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, we look at investing in the corn market and stocking up on phyisical corn, for preparedness. (See the Commodities section.)

Precious Metals:

We’ll start out with this piece by Gary Christenson: Silver Prices – The Next 5 Years

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Avi Gilburt (at Seeking Alpha): Sentiment Speaks: My Biggest ‘Fear’ For Silver

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: Insanity: Now even JUNK bonds have NEGATIVE yields

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Wolf Street reports: Another UK Fund Just Slammed its Doors Shut on Investors

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Citing higher minimum wages in Seattle, Portland, and SF, West Coast restaurant chain files for bankruptcy

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Another at Wolf Street: Everything’s Fine Until Suddenly it Isn’t: How a “Leveraged Loan” Blows Up

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London Housing Bust: Prices Fall, Sales Plunge to 2009 Level

Commodities (Corn Market):

Corn Prices Heating Up, Hubbs Says. JWR’s Comments:  Meanwhile, we’re reading news reports like:  “…spec traders in corn futures and options were net long 187,260 contracts as of Tuesday. Commercials were net short 522,525 contracts on that date, nearing a record number of short positions (1.134 million).”  Why are there still so many shorts when the crop looks so dismal?  Do they have inside knowledge of some policy change that will slash ethanol production? Or will the Corn Fairy magically drop millions of metrics tons on the market?  I’m a bit baffled by all this market shorting. Frankly, I believe that there will be a corn price spike and possibly even a short squeeze, in August or perhaps September. The Longs will make a killing. And from a prepping standpoint: It is time to stock up on corn. Buy whole corn if you have a grinder, or corn meal if you do not.

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Nick Cunningham: Will The U.S Gas Glut Cap Oil Production?


Deutsche Bank’s Death By A Thousand Cuts Is Not Over

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At Deutsche Bank, How Two Decades of Disarray Culminated in ‘Bloody Sunday’


Which states have the highest and lowest property taxes?

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Drivers in 14 states saw fuel taxes increase on July 1

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An entire nation just got hacked


Libra: Friend or Foe? Worst Case Scenario Post-Congressional Hearings. Here is a snippet:

“While the Libra Association is purportedly an independent, decentralized entity that governs the project, Libra’s consensus system is so corporate it’s offensive to call it a true cryptocurrency. It’s effectively a meta-corporate entity, with the likes of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber and Spotify at the helm.”

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Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April

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BitMEX Bitcoin Volume Slumps 33% After CFTC Investigation

Tangibles Investing:

Palmetto State Armory (one of our affiliate advertisers) has just started a week-long series of specials on complete AR-15/M4 lowers in several configurations. Many of these will be priced below $140 each, and possibly as low as $99.99 postage paid! Check their site daily, for updates on the specials. And, as I often say: “Stack them deep!”

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This article dates back to 2006 but has some good advice: The art of buying a carpet. “A handmade oriental rug is the ultimate travel trophy, but if you do not want to be ripped off, it helps to know what to look for. Simon Busch explains how to pick the right threads.”

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Tips & Tricks for Scoring Vintage Rugs


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 closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be just about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. I was born, raised in CT, and am back now since 2001. Lived in WV in the 90’s and still keep up with what is going on in that gorgeous state! It is NOT just the tax rate that is important, because even if the tax rate is low, if the median home value is higher, it still results in more property taxes paid. However, in WV the median home value is quite low, and one often can find even newer homes with several acres or MORE, and only pay a few hundred dollars a year in property taxes. Many areas of NO zoning, some properties with FREE gas that comes off low flow oil wells. The home school folks are everywhere, and MANY Christian Schools. In fact, in Blue CT, Our TOP ranked High School SAT score was LOWER than the top one in WV – in Parkersburg where I worked PT. WV has a reputation of a bunch of “rednecks/hillbillies”, but I can tell you that most of them are polite, know how to live off the land, and friendly. The last Administration helped kill the Coal Industry, but WV is coming back! China (ugh!) building an $85 BILLION gas pipeline that runs through the state. This will take some years, and people who do NOT want to live in CROWDED/HOT/HUMID Florida or other Southern States, or parts of the Midwest with tornadoes, are moving to WV. The four seasons are wonderful, and the Fall colors are just as beautiful as NH or VT! In fact, WV has more diverse flora than any other of our 50 states, only desert plants not found there. When I explored some of WV and would pull off the road or interstate to consult my map, sometimes one of the “good old boys” in a pick up truck with a gun rack in the back would stop and ask “Do you need help?” has many, many jobs listed in WV, everything from professional, to trades, to unskilled. There are plenty of fun things to do, white water rafting, skiing, hiking, HUNTING & FISHING, old towns, museums, and if are ultra sensitive to WIFI or 4G, consider Green Bank, WV. This is the ONE place in America where NO cell phones or towers, ONLY dial up, because of the Govt. dish trying to detect signals from outer space, perhaps other sentient life. (They could not find any sentient life in D.C. these days! Pardon the snarky comment!) So check it out, just remember, water runs down all those HILLS (If laid flat some say, WV would be the size of Texas, not confirmed, but local legend.) and locate your house UP away from any little creek if possible. Feds have Flood Maps for much of USA. Being up on a hill can provide some gorgeous LONG views of the hills. If not for certain circumstances beyond my control, I would be back in WV until I died!

    Ct has been destroyed by politicians and the Welfare State, and it was NOT that when I was growing up on the farm in the 40’s and 50’s. We are NOW a failed state, and 47% polled said they plan to leave Ct within 5 years. Once a manufacturing powerhouse, and now a failing state so far in debt, we can NEVER get out. When the US economy finally collapse, those who can need to be where they can live off grid or mostly off grid and take care of themselves. The Redoubt is still that place, but WV hills, to me, are viable. Much of it is NOT near the interstate, and the winding country roads, some of which are one lane DIRT, and the hills and hollows still provide shelter for people.

    1. Good stuff hl, I’ve spent a lot of time in CT, particularly the beautiful NW portion. Sad to see what it has become. I’m enjoying all of the Eastern Redoubt type comments lately here on SB. Good for those of us who can’t pick up and move west.

    2. You have to understand that the American Redoubt is the place with Uncle Sam has confiscated land (oops Conservation of land) because of its postcard pictures. My wife and I wake up every morning to tea and look out over our many acres to see Elk, Deer, antelope, fowl, and sometimes bears.

      I take it you’ve never been to the Redoubt. The Gob-ment as WVians call it, doesn’t confiscate too much land in WV.

      Take a trip out to see it! Nice post btw.

  2. Please remember that for any collectibles to have future value, there will have to be organized and functioning markets and money. Without these, all your collectibles will be worthless. If you truly believe in a permanent or semi-permanent TEOTWAWKI event, you should stay out of all collectibles. The only exceptions would be things that would have functional uses in addition to their rarity value.

    I’m not saying all tangibles here, think mags etc., but only collectibles. It might even hold true for gold and silver. It could take years for these to be accepted as money, due to the difficulties involved in establishing new means of exchange — and the markets in which to use them (think Rawles’ Patriots).

    Even then, a one ounce gold coin may well be too valuable to spend — no one will have enough change! One ounce silver coins may be better, or even junk silver coins. One tenth ounce gold coins if you must buy gold. I prefer US eagles as being more recognizable.

    Of course, if you believe that any dislocations will be relatively temporary, collectibles will be fine. A hint for those living in the US Western states — if you can find genuine old gas pumps, signs, etc. — this is a major collectible area that many people aren’t aware of. Watch out for fakes, though, especially signs.

  3. Please be careful purchasing rugs as an investment. One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen was a business partner, knowledgeable, he thought, swindled out of 10’s, maybe 100’of thousands of dollars on rugs. They did look great but not any better than a furniture store rug. Fortunately he could, & did make it back. Also in economic difficulties they will be boat anchors.

  4. OK, stupid question time: If you purchase a complete AR-15/M4 lower AND an upper it would seem that you simply put them together and you have a workable AR/M4, right?
    Also, second stupid question I guess: When I go to the Palmetto site it is a struggle to even find these things. Either Palmetto’s IT department should be fired for incompetence or Palmetto doesn’t want us to find this stuff. I can go to Amazon and find exactly what I want and even links to things purchased with it. Ditto for Walmart’s site. Why is it so difficult to find anything on Palmetto?

    1. RE:
      >OK, stupid question time: If you purchase a complete AR-15/M4 lower AND an upper it would seem that you simply put them together and you have a workable AR/M4, right?

      Correct. Oh, and add a magazine of your choice.

      The best way to find their current deals is to click on either the “PROMOTIONS” or “DAILY DEALS” red boxes. Their search box works with words or phrases like “lower” or “M-Lok” or” “complete upper”.

      1. JWR

        Is it just me or did Palmetto change the look on their website. Gone are the gray header boxes you speak of and I think this is what OneGuy is talking about. I still get the old layout in emails from Palmetto but going to the website direct is a pain to find stuff.

    1. NO NO NO! I wouldn’t want to poison my pets with the Left’s foul corrupted flesh. I love my critters too much for that. 🙂

      The left wouldn’t even make good quality Soylent Green!

  5. RE: Eat the left. I agree with the idea, but don’t think I would want to subject my pets to the meat. Lord only knows what deseases and drug resedues there would be. Got me thinking though. Now would be a good time to prepare for undesirable waste. I think a supply of agricultural lime stored in plastic drums and a plastic scoop and pail would be useful. If you own your land research an appropreate place to dig a trench, (you don’t want run off contaminating water supplies or garden areas) get a fiberglass stock tank, cut the bottom out of it, put about 2feet of sand in the trench, put the tank on top and build a waterproof cover with a hinged lid and hasp and lock. To use put the carcus in and sprinkle liberaly with lime. Is also useful for dead skunks, raccons or other road kill that looks unhealthy, when SHTF there will be epidemics of collara, leptosporosus, and rabies in wildlife and feral pets. Diseases regularly vacinated for now will spread. Just a thought, better prepared than caught off guard.

  6. Regarding corn: just got back to upstate ny from a stay in southern north carolina for vacation. There is miles and miles of corn we passed on our trip. Im sure some is used for dairy and livestock but i wouldnt doubt it would hit the open market too.
    Just a side note went to Columbia SC and visited palmetto there. Great place go if u get a chance!

  7. My son works for the USDA. He says, ya, the corn is not planted, BUT all the grain bins are full, terminal markets are full, no place to go with it. China embargo. Especially soybeans.China switched out all livestock soy rations with other protein sources namely from South America. Farmers aren’t selling,,,, buyers aren’t buying. Everybody is playing “wait and see”.

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