Euro-zone finance ministers panicked this weekend and agreed to a preemptive announcement of a $125 billion bailout for the Spanish banks, bringing the grand total for bank bailouts to $600 billion when Ireland, Portugal and Greece are added.
Money printing on this scale has only ever been good for precious metal prices by historical precedent. The bank bailouts are an example of money creation at the source with banks able to lend more against this new capital injection and sterilizing bad debts.
Precious Metal Prices
It sets gold up to power above the $1,923 all-time high of last September and hit $2,000 an ounce this fall, while silver will as usual outperform to the upside and cross the 1980 all-time high of $50 and go to $60. This is only what we heard in the Dubai Old Souk earlier this year (click here).
Of course the euro-zone politicians have been panicked by the upcoming Greek election on June 17 to do something now rather than wait for the contagion to hit Spain. It remains to be seen whether preempting market fears has actually put them ahead of the curve.
Nobody really knows the likely course of events after the Greek election. Watching the TV programs with politicians lashing out at each other smacks more of anarchy than a stable democracy. But many have begun to question the practicality of leaving the euro.
The single currency was not designed for countries to come and go. Liquid assets in euros have already fled Greece but going back to an independent currency would still mean huge losses for the rich, although it would also create a buying opportunity.
Perhaps then the euro zone will bite the bullet and accept even bigger losses on Greek debt, and create money to save its banking system as an alternative. The sudden cave in over Spain at the weekend certainly suggests that is the way the wind is blowing.
More and more paper money in the system, more and more sovereign debt, it can only end badly and most certainly with much higher inflation levels. Inflation in China jumped last month as the world’s third largest economic bloc slowed down.
Investors who want to beat inflation are left with fewer and fewer options. Central banks cannot print gold, they can only buy it themselves as an inflation hedge and help to push up the price. Silver is a tiny market that will follow and outperform gold as a sister monetary metal.
There are few win-win scenarios for global investors in these markets, expect more and more investors to jump on this train. That is why prices are going higher.
About the Author
ArabianMoney.net editor and publisher Peter Cooper is based in the Dubai Media City, and has been working as a senior journalist in the region since 1996. He was then the founding editor of the Gulf Business, the first-ever business magazine published in Dubai. In the year 2000 he was a founding partner in the business news and information website ameinfo.com.
His book about ameinfo.com, ‘Opportunity Dubai: Making a Fortune in the Middle East’ was No.1 in The Daily Telegraph Book Club for six months. An Oxford graduate in politics and economics, Cooper spent a decade in London as a financial journalist specializing in real estate and construction. He is also the author of ‘Dubai Sabbatical: The Road to $5,000 Gold’.