Monday, February 25, 2008

Goodbye, Old Friend

"Columns, like plays, open only to close, and this one now steals into the night. ... A skeptic is who I am, though my readers and I would be a little richer if, on occasion, I doubted less and trusted more. ... Then again, only a few truly superb moneymaking ideas are required to deliver the man or woman of moderate habits from the toils of a 9-to-5 job. ... 'All That Glitters' was the headline over the Dec. 25, 2000 essay featuring a frustrated John Hathaway, portfolio manager of Tocqueville Gold Fund, whose share price languished near $11 as the world persisted in putting its monetary faith in the person of Alan Greenspan ... 'It grates on Hathaway', it said here seven years ago, 'that he anticipated many of these problems, each a candidate to promote a rise in the demand for a monetary asset not created by a political act of the U.S. government. ... Since then, gold's price has vaulted to $920 an ounce from $274 and the price of a share of the Tocqueville Fund to $51.60 from $11.25", James Grant (JG) at Forbes, 25 February 2008.

I'll miss JG's Forbes' column. He's one of the few original thinkers around today. One point JG makes, the "fundamentals", often take many years to work themselves out.


W.C. Varones said...

Yeah, I read that. Bummer.

Last weekend I also heard Barton Biggs on the MoneyTalk radio program. His head almost exploded when a caller asked about the appropriate asset allocation to gold: "Gold is not an asset class! You can't value it! You can't analyze it!"

Independent Accountant said...

Barton Biggs (BB) is a pretty smart guy. If he "almost exploded", may we assume he had a reason? Perhaps I should e-mail him my 24 December 2007 post on gold. BB can't value gold. BB can't analyze gold. If so, BB knows no monetary theory.