"This market has a habit of changing its mind very quickly," Aaron Task, the co-executive editor of TheStreet.com, told
"RealMoney" radio show listeners Wednesday. Task is filling in for Jim Cramer this week. Task believes that these mercurial turns are based on how market participants view the Federal Reserve's next move. The market is ratcheting down odds that there will be many more rate hikes beyond the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Task said. Fed funds futures now place 70% odds that the overnight lending rate will hit 5% by May 10, down from 80% earlier in the week. Task said that even though people don't often like to focus on the Fed, ultimately the central bank's control over the value of the dollar is the most important factor on Wall Street. James Turk, founder of GoldMoney and the author of the book The Coming Collapse of the Dollar, joined Task to talk about the metals markets and the role that the Fed plays in those prices. With the Federal Reserve raising rates and liquidity tightening, Task asked if that would be negative for gold. Turk pointed out that it's not the level of interest rates per se, but the level of real interest rates that is important for gold. Adjusted for inflation by subtracting the CPI from the fed funds rate, the real rate has stayed close to zero. "Despite the fact that rates have been coming up, the CPI has risen as well," Turk said. "The Fed has been behind the curve on inflation ... and that will help gold." Task pointed out that gold prices have come down, and he wanted to know if we were at the end of gold's bull run. Turk said that the shake-up cleaned out the speculators, adding that once the price fell to $540, good physical demand returned to the market.
Gold will never fall below $500 again, Turk said, arguing that the world is at the beginning of a major inflationary period. Turk said the dollar is dropping against gold. For example, he said that you can buy the same amount of crude with an ounce of gold as you could 50 years ago, but that it takes many more dollars. All currencies are sinking, Turk said. Even if the dollar rises against other currencies, it doesn't mean that it will rise against the precious metal, he added, pointing out that gold rose against all major currencies last year, alongside the greenback.