As often happens when the stock market is booming, commodities such as gold are experiencing a slump in the global markets. In fact, gold is currently off to the worst start of any year since the 1980s, and as Quartz’s Matt Phillips points out, “has done a whole lot of nothing since September 2011.” Phillips goes so far as to declare gold “the worst investment of 2013.”
To those who take their investment advice from the right-wing media, this must come as a shock. Since Barack Obama became president, pundits on the right have been falsely insisting that hyperinflation is right around the corner — and urging their viewers and readers that investing in gold is their only logical choice.
Here are five right-wingers whose investment advice has turned out to be less than golden:
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Dick Morris has spent much of the Obama administration shilling for books like Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown, which urges readers to dump all their stocks and buy gold in order to survive the “massive inflation, even hyperinflation, together with Depression-like economic stagnation” that Obama will inevitably cause.
Unfortunately for Morris, it turns out that he’s roughly as good at predicting financial markets as he is at predicting elections.
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Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has appeared in ads for gold retailer Rosland Capital, warning that the U.S. dollar was “under attack at home, from a Fed that’s printing paper money like it has no value, and from China, whose actions are tipping the balance of the global currency system away from the U.S. dollar,” and that the only defense is investing in gold.
Not only did O’Reilly’s hysterical warnings turn out to be false, but they presented such a conflict of interest that Fox News asked Rosland to remove O’Reilly from its website.
Farah’s right-wing conspiracy repository, WorldNetDaily, runs a constant stream of articles with urgent headlines such as “AUTHOR SEES $1,000 GOLD AHEAD” and “GOLD TO RALLY REGARDLESS OF WHO IS ELECTED,” in addition to paranoid warnings that the U.S. dollar will imminently collapse.
Of course, those investors who take financial advice from WorldNetDaily likely have far deeper problems than the falling price of gold.
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Former congressman Ron Paul, a noted conspiracy theorist, has literally spent decades warning of hyperinflation and the impending economic collapse of the United States. Paul not only believes that you should buy gold, he also argues that the United States should return to the gold standard.
Unlike some of the other names on this list — along with his son, U.S. senator Rand Paul — Paul puts his money where his mouth is. As Open Secrets reports, Paul has invested hundreds of thousands of his own dollars in gold — not a great investment, in light of the recent economic news.
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Perhaps the most notorious shill for gold, Beck has spent much of the past four years issuing overheated warnings such as this one, flagged by Politico’s Ken Vogel:
When the system eventually collapses, and the government comes with guns and confiscates, you know, everything in your home and all your possessions, and then you fight off the raving mad cannibalistic crowds that Ted Turner talked about, don’t come crying to me. I told you: Get gold.
Not coincidentally, Beck’s hysterical warnings tended to be followed by advertisements for Goldline, a company that was conveniently ready to sell gold coins to panicked viewers (at a huge markup).
Ultimately, things didn’t turn out well for Beck or Goldline; the economic collapse and raving cannibals promised by Beck never arrived, and Goldline has faced ongoing legal troubles amid accusations that it scammed its customers.