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Glenn Beck, Goldbug

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Glenn Beck, Goldbug"

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It seems that Glenn Beck has taken to advising his audience to invest in gold. At the same time, his remaining advertiser base consists primarily of gold merchants. Nice conflict of interest there.

But beyond the conflict of interest, it should be said that the whole idea of investing in gold as a hedge against the possible future decline in the value of the dollar is a bit bizarre. Currencies devalue relative to other currencies. If you think that in the future the dollar will be worth less (not a crazy prediction) the reasonable course of action isn’t to invest in gold, it’s to invest in some other currency. Buy Yen or Australian dollars or Norwegian krone or whatever you like.

Norwegian krone versus dollar and euro

Norwegian krone versus dollar and euro

Gold isn’t much of a pure currency play. Its price depends on things like discoveries of new gold, technological improvements in mining, the waxing and waning of demand for gold for industrial applications, etc. I would not, personally, be inclined to become a currency speculator. But if you do think you have special insight into the future movements of currencies, there are much more reasonable ways to put your money where your mouth is.

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