jueves, 1 de octubre de 2009

El precio del oro va y viene; lo que importa es la base.

El profesor Antal Fekete (acaso el mayor exponente de la teoría monetaria en la actualidad) no se anda con rodeos:

To really understand gold and its true strength one must see that it is not the speculative
leveraged segment of the market that is animating it. (…) The unemotional holder of gold follows the gold basis, rather than the gold price. Only the gold basis* will tell you whether you can reasonably expect physical gold to be available tomorrow and the day after. Or whether it is more likely that one day, soon, we wake up to find that “gold is no longer for sale at any price”. Gold mines will hang out the notice: “Holders of dollars need not apply”. This is going to be the exact replica of what happened to holders of assignats, mandats, Reichmarks and, more recently, of Zimbabwe dollars. These finely embellished bank-notes were once exchangeable for gold at a variable price — for awhile. People took it for granted that they would always remain so. Then one day, when least expected, the supply of gold against paper went dry. The music stopped on this particular game of musical chairs. Those who had the paper in hand were out of luck. There is nothing in monetary science that would make the future outlook for the US dollar more rosy than that of the Zimbabwe dollar. Of course, there are more tricks that can be pulled out of the hat of the Fed than those available to the managers of the paper mill in Harare. But a paper mill is just a paper mill. The fact that it is on the Potomac river won’t make its product immune to rotting, that congenital disease of all paper currencies.

* Técnicamente se conoce como "base"al diferencial entre el precio más próximo al que un bien cotiza en el mercado de futuros (forward), y su precio al contado (spot). Esta base puede ser positiva o negativa. Si ocurre lo primero, el mercado está en una situación conocida como "contango". En cambio, si es negativa, estamos en "backwardation" (precio futuro < precio al contado).

Aquí el artículo completo.

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