Gold. Apparently it will be very useful when the global economy collapses, although we don’t know why — you can’t eat it, and we doubt it would be of much use as a construction material when building your post-apocalyptic lean-to.
And yet, for whatever reason — maybe because there is only a finite amount of it, and it’s shiny, and the ladies love it, and warehouses full of Chinese mainframes can’t “mine” for it — gold is a valuable commodity that emerging economies use to create confidence in their currencies (or so the theory goes).
Anyway, to make a long story short, Russia continues a long trend of gobbling up all the gold it can buy. Is this part of Putin’s plan for a “gold ruble”? No, that is fake news. But it is probably a signal that Russia is taking the threat of global economic instability and trade wars very seriously.
As Sputnik reports:
Russia’s gold reserves grew by 14 percent in 2016 to 1,614.3 metric tons, the Bank of Russia said on Friday.
“The amount of monetary gold in Russia’s international reserves grew by 14.7 percent [199 tonnes] and totals 51.9 million troy ounces [1,614.27 tonnes], the financial regulator said in a report.
While all eyes are on the oil price and the ruble to dollar rate, the Central Bank of Russia has quietly been buying huge volumes of gold over the past year. In January, 2016, the latest data available, the Russian Central Bank again bought 22 tons of gold, around $800 million at current exchange rates, that, amidst US and EU financial sanctions and low oil prices. It was the eleventh month in a row they bought large gold volumes. For 2015 Russia added a record 208 tons of gold to her reserves compared with 172 tons for 2014. Russia now has 1,437 tonnes of gold in reserve, the sixth largest of any nation according to the World Gold Council in London. Only USA, Germany, Italy, France and China central banks hold a larger tonnage of gold reserves.
One could even make the case that BRICS nations are (slowly) using growing gold reserves as a way to encourage trade in their own currencies — in other words, weaning themselves off the dollar.
Or maybe Russia and China really are preparing for the post-dollar End Times. We’ll find out soon enough!