Crise 1929/crise 2009

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WO R LD G O L D CO U NCI L

GOLD AS A STORE OF VALUE

By Stephen Harmston

Research Study No. 22

GOLD AS A STORE OF VALUE
Research Study No. 22 November 1998

WO R LD G O L D CO U NCI L

CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..............................................................................3 THE AUTHOR..............................................................................................4 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................5 1 FIVE COUNTRIES, ONE TALE ..............................................................9 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2 UNITED STATES: 1796 – 1997 ..................................................10 BRITAIN: 1596 – 1997................................................................14 FRANCE: 1820 – 1997 ................................................................18 GERMANY: 1873 – 1997 ............................................................21 JAPAN: 1880 – 1997....................................................................24

THE RECENT GOLD PRICE IN RELATION TO HISTORIC LEVELS....28 2.1 2.2 THE AVERAGE PURCHASING POWER OF GOLD OVER TIME................................................................................28 DEMAND AND SUPPLY FUNDAMENTALS ............................31

3

TOTAL RETURNS ON ASSETS ..........................................................35 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 CUMULATIVE WEALTH INDICES: BONDS, STOCKS AND GOLD IN THE US 1896-1996 ....................................................35 COMPARISONS WITH BRITAIN..............................................38 LONG-TERM GOVERNMENT BONDS IN FRANCE ................40 TIMES OF CRISIS ......................................................................40 A MODEL OF HISTORICAL TRADING IN GOLD, BONDS AND STOCKS ............................................................................41

4

GOLD AS A DIVERSIFIER....................................................................46 4.1 4.2 CORRELATION OF THE REAL RETURN ON ASSETS ............46 PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS: THE BENEFITS OF DIVERSIFICATION ....................................................................46

5

CONCLUSION ......................................................................................54 PRICE INDICES ..............................................................56 ACOMPARISON WITH SILVER ....................................61

APPENDIX 1 APPENDIX 2

The views expressed in this study are those of the author and not necessarily the views of the World Gold Council. While every care has been taken, the World Gold Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of any statement or representation made.

2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
q

Gold has maintained its value interms of real purchasing power in the very long run in the US, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. Despite price fluctuations gold has consistently reverted to its historic purchasing power parity with other commodities and intermediate products. In all five countries the purchasing power of gold substantially increased after the abolition of dollar convertibility in 1971 but has since revertedto an historic mean. Gold has not necessarily held its value in terms of purchasing power in periods of social and economic instability. In times of war, for example, the prices of other commodities, more directly needed for the war effort, tend to rise faster. But over the period of Germany’s massive inflation of 1918-24, when the value of bonds and stocks was severely diminished, gold maintainedits purchasing power. Gold’s liquidity, acceptability and portability are particularly important in times of crisis and may well be more important than gold’s rate of exchange with paper money at such times. In the US since 1971 the purchasing power of gold has increased. In 1997, the average gold price was somewhat above the level indicated by the long-term average rate of exchange with other...
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