Thursday, March 24, 2011

There's gold in them thar Utarr

Fearing inflation, Utahns turning to gold, silver

By STEVEN Oberbeck

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 18 2011 09:42PM
Updated Mar 18, 2011 09:42PM
Sherm Lott keeps a small bag of silver coins hidden away in his Salt Lake City home.

For Lott, who inherited the pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half-dollars from his father, the money represents an insurance policy against the tough economic times and inflation he believes lie just ahead.

“I’m worried about inflation and that the government is broke. I’m worried the dollar is going to lose all its value,” Lott said. “If that happens, we’re all going to be in for some tough times. Having a little silver or gold on hand won’t hurt.”

Utah is in the midst of a gold-and-silver rush of sorts, a scramble ignited by soaring precious metal prices as well as fear the Federal Reserves’ policy of low interest rates and aggressive money supply growth will trigger inflation that in turn will doom the dollar and wipe out savings.

“People are being inspired to sell by the higher prices but at the same time, there is this underlying fear of inflation that speaks of a lack of faith in the Fed,” said Chris Wright, a vice president at Cascade Refining, a West Valley City company that buys and refines scrap gold and silver. “That fear also is helping keep the prices up.”

Such concern led Rep. Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, to successfully sponsor HB317 in the Legislature. The bill, which awaits Gov. Gary Herbert’s signature, would require the state to recognize gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as legal tender.

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