Bling vs. Vroom

Gold shines, and oil slides: understanding the price of panic

Illustration by Topos Graphics for TIME; John Smith / Corbis

While gold has been scaling heights like a Himalayan goat, oil has been leaking value like a BP platform in the Gulf of Mexico

The merchants of financial apocalypse have been enjoying a wonderful summer — weirdly contradictory, that — predicting everything from a 90% drop in the Dow to the end of the euro to hyperinflation. There are investors who bet against the market because their analyses tell them to, and they ought to be rewarded for their industry. But people who revel in it deserve sand in their bathing suits. These include the breed of goldbugs who love to preach the fear that the dollar is going to hell — and profit by it.

Got to admit, though, it sure is working for...

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