"There remains severe concerns current deficit reduction are not enough to avoid default," says James Moore, research analyst at FastMarkets, "with ratings agency Standard & Poor's requiring a $4 trillion reduction commitment over 10-years." Moore thinks that big investors are sitting on the sidelines as a default would be unchartered territory for financial markets. There is the concern that in case of a default investors will dump and run from all assets including gold. The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 provides a good example. From the beginning of September 2008, when reports of Lehman bankruptcy circulated with force until the end of 2008, the S&P sold off 36.1%, whereas gold lost 1.65%. In the first quarter of 2009, gold rallied more than 6% while the S&P fell a further 12.96%. A two percentage decline for gold from current levels would put prices somewhere within the $1,575-$1,580 an ounce range, still record territory. Tim Harvey, senior vice president of ETF Securities, says gold will sell off a bit in case of a default "but how far it comes off is another matter." Harvey thinks it could be a case of gold retrenching and then going higher. "All we are trying to do now is fix how we are going to be able to spend a bit more cash not how we are going to fix paying this huge amount of debt we have."
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