The Corner

Going After Gold

My home-page piece today is about Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.), who has decided to go after conservative talk-radio hosts and the gold companies that advertise on their shows. An excerpt:

“Conservative Pundits Profit on People’s Fear” is the title of one section of Weiner’s report. After listing a number of conservative commentators who are sponsored by Goldline, the report concludes: “The message that these commentators push is that government is out of control and unsafe, inflation will continue to devalue the dollar and that as an investor you should protect yourself by stock piling gold coins.”

For example, one of these right-wing commentators recently said:

When I watch Chairman Bernanke, Secretary Geithner, and Mr. Summers on TV, read speeches written by the Fed governors, observe the “stimulus” black hole, and think about our short-termism and lack of fiscal discipline and political will, my instinct is to want to short the dollar. But then I look at the other major currencies. The Euro, the Yen, and the British Pound might be worse. So, I conclude that picking one [of] these currencies is like choosing my favorite dental procedure. And I decide holding gold is better than holding cash, especially now, where both earn no yield.

Except that wasn’t a right-wing commentator. It was famed investor and self-described liberal David Einhorn, speaking at the Value Investing Congress last fall (average registration rate: around $3,000). It turns out that while conservative talkers such as Beck are speaking loudly and angrily (and advertisers like Goldline are offering their listeners small, retail forms of protection), Democratic donors are silently making huge bets predicated on their being right.

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