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First take

What is it worth – as an economic proposition, that is? The answer – again, as an economic proposition – is what someone will pay for it. There aren’t a lot of exceptions to the rule, much though some people would like to imagine them. If you watch late-night television you’ve doubtless seen the many ads for precious metals sales, advising the gullible to buy because gold and silver – especially gold – are really the only “sure thing” in terms of holding value. Except that prices for gold rise and fall like everything else. Reuters reports today that “Gold prices plunged as much as 4 percent to their lowest in more than five years on Monday as sellers in top consumer China offloaded the metal. Investors have been finding less and less reason to hold gold as an insurance against risk, with the dollar strengthening ahead of what is expected to be the first increase in U.S. interest rates for nearly a decade.” So who you gonna believe: the markets or late night TV? (photo)

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