There are a number of issues here that make me reflect:
1. The Fed has for a long time cared little about asset prices - that was on the upside, not the downside. And its long held mantra was that it would do what it takes to preserve growth. It seems unlikely that the Fed will engage in any monetary stimulus, but rather it is more likely to engage in short term stimulus to stabilise the markets. I think the Fed is aiming for an orderly unwinding of bad credit. The problem is, I think markets, looking for performance will not be impressed by the 'low growth' scenario, so I think they will sell off equities, and I think property will follow it.
2. Gold prices: Based on the chart below, gold does not look too bad. It seems to be following its upward course, but what's got my attention is the selling off, evidenced by a string of 'engulfing candles'. Short term profit taking? Perhaps. What has me worried is that if there is a correction in stock & commodity prices, funds will be selling precious metals to cover their positions. This would lead to alot more 'panic selling', the result of which I think would see gold fall to $US550/oz. Talk about life being a 'tight rope'.
3. Silver prices: I would have thought silver prices would exhibit a close correlation to the gold price, though perhaps silver has lost some of its monetary charm, and is weak because of the weaker outlook for silver industrial consumption, given that a much higher proportion of silver than gold is used by industry. The silver chart looks seriously bad, so I suspect its about to fall back to $8/oz and consolidate around $9/oz.
In conclusion I dont think the Fed would mind a fall off in asset prices just as it has not been too concerned about a rise in asset markets. I just think it wants to ensure a smooth fall so that people can sell out or go broke 'silently', so that consumer demand is not hindered. I think the Fed will fail on this point. I dont think the Fed will lower short term rates in Sept'07, or if they do, they lower it by 0.25% instead of 0.5%. I think they of course want the market to believe they will support the market with an interest rate cut, but I think instead their intent will just be to allow the uncertainty to wash out of the market. I think the other reason for weaker precious metal prices will be a shake out in base metal markets. I can see volatility on the LME and Comex exchange, where funds will be liquidating gold to pay margin calls on other metals, and otherwise just liquidating.
The good news is that gold and silver will recover, but it will present a good buying opportunity. Months ago there was alot of talk about a shake out in the commodity markets, but that fear seems to have been overshadowed by the 'sub-prime scandal'. I think commodity price collapse might be about to occur. So you'd thus have to expct some volatility in the $AUD, $CAN, RSA particularly, but it will be short term price action for gold and silver.