European citizens are growing restless. They are vehemently opposed to the idea that their governments should incur massive debts to rescue what they term 'banksters.' European politicians are becoming panicked, not knowing where to turn. Some urge quantitative easing (like the Americans!). Others maintain that this will only magnify the problem and that austerity must be continued. Varied and often-conflicting public statements by government officials are creating an air of political and monetary uncertainty for the euro.
The situation within the EU has become so serious that the future of the world's second major reserve currency is now in question.
Meanwhile, sentiments expressed by the American Tea Party movement have gained considerable weight. Americans have received the Fed's second wave of quantitative easing with far less enthusiasm than the first. Increasingly uncertain statements now emanate from Washington. Furthermore, the US government has still to face the problem of default threatened by many politically important states, such as New York, New Jersey, and California. This political uncertainty has spread to the dollar.
In response, some major nations, led by China and including Russia, are soliciting political support for the removal of the US dollar's privileged status as reserve currency. Together, the US dollar and the euro account for some 70 percent of world central bank reserves. But both currencies face great internal political uncertainty and high relative volatility. As a result, global investors are looking for alternatives.
In these uncertain circumstances, precious metals continue to establish new nominal price records. Unless there is a miraculous internationalization of the yuan, I think precious metals have a rare opportunity to regain their historic status as the global reserve, a status subverted by the dollar only in the past century.