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 recent Bitcoin bounce in trading value.
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Andrew Hecht: Silver – What A Difference A Week Makes
Cryptos (Bitcoin Bounce):
The exchange value of Bitcoin (BTC) seems to have stabilized around $9,000 USD, since April 24th. As I’m writing this on Thursday evening (May 3, 2018), BTC is trading at $9,639 USD. The rally is encouraging, but don’t take the recent Bitcoin bounce to be any sign of a major turn in the market. Many investors are still feeling the sting of Bitcoin’s fall from nearly $20,000 in December of 2017. They (and I) won’t be convinced that the bull market is returning until Bitcoin stabilizes above $9K for several more weeks. And even then, there is always the risk of the U.S. government dumping some of its stash of around 150,000 seized bitcoins (presently worth +/- $1.6 billion), at any time.
Economy & Finance:
Blog reader H.L. send a link to a fascinating map: This Map Shows Every State’s Biggest Export. As you can see, the American Redoubt region has fairly low vulnerability to a trade war. (The quite high figure for “Airplanes” exports in Washington, is of course Boeing, which is in western Washington.) One oddity is that it shows $209 million worth of tobacco from Montana as its biggest export. But I believe that is spurious information, since Montana exports more than $1 billion worth of grain and oilseeds. Coal and copper oxides are also much more valuable exports than tobacco, for Montana. Oh, and by the way, the $593 Million worth of “Chips” shown for Idaho refers to microcircuits (from companies like Micron Technology) rather than potato chips! And they are hiring!
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The rising price of gasoline, sent me down a rabbit trail of web searches, which landed me here: 35 Gallons of Gas for $1.36!??!? Granted, there are some OPSEC issues when you use any sort of customer loyalty cards. (Also know as marketing database building/snooping cards.)
On a similar note: I expect natural gas and propane prices to rise substantially, starting in June or July. So it might be a good time to top off your propane tank(s). And you might as well also top off your gas and diesel storage tanks before the annual Memorial Day Weekend price jump.
Lastly, I’m predicting that as inflation re-emerges, some U.S based oil refining companies (such as Sunoco) will expand the use of Pre-Paid Gallons Gift Cards. Any refiner that also has a chain of gas stations could similarly sell pre-paid gift cards, denominated in gallons, instead of Dollars. With these, their customers will want to buy gift cards as a hedge on inflation and eventual higher gas prices. It would be a “win-win”. The other “win” would be for the company, since they’d get the cash up front, and would benefit from the float on all that cash.
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 “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!