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Consumer Confidence Foretells Economic Crash?


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Consumer Confidence

 

Anyone who stops to think about it knows that the fundamental strategy for generating investment profits is to buy an investment when the price is low and sell when that investment’s price is high. The name of that strategy is “buy-low/sell-high”. The difference between the “buy low” price (say, $100) and the “sell high” price (say $300) is the measure of the profit ($200, in this example) made on the investment.

No one seeking investment profits can refute the “buy-low/sell-high” strategy. On considering that strategy, virtually everyone will say, “Well, of course,” or “Obviously” or even “Well, duh”.

However, the buy-low/sell-high” strategy isn’t as simple as it sounds. There’s a problem: investors like to behave like herd animals. We are generally and genetically afraid to act independently. We feel more comfortable believing someone else (especially an “expert”) than we do in trusting our own eyes and ears. Insofar as that tendency is prevalent, investors are prone to ignore the buy-low/sell-high strategy and instead “buy high” (when virtually everyone is buying and says “now’s the time to buy”) and “sell low” (when virtually everyone is selling at a low price). This “sell-low/buy-high” strategy is a sure formula for going broke. I.e., most investors tend to “buy high” (when the investment’s price is $300) and “sell low” (when the price is $100) and thereby suffer a $200 loss.

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Government’s War Against Savers


Government Squeezes the Savings--and Independence--Out of People [courtesy Google Images]

Government Squeezes the Savings–and Independence–Out of People
[courtesy Google Images]

Reuters published “India’s ‘gold monetization’ scheme could have a big impact on global demand”.  According to that article:

“Last week the Indian government approved the so-called gold-monetization scheme . . . [by] creating a system in which Indians holding private gold will be able to deposit it at banks—and then earn interest on their bullion holdings.

The government plans to then make the deposited gold available to buyers across India. The aim is to reduce gold imports from outside the country, which run at nearly 1,000 tonnes yearly.

“India’s cabinet also approved a ‘gold bond’ program in which citizens will be able to buy interest-bearing bonds backed by gold, rather than owning physical gold.

Estimates are that private citizens across India hold tens or even hundreds of millions of ounces of gold—which could become available to the banking system, if the monetization program is well received.”

 

First, a metric ton weighs 2,200 pounds.  If India imports 1,000 metric tons of gold at $1,200 per ounce, they’re importing $42 billion worth of gold each year.

India’s current GDP is about $2 trillion per year. Thus, India currently spends 2.1% of its annual GDP purchasing more gold from foreign sources. That’s 2.1% (more or less) last year; 2.1% this year; 2.1% next year.  Note that US economists hope that the US economy will grow by 3% annually.  Compare that 3% hope to India’s 2.1% annual drag on their economy due to purchasing foreign gold.  You can see that 2.1% is a significant expense for an economy the size of India’s and cause for governmental concern.

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