From The New York Times:
Here, in a corner of Switzerland where Italian is spoken and roughly one-third of the world’s gold is refined into bars and ingots, business is booming. Every day, bangles, bracelets and necklaces arrive in plastic bags — from souks in the Middle East, from pawn shops in Asia and from corner jewelers in Europe and North America.
“It could be your grandmother’s gold or the gift of an ex-boyfriend,” said Erhard Oberli, the chief executive of Argor-Heraeus, a major refiner here that processes roughly 400 tons of gold a year. “Gold doesn’t disappear.”
Amid a global frenzy fed by multibillion-dollar hedge funds, wealthy speculators and governments all rushing to stock up on the precious yellow metal, the price of gold briefly surpassed $1,100 an ounce on Friday, a record high.
Long considered the ultimate refuge for nervous investors, gold has climbed as the dollar has steadily weakened, budget deficits have expanded in the United States and Europe, and central banks have continued to pump trillions of dollars into weak economies, creating fears of another asset bubble that will ultimately pop.
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