Ireland is fairly unusual as a country which has been capitalist and democratic for the last 200 years, but has virtually no gold reserves held in its name in the central bank.
Certainly, we are going to be faced with an extreme situation in 2036 to 2056 or so, as our demographic bulge will be retiring then.
The potential pension crisis is getting a lot of air time today, 29 years before it's due to hit us. Everyone's being urged to set up a pension fund. Now in one narrow sense pension funds are financially valuable, for the consumer: they get big tax breaks, in essence.
However in another sense there's a major problem with pension funds that nobody is addressing: they are directed towards international shares and bonds which are today massively overvalued. Today's dominant market players: the EU, Japan and north America, are moving into a long period of economic stagnation.
It's arguable that all 3 major powers are no longer really growing significantly, and are approaching or have reached the limit of their growth potential.
The dollar has been treading water for the last five years, and is now falling heavily as the effects of financial gravity take hold. So the USA is growing: but only with the help of a debased currency. European pension fund investors are getting burned by the plummeting € value of their $ holdings. Ludicrous companies like Apple and Google account for a huge proportion of the US market. And your pension is heavily invested in them.
If the West continues to operate a free-trade system with China and India, it is certain that those two nations will continue to grow hugely. Democratic India is buying gold with both hands, Sanjeev Q Public has no intention of trusting his future to devalued Rupees, thank you very much. China currently operates and anti-gold, pro-US dollar policy. But China can turn on a sixpence when it wants to, as was displayed in 1978 when it went from Stalinism to capitalism over lunch.
Anyway, in 1999, gold hit the buying opportuntiy of a lifetime: because all the new money was flowing into doomed dot-coms, it collapsed to $250. It has steadily advanced since then.
Is it time for Ireland to acquire a few dozen tonnes of the yellow stuff while it's still extremely cheap? Over the next decades a billion people are going to move from poverty to the middle classes. Jewellery demand alone can be expected to cause its value to treble. Add in investor demand, and a six-times rise by the time Ireland's pensions crunch hits seems pretty certain.
Or do you still think that Google will be boss of the world for the next 3 decades?