April 1st: Fool’s Gold
April the 1st: Fool’s Gold – Why Gold hasn’t lost it’s Lustre
I can hear a deep sigh as you begin to read this article. Yes, it is April the 1st again. Be prepared for the usual idiots bellowing April Fool’s whilst smashing you in the face with a custard pie (metaphoric of course, hopefully not actual pie). Geoffrey Chaucer first mentioned April Fool’s in the Canterbury Tales and incredibly it is still something we, albeit rather begrudgingly, still recognise today. So far I haven’t had anything played on me just yet, although reading Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve statements you would be forgiven if you had succumbed to some form of regretful April Fool’s feeling. I will get onto that in a minute. We in the office have been discussing our best April Fool’s jokes and pranks and if you are so inclined here is the Guardian’s Best April Fool Jokes. I think the best April Fool jokes for me have always been the subtle ones, the old spider in the cereal bowl or as my brother did to me, the old classic: gin instead of tap water in my glass at 8.30 in the morning. I could of course riddle this article with pyrite – fool’s gold references but I will refrain.
Fool’s Gold: Why Gold has been the best asset class this year
So far this year the biggest gag running is the Interest Rates Rise. In fact it is such a successful gag it has been running for the last couple of years. I just can’t believe no one has picked up on that or ran an article on that basis, cue my article’s meteoric rise on the NY Times. For a while there was a time when the joke was almost genuinely believed and that there might be multiple interest rates rises this year. Even up until a week ago, Yellen was still using Hawkish language in her statements. Yes Employment has been steadily getting better and yes the dollar is flexing its muscles against other currencies, but as will likely happen and I have been stating for some time, the more they pull away from the pack the more isolated their economy will become. The gradual decline of China, Brazil and the overtly weak oil price is going to take its toll on the US economy. This week Yellen has engendered her recent address in New York with dovish sentiment, citing China specifically as reason to be cautious about rates rise. Given this information it would be surprising if another rise will occur in the short term. This recession is not like the ones that have gone before and where monetary policy once could self-right a country, in a modern globalised world, ripples are felt quickly and with venom. With this in mind this is why I think Gold has benefited and will continue to do so in the next couple of years. As much as it has been knocked about with over confidence in the equities markets, Gold is no fool. It will continue to maintain purchasing power and its gravitas as a safe-haven will continue, of that I have no doubts.
I’ll leave you today with an old classic from the seventeenth century, a simple gag called “the Washing of the Lions”. In 1698 the news pamphlet “Dawks’ News-Letter”, wrote a report about several people being “sent to the tower ditch to see the Lions Washed”, the joke being there were noLions. For almost a century afterwards it was common place to send unsuspecting and gullible fools to the Tower of London to watch the Annual Ceremony of the washing of the Lions. The picture featured is a genuine invitation devised by the Senior Warden of the Tower of London in 1856, to convince some unsuspecting fools in the partaking of “the Washing of the Lions”. I might just try this.
Article by Michael Cooper