In this post's title "they" are speculators/investors (are there any true investors left in this world, I wonder?) and "witless" means exactly that: they have taken leave of their wits (assuming they had any to begin with, of course).
Proof? The following charts, showing:
(a) The price of gold soaring to new highs, apparently discounting a heavy bout of inflation in the future and,
(b) The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds crashing to near new lows, apparently discounting future deflation.
Gold Flying High
10-Year Yields Collapsing
It stands to reason that this situation is untenable and can only occur when speculators are very, very scared, running about like chickens with their heads cut off. I am a long-term investor myself, a natural-born contrarian bent on spotting exactly such nonsensical divergences.
Markets always provide tremendous opportunities to level-headed contrarians at two nexus points: bubble bullishness and panic. Characteristic to both is the absence of common sense, observable and easily calculated by simple arithmetic (ratios are as far as you have to go).
For example, the ratio of gold price to 10-year yields stands now at 776 (it went as high a 850 a couple of days ago). Just three years ago it was at 210...
The witless in search of "safe" havens, indeed...