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 imminent return of Necco candy wafers. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Alasdair Macleod: The Path To Monetary Collapse

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Another great video by Mike Maloney: This Is The End: How & When Deflation Turns To Hyperinflation

Economy & Finance:

H.L. mentioned this piece at Zero Hedge: US Banks On Hook For $150 Billion In “Frozen Loans” As Millions Of Americans Skip Credit Card And Car Payments

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At Wolf Street: Week 9 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market: Still Getting Worse at a Gut-Wrenching Pace

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Another: Canadian Home Sales See Worst April Since 1984, Montreal And Toronto Lead Lower

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Third Mega-Crisis in 12 Years: Eurozone Economy Plunges at Fastest Rate on Record


Meat industry in turmoil as prices soar

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OilPrice News reports: Big Oil’s Best Survival Strategy

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The outlook for commodity markets, and the effects of coronavirus, in six charts


Next, over at Seeking Alpha: 50 Worst S&P 500 Performers Since Stock Market Bottom

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Is the Market Still Overvalued?

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10 Stocks to Buy to Weather the Recession

Forex & Cryptos:

US Dollar May Splinter vs FX Majors as Markets Ponder Recession

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USD/CHF Mid-Day Outlook

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H.L. sent us this piece by Mish Shedlock: Central Bank Digital Currencies On the Way

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BTC/USD Analysis After Halving, Ethereum Technical Update

Tangibles Investing:

In the Fall of 2018, just when they were going out of production, I recommended buying up cases of Necco candy wafers. When I last checked, they were often selling for six times (or more) their last regular retail price, on eBay and on Craigslist.  Ponder this: A sealed case of 24 rolls recently sold for $203.  ($8.45 per roll!) If any SurvivalBlog readers did as I suggested, then I can safely say that NOW is the time to sell your Necco stash, and take your profit. This is because the new owners of the old Necco tooling, Spangler Candy Company, have announced that they will again be producing the iconic candy.

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Our Dollar is Worthless.  Here is a quote:

“Get your money out of the market. Get your money out of the bank. When things really start to go south it will be too late to get in the line at your local bank.

Buy things you can touch. Land, property, metals, food, food, food, ammo, weapons, tools, food. The “money” you have in the bank is fake…digits printed on a computer.

A word of warning. If you purchase metals you must take possession of them.”


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. Does anyone recall when the old folks called today Decoration Day? We always went to a
    memorial service at the Solders and Sailors Cemetery and then a cookout at grandma’s
    house. It was great listening to the Indy 500 on the radio.

    Those were the days!

    1. I do recall Decoration Day it was a big deal in my home town, would not be surprised if the governor of that state has banned celebrations of The Fallen to 10 or less. That should be a fearful reminder of how far this country has departed from our past.

    2. My mom always called it Decoration Day. It used to mean something-now it is just another bar b cue day in normal times. Sad. All of this renaming holidays, changing the dates that they are/should be celebrated for a convenient 3 day weekend has destroyed the reason and sanctity of our holidays.

  2. I doubt if I could find a better time to promote a book written by retired General Smedley Butler. In my honest opinion it should be required reading for anyone considering joining the military.

    Smedley Darlington Butler

    Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881
    Educated: Haverford School
    Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905
    Awarded two congressional medals of honor:
    capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914
    capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917
    Distinguished service medal, 1919
    Major General – United States Marine Corps
    Retired Oct. 1, 1931
    On leave of absence to act as
    director of Dept. of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932
    Lecturer — 1930’s
    Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932
    Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940
    For more information about Major General Butler,
    contact the United States Marine Corps.

    War Is a Racket

    1. CuzMike, thank you for mentioning General Butler. When I was in boot camp, over fifty years ago, he was held up to us as a great hero–two medals of honor, after all.

      Many years later, when I learned of his writing and coming clean about the murder of “foreign people” he committed in unwitting service to Wall Street parasites, I saw him as even more of a hero. He did not file a statement of eminent domain to seize someone’s homestead. He and his troops chased them away or killed them. This is one thing we fear from big government today.

      When I was eighteen, I had the duty of escorting the bodies of dead Marines back to their families. So Memorial Day has a unique poignancy for me. I was there, carrying the casket with five others, to the grave.

      So I say, with that in mind, that in addition to remembering the American military men who were killed in war, we might take a moment and remember those killed by American men. I know many men who killed Vietnamese soldiers who still carry that sorrow.

      Carry on, in grace

    1. I actually did listen, and bought as many as possible, which wasn’t much where I was living at the time. The really sad part is that I ate ALL of them. Oh well, they were still delicious!

      1. I DID TOO!!!!!
        Well, I left about half a gallon container for the family.
        I thought to myself, “never again will I buy candy as an investment!”

  3. 1952 Decoration Day..I was a Cub Scout, we were in a parade ending at the town’s war memorial monument.. lots of speeches and music.. I got to meet a Civil War Veteran.. he was a tiny little old man dressed in his blue Civil War uniform .. propped up in a wheelchair..he had been a drummer boy.. so very young.. shook his hand and felt the history..I have never forgotten that day..

  4. Vickie’s message brought to mind a lovely tribute to those who have served, and an historical project in which we participated as part of our family interest in genealogy. In researching our family tree, we located a fellow among our ancestral grandfathers who served in the Civil War, and was buried in a cemetery alongside others who had served in conflicts across time. A couple of historians had taken an interest in the people buried there, and began to collect their service records and life stories. We joined in that effort, researched the life history of our family member, made some fascinating discoveries about his life and the times in which he lived (in the American Redoubt which is especially fun within this community), and have shared that such that it will be recorded for the future.

  5. “Our dollar is worthless”
    Certainly the value of a dollar has declined for the last 90 years or so. Most certainly our government spends too much to do what little of value that they actually accomplish. The government borrowing money is one of the more stupid things it does. But I will still bet that the USD will be the currency to hold for the next 20 years and longer. Perhaps falling from time to time relative to other currencies but on the whole doing better than the other currencies.

    I think the first time I really encountered people with a strong belief that our dollar was or would soon be worthless was in 1968. I have been a student of economics ever since. If I had one of those worthless dollars for every time since than that I heard or read that our dollar was or would be worthless I would be a millionaire. But I suppose a million isn’t what it once was.

      1. Well, how is this for perspective: In 1971, one dollar was worth 1/35th of an ounce of Gold. Today, it is 1/1720th of an ounce of Gold. We have been robbed, by currency inflation. Oh, and in the past three months, the value of the U.S. Dollar has been further eroded by the magical creation of more than $7 trillion new “dollars.”

        1. Not arguing that inflation is anything but robbery but I don’t think $35 gold in 1971 is a good argument since the price of gold had been artificially fixed for decades and the dollar had still been debased during that time.

          I think a better argument might be to compare the purchasing power of gold and dollars prior to Roosevelt stealing everyone’s gold at $20/oz and comparing that to today.

      2. Years ago when I was a teenager I worked in a shop with some guys in their 60s. I bought a new pair of boots and we were sitting around eating lunch talking about the price of boots. I think I paid $35 for the boots and the old guys were talking about the old days when they were something like $5. But as it worked it was a days labor when they were young and it was about a days labor for me. I think for someone on about the same rung of the economic ladder it is still about a days labor for a moderate pair of boots.

        Of course one can just go to an inflation calculator online and figure things out more precisely but I still think in terms of boots. I have improved my skills over the years to where I can get a better pair of boots for about a half days labor. So I feel pretty fortunate.

        1. I can remember when Nixon closed the gold window. I was old enough to play in a band at one of his campaign speeches. Inexpensive products from China have softened the blow for the now mostly nonexistent middle class, so that the actual loss in purchasing power appears to be less, yet the price of a home and other assets are now beyond the grasp of younger generations. The only accurate way to measure the devaluation is to price everything against gold, even if the price of gold has been forcefully held a ridiculously low level.

  6. Re: Week 9 of the Collapse…

    There are people hurting out there but many of people I know of who are out of work right now fall into one of two categories. And to be clear I don’t know many out of work. Many teleworking.

    Women with small children and a working husband who are homeschooling their children now and are considering continuing on this path. I consider this a good trend.

    People who had marginal jobs to begin with who are now making more money on unemployment than they were working. Often the person in this situation was barely working to begin with because to be blunt they were lazy and only had a job because somebody (perhaps a parent or spouse) was leaning on them.

    In the mean time there are small business people and independents like hair dressers getting crushed. But there are also jobs at grocery stores and hardware stores going unfilled where I live.

    Also in my area, anyone who has a job is working feverishly on their house or property with all their new found time. I suspect some are doing it while “teleworking” but in many cases they just have more time at home because other activities are limited.

    And as another article talked about, some are taking advantage of loan deferrals when they are perfectly capable of paying because interest free money is a good deal. Might as well take a deferral on your house payment and put the money against credit cards or beef up your savings while you can.

    Very difficult to know the real financial situation when so many are incentivized to not work and not pay bills. How many unemployed would there be if unemployment was not so generous right now? How many would take a deferral if it was not interest free. Very hard to know.

    1. Another category of people whose work is impaired are those who are themselves medically vulnerable, or those who care for the medically vulnerable. Some people are at such great risk that the surrounding family cannot risk bringing COVID-19 into the home under any circumstance — no matter what. This is the situation in which we find ourselves because our youngest son is an extremely fragile developmentally disabled adult. My husband and I are self-isolating alongside our son — and my mother who is 80, lives next door, and relies on us for all assistance. Our ability to telecommute is extremely limited, and our work relies on a lot of in-person contact. This is the situation in which we find ourselves, and there is no easy way through it. If we hadn’t been prepared for an SHTF, we would be in a real world of hurt. I can’t even imagine not being a prepper!

      1. I personally know of no one in that situation but there must be thousands, maybe millions in that situation.

        We need to target those people for assistance rather than give all the assistance to those who do not want to work.

        1. We agree even as our own circumstances are about as stabilized as it’s possible for them to be… There are most assuredly many who do need assistance. How we care for and about the most vulnerable – the unborn, our children, the elderly, and those with infirmities – will define us as a human civilization. Perhaps, and without falling prey to people who abuse the charitable nature of Christian Believers, we can find more and better ways to extend acts of assistive kindness as well to those who are otherwise of able bodies and minds, but who have fallen into harder times in life. On the other side of this pandemic, our prayer is that we are stronger in every good way as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a nation.

    1. They are chalky and yucky with a fruit flavor. I don’t like them. Jim can have them! ;). I like chocolate and jams! 🙂

      I think they’re a Northern candy, though they must have been in CA. We used to get small packages of them when Trick or Treating, and it would be one of the first things, I’d pass onto other friends and cousins, them along with Hot Balls, jelly beans, taffy and other candy that I deemed “yucky”.

      1. They are an acquired taste, Lily. I would prefer to eat Necco wafers over the other round items your husband calls us to invest in. Ever tasted a silver quarter?

        Carry on in grace

      2. Chocolate is also delightful… Avalanche Lily is right about this! Say… How about a treat that combines chocolate and jam? In this time, the very idea sounds a bit decadent. Even so, it’s fun to dream on it!

          1. Avalanche Lily! You may have seen these, but in case not… Here are a couple fun recipe resources.

            Chef John’s Food Wishes
            * Check YouTube for his channel. He has lots of recipes, and something for everyone. We enjoyed his Strawberry Oatmeal Bars tutorial recently, and as well a video he made about how to make our own hamburger buns! He also has a website, and connects through

            Sallys’ Baking Addiction
            * Sally has published some absolutely fabulous books. Although I tend toward savory foods, a sweet treat now and then is delightful. Sally offers a lot of truly helpful information about her recipes and techniques.

            Hoping you and other readers too will enjoy these!

    2. Necco’s were my Grandma’s favorite! She would be tickled to hear that they’re making a comeback. Unsure if these might be regional… That’s an interesting question. I was born in the Great Plains, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and now live in the Appalachian Redoubt. Necco candies have been in all of these places, so don’t really know. Could be an undiscovered treasure for those who enjoy ’em!

    3. They are a regional thing. I grew up near their factory. I took a tour of their factory about 12 years ago. My favorite product of the company was the Mary Jane candies.

  7. So do all of us that pay our mortgages on time and don’t take a “deferred “ payment program get a prize for being responsible??

    I actually got a letter from my mortgage company that I was in trouble for paying to many months in advance. What? Who ever heard of such a thing. It’s like they want you to ask them to “please help me” so they can totally own you.

    1. You make a very good point… They do, in fact, want to totally own you. That’s exactly correct. Hoping with all your efforts that you’ll own your home debt free as quickly as it’s possible to get to that place!

      1. Telesilla of Argos,

        Yes, I have every intention of paying off my mortgage quickly.
        I was just so stunned to receive that letter. I have read some articles recently about how many people are expected to default on all kinds of notes. Kind of aggravated hearing about how businesses can’t Even get employees back because they “make more on unemployment “!? This is despicable as I fear for the future when this extra “free” unemployment runs out, then we will REALLY have a mess on our hands. Then all these people will be crying about losing their free ride.
        I think I’m just annoyed with the whole program as I take care of my mom & dad full time and I am not able to be in the work force at this time. I would gladly take a job that some brat deems beneath them.

        Sorry everyone, I just had to vent today.

        I am however grateful for everything I have, the love & support of my family, and my friendships here. I am proud to be a responsible, independent person that can provide for my family and my parents without looking for a government handout.

        1. RKRGRL68! God Bless and Keep You. The time you have with your parents is precious, and you are wonderful for providing for their care. My husband and I are caregivers to our youngest son (developmentally disabled, and medically fragile) and as well to my Mom who is now 80 (depends on our assistance for all life activities in addition to companionship — and is also medically fragile). All this to say we understand your experience in very personal ways, and we share your perspective too!

          As for venting… Now and again, we all do this! I’ve done a bit of this myself recently. It’s okay. All good!

    2. I remember when I went shopping for mortgages when we bought our acreage. I wanted it to be as flexible as possible, because I knew, even then, that I would be trying my hardest to pay it off early. My banker knows me, and helped guide me to a mortgage the didn’t have a “penalty for early payout!” I couldn’t even believe that such a thing existed. Imagine them charging you a penalty for paying back the money too fast.

    3. You are onto their game, RKR.

      It’s like they want you to ask them to “please help me” so they can totally own you.

      No wonder many of my friends call them “banksters”.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Once a Marine

        Oh so true!!
        Think I’m just emotional today thinking about all the Men & Women who sacrificed their lives so that we all can be free. Very humbled by all of it. And I miss both of my own young Marines being away from home.


    4. You need to convert those payments to”principal reduction”,otherwise you’re just giving the banks free money instead of paying off the loan. Pay back the money you borrowed not extra interest,that is how loans get paid faster.

  8. @ RKRGRL68, the first three houses I / we ( my wife ) we owned, we had almost paid off, but moved on to the next house. this last house I / we ( my wife ) have had this place paid off for over 10 yrs, regular the first of the month and then maybe one to two extra payments on the principal each month, the extra money coming from a lot of over time at the packing house. And the last three houses that we brought the mortgage companies were pushing the ARM’s big time ( adjustable rate mortgage ), I’m so glad that we didn’t go this route.

    1. ARMs are a risky scheme IMHO. Many who had these just prior to the crash of 2008 really suffered. We never had an ARM on our own property, but do remember how popular these were among many buyers. The reasoning of the time seemed to be that the buyer/mortgagor could simply refinance into a fixed rate loan product at any time if they saw signs that rates were headed north. What was not considered (clearly) was the risk that a condition or circumstance might prevent such a refinance — loss of a job, loss of property value, a surge in rates that might leave a homeowner unable to qualify for the new loan, changes to underwriting guidelines, and more. The losses for many of these people were almost unimaginable. As clinically as we can talk about economics and finance, we should be ever aware that real people are on the receiving end of some very tough consequences when things go awry — even when the people who suffer are themselves at fault.

  9. I had the same thing happen to me in paying our mortgage forward by 2 months.
    Now we have a plan to pay off the mortgage in 5 years, Lord willing. We could just pay it off but I think a better strategy is to have cash reserves for future unknowns. I have heard and read being house rich and cash poor and that is not a good plan

    And if one considered that any local government can take your home via the Supreme Court Kelso Decision it makes having a asset debt free a bit risky.

    We also know government overall wants you in your home even with mortgage forbearance so at least you pay property tax.

    It’s a tricky thing to navigate when rules change and the dollars value goes down. But if Jim Rickards latest news is accurate we are heading into a depression and not having cash reserves is a bad idea.
    Just my 2 cents

    1. A good question… How best to balance the risk of debt with the need for liquidity? From a planning standpoint, this is both interesting and important. I would suspect that the answer will reveal to an even greater degree 1) how unprepared most people are for even a modest emergency, and 2) how fragile the system is as a whole.

  10. Hopefully the Spangler Candy company will bring back donating a box full of candy to our troops serving overseas at no cost to their family. I was able to send 2 boxes of candy to a friend and a family member of mine that was serving in Iraq and was I happy to hear that the 1 box candy that NECCO donated was given to wounded Iraqi children who were in the hospital. They had never had NECCO wafers before and my friend said that they loved them.

    1. Heather! Care packages are a neat idea, and a wonderful way to reach out to others. We did something similar many, many years ago during the Iraq war. Our idea was to create Samaritan’s Purse style gifts, except that we used clear sealable (Ziploc) bags. All the items could be easily seen and were kept in their original packaging for reasons of security. The bags were made for a girl or a boy, and for a specific age group/range. These were sent for additional screening to our military contact in Iraq, and on approval, the gifts were distributed to children with whom the service members came into contact. What we know is that so much good came from this effort for everyone involved. It was a real joy and blessing to be part of it all.

  11. Hi everyone,

    Thank you to all of you that posted to me tips on Mortgages and ways to pay off early/without penalty Ect.

    I really appreciate everyone’s input on things that I may not have all the knowledge I need.

    Also, thank you to everyone for all of the tips and encouragement as I go down the path to one day having my own chicks!!! So much great advice!!

    Thinking of you all.

    Have a Rockin great day!!!

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