The Gold Report: Quite a few analysts believe 2015 will be a year of great economic volatility, as foreshadowed by what happened with oil in 2014. Do you agree?
Eric Coffin: I do think 2015 will be pretty volatile, with the potential for nasty financial surprises. We've already seen bond yields go negative in Germany, France and elsewhere, and we could see big moves in and out of different asset classes.
TGR: Could the oil price collapse be a leading indicator of a global economic slowdown?
EC: That's an oversimplification. Economic growth in China has slowed and will probably slow some more. And China is the 800-pound gorilla of commodity consumption. Estimates for worldwide growth in 2015 have recently come down but not enough to justify the drop in the oil price.
The main reason for the oil price crash is oversupply. U.S. supply has grown massively due to fracking and horizontal drilling, while Libya and Iran have both added a million barrels a day. These events have disrupted the equilibrium.
TGR: Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has famously boasted he will do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. Greece will hold an election Jan. 25, and the polls tell there is a good chance the new government will reject its current arrangement with the ECB. If this occurs, can the euro be saved? Continue reading "Is Market Sentiment Shifting to Gold?"