Goldman Sachs is betting big on gold in 2020, mostly in response to the growing popularity of big government spending.
Goldman’s bullish forecast is due in large part to the growing popularity of Modern Monetary Theory as a plan to just pay for everything, including exploding government spending and deficits. MMT basically says debts and deficits don’t matter because a government that borrows in its own currency can just … print more currency (what could go wrong?) so long as inflation stays low.
Most MMT proponents reside on the progressive left, and they say governments should use low interest rates to spend on infrastructure and social programs to boost growth while also reducing inequality (think universal income, Medicare for All, etc.).
Goldman’s strategists said they don’t expect MMT to take off on the big stage, they think more and more people simply talking about it can cause currency debasement and rampant inflation — both of which are factors that can lead to gold prices spiking.
“In the next recession, our US economists do not expect governments to adopt direct monetary financing and expect inflation to remain firmly anchored,” Goldman Sachs precious metals analyst Mikhail Sprogis wrote in a research note. “But this doesn’t necessarily prevent an increase in debasement concerns if conversations around MMT become more widespread — a potential boost to demand for gold as a debasement hedge.”
Goldman‘s 12-month target for gold is now $1,600, a nearly 9% bump from Wednesday’s opening price. Gold has risen almost 14% over the over past year as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times in 2019, the first three cuts in more than a decade.
In addition to MMT talk, the trade strife and the 2020 election also could play a part. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is an MMT proponent and he is running second or third in most polls for the Democratic primary, the winner of which will get the chance to unseat incumbent President Donald Trump.
“High political uncertainty due to continued trade tensions and the approaching US elections should also be supportive gold in 2020,” Sprogis wrote. “This uncertainty may be one of the reasons why we see evidence of a non-ETF vaulted gold build, as high net worth individuals may want to store gold outside the financial system.”
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