Personal Finance Articles

Gold Disintegration Ends – Markets Squeeze Higher

by | Personal Finance

Escalator Up, Elevator Down

At the turn of the 5th century, the best estimates we have are that the entire global population was just under a quarter of a billion human beings.

The Middle Ages (or the Dark Ages) commenced at the turn of the 6th century and lasted for a thousand years, which means that by 1500 AD, just 500 years ago, the total population of Earth was half a billion people.

The Renaissance in Europe, which included the most wonderful invention of the printing press and other breakthroughs, was led by a doubling of the population in just 300 years, so by the beginning of the 19th century, there were a billion of us.

The first doubling took over a thousand years (400-1500) while the second only took three centuries.

Then, the Industrial Revolution, which also led to many medical innovations and a massive decrease in child mortality, brought the first population boom of the modern era – from 1 billion to 2 billion only took 120 years!

I can only assume that when that occurred just under a hundred years ago, the economic and academic papers predicting that if we continued on that path there would be no food or land left for all of us was part of the struggle for survival that morphed into WW2.

My late grandmother was born in the 1920s, so in her lifetime, she saw the world population double… TWICE. By the mid-1970s, there were 4 billion beating hearts. In 2022, we broke the 8 billion mark.

It took only 45 years to double from 4 to 8 billion, which has led to all sorts of popular misconceptions about the abyss we’re heading toward if the world doesn’t stop having children.

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    “Overpopulation” is a term I actually heard during childhood, but it turns out we are at our peak population and heading down quickly.

    Globalization has enabled the peace in Europe and allowed the exponential rise of population in China and India, but it has also dramatically revolutionized the locations in which parents raise families from farms/villages to urban centers where kids are a major expense. It has also driven women to build careers for themselves or seek other uses of their time that don’t revolve around just being mothers.

    So, while the life expectancy is drastically higher and still going up, parents are choosing to have fewer babies and the global population will actually be lower in the year 2100 than it is today.

    This is changing the manner in which governments can issue debt. If your working population is in a decline and your retirees just keep growing, your ability to service debt diminishes and interest rates go up…

    They are currently surging higher, which is leading to the stock market meltdown and gold’s sell-off, but before we declare an international debt crunch, I believe that many policy overhauls will be enacted to address the new realities.

    In the short term, investors are cashing up and staying in liquid assets with no equity risk, but once the new government is elected next year, I think we will see tremendous fiscal measures. That will be the big catalyst that takes us out of this interest rate disaster that is killing many industries.

    As of Friday, interest rate cuts have moved from July 2024 to June 2024, which has caused the major move higher in stocks and bonds. Let’s see how this holds up in the coming weeks. 

    Best Regards,

    Lior Gantz

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