15 February 2011

Gold: the safest asset

The hectic search for the presumed wealth that Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak is supposed to have stashed away highlights the importance of not only putting some assets into safe havens but also to select the right asset. Assets that are claims or liabilities on other countries or are stored electronically cannot be considered safe under all conceivable circumstances. While we have sympathy for the quest for Mubaraks assets it leaves a sour taste as no proper legal procedure seems to have been followed. Authorities in some countries seem to be driven by political correctness and it is obvious that they will be the willing executioners if other countries want to bring assets of their citizens under control. Gold is one asset that will be very difficult to trace. Its compactness means that is requires little storage space, it is neither an asset nor a liability and given proper attention can easily be stored in a safe place.