This week we speak with the founder of Goldmoney, James Turk. James Turk has long been a proponent of sound money. In 2001, he founded the precious metals online dealership Goldmoney.com, which was very unique at the time, and is to this day one of the most popular precious metals dealers online. We brought James on to talk about the role of precious metals in today's economy, and what James thinks it's role will be in the future.
James starts out by saying that there is so much money being printed by central banks, and its got to end up somewhere, and a lot of this money is ending up in what are perceived as safe-havens. For example, London and Singaporean real-estate, artworks, collectibles, and antique automobiles.
It's what you see in the early stages of what the Austrian economists call a 'crack-up' boom, the demand for the currency declines, and people move into things and out of the currency. I think the super rich get it, they're moving out of currencies because they aren't earning enough interest income, and safe-havens of all sorts are benefitting.
Speaking on the gold price, James' guess would be that the gold price will rebound quickly. Simply for the reason that gold has had so much downwards pressure, and that gold has been so undervalued. The recent downturn could be a short-squeeze, and if it is, then we could see a 'rubber band' effect in the price.
Next, James talks about the money bubble. People have generally lost sight of what money is, and the paper that's circulating as national currencies is not really money since it doesn't settle an obligation. If a shop receives a tangible asset (gold/silver) for the good of service that he's is giving in return, he has no lingering obligation or risk afterwards.
A currency presents payment risk, inflation risk, and bank risks. People are accepting those risks without realizing how severe those risks are. The risks of holding money in a bank today is quite large, the risks of inflation are large, and the risks of various promises being broken by governments are also quite large.
When asked on the future of currencies, and a possible gold back Russian/Chinese currency, James states that we can't predict the future, but he hopes that private currencies become dominant. What we're seeing with Bitcoin and other crypto currencies represent an important technological breakthrough, but at the end of the day, he sees gold emerging as the form of money, which it has always been throughout history.
Finally, on the topic of storage of physical gold. If you are buying physical gold, there are really only two ways to store it: at home or have professionals store it for you. If you store it at home, you have it at hand, but it can get stolen, and it can be inconvenient to sell. But if you use professional storage, you don't have it at hand but you do have liquidity, and can easily convert the gold into a national currency.
James Turk has over 40 years’ experience in international banking, finance and investments. He began his career at The Chase Manhattan Bank where he worked on assignments in Thailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong. In 2001 he co-founded GoldMoney and remains a director of the group. James makes regular conference appearances around the world, provides commentary for numerous publications and newswires as well as producing articles for his website and GoldMoney.