The man in charge of bringing together President-elect Donald Trump’s federal budget is a big believer in gold, according to financial disclosures.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick for the Office of Budget and Management, owns significant amounts of precious metals and gold mining stocks based on financial disclosures compiled by Bloomberg.
According to the filings, Mulvaney held between $50,000 and $100,000 in precious metals at the end of 2015. In addition, the current South Carolina Representative holds stock in a number of gold and silver mining corporations totaling between $252,000 and $855,000 according to the filing.
Bloomberg found that Mulvaney had sold significant amounts of the gold miners’ stock in early 2016, according to financial filings from the end of June.
The heavy investments into gold is not surprising given that Mulvaney has criticised the Federal Reserve. In a speech obtained by Mother Jones, Mulvaney told the John Birch Society (which it should be noted, is a group that believes the only legal form of currency are gold and silver coins) that the Fed has “effectively devalued the dollar” and “choke[d] off economic growth.”
In the same speech, Mulvaney also praised bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency cannot be “manipulated” by the government.
Gold mining stocks have had an up and down year. VanEck’s Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF — the largest gold mining sector ETF in which Mulvaney had an investment (between $15,001 and $50,000) — is up 45% year-to-date, but well off its high of the year in August, down roughly 35% over that time.
Since the election, the dollar has strengthened by a little over 5% while gold has fallen roughly 10%. Bitcoin has been surging in the past week, hitting its highest level since November 2013 on Thursday.