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 nationwide coinage shortage. (See the Precious Metals and Base Metals section.)

Precious Metals and Base Metals:

As reported earlier this week in SurvivalBlog by Steven Cochran, gold staged a major breakout in the futures market on June 30th. August gold ended the month at $1,800.50, the highest settlement since September 2011. There may be some profit-taking in the short term, but there is a strong whiff of a “Bull Market” in the air!

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Arkadiusz Sieroń: High Premiums In Physical Gold Market: Scam Or Supply Crisis?

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Bloomberg: Gold vs. Deflation

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“In the latest indication of how the coronavirus is disrupting life in unexpected ways, the flow of coins has become gummed up as consumers stayed home and avoided touching physical cash. In particular, customers have not been dumping their piggy banks into kiosks at grocery stores in exchange for bills.

As the country has begun to reopen, the supply of coins has failed to keep up with renewed demand for a type of currency that, even in an increasingly digital world, remains essential to business.”

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For many years, I’ve warned my readers that the status quo for your pocket change that has existed since 1970 won’t last forever. In particular, I recommended asking your bank to order in some boxes of nickel rolls for you. Most banks would do so as a courtesy to their customers, free of charge. But that window of opportunity slammed shut as banks reported a widespread shortage of common base metal coinage–everything from pennies to half dollars. This shortage seems almost counterintuitive since banks have reported that their inflow of deposits just reached an all-time high. Soooooo… It seems that nobody wants to empty their piggy banks. Frankly, I can’t blame them. Subconsciously, people realize that inflation is coming and at least our copper token coinage seems a bit more tangible. I hope that you got your nickels long before this crisis!

Economy & Finance:

Charles Hugh Smith: The Depression Dominoes Are Toppling

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US Bankruptcies Busting Out to Match 2009 Peak Mean Trouble for Stock Market

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The Street reports: Banks Get a $40 Billion Break From the Fed

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Is Apple the Canary in the Economy’s Coalmine?

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GAO: IRS Sent $1.4 Billion In Stimulus Funds To Dead People

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At Wolf Street: A Federal-Money-from-the-Sky Story


Kiplinger: Oil Market Rocked by Extreme Volatility

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OilPrice News reports: Natural Gas Price Plunge Could Soon Lead To Shut-Ins

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Imploding Car Sales Weigh On Battery Metals Market


Fitch: Islamic Derivatives Increasingly Necessary, but Constraints Remain

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Makor Group Grows Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Expands Derivatives Desk in Europe

Forex & Cryptos

Zimbabwe Shutters Stock Exchange, Blocks All Mobile Money Payments As Currency Collapses (Again)

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EUR/USD Forex Signal: Continuing Consolidation Likely

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A primer: Leverage in Forex Trading

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Bitcoin‘s spike to $10,000 in early June appears to have been a flash in the pan. (Click on the 30-day chart.)  Barring some declaration of war in Asia, a drop to below $8,000 USD per BTC now looks likely in July.

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Key Data Points at Institutional Traders Offloading Bitcoin on CME

Tangibles Investing:

Asset Class of Classic Cars Sinks, High-End Hits 5-Year Low, Priciest Ferraris Drop the Most. American Muscle Cars Fall to 2007 Level

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Gun sales rising in 2020, especially among first time buyers


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investing 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 items from local news outlets that are missed by the news wire services are especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. Re: The coin shortage
    I read a couple short posts last night that posited that this coinage “shortage” is another crisis that won’t be allowed to go to waste. The authors’ theory is that it will be used to push Americans towards a cashless society by the Fed. By requiring people to either pay for their purchases with exact change, or use plastic or a check, they hope to get people used to the idea of not carrying cash, and making it easier to track people’s purchases. True or not, it makes some sense.
    As we enter Independence Day weekend I want to wish everyone a safe and happy 4th. Let us not forget the things that matter most as we go through this most unusual celebration of this holiday.

    1. @BinWY- you are exactly right. I think that the gov.fed or is removing the coins from circulation in order to phase out coins and later to phase out currency. Then, we will all have to use plastic to pay for everything- goods, services- everything. Then every penny ( ! ) (sorry) of your spending can be tracked and monitored. Eventually, a social credit system like in China can be instituted so that your spending privileges (see what I did ?) can be controlled or even turned OFF.
      And your social credit score will be merged with your medical records too. Need to lose some weight ? Your card is declined when you try to buy something fattening at a grocery store or restaurant. Want to buy a new (anything) but your child has been acting up in school ? DECLINED. You failed to go to the Joe Biden meeting last night ? DECLINED. Do enough stuff that is not politically correct (It’s the LAW ! ) and your card will be shut off for 30 or 60 days, or permanently. You and your family can go starve.
      Am I making a mountain out of a molehill ? How many of us could have imagined our present circumstances only six months ago ? I certainly could not have. Beware !

  2. A Penny for Your Thoughts Could Be a Lot Harder to Find

    I can’t figure out why they don’t just make some sort of a public service announcement for people to please take their change to stores/banks? And why are we the only civilized country that still has a $1 bill? Everyone else has gone to a coin, yet we continue to produce both. Stop printing those pesky dollar bills (and pennies) and just go with the coin, they last a whole lot longer and the guv could save some serious money. Just my 2¢ (pun intended).

    Here’s some cool trivia: $20.00 worth of quarters weighs exactly one pound (453.6 grams). And since the “sandwich coins” (the ones with a reeded edge made of copper and nickle) are calibrated to one another, $20 worth of dimes and $20 worth of half dollars also weigh exactly a pound.

    Therefore, a quick method to count all your change without actually counting it out is to weigh it. Separate out the pennies and nickles so you just have dimes, quarters and halves, then weigh it in grams. Next divide the total grams by 453.6 to figure out how many pounds you have, then multiply the pounds by $20 to figure out how much money you have.

    Example: 1,354 grams of coins, divided by 453.6 = 2.985 pounds. 2.985 pounds x $20 = $59.70.

    If you just want a ballpark figure, you can take all your change and separate out just the pennies, leave the nickles in. Since a pound of nickles is only worth $18.00 instead of $20, you’ll still be within the ballpark.

    1. St Funogas

      This is another excellent reason for people to get that kitchen scale you mentioned yesterday!

      That’s for the cool facts! I LOVE stuff like that

      Rock on

      1. Hey RKRGRL68, once you get one of those scales, you’ll discover all kinds of other uses for it and a year from now you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without it. 🙂

        Today I went out and made the first blackberry harvest. I use a small bucket (2-gallon bathroom garbage can) that hooks onto a belt I made. After every harvest I weigh the berries, subtract the 255g that the bucket weighs and that way I can keep a running total of how much I’ve picked. I wrote the 255 right on the bucket with a sharpie. I also engraved the weights on all my pots and pans for the same reason.

        The post office starts charging exorbitant rates once you get over 13 ounces, so I use my scale to be sure I stay under that if it’s close.

        I wrote my waffle recipe right on the waffle iron. I use a single mixing bowl, weigh out the ingredients, and in literally three minutes after getting the idea that some waffles would be great this morning, I have everything mixed and ready to go. And very little to clean up afterwards.

        Like I said, they have a ton of uses and once you get one, you’ll discover even more uses. Hardly a day goes by where I not using mine.

        Have fun with yours!

  3. I for one don’t want dollar or two dollar coins. What a pain in the neck. I would however be in favor of eliminating pennies. I read years ago that we still have pennies because states with sales taxes need pennies so that they can collect their taxes. I would be in favor of eliminating pennies and rounding up or down the tax to the nearest nickle.

    It is interesting that you are required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of covid-19 but we hand over money which no doubt is contaminated to pay for our purchases.

  4. Tangibles: The prices on collectibles dropping?? Duh! Maybe some folks have begun to realize that there is no edible antique.

    Food,water,medicine,security,shelter. Without these tangibles you won’t last long in the former land of plenty!

  5. Why don’t people take their change to a CoinStar machine? Well, it could be the 12% you loose by taking it to a CoinStar machine. $100 in change – the 12% cash in fee = $88. I’m supposed to pay my local CoinStar location $12 for the privilege of cashing in my coins. Not in this lifetime! If it was a buck or two that would be one thing, $12 is outrageous.

    I’d cash mine in at the bank, however, except for the drive thru, the banks still aren’t open yet. I would think dropping a pound of coins in the little tube might cause a problem.

  6. Our local grocery chain has a sign on the self checkout area. No cash purchases, no bottle redemption (Michigan), debit and credit card only. The sign states, if you “must” use cash, to use a regular checkout line. Explain to me, with more than half of America staying home, afraid of using cash because of the virus, and ordering tons of stuff online with their debit and credit cards…where did all the coins go?

  7. I think it’s partially a scam. Maybe some did not bring coin from the piggy banks but I can’t believe that’s the reason. I don’t believe the mint manufactured as many but I’m not 100 percent sure of that. We should keep our coins anyway in my opinion.

  8. I just don’t buy the coinage shortage. Some people are hurting financially and more than likely would be looking to spend those unused coins. If there are less coins going in to stores, that implies they have to give out less in change. The numbers of people that I see paying cash has dropped very significantly – I saw someone using a credit / debit card to buy a Snickers bar recently.

    1. Doc, you are partially correct more coins are going back into use(I regularly cull my change for copper pennies,nickles and the occasional silver dime or quarter). The percentage of copper pennies has risen and several have been in AU(almost uncirculated)condition meaning they have been sitting for years. The “shortage” is purely artificial. Hegalian Dialectic-determine a outcome,determine a action that would lead to outcome,implement and sit back and watch the fun. Save your change-demand it-destroy the plandemic

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