In their worst moments, panicky investors and savers visualise a world that has been turned upside down by a sovereign debt crisis that breaks the euro and flattens the once mighty dollar. As the West sinks into a quagmire of its own making, demand plummets and the world is dragged into another Great Depression....One beneficiary has been the Austrian Mint.
This nightmare vision has rattled investors around the word, driving the gold price ever higher. Of all the precious metals, it is the most popular as an investment.
Since the earliest times, it has been seen as both a symbol of prosperity and a store of wealth. In the modern era, it has been bought as a hedge against economic, political or social crises, and as protection against the plummeting value of currencies.
"Debt on government balance sheets and worries that the world could be heading towards a double-dip recession are behind the gold surge," says Charles Cooper at Oriel Securities.
Cooper says there is concern we could be heading towards a second leg of the financial crisis and governments "could be tempted to print more money to dig us out of a hole".
"That could precipitate inflation, making gold even more popular as a safe haven."
Near the end, the article mentions a new trend among German investors: renting decommissioned military bunkers in Switzerland to store their gold. Now that's prepping!