Economics & Investing For Preppers

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 the re-emergence of synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) derivatives. (See the Derivatives section.)

Precious Metals

First off,  there is this at Zero Hedge: Gold Demand Surges As Price Suffers Worst Month Since November. JWR’s Comment: But keep in mind that Gold is still up 12% for the year to date.

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For those of you who like to track metals prices measured in grams and quoted in Euros, I recommend the Legor web site.  Andf if you want to toggle between Troy ounces and gramsa nd toggle between different currencies, I recommend the site, based in Switzerland.


Stock Market And Economic Outlook For Q4 2017. JWR’s Comment: I concur. Loose credit is the driver of this boom. It can definitely continue, but not indefinitely.


What’s next for industrial metals after a third-quarter rally?


U.S. fines HSBC $175 million for lax forex trading oversight

Derivatives (Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) Derivatives):

In a Blast From a Financial Crisis Past, Synthetic CDOs Are Back. JWR’s Comment:   Apparently the painful lessons of 2008/9 have already been forgotten.

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The annual Risk USA conference will be held October 24th to 27th, in New York City. JWR’s Comment: Don’t expect to hear many loud cries for transparency and regulation from this crowd.

Troubling Trends:

Reader H.L.  sent us this at the leftward-leaning The Washington Post: The new reality of old age in America

Tangibles Investing:

Forests Are a Treasure. But Are They Good Investments?


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

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 “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!

One Comment

  1. 1) Re timber as an investment, the New York Times article missed the most important aspect: A timber tract may gain little in value for 50 years — and then its value begins soaring like a rocket when trees get around 14-15 inches in diameter. Buy a nearly mature tract for back taxes in a recession and you can make money.

    2) Another important point: spacing/pruning is critical. The trees must have enough space to get adequate soil, water and sunlight. Too much space, however, and they branch out/fork which greatly reduces their ultimate value. You want straight, 80 foot high trunks with few branches and no forking until the tree crown.

    3) The right soil and water is important for a particular species of tree — just because a forest survives does not make it a good investment. What is important is that the trees grow at a rapid enough rate to reach harvest size within in 80 years of life and not take 200 years. A forester can drill into a tree, count the rings to get age, measure trunk diameter and judge if growth rate is profitable.

    4) Forestry is a skilled profession. Like farming it can look simple to the ignorant outsider but you can lose money quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. E.g., cutting wood too early when it is in its prime appreciation stage and might yield 40% more money if harvest is delayed for 10 years.

    5) American hardwoods are being ruined by foreign pests invading this country. Emerald ash borer is killing off ash and another pest threatens black walnut. The valuable chestnut was killed off long ago.

    6) In my opinion, ETFs, REITs etc are just another way for financiers to sit on their butts and rip you off with service fees.

    7) Forestry has complicated tax rules. For example, let a timber company buy the trees from you “on the stump” –i.e, they cut the trees — and your profits are taxed at low capital gains rate. Cut the trees yourself, haul them to the mill and sell them there and your profits are considered income from a business and taxed at higher income tax rates. Some expenses can be deducted in the year they are incurred whereas others can be deducted only several decades later when the timber is harvested–at which point inflation will have reduced the deduction to almost nothing. IRS has a publication of 100+ pages giving the details.

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