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 pinprick of the real estate bubble.

Precious Metals:

Tickets Please For The Gold Roller Coaster

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Arkadiusz Sieroń: A Weakening Global Expansion Amid Growing Risks. Will Gold Price Benefit?

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JWR was recently a guest on the Kennedy Financial podcast.  The other guest for that show was author Jerry Robinson of the great web site.  The show was mainly about disaster prepping, but we started discussing precious metals near the end of the hour.

Economy & Finance:

Over at The Silver Libertaion Blog: Fitch Threatens to Downgrade the US Credit Rating?

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Peter suggested this article: A better way to anticipate downturns. Peter’s comments: “The article is from 2010 but is still an interesting read. Skim toward the end, if needed. Note the author does make reference to the Yield Curve as being one early indicator of trouble ahead.”

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China to pass US in retail sales this year: forecast


The Debt Bomb:

Reader H.L. liked this piece at IWB: U.S. Government Debt Bomb Much Higher Than Americans Realize.

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Visualizing The Snowball Of Global Government Debt. Thanks to G.P. for the link.


Real Estate Bubble:

SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large Michael Z. Williamson sent us this link from a news piece that ran back in June: Families earning $117,000 now qualify as “low income” in California’s Bay Area. Mike’s Comments:  “Choose where you live, wisely.”  He also described the S.F. Bay Area tersely: “This area also offers low survivability during an economic crisis.”

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We have already seen the pinprick of the real estate bubble. Some evidence: Q4 Mortgage Lending At Big Three Banks Plunges 20-30% Y/Y. (Thanks to H.L. for the link.)

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US home sales plummeted 6.4 percent in December. JWR’s Comments: When we see seasonally-adjusted figures like this, then we know that the game of Musical Chairs is about to end. Plan accordingly. As I mentioned a couple of months ago: I recommend that my readers sell off any investment property as well as any vacation property that doesn’t double as a retreat. It is best to sell at or near the top and then buy back into the market, in the depths of the coming market bottom.

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At Wolf Street: As Investors Flee Australia’s Housing Bust, Sales of New Houses Plunge to Record Low



G.P. spotted this: Russia Is Considering a Shift to Bitcoin to Limit the Impact of U.S. Sanctions, Report Says

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You Can Now Buy Bitcoin at Some Grocery Stores in the US. This is a venture by Coinme and Coinstar.  The article notes: “Though Coinstar kiosks are primarily known for converting coins into cash, Amazon gift cards or other equivalent balances, Thursday’s press release noted that at present, ‘[U.S.] coins cannot be used for bitcoin transactions.’ The kiosks will only accept U.S. dollar bills, with a $2,500 limit.”



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!