They're Running Out of Gold!... And Jobs

There's a startling trend growing in Europe as families run out of all their money – both fiat currencies and hard-money metals.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported on a story of a married couple selling off their last pieces of precious jewelry – their wedding rings, even – in order to pay their monthly rent dues.

Mr. Paulo Oliveira lost his job as a builder last month, and he's afraid they will soon be kicked out of their apartment because he and his wife have no money left, and their gold is gone too.

According to Mr. Oliveira, “Everyone I know is struggling, even the gold stores are empty because nobody has any more gold left to sell.”

Portugal, historically known as the home of some of Europe's biggest gold reserves, appears to be running out of gold.

Luis Almeida is part of a family-owned gold store near Lisbon's Rossio Square, and he said that business has gone from great to terrible in just a short couple of months. After owning the store for nearly four decades, this market slump has led to the worst situation they've ever seen. Almost all of their clients have simply run out of gold – they've already sold their jewelry to pay their bills.

Bloomberg reports on the stiff competition for gold:

It’s like seven dogs for one bone,” said Alcina Bernardo, who owns a gold shop 500 meters away in the Rua do Ouro street, once a center for goldsmiths working with metal brought back from Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries.  

As a country, Portugal traditionally has guarded that gold. The central bank holds more gold relative to the size of the country’s economy than any euro country, mostly accumulated during former dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s 36 years in power, based on data compiled by the World Gold Council.

The law prevents proceeds from selling any gold reserves from going toward the government’s budget.

Meanwhile, gold forecasts are expected to surge, while unemployment will likely increase to 15.5 percent for the 2012 year, then top off at 15.0 percent in 2013. Gold shops are going broke in Portugal, but Kiener sees a 24% upside for gold prices in the near future.

Gold may top $2,000 despite gold market volatility and dips in recent weeks and months. The summertime lull is predicted to come to a screeching halt as the desperate global gold grab begins... 

Watch the Bloomberg video to see for yourself.