Auguries — Bonapartism

November 10, 2011

By Kevin Michael Grace

Gold was down (at press time) $5.90 (-0.3%) for the week to $1,759.20, and silver was down
.54 (-1.6%) to $33.96. Gold almost reached $1,800 Monday, a development attributed by Kim Covert in the Financial Post (and many others) to “investors seeking a safe haven amid the turmoil in Europe, where the focus has shifted now to Italy.” By Thursday, gold had fallen back almost to $1,700, a development attributed by Reuters (and many others) to “technical weakness and unwinding safe-haven play as nervous investors reacted to headlines painting a mixed picture of Europe’s debt crisis.”

Given that the Italian debt crisis was just as dire Thursday as it was Monday, the juxtaposition of these quotations proves the difficulty, not to say futility, of attempting up-to-the-minute explanations of gains and losses in a world economy that has broken free of its moorings. The Panic of 2008 (and its unresolved aftermath) is said by many to reveal a “crisis of capitalism.” Perhaps, but the events currently unfolding in Europe certainly reveal a crisis of democracy.

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