While we have to wait two more days to find if the scaremongering behind Brexit's "Remain" campaign has succeeded in terrifying enough residents to vote against exiting the EU, one group has been delighted by a Breferendum that has been defined by fear, terror and even more fear: sellers of gold and personal safes.
According to the Telegraph, worried British savers (yes, they still exist in this time of QE and age of NIRP) are scrambling to buy gold bars and "stuffing them in safes at home, data suggests, as fears mount that a Brexit-induced financial meltdown could be just around the corner."
The paper cites Google search data for the term "home safe" which is running 61% higher than the level at which it peaked in November 2008, the point of the financial crisis, and is now higher than at any point since. In other words, whether intended or not, locals are more terrified of the outcome of Thursday's vote than the near-collapse of the financial system in the aftermath of Lehmans' failure.
Royal Mint, Britain's official producer of gold and silver coins and bars, said sales have soared by 32% over the past month, with customers rushing to buy sovereign and Britannia bullion coins and signature gold bars in particular. While our readers hardly need an explanation, the Telegraph notes that "in the event of a major meltdown it is common for savers and professional investors buy physical gold and silver to protect their assets, as historically the value of precious metals rises, as the value of stocks and shares falls."
But it gets better: ever the opportunists, the newspaper cites "experts" who warned that buying gold bars to store them at home is "nonsense" and instead investors who wish to preserve their nest-eggs "would be better off investing in gold investment funds, which offer better value for money."
Ben Yearsley, investment director at Wealth Club, a financial advice firm, said: "Gold bars are very poor value for money and you run the risk of losing them or having them stolen at home. If you're going to buy precious metal you might as well buy a gold or silver investment fund, where you will get much better value for money due to economies of scale."
You read that right: the end of British civilization as we know it may be at hand, at least according to David Cameron, and financial advisors are, well, advising to buy not physical gold - which may be "lost" or "stolen" but rather gold buy gold ETFs: supposedly there "you will get much better value due to economies of scale."
It was not clear what the hell that statement means, but it sure is hilarious. Yes: please invest in paper gold which will be promptly corzined in a worst case scenario, when ETFs suddenly realize there is no actual deliverable, and stay away from evil physical.
Because it could get lost.
Idiots aside, Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain's biggest stockbroker said that "gold has been a popular choice recently as markets have been worrying about the prospects of global economy, and gold works as a store of value, and a hedge against catastrophe." Or just the outcome David Cameron is certain will be unleashed if more people vote to leave the EU on Thursday.
So buy gold if you listen to David Cameron, just please don't buy physical: it's not like London vaults have any of it left: "the Royal Mint also recently announced a new service which
allows the purchase of gold bars in personal pensions, which probably
generated some interest in the yellow metal, though a cheaper way to
access the market is through a gold exchange traded fund."