There’s a new interview with George Soros out in the popular Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post.
A lot of the interview is about the Chinese development model, Chinese stocks, real estate, etc.
There’s also an interesting section about gold.
Q: What is your view on gold?
A: That’s a complicated question. It has disappointed the public, because it is meant to be the ultimate safe haven. But when the euro was close to collapsing in the last year, actually gold went down, because if people needed to sell something, they could sell gold. Therefore they sold gold. So gold went down together with everything else.
Gold was destroyed as a safe haven, proved to be unsafe. Because of the disappointment, most people are reducing their holdings of gold. But the central banks will continue to buy them, so I don’t expect gold to go down. If you have the prospect of a crisis, you will have occasional flurries or jumps. So gold is very volatile on a day-to-day basis, no trend on a longer-term basis.
This explanation for gold’s weakness isn’t one that we’ve heard before (most explanations involve the lack of volatility and the increase in US real interest rates).
That being said, his point about how gold is not a safe-haven is spot on. During overall weakness, when central banks are trying to push down real interest rates, gold seems to benefit. But in a real panic, people sell gold to raise cash.