Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news 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 SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on the Sears bankruptcy. (See the Stocks  section.)

Precious Metals:

Investors Should Pay Attention To Silver Momentum – Analysts

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BMO: Palladium Prices Still Soaring; Substitution Risk High

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Blackrock Says Gold Price Will Be A “Valuable Portfolio Hedge” In 2019


Global Economy & Finance:

Germany Heads for a Technical Recession

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At Wolf Street: Brexit Moment in 80 Days, No One Knows What’ll Happen, London’s Finance Industry on Tenterhooks


Stocks (Sears Bankruptcy):

Sears plans to liquidate after 126 years in business

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Sears is in trouble: What shoppers should do now with the bankruptcy filing

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A Sears liquidation could create some winners and over 100,000 losers

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Tying American Stocks to the Rest of the World

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LG Electronics sees 80 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit; analysts point to thinning TV margins


Commodities and Commodity ETFs:

Oil rises 3 percent on U.S.-China trade talk optimism

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The top-performing exchange-traded products of 2018

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BP just discovered a billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. 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!


  1. What a shame for Sears. I worked there back in the ’80s, and I recall how strong the name was even then. DieHard and Craftsman…I still have all my Craftsman hand tools I acquired when I was working my way through college via part time jobs as an auto mechanic and carpenter. This was, of course, while they were still made in America and true chrome vanadium.

    For those who might recall, back around the year 2000 Kmart was the majority stakeholder in (what was at the time) the nation’s largest distributor of printed pornography. When family groups called for Kmart to divest itself of it, they were told to pound sand because it was a major source of income for the corporation. The family groups organized a successful national boycott, Kmart suffered losses, and within a few years the company was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Sears came along and joined forces with Kmart, but the leadership remained on the same course as before, and they both continued to be pulled downward into financial disaster. Now Sears, Roebuck, & Co. – a beloved American icon – is no more and is ending its lifespan with a whimper. So sad, but everyone saw it coming.

    Moral of the story…don’t stand on the house you built and shake your fist at God. It probably won’t end well for you.

  2. The collapse of Sears, in retrospect, can only be viewed as an egregious example of long term mismanagement. … Sears was the ‘original’ Walmart of its time period. With the Sears Catalog, Sears was the ‘original’ Amazon, of its time period too.
    Many of the overpaid executives at Sears, with MBA business degrees, were either incompetent or more concerned with obtaining a big Golden-Parachute.

    With good ~>foresight, the Sears could have become another Walmart or Amazon. … As a Note: Walmart is working to match Amazon with available online sales.
    Plus, Walmart offers the option of home delivery, or the ability to ‘pickup’ the item in a local store. Sears Catalog sales offered the same option of home delivery or a pickup counter at their local stores. = A pickup service at the store gives people more opportunity to do more shopping.

    Sears was well positioned a few years ago to be very successful, ~ if the overpaid MBA executives demonstrated good foresight. [The executives were well paid for “good” business expertise.]

    [Even Jonah wasn’t that unlucky with his decisions, as were the Sears Executives.] This site (Survivalblog) encourages people to ‘prepare’ for an uncertain future. … We all live in situations where someone else can make stupid decisions, that will affect our (and our families’) future survival.

  3. In the four decades from 1970, a friend came to visit me in Alaska every summer (OK, he came to fish with me). He was a long time (decades) upper middle manager at the Seattle Sears complex. He loved his job and would speak endlessly about the company. Stories such as: Sears was so wealthy that the corporation owned bamboo plantations overseas just to grow bamboo for carpet roll inserts.

    As the years passed and Sears SLOWLY deteriorated, my friend’s sad explanation was simple. He watched the company sell off domestic and worldwide assets on a regular basis and then pay huge bonuses and payoffs to upper management employees.

    I did not know that the commandment stated ‘Thou Shall Not Steal
    Unless You Can Do It Legally’.

  4. I used to frequently buy ammo at Kmart because they were gun friendly and the local store had a wide selection of ammo at amazing prices. Sometimes they would even have a “blue light special” for further savings. When they picked Rosie O’Donnell as their spokesperson, I stopped spending money at Kmart. I stopped spending money at Sears when the merchandise was cheaply made and their competitors, like Lowes/Home-Depot, clearly provided a much better value. Like other posters, it is somewhat sad to see both stores goes but I don’t regret it for a minute. Caveat Emptor!

  5. The issue is in legalized theft (i.e. the LEFTs victim group)

    I’ve noticed a trend on Survivalblog and the rest of Conservative America in that bringing the wife back home and under the spiritual authority of her husband will be the arc to swing America back to prosperity.

    What am I saying?

    Sears paid out billions in gender equality lawsuits over the years….

    Here is almost a $0.5-Trillion sued out of Walmart for Women’s rights…
    The opening statement is “Six women sue their employer…” I might add that men do not and have not sue their employer for gender discrimination and men by and large provide for stay-at-home spouses–women do not (there was a reason why women earned less money for being employed in the same job role–they have less societal responsibility and still do today).

    If you perform a search on the Internet for something like “gender equality lawsuits between one million and ninety-nine million dollars” you will return approximately 100,000 results.

    The number is closer to $10,000,000,000,000.00 ($10-trillion) in lawsuits filed by women against employers across America.

    This just in 30 years.. If we walk this out another generation women lawsuits would surmount over $100-trillion and even out a century would be $1-quadrillion.

    I’m not joking… just working the numbers here!

    I guess there is some credence to God’s word when he stipulated that…
    “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” — 1 Corinthians 11:3

    “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church”. — Ephesians 5:22-23

    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man…” –1 Timothy 2:11

    There is much more to this, that could spawn an entire essay, but when we align ourselves under God’s word and bring fathers back into the homes as the spiritual head (even leader over the woman), and remove the woman from under the authority of her boss and having authority over men at work… we would see what our parents and grandparents had… A financially providing husband secure in a lifelong family with a woman who is a helpmate of her financial provider.

    When we get into women utilizing lawsuits such as to gain financial provision we see Corporate America on the very verge of bankruptcy.

    I know this will spur some of you ladies or men, but most of this generational chaos is that there are no families under the American umbrella and manhood is continually being bashed in the corporate media.

    My first step in Prepping was to bring my wife out of the workplace and be the helpmate and the mommy she was called by God to be! We did just that! You will never sustain yourself in a grid down approach if you’re so lenient on your wife’s income now.

    God bless!

  6. Sears died from poor management still stuck in the 50’s! Our local sears stores closed last year, but I had not been in one in years. Everything was outdated and the staff unhelpful.

    Walmart taking on Amazon is a joke. Some may use store pickup or home delivery, but that will not increase sales. It is still China-Mart and nothing to get excited about. Smaller stores, better products, and helpful staff would have saved Sears. Perhaps Walmart will not make the same mistakes!

  7. Andy in AL is right. Kmart got on the politically correct bandwagon years ago and first stopped selling handgun ammo and proudly displayed Rosie (Butch) O’Donnell as their spokesperson. I told my wife to never shop there again. Bankruptcy served Kmart right. As far as Sears goes, they have been treating their customers like crap for a lot of years and now it’s caught up with them. When they started their rude telemarketing calls I quit shopping there. Walmart better pay attention to this or they may be next.

  8. I miss the old Sears. High quality, good value merchandise. I don’t know the bottom line decisions that led to this, but I am of the very strong opinion that Sears could have survived and flourished. I order from AMZN a lot these days and have some knowledge of the inner workings of that company but there are still plenty of Americans that would love to visit the Sears of old where you could buy decent tools, outdoors and recreational equipment, appliances and decent clothing. It’s really too bad Sears has no chance of being resurrected to provide that kind of product line again. I don’t think AMZN is what killed Sears… Sears killed Sears.

  9. There was a Sears store in downtown Fredericksburg, VA. years ago which looked very much like the picture in the header.
    They later moved to the big mall.

  10. The SEARS/Roebuck Catalog seemed to be the thing that launched and distilled this brand. And this of course has become antiquated. There’s only so much adapting print media can do, I think. Or maybe that’s not quite right. Like you point out, Scott, there is still a place for smaller, niche magazines. It would have been interesting to see, if decades ago, SEARS had found a way to modularize and personalize their catalog offerings to individual customers, as now seems to be commonplace. In other words, maybe what killed SEARS isn’t the Internet or not the Internet, but rather the fact that Amazon grew faster than retailers’ ability to leverage FB/social media/targeted ads to reach their customers in this suddenly all-important way.

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