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Don't Wait for GDP, $1,500 Gold IS the Recession

• John Tamny via

Back around 2005 when housing was booming, far from a sign of economic vitality, the proverbial "rush to the real" signaled a growing economic downturn. Thanks to a dollar in freefall as evidenced by a spike in the price of gold, always limited capital was migrating toward the hard, unproductive assets least vulnerable to currency devaluation.

To put it simply, the real recession was the housing boom.

Since the dollar's lurches in either direction tend to set the tone for global currencies, our monetary error was something shared by everyone as a run on paper currencies around the world fostered a global misallocation of capital into land, rare stamps, art, gold and other unproductive assets. The alleged worldwide boom characterized by a rush to the tangible was a classic "money illusion" that flashed economic hardship due to the world's innovators suffering capital deficits in concert with sinks of hard wealth receiving capital in abundance.

Happily, markets are nothing if not self correcting, and the misnamed "recession" of 2008, which was in fact a positive signal of economic rebound as housing and other hard assets ceased their bull run, was the corrective mechanism meant to reverse a substantial episode of Austrian School malinvestment. Of course, and as is well known now, rather than embrace the curative powers of what was once again a misnamed "recession", the political class set out to blunt its positive effects through bailouts and other subsidies of failed ideas such that Americans were robbed of the positive economic snapback that "recessions" always author.


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