Peter Schiff lays an iPod-sized bar valued at about $40,000 on the sun room floor of his Connecticut mansion, and calculates it would cost about $250,000 for each floor tile to pave the room with gold.
He shows off $50 gold chips, to be used when paper money becomes worthless, a prediction repeated on his daily two-hour radio show broadcast from his basement studio to 68 stations in 30 states and 50,000 listeners online. The unabashed gold bug’s Euro Pacific Capital Inc. manages a $20 million mutual fund that invests in stocks related to the metal and lost 4.5 percent since it began in July. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index slid 2.9 percent in the same period.
Schiff, 50, isn’t fazed that gold is heading for its first annual price drop in 13 years, or that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has called it a “slam-dunk sell.” He predicts bullion will reverse its 21 percent year-to-date decline and probably surge 52 percent to reach a record $2,000 an ounce within a year. That’s just the beginning: Before President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017 the U.S. will default, the dollar will collapse, hyperinflation will strike and gold will skyrocket, he says.
“I’m waiting for the dollar crash, I’m waiting for the real crisis to hit that I know will benefit gold,” Schiff said Oct. 18 over lunch of spinach-and-beet salad and stewed rabbit in the sun room after the radio show. “The longer it takes, the longer I have to wait for that payday. But the longer it takes, the bigger that payday is going to be.”
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