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CoinWeek Podcast #132: The Gold Market in a Time of Crisis (with Kitco’s Peter Hug)


CoinWeek Podcast #132: The Gold Market in a Time of Crisis (with Kitco’s Peter Hug)

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This week on the CoinWeek Podcast, precious metals expert Peter Hug joins me to share his insights into the current state of gold given supply chain disruptions at the leading mints caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

CoinWeek editor Charles Morgan asks Peter how this crisis compares to other fiscal crises over the course of the past hundred years and why a surge in metals prices this time is no sure thing. They also talk about the difference between institutional and individual buying and why fear doesn’t drive the market.

Peter Hug is Kitco’s Director of Global Trading and brings to this conversation a lifetime of market knowledge and a little bit of optimism in a market that is driven by uncertainty.

We also have great news for fans of the program. This week we are going to double dip this week and give you a second episode of the CoinWeek Podcast.

Check back Saturday to listen to our great conversation with EAC President Bill Eckberg. Charles and Bill talk about the United States Mint’s sourcing of planchets for 18th-century and early 19th-century large cents and half cents and how certain unavoidable factors impacted coin quality.

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The CoinWeek Podcast is brought to you by PCGS.

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The following is a transcript of Charles’ conversation with Peter Hug:

Charles Morgan: Hi everybody. This is CoinWeek editor, Charles Morgan. I’m here this week with a very interesting and insightful episode of the CoinWeek Podcast with Kitco’s Peter Hug. In this podcast, we talk about a number of topics related to bullion and how the bullion market is reacting to the current situation with COVID-19 and the financial uncertainty that we all face due to the fact that it’s not business as usual. We’ll come back later in the week with a second podcast probably on Saturday with Bill Eckberg from EAC, where we’re going to talk about planchet quality 18th-century large cents and half cents, which is a great episode, which was initially planned to go out before this. But Peter’s information is so timely and valuable, I wanted to get it out to you as soon as I could.

PCGS is a proud sponsor of the CoinWeek Podcast. We couldn’t thank them enough for supporting the program and it really keeps us going on and you have more than 130 episodes of the CoinWeek Podcast largely because of PCGS’ generous support. While we have some time to look at coins and do some research, I want you to bookmark and visit PCGS CoinFacts. It is one of the most important websites about numismatics you’ll find on the internet and it’s free to use, you used to have to pay for it. I know I did.

Anyway, brace yourself, our great engaging conversation with Peter Hug is after the music. You’re going to get a one-kilo dose of reality. It’s going to crash-land into your coffee table next, on the CoinWeek Podcast.

Charles: Hi, Peter, thanks for joining me again on the CoinWeek Podcast. It’s certainly an interesting time to have you on.

Peter Hug: Pleasure to be here, Charles.

Charles: People are concerned about many things right now, not the least of which is their health. But also given the extreme measures that we have had to undertake for the public good, people are also concerned about their jobs and the future of the economy. And so, our conversation today about the metals market and what’s going on with it right now.

Peter: Well, I certainly think gold is you would– I guess many people, many investors out there expect that when you have the tendency, these type of crises because this is totally unprecedented, that when you have this type of situation that you would expect gold maybe to be nudging up certainly to the $2011 highs, if not with a number with a $2000 handle on it. But this event is so, so unique that it is really difficult to calibrate the value of anything specific other than cash. So, if you look at the context of basically all assets, classes, and that, I think real estate is going to take a substantial hit over the next six months, especially for investors or people that are holding second properties and recreational properties. If this cash crunch continues throughout the summer and into the fall, those things are going to be the first things on the block to be liquidated. I can see some serious pressure on the real estate market coming up.

But in this environment, if we’re not talking supply and demand, I’m assuming you’re going to get to that point somewhere down the road, people are really hunkered down and what is right now the primary asset that everybody is trying to get ahold of is cash. I don’t mean cash in the context of dollar bills in your pocket, but just basically cash to get you liquid assets to get you through your potential job losses. If you’re not getting your full pay, your rents are coming due, your mortgages are coming due. Although the government is helping, that is still ways off before those checks actually reached the hands of the individuals.

In that context, there’s been quite a bit of liquidation in the physical market for no other reason than to raise cash. The initial reaction, which was similar to 2008– was when the financial collapse started to occur in 2008, the first reaction on the metals was down. Gold dropped almost $500. That was a reaction to people chasing the market lower and selling their gold, generating cash, and then trying to pick the bottom of the stock market. It wasn’t until the stock market pretty much bottomed and then started going back up that gold actually caught some wind and then made the high of $2,011.

I think this is similar. I think this market right now is trading– the initial reaction was we need to sell everything to raise cash, because they thought this pandemic that we’re now facing was isolated to China, and to Italy. It didn’t help with the President announcing that the outbreak in the US was well contained and nothing to worry about. So, people saw the stock market come off 10%, 15%, and they chased the market down. And there were two elements in chasing the market down. Some people that were leveraged got caught on margin, so they had to raise cash. And other people basically raised cash to chase the equity market down.

But the equity market kept dropping. Then, once that equity markets continued to drop, people reversed it and then they got scared. Once they started getting scared, they move back into gold. Gold has gotten down all the way into the high $1400s when this started about four weeks ago, and now it’s back north of $1600. Silver went all the way down to $1150. Now, it’s back in the mid-14s. So, now people are really engaging in the metals as a sort of a protection asset as they perceive that we’ve come out of this sometime in the fall with the $2 trillion, probably going to be $4 trillion before it’s over that’s been added to this economy is going to be extreme– maybe not extremely inflationary, but certainly the liquidity that has been added to this market, in my opinion, is going to create a surge in the metals prices, but probably not for another month or so.

Charles: There’s a lot to unpack with what you just said. I’d like to go back and ask you a question. I know this might sound like a pointed question, but it is sincere. When I think back to the last precious metals run-up, the one in 2010, 2011, one of the things that I saw quite a bit was politically charged, fear-based marketing from companies that sold metal products to the general public through conservative TV and radio programs. I understand that at the time, the Republican Party was the opposition party, and usually the party in power owns the fiscal and tax policies of their administration and the party in opposition is inevitably going to attack them and criticize them. In the current crisis, the Republicans control the Senate and the executive branch. Government spending has become even more profligate than it was under the Obama administration. So, with that fiscal uncertainty abounds, yet, I do not see the same fervor for ideologically focused fear-driven precious metals marketing at play. Does this surprise you?

Peter: Well, again, I think the psychology was different in that timeframe because the pundits that were out there saying, here you’re now witnessing the collapse of the US economy and the US dollar, which we’ve been predicting since gold started freely trading in 1973. You need to have your metals now, cash is worthless, and the world is coming to an end from the context of the financial system. You’re going to need gold to be able to buy gasoline and food. It was really more based on sort of a fear type of approach towards the investors and it generated a lot of interest in the smaller investors to go in and chase the market up to $1,900.

There was also a perception at the time, remember the Fed was in QE mode, and there was no inflation. There was a perception or at least the pundits expressed the perception that there was going to be massive inflation as a result of this QE package, which never ever materialized. It was more typical of fear trade.

Here, you have a situation– and remember, a lot of these pundits– again, I’m not trying to take a political slant here. I’m Canadian, so I’m just observing from afar. I would suspect we’re more sort of slanted towards the Republican Party. Whereas the liberals tend not to be as aggressive when it comes to pretending the end of the world scenarios. Now that you have a Republican president, these pundits have to back away. Again, this is right now not yet an economic issue from a perspective of the financial institutions. Obviously, it’s an economic issue for people that have lost their jobs. But it’s not yet endemic into the financial system. Now, that could come. If there’s going to be default home loans, the banks are going to take it on the chin pretty hard. That could be the next shoe to fall, that hasn’t fallen yet. The Fed has done everything in its power to keep the financial system at least somewhat liquid.

Charles: These smaller investors, the ones that were in large numbers called into action by these pitches, the fear of the Fed, fear of fiat money, etc., do you think it was demand from these individuals buyers that drove the market or did the responsibility for that lie at the feet of institutional buyers?

Peter: I would say over the last two years based on what we’re seeing on our book, I think it’s larger clients and institutional clients that have been buying this market on the way up. Again, remember the psychology here. Everybody was told in 2010, 2011, the world was coming to an end, they chased that up to $1900, silver went to $50 for a brief moment. And then, all of these investors that thought that they had made the right choice, watched silver drop all the way from $50 down to $11. They watch gold drop all the way down from $1925 to a low in 2016 of just south of $1100. They basically just lost faith. I mean the pundits for the last five years have been saying the world is still coming to an end, the world’s coming to an end. And the story’s getting a little stale or was getting a little stale, and now you have this issue.

Charles: If metals rise and approach those 2010-2011 highs, do you expect there to be some price resistance once the prior numbers are hit by individuals that bought at or near the peak a decade ago, and who wish to cash out now, once they got that breakeven mark? I ask this because I don’t know if we’ve seen sales volume of metals like we saw at the prior peak.

Peter: Again, it’ll depend where we are when gold hits $1,900. Ironically, I think we come out of the other side of the coronavirus scare here, I think gold goes up, not down, because I think the Fed is going to be very reluctant to put the brakes on their liquidity measures. They’re going to let those stand, in my opinion, at least through this year and probably through half of 2021 before they start to tighten up anything in the system. The way I’m looking at this is if you have the equity market stabilizing and going higher, I actually think that is going to be bullish for gold and silver, not bearish. I think an equity market collapse from these levels and taking out the lows that we saw a couple of weeks back is going to be negative for the metals because I think people will then just sell just to raise cash because they’re going to be looking for cash to pay their bills.

I’m looking for the metals actually to be very price positive if we come out of the coronavirus issue within the next 60 or 90 days. I think this market’s got legs and has the potential of running higher. I think if it does get up to $1900, I guess there’ll be a few people that are diehard holders that held it at $1900 and will liquidate to get their cash back. But a lot of people liquidated on the way down. We had massive liquidation of retail physical silver and gold in these ranges, the $12 to $15 range on silver and on gold south of $1300. We have massive liquidation of physical.

Prior to the coronavirus– let’s just go back to January, February of this year when silver was trading– I’m trying to remember the number, but just to get around the number where it was trading, let’s say $16 an ounce, maybe a little higher. You couldn’t give silver away. There were discounts on the bid for physical silver and gold in the market because there was a lot of secondary product coming into the market at these low levels. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t people that are still waiting for a breakeven point, and once it gets up to $1800, $1900 in gold, they’ll liquidate a metal that they purchased 10 years ago. Certainly, that’s going to be part of it. But I think it’ll be more than offset with people thinking that “Well, if we get to $1900, it’s going to a new high,” because cycles, when they do repeat themselves, always take out the previous high or the previous low. Once you get through $1900, there’s going to be every– all the pundits out there saying, “Okay, it’s on its way now. Next target $3000.” And then you’re going to see all of these ads coming back in again.

Charles: It’s interesting to me when you think about the economic ramifications of probably where we’re heading. In the US, we’ve already seen more than 10 million people added to the unemployment rolls, probably more coming this week. Now, much of this might be temporary, but not an insignificant number of these people may find that their jobs are now vapor. I would imagine in the best-case scenario if everything goes according to plan based on what the American government officials are telling us, that there’s going to be quite a lot of pain in the course of the next three to six months. This is an issue that doesn’t just affect our country, but as we can see, outbreak anywhere in the world has the potential of spreading everywhere. I can’t imagine that we’ve seen economic disruption at this level since World War II. During World War II, metals prices were more or less still stable due to the price controls set by the leading governments. This situation, therefore, seems completely unprecedented in modern history.

Peter: I agree. I’m not sitting here blowing the horn that gold’s going to a record high in the short term. If anything, I think gold has got potential to go lower from these levels, and I think silver’s got potential to $10 to $12 range again. I’m suggesting that if we get a handle on this virus and people start getting back to work and the economy starts to regenerate, it’s going to take some time. But on the other side of this, when that happens, I think the Fed remains extremely accommodative. I think that in and of itself is going to be bullish for the metals markets. But I’m not suggesting that in the short term, there’s going to be severe pain that the metals are going to go to new highs. Unless there is a crisis in the banking system, that could then spur some big money moving into the metals.

The other thing that people have to be aware of is that the central banks for the past seven years have been buying massive amounts of gold for their reserves. Every country in the world is in serious trouble right now. It would strike me that it might come to pass that the central banks start to lay off some of that gold to shore up their treasury with dollars. There could be some central bank liquidation here from a perspective of country risk. That’s also something that hasn’t been part of this scenario that’s been discussed.

One of the ways they can raise capital– the Russians already announced last two weeks ago or last week that they were no longer buying gold this year. Last year, they bought about 60, 70 metric tons of further reserves. They’ve announced that they’re officially not buying gold anymore in 2020 for their reserves. So that’s a big central bank, the Russians and the Chinese that were buying gold for the reserves. I would imagine the Chinese aren’t aggressively buying gold either here at these levels, because they’ve got other issues. They’ve got liquidity issues within their financial system. So, how do you raise the capital? You can just print it, which is what the Fed is doing or if you’ve got gold reserves, maybe you sell some of those gold reserves and generate dollars.

Charles: One of the things that I’m seeing when I ask around is that the buy-sell spread for metals is further apart than at any time in the recent past. I’ve seen physical metals sold for levels well above spot and buy prices that are deeply discounted. Does this point to a shortage in the supply chain?

Peter: Yeah, I’m sort of tongue in cheek here, but let me say it this way. In Europe, the refineries have basically all shut down. There’s a couple that are coming back on-board next week that produce investment bars in gold, platinum, and some of them in silver. In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint is hopefully going to reopen on Monday. They’ve been open from the perspective of taking and refining and taking and producing large bars for delivery into the COMEX for futures settlement. But their production on investment products, i.e., Silver Maple Leafs, Gold Maple Leafs, hundred-ounce silver bars, one-ounce gold bars, platinum maples, blah, blah, blah, has basically been shut down for two weeks.

Now, they’re going to open up on Monday, God willing, because it’s a fluid thing. They may get noticed that they’re not going to open up production again on Monday, but let’s assume they do. We’ve already had word from them that their first order of business for the foreseeable next few weeks is producing 400-ounce gold bars because there was a major issue on delivery of gold into the COMEX for the April contract because all the gold was in London and had to be delivered to New York. The problem is there are no planes flying. So, they couldn’t execute delivery on the April contract, which created a major issue with the spreads and the cash market over the past two weeks.

Now, the COMEX or the CME has approved 400-ounce gold bars for delivery for COMEX contracts. So, the RCM’s production schedule for at least the foreseeable next two or three weeks is going to be on two items. One is going to be 400-ounce gold bars and the other one is going to be Silver Maple Leafs. Now, they haven’t produced Silver Maple Leafs in two weeks. There are no Silver Maple Leafs in the market right now. So, it’s going to take them a while just to meet the pent-up book demand from the distributors, which I would estimate is probably in the neighborhood of two to three million ounces, a pent-up demand. It’s going to take them in probably several weeks to catch up with that demand.

On US Mint side, about three weeks ago, they basically ran out of Silver Eagles. They’re just now starting to deliver Silver Eagles into the market and Gold Eagles and Gold Buffaloes into the market. But they are delivering product into the market. So, now it comes down to the following. Again, we’re a retailer, we’ve got to go with supply and demand. And our premiums are up at the $7, $8 range too for Silver Eagles and Gold Eagles are at 90 bucks. The US government is now, or at least the states are saying, “If we catch anybody price gouging on masks, we’re going to charge these guys.”

But they consider the precious metals industry an essential industry because otherwise the mints would be closed, the refineries would be shut, and the depositories would be shut. None of them are shut. They’re all considered essential industries. Now, the big primary dealers, the big banks, and some of the big distributors in the US have access to Silver Eagles from the US Mint at $2. And Gold Eagles at– the premium just went up to 4%, but they were getting them at 3%. And these guys are selling to the secondary dealers at 7%, 8% over market. And then, those dealers have got to make a couple of percent. So, by the time the retail guy gets into the Gold Eagle or Buffalo, he’s paying anywhere from 9% to 12% over the market, $150 to $200 over gold. He’s already paying the 2011 high if he wants to buy Eagle or a Buffalo.

Silver Eagle, the premium is at $10. I’m just talking base price. I’m talking if silver’s at $14, you can go on a number of websites, you’ll see people selling Silver Eagles at 24, 25 bucks. These coins normally sell at $2.75 over spot. We’ve got a digital program where the Royal Canadian Mint is the custodian, so we have sovereign guarantee on the metal. You can’t get better than that. Basically, the Bank of Canada or the Government of Canada would have to go in default before you’re at risk. Quite frankly, I mean, I know there’s a lot of people out there, they don’t want to buy an asset that’s in an account, they’d rather have the physical.

I would never in my wildest dreams pay $10 over spot for a Silver Eagle because when this comes out on the other side, those premiums are going to come right back down to three, four bucks. So if you can buy something that is relatively in my opinion safe where you can get in at the silver price, you’re at $14.50 or $14.60 and then just hold that asset and then once the coins become available on the market, swap that asset for coins, you’re going to save yourself seven bucks an ounce.

Charles: I guess the fear element that people have is that you’re buying metal to brace yourself to survive an economic displacement. And if somebody is holding on to that metal for you, then you probably don’t have it readily available when you might need it.

Peter: Let’s go to the apocalypse argument. Let’s go there. Let’s assume the financial system totally collapses and dollars are no longer viable for whatever reason. I can’t imagine cash not being viable, but let’s assume it’s not viable. And there is a complete total collapse of the supply chain in the United States, which means there’s no food, there’s no gasoline, virtually nothing that’s available because everything is shut down. It’s a total financial collapse. And you happen to need gasoline for your car, and your neighbor next door’s got gasoline. You think if you knocked on his door and said, “Here’s one ounce of gold, give me a gallon of gasoline,” he’s likely to give it to you? What’s he going to do with that one ounce of gold if there’s no financial system? There’s no liquidity in the gold? Where’s he going to sell that gold? What’s he going to do with that gold? If anything, he’s going to want to barter you for something else. He’ll say, “Okay, I’ll give you a gallon of gasoline but I want three dozen eggs.” I don’t see the barter argument that if the system completely implodes and there’s just anarchy on the streets and all that, you can actually take your one-ounce gold bar and barter it for something. I don’t see it, I could be totally wrong.

Charles: Well, I think it’s not necessarily that extreme. And I’m not a proponent of this way of thinking. But I think history has shown that in times of financial trouble, some companies that have offered to store customer metals in their own vaults have either leveraged customer assets to the point where there’s nothing left in the vault for customers to claim when the company goes under. Plus, I think some people like the idea of being in control of the metals that they purchased and being able to dictate what happens to it. And this is part and parcel why in many cases, it’s better to have immediate physical access to metal whenever the time arises that you need it. Obviously, in a zombie apocalypse scenario, you’re going to need shovels, pickaxes, bullets, and water, you probably don’t want to run away from zombies with a kilo of gold in your pocket.

Peter: I’m not suggesting there’s no risk, but you basically have to have the Government of Canada going totally in default before there would be a risk on the asset I was just talking about. I’m not saying that’s not possible. But it would be the Government of Canada that would have to completely default on this obligation. When you compare that to your risk or your delivery of promises with an ETF, there’s no comparison. People are chasing ETFs like it’s going out of style. The inflows into the ETF market is just incredible. I don’t even have to talk Government of Canada. You can talk to Perth Mint in Australia. These are government-guaranteed programs.

Now, again, if you don’t believe the government will stand behind their guarantee? Fair enough. ETFs would definitely fall well below that ladder in my mind if I were an investor buying an ETF relative a government-guaranteed metals deposit, and then if you want physical. Now, if you want physical, right now because of supply and demand, because dealers are basically– big wholesale dealers when the markets are quiet, they make themselves 10 cents, 15 cents spreads on these Eagles when they sell it to the secondary dealers. When it rains like it’s raining right now, these guys go to town and they’re charging $5 to $6 per Silver Eagle over their acquisition cost to secondary dealers who then got to make something, so by the time the retail guy gets involved with a Silver Eagle, he’s anywhere from $10 to $15 over market.

Personally, I would not be buying a physical coin at $15 over market. I just wouldn’t do it. That’s just not how I’m built. Silver literally has to give 70% of the high in 2011 before you even break even.

Charles: That’s an important thing to keep in mind. You probably have a little more latitude when it comes to buying gold. I think at $20 or $30 premium for gold isn’t as bad as a $5 or $10 premium for silver.


–premium. There’s a guy in California, got a great website and I’m not going to give you names. I went on his site yesterday, gold was trading at, I don’t know, $1585. He was selling American gold Eagles at $1798. I’m sure he was selling, and he was selling out. I mean, to me, it’s just, I don’t know– be kind of cool that the US Mint said to the primary dealers, “Look, we’ll give you the Silver Eagles at your $2 cost with the proviso you can’t sell them more than $4 over.”

Charles: One thing that I definitely caution people to do if they’re listening to this podcast and they might be stirred up by some metals right now. Make sure you know that your source is trading a genuine precious metal product, preferably in the form of bullion coins struck by a leading sovereign mint, or one of the leading bullion-producing private mints. So long as the source of the metals that you’re buying from has a strong reputation for delivery, a track record of honesty, and can promise immediate delivery upon receipt of payment. There’s no such thing as a deal on precious metals products. Again, there is no deal to be had if the coins you buy at discount turn out to be fake.

Peter: Well, most dealers– again, I can’t say most, but I mean, yeah, if you go to a reputable dealer, look at some of their history and all that, most of the dealers source– dealers of size can source even directly from sovereign locations or directly from refineries. But again, with the rotating shifts and all that, production coming into the market is not meeting demand. Until that sort of levels off, you’re going to have these high premiums in the physical market. There’s just no way of getting around it unless the wholesalers are inclined to be a little bit more accommodative on their spreads. But again, they’re in business to make money. Right now, demand is exceeding supply, so if they can get away with a 7% premium on Eagles when they’re paying 3%, they’re going to do it. And that’s what you’re seeing, and that’s why you’re seeing those spikes in premiums.

Charles: Peter, before I let you go, you’re a fountain of knowledge and a person of great integrity in this industry. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the way things are going to play out over the next three to six months?

Peter: I think people– at least the talking heads on TV and they obviously have to do that because they want to be somewhat optimistic, I think with what has happened in the world from a supply chain disruption and just getting everybody back to work again, there’s still all these unknowns but we can bring the curve down. But then do we go back to work? China’s now reporting that there’s a reinfection rate. They shut down another province. Until I think they have an antidote, I think that this is going to be something that we’re going to be working out of for many, many, many months. I’m hoping that we can get the economy back on track from the perspective of at least 50% of the people now at home getting back to work by end of summer. But then again, just getting that all back and recalibrated, getting the inventories restocked, it is a massive undertaking that still lays ahead of us and it’s a global issue. If it was just in the US, and we came out of it, and the rest of the world was still operating, it would be much less dramatic, but the whole world is in this situation. The whole world has to recalibrate and restart their supply lines.

I can’t imagine if somebody said, “Okay, the coronavirus is basically flat,” who in the right mind is going to be the first person on a cruise ship? Who in their right mind is going to be the first person on an airplane? There’s just going to be a lot of lag before people rebuild their confidence that it’s safe. That’s going to, in my opinion, have a really, really serious impact on the economy probably at least through mid-2021 before calibration comes back in and we start to re-gear. But I think It could take that long and in that context, there are all kinds of other sectors that haven’t even felt this yet like the housing market. A lot of the people that are in unemployment right now, there’s absolutely no guarantee that there’ll be a job for them in three months, that these businesses will even reopen.

Charles: Well, I think you make valid points. If you want to, you could compare this to the 1918 flu pandemic but in many ways, the situation is totally different. With coronavirus, you can be infected and not know anything about it. You can board a plane and be anywhere in the world within 24 hours, which means that unless we develop the medical or scientific means to mitigate community spread and develop a method of medical human immunity, then this is a threat that’s with us and something that we should take seriously. It’s up to our governments to partner with universities and research labs and private industry and spend whatever it takes to develop a solution so that people can get back to work and get back into their communities, kids can go back to school, and we can go on living our lives.

Peter: Yeah. If you listen to the experts, they’re fast-tracking everything but even in their most optimistic projections, they’re talking a vaccine maybe available, maybe, first quarter of 2021, after they do their testing in the fall and then by the time they produce it. Now, if they have a vaccine by that time, then it’s a matter of how quickly can you get it out? How much can you make, so you can inoculate the world, so to speak? Again, I think it’s all going to happen. I’m just a little concerned that their time windows here are a little bit too optimistic. If it doesn’t happen until the end of the year that we have a vaccine, and then it takes another three months to get it into the general population, we’re talking about restarting this on a serious basis first quarter next year. So, how much damage between now and then is going to ensue in the economy with businesses? The government’s bailout is two months, maybe they’re obviously going to have to extend it.

But until we get that vaccine and people have confidence, “Okay, I got my shot, I’m cool,” it’s going to take a while to bring consumer confidence back up and revved up again, to get this economy, not only in North America but also globally, back on track. So, I’m a little bit conservative on how quickly this is going to happen, and in the interim, I think we’re in for some serious issues. Normally, you would think gold would be at $2,000 an ounce, but again, I think there’s a big component here of people just trying to stay as liquid as possible and just selling anything they can sell to generate cash because that right now is king, in my opinion.

Charles: Well, Peter, this is a good jumping-off point. It was good of you to take some time this morning to talk to us again. Stay safe, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Peter: Yeah, Charles. I wish you the best and stay safe and to all of your listeners, be safe. I do believe we’ll come out the other end and, fingers crossed, it’ll be quicker than I’m anticipating. We’re all in this together and it’s just a matter of bearing down and grinding through it, I guess. I don’t know what else to say.

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