The bloggers I follow have avoided these questions for this simple reason: anybody willing to answer these questions isn't worth listening too.
I suspect there are educated answers out there, but they reside quietly with professionals, not the YouTube yahoos that offer daily investment advice, which by the way, always seems to be "THE END IS NEAR - BUY GOLD!" Gold at $1200oz? Buy! Gold at $1950oz? Buy! Gold back at $1200oz? Buy!
The question of "what?" is much easier. Obama has introduced massive peacetime deficit spending to cover his domestic agenda, spending more than all previous presidents combined. What cannot be sustained, won't be. This suggests bad times are a com'in and drives investment into safer things like gold.
Some foresee a major collapse event.
I subscribe to the other camp who foresee a general prolonged decline in living standards and purchasing power.
Based on this "what?" question, I bought my first gold coin in early 2011 (see video links at bottom). It was an educated transaction based on actual events (spending and lawlessness), not fear. (I only discovered the YouTube wanna-be's much later.) Roughly 6 months later MF Global blew up, confirming for me that the rule of law was anything but.
As for the "when?", only hindsight will be accurate.
Yahoo's Finance page today:
(IAU is a gold ETF, and SLV is a silver ETF.)
It is still early in the current market sell-off, so this may not be "it." But if it is "it," then on this one aspect of the Obama "transformation," I was 3 years ahead of the curve (about two years behind Glenn Beck).
Related, at ZH: Investor Marc Faber predicted today a 2014 crash that will be larger than the 1987 crash.
If the topic of precious metals interests you, take a look at my precious metals videos. I do not offer advice so much as I share my lessons learned and suggest some considerations to make if you choose these investments.