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Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As inflation reaches its highest levels since 2008, the price of gold has fallen more than 16% in a year.

Why it matters: Gold is often sold as a hedge against inflation. It isn't.

By the numbers: The price of gold has fallen by almost $350 over the past year — from $2,069 per ounce on Aug. 4, 2020, to $1,726 on Aug. 9, 2021.

  • That's a small drop compared to what happened between 2011 and 2015 when the price of gold fell by more than $800 per ounce.

Flashback: After gold broke the $2,000 per ounce barrier last year, Bank of America analysts forecast that it would hit $3,000 within 18 months.

  • The gold price isn't predictable, however. The foremost use case for the metal is simply sitting on it and doing nothing — or shilling it to viewers of right-wing television.
  • Bitcoin has become increasingly attractive to people convinced that the U.S. currency is going to collapse, making gold feel a bit outmoded.

Go deeper

Existing home sales hit inflection point

Expand chart
Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Homebuyers were busy this summer: They closed on 6.29 million properties in September on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 7% from August, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Why it matters: Lower mortgage rates made purchasing an attractive option, despite higher sales prices.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The economic spillover from high energy prices

The 6 megawatt Stanton Solar Farm outside of Orlando, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are out with fresh warnings about the energy commodity run-up, but both also see some relief ahead.

Driving the news: The IMF, in a post on Thursday, projects prices will moderate in the coming months, but also says, "uncertainty remains high and small demand shocks could trigger fresh price spikes."

Updated 58 mins ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.