Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gold a Bubble? - Not Even Close

By Jonathan Kosares:

With the number of financial bubbles inflating and bursting over the past decade and a half, it isn't surprising that financial analysts have their "bubble-dar" honed and active. What is surprising though is the large number who have resoundingly dubbed the gold market as "the next big bubble." But is it? Most gold owners reject claims that gold is in a bubble, but they might not be sure exactly why. The most concrete and convincing evidence against gold being in a bubble, though, is right in front of us.

In the last 15 years, there have been two generally acknowledged, easily quantifiable bubbles: NASDAQ's tech bubble in 1999, and the briefer Crude Oil bubble in 2008. (Many would say housing was also a major bubble, but doing so may prove erroneous. Extreme home value loss is limited to certain areas of the country, and is not nearly as conclusive as the tech stock and oil collapses.)

Two characteristics are consistently present in the formation of a bubble. The first is magnitude, and the second is velocity. Long-term advances in prices do not necessarily represent a bubble just because of the duration, and neither does volatility as long as it is within a reasonable range. However, when prices rise sharply in a short period of time, and then drop sharply in an equally short period of time, one can reasonably conclude a bubble formed, and then burst. In other words, when magnitude and velocity combine to cause extreme volatility, that market likely is in a bubble.

Market bubbles defined
This study seeks to define exactly the level of volatility that separates a bubble from a non-bubble. One effective method for quantifying price volatility is to compare the daily price performance of a market against its 200-day moving on

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