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Business Briefing 17/10

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Dylanesque duplicity and how dollar blues drive investors to gold...

Dylanesque duplicity and how dollar blues drive investors to gold...

Dylanesque duplicity

The times, they really are a changin’ and how, Mr Bob Dylan. The great protest poet of the 1960s is now blowin’ the other way, read the direction of bailed-out banks. His latest album, Christmas in the Heart, which releases this week, was made available for early download for special Citibank customers last week. Quite a turnaround for the maverick poet-singer whose songs The Times They Are a Changin’ and Blowin’ in the Wind became the anthems of the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in the US in 1960s. In fact, fans are said to be pretty amazed by the idea of a Dylan Christmas album (his first) itself—usually considered a money spinner in the recording industry. But truth be told, this is not the first time fans have seen Dylan as selling out. In 2004, he appeared in an ad for lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret. For the uninitiated, here’s how the spot goes: a woman walks down an Italian palazzo, dressed in nothing except her underwear and a pair of feathery wings, while a deathly serious Dylan looks on. (Take a look at the Youtube video and decide for yourself.) And back in the 1990s, Dylan had sold the rights to the words, ‘The Times They Are a Changin’ to the Bank of Montreal for a TV commercial.

So it’s clearly not the first time he is selling out. That said, his ardent fans will point out that the proceeds from this Christmas album will go to charity. But then, how many times can a man sing of protest and peace and then sell out?

SOHINI CHATTOPADHYAY

Dollar Blues Drives Investors to Gold

Gold is shining brighter than ever. Befuddling analysts who have for at least three months now speculated that the price of the yellow metal will come down, it has just acquired a different trajectory. This is no ordinary rally. The price has crossed $1,000 a troy ounce and is still going upwards. The price has tripled since 2003 and doubled since 2005. An investor in gold would have made far more money than one in the stock markets. And the story is not over yet. By all accounts there is a lot of play still left in gold. The real reason for this rally is that gold is a traditional hedge in difficult economic times, but there is more to it. The US dollar is declining on the back of growing US government debt, which could lead to high inflation, sending more investors towards gold to protect their savings. While the gold standard is unlikely to return, it is certain that no major portfolio today can exclude gold. Already, some analysts are talking about gold reaching $2,000 a troy ounce within three years.

Jatin Gandhi