The latest Beck Talks featuring Stu, brought
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GLENN: Full disclosure here. This is my, this is my gold guy, but my gold guy happens to be a sponsor of this program. So I want you to understand clearly going into this that this is a sponsor of my program. We're not going to talk about, you know we're going to talk about gold, but I want you to know, full disclosure, sponsor of the program. Mark Albarian is here, president of Goldline now. Mark, how are you?
ALBARIAN: I'm doing great. More importantly, how are you feeling?
GLENN: I'm feeling better. Thank you, by the way. I can't believe that I'm actually eating the fruit that you sent. People were sending me, people were sending me all kinds of, all kinds of food and I thought, it was all fattening. And I'm thinking, I'm on television; what are you doing. But thank you very much for your nice gift.
ALBARIAN: You're welcome.
GLENN: Okay. So Mark, I saw a story last night that said we're out, we're running out of gold, that we're hitting a gold, what do you call it, the oil
ALBARIAN: Peak oil.
GLENN: Peak gold. Is that even possible?
ALBARIAN: I think it is. When you think about the gold that we've seen on the market in the last handful of years, it's come from central banks. And central banks, the banks of countries, aren't selling gold now but they are buying gold. The second big source of gold has been mining companies selling gold forward, meaning that they sell the gold before it comes out of the ground. They do it in the paper transaction. Well, the mining companies are actually buying back their forward trades. So the big supplies of gold hitting the market, probably the third point is new mine production is down. So I think there's a very good argument that you could see peak gold. Now, we won't actually run out of gold, but you'll see much higher prices in my opinion.
GLENN: What are you we're playing a dangerous game here, you know, in speculation because, you know, there's a million ways to be wrong. What do you think? We haven't even hit the 1980 price which is, what, 18 in today's dollars, $1800 an ounce?
ALBARIAN: Well, if you take the 1980 price of $850 and you adjust it for inflation, I've seen offers anywhere between $2,000 and $2400 depending on how they do the math. Now, that's the inflation adjusted price.
ALBARIAN: And so lots of people believe that, I mean, it's reasonable to believe that gold could get to those levels again.
GLENN: Do you find that reasonable?
ALBARIAN: Absolutely. Absolutely.
GLENN: I think it was CitiBank or one of the, maybe J.P. Morgan, or I don't remember even who's in business anymore. But one of them came out and said $2500 gold per ounce. I think that is, I think that's even reasonable.
ALBARIAN: Merrill Lynch said you could see $1500 gold in 18 months and others are talking about higher prices. There was an article on AOL where they talked about how you could get to $2750. It's not hard to find articles
ALBARIAN: And experts talking about gold at much, much higher prices.
GLENN: So there's two things that I want to know about. The IMF has never been allowed to sell their gold. The International Monetary Fund. They've never been allowed to sell their gold. We have veto power so they can't sell their gold unless the United States says you go ahead and sell your gold. Well, they're selling their gold now. So we gave them permission. Now, I'm trying to noodle this, and you'd be a better expert on this. I'm trying to figure out if I'm holding something that's worth a lot of money, the last thing I want to do is allow more of it, a lot more of it to go out on the open market because it devalues what I am holding. Unless you want to make sure psychologically that the gold price stays, you know, out of the $2,000, $3,000 range because that makes people psychologically panic about the dollar. Does that make sense to you?
ALBARIAN: I think it makes perfect sense. There's been talk that the gold price has been held down by central banks, by governments for that very reason. If all of a sudden you have a record price in gold, then people start turning to gold. And when we saw gold hit a new record price, it wasn't just the investing public but all of a sudden you see Wall Street saying, hey, maybe it makes sense to have a little bit of gold in your portfolio. There's really not that much gold out there. And if gold is looked at as an alternative currency, you could see these $1500 or $2500 gold prices in the future. And I think that frankly makes people nervous.
GLENN: You know, Mark, I have I think people are running out of options on what, you know, could be worth something at all. You know, I've said this for over, what, maybe two years. You have to think like a German Jew, 1934. Maybe 1931. You have to see that what we're doing here doesn't make any sense and it's been done before. So what do they do? People had food, diamonds, gold, artwork, anything of value that people would say, oh, you know what, things are going to change. So I'll be able to trade in gold or whatever. But there is a disturbing article that I read from Nouriel Roubini who said that because dollars are so cheap now this is frightening to me. Because dollars are so cheap, we're doing now on the global scale what George Bush did and Alan Greenspan with the housing market except now we're doing it with commodities. And people are taking giant companies and giant hedge funds and countries are gobbling up these dollars and they're buying gold because and other commodities, oil, et cetera, et cetera, which is driving the prices up and they're doing it because they know the dollar, they can make more in the commodities in the short term than they can in the dollar because the dollar is going to continue to fall. But at some point that system implodes and so the commodities do what our houses have done and that bubble bursts. Are you concerned about a gold or a commodities bubble?
ALBARIAN: I don't think we're at the bubble levels. You know, in talking about gold at $850 back in 1980, you know, we're looking back almost, you know, well, 30 years ago. The idea that the inflation adjusted high is $2,000 to $2500, I just don't think $1100 gold right now could be looked at as a bubble, but I will agree that a lot of what you're seeing with the gold price isn't about gold so much as the devaluation of the decrease in the value of the dollar. And I think we're seeing that not only with gold but we're seeing it with oil and other commodities. People want, traders want something of tangible value. And you talk about it all the time. You have politicians that spend money that's not there. And when you are spending money that's not there, countries look at you and say, how can we trust the value of your paper if you can't keep your finances in order.
GLENN: Do you sell, do you sell any paper gold? I think you do, don't you?
ALBARIAN: No, we don't.
GLENN: You don't?
ALBARIAN: We give people an option and we arrange independent storage for them.
ALBARIAN: But the gold is really there.
ALBARIAN: A lot of the gold that you see Wall Street trades back and forth is options or the right to acquire it.
GLENN: That's stupid.
ALBARIAN: It's not necessarily real.
GLENN: That's just stupid. And one quick last question. I've only got 30 seconds. I've been buying gold coins for a long time, antique gold coins. You can do your own homework if you are listening to figure out why. But I had the last time I bought gold from you, I had a hard time. You are one of the only people that could still do it. And you can't really buy American gold coins anymore. Is the world running short on antique gold coins?
ALBARIAN: We're seeing some scarcity there because they are antiques, they are not making any more of them. But being one of the largest, if not the largest we have good inventories and good sources and it's our job to always have gold in stock and I hope we can.
GLENN: Okay, from Goldline, Mark Albarian. Thank you very much. We'll talk again.