There’s Gold in ‘dem ATMs

As gold reaches new record highs, investors all around the world are wondering, where can they get their hands on some.  The answer – your local Abu Dhabi ATM.

German entrepreneur Thomas Geissler has made this possible at the seven-star Emirate Palace Hotel.  Gold can be bought in quantities as small as 10 grams.  The machine currently accepts cash, and will soon take debit or credit.  Some say this reflects a new level of offensive opulence in an economy which still has not recovered.  Ask those in India, and they’ll likely disagree, as buying and selling gold is actually a holiday tradition.  What this really reflects is the fact that people still don’t trust the banking system with their investments.

In times of economic uncertainty, gold has always been viewed as the best safe haven.  And in times when gold has reached record high values, you can fairly conclude that there is still significant uncertainty.

Two recent events have kept this reality front and center in the minds of small and large investors alike.

For some time, we did not know what would happen to Greece.  As violent protests rocked their capital, the world was not sure whether the country would receive the bailout it needed.  It did, and it was the largest bailout in history.  But, the problem was that people did not know until it happened.

It seems as though the EU crisis has been postponed, if not averted, but there are other countries are being mentioned in the concerned whispers of financial soothsayers.

Then, just last week, the DJIA took an unprecedented, and yet-to-be-explained drop of 998 points. Theories of explanation have ranged from a “fat finger” to a computer glitch to bank conspiracy.Theories were so abundant and the drop so abnormal that Congress pledged that they would get involved.  Though the Dow recovered, the public still doesn’t know what happened.

So, while I understand how some may bristle at the ostentatious nature of gold ATMs, I think we need to look past our visceral reaction and understand that this only is a matter of supply reaching out to demand.

And while the market still shows signs of uncertainty, demand for gold is not likely to go down.  So, if the feeling of having it in your hands gives the consumer that much more confidence, then let the markets take note. 

Here’s hoping that any gold ATM errors are in your favor.

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