Gold: The Story of Man’s 6000 Year Obsession — Episode 2

Featuring Grant Williams

In the second part of Real Vision’s ground-breaking documentary, Grant Williams examines how gold is bought and sold around the world, explains the difference between ‘the gold price’ and ‘the price of gold,’ and explores some of the legends that surround the yellow metal. Grant also weighs up the possibility of the world returning to a gold standard and addresses the all-important accusations of manipulation that surround the subject of man’s 6000-year obsession.

Published on
23 February, 2018
Macro, History, Gold
61 minutes
Asset class
Commodities, Currencies


  • GO

    Gary O.

    10 11 2018 07:04

    0       0

    Just a beautiful documentary.

  • SU

    Shakeel U.

    16 9 2018 12:52

    1       0

    This was excellent, I joined Real Vision because of Grant Williams.

  • AC

    Alessio C.

    18 5 2018 00:11

    2       0

    Now I want to run out of the house and buy some gold!

  • CR

    Cristian R.

    29 4 2018 00:30

    3       0

    Loved the series. But considering you devoted a large part to how gold is viewed in the east how come you couldn't get any Asian investors to interview? Seems a bit strange to ask Americans and Austrians how the Chinese and Indians view gold.

  • FK

    Fabian K.

    14 3 2018 00:12

    2       0

    Antal Fekete and Dimitri Speck (who briefly was in 1st video) would have enhanced the content of this series. Fekete, much so on his understanding of the gold basis/co-basis and the expected permanent backwardation in the gold futures market.

  • RP

    Ryan P.

    8 3 2018 01:46

    8       0

    College was great, but I’ve learned more about how the world actually works through RV over the last year than I did in 4 years of college. Great great job Grant.

  • MT

    Martin T.

    1 3 2018 18:50

    1       0

    Very well done report, kudos!


  • ra

    randy a.

    28 2 2018 19:13

    1       0

    well done.

  • RQ

    Randy Q.

    28 2 2018 02:41

    15       0

    Grant, it would be interesting to me if you linked a 3rd part on gold and it's relationship to silver. Seems a lot of shared history between gold and silver. Keep up the good work.

  • NG

    Nicolas G.

    27 2 2018 21:43

    1       0


  • DL

    Dan L.

    27 2 2018 01:21

    2       0

    A Gold-backed-Cryptocurreny [GbC] is obviously the greatest ideal there is given the information we have. However, how would you keep the GbC BOTH (1) decentralized and also (2) Gold payable on demand/exchange of said Crypto... Unfortunately, I don't think that system will be possible. One or the other would have to exhibit some form of centralization in order to process the other system. Further, unless the systems (i.e. opposing stores of value) move efficiently with one another at low enough cost for it to benefit society as a whole, then how would the market bring this to life? Honestly, it seems like an Act of God to bring an answer to this question.

    As part of the millennial's - I'm likely in the .01% that believes Gold is the only currency that will have the endurance to survive 50 more years while compared to the other options in the world. Really appreciate this video, it helps me to become better at simplifying the value of gold to my friends/colleagues/family.

  • TS

    Tara S.

    26 2 2018 18:10

    7       0

    Dear Mr. Williams,
    Perhaps the distinction between "the gold price" and "the price of gold" would be more clearly expressed as the difference between making a promise (contract) and fulfilling it.

  • JL

    John L.

    26 2 2018 04:56

    5       0

    Simply Brilliant.
    Bravo Grant.
    I really enjoyed listening to the personal stories of each guest presenter at the end, which provided a deeply emotional touch to their fascination and passion for this ancient treasure.

  • SS

    Steven S.

    26 2 2018 04:03

    2       0

    I've found the most impressive aspect of both Episodes is how Grant et al. put gold into a big picture perspective. Sure, I was aware of the majority of points made in both Episodes. However, the incredible value in this brilliant insight is in consolidating these viewpoints and refining the focus of the viewer's own investment scope.

  • SS

    Steven S.

    26 2 2018 03:51

    3       0

    As always, outstanding documentary, Grant.

  • PN

    Paul N.

    25 2 2018 08:53

    5       0

    I'd show this piece to anyone who was new to investing and didn't understand gold's value.

  • GO

    Gary O.

    24 2 2018 23:48

    2       0

    Thank you for another great episode about our gold!

  • DS

    David S.

    24 2 2018 21:29

    2       1

    Although I own gold, it will be difficult to get back on the gold standard. Politicians and dictators are conduits for borrowed money, taking a cut for spending it (liberal and/or conservative) to get money in the hands of supporters. A gold standard would be wise, but it will find the same resistance as prohibition. Supporters want their alcohol and their money. In the US, I think that most financial bubbles start in Congressional legislation. DLS

  • DS

    David S.

    24 2 2018 21:13

    0       1

    Even a gold backed cryptocurrency will have cost. It may be worth it, but there will be a cost. DLS

  • DS

    David S.

    24 2 2018 19:41

    0       1

    Gold has risks like every other assets. If you are careful you can mitigate these risks as we all try to do. DLS

  • TA

    Trevor A.

    24 2 2018 18:52

    6       0

    Absolutely great production quality and guests. One of my favorite pieces ever. Thank you Grant and Co

  • MC

    Minum C.

    24 2 2018 17:18

    5       0

    Entertaining and well presented. It would be good to see a deeper discussion about the futures market for gold, especially since the topic of gold price manipulation was discussed. When there is sufficient contango in the gold futures market, there is incentive for holders of physical gold to sell a futures contract as a form of arbitrage. This suggests the gold futures market cannot go into backwardation for any meaningful length of time. Or that if it does, it could be a signal that the futures market is not being trusted and the music in the game of musical chairs is about to stop.

  • WM

    Will M.

    24 2 2018 15:33

    6       0

    Great educational series. Grant and the interviewees provided the usual wise insights. It is beyond me how more people cannot see that the financial system is in its 9th innings now. The promises made for social welfare, the vast debts built up over the last decades, the rampant use of unbacked credit, the historical low rate of interest, the government and central bank purchase of their own debt and now the clear signal from the US government (under Republican control what's more when they bleated so long about irresponsible Democratic spending - proof both parties are inept and corrupt!), that it intends to run a trillion dollar deficeit for as far as the eye can see. Any RVT viewer should clearly understand these threats, and the rising international tensions and be taking some steps to get hold of liquidity and especially securing some precious metals within their grasp. Be it just 5% or 50% make your plans now for when the time comes, there will be none to be had. Folks need to stop arguing about whether there is conspiracy afoot and start thinking about the end game. If there was even a 10% chance of a financial collapse ask yourself where would you stand in the smoldering ruins of a paper system with banks failing left and right. Buy some gold and silver and save yourself.

  • PB

    Pieter B.

    24 2 2018 15:26

    4       0

    Great work Grant!

  • AC

    Andrew C.

    24 2 2018 15:13

    6       1

    Interviewing supporters and preaching to the choir. I liked the series and learnt some things, but would have loved to have contrarian viewpoints offered. 5000 years is a long time, this time is not different but I need someone to explain to me (us?) why we are wrong (?!). It should have easy to find serious investors to argue the opposing view.

  • SS

    Sam S.

    24 2 2018 14:58

    4       0

    Grant, your role as spokesman was just about as perfect as it gets. Mastery of the English Language, bravo! Anyone who has a hard time understanding GOLD, this video should is the jewel to providing such clarity. All the guest speakers drew a visual and mental ring around the importance and the intelligence regarding the function of GOLD. If we fail to understand how history rhymes, how people have been basically the same throughout, then we are doomed to fail. As a manager of finance, my fiduciary screams that I take action for such preservation of wealth. What would happen to the price of GOLD if a cryptocurrency is backed by GOLD? Awesome idea!

  • EC

    Edward C.

    24 2 2018 12:21

    2       1

    Fantastic two part series. Although one query - What's up with Grant's John Wayne wannabe buckle??? At least in the spirit of it all, give us a gold plated memory! Fantastic job guys - RV does it again.

  • JT

    Jonathan T.

    24 2 2018 09:47

    9       1

    Nicely done. However, around 16 minutes prior to the end, Grant made a mistake stating that John Maynard Keynes said that gold was a "barbarous relic". He never said that, and that is a common mistake. Keynes said that the gold standard is a barbarous relic.

  • AG

    Alex G.

    24 2 2018 05:49

    2       0

    I’ve been a viewer since 2015 and I still learned plenty from this doc

  • NI

    Nate I.

    24 2 2018 04:27

    7       0

    Great work Grant. Most of the interviews were good, but all investors should should heed the wisdom of Simon Mikhailovich. He explains the importance of gold from first hand experience in a way few others can. Hopefully RV will have him back soon. Imagine a conversation with Simon Mikhailovich and Anthony Deden in the same room.

  • JM

    Jason M.

    24 2 2018 03:46

    6       40

    Grant - you used to interview the world's smartest investors more often. Now you are running a public service video channel devoting so many resources to these slick pieces that resemble cable television documentaries. I believe I subscribe to everything you guys charge for. However, this video is way below the intelligence level of the majority of your viewers. I will show it to my 8 year old though. He likes Ted-Ed too. Sorry to be harsh. 75% of your viewers must know all of this by now. Spend your time (including your gold air time) more wisely please....for the benefit of all of us out here watching. And...release this to Youtube for free.

  • DC

    Dave C.

    24 2 2018 03:33

    5       0

    The topic of Yamashita's gold is worthy of further investigation for those with an interest in gold. A good first point of call would be a report by Paul Mylchreest - copy of which should be here

    If this whets the appetite, then then book mentioned by Paul is worth a read - Gold Warriors – America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold further details here

    The report by Paul touches on the topic of gold leasing and the presentation by Grant, although dating back to 2013 is still of relevance IMHO

    Presentation here

    and relevant TTMYGH is dated July 16 2013 and entitled What if?

  • GF

    George F.

    24 2 2018 00:25

    2       0

    Do you have any links to the registration of gold with the Royal Treasury? What happened to the gold, was it confiscated? I could not find anything on the internet, although the transportation of UK gold reserves to Canada, Operation Fish, has many articles. FWIW, there was a gold ban in the UK in 1966 according to multiple sources.

    "In September 1939, as the German army advanced towards Britain, the government decreed that every
    person living in the United Kingdom register their gold with the Royal Treasury. Just weeks later on the 7th
    of October, 1939, HMS Emerald set sail from Plymouth in Great Britain to Halifax in Nova Scotia. The
    reason? The hull contained millions of pounds of gold bullion bound for the USA to pay for American war
    materials. "

  • CG

    Chase G.

    23 2 2018 23:49

    2       6

    I would push back on Richards and Rule on GLD. I have read the prospectus and it contains allocated gold bars held managed by HSBC and audited, and one buys a share of the trust owning such bars. Holders of around 10M$ or more may request physical delivery. Soros and Druckenmiller buy GLD I think they would know it is legit.

  • SD

    S D.

    23 2 2018 23:30

    0       0

    Would be interested to know more about which projects are working on the gold-linked cryptocurrencies, and also the competition between the private projects and this big bank consortium apparently working on something similar.
    Very interesting, learned a lot, thank you.

  • AL

    Andrew L.

    23 2 2018 21:46

    1       0

    Thank you Grant for giving us an honest discussion on Gold. This gives investors an objective view on the current dynamics surrounding the yellow metal.

    For those who haven't invested into it yet - the key thing to remember is, to quote this video, it is "boring". Gold just sits there while governments continue to run deception over deception in their attempt to de-legitimatize its value. One has to remember that gold does not provide a yield, so when future expectations of rates of return on equities and fixed income are looking extremely grim, gold will shine.

  • OF

    Oliver F.

    23 2 2018 19:13

    12       1

    Jim Richards depiction of Janet Yellen was hilarious, concise and bang-on.

  • rr

    rlw r.

    23 2 2018 18:27

    6       0

    Outstanding work on display by Grant & team

  • PK

    Paul K.

    23 2 2018 18:09

    11       0

    This is yet another superb video, whose content I rate 8/10 and whose presentation 15/10. All who participate in RealVision should be immensely gratified and proud. Thank you for what you offer so nicely.

    Paul Kiernan

  • AR

    Alexandra R.

    23 2 2018 17:12

    5       0

    Such an incredible educational series!

  • RA

    Ricardo A.

    23 2 2018 15:51

    5       11

    This one felt short of expectations Vs part I. For gold bugs .. this offer little (unlike part I).

  • AL

    Andrew L.

    23 2 2018 15:17

    7       0

    Love this series, bravo! As for some peoples aspirations to "link" a cryptocurrency to a physical asset like gold I have bad news. The whole point of such assets individually is to obviate trust in a third party. To accomplish this "linkage" people dream of, you need to have a trusted third party that will honor the linkage. This is no different than the old gold backed dollar. In 1933 in the face of the great depression, when many sought delivery of gold on the dollar Rosevelt broke the "linkage" to protect US gold reserves from being depleted. Venezuela's new crypto-currency the Petro is supposedly linked to the country's physical assets but in a fundamental way so is every other country's fiat currency. Because there is no such thing as a physical linkage between a currency (crypto or otherwise) the Petro just as any other currency has value notionally in proportion to your trust in the government of Venezuela to uphold its promise and your faith in the country's future stability. There is no fundamental trust you can place in any such "linkage" "tie" "peg" or what-have-you.

  • GF

    George F.

    23 2 2018 14:35

    0       2

    What happens if a large amount of gold gets dumped on the market? From where will the gold come from? Central banks own 12%, what happens when they get desperate and sell? What about untapped areas for mining? The moon, the artic or the oceans. This is happening within a year:

    Giant Robots Are the Future of Underwater Mining

  • TJ

    Terry J.

    23 2 2018 13:26

    5       2

    Excellent series and, full of amazing facts and uplifting historical anecdotes of the value of this timeless currency that has withstood every attempt to consign it to the history books as a barbarous relic. I also enjoyed Grant’s well-balanced look at the question of manipulation. For me, I made my mind up long ago after looking at all the evidence provided by several classic books, including “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G Edward Griffin, and “The Gold Cartel” by Dimitri Speck, together with the minutes of FOMC meetings during the early Greenspan era. Hence I am surprised at the views of Rick Rule, whom I revere as being right up there with legends like Warren Buffett and Jim Rogers from an investment perspective. Jim Rickards also disappointed me with his extraordinarily disingenuous comment about Janet Yellen probably knowing nothing about gold! Give me a break!! I was equally astounded at Jim’s suggestion that it must be the Chinese who are responsible for the manipulation! Ha! Ha! Not impossible of course, but maybe Jim is still loosely employed by the CIA, and wants to ensure China and or Russia are blamed for every economic wrong! I would recommend Jim look closer to home and some of easy Al’s FOMC meeting minutes. and how easy it would have (or has) been to collude with the big bullion banks through blatant manipulation of the Comex futures market. In the fullness of time however as several of Grant’s guests made clear it won’t matter as all manipulations must eventually end. As Egon von Greyerz recently reminded us when quoting Voltaire’s first rule of economics, ““Paper Money Eventually Returns to its Intrinsic Value – ZERO”. The Federal Reserve was created by stealth in 1913 and since then the US dollar has lost 97% of its value when measured in gold! Despite all the manipulation, and all the attempts of the Fed to ensure otherwise, the time will come sooner or later when the remaining 3% of its value will have gone too, but gold will still be here!

  • cg

    christian g.

    23 2 2018 13:16

    1       0

    … the best part is to be confused so you have material to think about… thanks Grant!

  • cg

    christian g.

    23 2 2018 13:14

    4       0

    Superb! Link it to Anthony Deden interview ; he owns 20-30 perch in gold as ‘’liquid’’ assets that makes him sleep at night ; while Buffet sit on cash while he prefers productive assets .... confused,