wisdom in a short period of time,” Forbes said. Forbes believes a gold standard would help America resolve a host of economic, fiscal, and monetary problems. Mandating a commodity backing could help stabilize the value of the US dollar, restore global investors’ confidence in US debt, and reign in reckless federal spending. Forbes underscores that politicians need to “get over” the conviction that the Fed can single-handedly manage the economy via monetary policy. And, he warned, “you cannot trash your money without repercussions.”
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Demand for Gold Coins Suggests Bull Market Still Charging
Financial Post– Demand for gold coins remains muscular despite a transient pullback in commodities over the past month. This month, sales of American Eagle gold coins by the US Mint are on track to set a new decade high. The first week of May sales totaled 57 percent of April sales. Since high levels of coin sales have in the past augured well for the future price of gold, this groundswell in the secondary market suggests the gold rally still has a ways to go Analysts reckon fears over sovereign debt loads and inflation continue to fuel demand for secure physical holdings, while the American Eagle coin maintains its stellar reputation worldwide.
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For Paulson, Gold Still Glitters
DealBook (NYT) – Hedge fund magnate John Paulson – who rose to wealth and fame betting against the US subprime mortgage market – continues to be faithful to gold, which netted him $5 billion in personal gains in 2010. His loyalty endures even as prices dipped over the past month and other marquee players, such as George Soros, curbed their positions in the precious metal. At a recent conference, Paulson counseled that volatility was for the meantime inevitable and should not discourage taking a stake. Paulson believes the US dollar stands to lose even more value in the coming years, and as such, gold is not in a bubble but will instead protect against inflation and appreciate.
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