It was April of last year when the news came out that the University of Texas decided to take physical delivery of $1 billion worth of gold. (By the way, that doesn’t mean the campus is chock full of gold bars — the university actually stuck the gold in an HSBC vault in New York City.) Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Partners was the university board member behind the move, and on CNBC on Monday he explained why.
First, he reiterated that he’s still a gold fan: “The pattern is set, we’re going to continue to monetize fiscal deficits by expanding central bank balance sheets… I call it creating money out of thin air.”
Then he explained why he made the move for the university last year. We won’t muddy the waters with the financial terms, but suffice it to say that he determined it was cheaper to take physical delivery and store it in a vault than to have it “sit” in contracts.
Here’s how he put it:
“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said last year. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”
By the way, did the word “Lenin” over Bass’s right shoulder catch your attention?
If so, here’s the explanation:
In the conference room of Hayman Capital Partners’ offices in Dallas hangs a painting of a zero dollar bill, featuring Lenin’s face and the legend “United Socialist States of America”, notes The Economist. Bass isn’t afraid to flaunt his political views (his car sticker reads “God bless our troops, especially our snipers”), but the painting highlights his investment philosophy too. By propping up the banks, he argues, Big Government has merely succeeded in prolonging the crisis. “If we really had a capitalist model, we’d have bankruptcy.”
(H/T: Business Insider)
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