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 Bitcoin volatility. (See the Forex & Cryptos section.)

Precious Metals:

For those of you who took my advice and bought rhodium: This current spike to $10,000 per ounce is a good time to sell. As always: Buy low, and sell high.

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Greyerz: The Crisis Will Sink Stocks And Propel Gold

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: Covid-19 Contagion – An “Unprecedented” Moment For Our Hyper-Connected Planet

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Reuters: Electric dream: Britain to ban new petrol and hybrid cars from 2035

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At Wolf Street: Median CPI Runs Hot, Fed Averts Eyes


OilPrice News reports on cesium: The Metal Trump Wants More Than Gold

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Oil Traders Could Lose Big On Coronavirus Panic

Grabby Governments:

Reader DSV sent this: Government agents seized $181,500 in cash at airport and won’t give it back

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Migration to Low‐​Tax States Continues. A quote from the article’s intro:

“The Census Bureau has released estimates of state population changes between July 2018 and July 2019. One component of population changes is migration between the states. The new Census data show that Americans are continuing to move from high‐​tax to low‐​tax states.

This Cato study examined interstate migration using IRS data and found that people are moving, on net, from tax‐​punishing places such as California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey to tax‐​friendly places such as Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The Census data confirms the trends.”

Forex & Cryptos:

British Pound (GBP) Latest: Edging Ahead, 1.30 and Above in Sight for GBP/USD

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CFTC Commitments of Traders: Euro shorts continue to build

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Compare these two headlines that were just a few hours apart: Bitcoin Price Stabilizing Above $10K With $11.6K Futures Gap in Sight. — and — Bitcoin Plummets to $9,700 in Violent Selloff After Breaking Below a Key Level. JWR’s Comment:   Be prepared for more volatility in the cryptos, folks. Be wise and prudent. DO NOT make cryptos more than 5% of your investing portfolio. If you can’t afford to lose it all, then do not invest in cryptos. Increasing government interference (read: regulation and taxation) is impossible to predict.

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What Pushed Bitcoin Up 65% in 2 Months? Top Fund Manager Explains. A snippet:

“Novogratz elaborated by citing the low interest rates established by central banks across the world and “people pumping in money,” most likely referencing the attempts by central banks to inject capital into their markets through open market operations, thus increasing demand for stocks and other assets, Bitcoin included.”

Tangibles Investing:

With the prediction of Wuhan coronavirus spreading in CONUS, I can foresee that cocooning might boost the prices of compact collectibles that can be handled via mail order. Let’s face it:  If people are cocooned at home, then they won’t be out in shopping malls.  The auction houses selling fine wristwatches, rare coins, antique guns, and other rarities will probably do well in the next three years. Airlines and cruise ship lines? Not so much.


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. In regards to the government seizing $181,500 …. what else can we really expect at this point in time. Cops steal more from citizens every year than the criminals do!!!

      1. No it is absolutely true. The government will take everything. Inbetween the assets from crime that are taken and just the amount of money taken for debts the government is the biggest procurer of your stuff.

        Just look at child support.

        Miss a payment it gets processed at fee… Then the fee gets added to the principal…with another fee added on … Then interest is figured on the total up to then.

        Miss two then it’s the whole process as before plus the new added balance then new fees then new fees on top of that added to the balance then interest applied.

        The interest rate is upwards of 35% btw.

        If this scheme wasn’t done by government there would be arrests made.

        Same for its.
        Same for tickets.

        When you add the total up even conservatively speaking it is more money and property than the total amount taken by crime

        When my dad died he owed for child support to the tune of almost a million dollars (child support was figured on 50k a year or 50% of his salary he was laid off judge refused to lower it stating he had not been laid off long enough.. so it grew)…. Any way when he died I was sent a form that informed me if I was to take possession of any of his licensed property I’d also take possession of his child support debt. Which is hilarious as 2 out of the three kids he was paying for were living with him…. And they wanted to charge me for the money that was owed to the state on my mother’s behalf to support me when I hadn’t lived with her since I was 11… At the time he died I was 28….

        So yup they is some serious thievery going on.

      2. I just got to get in on this one…

        Property Tax missed = property seizure. If you don’t leave your property that you paid for over 30 years of blood, sweat and tears = SWAT forceful removal.

        Income Tax missed = interest + penalties till death if you don’t pay
        401K/403B cashed in before retirement age = about 30% skimmed off the top to Uncle Sam
        Tickets and registration fees not paid = Boat, Car, Airplane, Snowmobile, Jet ski, et al. impounded and/or severe penalty.
        Sales tax not paid = no merchandise for you.
        Missed Child support = heavy handed harassment from a women slanted court system (A woman just got off on statutory rape of her student yesterday-a man in that same courty room… NO WAY IN H he’d get off).
        Parking tickets not paid = no registration next year for your auto.
        Traffic ticket ignored = warrant for your arrest.
        Miss a court date = jail or exuberant bond paid for your freedom till the next court date.
        Don’t have a tool tag = fines, fees, levies come in the mail tied to your vehicle registration address.
        HOA fines not paid = lien on your home and fines, penalties, and court dates with attorney is in order.
        Have over 10 rounds in your magazine in some states = guns confiscated and jail time.
        Red Flag law enacted on you = guns confiscated immediately without due process of law.

        Baring criminal activity… these are things which should be obliterated from our society….

        The list can go on and on….

      3. Sorry, it is true. In aggregate, federal, state, county, municipal; government agents seize more money and valuables than thieves do. I don’t much see the difference between government thieves and criminal thieves, or am I repeating the obvious.

        1. Charles K,you are in far more danger from government thieves than non-governmental thieves,I will direct you to the video of a chicago cop slamming a handcuffed citizen(subject) head first into a concrete curb,crushing his skull,brain damage,loss of an eye then refusing to call a ambulance for SEVERE injuries,picked him up(with head/neck injuries!) threw him into a squad car and dumped him at a hospital claiming he attacked the officer(completely refuted by video of incident). Thug with badge not prosecuted for any of his felonies.

          1. I agree. Official thuggery can be, far and away, more dangerous than the criminal class. At least with the criminal class you know what you are dealing with. With the government sanctioned thugs, you just never know. And what does the supreme court (state and federal) say: “That’s OK!”

  2. On February 17, 2011, silver was $30.61 an ounce. A $1000 investment would have bought you roughly 32 ounces. As of this morning, that investment would now be worth $568.

    On February 17, 2011, Bitcoin was hovering around $1 and that same $1000 would have bought you roughly 1,000 Bitcoins. As of this morning, that investment would now be worth 9.624 MILLION dollars.

      1. Books! Yes. Real, page turning books.
        While I have a pretty extensive library in digital form, it would be a sad day if I had to leave my books behind.

        That reminds me, I’m going over to order a survivalblog stick of knowledge.

      2. Well exactly power goes out you lose Bitcoin….

        But until the power goes out it is a semi chaotic but almost guaranteed increase commodity.

        Look at it like this ….

        If you buy gold for long term wealth assurance (and you should) or silver for possible grid down batter (and you should) then your money and buying power is locked in and safe (barring government confiscation laws which have happened before)

        But if you invest some (some not all don’t go crazy) in bit coin (as an additional resource) you can actually grow grow your money amount.

        Which comes in handy.

        Ok so let’s say gold is 1500 per ounce. Let’s say bit coin is 5000 per coin.

        If you buy an 1500 dollars worth of gold and it doubled in value (not likely but I could happen eventually) you now have the ability to sell it all at once and have a whopping 3000 dollars.

        If you buy 1500 dollars of bit coin and the value doubles (very likely) you now have 3000 dollars.

        It ends up the same …. Well yes and no.

        In the above scenario if your gold doubles and you sell it the most you can do is replace it with the same amount.

        If you bought the 1500 and it turned into 3000 and you sold 1500(or what ever the ounce price is at the time) of it and then bought gold you would have one ounce of gold plus enough bit coin left over to let grow.

        It is literally a free ounce of gold.

        If you look at it from that point it is worth considering. Especially as it is guaranteed to keep or increace value.

        Yes it will disappear if grid goes down. But until grid goes down it increases your buying and saving power.

        Saying it’s worthless to consider is like saying it’s worthless to plant crops because eventually the will rot or to say why prepare we all die eventually anyway.

        1. While I agree with you in principle, and I have a friend who bought Bitcoin at around $200… I don’t have money to invest in intangibles. That includes the stock market and I keep very little imaginary money in the bank. I just don’t have a lot to leave there, and it will go away as well, under certain circumstances. Food storage, paying off my home, a safe car to drive, and providing an education for my kids takes up most of it. $10 each payday for junk silver is my only financial indulgence. OH, and bacon. I keep a freezer full of bacon 😉

          1. You can never go wrong with bacon!

            And if you have no disposable income you don’t have it. I was there too. I had 3 daughters and a wife and a dog. Focusing on tangibles is good and sounds like your keeping things going on your end and that is commendable.

            And again bacon is always a good thing!

  3. I look at bitcoin like I look at Tulip-mania…oh wait a minute…sorry I can’t see feel touch or even taste bitcoin.

    OK I look at Bitcoin like I look at tangible investments if you don’t or CAN’T hold it physically you don’t own it!

    1. Right now it is worth putting some dedicated I can lose this money into.

      It is guaranteed by the fact that it is the default currency for illegal trade. And while it continues to be its value is assured. It is also limited in overall total supply.

      Which means uninterrupted it’s a “nice” and relatively good short to mid term investment item.

  4. Seizures of assets (cash or other assets) and civil forfeiture broadly must be addressed, and Americans must be Constitutionally protected. These actions are outrageous, and lack any form of wisdom, discernment or the engagement of any meaningful and appropriate law enforcement activity. It’s thuggery, plain and simple.

  5. Re Cesium:

    When I went to Navy boot camp in 1982 I was surprised that there was actually a fair amount of classroom training. Most of it was boring and I could not tell you what it was. One lesson sticks in my mind though.

    The lesson was the very basic why did the Navy exist? What was it’s purpose? The answer was to keep sea lanes open. Why? Partly because at that time the US economy required 70 items that the US did not produce or did not produce in sufficient quantities to remain functional. At the time a big one was oil. I also remember tungsten being on the list I think. Most of the list was stuff I did not recognize. A number of things to make metal alloys dominated the list I seem to remember. Cesium was also likely on the list I bet.

    All countries are always reliant on other countries for if not survival than prosperity. This is one of the source for both cooperation and war depending on the situation. We will get the resources we need. We have to and so does everyone else. That is why countries have diplomats AND militaries.

    1. Saw this too about the quarantine of cash… There is a reference to the use of UV light, and we wonder why this is not being more widely used in hospitals even now. We have the opportunity to speak with front line health care professionals OFTEN, and they consistently have no idea what we’re talking about when we ask if UV light is being used as part if their cleaning and sterilization protocols to prevent the spread of infection. It’s one of many experiences that reinforces our concerns as a family about training and knowledge deficits among healthcare professionals. As the adult child of a physician and surgeon (now deceased), a person who has worked closely with top shelf clinicians and researchers professionally – and published as a first author in peer reviewed publications, a patient who suffered serious consquences associated with surgical infection, and the parent of a medically fragile adult, I come to this subject with tremendous depth of information, perspective and experience. It’s a tough one.

    2. It is a move toward a cashless society. Forced vaccinations and removal of cash for the sake of health will be use to justified by this pandemic, and it will be tried here as well….They be offer a crypto currency…

  6. It seems strange that we all read the first comment of the day and if it is blatantly false there are few if any replies.

    Derogatory and untrue statements about any ethnic,religious,or lifestyle group would be met with outrage and banned and rightly so.

    Silence on a miss deed can be seen as agreement. Those that protect us from harm deserve
    better than quite acceptance of a lie.

    1. I replied to you above. But don’t think I’m anti cop. I love my peace officers. And I hate that the have gone from peace officers to the paramilitary enforcement brach of the government. But that’s what happens when the public acts the way it does.

    2. I have to disagree with your premise, As an adult I find banning and censorship by someone playing God to be un acceptable. I will decide what I want to say, listen to, eat, drink, or read. Censorship is only acceptable to me if it is parental.

    3. Unfortunately, the police, as well as other government agencies, often are the means by which the government steals from the public. Don’t blame the police, they are just the muscle used to enforce payment. Miss a payment, you get the equivalent of two broken legs. It is the so-called “lawmakers” who decree who is to be extorted and how much to extort from each citizen. It is the same exact system used by the mafia, the drug cartels and all other organized crime. It has just been imposed on us by ‘legal means’.

  7. NormlChuck. I assume it is Big Mike’s comment to which you are referring. I assume he was engaging in a bit of hyperbole. However, participation of law enforcement in the confiscation of property of anyone that hasn’t been accused of, much less convicted of, a crime is deplorable. Perhaps it is more so because it is being done by those “that (are supposed to) protect us from harm.” And, if the default excuse is just following orders of politicians we decided that was not acceptable when we executed German and Japanese soldiers for doing just that.
    I agree that “silence on a miss deed (sic) can be seen as agreement.” But that applies to the police as well. When “good” police officers overlook, or remain silent regarding, the misdeeds of “bad” police officers they are no longer “good.”
    Both former military officer and former reserve police officer…if it matters.

  8. Misinformation will always be with us, it’s way too sexy for people and they flock to it. As Simon and Garfunkle used to sing, “All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…” WHO can have all the conferences they want, they’ll never contain it anymore than China is containing the coronavirus.

    My favorite quote: “You cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reason himself into.” — Jonathan Swift. That’s why it is pointless to argue religion and politics.

    People read things and they accept them emotionally instead of reading further and researching them in depth, coming to a well-thought out conclusion. That’s not what we humans do. If it were so, all the different news outlets wouldn’t exist and thrive. There would just be one called 🙂

    So misinformation is never going away regardless of how many meetings WHO and Facebook hold.

  9. The problem of asset forfeiture is well-known, and criticism of it shouldn’t be shocking to those people who value their freedoms. Here’s a WaPo article detailing IJ’s research into asset forfeiture, indicating that police now take more from the citizenry than non-government thieves do.

    So saying that police steal more than criminals do is just the plain truth, not hyperbole.

  10. Telesilla of Argos, I have worked in the surgical suite my entire career around UV light sterilization. It is utilized mainly in the Ortho suites. Protocols have changed with usage through the years. It comes with a price tag of severe eye and skin burns , and I have to wonder how much increased risk of cataracts later in life those that worked in those rooms will have. Yes, there are PPE protocols with these rooms, but as it has been discussed on this site, PPE is not perfect. There are different types of sterilization utilized throughout the hospital setting. None of them can be utilized for every piece of equipment. High pressure steam sterilization, or chemical sterilization etc. would probably destroy paper money, or at the very least make it hard to handle afterwards. I would not be surprised if some of that money was very dirty, or encrusted, that it would not really be considered sterile after going through the UV process.

  11. Telesilla of Argos,

    We had UV lights in our ICU for years, they hung on the wall with a metal cover that only allowed the UV rays to face up, we could not really see the light. They then removed them from all the rooms about 10 years ago stating that research showed they could hurt our eyes. They were really helpful in destroying molecules that hung in the air for longer periods of time, but decided to remove them based on that research. Everybody is afraid of being sued these days especially corporations.

    1. Hello TXNurse and sewNurse – Your perspectives and experiences are much appreciated. I have a special affection for health care professionals, even as I am deeply concerned at multiple levels about the deterioration of health care as an industry. I would add that my concerns in this regard extend beyond health care, and encompass broader trends that cover a lot of “human territory”. You point out yet another issue in addition to the concern I raised earlier, and an important question: how to provide protections for both patients and health care professionals from antibiotic resistant infection which has become an increasingly difficult challenge. There are many branches of this conversational tree — all good ones, and I send thanks for your replies!

  12. Too many people complain about taxes. Every state collects taxes, some more some less. I’ve always looked at it as a good thing if I’m paying lots of taxes as it means I’m making lots of money. The big question is what do you get for your taxes. I live in a higher tax state, but I make more money than I would in a lower tax state (I worked in the midwest for 13 years, loved the quality of life, made quite a bit less), my son was able to get a good education at a public high school, my son was able to attend and graduate with latin honors from a top 25 engineering school that happen to be a state university with in-state tuition. He could not have been at the top of his engineering class if his high school education was lacking. I’m 25 miles from some of the best healthcare in the country. Any location is trade-offs. See link below to see where your state ranks in taxes.

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