Here is a bit from Karl Denninger, a You Tube expose which explains illiquid assets, it is well worth clicking on the Link I promise you.
The thing we need to understand right now is that the rules that we play financial games by are changing by the moment. Dare to short the bank stocks; they change the rules, no shorting. Right now, they can change the rules on just about any investment. Want to buy futures? Why bother they might close the stock market!
Uncertainty is the name of the game.. Gold could be illegal to own once again. Pre 1964 U.S. coinage is not in circulation. It's worth far more than the money it represented.
The other thing you have to look at right now is miss-information. The government can't spend 787 billion that they don't have. They might have a shot at borrowing an additional 100 billion more than the 400 billion they are presently borrowing this year, but come on folks we are broke. This money is coming from no where!
In the next three weeks, nations are going to start declaring bankruptcy; Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and most of the Eastern block. This problem is not going to go away; it is getting worse by the minute.
Here is the next step. You give the clerk your credit card for a purchase and it does not go through. All credit cards fail to negotiate. The Banks are broke; it just doesn't seem real yet. You now have a Cash and Carry society, no CREDIT. It's a little like that last car on the freeway that causes gridlock, or that super cooled fluid that gets one fiber of dust in it and freezes solid.
The problems are real, the solutions are not. You can depend on the certainty of government to change the rules. That alone makes any investment risky. Sorry to be so pessimistic, it kind of looks like I am making sulfuric acid out of lemonade. I could be wrong and that would be a good thing.