Going for the gold

With gold topping $1,000 an ounce, investors are “looking for ways to join in the gold rush,” says Ben Rooney in CNNMoney.com. But gold is “extremely sensitive to a number of economic factors,” so speculators “looking to make a quick buck” have to “navigate volatile waters.” For “novice gold bugs,” buying actual gold is not a good idea—taxes, transaction fees, and insurance can easily “erase your returns.” Gold-backed exchange-traded funds can help you avoid some of those “pitfalls,” but the “least risky way” to “get on the gold bandwagon” is to buy shares of mining companies. Mining firms are still “risky, to say the least,” so don’t go “overboard.”

Paulson makes a down payment

“It must pain” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to “push for more government regulation” of banks, says the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, but that is what “the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and credit crunch have forced him to do.” A group headed by Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, proposed modestly tougher oversight for “lenders and their facilitators,” but without the “crusader’s gusto” called for. The changes should help borrowers and investors better assess future risks, but it is safest to “consider them a down payment on a fiscal house strong enough to withstand the next housing bubble’s collapse.”