Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee, has bought gold for the first time in 152 years to hedge against further asset declines, Bloomberg reports. According to the news service, Northwestern Mutual has accumulated about $400 million in gold, and CEO Edward Zore says the price could double or even rise fivefold if the economy continues to weaken.

“Gold just seems to make sense; it’s a store of value,” Bloomberg reports Zore saying in an interview following his comments at a conference hosted by Standard & Poor’s in Brooklyn. “In the Depression, gold did very, very well.”

Just last week the greater press reported that U.S. gold futures are up, supported by a combination of a weakened dollar, inflation concerns and simmering geopolitical tensions. Gold gained 10% last month, the most since November.

“The downside risk is limited, but the upside is large,” Zore says. “We have stocks in our portfolio that lost 95%.” Gold “is not going down to $90.”

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