Commodity prices have been falling since September, culminating in a rout over the past two weeks. That is a classic warning for the global economy.
The central banks of China and the emerging powers bought 535 tonnes last year to escape dollars and euros, the biggest wave of state purchases since 1964. Their strategy is to buy the dips, and they are no fools. The head of China's reserve manager "SAFE" used to run a US hedge fund.
They won't try to catch a "falling knife", prefering to wait until the dust settles. The upward trend of the great bull market has been broken. The technical damage is brutal. Bank of America expects a further drop to $1,200. Be patient.
My view is that the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan "caused" the gold crash. The rest is noise. The Fed assault began in February when it published a paper warning that the longer quantitative easing continues, the harder it will be for the bank to extricate itself.
The report was co-written by former Fed governor Frederic Mishkin, often deemed Ben Bernanke's "alter ego". It said the Fed's capital base could be wiped out "several times" once borrowing costs climb. The window will start shutting by 2014, with trouble then compounding at a "dramatic" pace.
This was a shock. It suggested that the Fed has lost its nerve, and will think long and hard before launching a fresh blitz of money if growth falters.
Then came last week's Fed Minutes, with ...