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Category: Inspiration

Around the campfire: Bad and good news

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Maybe it was inevitable. The bad news is that I contracted Covid-19 over Christmas. The good is that I got over it quickly and am back to full health, and taking a lot of exercise once more – though not as much perhaps as our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has been criticised for taking a bike ride in east London, seven miles from his ‘home’ at 10 Downing Street. He’s just told the British public that it’s “more important than ever” to stay at home.

Maybe Boris is just confused about what the rules are regarding Covid-19 – they have changed at least 64 times since the start of the pandemic, according to Adam Wagner, a London barrister, becoming increasingly cumbersome and confusing along the way. The English legislation regarding Covid-19 has expanded from a svelte pdf of just 12 pages last spring to a Gargantuan 108 pages, 50,000 words, today.

Two women in the northern England county of Derbyshire were fined £200 ($273, €225) each by police after going for a walk five miles from their home. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary (and thus in overall charge of the English police) initially backed the fine, but it was subsequently rescinded after a public outcry.

Police across England and Wales have issued some 32,000 fines for breaching Covid-19 laws and seem to be moving towards a fourth ‘e’ – from ‘engage’, ‘explain’, ‘encourage’ to ‘enforce’.

With more than 90 million people around the world now believed to have contracted Covid-19 and almost two million of those having died, the race to contain the virus is in the hands of vaccine developers and distributors. In England, the fear is that the National Health Service (NHS) could be overwhelmed before sufficient vaccinations have taken place – I come way down the list of those who will be prioritised, but having had it once, I’m now immune right?? It’s still all quite unclear.

The situation in the US, with its privatised healthcare network, is no less serious during this second wave of the virus. With a new president about to take office, the US is starting to ask itself serious questions about better preparation to combat viral pandemics – whatever happens, Covid-19 (and its variant strains) will be with us forever and will bring about long-term structural changes to protect those perceived to be most vulnerable – and these changes will cost plenty of money.

Plenty of money which no government has, nor is likely to have. President-elect Joe Biden has proposed $11 trillion in new spending over the next decade – the largest spending spree since Lyndon Johnson, which would partially be paid for in higher and new taxes. For those appalled by such largesse, think yourself lucky – the failed Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders wanted $97 trillion in new spending. Now that the Democrats control Congress, Biden should have a clear path.

But it is unlikely to be a stone-free path. The US has (for now) the world’s reserve currency; there’s no limit to the amount of dollars it can create. At the moment it isn’t clear how Biden’s spending will shape the future of America. All that perhaps can be reliably said is that it is likely to mean further erosions to the purchasing power of the dollar – and thus, as it’s the world’s reserve currency, the currencies of all nations. Perhaps inflation will be another consequence. Who can tell? Whatever happens, gold is likely to become increasingly in demand – and you can help defend yourself against paper currency debasement by using your Glint account. You might catch Covid – but there’s no need for your finances to catch a chill.

Until next week, stay well.

Jason

Around the campfire: New year – through adversity to the stars!

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Scarcely had the New Year started than the UK was cast into yet another Covid-19-combatting lockdown. Not a great start to 2021.

But the Glint movement is clearly gathering a head of steam, which has cheered me up no end.

Between 31 December 2020 and 3 January Glint gained more than a 1,000 new clients, in the UK and the US. I want to welcome all of you and say a personal thank-you and hope that you use your Glint card to spend gold in your everyday life. Gold had a great year in 2020, going up by over 24% – not exactly Bitcoin, but then gold’s unlikely to collapse, as Bitcoin has several times in the past. Gold is steady and secure, the kind of thing most of us want our finances to be, and of course Glint is your key to that security, making it liquid and available.

Not that I’m an enemy of cryptocurrencies. They are a natural technology-fuelled response to the generalised (and increasing) doubts about the security of fiat money. Just that cryptocurrencies are a human invention, subject to all the drawbacks that that implies. Gold on the other hand, which has been used as money for thousands of years, is a finite, natural phenomenon and can’t be perverted.

What one of our newsletter contributors, Dominic Frisby, elsewhere calls “funny money” (Quantitative Easing), has become as ‘normal’ as the “crisis” (and measures to combat the crisis) “is here to stay”. Covid is not going to disappear, vaccines or no vaccines – having a Covid vaccination will become a standard thing for years ahead, just like having your annual flu jab. If Dominic is right (and who would doubt that?) then we can look forward to loads more ‘funny money’ being splashed around, and the already insidious inflation now happening (dentists are now charging extra for PPE and some providers are raising the cost of home broadband – presumably to cash in (ransom us), as more of us working from home), will break out.

I’m looking forward immensely to 2021. It’s going to be a great year for Glint, one in which our marketing drive is really getting into gear, with our new monthly Podcast – Glint for Gold; a much bigger public relations’ push and loads more initiatives, including more interviews and videos to widen the Glint movement, to build the Glint family.

Per aspera ad astra!

Until next week, Happy New Year

Jason

Around the campfire: There goes 2020- let’s hope 2021 is an improvement

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Phew! That was quite a year. I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping that poor old overloaded Santa has wrapped up just one gift – which will be a much better year to come.

It wasn’t all bad though. Glint has had a wonderful year, with thousands of new registrations and users; we raised new financing of £2.5 million from private investors and the UK government’s Future Fund. In the UK and Europe, we have got our P2P app, called Glint It! up and running, which means that our cardholders can send and receive gifts of real gold, digitally; and we aim to get this facility rolled out next year across the US. We have hired some brilliant new staff in engineering, marketing, and customer relations, all of whom will be key to us achieving a bumper 2021.

And let’s not forget that the gold price hit a new record on 4 August, of more than $2,036 per ounce. Even though it has retreated a bit since then, the overall price rise so far this year has been almost 25%.

Of course, if I take stock of the year that’s about to disappear, one thing is on everyone’s mind – Covid-19 and how soon we can all get a preventative jab. I come far down the pecking order, being relatively young and in the best of health.

At the start of 2020, none of us could have imagined the human and economic carnage that would flow from a city in China, if that really is the source of the coronavirus outbreak – maybe now that the World Health Organization has managed to persuade China to permit it to send a research mission to Wuhan in January we’ll get to the bottom of it, but I am not holding my breath. The 73.4 million people who have been infected with the virus and the relatives of the 1.63 million who have died certainly deserve some kind of explanation.

As do the tens of millions all around the world who have lost their jobs and incomes as a consequence of government “lockdowns”. Some 10 million Americans who had a job last January don’t have one today – Christmas is going to be bleak for the hundreds of millions of people in a similar position. We all stopped buying things or shifted our spending on-line and that disrupted the world’s supply-chains – millions of (already poorly paid) Bangladeshi garment workers were thrown on the streets overnight, for example.

Governments everywhere chucked money – much of it borrowed or newly-created – at societies, to prop up businesses and alleviate the extreme hardship of those who were “furloughed”, which is just a euphemism for being made temporarily redundant.

People have started to worry about where all this “fresh” money will end up. They have started to worry, justifiably, about the possibility of inflation. They have over the course of this year became much more conscious of the steady devaluation of fiat money, and preferred to hold their cash close them rather than deposit it in banks, where they get almost no interest on their money, and certainly less than inflation.

Which explains why gold has shot up this year, and also explains the meteoric rise in the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. If there is just one lesson that should be taken to heart from this year, it’s that governments can’t be trusted, either to stifle a global virus or to handle an economic crisis. Confidence and trust in previously deferred-to “authorities” has been completely eroded. People want to defend what they have, so they are turning to alternative forms of currency.

On top of all this, we in Britain are still in the dark about what form of relationship we may have with the European Union. “Brexit” and the failure of both the UK government and the EU to strike a deal – even though they agree they want a deal – has been almost completely overshadowed by Covid-19 worries and fears of further “lockdowns”.

Whatever 2021 holds, know that Glint will be there for you. With gold in our backpacks, we can all march together into the future, heads high and brimming with confidence that we can do no more to protect our personal finances.

Have yourself a great holiday break and see you in the New Year!

Jason

GLINT’S REGULAR NEW FEATURE. Gold – according to Dominic Frisby: Why our instinct for gold is primal

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Over the course of these articles for Glint, I’ll be tracing the history of man’s relationship with gold – from pre-history through to the present day. We start back in the Stone Age, thousands of years before the dawn of civilisation.

As prehistoric man hunted and gathered, he came across the 6 native metals – silver, tin, lead, iron, copper and gold, which occur in nature in a relatively pure state. Gold was almost certainly the first metal he used.

Nuggets of gold could be found mixed with sediment in river beds, relatively easy to collect and shape. Man adorned himself with it – as well as with bones, teeth, shells and precious stones – while he was still using tools made out of stone, bone and wood, long before he started using copper, tin, or lead. The oldest actual records we have of man using metal are fragments of gold in Spanish caves inhabited by Paleolithic Man, dating back perhaps as much as 40,000 years. The first records of man using copper came tens of thousands of years later. Lead, tin and iron’s first use came even later.

The beauty of gold – dense, glimmering, shining – and its imperviousness no doubt captivated Stone Age Man the same way it does his 21st century descendants. A symbol of power and status, and of reproductive fitness. Like other forms of decoration – shells, bones and stones, even hand axes – gold was also used as reward – for heroic deeds, perhaps, as a prize for completing a task, as an expression of gratitude, as a tool in barter and exchange. In other words, it functioned as early money.

Even in prehistory gold was performing the role it has always served – and always will: to store value.

Stone Age man had the same instincts as we do today – the same urges, desires and compulsions. Survival is the most basic compulsion. You have to find water, food and shelter, for yourself and for those close to you.

Then there is the survival of your species: you have to reproduce. If you survive, thrive and reproduce, then the species as a whole grow stronger. Our self-interest is good for the species as a whole.

And so we have the same basic instincts: fear, desire, love, hate. What often goes unmentioned is our instinct for beauty.

We are instinctively repulsed or alarmed by things that are dangerous – snakes, spiders, a cliff edge, loud noises. Things that aid our survival we find beautiful – the sound of running water, a fit and healthy potential mate, an open landscape with water, varied animal, bird and plant life, good visibility and shelter. What we find beautiful is often good for us in some way. It is why man has always sought beauty.

With its unique characteristics, beautiful yet impervious, gold found special status even before the dawn of civilisation. Our prehistoric ancestors cherished it even before they were able to speak.

Our instinct for gold, the emotion it inspires, is as eternal as the metal. It is a primal instinct.

Next week – Gold in ancient mythology

* Dominic Frisby, author of Daylight Robbery – How Tax Shaped The Past And Will Change The Future, out now in paperback at Amazon and all good bookstores with the audiobook, read by Dominic, on Audible and elsewhere.

Around the campfire: The Missing Billions

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When was the last time you lost some cash? Simply mislaid it, didn’t know where it was or what had happened to it? It’s a painful experience – although the risk of that happening to you is less if you keep your cash in gold with a Glint debit card.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – a select committee of Britain’s House of Commons, responsible for overseeing government expenditure – has just published a report saying that £50 billion of issued banknotes are “missing” and that the Bank of England (BoE) doesn’t know, and does not seem to care very much, where this chunk of loot is.

The chair of the PAC gave a wrist slap to the BoE saying “it needs to get a better handle on the national currency it controls”. The PAC used the drift towards a cash-free society to suggest this might “leave behind” groups of people who prefer using cash to debit cards as a fig-leaf for calling for greater monitoring over this crucial aspect of our life.

Of course this £50 billion is not ‘missing’ in the sense of being utterly lost – it’s sitting somewhere, and it can only be an assumption by the PAC that it might be being used for “illegal purposes”. £50 billion sounds – and is – a lot, but the total money supply is around £2.7 trillion. In that context it’s a drop in the bucket. Andy Haldane, the BoE’s chief economist, has just estimated that UK households have “amassed around £100 billion of excess savings”; no doubt some of this is in cash.

There are plenty of reasons why people might want to hold cash besides criminal intent.

When the BoE’s base rate is currently 0.1% there is little incentive to park one’s cash in a bank or building society deposit account, the return is so low.

Banks and building societies are also regarded as less trustworthy places to park one’s money these days – after all, the memory of the 2008 financial crash, when people had to queue to retrieve their money from the Northern Rock bank is still fresh in people’s minds.

People also hold cash in case of some unexpected eventuality, guarding against a rainy day. Such as in Hong Kong right now, where many of the local ATMs are without cash as citizens panic withdraw, just to ensure they are in control of what they see as their money. People do not have to explain or justify to anyone why they hold cash. That’s one of the beauties of banknotes – they don’t (unless subject to a criminal investigation) carry any distinctive markers of where they have been, it’s unfortunate though that just having hold of paper money doesn’t protect its value.

There is a sub-text to this message from the PAC, that the BoE (and other agencies) needs to get a clearer understanding of how cash is being used, and by whom.

Underneath this is a latent drive towards monitoring our use of fiat currency. No-one sanctions criminal activity, but any extension of government surveillance under the guise of ‘protecting the vulnerable’ needs to be questioned.

That’s one excellent reason why Glint exists – not to facilitate criminal activity, but to place control over one’s money firmly outside the reach of intrusive government and into the hands of the individual who owns it. If you have and spend gold via your Glint card you know that no-one controls your money except you. And you can’t mislay its whereabouts.

Until next week,

Jason

Around the campfire: The men who invented Black Friday

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Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday all disappeared in a flurry of buying – now it’s all down to Christmas which – speaking as a resident in a Tier 2 community – means the only way my family can share Christmas dinner with anyone not in our “support bubble” is if we all take our plates outside and sit and freeze.

If I break “the rules” I could land a fine of £200 ($150) for the first offence, rising to £6,400 ($8,547) for repeat offences – and if I were to stage an event of more than 30 people I could be fined £10,000 ($13,355).

As the pandemic has stretched on, the rules have got more complicated, more detailed, and more arbitrary – why are 30 people allowed to attend a funeral but only 15 a wedding reception? The “rules” are laid out in 12 closely-printed A4 pages on the UK government website. Don’t lose yourself in the undergrowth.

But the internet this year has proved its value many times over. We can immediately download and struggle with the latest government diktat.

More usefully, digitisation has allowed me to create Glint and start to democratise control over money.

And where would Black Friday and Cyber Monday be this year without the chance to do some online buying?

The original ‘Black Friday’ had nothing to do with retail. It originated with a pair of unscrupulous wheeler-dealers named Jay Gould and Jim Fisk. In early 1869, shortly after the Civil War, they took advantage of the competition between gold and government-issued dollars – which both were used as money in the US at the time. They cornered the gold market, drove up the price, and tried to make a handsome profit.
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In August 1869 a $100 gold ‘piece’ sold for $132 greenbacks but quickly spiked to $141. By 24 September – the day that would become known as ‘Black Friday’ – the hubbub over gold peaked and the price went to $160. President Ulysses S. Grant determined to break the pair’s stranglehold over the gold market and got the Treasury to sell $4 million of government gold and the price collapsed, ruining thousands of speculators.

This year it’s been more a case of Black November rather than just Black Friday, with retailers offering ‘deals’ throughout the month and not just one day.

The US National Retail Federation says that US spending between Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday was down 14% compared to 2019, with about 186 million shoppers buying online or in-store compared to 190 million last year. Covid-19 restrictions and anxieties cut in-store shopping by 37% on Black Friday this year compared to last.

But against that, Adobe Analytics said Americans spent a record $10.8 billion online on Cyber Monday, 15% higher than last year. The switch to online spending was already a trend but is one that has been given a terrific nudge by Covid-19.

While Glint is not trying to replicate the activities of Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, we know they were onto something – gold is money, and as the world becomes ever-more digital then controlling and spending your gold, your money, has become much easier than saying ‘Ulysses S. Grant’ – or working out “the rules” under Covid-19.

Until next week,

Jason

Around the campfire: No more turkeys, please

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Celebrating Thanksgiving with my US friends via Zoom this year was a weird experience. In my own family ‘bubble’ the turkey seemed to lack a bit of the savour of previous years; but at least it was Covid and chlorine-free.

As I toasted transatlantic buddies with a glass of Malbec – bought with my Glint card obviously – the chat turned to how this strange year has been for people. The US has had more than 21% of the world’s Covid cases and 18% of Covid-related deaths, a total of 258,000 so far. Many are mourning.

Thanksgiving was very unusual for most North Americans this year – about half of them down-scaled their celebrations, 70% of them staging a Thanksgiving with fewer than six people compared to 48% last year; at least whole-turkey prices were cheaper, by about 7% to $1.21 per pound, the lowest price since 2010, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Thanksgiving was started by the remnants of the 102 religious separatists who left England in 1620 aboard the Mayflower, and established a small and struggling economy in what became the US. In 1621, they held a celebratory feast to give thanks for having survived scurvy, starvation and other troubles, their survival aided in part by a Native American, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. It’s about sharing and demonstrating gratitude for what we have.

From the semi-spiritual to the more material. Today is ‘Black Friday’, when consumerism traditionally goes bonkers, when people show they want more, more, more. Last year, the biggest spenders in the US were millennials aged 24-35 who spent on average almost $450; American shoppers spent $5 billion in a single day. UK shoppers are expected to spend £750 million today. Retailers tempt consumers by holding out the prospect of sale prices, yet these so-called ‘sales’ this year are often around for longer than just a single day.

Consumer spending drives most economies, not least those of the US and that UK. Consumer spending – or the lack of it – is one reason why economies all round the world are in such a dire predicament.

Everyone likes to find a bargain. But the biggest bargain of this year may be the simplest – just to have survived the pandemic and the economic meltdown that has resulted. For which we should all give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving for yesterday, try not to go too ‘Black Friday’ crazy today, be prepared for Cyber Monday and I’ll see you next week with some exciting news about Glint it!.

Until next week,

Jason

Around the campfire: From Stable Volcanos to Volatile Cryptos

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Just got back from a brief family break in the Canary Islands, the strip of volcanic outcrops close to North Africa’s west coast. Deciding where to go to catch some sun and warmth before the winter sets in is a bit of a nightmare right now but it seems you don’t have to quarantine after visiting these islands. Thank heaven for small mercies.

Being volcanic, although now largely dormant, these islands were perfect places for the formation of veins of gold. Hot mineral-bearing fluids flowed along zigzag cracks, the fault lines, undergoing rapid depressurisation and producing tiny veins of gold in the quartz.

Aztecs thought that gold was the “sweat of the sun”, a neat metaphor. Gold was probably more likely a result of the collision of two neutron stars, which flung out materials at colossal speed. Or it may have been through nuclear fusion in deep space and the resulting explosion of supernovas, with the debris from that bombarding the surface of the earth, with molten iron sinking into its core and taking with it the vast majority of the planet’s precious metals. It’s thought that there are enough precious metals in this core to cover the Earth in a four-metre thick layer. Too deep, too hot for exploration.

Gold is not created by human hands. Unlike paper currencies, or cryptocurrencies, gold cannot be created and its value does not depend on a promise from anyone, be they a government, central bank, or coder.

Plenty of money-substitutes have been spawned over centuries, such as dollars, pounds, euros, francs and others. These are all based on credit and are best understood as ‘debt-currencies’, forced into circulation by legal tender laws.

The next such debt-currency to arrive will be the central bank version of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – there are more than 1,600 of these cryptocurrencies and the list is constantly growing.

The sheer plethora of these competing privately-developed cryptocurrencies is one of the reasons why they will never come to be universally accepted as a means of exchange or a store of value. For that to happen one of them must come to the front and dominate, crushing the competition. That’s unlikely to happen – too many individuals have too much ego wrapped up in promoting their own version.

A second reason why cryptocurrencies are unlikely to displace gold as money is that digital currencies are already being captured by central banks, who are rapidly developing their own CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies). The very reason why one wants to avoid government and central banks’ control is now being adopted by those same governments and central banks. CBDCs will be a version of fiat money – legally enforced but subject to the same pressures as paper notes.

Bitcoin launched in 2009 and remained around a few dollars for its first few years. It rose to more than $17,000 in late 2017, fell to $3,212 a year later and is close to $17,000 again today. Bitcoin was always and remains today a gamble (as do other cryptocurrencies), and might become subject to tougher regulatory interference in the future, as CBDCs become more ubiquitous – governments will show little tolerance to competing financial instruments.

A final reason why gold, a natural substance, will win out in the alternative-to-fiat-money-race is volatility. If you want to be fairly certain of how much ‘value’ you own, Bitcoin is not useful, because it has been and still might be too volatile. And while it’s perhaps a pack ‘leader’ it certainly is not alone.

 

 

Until next week,

Jason

Around the campfire: Shubh Diwali

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It’s time for me to wish all my Indian friends and clients a wonderful Dhanteras – which this year falls today, 13 November, and a very happy Diwali, or Shubh Diwali in Hindi.

Diwali is the annual festival of lights and kicks off with Dhanteras, which is actually two words, Dhan meaning wealth and Teras which means 13th day. The Indian goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is traditionally worshipped on Dhanteras, along with the god Ganesha, the god of knowledge and the god Kuber, another god of wealth.

It’s no surprise therefore that this time of year is a traditional gold-buying season for billions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and others across the world. Wealth and knowledge – the two things go together and find their natural joint home in gold.

Over many years Indians have accumulated some 25,000 tonnes of gold. In India, an average monthly per capita expenditure on gold and jewellery is about Rupees 494 (about $7) in urban households; It’s around half that in rural areas. This accounts for nearly 23% of the households’ durable purchases.

Why is gold-buying so associated with Dhanteras and Diwali? According to Hindu folklore there once was a king named Hima, whose son was predicted to die on the fourth day of his marriage. Hima’s daughter-in-law saved her husband from dying by preventing the god of death, Yamaraj from entering her house. She did so by placing a lot of Diyas – a small oil-lamp made from baked clay – plus a heap of gold jewellery and silver coins at the door. The strong light coming from the glittering jewellery and the bright Diyas blinded Yamaraj who couldn’t take Hima’s son’s life. It is therefore believed that buying gold and silver jewellery can protect you and your family members against any ill will, and will bring good luck, wealth, and prosperity to the house. The most auspicious time to buy gold during Dhanteras is held to be between 6:42 am and 5:59 pm.

I think the most auspicious time to buy gold is all year through – although I would say that, wouldn’t I? But this year’s Dhanteras coincides with a recent (and probably short-lived) fall in the price of gold, so gold-buyers can pick up a bargain.

2020 will be remembered as the year of the virus but also as the year of the lockdown. Lockdowns have been imposed the world over, and they certainly will cut people’s ability to handle, look at and buy physical gold this Dhanteras, although the All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJF) is hopeful that as much as 70% of last year’s business will be done this year, and others are hopeful that business could be almost normal.

This year, I have a suggestion for anyone looking to buy or give gold who doesn’t want to go through the tedium of shopping either on-line or face-to-face. Through Glint it! (not available in the US as yet but soon will be) it makes sending gold to your friends and family easy-peasy. And remember – at Glint, your gold is legally allocated to you. It’s not paper, it’s not crypto or ‘backed-by’, or a credit note; it is real gold, kept in a Brinks vault in Switzerland. Brinks is insured by Lloyds of London and their policy covers the replacement value of Glint client’s gold as held in their vault.

So your gold is real, it’s safe, it’s yours. It is the very best way of connecting wealth with knowledge.

See you next week, happy Diwali!

Jason

Around the campfire: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die…

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One of my favourite movie stars, Sean Connery, is no more, alas. On the news of the latest national lockdown in England, I felt the need to watch something familiar and comforting – I just had to refresh my memory of Connery by digging out the DVD of one of his first Bond movies, Goldfinger, in which his task is to find out how the crooked bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger, played by Gert Fröbe – the producers wanted Orson Welles but he asked for too much money – smuggles gold bullion across countries’ borders.

The movie’s treatment of women dates it horribly but despite that it has a tremendous narrative drive with gold centre stage, and the inimitable Connery smoothing his way out of all kinds of death traps.

The film was made in 1964 and back then it was a criminal act for US citizens to own or trade gold anywhere in the world. This ridiculous legislative handcuff on individual freedom dated from 1933 but began to be relaxed in 1964, when Goldfinger came out.

Goldfinger shows the extent to which people went to trade gold at those times. Goldfinger always travels with his Rolls-Royce Phantom III, hiding some gold in secret compartments and melting the rest to incorporate into the car’s bodywork. The demoniacal plot of Goldfinger is to break into Fort Knox in the US and render radioactive the gold stored there. Fort Knox, officially called the United States Bullion Depositary, holds 4,578 tonnes of gold, roughly 3% of all the gold ever mined and is second only to the Federal Reserve’s more than 6,000 tonnes of gold held in an underground vault in Manhattan.

The world has moved on in so many ways since 1964 – holding gold is no longer criminal.

Of course, Goldfinger is thwarted by Bond but not before another iconic gold moment, the discovery of a naked, dead and gold-paint-covered Shirley Eaton, who played Jill Masterson, Goldfinger’s assistant, splayed face-down on a bed.

The world is a very different place today from 56 years ago – for one thing anyone can own gold without risking getting a criminal record. And thanks to the digitisation of our lives owning and using gold in daily life is simplicity itself, thanks to Glint.

And if the US dollar is losing its position as the world’s reserve currency, the US at least has plenty of the dollar’s successor – gold.

See you next week,

Jason