TheGoldReport: Let’s go back to the Middle East for a moment. The unrest there has pushed gold up about $100 over the past couple of weeks. Have the ongoing issues there or in northern Africa caused you to change your investment strategy in the near term?
Charles Oliver: One slight difference is that I’ve become a little more cautious on Africa in general. Many gold companies have exposure to Africa. The speed at which some of these countries are destabilizing has caused me concern. I think that most of the countries where mines operate will be fine; but having said that, I am cognizant there could be some nervous investors who decide they want to reduce their ownership in those areas. I’ve taken some profits from those areas and redeployed them back into what I deem are safer jurisdictions like North and South America.
TGR: Do you believe what’s happening in northern Africa and the Middle East is the “mania” catalyst the gold bugs have been seeking?
CO: Generally speaking, most crises pass and get resolved. Frequently, you see the gold price run up only to fall back down the next day. I try to block out these events because often they don’t really change the long-term value of gold. The concern, however, would be if this becomes more systemic and global in nature. In that case, I certainly think it would have a larger, more-lasting impact. But, again, I think you want to look at how destabilizing this is on Europe and the U.S. If it spreads to Saudi Arabia, that would cause me great concern.
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