WhiteKnight, you’re probably right – we can’t necessarily count on it. I know of one major “gold bug” that used to edit a major Casey Research publication (until Porter Stansberry came in and “rearranged” the place). Shortly before he was ousted, he had made a statement to the effect (as close as I can recall) that he was now “all in” with physical gold, or at least heading that direction. Something just didn’t feel right at the time, but I didn’t worry about it since I’m not in a position to take that kind of position anyway – not even remotely close. To the extent I can, we’re heading toward “all in” on the things we can eat, produce power with, or protect ourselves with, before we put heavy investments into gold and silver.
It has just been more recent that I’ve begun to run through more “what-if” scenarios in my mind, and I don’t come up with easy or fairly definitive answers. And one of those answers I’m not coming up with, is a strong argument that gold and silver will make for an easy trading medium in a true SHTF scenario that extends far beyond just portions of this (or any) nation. If it’s a truly world wide situation, I’m not convinced that enough people will have it to trade, or will be comfortable taking it in trade, and in a pony-express type communication system, establishing a recognized and commonly accepted value will be difficult at best. Not one in 100, and probably more like one in 1000 or even far more, have any idea today how much a “junk” silver quarter is worth (more than 10 times its face value). Convincing them AFTER there’s no internet and the lights are all out, will be pointless – most of them will wonder why they’d want an old coin anyway, when they need toilet paper.
So for me, any silver (gold’s way out of my price range for any significant quantity – thus I don’t even bother) I acquire is mostly for “insurance” purposes in the event of strong inflation or other economic news that drives that currently recognized price far higher. In other words, I look at it as a way of hedging my bets financially, not buying food, bullets, or TP after the grid is down and we’re in a “Jericho” scenario. It’s called diversification in financial terms. And I think Selco largely seemed to have been confirming that in his post. Au and Ag are nice, but Pb is by far the more important of the precious metals.