Demand for publicly traded stocks and demand for physical bullion aren’t always correlated, but stock investors and metal investors do have something in common. Both groups are grappling with uncertainty, and that means some people are on the sidelines.
The Wall Street Journal reports investors sitting on record amounts of cash.
They are a bit worried and don’t know what else to do.
There isn’t consensus in the financial press. One story suggests investors punch the accelerator while the next urges them to pump the brakes.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans who increasingly say they disapprove of “Bidenomics” don’t seem to be buying the government statistics the media is reporting.
Surprisingly strong GDP, ultra-low official unemployment and federal CPI reporting which shows price inflation coming down are all examples of data which doesn’t match Americans' lived experience.
Many of the people making the bullish case for owning stocks don’t seem to be buying the official statistics either. They aren’t suggesting the U.S. economy is great. Instead, their argument hinges, in large part, on the thesis that as the economy hits the skids, the Fed’s response will be to cut interest rates.
Mainstream America may regret placing so much confidence in the central planners at the Fed. There is far more to a healthy economy than interest rates, but these days little else seems to matter.
The record amount of cash on the sidelines isn’t entirely attributable to uncertainty. People have been incentivized by higher interest rates available in money market funds.
However, Americans might be well served to contemplate how safe this cash really is. Money market funds aren’t going to keep pace with inflation over the long run. Nor are they immune from credit risk, which could manifest at any time.
Bullion investors would like to see some of this capital pour into the gold and silver markets. They are looking for a catalyst which pushes people away from conventional assets and toward alternatives.
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