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. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the risk of buying faked antique guns. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)


Lance Roberts, over at Seeking Alpha: 15 Extreme Risks And How You Can Navigate Them

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Uber Loses Another $1.2 billion, Stock Dives Again

Economy & Finance:

Berkshire Becomes Global Cash King: $128BN Cash Pile Bigger Than Apple, Google. JWR’s Comment:  Berkshire has doubled their cash holdings in the past  18 months.  Whenever Warren Buffett heads for the equities market exit door marked “Cash”, then watch out!  Recession must be on the way! (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)

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At Zero Hedge: Turning Japanese? Growth In $9BN US Adult Diaper Market Explodes, Topping Baby Diapers

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Debt-Maggeddon: $6.2 Million Per U.S. Birth In 2019

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At Wolf Street: What’s Behind the Fed’s Bailout of the Repo Market?


Wheat: “Protein could be at a premium this year after snow flattened part of the crop in North Dakota and the Canadian Prairies. But wheat must prove export demand, which won’t be easy.”

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OilPrice News reports: A Wave Of Unprofitable Oil Is About To Hit The Market

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Nickel is still up solidly, for the year.  If it stays in this territory, we can expect to a see a reformulation of the U.S. five cent piece, in 2020!

Debt, Deficit, & Taxes:

Reader G.P. sent us this: The Democratic plan for a 42% national sales tax

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Mark J. flagged this over at Dr. Gary North’s web site: Social Security and Medicare: The Twin Disasters That Will “Break the Bank”

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Also from Gary North: The Insolvency of Social Security and Medicare: A Review

Forex & Cryptos:

Yuan strengthens past 7 per dollar

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Euro Weakness Expected As European Banks Continue To Suffer

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Blockchain for bitcoin is infected with child porn

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Canada Shuts Down Crypto Exchange. It Still Owes Customers $12 million. JWR’s Comments:  I strongly recommend that you minimize exposure to any and all crypto exchanges. Instead, use a secure hardware wallet (such as a Trezor) and connect it only  briefly for transactions. Otherwise, it should be kept air-gapped and stored in your fireproof gun vault or other fireproof and EMP-resistant metal enclosure, preferably hidden.

Tangibles Investing:

A fascinating video with some amazingly-crisp macro photography: Fake Rolex vs Genuine Rolex: Here’s What To Look For!

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Speaking of fakes, there is this interesting reading on fake antique guns, from Jim Supica, at the NRA museum web site: Fake! Supica cites, among other methods:

  • Aging and modifying a modern reproduction or replica firearm to pass it as an original.
  • Altering a common model to make it appear to be a rare model.
  • Adding modern engraving to an older gun, and passing it as original period engraving.
  • Creating false historical documentation or attribution of historical usage.
  • Altering a firearm to a more valuable configuration – for example, rare barrel length, uncommon finish, special grips or fancy stock, rare caliber.
  • “Upgrading” a low grade gun to resemble a higher grade by the same maker.


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 only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. On guns, stay with what you know and avoid extra features, a old “basic model” gun is worth more than a fake right. If you buy to shoot you don’t need engraving on it, go with non fancy and shoot or invest, simple is safe. The Internet has all the info on serial numbers for most guns do your homework before you buy.

  2. Medicare for all is fools gold.
    We have all seen how the Federal Government has handled the VA for a small and honorable subset of our population.
    Medicare for all busts us out yesterday with hospital closures and lines out the door at clinic emergency rooms.
    There is literally no amount of money that can fix this.

    1. Do you think that Sanders/Warren honestly believe that Medicare for all is doable,or is it just
      a gimmick to get votes? I think only low information dullards would buy into their plan.
      There is an old saying that if you tell the same lie long enough someone will believe it.

      1. Normi, it’s a tough pill to swallow but our Founder’s Republic is gone. Voting cannot restore it.

        In 2012 a whopping 51% voted to RE-ELECT a Marxist! In 2016 Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million voters. Every year now government schools crank out 3.3 million Bolsheviks. Every year more illegal aliens (including children coming of age now) vote for Leftists. At the other side of the equation, every year more conservative voters die than leftists.

        Death of Liberty is baked in the cake. Secession anyone?

        “You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” – -Ayn Rand

    2. I have to disagree with Lee. According to my friend, Jeff, in a letter to the editor this is true about the VA:
      As a Vietnam War combat veteran, it was good, but disappointing to read the Washington Post article in the November 6th Star Tribune: “VA tries to fill hospital positions – 49,000 vacant jobs across the department”. That article reveals the major challenge that the current staff working within the Veterans Administration system of hospitals and clinics face each day, according to the VA Inspector General. And yet, due to the incredible commitment of that limited staff, the VHA still provides the BEST integrated healthcare for veterans in America, compared with the private-sector (2015 Rand Corporation Assessment B study).

      Another study referenced by the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute ( shows that over 85% of the 9 million veterans, who use VHA healthcare services, are satisfied and PREFER the VA system to the private sector…including the private-sector Veteran Community Care Program (VCCP) clinics under the 2018 MISSION Act.

      I am one of those 9 million. The VA has helped me through some difficult times.

      Carry on

  3. Give a listen to the Lance Roberts show. Although I don’t subscribe to his investing style there is a lot of good economic info & general discussion

  4. I may be nitpicking but regarding the article on Commodities. Not sure what expert wrote this intro line but wheat is not a “protein”. It’s a “carbohydrate”. Just sayin’…

    1. In regard to wheat protein what the writer of the article is saying is that protein levels are going to be low. North Dakota and particularly the Red River Valley grows mostly Dark Northern Spring or some call it Hard Red Spring and protein levels in red wheats is everything. U.S. number one DNS must have a protein value of 14%. Scales are in place for discounts or premiums depending on protein level by 1/4 %. You can really take a whipping if you have low protein in red wheats. Protein is important in baking of breads, noodles, pasta, etc.

    1. I agree completely, and just like we all know, “free” isn’t ever free.
      I never cease to be amazed by how naive/ignorant people are to believe that anything is “free”

  5. Many people, including elected ones, have been predicting the collapse of the Social Security system for at least twenty years. And yet…

    As I understand, the federal government is able to borrow (steal?) money from the Social Security nest egg to cover other expenses and/or debts. I have forgotten the details. Perhaps one of you who has better memory retention than I might fill in the blanks.

    The upshot is that on paper, Social Security looks on the verge of collapse, when in reality it is quite solvent. At least I think that is the reality. I could be wrong, and if I am, my goose will be one of those cooked.

    Carry on

  6. Medicare for all will be for you and me, not Sanders and Bernie. They will get the best of care they’ve always received as members of Congress. That gold policy that you and I pay for. Bernie had a heart attack and a short week later he was back on the campaign trail. How’s that for medical coverage? I can’t get that, no matter how much money I have.

  7. On the subject of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, its president, has bragged that he has given over a Billion Dollars to support abortion. I avoid buying their products, which include Dairy Queen, Kraft Foods / Heinz foods, and many others. They also own 9% of CocaCola. 10% of Bank of America, and many more. Full list here:
    On the subject of guns, is ammo too expensive for your AR-15 ? You can convert it to fire .22 LR with a kit. See Cheaper than dirt. If yours is a Blackout 300, you need to switch barrels to use the kit. Natchez has .22 LR for a little as 3 cents a round sometimes, making 10k a little over $300. Now you can afford to practice like you should.

    1. William Don’t-Tell, I applaud your decision to withhold support of Berkshire-Hathaway. However, the tentacles run deeper than the link you posted. They own 100% of Benjamin Moore, a paint I use all the time. Not to mention the 100% of the BNSF railway which is the largest freight carrier in the USA. I think it is an exercise in futility to try to escape the grasp of these giant corporations.

  8. William Don’t-Tell, Not on the link you posted to Berkshire Hathaway, BNSF Railways. 100% owned, largest freight hauler in the US. They haul coal for 10% of all US electricity production. That is a lot of juice.

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