-666 Points: We Just Witnessed The 6th Largest Single Day Stock Market Decline In U.S. History The stock market is a perilous situation. When you really start to think about how deep the claws of greed are dug it can get a little scary. Do you have any idea how many computer programs are handling …
Billionaires are hoarding more cash than ever due to growing economic uncertainty, according to a new report.
The world’s billionaires are now holding 22.2 percent of their wealth in cash (around $1.7 trillion), consulting firm Wealth-X’s “Billionaire Census” indicates. It is the highest percentage since the survey began. The world has 2,473 billionaires.
“Billionaires are taking money off the table where available, while uncertainties in the economy and the historical highs found in deals have resulted in cash-flush portfolios,” a Wealth-X report reads.
The billionaires’ cash hoard is roughly the size of Brazil’s gross domestic product, CNBC reported. A GDP is a measure of the value of all the goods and services sold in a nation. Brazil has a population of around 200 million people.
Average people should be concerned when the wealthy hoard cash, because it means that the super-rich think assets such as stocks, bonds, precious metals and real estate are about to lose value. They want to protect their wealth, and be in a position to snap up bargains when the market hits bottom.
Warren Buffett made most of his $66.4 billion fortune by buying up low-priced stocks during the economic crises of the 1970s and in 2008. Many other billionaires did the same.
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A legendary billionaire investor apparently believes the stock market is about to collapse, and he’s moving his money into gold instead.
George Soros has dumped 37 percent of his US stocks and made huge investments in gold, according to Bloomberg, which reported that Soros bought 1.05 million shares in the SPDR Gold trust (an exchange fund that tracks bullion prices) and $264 million worth of Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE: ABX), the world’s largest gold-mining company.
“A hard landing is practically unavoidable,” Soros said of the current state of the market in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I’m not expecting it; I’m observing it.”
Raul Moreno, CEO and co-founder of iBillionaire, told CNN this week, “It’s been a while since he’s been this bearish. Soros has made money in markets going up or down, so people definitely trust what he’s saying.”
Soros also doubled his bet that the S&P will lose value.
What Soros Knows
Soros built a $24 billion fortune predicting what the market is going to do next. In 1989, Soros predicted Japanese stocks would collapse, and they did. He also made a very successful bet that the Bank of England (the UK’s equivalent to the Federal Reserve) would devalue the pound in 1992. It did, and Soros made $1 billion on the deal.
Soros has been, for some time, warning of another financial meltdown like that of 2008. He has said the European debt crisis is worse than the crisis of 2008, which began when the US mortgage market collapsed.
Nor is it just Europe Soros is worried about. He also has predicted that the Chinese currency – the Yuan – is about to collapse. That would bring down the Chinese economy and potentially cause a collapse of stock prices in the United States. Many American companies are heavily dependent on sales to China.
One of Soros’ biggest fears is deflation, or a collapse in prices and corporate profits. A similar scenario was one of the worst effects of the Great Depression.
Soros based his Chinese prediction on the fact that prices for finished goods in China have been falling for 46 straight months, Bloomberg reported.
Not Just Soros
Soros’ former employee, money manager Stanley Druckenmiller, has been urging investors to buy gold because of the huge amount of debt in China, CNN reported. Druckenmiller compared the state of Chinese banking to subprime mortgages in the US in 2007-2008, and predicted it will soon collapse.
The Federal Reserve will not be able to get the economy out of the current situation, Druckenmiller warned investors.
“The Fed has no end game,” he said. “The Fed’s objective seems to be making sure the S&P goes another six months without a 20 percent decline.”
Druckenmiller is also worried about what he calls reckless behavior of American CEOs who have been wasting money on stock buybacks and mergers.
Bond investor Jeff Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital also thinks that the Fed could make the economy worse with incredibly low or negative interest rates, CNN reported.
“Negative rates are really bad,” Gundlach said. “It’s going to backfire like an old Model-T.”
Gundlach says gold could hit a price of $1,400 a troy ounce this year because of economic turbulence. Gold was trading at $1,271.38 an ounce on May 18, according to goldprice.com.
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