The case for gold

City AM asked me to make the case for gold in 140-words, for yesterday's comment pages. Here's what I came up with:

Gold isn’t a traditional investment good: it is an alternative to paper money. From that perspective, its allure is all too clear. The purchasing power of gold is as good now as it was in 1900. The pound lost 99 per cent of its value over the same period. As a store of value, gold wins hands down because its supply is inelastic: you can’t create more of it every time you need to bail out a bust financial sector or bankroll a profligate government. Of course, I don’t know whether the gold price will be higher next week, next month, or even next year. But I do know that the things which have driven gold’s surge – uncertainty, money-printing, and fiscal incontinence – are here to stay. Monetary debasement is the whole point of a fiat currency. Make of that what you will.