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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 [1]. Today, we look at investing in discontinued sand AR-15 PMAGs. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

An interesting primer, over at Visual Capitalist: The Silver Series: The Start of A New Gold-Silver Cycle (Part 1 of 3) [2]

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H.L. spotted this at Zero Hedge: Russia, China Continue “Massive Substitution” Of Dollar Assets By Gold [3]

Economy & Finance:

How Is Negative Interest Possible? [4]

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Wolf Richter: Men’s “Real” Earnings Below 1973 Level: Census Bureau [5].

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US hiring slows. Economy added 130,000 jobs in August [6].


Russia Considers Possibility of $25 Oil Next Year [7]

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Trump Prepares ‘Apology Package’ For Disgruntled Farmers [8]


IRS Releases New Online Tax Calculator For Gig Economy Workers [9]

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For those who pay quarterly: Don’t forget the September 15, 2019 deadline for Estimated Tax [10].

Forex & Cryptos:

Brexit Drives Pound Into Value Territory [11]

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Over at Wolf Street: Why Argentina Will Never Dollarize [12]

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Why the coming recession could force the Federal Reserve to swap greenbacks for digital dollars [13]

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Tiny Pacific Nation Makes a Go of Its Own Digital Currency [14]

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Coinbase Quietly Settles $1.1 Million Bitcoin Theft Case [15]

Tangibles Investing:

A few months ago, I mentioned that sand AR-15 PMAGs had been discontinued by MagPul, and recommended buying some. These magazines can be dyed with standard Rit dye, to whatever color you can dream up. Since then, with the exception of sand color AK magazines and sand color AR-10 floorplates, the available supplies at both the wholesale and retail level have almost entirely dried up.  But I just heard from a friend here in The American Redoubt that SurplusAmmo.com in Victor, Montana still has some in stock [16]. They are sale priced at $99.99 for a 10-pack. I suggest that you jump on some, before they disappear.

Even if you have no personal interest in dye-dipping magazines, these should be a good “buy and hold” investment. Leave them in their wrappers and tuck them in the back of your gun vault. Absent a new ban (with grandfather clause) that would spike prices, PMAGs are just a commodity. But because these have been dropped from MagPul’s product line, they should gain in value. By the way, please tell the folks at SurplusAmmo.com [16] that you heard about these in SurvivalBlog. (I think that they’d be a great advertiser for the blog.)


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos [17] page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR [1]. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form [18].) 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!

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#1 Comment By Jason On September 13, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

They are standard black, with no window, but just Wednesday I purchased a 10 pack of AR-15 PMags from Palmetto State Armory (who is an affiliate advertiser for SurvivalBlog) to round out my magazine pile for $89.90, free shipping. Coupon code is PMAG. $9.00 is the cheapest I have ever seen these. A good time to take advantage.

#2 Comment By Wojo On September 13, 2019 @ 12:46 pm

Found some PMag Sandmags on Gunbroker.com

#3 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On September 13, 2019 @ 12:54 pm

Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna $48


The discone antenna is the Swiss Army knife of antennas. Listening will be more important than talking, but it can do both well enough. Most of the antennas I make are broad banded, because after awhile the antenna farm gets so thick coupling, and all sorts of hassles make running the farm problematic. I will take the compromise to increase bandwidth to reduce cost, cables, confusion and interference with other antennas. After making one good discone from scratch, at $48.00, it is smarter to buy this one.

The home brew is flatter than a pancake across the spectrum. It can be done, but why bother if it is this cheap. Take the savings and buy a cheap back up SWR meter to check it for your favorite frequency. My discone also picks up shortwave very well, even Australia, better than the long wire, or the dipole that is usually recommended.

Anyone remotely involved with radio, whether listening or transmitting can use this antenna. I would check the SWR on CB frequencies on this one, but I am confident that it will test < 1.5:1 from 144 to 450Mhz. If you need gain, this is not the one, yet a good radiator is not always best, when lower power is your friend. Purchasing this discone antenna would an efficient use of limited resources and space.

#4 Comment By BGF On September 13, 2019 @ 1:17 pm

I have never once looked back and said: I bought too many magazines!

#5 Comment By Anonymous On September 13, 2019 @ 7:57 pm

Deadline for estimated taxes is Monday, September 16, 2019 Since the 15th is a Sunday. Don’t want to pay a day early if you don’t have too.

#6 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On September 13, 2019 @ 8:23 pm

SIGINT in a box (Signals Intelligence in a box)

The Uniden SR30c Scanner with the Close Call Feature, Hear’m Coming:

Overveiw and frequency chart: [20]

$99.00 is reasonable, buy here: [21]

Fall is a busy time of the year. An article may ensue this winter if we do not have a ton of fun shoveling snow. Although exercise is always needed, yet it is not good if all at once. If not exhaust from shoveling, this scanner would also make a good Christmas gift during at a time of the year it would be a good to have something to play with. However, it is a serious multipurpose tool for the prepper who can read instructions, who has a penchant for play, and desire to improve retreat security. This is very important part of your retreat defenses………listening, and it is easy to implement, and maintain with a scanner such as those with Close Call type of feature, or variations the marketed name, that is essentially a frequency counter…but we can skip all that stuff and make stoopid simple, as possible and get the job done.

As security will be job, improve situational awareness and develop intelligence with this relatively inexpensive tool that can stand guard 24/7. It sips power, less than 2500mah, and without the Close Call, the older analogue that you may already have in a box some where, those scanners need less power, as low as 75mah (milli ampere hours). Any scanner can work, but with any of the modern generation Uniden scanners with the Close Call function, frequencies that are unknown, and not programmed-in, can be picked up if the signal strength is high enough. Using an external antenna, such as the discone for $48, will greatly enhance this ability.

Discone antennas often come a cable with a BNC connector that will attach to most scanners.

It is certainly worth the extra power consumed, the batteries used, to cover an important part of the security plan. Cost of purchase is low, it is cheap to feed in terms of batteries, and it is multi-purpose. It can listen to your Dakota Alert Sensors, your communications net, and pick up radio transmissions from unexpected signal sources, be them friend or foe, and on frequencies well known, or unknown. Double plus good stuff!

Tech Tip:
A quick and easy approach, that makes it easier for those with out a frequency list is to plug in the 2 meter ham band repeaters in your area, MURS, and Business band on the VHF side, and GMRS and FRS, plus any 70cm repeaters in your area, and set it to scan the list and use the Close Call option to monitor the UHF side if you do not have Murs Dakota Alert sensor using MURS channels, or if using the Dakota Alert Sensors without external antennas, monitor the VHF side. Program with the computer to have a back up, and to make the process easier. There are other way to configure it (set it up), but this a good start for most folks. Any frequency flashed on the scanners display is a Close Call signal, and should be recorded and added to the scanner list and investigated. Any signal that is nearby should be identified as either ‘friend or foe’, whether is a voice or a mic click.

#7 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On September 13, 2019 @ 8:39 pm

Forgot to mention, most scanners including this Uniden series, does not cover the entire spectrum that the now ubiquitous Baofeng UV5r covers. It does not cover 521-520Mhz, or the 220Mhz HAM band. Nor does it cover other military bands. Some older and higher end scanners do, yet often is forgotten is the 220Mhz Ham band. One can cover some of those loose ends with a bank of many scanners sharing a discone antenna, with a 20 dollar USB-RTL Dongle that covers most everything else. With the more expensive USB dongles, even drones can be identified. With the dongle, a poor man frequency analyzer, one can see weak transmissions even though they cannot hear them. And one can spot spurious transmissions, secondary harmonics, that can lead to the identification of those using the notorious Baofeng. Having a Baofeng or two, I’ve tested this.

#8 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On September 13, 2019 @ 9:10 pm

Excellent How to Build Your-own AR. buy receivers now, and assemble later, watch:


#9 Comment By ESMDHokie77 On September 13, 2019 @ 9:15 pm

10 bucks for gen 3 pmag is a steal.
Bfytw, bought 20 and a d50 drum in honor of beto

#10 Comment By DD On September 14, 2019 @ 5:34 pm

If countries like china and russia and others are constantly shoring up their currency with gold why arent gold prices spiking?