By Chris Dieterich
Few at the start of 2016 were predicting rallies in gold, U.S. Treasury bonds and… bitcoin.
And yet, here we are. The SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund (GLD) is up 23% and has pulled in more than $10 billion in new assets this year. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up 14% in 2016, the highest level in a year. And, finally, the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) has nearly doubled over the past month. The former two assets have been powered higher by fear; fears that central banks are becoming helpless to bolster the economy, fears that the U.K.’s referendum will tear the European Union asunder. As for bitcoin, it would seem to be a series of structural issues combined with growing optimism that the underlying blockchain technology is going to be big. Here’s Ed Yardeni, the president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, on Thursday:
“Recent developments in the financial markets have done little to bolster confidence in government-sponsored ‘fiat’ currencies. Meanwhile, bitcoin and