Congress: We Must Investigate the Selling of Gold, Which By the Way Is Done By Conservatives!

Ira Stoll over at The Future Of Capitalism notices that Congress is not taking the recent gold-prices spike lying down:

A press release from Rep. Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, not yet (as of this instant) posted on Mr. Weiner's Web site, announces that a September 23 hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection (a subcommittee of Rep. Henry Waxman's Commerce Committee) will focus on "legislation that would regulate gold-selling companies, an industry who's [sic] relentless advertising is now staple of cable television."

From the press release: "Under Rep. Weiner's bill, companies like Goldline would be required to disclose the reasonable resale value of items being sold." [...]

Mr. Weiner's regulatory push seems as much aimed at conservative journalists as at the gold-dealers. The press release says, "Goldline employs several conservative pundits to act as shills for its' [sic] precious metal business, including Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Laura Ingraham, and Fred Thompson. By drumming up public fears during financially uncertain times, conservative pundits are able to drive a false narrative. Glenn Beck for example has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president."

Imagine the uproar if a Republican-majority Congress started investigating and having a regulatory crackdown on big advertisers in liberal outlets such as the New York Times. The First Amendment freedom-of-the-press crowd would be marching in the streets.

Link via Instapundit.

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  • Rex Harrisons Hat||

    Inaccurate headline...

    Progressive Stephanie Miller shills gold on her show and her website.

    Progressive psycho Ed Schultz sells gold for ITM Trading on his website (perhaps his radio show but I can't listen for longer than 30 seconds).

    Progresssive Thom Hartmann sells gold on his radio program.

    The rest of this thread can now be used for Weiner jokes.

  • alan||

    The emphasis for punishing Goldline for their ties to conservative commentators is not speculative but is sourced directly from that congress man you mentioned:

    The press release says, "Goldline employs several conservative pundits to act as shills for its' [sic] precious metal business, including Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Laura Ingraham, and Fred Thompson. By drumming up public fears during financially uncertain times, conservative pundits are able to drive a false narrative. Glenn Beck for example has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president.

    BTW, going after Goldline is a really bad idea from what I have heard from the grapevine.

  • ||

    Accurate headline: the headline accurately attributes to Congress what Congress is saying.

  • ||

    Someone should Bobbit that Weiner.

    I'll be here all week.

  • ||

    He should be investigating golden showers. If he hasn't already.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I want to see that testimony.

  • R. Kelly||

    Me too!

  • Tiger||

    Me too!

  • Contrarian P||

    Honestly, whoever buys gold at its all time high in price deserves the same fate as those who invested at the height of the tulip bulb or real estate bubbles.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Could you tell me when we get to the all time high please? I'll go ahead and sell then.

  • SF||

    Easy. It will just before it goes down without going back up.

  • ||

    That is, unless it goes up again.

  • ||

    Gold is in a bubble fueled by government fiscal irresponsibility. It will break when that changes. I'm not holding my breath.

  • ||

    I'm selling gold and stocking up on organic fair trade coffee.
    No political bullshit there.

  • ||

    +

  • Azul Vodka||

    -1,340,956,130,967,314,096,813,40,564,076 for you, troll-feeder.

  • Azul Vodka||

    You're lying. After watching you change the subject numerous times when called on what is obviously your complete ignorance of the entire gold market, I have come to an inescapable conclusion: you don't have any gold. If you actually had bought any, you would have at least minimal knowledge of how these markets work. You're just talking out your ass.

  • ||

    Most of the people *are* fraudulent and thus should be shut down even under the law of libertopia.

    That doesn't dispute any of the accurate observations made about the motivations and undesirability of Democrat's efforts to stick Congress's nose into the gold market. Just saying, I wouldn't comment on it without clarifying that no fan of libertarian economics or legal theories should be defending the existence of companies like Goldline, etc.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm curious, how are they fraudulent?

    Do they weigh the gold incorrectly? Do they promise one price and buy at another?

  • ||

    The neglect to mention that any piece of worked gold is likely to be worth much more on the jewelry market then it is melted down.

  • ||

    And how is that fraudulent?

    Do all laws that apply to children now need to apply to adults?

  • ||

    I'm not sure it is. But I'd consider it unethical.

    It's almost ... slightly... like being an appraiser who falsely appriases the value of soemthing and then buys it from you so he can sell it for a lot more.

  • ||

    But it's not at all like that. The appraiser's job is to give you as accurate an estimate of the value of an item as he can. It's the fundamental reason you're paying him. So if he lies, then that's clearly fraud.

    A gold or jewelery dealer is under no such obligation. He should negotiate the best price possible for himself without making any false or misleading statements. If the guys on TV tell you you're jewelery is otherwise worthless unless you sell it to them, then _that's_ fraud.

    But not mentioning that you might theoretically get more from selling it to someone else? Requiring vendors of any good or service to do that is a path to madness. Caveat emptor and all that.

  • ||

    I'm not really disagreeing. But the ads imply the jewelry is going to be melted down. Which implies it is worth more melted down. Which it isn't.

    Arguably misleading.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Hazel:

    Is Goldline in the consumer gold-buying business? I checked their website, and I couldn't immediately find anything on selling your gold to them. Every commercial that I've ever heard for Goldline has involved buying gold FROM them.

    But apparently you know something that I don't. Help me out here, please.

  • Azul Vodka||

    She doesn't know jack.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Hazel, you are confusing Goldline with cash4gold.

  • ||

    My local numismatist claims jewelers have said they're not interested every time he's tried to sell them used gold jewelery people have brought him, so he just melts it down.

  • ||

    He could be lying. Or maybe he's just not going to the right dealers.
    You're not likely to sell used jewlery to a retail store. But there's obviously a resell market (or else where would thieves fence stolen jewelry?)

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They send it to Goldline. Duh!

  • Ron L||

    Uh, fencing isn't likely to return market value; there's the risk costs involved.

  • ||

    Sure. I'm just making the point thaqt SOMEBODY clearl buys and sells secondhand jewelry. Most of the people who do probably do mostly legit business. They might also have a few not-so-legit clients, considering they can make bigger profits that way.

    In fact, I would not be at all surprised if many of the people involved in the whole "melt down your gold jewelry" thing also had connections to the stolen jewelry black market. It's just cheaper and easier to scam people out of jewelry than it is to go to the trouble to steal it.

  • Ron L||

    Hazel Meade|9.16.10 @ 11:17PM|#
    "Sure. I'm just making the point thaqt SOMEBODY clearl buys and sells secondhand jewelry."

    Yes, they do. I went through the process last year clearing an estate. The dealer (whom I trust) went through the lot; some was 'salable', but he had to inventory it until it did sell, which discounted the purchase price, and in other cases, he simply said he doubted he could sell it and suggested melting it.
    Now, depending on how you value your time, you could try hawking it to several others, but, how do you value your time?

  • ||

    Now, depending on how you value your time, you could try hawking it to several others, but, how do you value your time?

    Right but the discounted value from your dealer is still probably a LOT more than the value melted down as bullion.

    EVEN if you want to just toss it all in an envelope and mail it off, it should arguably be properly priced, not at the price of bullion, but at some sort of standard discounted price for worked gold.

  • Ron L||

    Hazel Meade|9.16.10 @ 11:36PM|#
    "Right but the discounted value from your dealer is still probably a LOT more than the value melted down as bullion."
    Uh, care to tell us how *you* determine a "value" while ignoring what the market paid?

    "it should arguably be properly priced,.."
    And "properly priced" is different from what the market paid, exactly how?
    Sorry you weren't around when I had to liquidate that stuff; I'd be richer and I'd bet you'd be poorer.

  • ||

    Priced as if both sides knew the jewelry might be sold as jewelry, not as bullion. I.e. All participants have the same information.

  • GALTHRAN||

    Hazel, I'm in the coin business and I also buy a lot of "used jewelry". The term it goes by is scrap gold. Out of the thousands of pieces I've bought in the last 4 years I've saved exactly 3. One was valuable (Tiffany), and the other two were something that caught my wife's eye. Used jewelry is truly unsaleable in a reasonable timeframe, except as scrap.

  • ||

    The question is whether it's worth more as is than melted down, not whether it's worthless.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    So what? Kroger forgot to tell me that I can buy a lot of the same stuff at Wal-Mart for less money. Is that fraud? No.

  • ||

    I wouldn't call them fraudulent, but I wouldn't put any more faith in most of them than I do in the "all natural" remedies I see hyped on TV.

    I personally think gold is overpriced at this time, but am well aware I could be wrong. We could be on the road to a hyperinflation. However, if I wanted to buy (or sell) gold, I would go to an established dealer or broker and check the market prices.

    (If you want to sell granny's necklace, have several jewellers appraise it for you, don't pop it in an envelope for "fast cash". Aside from the metal value, it may have some value as a worked piece that is above the value of the metal.)

  • Amakudari||

    How so? I admit to not knowing much about Goldline, but in looking at their site everything seems above-board.

    Yes, gold dealers make a profit by selling gold at a higher price than they purchase it, and you can get better deals than buying gold coins. But they show the correct spot price of gold and they sell 10 oz bullion, so the math is pretty easy if you're looking for an "investment" ("hedge" is probably a more appropriate word).

    Yes, they advertise using conservative pundits. I don't see how that's different than using any other celebrity for a product, and if people are worried about government finances, that's a) not Goldline's fault, and b) gold's going to rise with demand for safe havens, so their interests will always run counter to the government's, barring extreme scenarios where they confiscate the barbaric relic. I'm not a goldbug and I think deflation/low inflation is the most likely scenario for at least the next year or so, but that's their market.

  • ||

    Their advertisements encourage people to sell gold jewelry at bullion prices, when many do not realize that it would be worth much more to a jeweler.

    I don't know that it's exactly fraudulent though. It's taking advantage of stupid people.

  • ||

    How come Goldline isn't turning around and selling it to jewelers then instead of melting it down?

    Besides, they're performing a service by doing the legwork required to sell the stuff anyway. Just like people could get more money for their car by selling it themselves rather than trading it in to a dealer.

  • Amakudari||

    I was about to use the same example. Or, turned around, how come jewelers aren't advertising the premium they'd pay relative to Cash4Gold?

    And there are a whole host of companies that thrive on various premia/discounts (cafés, organic grocers, used record stores, Apple) that you could avoid through alternatives.

    I'm inclined to think of this as a convenience/brand-derived profit, with a good bit added on for stupidity of the sellers, but it's definitely not fraud.

  • ||

    This might be because the people generally involved in the secondhand jewelry market might not want to advertize their identities.

  • Ron L||

    OK, but that means the market discounts those who won't.

  • ||

    Sure, but does it discount it enough that it's worth less than melting it down?

    If so, then jewelry thieves should be better off melting down stolen jewelry than fencing it.

  • Ron L||

    Hazel Meade|9.16.10 @ 11:23PM|#
    "If so, then jewelry thieves should be better off melting down stolen jewelry than fencing it"

    And?

  • ||

    I think that's unlikely.

  • Ron L||

    You think thieves get a premium over bullion for what they sell?
    Uh, I'm pretty sure fencing pays not more than $0.10 on $1.00.

  • ||

    So then why don't all gold thieves melt it down?

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    "So then why don't all gold thieves melt it down?"

    Because they are thieves not fences. They have the expertise of a thief, not of a fence.

  • ||

    I suspect a lot of them do, actually. Many of them probably don't have the equipment or skill to do it properly, so they take the easier route of taking it to a jewelry dealer and getting hosed (especially since most are probably trying to get quick drug money).

  • ||

    How do you know they aren't?

    Maybe they are reselling the pieces they can, and then melting down the broken stuff nobody wants.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    That's why Gold sellers must go down, taking advantage of stupid people is our job, for the children.

  • TallDave||

    I'm pretty sure that in leftopia, buying low and selling high is fraud.

  • ||

    Actually, I believe it is a capital offense in leftopia.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But it's so rarely enforced because not letting assets devalue is one of the primary functions of the State in leftopia.

  • .||

    Yes, it's a taxable or finable offense to make a profit - also one to be healthy and less in need of healthcare or healthcare insurance.

  • JoshINNHB||

    The only moral business in leftopia buys high and sells low.

    With government subsidies covering the shortfall.

  • ||

    Even discussing this in a snarky way is a capital crime in leftopia.

    Murdering your ex-wife and the babysitter, not so much.

  • Tman||

    Pretty much anything out of Washington with the name "Waxman" attached to it can be immediately branded as asinine if not downright destructive.

    Man I hate that stupid gerbil face.

  • ||

    If the pundits are right and the Red Team seizes control of Congress, Waxrodent will once again burrow into his hole, waiting, watching...

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    It's a two pronged attack on dissent:

    An attack on the conservative advertising broadcasters (Fox, etc.), and their spokespeople.

    It's also an attack on the dissenting market signals gold sales generate... it's an attempt dabble in regulating the price of gold.

  • Congress||

    We do like to dabble!

  • TallDave||

    Conservatives selling gold? Very suspicious.

    Democrat Congresswoman leaving messages that sound suspiciously like shakedowns? Not a concern.

    This is, uh, Eleanor Norton, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Uh, I noticed that you have given to uh, other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh, fifteen other, uh, sites here for, that are part of the stimulus .

    I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector.

    I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution.

  • ||

    She's not actually a Congresswoman... but I guess that only makes it worse.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Somebody tell me again how the stimulus was about the economy.

  • That's 'Mr. President' to you!||

    Hey Punk, I saved and/or created about a billion jobs, so shut up or I'll sic Rahmbo on you!

  • ||

    I can't believe she's still around. I would have thought they'd have voted in a Fauntroy just for the hell of it.

  • TallDave||

    The best part is her website describes her district -- D.C. -- as "disempowered."

    Oh, the irony.

  • ||

    It's the 1930s all over again. :)

    If a company offers you 'x' amount of gold for 'y' price and that's what you pay and that's what you get (and you get it quickly), how on Earth could that constitute "fraud" of any kind. Because they want you to believe the value of your investment will only go up, up, up? Welcome to every other investment offer on planet Earth.

  • ||

    Well, one could argue, for instance, lets say an art collector discovers a lost van gogh in an old orphanage. Should he tell the orphanage what the painting is really worth? Is it okay for him to lie and say it's worthless, so he can take it off their hands for cheap, because they dpon't realize what it is?

  • ||

    No it's not okay for him to lie about it's actual worth. But that's not what any of these companies are doing. If one of these commercials says "give us your worthless jewelry and we'll give you cash" I'd jump on board. But my guess is the lawyers would beat us to it.

    If he says "I'll give you 500 bucks for it" and says nothing else, in my mind that's not fraud (unless he knows the person he's buying it from is not competent to sell it). The person at the orphanage selling could then at least suspect the possibility that it might be worth more than that. And maybe they then ask a couple more questions. Knowingly false answers to those questions might also then constitute fraud. But just making an offer and seeing if they'll take it?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Keep in mind that the art dealer only suspects that it might be a Van Gogh. Without knowing for sure, it would not be fraudulent to say that it's probably only worth $50 bucks (or whatever) because it probably is. He's under no obligation to share his superior knowledge of the value of art and potential value of the piece unless they solicited him for his advice.

  • ||

    Well, what if he lies about his identity? Say they ask when he does for a living, and instead of saying "I'm an art dealer", he says "I'm a retired banker."

    What if his whole living is made by going around to ignorant people and buying up antiques from them?

    Anyway, I don't think it's *exactly* fraudulent, just scummy on a Pay-Day Loans sort of level.

  • ||

    And what if he rapes and murders little boys? blah blah blah

    We're pretty far afield of the actual behavior of gold buyers that Weiner wants to probe.

  • ||

    Not really. We have people misrepresenting themselves as melters down of gold, who may actually be selling it as jewelry.

    The issue is ... is it fraudulent for a buyer to conceal knowledge of the market value of an object from the seller?

    I think most of the time that's a no. But there are some cases, say where the value difference is extremely large, that a lot of people would have a problem with.

    Buying up a painting for a few bucks from an old lady and selling it for millions is one of those cases a lot of people would be uncomfortable with. Similarly some people are uncomfortable with gold deals buying up used jewelry at bullion prices, claiming it's going to be melted down, and then selling it at jewelry prices.

  • ||

    The issue is ... is it fraudulent for a buyer to conceal knowledge of the market value of an object from the seller?

    It is, in some cases, fraud to conceal knowledge of defects in the items you are giving to the other party in the transaction.

    It is never fraud to conceal knowledge of the value of the items the other party is giving you. It is the responsibility of the current owner to know the value of that which they own.

    Voros' assertion that saying "your gold is worthless, give it to me for this tiny amount of money" constitutes fraud is probably mistaken too. People in general do not have the same duty to fairly report value that an actual appraiser does.

    Buying up a painting for a few bucks from an old lady and selling it for millions is one of those cases a lot of people would be uncomfortable with.

    Lots of people would be uncomfortable with pot being legalized, too. So? If you don't rip off that old lady, someone else will. It might be an act of heroic virtue to explain to her the true value of her painting, but it would be like going to your local traffic court and turning yourself in for not making full stops at every stop sign and offering to pay all the fines you've accrued. Not something that can be expected.

  • ||

    So if I tell the person selling me a car that I'm just going to break it down for spare parts, and then a month later she sees me driving around in it, can she sue me for fraud?

  • ||

    I dunno. I think it depends on if the car is an old classic car that you thought was worthless, but turned out to be a collector's item.

    Still I wouldn't necessarily say it's fraud.

    There's just these borderline cases involving artwork antiques and collectors pieces that require very specialized knowledge to recognize the value. So there's a very large informational asymmetry between buyers and sellers, and lots of cases where someone gets ripped off because they don't know the value of the antique/art/collector's item they are sitting on.

  • ||

    Lots of people would be uncomfortable with pot being legalized, too. So? If you don't rip off that old lady, someone else will. It might be an act of heroic virtue to explain to her the true value of her painting, but it would be like going to your local traffic court and turning yourself in

    As I understand it there are actually plenty of cases involving "discovered" paintings where the buyer was socially pressured into compensating the original owner for the original value of an artwork. Usually that happens if the artwork ends up in the hands of a public institution like a museum. Occasionally when it's a private buyer.

    There's also tons of other similar cases. Remember the guy who found T-Rex bones on disputed tribal lands? He got NOTHING. The thing ended up being auctioned off by Sothebys and the money went to I have no idea what.

    Lots and lots of cases of original owners being compensated for artwork that was originally purchased for a few bucks.

  • Guy||

    And Tulpa comes in with the first Weiner joke!

  • Leroy||

    What if his whole living is made by going around to ignorant people and buying up antiques from them?

    Ah yes, because no one does that

  • Ron L||

    Hazel Meade|9.16.10 @ 10:22PM|#
    "Well, one could argue, for instance, lets say an art collector discovers a lost van gogh"

    You're presuming perfect knowledge. No on has that.
    "Let's say an art collector sees something buried under dust and tries to figure out what it would cost to verify that it's a Van Gogh, compared to the value of it if it were".

  • ||

    All I'm sayiong is a lot of people would have an ethical problem with the idea of a knowledgable person deliberately concealing the fact that he suspects an object to be worth a very large amount from an ignorant individual, so that he can buy it as a steep discount.

  • Ron L||

    Hazel Meade|9.16.10 @ 11:38PM|#"
    All I'm sayiong is a lot of people would have an ethical problem with the idea of a knowledgable person deliberately concealing the fact that he suspects an object to be worth a very large amount from an ignorant individual, so that he can buy it as a steep discount.

    Yep, buyers and sellers get cheated every day. In my experience, it is often those who are hoping to 'beat the market' who get cheated most often and then whine about how the 'unbelievable deal!' was, well, really unbelievable.
    As either buyer or seller you have choices: Learn the market for that good, or research and trust others. Other than that, what are you proposing? You set the price and enforce it?

  • ||

    So, what's the difference between getting "cheated" and getting defrauded.

    People draw the line in different places.

  • ||

    Fraud involves misrepresenting the items or services that you are giving to the other party in the transaction. No one is accusing Goldline of exaggerating the value of the cash it gives people for their old gold.

  • ||

    I know. I don't think it's exactly fraud. But ... taking advantage of someone else's ignorance is a scumbag thing to do.

  • Apogee||

    If it isn't exactly fraud, then it isn't fraud. Fortunately, being a scumbag isn't illegal. If it was, the scumbags would game the system and put everyone else in prison.

    Hazel, I know you're intelligent, but even average people understand that jewelry is stolen by burglars. Items never stolen are grass clippings and used kleenex, because those things are actually worthless.

    If that's the case, anyone asserting your jewelry is 'worthless' should raise suspicions in just about any seller. The only thing debatable is the actual value, and only a market can determine that, not an individual appraiser.

  • Colin||

    From The Thin Man:

    "What do you do with all your money?"

    "Me and the French hoard gold."

    "It's fellows like you that put the country on the bum."

    "And it's fellows like me that don't go on the bum with it."

  • Alt Text||

    From The Thin Man:

    "What do you do with all your money?"

    "Me and the French hoard gold."

    "It's fellows like you that put the country on the bum."

    "Fellows like you are marks who don't know dick, and you ain't worth me starving for to please."

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Fuck gold and the lying conservatives that shill for it. I'm putting my money into Fannie and Freddie stock.

  • ||

    Can I interest you in some shares in my patented process that will allow your car to run on water.

    I also have a few shares of Machina Mobile Perpetua Inc still available.

  • ||

    As I said upthread ... fair trade coffee. Nobody shills for that.
    Not trendy at all either.

  • ||

    Five letters that equal un-dreamed of wealth for you and your family: GM IPO.

  • ||

    Glen Beck & Gold
    Al Gore & CO2 Credits

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  • .||

    You take the CO2 credits, I'll take the gold.

  • Ron L||

    Tell us that when the CO(2) credits have some history against other commodities.

  • Feel the Burn||

    Two nice take downs lined up in a row. That's gotta hurt the tard recipient.

  • ||

    First to say McCarthyism!!!

  • CatoTheElder||

    And racism.

  • Rich||

    an industry who's [sic] relentless advertising is now staple of cable television

    shills for its' [sic] precious metal business

    With all due respect, Mr. Weiner, is English your first language? Maybe we'd better start with a regulatory crackdown on your press releases.

  • ¢||

    How do you know they aren't?

    Jesus Jennings Bryan.

    Because jewelers don't pay more for gold than Goldline does.

    Unless the provenance of a piece makes it an auction item a jeweler really wants to take off your hands so he can turn it over and capitalize on his informational advantage over you, he'll offer, at best, a bullion price for it—and usually way the hell less than that.
    WTF, yo?

  • ||

    To be fair I seriously doubt Goldline pays anything close to bullion value either. You're probably best off going to a coin shop to sell the stuff.

  • .||

    Mr. Weiner's regulatory push seems as much aimed at conservative journalists as at the gold-dealers. The press release says, "Goldline employs several conservative pundits to act as shills for its' [sic] precious metal business, including Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Laura Ingraham, and Fred Thompson. By drumming up public fears during financially uncertain times, conservative pundits are able to drive a false narrative. Glenn Beck for example has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president."

    If anyone has been "driving a false narrative" about the economy for the last couple years, it's been Obama and the Democrats. Sounds to me like Mr. Weiner and others are afraid that these conservative pundits might queer Obama's con - gotta shut 'em up. Next we'll be told that it's unpatriotic or dangerous to the economy to deal in gold. Frankly this makes me suspect all the more strongly that the dollar and the economy may be headed for disaster.

  • ||

    Mr. Weiner's regulatory push
    Is THAT what the kids call it these days?

  • ||

    heh-heh..you said Weiner...heh-heh...wait he's on Waxman's committee?
    Waxing the Weiner...heh-heh.....gotta hurt!

  • Progressive Guy||

    Conservatives are morally repellent. They are parasites bleeding this great nation dry. Look how far we have fallen under Bush's reign. Who is to blame? Who schemed behind our backs and sold us out to our enemies? why should we hate the conservative? Let's count the reasons:

    1) Their obsession with gold is disgusting; there's nothing a conservative would not do for gold, so deep and perverse is his greed. Capitalism, corporations, Christianity, corrupt ursurious banks, opposition to the stimulus or aid for the poor, disdain for our hardworking public servants -- almost every action a conservative takes is a penumbra of greed, avarice, goldlust; it is the singular trait that defines his shriveled, blackened soul.
    2) They are engaged in a vast right-wing conspiracy against the people by attacking and undermining the people's president. Most true Americans have no idea this is occurring, even though nearly every conservative is aware of and complicit in this plot against the common American.
    3) They control the media through their illicit hoards of corporate wealth, and use that influence to attempt to subvert the will of the people.
    4) They impede us whenever we seek to act for the good of the children. It is almost as if they want the blood of our children to be on their hands. Sneaking about in the dark, stealing the blood of children. These aren't human beings, they're vampires. Pedophile vampires.
    5) Their pathetic monotheistic religion promotes unhealthy and irrational mystical beliefs rather than inspiring people to give themselves over to the pursuit of the common good. It is a mental and spiritual poison.

    Unfortunately, I don't know what we can do. Everything I see to day reminds me how much political power these conservatives wield, especially in Washington -- how easily they can thwart the will of the people, despite their small numbers. If only there was a solution to the problem one, a final one...

  • ||

    Obviously faked.

    He didn't capitalize "People's President".

  • Ron L||

    He (she?) also left out "SERVE THE PEOPLE!"

  • cynical||

    It's a cookbook!

  • .||

    If only there was a solution to the problem one, a final one...

    Adolf? Is that you, you little schwinehundt?

  • ||

    A good effort, but at several points you give yourself away.

    For instance, you made me skeptical at "vast right-wing conspiracy", and lost me at "for the good of the children".

    No actual progressive would use a cliche phrase like that.

  • ||

    ?

    You haven't met many 'progressives'.

    I even know a few wobblies - some are university age, not 1960s radical fossils. Their rhetoric is on the level of North Korean propaganda.

  • ||

    Illegal? No. Getting fucked over is one of the wonderful parts of our capitalist system.

    Immoral? Oh, without a doubt.

  • ||

    How is it immoral? The people who get "fucked over" weren't making any money by having a bunch of old jewelry rattling around in their dresser drawers before, and now they have cash (albeit less than they could have gotten had they done the work involved in shopping around for a better buyer).

    Nobody accuses Listerine of fraud because they sell a bottle containing the same liquid as Great Value Mouthwash for double the price.

  • Apogee||

    This entire post, along with Weeeeener's crusade are hopelessly screwed up.

    If, as it is argued, the sale of Gold hocked by conservative pundits is a scam, then would not the victims of such a scam be conservatives, as the conservative pundits don't speak to the left?

    And wouldn't the scamming of the right be just hunky-dory with Weeeener? If it truly is a scam, then when it breaks it should drive many against such conservative pundits.

    Why would the left want to attempt to stop such a train wreck?

    And if the purchase of gold is actually a great investment, what makes them think that keeping their own constituents from profiting on the deal could possibly help with their own fundraising?

    This doesn't seem to make much sense.

  • Dude||

    I know this is Reason and all, but could you not ruin it for the rest of us by using actual logic? We'd rather argue about Grandma's jewelry.

  • ||

    Of course it makes no sense. It's a Congressional subcommittee. Their role is to meddle in the affairs of private citizens who are engaged in voluntary trade. Because Congress is controlled (at the moment) by Democrats who, by definition, are suspicious of free enterprise and who believe gold is a rich man's investment (and only Republicans are rich), and who know for a fact that none other than Glenn Beck has gold traders as sponsors of his evil Republican show...well, it takes no genius to figure out Weiner's motives. Nothing will come of it, but Weiner will be able cast suspicion on a perfectly legal enterprise while getting face time on lefty cable-news networks that are sympathetic to his cause (protecting the "little people" from rapacious capitalists).

  • .||

    "the sale of Gold hocked by conservative pundits"

    It's hawked, dude. Hock is what one does with things at the hockshop or pawnshop - although, for their average customer, it really should be pwnedshop.

  • GALTHRAN||

    I am a coin dealer, who occasionally handles bullion coins and often buys scrap gold (ie, used jewelry).

    Anyway, you guys are conflating two very different types of companies; those who sell bullion/coins and those who buy scrap gold. Small dealers usually do both, but Goldline is a seller of bullion products only. I don't think they are fraudulent, but if you see a product on their website you like all you have to do to get it cheaper is call your local coin shop and ask. The high markup on bullion that goldline charges goes to pay for all those ads.

    Hazel, I can tell you as an "industry insider" (or whatever) that there is no market (outside of pawn shops) for used 10/14/18K jewelry of the Zales/Jared/mall/Walmart type. It is absolutely unsaleable as jewelry and trades as scrap that must be refined before reuse. Only "special" pieces have any resale value at all, and those are VERY few and far between (I've had one piece, older Tiffany in new condition, out of the thousands I've bought over the last few years). I've scrapped Tiffany, Cartier, you name it. If they're worn, dinged, slightly bent, etc there is no demand. Check eBay if you like; use your calculator and you'll see that such pieces trade under melt every day at open auction.

    Thieves with brains melt stolen gold, stupid thieves pawn it.

    Craigslist in any town is full of gold buyers, and most coin shops and jewelers buy as well. Call and ask them what % of melt they pay for a 14K wedding band (for example) that weighs however many grams. One should be able to get 90%+ without too much effort. As a dealer, I sell right to the refinery and get 98.5% after assay. That is the true market for scrap.

    If you want to buy gold coins or bullion start calling around your town and checking prices. I'd recommend a dealer that is either an ANA or PNG member. Gold is a legitimate investment, but like anything else only time will tell if it's a good investment or not. If you don't know shit about coins or gold, stick to Krugerrands, Maple leaves, Pandas, Pamp/JM/Englehard 1oz bars, or American Eagles. There are lots of other perfectly good gold coins but these are generally the easiest for a novice to comparison shop for and resell. Buy from a reputable shop/source until you have some idea of what genuine gold coins look/feel like; there's a lot of fakes out there. Do not buy numismatic or collectible coins if all you want is bullion. Get a safety deposit box.

    I enjoy lurking here and read reason every day, so just wanted to pass on some tips so you folks don't get screwed in the gold market and know how to talk about it intelligently. Good luck!

  • TallDave||

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rhea||

    Turning metal into gold. However gold is a speculative investment, only risk-taker investor or one who was promised secured yield. But come to think of it, investors usually buy gold as a buffer against any economic unrest.
    We help Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Learn more at http://www.pathtoasia.com

  • The Weiner||

    Do you think you can ship American jobs overseas? I am watching you.

  • West Texas Boy||

    The issue here isn't that the gold companies are defrauding people, the issue is that Weiner and the other liberals who are pursuing these ruinous economic policies don't like being criticized so publicly and so persuasively. They'd much rather prefer that the proletariat keep going to their jobs in the factories everyday and stay away from macroeconomic worrying. After all, what they don't know - what they don't learn from goldline commercials and talk radio - can't be held against their dear leaders.

    Truthfully, this the exact same reasoning that Putin or Chavez use themselves when they take over media outlets. If they can keep people in the dark, then its much easier to blame nefarious outside parties for the difficulties of the people and avoid accountability and reckoning for their own selves.

  • ||

    Weiner is a fucking idiot.

    Beside that, gold is taking on all the usual symptoms of a bubble about to burst--the ubiquity of advertising, the "everybody's doing it!" belief, etc., etc.

    The fact that there aren't a lot of viable investment options right now may give it some undeserved prolonged cache, but it won't take too much more deflation to cut the legs out from the gold market. Of course if somebody goes off and starts a war with Iran, then all bets are off, which is why gold still has some short-term hedge value.

  • ||

    Good rule of thumb:

    If company selling gold advertises, don't use them.

    Personally, I would use the Tulving company to buy gold. They charge a fixed markup for their coins over spot, and its a pretty damn small markup as these things go.

    http://www.tulving.com/

  • ||

    Right now, I've got about 5% of my net worth in gold coins. I'd like to have 10%, but the more I wait for a correction to buy, them more the price runs. I don't own gold as an investment, I own it as savings/insurance.

    Since this is basically my savings of last resort, I should probably stop worrying about a correction, and just buy. But I really struggle with buying at an all-time high.

  • ||

    Perhaps gold will the first exception in my lifetime--and a war in the Mideast could cause that--but as I said, it now has every attribute of all the major bubbles I've seen in the past 30 years. For a hedge it might still be OK, but as a major investment, no way. For that, wait for the short-term gold bust, because long-term inflation is still down the road.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But I really struggle with buying at an all-time high.

    Is the dollar at an all-time low?

  • ||

    There is an ongoing and robust debate in gold circles about whether gold is in a bubble or in a secular bull market. Right now, I think the stronger argument is that it is still in a bull market, but that a bubble is probably coming. This is based on all kinds of data (flow of funds, etc.), but to me it comes down to the steepness of the charts and the breadth of the market. Bubbles always have a final "parabolic" phase when everyone is buying. The gold charts haven't tipped on end yet for a parabolic rise, and not that many people are actually invested in gold, really. You can usually tell a bubble by the number of retail investors who are buying. Right now, very few are buying gold.

  • ||

    Let's put aside the Iran issue, which I think may be overblown (in the sense that a war there, while completely stupid IMO, very well may not be as perilous as many project--although you never know, which is one of the myriad of reasons to avoid it.)

    Right now the price of gold is driven by a generalized economic anxiety centered on hyper-inflation or just plain old inflation fears. I do believe significant inflation is probably inevitable, but the economy has to get moving again, for awhile, for that to happen. I don't see that happening anytime soon, and when it doesn't materialize short-term, the price of gold has to give.

    As far as there not being being a lot of retail purchasing of gold, I think you have to define what you mean by a lot. Gold is never going to be a widespread investment vehicle like housing (everybody needs a place to live anyway) or stocks (which became ubiquitous as a part of retirement funds everyone could "play", and were really almost forced to play)--gold takes some thought and effort, from how to buy it, where to store it, etc. It also doesn't have a great investment history in the US. There are all the "hit the lottery" stock stories out there (Microsoft, etc.), but no one hits the lottery buying gold over the counter (or they haven't yet, not in the US at least). So you aren't going to have that deep of a retail gold market, ever. But--and this may be apocryphal--it does seem the retail gold market is as busy as it has been since there was genuine steep inflation (the late 70s). Do you have any figures on this, RC?

  • ||

    Let's put aside the Iran issue, which I think may be overblown (in the sense that a war there, while completely stupid IMO, very well may not be as perilous as many project--although you never know, which is one of the myriad of reasons to avoid it.)

    Let us merely say that I have even less faith in Obama the Benevolent's ability to run a war than Bush the Lesser's.

  • Hallie Brady||

    Even if they are sponsored by some companies involved in precious metals, I have to agree with what they are saying. Gold, is a great investment if you are careful about where you purchase it from. Gold continues to increase in value over time, while paper money has seen a decline in its value. I buy my gold from AMPEX because they are honest and trustworthy, with fair prices and an easy to use website.

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