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 City Finances. (See the Economy section.)

Precious Metals:

First up, at Zero Hedge: Store Your Gold At The Bank Of England And You Might Never See It Again

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Reader H.L. suggested this: Central Bank Gold-Buying Reaches Half-Century High… Peter Schiff: Fed Capitulation is the Beginning of the End


Economy (City Finances):

H.L. also forwarded us the link to this sobering report on city finances: Financial State of the Cities.  Here is a snippet:

“At the end of the FY 2017, 63 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. This means that to balance the budget, elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget
calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers.”

JWR’s Comments: Short summary:  Many American cities are going bankrupt. It is frightening to consider that this assessment of deficit city finances comes in the midst of a supposed economic boom. How will these cities survive a major downturn? Needless to say: Avoid living in or near any of those 63 cities!

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From Wolf Richter: Fed’s QE Unwind to Continue on Autopilot, Rate Hikes on Hold for “Common-Sense Risk Management”: Powell

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At Wolf Street: Home Sales to Get Even Uglier in Near Future


Now, on to this at Seeking Alpha: Dalio’s Fear Of The Next Downturn Is Likely Understated

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Also at Seeking Alpha: Tesla down 2% after Q4 shows growing pains



Extreme Cold Straining Xcel Energy’s Natural Gas System, Residents Urged To Turn Down Thermostat

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Reuters Survey: OPEC Production Drops Most In Two Years



$190 Million in Crypto Gone Forever, How Canada’s Biggest Bitcoin Exchange Lost it All

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Fidelity Says Its Crypto Trading and Storage Platform Is in ‘Final Testing’

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Two Groups Responsible for 60% of All Crypto Exchange Hacks: Report


Tangibles Investing:

Just added to the listings: In Susitna, Alaska, a two bedroom log home on 5 acres, for  $150,000. Closest large town is Wasilla, Alaska. Access is by boat, plane, or snowmobile. Possible owner financing, with a sufficient down payment.

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Antiques: A Thing of the Past or Still Relevant?

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Tips by Dr. Lori: Predictions & The Antiques Market

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For those who have written me queries:  I will be posting a short feature article on how and here to find pre-1899 cartridge guns on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Stay tuned. I will also be interviewed on this topic on Dunagan Kaiser’s Reluctant Preppers podcast–also on Tuesday, February 12th.



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. Cities that are failing will just increase the taxes on the citizens to make up the deficit. SF and the surrounding cities are a fine example along with the rest of that state. Find other ways to tax the citizens and as those who leave (such as myself) the taxes will continue to go up on those who are left. Eventually you will have taxed the people to the point of exodus and there will be no body to tax. Kinda reminds you of the tale “as they came for the Jews, I said nothing, as they came for the gypsies, I said nothing, as they came for the Christians, I said nothing, and when they came for me there was no one left to say anything.”

    1. The big concern, for me, is that the States are going to put the failed cities debts on the entire State and tax all their states citizens for the gross failures of their city governments. What is equally bad is that too many of the states are in the same boat as their cities. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Kentucky and more have the same pension and medical benefits deficits that will never be funded. With the avalanche of failing cities and states the demand will be for the USG to pick up the tab and radically increase taxes on all of us, or fund the failed states and cities with printed or digitized money. In 5 years or less the US is Venezuela.

      God help us all!

  2. Let the cities go under. Time to revolt! Stop paying the unconstitutional taxes such as property taxes they can’t put everybody in jail and garnish their wages and steal property it’s time to revolt. Many people I know are claiming exempt, they can’t afford withholding taxes from payroll anymore and they are not filing and tired of paying taxes, it’s time to wake up! If there’s a thief, it’s the government! United States pretty soon is going to fall like Rome, in time it will happen!

    1. Agreed 100%
      Horace Mann you can blame for the property tax. That socialist varmint wanted public school free for all the chilren – he also wanted the State to run its doctrine through the schools. When his Ponzi scheme started he got the first through (taxes) now he has both (taxes and Leftist indoctrination of students).

      It’s high time, especially for home schooling parents, to revolt. Write letters, sternly warn states to remove the property tax, use show of force if needed in the face of law enforcement.

  3. 1) Ad Stack, I don’t own a cell phone but one of my sons does, apparantly the ad stack and calendar to research arcives doesn’t show on his screen and you can’t scroll sideways to find it eather.
    2) I would like to know if there are any manufacturing companies that could make old fashioned hand crank root grinders, farms in the1800’s had them to grind roots to feed livestock, 8 pounds of carrots, potatoes or mangles is nutritionaly equivelent to 1 pound of grain. I think this tool would be very handy for SHTF event. An apple grinder or vegetable shredders are not heavy enough to hold up to hard root vegetables and heavy use.

  4. Things sometimes are cyclical, but I don’t think I would invest in antiques or old cars anymore. I would consider buying things I like for my own use but not for “investment” as a rule.

    I watch the car auctions on TV periodically and I have a number of hot rodder friends and watching/listening I see stock older vehicles remaining stagnant or decreasing in value. I nice restored, stock 60s Camaro or similar muscle car goes for less than a new mid priced plain vanilla car and appears to be at best stagnant in price year after year. It appears hard to get your money out of a restoration. The modified/modernized stuff that have been re-powered and essentially redesigned go for some pretty big money but the interest in stock stuff seems to be waning. Nobody wants to work on breaker points and carburetors (except for a few old guys like me) and everyone wants more than four gears.

    Older furniture does not seem to adapt itself well to the digital world. Perhaps tablets will make roll top desks more useful again but I am not sure. And decent new furniture (not great but decent) is pretty cheap and functional and in many cases more comfortable.

    When antiques were bigger a couple of decades ago, a lot more people had links to an older rural heritage at least through grandparents and extended family. I think that link is going a way. Old things don’t give as many people a sense of history or comfort anymore. Probably most people’s link is to the suburbs and local mall (which itself is dying).

    I could be wrong and there might be a resurgence much like there is a resurgence in masculinity in some circles despite the general trend trying to making men and women sexless. And I am sure there will always be exceptions in both specific items and specific markets. But I would not bet a lot of money on it (in general) as an investment.

    Now to purchase for personal use that is a different matter. A lot of utility to be had IMO.

    1. I have to concur about classic/muscle cars. The way to by them–as I’ve mentioned before–is to find one that someone is selling at a loss, after they have already put in the time and money, in restoring it. In today’s market that is where you have the best hopes of eventually re-selling it at a profit.

  5. Antiques: buy what you love; then buy what you think will last for generations and is useful. Examples: We have two china cabinets, one Victorian-era inherited from my husband’s grandmother who had very little herself, where we keep glass and holiday ware, candles, etc. The other was our first auction purchase as a couple, a hand-built, mission style cabinet, which now holds seeds, sewing books, DVDs and supplies. We also have my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. AWESOME. I need a new belt on it, but it will work if necessary. And it has wonderful sentimental value in our family. We have a solid, butcher block kitchen table purchased when our family was growing and we needed more room for meals. It was damaged in a house fire a few years ago, but my husband lovingly restored it, leaving the little scratches from toddlers still figuring out how to properly use a fork. We will never get rid of it, and our now adult kids will probably fight over it someday. But the antique dining room table we got after the fire has little sentimental value to me, and is not as sturdy as the kitchen table, so we will probably sell it when we downsize. So … you get the idea.

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