The Irish newspaper The Independent reported yesterday that Michael Noonan, Ireland’s Minster of Finance has given the finger to his European stocks to invest in gold.
Members of the Irish legislature, the Oireachtas, are required to annually declare any investments they hold with a value of more than 13,000 euros. The latest filing by the Finance Minister revealed that over the past year, Noonan has sold off his shares of a mutual fund that tracked the top 50 European stocks and put that money into gold.
The move indicates an obvious lack of faith in the recent Quantitative Easing program implemented by the European Central Bank. Nick Webb, the Business Editor for the Independent said, “The grim outlook for Europe’s economy last year seems to have inspired the minister’s decision to sell out of a fund that tracked top European shares.”
“Noonan’s personal investments give an insight into his thinking and his views on the risk and opportunities facing the global and European economies and markets. He has a track record stretching back decades of canny private investments,” said Webb.
Historically, gold has acted as a hedge or insurance policy against market volatility and currency devaluation. With the recent plunge in the price of the euro and the ECB’s 1.1 trillion dollar Quantitative Easing program now underway, many investors are seeking stability amid the increasing economic uncertainty.
When a market insider like Noonan reveals he is moving his money from stocks into gold, it sends a clear signal to investors that rough times are ahead.