If you said OIL, you were wrong. CHEAP OIL is the correct answer. Why the disclaimer? Allow gasoline prices to rise over $4.00/gallon as they almost did 5 years ago in the U.S. and see. Now, read the Thoughts of Another to understand how oil was made cheap.
But gold is not "the end of this", merely a means to an end. For the present international monetary and financial system to survive, economic fuel must remain cheap in relation to both production and consumption, else economies will desperately constrict to regional and even local levels.
Oil producers now have much more gold than is reported by the WGC. Today, both emerging and re-emerging economies are disenfranchising the dollar, which faction held the dollar price of gold low (as part of the cheap oil petrodollar bargain), by using it to acquire Western gold, which they correctly believe will back the alternative petro-currencies.
These super producers of energy, and secondary producers of cheap-energy-fueled economies do agree that gold is a better long term store of value than Western paper promises, yet they do still fear the Western military as it defends the Dollar Empire in these foreign lands.
Will the "Eastern hordes" again dim the light of the world, rhyming with, if not repeating, history? The words below are not those of Roacheforque, so I cannot be held to their strength of analogy. But I quote them nonetheless:
Rome was not built in a day, neither did Rome fall in a day. The fall was gradual, and came both from without and from within.
It came because there was tyranny in Rome, and no state can long be held by tyranny and the power of the sword alone. The high officials and tax collectors cared nothing for the people's good, they cared only for gold. They laid heavy and unjust taxes upon the middle classes. These classes must always be the backbone and support of a nation, but in Rome's last days they were so oppressed that they ceased to exist. The backbone of the nation was gone. So when wild barbarian hordes poured over the borders of the empire Rome fell.