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 $100 Bills. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Only The Fed Could Kill Gold Now – Analyst

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Do you like nuggets? Here is a great collection of photos, sent to us by reader H.L.: The most gigantic gold finds of all time


Economy & Finance:

Next, over at Seeking Alpha: An Honest Look At Recession Risk – A Simple Model Tells You How Close We Are

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The Fed Chair Just Admitted On Record That The US is Heading For a Debt Crisis. (Thanks to H.L. for the link.)

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Readers D.S.V. and G.P. both sent this: There’s been a mysterious surge in $100 bills in circulation, possibly linked to global corruption. Here is a key passage in the lengthy article:

“There has been pressure to get rid of high denomination notes to curb international crime. Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary and director of the National Economic Council in the White House, has argued for abolishing $100 bills. Summers wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2016 titled, “It’s time to kill the $100 bill.”

“A moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place,” Summers said, citing its potential for crime. “Here is a step that will represent a global contribution with only the tiniest impact on legitimate commerce or on government budgets. It may not be a free lunch, but it is a very cheap lunch.”

He referenced a Harvard research paper written by former Standard Chartered bank chief executive Peter Sands, who argued to eliminate high denomination, high value currency notes.

“By eliminating high denomination, high value notes we would make life harder for those pursuing tax evasion, financial crime, terrorist finance and corruption,” Sands wrote.

The global illicit money flows were “staggering” and fuel crimes from drug trafficking and human smuggling to theft and fraud, Sands said. He estimated that depending on the country, tax evasion robs the public sector of anywhere between 6 percent and 70 percent of what authorities estimate they should be collecting. And despite “huge investments in transaction surveillance systems, and intelligence, less than 1 percent of illicit financial flows are seized.”



Oil: Permian Treadmill Decline Is Only Getting Faster

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A good primer, recently updated: Commodities trading: An overview



Federal Reserve Bank Stands Prepared to Study ‘Collapse of the Bitcoin Market’

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Warren Buffet: Bitcoin Is a ‘Delusion’ But Blockchain Is ‘Ingenious’


Tangibles Investing:

Neccos Candies Futures: I told you so. The average asking price has quintupled, in five months.  Don’t eat up your profits.

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Inside the Strange Yet Profitable World of Retail Arbitrage



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. Eliminate the $100 bill? Seems like incrementalism towards a cash-less society. Wasn’t the “reason” similar to eliminating the $1000 bill? Today the $100, next up is the $50, etc.

  2. I liked the Editor’s Quote of the Day concerning indecision. I once heard it said that indecision is the reason that so many streets and highways are paved with flat squirrels.

  3. 95% of our transactions are with cash.
    Anyone who has suffered credit card numbers stolen or worse yet identity theft understands. There are thousands of stinking thieves just waiting for you to use you CC so they can skim the number and off they go to purchase $90.00 gift cards at self service terminals in big box stores.

    We use prefer $100.00 bills for our routine monthly transactions. As was previously noted inflation is real.

  4. Eliminate the $100 dollar bill ? If there were no $100 dollar bills, it would have taken FIVE TIMES as many pallets of bills and giant airplanes for the Obama to give all that cash to the mullahs in IRAN ! Talk about global warming! OH, THE HUMANITY !
    Actually, WE ARE The ones who will be needing pallets of cash at the grocery store if the FED continues to suck our economy dry as it has for the past 106 years. The treasury should bring back the $500 and $1000 bills.

  5. Lee- Banks currently record the serial numbers of and track $100 and $50 bills as they come in and go out, per Federal law. If you want true anonimity, you must use $20 bills and lower. Many people do not know that.

    1. Besides that many stores don’t accept anything bigger than a 20. That’s all I use.
      I had read (probably on here?) that banks record serial numbers on the bigger bills.
      Interesting, I recently watched an episode of Alfred Hitchcock where the hit man was paid with a thousand dollar bill. Of course these were all filmed c. 1960, before the bills were taken out of circulation.
      Just for the heck of it I’m going to ask our branch manager why they record the serial numbers. Could be interesting. It’s a regional bank that we have been dealing with for 35 years. They know I’m a character.

    2. Did not know that,gives a way to refute if a bank gives out a counterfeit bill(has happened to aquaintences). Don’t forget to ask for the “cash discount”3-5% for no transaction fee for card purchases

  6. My f150 has a 35 gallon gas tank. 100 dollars fills it. My grocery cart at wallmart. 100 dollars fills it. Dinner and drinks plus movie and popcorn. 100 dollars pays it. A one hundred dollar bill today is a 20 dollar bill from 1960. The purpose behind ridding Americans from large bills is control. Taxing, surveillance of wealth, and ease of movement are liberties allowed by cash.

    1. A one hundred dollar bill today is a 20 dollar bill from 1960.

      I would posit that it is more akin to a $10 bill from 1960 (the year I said “Hello World!”)

  7. Maybe the recent influx of hundreds has more to do with the missing billions in hundreds from the insane wars in the middle east. Pallets of money, virtually all $100 bills, went missing from Iraq, in particular. It could be showing up now. Or another possibility is the nearly flawless counterfeit hundreds fabricated by the Chinese (and maybe North Korea).

    I used to keep money hidden, 100’s, 50’s, 20’s, 10’s, 5’s, and 1’s. Now it’s just 20’s, 10’s, 5’s, and 1’s. I decided it was just going to be too easy to get hung out to dry if the FED and the US treasury decided to stop production of the 50’s and 100’s. Those folks know a lot about corruption, they have made it an art form.

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