Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court made a momentous decision. The Court decided that the Affordable Care Act was in fact constitutional. The Democrats cheered and the Republicans booed. The Court asserted that ACA was a tax, and that the U.S. government has the right, according to the Constitution, to impose taxation. Essentially, and under the circumstances, the Court was correct. There's nothing more to be said.
Now someone is reminding me that immediately following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the price of gold and other commodities fell. They did. The reason the prices fell was because investors were worried that the ruling will result in a decrease in disposable income for businesses as well as consumers. Investors have another worry, too: they wonder if U.S. bonds will have a return on their investment. A weak Euro hurt gold, because when the dollar is strong the price of gold increases for those using foreign currencies.
Most pundits considered dropping commodity prices 'an adjustment,' a pause to catch a breath. But even if it's more than a simple adjustment, if gold has lost momentum and the big hedge funds are getting out while the getting is good, there's really no reason to worry. Because Obamacare is going to change the whole shape of the playing field.
Let's take a look at what's going to happen.
The U.S. Senate Budget Committee estimates that the Affordable Care Act will incur $17 trillion in additional cost over the rest of this century. At the present juncture, healthcare spending includes $38 trillion for Medicare, $20 trillion for Medicaid, and $7 trillion for Social Security. Adding $17 trillion to the equation brings the grand total to $82 trillion. If that's not scary enough, try this on for size: all of the above healthcare programs are unfunded. Translation: there's no money set aside to pay for them.
The only way to pay for the programs is to borrow the money. It's called deficit spending. The government will sell debt to anyone willing to buy it. Remember? That's what happened prior to the Recession of 2008. Banks were selling debt. They packaged mortgages, securitized them, and then sold them. They were called CDOs. It did not work out so well.
Who will buy U.S. debt? Some people speculate that the most likely buyer will be the Fed. They will print money so they can buy up debt. And yes, it is kind of incestuous. But that's the way they do it.
Two really smart guys - John Katz and Frank Holmes - maintain that the price of gold goes up as the money supply increases. In other words, when the Fed starts cranking up the printing presses, the price of gold will begin to rise. The rise will correspond to the amount of new money being created.
It's called inflation. When the money supply increases, prices go up, because each dollar is worth less than it was before. Not only does it take more dollars to buy food, clothing, and electronic goods, but it takes more dollars to buy gold. Gold is the safest place to store value. And since gold mining companies find the gold, outfits like Pershing Gold and Newmark are smart investments.
How high will the price of gold go? No one knows for sure. But $82 trillion in newly printed money is a significant amount. And that means the price-value of gold will rise significantly. The best way to hedge against such a glut of money is to invest in gold, specifically gold mining stocks such as Pershing Gold (NASDAQ:PGLC) or Newmark Mining. If you prefer the Big Boys over their smaller counterparts, invest in Barrick (NYSE:ABX). Or how about Coeur d'Alene Mining (NYSE:CDE)? But whatever you do, invest. Gold is a good safe-haven against the gathering storm schedule to hit our shores in 2014.
Another way to hedge is by going long in coal stocks and steel stocks. Suggestions in each category would include Nucor (NYSE:NUE) and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) in steel stocks. According to the experts, both companies have made some smart acquisitions recently, operate well, and demonstrate growth indicators. Suggested coal stocks: Arch Coal, Incorporated (ACI) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) are good choices because they have "high met coal exposure."
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.