Is Gold Really Safe In Times of Crises?
Community + Content Marketing
April 20, 2020
For many years, gold has been considered a “safe haven asset.” Which means investors rush to buy gold in times of uncertainty in order to protect their wealth. But in the past few weeks, COVID-19 has driven unusual behaviours and movements in gold prices.
In this blog post we explore the limitations of gold as a storage of value – especially during difficult times like a global pandemic. We ask ourselves: is gold really safe in times of crisis? And what can money or Bitcoin offer in these times of uncertainty?
Let’s begin to answer the question by taking a look at what’s been going on in the gold industry in the last few weeks.
The Rush To Safeguard Wealth
The general “rule” in times of uncertainty is that the price of gold will increase as investors look to safeguard their wealth (and as they try to escape market volatility). So, as we’d expect, the initial market “slump” driven by COVID-19 increased the price of gold. Additionally, COVID-19 shut down a lot of mines worldwide that were contributing to new gold supplies.
This lack of gold supply (as a result of COVID-19) was so significant that Max Keiser, Host of the Keiser Report, said:
“I predict — and this is not only the ultimate use case but the ultimate irony — that once people realize that they cannot get gold, they’ll start flocking en masse into Bitcoin.”
Max Keiser, Host of Keiser Report
So, with mines around the world shutting down, supply falling, and demand only rising, the price of gold continued to rise. If we look at February 9th to March 9th of 2020, the gold price rose to 7%. A lot of gold investors were ecstatic.
But, Is Gold Really Safe In Times of Crisis?
What happened to gold next is both fascinating and unexpected.
Because markets experienced a rough couple of weeks, many businesses saw themselves in serious financial situations. Many of these companies (and therefore investors) needed to support their businesses with cash in order to pay out wages, bills and suppliers that would otherwise go unpaid.
This need for cash was so strong that investors sold off their gold bars for cash. And pretty quick. As a result, gold fell 12% in just 10 days.
Then we see gold prices increase as governments offer solutions to stabilize our economies. With this new influx in cash in the economy (learn about how the Fed is willing to print unlimited amounts of money here), people are resorting back to gold.
And with demand for gold now increasing, the price of gold is also increasing. When we look back at these past few weeks, we can see that the typical behaviour we see in gold prices was turned upside its head at the brink of disaster (with the COVID-19 pandemic more precisely)
A Familiar Story?
If panicking to secure cash sounds familiar, you may have read our recent blog post “Egypt Is Limiting Daily Cash Withdrawals.” In a panicked attempt to save their personal wealth, Egyptians rushed to the banks to pull out 30 billion Egyptian pounds (2.7 billion CAD) – in just 3 weeks alone. As you can imagine, this was a nightmare for banks because as a general rule large banks are only required to hold 10% of their customer deposits in real cash. The rest of the money does not exist. This shows how during times of crisis, people want cash. And fast.
What Can Bitcoin Offer In Times of Crisis?
Gold is ‘Toilet Paper’ for the Rich, Bitcoin for the Poor – Max Keiser
Gold Price Recap – April 6 – April 10
Gold Price Recap – March 9 – 13
Gold Scores Biggest Daily Dollar Gain On Record
Gold Bars In Short Supply Due To Coronavirus Disruption
90 Day Gold Price Chart