President and CEO,
Bullion Management Group Inc.
This week we interview Mr. Nick Barisheff, President & CEO, Bullion Management Group, and discuss with him the importance of gold bullion. Mr. Barisheff founded Bullion Management Group Inc. in 1997, and is the portfolio manager of BMG BullionFund, Canada's only open-ended fund investing purely in gold, silver, and platinum bullion.
For a PDF version, click here:[PDF] Interview with Nick Barisheff, BMG Inc. Here is the interview:
GreenLightAdvisor.com: What’s the most important thing people need to understand about gold?
Nick Barisheff: Many people think gold is a commodity like copper, zinc or pork bellies, but it has 3,000 years of history as money. It was money that no government created by edict. It was just adopted for usage by itself, and it was and still is the best form of money. Currently, we have a 37-year global experiment in paper money. All prior paper money experiments ended in hyperinflation, with the currencies becoming worthless. All previous hyperinflations were contained within a single country, but this time, because of the reserve status of the US dollar, it is likely to be global in nature.
Right now, the price of gold is rising while most currencies are losing purchasing power as well as their value against gold. Gold comes back into its monetary role when there's a loss of confidence in the financial system or in paper money, and that's when people are attracted to it.
Before 1971, the monetary system was governed by the Bretton Woods Agreement. Under that agreement, the US dollar was backed by gold, and other currencies were pegged to the dollar. Other countries could trade their US dollars for gold. Essentially, US gold indirectly backed all other currencies. Then things changed. As the US was getting into the Vietnam War and into President Johnson's policy of guns and butter, US gold reserves started declining. Countries holding dollars were presenting their US dollars and asking for gold in return, and that led to US gold reserves dropping from a peak of 22,000 tonnes to 8,800 tonnes. On August 15, 1971, President Nixon “closed the gold window” and stopped the exchange of US dollars for gold. Closing the gold window was a euphemism, but basically the US declared bankruptcy. When you can’t meet your obligations when they are due, that’s what it is. So from that point in time, we’ve had 37 years where the entire world has been on a global fiat currency monetary system.
Since 1971, when the dollar was freed from the constraints imposed on a currency backed by gold, the US has experienced increasing federal government and current account deficits. The US is now borrowing $800 billion annually to fund its consumption of foreign-made goods and commodities, and the federal government is running a deficit of almost $350 billion. At some point, foreigners will become unwilling to continue funding US expenditures, forcing the Federal Reserve to expand the money supply at a faster pace. This will result in rising inflation, rising interest rates and a continuous decline in the US dollar.
GLA: We’ve had the fastest money supply growth in almost 40 years that’s resulting in increased inflation. Why would an investor want to go into T-bills, given that interest rates don’t even cover half of the stated inflation rate, which we know isn’t even the real inflation rate?