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 land price forecasts for 2020. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Why gold and oil will be real winners of 2020 – Wells Fargo

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Commerzbank: Loose monetary policy to lift gold in 2020. A snippet from the article:

“‘We envisage an increase to $1,550 per troy ounce by the end of 2020,’ the bank said. ”The high optimism among speculative financial investors and the subdued demand in Asia will initially preclude any higher prices, so we expect to see the lion’s share of the upswing in the second half of the year.”

Prospects for the yellow metal are ‘positive,’ the bank said.

‘Monetary policy pursued by the major central banks will remain ultra-loose next year,’ analysts said. ‘Admittedly, the U.S. Fed ruled out any further rate cuts. All the same, they are not entirely off the table, and are still more likely than rate hikes.'”

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The real gold price rally hasn’t even started yet, says analyst who called $1,500

Economy & Finance:

Reader H.L. sent this sobering news that a manufacturing recession may be beginning: An American trucking giant is slated to declare bankruptcy — and it may leave more than 3,200 truck drivers stranded and jobless

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At Zero Hedge: “The Fed Was Suddenly Facing Multiple LTCMs”: BIS Offers A Stunning Explanation Of What Really Happened On Repocalypse Day

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At Wolf Street: When Losses Don’t Matter: How Japanese Conglomerate Mitsubishi Blows Billions on a Jet Nobody Really Wants


Copper to see modest demand growth in 2020, but risks loom: analyst

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OilPrice News reports: OPEC+ Agrees To Deeper Output Cuts

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Battery metals: market outlook for 2020


At Zero Hedge: Where The Rich Are Getting Richer – Mapping America’s 200 Wealthiest Counties. Here is a quote:

Wealth inequality has erupted across the country over the last decade as the Federal Reserve’s policy of ramping asset prices to the moon has widely failed to distribute wealth evenly. If you want to figure out where all the money went on a geographical basis, Bloomberg has published a new report that shows the 200 wealthiest counties in the US.

It’s no secret by now that asset holders (those who own real estate, stocks, bonds, classic cars, wine, and fancy artwork) were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s unconventional money printing.

The homeownership rate has crashed to decade lows; at least half of Americans work in low wage jobs; most people don’t own stocks and bonds, and at least half of Americans have less than $500 in savings.

So the flow of wealth from the Fed’s aggressive easing policy went to the limited few, those who hold assets, we call the top 10%.”

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USDA: Income and Wealth in Context

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LeftistAgendaPedia: Political party strength in U.S. states

Forex & Cryptos:

Pound Sterling Election Forecast: Market Expects a Conservative Majority but Hung Parliament Could Drop to 1.28 vs Dollar

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Weekly Euro Forecast: December ECB Meeting Caps Off Quiet Year

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Why There Remains a Case For a $4,200 Bitcoin (BTC) in 2020

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Denmark-based cryptocurrency users have received letters from the Danish tax agency, Skattestyrelsen (Skat), requesting full background of all their crypto transactions.

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Ugandan Police Hold Director of Alleged $2.7M Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Tangibles Investing (Land Price Forecasts):

AgWeb posted this, last week Farmland Price Outlook

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Next year will be hard on the housing market, especially in these big cities


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. “Indiana trucking company bankruptcy the tip of the iceberg for strained industry” [Fox Business ~ INDUSTRIES Published 10 days ago]

    “Trade tariffs, as well as slowdowns in a variety of markets, including housing and auto, contributed to the drop, Broughton had told FOX Business. He predicted companies would continue to fail into 2020 because of the weak pricing environment.”

    “Additional pain for the industry could be coming next year in the form of labor laws designed to protect contracted workers from being misclassified. In California, for example, starting in January a law will go into effect that will make it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors, which the California Trucking Association has said could put 70,000 owner-operators in the state out of work. The group has sued to prevent the law from taking effect.”

    “New Jersey is considering similar presumption-of-employment status legislation, which has caused alarm among the state’s trucking industry, as well.”

  2. I suspected the headline on Trucking was #FakeNews, and, from the article:

    “However, the source of Celadon’s troubles dates back further than 2019. On Dec. 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former Celadon executives following a multi-year accounting scandal. The alleged fraud resulted in shareholder loss of more than $60 million”.

  3. After looking over the CNBC article about the major cities’ housing woes to come I got sucked into another on that site about a 42 year old who had retired at 34 with $3 million and 250k per year in passive income – AND LAMENTING THAT HE COULDN’T AFFORD TO LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO ON THAT INCOME! Oh, the horror! An unplanned child, 24k per year for health insurance (but he thinks it’s his responsibility to pay more for others who are not healthy or have insurance), 30k per year for private KINDERGARTEN.
    Here’s the link if anyone needs someone to feel sorry for:
    The point is that he is totally clueless about the reasons why he has to get another job.

  4. Just out of curiosity I would like to understand why the price of crude is up to about sixty one dollars a barrel,but the price at the pump is down twelve cents a gallon.
    I know that in the big cities fuel prices are always high.Here in the boondocks the price drop is noticeable.
    Does anyone out there have an answer or is it just one of life’s great mysteries?

    1. Pump prices depend on so much more than crude prices. State taxes is the single largest factor in most states. Distance from production is a big factor especially in the NW. I just came back from a trip to Florida (Disney World) and the Florida gas price is a buck cheaper!!! then my home state of Oregon.

    2. NormlChuck, its simple economics sir: the price of wheat goes up, the price of bread goes up …if the price of wheat goes down then the price of bread goes up again … economics tries to explain this phenomenon. That is if you believe in fairy tales and any of Hillary Clinton’s claims of honesty … sorry sir I just needed to spread some humor …

    3. I can’t relate to cheaper gas prices in the boonies. I consistently see cheaper prices anywhere I go that is not Fremont County, WY – the extra 30 cents/gal is a real poke in the eye. Every local store does the same thing – gouges us for their 30-300% premium upcharge for the privilege of doing business locally. When wages and salaries average 35% BELOW major market salaries the double-slam makes it very apparent that a few families are not struggling, but most are barely keeping themselves above water.
      LT. Mike – Or you can consider the price of plywood during hurricane season. Every year it skyrockets, but after the seasonal rush it never seem to get back down to where it was before.

  5. RE: Celadon,it was mainly a border to border NAFTA carrier that was looted by insiders. They followed the script of Jevic a decade ago in putting loads on the road when they knew they were shutting down(closing facilities,canceling fuel cards) and stranding drivers(they will not get paid)and trying to assure shippers and receivers that loads will get delivered. Being in the busiest shipping area in the country and not far from Celedons home ,I found the thousands of job ads for drivers did not change ,only a very few recruited for this huge pool of drivers(low skilled,inexperienced?) immediately available to work. Are a lot of those ads phony to drive a driver shortage meme,drive down wages/rates?

  6. There are two problems in the trucking industry:
    1. Over the last 30-40 years or so a handful of recent immigrants bought or created a trucking company using money they had when they immigrated. Millions and perhaps billions of dollars that were essentially laundered, they paid no taxes on that money and it was ghost money. This put them in a powerful position in the industry when compared with other American trucking companies.
    2. Hiring immigrants, many of the immigrant drivers aren’t citizens and some are in fact here illegally. They work for a lot less than the typical union driver does. And not coincidently many/most of these cheap labor drivers work for the same companies described in #1 above. Massive uncontrolled Immigration is putting Americans out of business.

    If you want to get your eyes opened spend a little time at a truck stop on any of the major trucking highways. About half of the drivers are foreigners and many cannot yet speak English.

    1. Anon – A lot of the foreign immigrants I have met have a better work ethic than English-speaking Americans. They are used to working harder for more hours each day and week than those union drivers, and they are doing it without complaint to improve the lives of their family. Many union, and non-union, drivers would rather sit at home and complain instead of just doing the job they signed up for.
      The problem isn’t immigrants taking Americans’ jobs, or union vs. non-union. It is that many Americans have an entitlement mentality these days and think that they deserve to be paid 100k/year to flip burgers.

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