Physical gold and silver will never become worthless. This fact does not make for much of a marketing pitch. But given recent events, this is a much more important feature than it looks at first glance.
Americans, and investors around the world, live in an age of collapsing confidence in institutions. The bubble economy built on zero interest rates by out-of-control central bankers appears to be in danger of implosion.
Companies can fail, and their share prices can go to zero. Bond issuers can default on their debt. This happens rarely in strong economies, but it can happen wholesale when bubbles pop.
Today’s markets are largely an exercise in mass psychology. Fundamentals don’t matter too much. What underpins value as much as anything is the belief that the next 20 years in markets will look a lot like the last 20.
Stocks and bonds both took a beating this year. Most investors probably aren’t operating on a thorough analysis of companies they own and the organizations they are lending to. They simply believe performance will get better.
Musk’s Twitter Overhaul Exposes Rot in Corporate America
Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi published internal communications demonstrating that Twitter communicated with the FBI and Democrat operatives to censor news about Biden family corruption on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.
It is hard to imagine markets doing well in a nation where so many citizens consider the government and major corporations to be corrupt. As bad as that is, there is another Twitter story which may have worse implications for stock and bond investors.
Elon Musk laid off 75% of Twitter’s staff and fired the senior management. Thus far, the company appears to be operating unimpaired.
In fact, Musk has reported user engagement in the platform is exploding.
Many large public companies are run for the exclusive benefit of senior management and employees, not shareholders. Excessive payrolls and management obsessed with ESG and other “woke” ideology are alienating many clients.
Leadership of corporations often appear unaccountable and at times outright hostile toward their customers. This certainly has not been priced into shares.
The problem is a breakdown of trust. Even well-run companies are not immune.
If society and markets were functioning properly, Elon Musk’s reforms at Twitter would be rewarded.
Instead, Musk is being punished by virtue-signaling executives at other large companies who are now cutting their advertising buys at Twitter – something they have been doing anyway given the difficult economy.
Officials threatened to ban Twitter in Europe unless Musk agrees to let them dictate which ideas and messages get heard.
How does someone know who to trust with their money these days? Wall Street bankers and money managers aren’t held in particularly high esteem. Many Americans consider them to be part of the problem.
Faith in media, including the financial press, is in steep decline.
FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried was the darling of outlets like CNBC. The establishment press continues supporting Bankman-Fried as he makes the rounds with his “gosh, I am too dumb to know anything was wrong and I sure am sorry” routine. They aren’t focusing on the misappropriation of client funds.
If and when trust totally evaporates, the selling of stocks and bonds may be sudden and indiscriminate. There will be fewer people with the conviction to step in and buy dips. Widespread bankruptcies and debt defaults appear likely.Gold, silver, and other tangible assets can’t go bankrupt and always hold value. In a world of perpetual growth and easy money that doesn’t sound too compelling. In the world we are being pulled into, it could be the only thing that matters.