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April 08, 2021

Gold prices spike amid Apocalypse 2012 fears: report

People are dumb, right? Right.

Istockphoto_14797209-volcano-crater-with-boiling-lava-lake We know this, if by no other example, from our irrational behaviour back around Y2K. Our turn of the century fears had a real impact on business, too – we hoarded perishable goods and even took down a giant; Dell’s sales and stock price tumbled because we were too spooked to buy a computer in 1999.

Yet, while even the most dedicated Y2K conspiracist might look back at the year 2000 with a little embarrassment, we’re back at it again. With the end of the world coming next year – you know, Apocalypse 2012 – consumers appear to be focusing their cash once more on the latest threat to civilization.

In turns out, according to CNBC, there’s a huge market surrounding the hype of Dec. 21, 2012, the date the Mayan calendar predicts the world will come to an end.

Sales of pre-made survival kits have “skyrocketed” this year, in part because of last month’s Japanese quake but largely in preparation for 2012.

Same goes for these luxury doomsday bunkers, which sold well during Y2K and are back as hot products again.

But the most consequential 2012-related spending spree involves gold. Gold prices have spiked this last month amid fears the world’s banking systems will collapse next year, and some analysts believe the commodity’s price could reach the $2,000 mark soon.

Crazy? Maybe. What’s interesting to note is the shifted perception of what 2012 will be. Instead of a full-scale, everything-and-everyone-will go collapse, many now believe they can wait out the supposed disaster, hiding out in nuclear-proof bunkers for the storm to pass.

And, if it happens, and all our bank accounts are wiped clean, perhaps it will be the canned soup-hoarding, gold bullion-spending people that will be king. Not us.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...