Irish Finance Minister Dumps Stocks to Buy Gold

(By GoldCore)

The Minister for Finance in Ireland, Michael Noonan, sold his shares in funds that track European and US stocks and diversified his portfolio including allocating some of his personal wealth into a gold exchange traded fund (ETF) in 2014.

IRISH NOONAN NewsNoonan sold out of his positions in the Lyxor Eurostoxx 50 ETF and SPDR DJIA ETF in 2014 and opted to invest in the SPDR gold shares ETF and Portuguese government bonds. He maintained his holdings in SPDR KBW Banks ETF, Ishares FTSE 100 ETF, Market Vectors Agri Business ETF, ETFS Agricultural Commodities ETF.
The information was published last week in the Register of Members Interests, in which members of Oireachtas – the Irish Parliament – must declare financial interests valued at over €13,000.

The changes to the Minister’s portfolio were highlighted by Ireland’s Sunday Independent yesterday, who described Noonan as “bearish” and interpreted the move as a “hedge against euro deflation”.

The piece acknowledged that gold is a safe haven – the “traditional hedge against tough times” and that “gold is an asset that has outperformed in times of both inflation and deflation.”

Noonan is believed to be quite a shrewed investor. The Sunday Independent reported that

“Noonan’s personal investments give an insight into his thinking and his views on the risk and opportunities facing the global and European economies and markets. He has a track record stretching back decades of canny private investments.”

The news is of interest given Noonan’s status within the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers, the Council of the European Union and the Ecofin. The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin), is composed of the Economics and Finance Ministers of the Member States, generally meets once a month under the chair of the rotating EU Presidency.

Noonan is an EU economic insider and would have access to good information with regards to financial and economic developments in Europe.

Noonan represents Ireland at these meetings and chaired the Council during the first half of 2013. He is committed to the European political project. The political opposition and an angry public have accused him of putting the interests of EU banks and political elites over those of Irish society.

Given Noonan is close to EU elites, it is interesting that he chose to sell his European stocks and his allocation to Eurostoxx. Was the decision made prior to the ECB mooting the possibility of QE? If so it would suggest that Noonan may have been concerned about deflation. And yet the ECB never considered factoring the potential for deflation into its stress tests for banks.

Or was the decision made with knowledge of the ECB’s intention? If this were so it would indicate a lack of faith by a European finance minister in the ability of the ECB to achieve its stated objectives, given that QE should raise European stock markets.

Unfortunately, the Register of Members Interests does not detail the timeline of investments or their relative value so it is difficult to speculate whether the minister dumped his stock market investments prior to buying the gold ETF.

Noonan also bought Portugal 4.35% October 2017 government bonds. This either suggests that he has more confidence in the economic outlook for Portugal than for Ireland or more likely it is a form of diversification.

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This article was written Mark O’Byrne at GoldCore.  Please check back for new articles and updates at the SRSrocco Report.  You can also follow us at Twitter, Facebook and Youtube below:

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9 Comments on "Irish Finance Minister Dumps Stocks to Buy Gold"

  1. “The piece acknowledged that gold is a safe haven – the “traditional hedge against tough times” and that “gold is an asset that has outperformed in times of both inflation and deflation.”

    Except that he chose ETF’s. How much better that is than what he had before is questionable.

    PHYSICAL, TANGIBLE assets OUTSIDE of the system, in one’s possession but not where one could be robbed, is the real safety of those assets.

  2. While looking to invest in gold is a good thing, doing it by way of an ETF is stupid!
    If you don’t own and possess the physical? Then you don’t own it. Simple.
    And good luck getting a return on those Portugese bonds, let alone the return of your invested wealth.
    Waste of time article, really.

  3. An insider with years of ‘experience’ buys gold spdr ETF? Well well, what’s the message here? Buy paper 100x leveraged gold so there’s more to short by tbtf? Wonder what’s in his basement, lying around, a bit dusty.

  4. sounds as if…this is a set up by ‘the boyz’ to get people into more paper…why not mining stock etf’s and not the paper gold..which is worth..ZERO….even with a name like GOLD….it is not GOLD the metal…imho

  5. Well I hope what he knows is that Golds time has come. To me Olivia Newton John had it right with her “Lets Get Physical” song. As far as paper, maybe in mining shares. Thats just me, others may disagree.

  6. “The political opposition and an angry public have accused him of putting the interests of EU banks and political elites over those of Irish society” It’s quite clear to me what side he plays for, if he’s pissed off the public and pushing paper anything. Why an article like this get’s any space at all is the real question here.

  7. “The information was published last week in the Register of Members Interests, in which members of Oireachtas – the Irish Parliament – must declare financial interests valued at over €13,000.”

    Then the smart thing for him to do if he still wants to stay within those rules is liquidate some stocks, get 12,999 Euros in cash, and buy physical metal to keep in his possession. This isn’t complex science to master, nor a metaphysical puzzle to ponder.

    Then later get 13,000+ Euro’s worth of physical gold, silver, platinum, palladium, even .999 copper and declare that…but still keep outside of the system, not even in so-called allocate storage under someone else’s lock & key.

    Of course TPTB may have inside information on what is coming down & when, and their publicly disclosed positions may be a front.

  8. Your right, politicians are stupid! How many would take the time to read about physical over paper and out of the banking system. They have been living high on the hog because they believe that bankers and politicians can save the monetary system. I keep on stacking at these insane prices.

  9. I forgot to mention that this politician was one of the first to pass the “BAIL-IN” after Cyprus. I think he is looking after himself, don’t you think?

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