[Editor’s note: The following is a cross post that originally appeared on CNBC.com]:
Rick Harrison, co-owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and a co-star of the History Channel reality series “Pawn Stars,” told CNBC on Friday that over-regulation is creating a bad business environment and that a policy change is needed before anything can get better.
Harrison also said the current economy is being fueled by cheap money. “Basically, you have the government regulating and making business more difficult, and you have the Fed trying to compensate for it. It can’t go on forever that way,” he added.
“If we keep on printing forever, things will get bad. It’s just a matter of math,” he told “Squawk on the Street.”
“Eventually we have to make a good business environment in this country,” or strategies such as the Fed’s proposed plan to reduce asset purchases can’t be implemented, Harrison said.
“I think that we should slowly taper, but the Fed is not going to be able to taper unless we have … less regulation and make it easier for business to actually do business,” he said. “If you make it difficult to do business, there’s not going to be any business.”
Pawn shops are considered a good consumer indicator. Harrison said he has an influx of sellers in bad times, whereas buyers dominate in a good economic environment. Right now, he said, “it’s right around the middle.”
Though the price of gold has dropped precipitously over the past few weeks, Harrison said that he’s seeing high demand for the precious metal itself.
“I’m having a real difficult time right now getting physical metal,” he said. “It’s the crazy world of gold and silver: Sometimes the paper market is going down but you can’t find actual physical items. There’s just a shortage of the physical metal. The private mints and the government mints are just behind, and there’s a lot of demand for the physical out there.”
His shop generally pays the spot price for physical gold, Harrison said, but because the market price is below miners’ production cost, he doesn’t expect to see the price drop much more.
“I think [gold] is still a good thing to have around,” he said. “It’s an insurance policy—hopefully you don’t need to cash it in right away. It’s a long-term investment. Governments have a tendency to screw up currencies.”
Harrison is “considering” selling some gold, he said, taking a loss on his holdings to get a tax benefit. He then might buy it back a month or so.
- Cramer Says Bernanke’s Fed Has Lost Control of Bond Market
- Two Gold Bulls Explain the Bottom Is Near, Heading to $7,000
- The Worst Hyperinflation Situations of All-Time
©2013 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. Paul Toscano. AP photos.