STATE OF BUSINESS: The Gold Rush

"Gold fever!" cried the London Daily Express. For a change, the fever-pitched Express was not exaggerating. In a stampede of investors and speculators anxious to exchange U.S. dollars for bullion, gold prices took off last week on their most spectacular rise since London's gold exchange reopened in 1954. Starting at just over $35.25 an ounce (about the same as the U.S. price of $35 an ounce, with transportation and insurance added), gold prices broke free of their old ceiling at week's beginning, jumped to $35.65 for the biggest one-day advance in the exchange's history—then the next day rushed up a...

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