It is has been a rough year for gold, falling by about one-third in value since January.
It was not very long ago that it was supposed to live up to its name and be golden as an investment. After being moribund through the 1990s and the early 2000s, gold did enjoy a renaissance.
It had everything going for it: a massive round of newly issued U.S. government debt, a global financial crisis for the ages that called into question the real value of fiat currencies, and the singular approach of the global central banks to engage in significant amounts of monetary easing.
There were periodic reports of large central bank purchases, and at least one large college endowment struck a large investment in physical gold. Retail gold buying in India and other emerging economies were also cited over the years for gold's rally.
Even recently, Russian central bank and retail buying are said to be giving gold prices a modicum of support.
So, what the heck happened?