Is Gold Washed Up?

Okay… We have left 2011 behind. We are rid of it forever. It won’t come back. Never. Not even if the universe lasts a million years, we will never see it again.

Or will we? One of the intriguing discoveries of 2011 came the giant particle accelerator in Switzerland. Those clever scientists set up a race, from Geneva to a finish line in Italy, 730 kilometers away. It was a race of neutrinos against light. Who do you think won?

The smart money was on light. Einstein said it was the fastest thing in the cosmos. Nothing could be faster, he believed. That’s why planets are “light years” from Earth. For example, other scientists discovered a couple of distant planets — many light years away — that were about the right size and the right distance from their star. They could have liquid water…and water-based life. But what we “see” of these planets is already 950 years old. That’s how long it took the light to reach us.

So, if you want to see 2011 again, you could theoretically race ahead of light and watch it all over again. That is, if it were theoretically possible to go faster than light, which it wasn’t…until a few months ago.

When the scientists released their neutrinos in Geneva, the little critters quickly took the lead and then zipped along, beating light to the finish line. Barely. It was a photo finish. And some scientists think the photo was fumbled.

But unless we can hitch a ride on some souped-up neutrinos, 2011 is gone forever.

Will 2012 be better…or worse? We don’t know.

From our point of view, there was nothing wrong with 2011. It did pretty much what it was supposed to do. We are in a Great Correction. The year just ended felt like a Great Correction is supposed to feel. High unemployment. Falling high prices. Financial crises. Stock prices losing ground. What more do you want?

On that last item, The Financial Times adds detail:

“$6.3 trillion wiped off markets in 2011.”

The FT cites a Bloomberg calculation that tells us the global stock markets lost a little more than 12%, dropping to total capitalization of $45 trillion.

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via Is Gold Washed Up?.

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