Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on Japanese Swords. (See the Tangibles Investing section, near the end of this column.)
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Spot gold was down $4 an ounce by noon on Tuesday, but silver was up slightly. Since January 1st, 2017, spot gold is up 7.81% and silver is up 2%. If the global economic crisis that many pundits anticipate doe indeed materialize this coming October, then the precious metals will become truly precious.
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Copper futures jumped 3% to $2.82 on Tuesday. That increase is part of a general rise of 25.14% for the year. Methinks this has more to do with the beating of global War Drums than it does with confidence in a rebounding consumer economy.
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S&P 500 hits record high on stronger-than-expected earnings. JWR’s Comment: Beware the euphoria, folks. We can expect a big sell-off before the end of 2017.
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The US Dollar/Swiss Franc (USD/CHF) trade ratio just crossed the psychological barrier of 0.95. I expect to see the Dollar to continue to decline. I hope that some of you bought Swiss Francs, when I first this hedge in February of 2016. Back then, a one Dollar bought more than one Swiss Franc. But now, it is the other way around.
Economy and Finance:
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Wilson from Pantry Paratus sent us this excerpt of a ride report from an adventure motorcyclist couple doing a trip across Africa. They stop at a friend’s house in Zimbabwe. He gives them a first hand account of the history of the fiat money hyperinflation. If you thought that 10^25 inflation for paper money instruments was fiction, then consider this instructive.
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Next, over at John Galt’s Shenandoah: August 1, 2017 Starts the Most Dangerous 90 Days in American History
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As of September 1st, Initial Margin (IM) obligations will will go into effect for parties with over €2.25 trillion of uncleared OTC derivatives in the EU. JWR’s Comments: These new regulations represent a long leash for a big, untamed tiger. Bottom Line: The Over The Counter (OTC) derivatives market is still largely unregulated, both in the EU and in the US. And here in the States, some of the few regulations are being eliminated. The potential for a big blowup of counterparty risk is substantial. The fallout of such a crisis could devastate nearly all bond, equities, and commodities markets. And entire national currencies could be at existential risk. The credit derivatives markets are particularly hazardous casinos. Be forewarned: Great peril will exist if and when we see a large swing in interest rates.
Tangibles Investing – Japanese Swords:
One area of diversification for tangibles investors is Japanese swords (nihonto.) This is a field that requires lots of research and that has plenty of pitfalls. Don’t buy any “authentic” antique sword until you’ve first done plenty of research!
As with any other advanced antique tangible investment, you will need to first acquire some key reference books, such as:
SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.
Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “gets the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!