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The men who eat gold.
For the elites of ancient Rome, extravagant tastes, decadence, and the pursuit of luxury in all aspects of life were societally accepted norms.
Wild animal hunts called venationes were held by the upper echelons of society, giving other wealthy Romans the chance to hunt rare animals that had been captured and shipped from around the world. Not only that, but the chance for commoners to marvel at creatures they would never hope to otherwise see in their lifetimes.
Similarly, slaves were also seen as a status symbol. Some Romans were known to collect more “exotic” slaves from distant lands as a display of their affluence, flaunting their power as masters of human beings that had been taken from many corners of the globe.
Lavish banquets were held that sometimes lasted for days, and celebrated were the hosts who could afford a vomitorium to better care for visitors at their banquets: it allowed guests to indulge themselves in food to the point of discomfort, then take a short break to purge their stomachs before returning to the feast to continue eating.
But perhaps the most blinding example of Roman opulence was the habit of wealthy citizens consuming some of their gold.
In ancient Rome, it was believed that the practice of eating gold could impart health benefits, cure an assortment of ailments, and even extend one’s lifespan. The thinking was that gold’s inherent purity and incorruptibility could impart these characteristics onto people, which led to the ingestion of the lustrous metal becoming commonplace for those who had the financial means to indulge in such an extravagant practice.
In order to be more easily swallowed, a Roman medical professional known as a pharmacopola would fashion the metal into the form of a small pill, or shave it into fine flakes or powder. It was then usually mixed into a concoction with honey, as well as valuable spices from the East like saffron and black pepper—things the Romans also believed had medicinal or healing properties.
Although there is no scientific basis for gold having any healing properties, I definitely believe it may be the cure for an ailment that threatens to shake up the very foundations of our financial world today.
There’s no doubt at all to me that we’re currently in the final phases of the supremacy of the US dollar.
Since the end of World War II, the US dollar has enjoyed its place at the top of the world’s currency hierarchy. It’s become the most recognisable form of money on the planet, the essential means of how nations must buy and sell oil, and the standard way of denominating the value of commodified metals, foodstuffs, and minerals.
The world’s addiction to the greenback is so great that over 60% of all central bank foreign currency reserves around the world are held in USD, and more than half of all dollars in existence are held outside of the United States.
In other words, our world is heavily addicted to the dollar. And of course, this gives the United States a lot of global power.
But that’s all changing. The de-dollarisation has begun.
I’ve written before about BRICS, the global economic alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. An alliance that may also include Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia; nations that have all applied. In meetings, BRICS has spoken openly about creating its own reserve currency, one that could be backed by gold or other hard assets like oil. Something that if it comes to pass (or more likely when), would almost immediately become the most powerful and most used currency on the planet.
In the world of oil, certain nations have already begun trading dinosaur juice heavily with non-USD currencies. The revenue from oil transactions between Russia, Iran, and Venezuela with countries such as China, India, Turkey, and a few others is now calculated using a mixture of Chinese yuan, Russian rubles, currencies of the importing nations, and bartering systems. And OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia has expressed soon allowing China to purchase oil in yuan as well.
And since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began, China and Russia have increasingly stoked the fires of their own economic relationship, in an effort to weaken the dollar. In the past eight months alone, ruble-yuan trade has increased by more than eighty times, exceeding ¥200 billion per month (~USD$29 billion).
Individually, not a single one of these actions may signal the doom of the dollar. However, I believe the end is most significantly predicted by the actions of global central banks.
Central banks can see the writing on the wall when it comes to the end of the USD’s prominence. As a result, they’ve been taking rapid action to stuff their coffers with a stable asset that isn’t on the decline.
Since late 2019, and increasing at a rapid rate since then, central banks around the world have been buying up gold like mad. 2022 saw the largest stockpiling of gold by central banks ever on record, with a total of 1,136 tons being purchased by nations like China, India, Turkey, and Singapore. This frenzied buying hasn’t slowed this year either, with January 2023’s purchases up by 192% when compared with December.
In other words, everyone is losing faith in the US dollar. The final nails are being hammered into its coffin as we speak.
Over the next few years, we’re going to see a gradual-yet-rapid decline in the purchasing power of the dollar, and in turn, the economic power of the United States. This is more than likely going to signal a shift in global supremacy along with it, and create even more economic turmoil than we’ve seen these past few years (as if we haven’t already had enough of that).
So, what am I doing to make sure I’m as protected as I can be during this time? I’m sure you’ve already guessed: I’m buying more gold.
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Throughout human history, gold has stood the test of time. And speaking generally, the more erratic or unstable our planet’s financial system becomes, the higher gold’s stability and value tend to rise.
This is why central banks are buying so much gold. And this is why I believe you should be doing the same.
I believe this because it’s obvious the US dollar has terminal cancer. It’s obvious our financial system is sick. And you don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict that the next decade is likely going to bring some of the most unpredictable economic changes in our lifetimes.
To me, the defence against these financial ailments on a personal level will always be to hold gold. It may not be a magic pill in the way the Romans thought of it, but I believe it is the pill we need to protect ourselves from certain upcoming financial infirmities.
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“Gold is money. Everything else is credit.” – J.P. Morgan
Record inflation levels are destroying the US dollar’s purchasing power, and more countries are moving away from the USD—very soon, I predict the almighty greenback will no longer be the world’s reserve currency. Central banks are paying attention too, which is probably why they’ve been purchasing record amounts of gold of late.
As the US dollar crumbles, more of the world is turning to the asset that's withstood millennia of human history. The proof is in the numbers: new interest caused gold to surge back over the $2K-per-oz mark this week. And with increasing financial turmoil, one thing is clear to me: those with dollars will lose, and those with gold will win.
But not all gold is created equal. ITM Trading is our trusted partner for gold education and acquisition in the US. For 27 years, they’ve helped thousands of people build strategic gold and silver portfolios to withstand all economic storms.
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