#29leaks gold bars
(Image: Wikimedia commons/Stevebidmead)

As the pandemic ravages the world, Australians are going mad for something completely useless and very expensive. Gold. Physical gold. Shiny yellow bars and coins.

The value of imported gold has skyrocketed. People are worried about the economy and bet owning gold will be smarter than cash or shares. So far they’ve been on the money: the gold price is at record highs. 

Gold bullion is arriving in the country at a rate exceeded only once -- during the global financial crisis, as the next chart shows. The six-month average is closing in fast on $1 billion of gold imports a month.