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 some unintended consequences for dairy and beef cattle producers — as well as consumers. (See the Commodities section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold Futures Extend Gains To 8 Year Highs After Pelosi’s Trillion-Dollar Promise

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TDS: ‘gold is looking to solidify north of $1,600/oz’

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Meanwhile, spot silver has been mostly flat. With a silver to gold ratio now at 109-to-1, silver is a screaming buy. That is if you can find any physical silver available for sale.

Economy & Finance:

With a $2.3 trillion buy-in, the central banksters are now entering true Thrashing in Desperation Mode: Fed Is Seizing Control of the Entire U.S. Bond Market

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At Zero Hedge: Credit Suisse Turned To Its Own Rich Clients For Emergency Funding

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At Wolf Street: How Lockdowns Hit U.S. New & Used Vehicle Sales: Beyond Ugly


This news from the cattle market is very discouraging! Feeder Flash 4/6: Worst Nightmare. He recounts how meat packing plants are unable to operate because employees aren’t showing up for work, auction yards have few bidders showing up, and a whole litany of other bad news. JWR’s Comment: If you have any fenced pasture acreage, then this would probably be a good summer to buy a couple of very inexpensive feeder steers to butcher in the fall. Note that with the current high price of hay, it would probably to costly to winter them over, alongside your family  milk cows. That would “eat up the profit.”

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Unintended consequence of closing schools:  Lower milk demand which has led to this: Dairy cattle flood beef markets, putting a pause on local livestock auctions. A quote:

“The ripple effects of COVID-19 continue to crash into the agriculture industry as sale barns struggle to find a fair price for producers.

When restaurants, food service industries, and schools closed, there was a bottleneck as meat, dairy, poultry and other producers tried to reroute distribution back into retail where some stores were struggling to stay stocked.

As dairy processors face an immediate market loss, thousands of gallons of milk are being dumped, and farmers are asked to cut back on production and herd sizes. Dairy cows being sold into the meat market at alarming rates, overwhelming packers who are struggling to keep up with labor demands.”

(Thanks to Arthur for the link.)

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The WSJ reports: Coronavirus Hits Meat Plants as Some Workers Get Sick, Others Stay Home

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Several readers sent this: Farmers are panic-buying to keep America’s 95 million cows fed

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North Sea Oil Faces Crisis

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Oil Prices Tumble After Record Inventory Builds, Collapse In Demand


The Dow Jones Average rallied, this week. JWR Says: Take advantage of these rallies, folks, to unload any shares that are not recession-proof from your stock portfolio.

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Motley Fool: 30 Top Stocks and Funds to Beat the COVID-19 Bear Market

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Stocks Extend Overnight Gains On Slew Of Positive Fauci Comments

Forex & Cryptos:

Robert Romano: The dollar is too strong for the recession that just began, Mr. President

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Swiss Franc and US Dollar moving back to parity? USD/CHF Forecast.

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Bitcoin Cash’s Halving Just Occurred, and Its Price Isn’t Responding

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Bitcoin Dives to $7,000 as S&P 500 Tumbles: Is This It for Crypto Bulls?

Tangibles Investing:

Guns & Ammo reports on a visit to Brownell’s: Pandemic Gun Sales: What’s Hot. Two snippets:

“Strong sales of compact carry guns, and inexpensive guns are selling the best, which is no surprise. Even as I was talking to a local gun dealer, the crowd at the store was busy examining the most affordable pistols and shotguns.”


“Pump guns are selling rapidly. Of the 50 options at listed at Brownells’ website, only a single slide-action model remains in stock. I believe that this is likely due to the pump’s lower price point and reputation for dependability as a worthy home-defense option.”


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. Yesterday, I found a local craigslist ad for quite a bit of silver. Bars and rounds of known mints.
      Average was less than $25.00 ounce. I bought what I could afford out of my “other” funds.
      As a bonus, I met a new friend as we chatted in a parking lot.

      1. That is example of a underground market emerging. Decades ago behind the Iron Curtain, we would not use the currency exchange kiosks to convert dollars into East Germany Marks, or whatever foreign currency, but would find some one on the street to trade dollars at a much more favorable exchange rate. This could be done in many oppressed countries, or countries with unstable currencies. America did not know how good we had it, and it is about to discover how privileged we’ve been, yet no more. Traveling extensively in my youth was an invaluable education. Returning to the U.S. was a bit of shock. Sometimes I think that I should have never returned as I really never fit in again. I still can’t relate to the narrow minded and shallow thinking. Knowing the difference, I could see the direction of the U.S. and the world much clearer than others.

        I knew in the early 1980’s that Asia would become an economic power house because it was planned to happen that way. That Muslims would invade Europe, and the U.S. would become socialist. No one believed me. I see what is happening today as well. I know what it’s like to live in a tyrannical world, a foreign world and know how to adapt.
        Others with similar experiences need to help those without experience avoid trouble. Our enemy is fanatical and tenacious, filled with hate and lust for power that is demonic in nature. It is destroying this country as it would rather rule over the ruins, rather than not rule at all. And there is more to this story….

        1. Here, here, Tunnel Rabbit, I can also attest to the same experience you had with selling dollars behind the Iron Curtain. In the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, living in Poland, our family only sold dollars at private sales transactions to get a better FX rate, the FX rate at the PEKAO commie bank was always less than the actual going rate.

          Unfortunately, you are probably correct with your predictions.

  1. I am so proud that Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture asked the retailers to remove the limit on milk buying and he asked the public to buy lots of real milk to support the dairy industry. He said that there is plenty of milk available, and if we don’t support our dairy industry, it won’t be there when we need it. He is also encouraging people to plant a garden and get chickens.

  2. The only answer, for now, is Farmer to Consumer direct, for as many things as you can find. I just ordered more beef from my local rancher. I don’t really need it right now. But, it goes into the deep freezer, or I will can it up. I’m trying to help keep my local rancher afloat as much as I can. I can share with those in my community who need it, if necessary. Big Gubmint should remove all the ridiculous restrictions on selling direct to the public. I can’t stand hearing that food is being dumped when people go hungry.

    As an aside, turning milk into “farm cheese” or mozzarella is not difficult, and cheese is easily frozen and lasts a long time.

  3. Tunnel Rabbet, thanks for the update on silver. I think there is going to be a lot of crying when people actually realize that the Comex is just a bunch of hot air, as are all the cryptos. Both operate under the bigger fool theory, trading The Emperors New Clothes.

  4. When the stay home started and the stock market dropped, my husband went out to get some silver coins. When he got to our favorite coin store, he said the place was packed and they were already out of dimes. He got what he could, so glad we are not looking now, I am afraid there may not be any left at this time.

  5. Have been able to obtain gold at my local coin shop with no problem as people in need of cash are selling their gold at the shop. Silver can be bought as well at four dollars over spot. The shop is not charging high premiums so far on the gold I have been able purchase from them. I thank them for being very fair in these uncertain times.

  6. Silver coins: I just checked with APMEX, they do have some silver in stock including $100 face value bags of pre-1965 us silver coins, dimes and quarters only. This is at $1692.40 per bag for check or bank wire, more for Bitcoin and more still for credit card or PayPal. There is other stuff available, but the premiums are quite severe. I don’t make anything from APMEX, but I think JWR does, or at least he used to.

    1. Charles K,
      APMEX is where I have bought my PM’s for years.

      I have always been able to get what I wanted from them. Yes it may be higher premium but I stay with who I trust. Yes, I believe you are right, there was a time on this site that APMEX was either recommended or an advertiser. If I recall correctly there was an article a couple years ago regarding different dealers that were trustworthy and there were some mentioned that were investigated or called out for being deceiving or something along that line. I cannot recall all the details but I could probably search it here to pull that particular article.
      (This is one of those instances where I recall fragmented information that comes in handy later on)!

      Rock on

  7. I’ve held some silver for quite a while so when I seen the spot hit the mid $12 range I thought it would be a good buying opportunity… well, not so much. Any physical silver to be found was $7 or more over spot, not exactly a good purchase point. I have noticed as the spot price has began creeping back up the premiums have crept down holding the “real money cost” at the $19 +- range. So while it’s still a panic price it does make me glad to be sitting on a few pounds.

  8. Some of the prices being metioned are if you are buying silver in quantity (100, 500 ozs or more). For smaller quantity buyers you are going to be paying $10 over spot, and that wil likely increase to $12-15 over spot once shipping costs are included. So you are paying about $26-28 per oz. Increase it even more if you are in a state where sales tax is being charged on PMs. If you can find it from a private seller or local coin shop (LCS) who will accept less, go for it. In one way I am excited about the price increase because I view PMs as a store of value and wealth preservation. I am decidedly less excited about why PMs are rising and the current gap between paper and physical pricing has me very concerned about the horrendous tear that is ripping through the US economy.

    On a more positive note we viewed a 30+ acre property this morning with lush fields, a spring fed pond, private well, a workshop, barn and a house with a 4 car garage. The property is fenced and cross fenced for cattle with very sturdy steel bar fencing. We just found out that mineral rights don’t transfer and we are trying to find out who owns them. That could be a deal killer for sure.

    Realtor says banks are still doing FHA and VA loans but investment and traditional mortgage products are all on hold.

    1. Chris, I salute you for your insight.

      I am decidedly less excited about why PMs are rising and the current gap between paper and physical pricing has me very concerned about the horrendous tear that is ripping through the US economy.

      The number of people in pain today will be dwarfed by those hurting economically in a year. I fear we are in for a very rough ride.

      Carry on, in grace

  9. I checked a few internet dealers and saw $19-20-25 for generic 1-oz rounds. NO delivery date quoted. TunnelRabbit’s link was $45/oz, guaranteed 3-day shipping. So there’s the premium for immediate delivery.

  10. One item to consider is that if fake coins continue to grow they may remove much of the value of having silver as bullion coins vs nuggets.

    At some point, it may be necessary to melt silver down to show it is not fake or laden with alloys. If that happens, silver bars at $19/oz may be better deal than coins at $23-$25. Obviously coins are more convenient when used as a medium of exchange.

  11. That’s one reason [circulated pre-1965] “junk silver” is so popular, US minted coins are pretty hard to fake. At the dime and quarter denominations and probably even halfs the ROI on making fakes would be less than 0 unless you were geared up to do hundreds of pounds at a run.

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