By Scott Burns
I have a question about gold and silver. In the event of a catastrophic economic collapse, where can I sell my gold and silver? Surely, banks will have crumbled and precious metals dealers will be out of business. I can’t very well take a gold bar, or for that matter, a 1-ounce gold coin to the store to buy bread and milk. Who will buy my gold for cash? Or do you predict a barter system will take over? — D. Z., by email
That’s the question most of the gold bugs don’t ask. History shows that barter rises as a currency loses value. It might be possible that gold and silver coins can be used in the barter process, or even as substitutes for currency. But it’s a rough mechanism. A post-apocalypse economy will have a tough time doing commerce in gold coins.