“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll have a mania in gold. And because the gold and especially silver markets are so tiny, the rush into them will be like trying to push the contents of Hoover Dam through a garden hose. Our positions will go absolutely ballistic.” – Doug Casey, September 2009
There’s certain to be a rush into gold and silver, and buying before Main Street catches gold fever is the only way to play this trend. Because when Midas fever hits, prices will explode to the upside, for both the metals and the stocks. How do we know that?
First, let’s look at gold. If we added up all the gold ever mined on the planet, its total value would equal no more than $5 trillion at today’s prices. Yet, look at how this compares to the debt and bailouts and other monetary mischief of current governments…
Let’s make this chart very clear. Of the $5 trillion in gold ever mined…
- The US government has thrown over twice as much at the economy in the past 12 months.
- The US debt is more than double this amount so far this year.
- Total global government bailouts are almost four times larger (and this is a conservative figure; one estimate puts it at $24 trillion).
I intended to include annual gold production as one of the comparisons, but the chart isn’t big enough and neither is your monitor: 2008’s global gold production equaled about $73 billion, and to make that figure discernable on the chart would require the Global Bailouts bar to hit the ceiling above your head. That’s how small the gold market is.
The implications are undeniable: when the greater public rushes into gold – whether in response to inflation, dollar woes, war, whatever – the price will be forced up by an order of magnitude.
While physical gold will protect our wealth, it’s the gold stocks that can potentially make us wealthy.
Once again, to get a sense of the Lilliputian size of the gold industry, I compared it to several other leading industries and stocks.
The value, as measured by market capitalization, of all gold producers around the world is less than Wal-Mart’s. Every gold stock would need to nearly double just for the industry to match ExxonMobil. The oil and gas industry is about 12 times bigger.
When your neighbors and relatives and co-workers and friends all start clamoring to buy gold stocks, the pressure on prices will be enormous, rocketing our positions upwards.
Meanwhile – and admitting we’re first and foremost gold bugs – the picture for silver is even more dramatic. The potential for silver stocks is jaw dropping.
If the gold industry is tiny, then silver’s $9 billion market cap makes it a nano industry. The entire silver industry is over 21 times smaller than gold’s! If gold explodes, silver will go supernova.
Consider these macro-facts about a micro-market and what they reveal about silver’s enormous potential:
- There are over 200 companies in the S&P 500 with a market cap larger than the entire market of silver producers.
- There are five times more gold stocks than silver.
- Total silver production in 2008 was valued around $10.3 billion (at today’s prices). That represents just 1.5% of the $700 billion bailout last year, and 0.006% of the current US monetary base.
- Of the 20 largest silver producers, only five actually call themselves a “silver” company, due to the fact that about 73% of all silver mined is a byproduct of other metals mining.
Any flood into the silver market would overwhelm it. In other words, the rise will be stunning. While it’s not going to happen tomorrow, I strongly suggest you get on board before that rocket ship takes off.
Just putting these charts together stirred my feelings of restlessness, making me anxious for the mania in precious metals to arrive. But the timing is not up to us. Be patient, because if you’re invested in gold and silver and the respective, high-quality stocks, you’re on the right side of this trend.
By Jeff Clark