The COVID-19 pandemic was a global economic disaster that virtually shut down the U.S. economy. Beginning in March 2020, the federal and state governments imposed sweeping lockdowns that halted normal economic activity until August 2020. Based on Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, a Brookings Institution study determined that COVID-19 caused a 9.1 percent decline in the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2020. The study put this magnitude of a GDP loss into a historical context, observing that quarterly GDP had never experienced a drop greater than 3 percent since record keeping began in 1947. Yet, gold hit a yearly high of $2,058.40 in 2020, on the way to an all-time high of $2,074.60 on March 8, 2022. The central theme of this book involves demonstrating the causal relationship between a deep economic crisis and a historical increase in the price of gold.
In the first two chapters, we will examine the stagflation experienced under President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s and the bursting of the subprime real estate market that led to a global debt crisis at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency and into the start of Barack Obama’s presidency. In both cases, while the U.S. economy entered a severe and prolonged recession, the price of gold reached new highs. In chapters three through eight, we argue the evidence that the Joe Biden administration has launched a series of public policies that make a global depression likely, if not inevitable, starting in 2023. The central thesis of this book is that gold prices tend to increase when the economy experiences stagnant or negative economic growth and when inflation rates are high. Inflation is an increase in the purchasing power of money, reflected in a general rise in the prices of goods and services in the economy. The unusual confluence of high inflation and negative economic growth is known as stagflation. We conclude the book by explaining our reasons for predicting that a coming global economic depression beginning in 2023 will lead to a historical rise in the price of gold.
The monetary and fiscal policies of the United States government since the 2008 economic downturn have created inflationary conditions. Since then, the executive and legislative branches have cut taxes and increased spending. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has implemented policies designed to increase the money supply. Specifically, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at or near zero while engaging in “quantitative easing,” a policy of buying billions of dollars in U.S. Treasury and agency-issued debt to hold as investments in the Federal Reserve’s asset portfolio. Classical economic theory would predict that cutting taxes while increasing government spending and keeping interest rates low will inevitably result in long-term inflation.
While the principles of classical economics underpin the analysis of this book, in 2022–2023, the United States is in uncharted economic dire straits. The underlying theme of this book is that the international economy is in the process of a paradigm shift. The United States was the sole superpower emerging from World War II, with Germany and Japan defeated and in ruins. At the same time, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom had taken the brunt of the economic losses suffered by the allies on home territory. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States emerged from the Cold War again as the sole superpower, with the former Soviet Union in disarray. The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement positioned the dollar as the world’s dominant reserve currency today for settling transactions in international trade.
What we are experiencing now is the emergence of a multipolar world order in which Russia and China are challenging the U.S. economically and politically. With Russia invading Ukraine and China threatening to invade Taiwan, a political paradigm shift accompanies the economic paradigm shift. Added to the mix is a developing energy crisis as the United States and the European Union (EU) are decarbonizing by moving to less efficient and more costly renewable fuels. At the same time, Russia has responded to U.S. and EU sanctions by cutting the EU off from the Russian natural gas upon which the union depends.
The demand for precious metals, particularly gold, has intensified given that the U.S. dollar and the euro are under duress. In the subsequent pages, we will argue that we have a historic opportunity to invest in gold at prices that may look like bargains once we emerge from the current transformative international economic and political chaos.
 Lauren Bauer, Kristen Broady, Wendy Edelberg, and Jimmy O’Donnell, “Ten Facts about COVID-19 and the U.S. Economy,” The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institute, September 17, 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/research/ten-facts-about-covid-19-and-the-u-s-economy/.