China has downgraded the United States credit rating twice as of late. Up on the chopping block for congress fiscal decisions are both unemployment and tax cuts. Soon enough either the public will argue the fiscal decisions or China will downgrade again and unless the FED _increases_ rates with the inevitable further depression of the credit market, it will be forced to try yet again, another failing attempt to stimulate the economy by printing money (quantitative easing) and further devaluing the dollar.
At this point in the game, anyway you look at it _you_ lose.
The ONLY saving grace (IMO) is that metals are outside of most of these factors : so invest through APMEX.