The man in line to bring together President-elect Donald Trump’s federal budget is a big believer in gold, according to financial disclosures.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Budget and Management, owns significant amounts of precious metals and gold-mining stocks based on financial disclosures compiled by Bloomberg.
According to the filings, Mulvaney held $50,000 to $100,000 in precious metals at the end of 2015. In addition, the South Carolina congressman holds stock in numerous gold and silver mining corporations totaling $252,000 to $855,000, according to the filing.
Bloomberg found that Mulvaney had sold significant amounts of the gold miners’ stock in early 2016, citing financial filings from the end of June.
The heavy investments into gold is not surprising given past criticism by Mulvaney of the Federal Reserve. In a speech obtained by Mother Jones, Mulvaney told the John Birch Society, a group that believes the only legal forms of currency are gold and silver coins, that the Fed had “effectively devalued the dollar” and “choke[d] off economic growth.”
In the same speech, Mulvaney also praised bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency could not be “manipulated” by the government.
Gold-mining stocks have had an up-and-down year. VanEck’s Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF – the largest gold-mining sector exchange-traded fund in which Mulvaney had an investment ($15,001 to $50,000) – is up 45% year-to-date but is down roughly 35% from its 2016 high in August.
The dollar has strengthened by a little over 5% since the US presidential election, while gold has fallen by roughly 10%. Bitcoin has been surging in the past week, hitting its highest level since November 2013 on Thursday.