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 declining value investments to avoid. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Global Silver Production May Decline More Than Analysts Forecasts. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)

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Gold Traders Bullish For 11th Straight Week

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If You Understand Gold – You Are Not A Goldbug (Egon von Greyerz)  Thanks to H.L. for the link.


Economy & Finance:

At Seeking Alpha: ‘Within Weeks’ Fannie/Freddie Recapitalization Plan Transcript Emerge

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Some analysis from France: Does the corporate debt mountain pose an avalanche risk?

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And another at Seeking Alpha: IMF cuts global growth outlook

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NYC Restaurants Slash Staff over $15 Minimum Wage


Several readers sent me the link to this piece by Chris Martenson: Collapse Is Already Here

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Another piece at Seeking AlphaRBC Capital Warns on Tesla

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At Wolf Street: And then the Stock Selloff Starts All Over Again



The Most Important Oil Factor In 2019

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The Economic Times (of India) had this: Commodity outlook: Aluminium, steel buck trend; likely to gain on China’s supply constraints


Bitcoin Investors Are Abandoning Crypto for Gold during the Bear Market: Vaneck CEO

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Bitcoin Price Looks South After Drop to Six-Week Lows


Tangibles Investing (Declining Value Investments):

After a recent conversation with a consulting client, I feel obliged to issue a warning: Don’t get sucked into “buy and hold” in a declining value tangible investment. Some examples of tangibles to avoid holding for more than just a few months include: Bulk memory devices, batteries, cellular phones, optics, and most laptop computers.  As technology progresses, these will increasingly become commodities. Worse yet, as technology improves, older generations become obsolete. The law of supply and demand dictates that in a free market when just about anything that is scarce becomes commonplace, then its price will drop.

As preppers, we tend to be attracted to useful tools. And electronics appeal to nearly everyone. But we need to remind ourselves that there is a huge difference between “a quick buy and sell”, versus a long term investment. Long term tangible investments need to be either true rarities, or something that is productive. Namely: a factory, a farm, a mine, or livestock. With those you have the opportunity to become the mass producer. With cattle, for instance, the growth of a herd can become geometric. (That is, given enough good pasture and plentiful water.) But if you buy one or two examples of a tangible that is being mass-produced–and with no end in sight of that production–with the hope of it gaining in value, then you’ve made yourself a contrapreneur.

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Lastly, Reader T.Z. liked this piece on retail arbitrage at Zero Hedge: Clearing Out A Walmart Then Reselling It On Amazon Can Make You Millions



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. Just read this proposed bill. This is an obscenity. Write your congress critters. Tell them emphatically, NO!! Tell your friends and family about this bill, explain why this is morally repugnant. Put pressure on your congress critters, a lot of pressure. Make no threats other than their removal from office at the next possible opportunity.

      This is grossly unconstitutional. Not that it will matter to your senators or representatives. Write your state government, put pressure on them to stop this bill.

    2. @ BINWY

      The most disgusting is that these “Female” senators get a hold of a Bill and add their female “flair” into it. There must fifteen accounts of sexual harassment [all pertaining to men being the predator and the female the innocent “doe”]. They never give the greatest form of sexual harassment and that is females are taught to chase their careers as the expense of family and thereby “liberating themselves from the family–marriage bed” How many men are sexually harassed today due to this nonsense of women in our culture “trying to be men” – only men can keep a 50 year marriage to the same spouse and a life-long career-women can not! I marvel over the wording in Detroit MI calling men serial rapists and even in the Bill the references to WOMEN only and even WHITE people. Laws are supposed to be gender neutral and color blind or else they are legislating SEXISM and RACISM.

      My two cents… Take it for what it’s worth. I knew we finally lost this country when the November’s MSM buzz was “This is unprecidented… the most number of women EVER elected to Congress!” When the women take over expect more job loss, abortions, gun confiscation, male harassment, sexual harassment of males due to women being liberated form marriage (divorce rate in America is 60-70% currently), rape charges because men can’t have a marriage bed for their “thing”, more taxpayer money stripped from the patriarch (women are not support husbands in the home with their equality)–we are fixing to picked clean as males…

      Nothing we men can do about it due to men like me being rare– you need an army of men to stand up and send women back to the families and retake over… There sure is a reason that God stipulated so many scriptures that women are to have “no authority over men!” Sadly the Catholic Church is the only last standing world entity with that premise.

      God bless!

  1. The article about NY City raising it’s minimum wage illustrates how government meddling in the wage market has the expected results when morons with no actual business experience are voted into office. With their pandering for votes they hurt most the very people they claim to be helping. Higher wages = fewer jobs for minimum wage earners. Now they are transferred to the welfare rolls, we now pay twice for their actions. More welfare (Taxes) and higher prices for goods and services. A good example of how jobs are destroyed is the strike led by Cesar Chavez in California for higher Minimum wages in the agriculture industry for labors. This led to growers to put a lot of money into R&D for automatic picking machines and the eventual loss of 100,000’s of seasonal jobs. McDonalds and others are experimenting with robot food prepares and other highly automated operations, there is one that has appeared in the last few years that is a perfect example of labor saving by businesses an job killing, “The automated check out machines” These replace the normal cashiers and put more people out of work, don’t use them! Internet based meal ingredient companies, etc. The predictable result is that eventually artificial intelligence and politicians will cause the demise of so many jobs that there will be no customers to support commerce. See the movie Soylent Green

  2. ” Some examples of tangibles to avoid holding for more than just a few months include:…. and most laptop computers. ”
    But older laptops aren’t totally useless. Even if they have older firmware (Win 2000, Win7, et al), they can still be used for the amateur radio digital modes.
    I’m dipping my toes in the water now, trying to work up a 2m DigiMode station. I have all the hardware components (radio, modem, computer), just need to connect everything, adjust/add firmware, and DOCUMENT EVERYTHING to remember what doesn’t work, and finally, what does work.

    So if you have an “older” laptop you no longer want to hold on to, offer it (for a nominal price) to a radio amateur.

  3. Regarding the warning at the END of the post… In some circles this may be excellent warning but for me and my household we like/want/will buy older electronics.

    Reason is the same Hilary Clinton had her aids purchase older Blackberry phones, servers, computers, technology… Because they don’t have the obligatory loopholes for the NSA to backdoor your device for un-warranted search and seizure of your data.

    In our home we have a flip phone, change our numbers every year, change our emails every year. We do not have cable or satellite. We have over 600 DVDs and Blue-Rays now and have backup players in our Faraday vault. We know these will be phased out soon, but we have so many useful tools such as documentaries and DIY videos coupled with comedies and Action/romance videos. We cringe when SB passes along Amazon Prime videos which you have to log into with all your credentials and CC#s.

    Going old in technology is what we want. We do not want LAN line as that is traced by SSN to do credit check on you, but the older the cell phone the better. Older the PC the better. Older technology such as physically placing a movie disk into the DVD/Blue-ray the better.


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