Gold Heads for Largest Quarterly Decline Since U.S. Dropped the Gold Standard

Gold barsGold futures for August delivery opened just shy of $1,200 an ounce this morning on the Comex, and have since gained more than 6% to trade right around $1,217. But the good news ends there.

For the quarter the most active gold futures contract has lost 24%, its biggest quarterly loss since 1971, when President Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard. The largest previous loss — 18% — came in the first quarter of 1982. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts had the number one song at the time, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", and the Los Angeles Lakers were riding Magic Johnson to the NBA championship.

We noted yesterday after gold fell below $1,200 in electronic trading that absent inflation or a falling dollar, there's just not much to support gold prices. Rising interest rates have also contributed to the decline.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will get some of the blame for the drop based on his comments that the bank may start to slow down its asset purchases later this year. But the real blame for the drop is that gold really has little intrinsic value except in the imagination of goldbugs.

But don't fret, just put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

Filed under: Commodities & Metals
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