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 big surge in gun-buying in the United States. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Arkadiusz Sieroń: Will Gold Decline As Economies Gradually Reopen?

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Update #2: $3K To $20K Gold Coming? These Pundits (Now 34) Think So!

Economy & Finance:

At the TaxProf Blog: Colleges Face 15%-20% Drop In Enrollment; S&P Lowers Credit Rating Of 25% Of Colleges

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Commercial Real Estate Already Gets Hit in Europe: Prices for Retail Properties Plunge, Office Prices Sink

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At The Daily Bell:  What happens when you cancel rent, mortgages, and debt? (Thanks to both H.L. and Mike, who sent the link.)


At Wolf Street: Bone-Chilling WTF Charts of the Collapse in US Demand for Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and Diesel

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Nick Cunningham of OilPrice News asks: Is This The End Of The LNG Boom?



At Zero Hedge: “Mission Accomplished”? Nasdaq Composite Surges Into Green For 2020

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Seeking Alpha: 15% Downside For The S&P 500

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Another from Seeking AlphaYou Can’t Have A Sucker’s Rally Without Foolish Buyers

Debts & Deficits:

US National Debt Spiked by $1.5 trillion in 6 Weeks, to $25 trillion. Fed Monetized 90%

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Deficit to soar to nearly $4T as economy buckles, CBO says

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According to a “progressive” think tank: States Need Significantly More Fiscal Relief to Slow the Emerging Deep Recession.  JWR’s Comments: The included charts look scary. Many States look like they will go insolvent. Oh, and by the way, Whenever I see the words “progressive policy”, I take that to mean:  “People who what to make progress at emptying my wallet, under color of law.”

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States Are in a Quandary as Taxes Evaporate and Virus Spending Soars

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Many States are in budget trouble, but with its economy dependent on tourism, Nevada is particularly problematic:  ‘Largest budget deficit:’ State, local revenue projections show steep shortfalls

Forex & Cryptos:

Long term fundamentals for the U.S. dollar have deteriorated: Standard Chartered

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There has been some recent trading turbulence for the USD/CHF pair. (JWR’s Comments: Trading is generally more stable. I suspect that with the recent huge increases in US Treasury debt, the Swiss Franc will come out on top, by this time next year.  For any SurvivalBlog readers who chronically hold a positive PayPal balance, keep in mind that you can convert that to Swiss francs (CHF), with just a couple of mouse clicks.)

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Tunisia issues central bank digital currency

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Bitcoin Hits $9.3K as S&P 500 Heads for Another Winning Session

Tangibles Investing:

New FBI Data Suggests Americans Bought 4.2 Million Guns in March and April 2020. JWR’s Comment:   Next, they’ll be looking for ammunition and full capacity magazines.  I hope that my readers have stocked up, because there are bound to be shortages.

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No wonder that there is growing demand for rural properties: How remote work rose by 400% in the past decade . And that report was before the pandemic “stay home” orders!


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 4.2 Million Guns – I think that at least as likely as the new owners buying ammo and full capacity magazines is the prospect of that these firearms end up in the pawn shops of America as the buyers, who made a panic buying decision, now need to liquidate their useless purchase (no riots in the streets/this thing is over) for cash as they struggle in the economic disaster that is the fallout of COVID.

    1. JSW,

      Many probably will but I don’t think the majority will. Events like this have a tendency to change people. The Great Depression imprinted my grandmother to wash and re-use pieces of aluminum foil, bread bag ties and a host of other things the current generation would just chuck into a recycling bin. Many of us are making decisions about Post-Covid society when we are not even halfway through the event. If the “Threat” of covid19 turned liberal to exercise their 2A rights that is a powerful force, that we didn’t see with Y2K and Ofer events. Perhaps this will have been an eduction for them and they realize the gun they bought won’t jump up and start shooting itself. Time will tell.

  2. Incomprehensible to me that people would return after purchasing, yet I know people who return the generator after a storm. Getting tougher to do that around here, must be a reason. Lots of people think differently than those that read this site. Stay safe and be ready for what may come.

    1. The generator cycle happens every hurricane in FL. The only excuse I’ll grant is that if you don’t have room to store a generator, but then you also likely also don’t have room to run it safely in the first place.

  3. My son and his business partner ‘own’ 25 rental units. I’m really concerned about how this will all play out for them. In April only one tenant failed to pay but my son was more concerned about May.

    We’ll see what happens, but it seems to me you can only kick the can down the road so far.

  4. On the digital currency push…

    This is a movement that will be pushed hard.
    Will probably be passed.

    There is a quote about that from Aaron Russo where he is talking about a conversation that he had with a Rockefeller.

    He (Russo) was told that the goal or agenda was to get a digital currency controlled by central banks in place. The reason that the Rockefeller gave was then the money supply of the agitators could be removed with a click. And pushing for RFID chips to track movement in the form of real Id… This was spoken of in a documentary that was released in 2007 and at that time the conversation happened a few years prior. It’s also interesting to note that in that same conversation it was called out that the USA would make military and political pressure “we are gonna go in to”
    At the time the first 3 were easy prediction but…

    Pres. Trump announced his intention to move against Brazil in his state of the Union address.

    It’s also interesting to note that the RFID was dropped from the real id around the time that smart phones became big in the market sectors.
    Also at around that time (at least in my little town) there was gov’ment sponsored finger print and dna collection going on.
    The official purpose was for identifying a kidnapped or killed child (safety for the kids right)

    You would get multiple cards with the kids picture (taken and updated yearly) finger prints, address, name of parents, and phone numbers.

    The idea is one or two were kept by the parents, one or more would be attached to kid either in back pack purse wallet etc.

    The permission slip for this service included parental authorization to access the DNA sample and put it in data base accessable by law enforcement local state and federal.

    Interesting also this was around the time that cash for clunkers was enacted. Which also was at the time that most new cars purchased had some form of OnStar in them.
    You remember the OnStar adverts where the police ended the car chase by shutting down the vehicle remotely?

    1. The fingerprinting kids thing has been done for ages, I had that done myself some 30 years ago.

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter because the government has much more info about me these days than just some old fingerprints. If you ever served in the military they’ve got all this info on you already, hate to break it to you.

      1. Since last reply was removed I will post it like this.

        The point of my post was that the digital currency is quite literally the last link in the last chain. The system of things has expanded at a very slow rate in fact it’s been barely perceptible.

        As of right now less than 10% of our money floating in circulation is in tangible form. And the non tangible money is and has literally been created out of thin air.

        And at every step of the way the public at large has either

        Failed to connect the dots or
        Failed to see it or
        Actively encouraged it.

        This officially created digital money has been attempted in the USA. Infact it was recently defeated by a Congres man who was vilified for it. It was almost flown in under the radar.

        When this digital money goes through you had better hope that you don’t get seen as a problem or else you will have 0 money. And since hard cash will be gone you had better hope you can bargain [in barter] for what you want cuz you will not be able to even sell gold as all money transfers will be blocked.

        And the public will embrace this because they will be told that it’s good for stopping viruses (ultimate tracking of infected, not physical exchange) good against criminals (trackability, able to be shut off) and convenient (most people already get paid by check hardly any one by cash from boss, a majority already have direct deposit)

        1. The other way that they’ll sell people on digital currency is that it will end most street crimes and all traditional (“at gunpoint”) bank robberies.

        2. The only job I ever had that paid in cash was aboard a USN ship 1968-70. A lone table with a stack of cash and an armed individual to make sure no one got any ideas. The first guy would mark down the amount you wanted to leave on the books and/or take in cash. The next guy would count out the cash, hand it to a third guy for recount, and then it would be handed to the recipient.

  5. FOREX/CRYPTOS: Bitcoin Hits $9.3K
    Fool(noun) A person who acts unwisely or imprudently.
    Fool(verb) Trick or deceive.Dupe
    Fool(adjective) Silly

  6. Re: States Need More…

    Hospitals need more … despite most being empty because elective procedures are limited and numerous medical workers are laid off and beds for coronavirus never even came close to estimates.

    More unemployment is needed … despite numerous grocery and other “essential” stores begging for more workers in signs, over the radio and even to shoppers over the intercom in my region. Many laid off workers are making more money right now than they normally do because of the combination of government stimulus and normal unemployment. A good friend of mine’s daughter was recently laid off and sees no need to search for work because her income has temporarily increased…despite her parent’s chagrin and disgust. There are millions like her and this is yet another threat to small business reopening. They may not be able to attract employees until this nonsense is fixed.

    States rainy day funds are inadequate … despite record revenues for the last few years that were spent on useless things and in many cases increased regulatory power.

    I could go on and in but the point is clear. Never let a crisis go to waste.

  7. What difference does it make if gold soars to $3000 or $20,000 if the spending value of the dollar is still only as good as it was when gold as at $800 or $1500? If you have to (or choose to) liquidate your PM holdings at the higher amounts, they’ll still barely buy a loaf of bread or a megapack of toilet paper.

    1. What difference? Arbitrage. Typically something that makes gold or silver double over night also makes real estate and other real goods drop in value by half. In these cases it doesn’t really matter where the dollar goes If you have $50K in gold and silver and the value doubles while at the same time housing prices drop by half you get to buy a $200K house for $50K. Not bad. Big difference.

      1. Funny thing is, gold and silver DIDN’T soar overnight. Just the opposite. I have posted this story many times.

        I had some items in my shopping cart at a fairly reputable PM company whom I have been purchasing from for years. I was waiting for a price point that I felt comfortable buying at. At around $18 an ounce, the cost of the items in my cart was about $1600. When things started getting crazy, I watched the spot price of silver plummet to a low of $12.35 an ounce. Yet the cost of the items in my cart soared to over $2100. I was told that it was because of premiums. But I’m betting that they were still selling from the stock they had prior to the drop in price, so I wasn’t buying their story, or their silver.

        1. ALL of the dealers prices climbed substantially while the spot price fell. Did you stop to think that maybe the spot price was an illusion?

          Something (anything) is only worth what someone is willing to give you for it. If you want to know what the value of an ounce of silver or gold REALLY is – take a look at eBay. I’m not talking about the asking prices. Take a look at the auctions with bids – especially the ones ending soon. It won’t take you very long to figure out what the REAL bid price is.

    2. Worst case, PM’s hold their value; best case, they appreciate at a rate significantly in excess of inflation when the dollar fails.

    3. And there you have it, folks. Digital, paper, or precious metal currency is worth only what the seller and buyer decide. No intrinsic value.

      Now a shovel…

      Carry on in grace

      1. Digital and paper have no intrinsic value, unless it’s toilet paper. Silver, gold and platinum, besides being a store of wealth, have plenty of other uses in jewelry, art and industry. All of your electronics rely on them and in some cases there is no substitute.

  8. Floyd Lloyd: It is likely that some type of monetary reset is in the near future. The U.S dollar
    will be replaced by what is yet to be determined.
    In my opinion pre-1964 U.S. coins will work for bartering goods and services.
    Gold will maintain yours and your offsprings wealth. It will also be the corner
    stone of any new system.
    Take look at the governments and central banks that have been hoarding gold.

  9. I predict Silver prices will drop for awhile. Unemployed folks are out on vacation enjoying the extra $2400 per month added to their salary.

    We oldsters are getting our various incomes and not spending as much, staying ‘home’.

    The small businesses are sadly collapsing by the thousand, afflicting mostly hard working conservative families.

    If you want to invest in saving our society, consider giving extra to the small businesses, even if their doors are closed.

    Bears taking over the stock market.

    Hard times coming after the unemployment runs out after the election. More sacrifices ahead. Next year, hyperinflation…..and silver will be good to counter it then.

    Keep planting food. Network with local small producers. Stock up on barter items. Place food and meat orders with small farmers to get them in late summer.

    Prepare for shortages of canning jars this summer. Order them now. Watch for good used appliances like freezers and refrigerators on sale this summer, and both pressure and water bath canners.

    God Bless

  10. Re: Ammo shortages. We’re already seeing them, both locally in my area, and in some online retailers such as Cheaper Than Dirt and Palmetto State Armory, at least in common calibers. A local range is only selling ammo to be used on the range, as they are running into shortages from their suppliers, and last I checked CTD and PSA were Winchester on some calibers, or at least significantly limited in selection.

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