In economics, the term gold bug has four common meanings:
- an investor who is very bullish in buying the commodity gold (XAU - ISO 4217).
- a person who opposes or criticizes the use of fiat currency and supports a return to the use of the Gold Standard or some other currency system based on the value of gold and other hard assets.
- someone who considers one commodity, usually gold, "the appropriate measure of wealth, regardless of the quantity of other goods and services that it can buy".
- A person, often with views summarized above, that subscribes to conspiracy theories relating to gold and silver, frequently including but not limited to, alleged manipulation of the price of precious metals and the supposed disappearance of gold held by the United States Government at Fort Knox.  The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) is a small but prominent promoter of such conspiracy theories within the gold bug community. However, such persons are widely dismissed as cranks and their beliefs as fringe by reputable economists, business leaders and government officials.
The concept, in the second sense, was popularized in the 1896 US Presidential Election, when William McKinley supporters took to wearing gold lapel pins, gold neckties, and gold headbands in a demonstration of support for gold against the "silver menace."
- Gevinson, Alan. Silverites, Populists, and the Movement for Free Silver. Teachinghistory.org, accessed 18 December 2011.
- Konczal, Mike (21 January 2011). "Kristol, Kalecki, and a 19th Century Economist Defending Patriarchy all on Political Macroeconomics.". Rortybomb.
- Krugman, Paul (22 November 1996). "The Gold Bug Variations". Slate. Archived from the original on 2 December 1998.
- "As price of gold falls, conspiracy theories rise". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Paranoids have enemies, radical gold bugs have Wall Street". Market Watch. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "About GATA". GATA. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "GATA and Gold: The Truth is Revealed". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Debunking the Post-CFTC Precious Metals Fear Mongering Campaign". Peak Prosperity. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Mieczkowski, Yanek and Carnes, The Routledge Historical Atlas of Presidential Elections (2001), p.176. ISBN 0-415-92133-3
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