Let me preface this piece by first stating that my reason for writing it was not to induce people to guess which scenario they found more probable, and then to place their bets beforehand. Rather, my purpose was exactly opposite: to prepare people for either scenario so that when they recognized one or the other unfolding they wouldn't do something stupid in a moment of panic (or greed).
Sadly, in our markets to "do something stupid in a moment of panic" generally means doing precisely the opposite of what one should be doing. This also explains why the bankers like to start panics. First of all, as the cause of these panics the banksters are neither "panicked" nor (obviously) surprised themselves. So they continue to operate calmly (in this feeding-frenzy) while the sheep make themselves especially easy to sheer.
As a result of this never-ending game being played in our markets by the bankers, there is genuine utility in looking ahead (something the sheep almost never do) so that when events do unfold we will be prepared to act (calmly) - as opposed to reacting in panic (as the bankers desire).
With that preface out of the way, the next task is to explain/define these two, looming scenarios:
1) The crash-driven rally
2) The event-driven rally
Putting aside the fact that gold and silver are the most undervalued assets on our planet today; despite this ever-present truth the sheep generally need a "reason" to jump on the precious metals bandwagon. The irony here of course is that simply by jumping on the bandwagon the sheep supply the necessary momentum to drive prices higher - meaning that no "reason" is every truly necessary for gold and silver prices to go higher, in accordance with their ultra-bullish long-term fundamentals.
So the Catch-22 of the precious metals market is that we always need some catalyst to break gold and silver free of the intermittent bankster-created "log-jams" which have occurred in this market over the course of its 10+ year bull run, even though there is never any reason necessary to bid-up these grossly undervalued assets. In the last several years we have seen (arguably) three such catalysts. Two of those catalysts were events and one was a "crash".
Taking these catalysts in chronological order, the first of the three was the Crash of '08. Critics will argue that a "crash" is precisely an example of an event-driven catalyst. However, as I alluded to previously a market-crash is a particularly unique form of event, due to the extreme and unusual sentiments which accompany that event. The second reason to distinguish this catalyst from an "ordinary" event which serves to drive the market higher is that the circumstances prior to a crash will be markedly different from the circumstances of any other event-driven rally.
To begin with, one very likely clue that we will be on the precipice of another banker-created crash is that gold and silver (and likely all commodities) will begin to rally strongly without any identifiable cause for their strong surge in prices. To be more precise, the mainstream media (i.e. the propaganda machine) will not supply us with any "reason" for these soaring prices (other than pointing to their favorite scapegoats, the evil "speculators").
They will not tell us that those price increases are nothing but playing catch-up for the previous $trillions in money-printing. Understand that what responsible precious metals commentators generally tell their audience is that we accumulate gold and silver merely to preserve our wealth - i.e. we're not doing this (greedily) looking to turn a profit. However, the fundamental truth is that the decades of suppression, and the even more extreme manipulation of recent years mean that gold and silver are more undervalued today than they were at the beginning of this bull market over ten years ago.
Similarly, with the banksters' paper grossly overvalued, this means that most commodities should be soaring to much higher prices, simply based upon the long-term ramifications of year after year of hyperinflationary money-printing. Here we come to the ultimate fear of the banksters, and the political stooges who serve them: they know that the end of their entire, paper Ponzi-scheme will be imminent when prices for hard assets (i.e. gold, silver, and commodities) begin to soar without any explicit short-term causes.
Unlike the brainwashed sheep, they know their history. They know that the ultimate cause of all hyperinflation is a general loss of confidence in (worthless) paper - just as the Dutch "lost confidence" in their precious tulips 400 years ago. Thus when prices begin soaring (i.e. the paper begins to crash) "for no reason", the real reason will be that people are losing confidence in the paper and dumping it in favor of hard assets.
This precisely describes circumstances in the spring and summer of 2008, and explains why the bankers decided that nothing less extreme than a "crash" would suffice to put the breaks on the looming hyperinflation. What this means is that unlike an ordinary event-driven rally for the precious metals sector we will be tipped-off prior to the next crash being manufactured: we will see another instance of spiraling gold, silver, and commodities prices with charts showing a clear exponentially-rising pattern.
The banksters will not sit back quietly and allow their $100's of trillions in Ponzi-paper to evaporate. Inflicting severe economic hardship on 100's of millions means nothing to them. Indeed, the bankers have an even more extreme "solution" for dealing with a pending hyperinflation scenario: starting a war.
Hitler started World War II to cope with the aftermath of Germany's hyperinflation from the Weimar Republic. However Hitler wasn't a banker. He had no mountains of worthless paper to protect. His only motives were to create a smoke-screen for the economic ruin from the preceding hyperinflation and to cover-up his own economic mismanagement, which is an inherent aspect of all Fascism.
With the bankers (and the ultra-wealthy Oligarchs) being firmly in charge of our governments today, war would be a tool that they would use undoubtedly before any hyperinflation reduced their mountains of paper to what it really is: "Monopoly money". Thus should we see another repeat of the explosion in gold, silver, and commodities prices which took place in the spring and summer of 2008, many would suggest that we should hope for a market crash.
Those with the inclinations to be "traders" (i.e. the greedy) will be sensing opportunity at this point. They will note that we will have a clear warning before the next crash is manufactured. They will note that such a crash will occur when we see a distinctive repeat of what occurred in gold, silver, and commodity markets in the spring/summer of 2008. They will look at the charts for gold and silver for 2008, and they will think to themselves "sell".
This would be a colossal failure of analysis, and another triumph for naked greed. Simply because identical circumstances cause the bankers to use an identical "tool" (i.e. a market crash) does not mean that the consequences of their reckless intervention in markets will be identical.
Our economic circumstances in 2012 are enormously different than in 2008. Today our economies are all much weaker. Today our economies are all much less solvent. These two different dynamics both have significant implications in any crash scenario. Create a crash in a (relatively) strong economy and there is resistance; that is, that residual economic strength will push back against the downward economic pressure of a crash - slowing the descent and stretching-out the length of time of that downward slide before "bottom" is hit.
Conversely, create a crash in a weak economy and all you have is free-fall. We would (will?) see a crash which is much faster, and much more severe. This alternately means that anyone attempting to "time" this event by selling their gold/silver and then (assuming they can) buy it back it cheaper could miss badly in either direction.
The fact that a 2012 crash would tend to be a much faster event would mean that it could be over before all the would-be traders are expecting. They are sitting-and-waiting (for even cheaper prices) with their pile of depreciating paper, while prices have already began bouncing back. And as with the Crash of '08, the rebound in gold and silver prices will be at least as rapid as their plunge, and likely even more rapid - leaving all those greedy "traders" still waiting at the station.
On the other hand, with a crash in 2012 undoubtedly a much more severe economic event, would-be traders could easily jump back into the market too soon - and do their buying with prices about to plunge much lower. We can assess those relative probabilities by looking at our other different dynamic for 2012: much less solvent governments.
The Crash of '08 sparked the Money-Printing of '09, which in turn has directly led to the Debt Crisis of 2010-to-present. The "64-trillion-dollar question" today is this: if a crash in 2008 caused a debt-crisis (when our economies were relatively strong), what would a crash do in 2012 - with our economies all weak, and all of Europe already in a debt-crisis. The answer to that question is really simple. Everybody is Greece.
The combination of an even worse crash, with much weaker economies, already in the midst of a debt-crisis means that either the money-printing would have to be much, much more extreme (i.e. guaranteed hyperinflation) or it would fail to halt our economic crash despite the extreme money-printing.
Understand that every new "dollar" of paper created is created with more debt. Understand that our interest rates are already as low as they can go, and still we see the debt-dominoes going bankrupt one-by-one. So doing much more money-printing means piling on exponentially more debt onto already insolvent economies…while revenues are simultaneously plummeting lower. This precisely describes what just took place in Greece.
So when "everybody is Greece" (including the world's worst debt-sinner, the United States) what are the holders of $10's of trillions in Western bonds going to do? Will they stoically and nobly "go down with the ship" like the Captains of Finance that they are? Or will they all scramble for the nearest "lifeboat" like proverbial rats deserting that sinking ship? I'll let readers answer that one for themselves.
In the Crash of '08, it was only the gold-bugs (and silver bulls) who were thinking to themselves "paper is going to zero". The sheep were still all running towards that worthless paper. In any crash in 2012 (or 2013) it will be obvious to everyone that "everybody is Greece", and all that paper is going to zero.
What this means is that in any future crash event, any sell-off in gold and silver will end very quickly and very abruptly, when all of the "rats" from the bond-market (belatedly) try to swap (worthless) paper for (valuable) metal. Naturally, all of the extreme money-printing taking place means that the underlying paper currencies are just as worthless as the bonds.
This should mean that all the sheep would be dumping their paper currencies for gold and silver too. However, that would imply rational thinking. Since the panic of any crash event means the opposite of rational thinking, the holders of our paper currencies will undoubtedly do even worse than the bond-holders.
As I continue to point out to readers, it would take much less than 10% of these paper-holders turning toward the 5,000 security of gold and silver to cause precious metals prices to soar to many multiples of present prices (especially in the tiny silver market). This comes at a time when people are only holding about 1/10th as much precious metals in their portfolio as is the historic norm.
The question for the precious metals bears and skeptics is this: if gold and silver prices can go on a 10+ year bull-run while ignorant Western investors have under-owned this asset class to the greatest degree in history, what happens when all of the "stupid money" of the West belatedly rebalances their holdings?
As an aside, this raises a secondary question: how can the drones in the mainstream media continue to talk about "bubbles" in gold and silver while these assets have never been so under-owned by Western investors?
When thinking investors begin to ask (and answer) these questions for themselves, their strategy for any crash scenario should be clear: don't idiotically sell the gold and silver they are already holding, greedily hoping they can cash-in on some "obvious" short-term trade. Rather they should be buying more gold and silver in any crash, even in the face of rapidly falling prices. They would know that any plunge would be very short in duration, and will reverse higher very, very strongly, when all of the paper-holders finally begin to "see the light".
Naturally, the hope of myself and all other gold and silver bulls is that we can see gold and silver begin their next, inevitable rally from some event which inspires much less fear and economic carnage than an economic crash. In Part II, I will flash-back to two such events, and note both their significant similarities and significant differences.
[Disclosure: long "physical" gold and silver, and the gold and silver miners]
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.