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 examine the very troubled airline industry, internationally. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold prices back off 9-year highs, bulls still strong

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Update: Spot silver went over $19.80 USD per Troy ounce this morning. I can foresee both futures and spot silver surpassing $20, shortly.

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Gold to Platinum Ratio for the Last 5 Years. JWR’s Comment:  As I’ve mentioned before, this is a good time to ratio trade some of your physical gold for physical platinum. Ideally, you should buy either U.S. Mint Platinum Liberty coins or Platinum Canadian Maple Leaf coins. The most successful traders are the observant few who catch the ends of the pendulum swings.

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: The IRS Is Paying Out 3% To 5% Compounded Daily Interest On Almost All Refunds Issued After April 15 This Year

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Reader H.L. suggested this piece: The “Biblical” Default Wave Arrives: Here Is The Avalanche Of Bankruptcies Unleashed By Coronavirus

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At Wolf Street: These Airlines, Financial Black Holes for Years, Now Face the Pandemic

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Delta’s Passenger Revenue -94%. How it Plans to Stay Alive till “Demand Returns.” Confirms United’s Warning About Newly Waning Demand

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Greyerz – Get Ready For 2021 And “The Great Reset”


At Forbes: Buffett’s Return To Deal Making May Signal Natural Gas Price Bottom

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Rigzone reports: Oil Prices Falter As Supply Surge Looms

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A World Bank report: Food commodity prices: Prospects and risks post-coronavirus

The Great Coinage Shortage of 2020:

At NPR: Exact Change Please: Walmart, Kroger, CVS Are Feeling The Coin Shortage

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SurvivalBlog Reader M.T. wrote: “I had this happen on my weekly run to the local big box store (Wal-Mart) for the few things we don’t produce ourselves: First, all self-checkouts were being operated “cards only” But I was paying cash. Then I had to wait, as the cashier could not make 52 cents change, and I did not have exact change. It took a manager 10 minutes to obtain change from the cash office. I politely inquired and was told that their last two orders for coins did not come in. This coin shortage is not in the wire service news. It is only bring reported by independent journalists and small network affiliates.”

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Coronavirus creating nationwide coin shortage

Tangibles Investing:

COVID Could Cause Real Estate Vacuum In Big Cities, Boom in Rural Towns

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Should You Flee Your City? Almost 40% Have Considered it During the Pandemic

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S. Vermont in a ‘crazy’ real estate sales boom Some buyers scooping up homes sight-unseen

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Rural Pennsylvania Towns See Boom in Real Estate Business

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A Viral Land Rush?

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Video interview with Dr. Steve Turley, at People are FLEEING Democrat Ruined Cities in DROVES and Leaving them to ROT!!!

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“Pent-up Supply” Floods San Francisco Housing Market, Most Since Housing Bust


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 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. Yes, houses I know of in VT that have been on the market for a few years(which only happens when they are overpriced or have serious issues) have been selling all of a sudden. Multiple offers sight unseen, offers over the asking price, etc are all happening and this is true in Northern VT as well. The stuff that doesn’t seem to be selling around here are those right on a road as maybe this doesn’t appeal to the out-of-state buyers as they want their dream home that’s up on a hill, on a body of water or out in the middle of a field. It doesn’t appeal to me either as I don’t like the traffic noise or dust from the road! But I expect these will also sell soon if this continues. Will be interesting to see where this goes. Lots of all-cash buyers for even expensive homes so they won’t be going into foreclosure or walking away.

  2. Last week I was in the small city to pick up a few things and the chain stores are still accepting cash, but not giving coin change. I do not shop at Walmart but I was told by a friend they have “cards only” signs. Kroger will add the coin change to your “loyalty card” and it will be applied to your next purchase. Aldi asked for exact change but would give you small amounts of coin change back. Grocers and other stores in the small town nearest my property accepted cash and gave coin change as needed. I carry bills and coins to pay in exact change if needed.

  3. I am relieved that the Fed is convening a task force over the shortage of coins, It is so reassuring. Coins do not just disappear. Almost everything else is moving around why not coins. There is something sinister behind the alleged inability to provide a necessary commodity to the market. Coins do not wear out easily, so that’s not a consideration. If the mints are not making them that should only have a marginal effect in the short term. I submit we are being strangled into accepting digital currency with all its obvious flaws: lack of security, Orwellian overwatch, and the complete reliance on an aging electrical grid. Computer hacking has become a past time for the basement dwellers and Governments and they are already very good at it. Stealing from the banks, individuals and private businesses at an alarming rate. It seems to me that eliminating currency is costing a lot of money out of our pockets.
    Perhaps it is time to find out who is behind some of the antics going on as well as their motives and holding them responsible. I mean jail time by the use of the word responsible.
    If you think about it we have seen the food chain remain pretty well intact considering how stressed it has been. Coins?, Sorry, ma’am we are out of Widow’s Mites today.

    1. How odd that supposedly we are running out of coins at this time? The country has been under illegal lockdown pretty much since what, mid-March? People have been staying home and not being able to spend as much, so how is it this increased use of coins and where are they disappearing to? Seems the coins can be found with the same people that hoarded up all that toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer… Nothing says personal security like overabundance of paper towels, oy vey!

      1. I haven’t been in a bank to turn in coins since March. I think I’ve been in three stores since march. Commerce is messed up. How many coins has the Mint produced compared to normal monthly output. If they shut down for a month or two or can’t run all their machines because of social distancing coins could be in short supply. What about the mints supply of raw materials to stamp?
        Think about all the shortages in the stores because international trade is slowed, overseas factories are shut down. I bought one of the last cement mixers on the internet a couple months ago. Forget the conspiracy theories until you look at supply vs demand for the coins.

  4. I am of the mind that this so-called coin shortage is another example of the push for a cashless society. It is just another fortuitous crisis opportunity that is not being wasted. Even before the big C, I think most people already paid with plastic a lot. There certainly is no plausible reason why people who haven’t been able to shop normally would start to suddenly hoard coins. I also expect coinage to be debased even more going forward. Thankfully, brass, and lead with a copper coating will increase in value.

  5. WRT the uptick in people shopping for rural properties, I wonder how the UN will respond since it is very much in opposition to their Agenda 21/ Agenda 30 goal of pushing people out of rural areas and into large metropolitan areas? It seems like the “law of unintended consequences” is at play.

  6. Strange regarding coin shortage…I ran into my banker at a local convenience store this past week and he voluntarily mentioned the “coin shortage” and said they have seen no evidence of that at all and he doesn’t know where the talk is coming from..My only response to what he apologetically called his “rant” was the 1964 and earlier silver content value of certain coinage but he had no reaction to that comment..makes me question his awareness. But in my area there is no evidence of a coin shortage.

  7. Coin shortage signs are all over my area. I even picked up a call in food order at a local and very rural diner. They had the coin shortage sign up.

    Ice Age Farmer has a new video up about it AI surveillance. Go watch it. Then pay cash for your large food preps and don’t use a store with a shoppers card. Leave no trace or paper trail of your large orders. It’s nobody’s business.

    1. Do not go overboard. There is absolutely no value in tracking your carrot and hamburger purchases. They aren’t watching you. However just for the record every time you post online the computer you use, what you post and other information about you is stored somewhere. Do you see how incongruous it is to fear buying something at Walmart but openly posting/using the internet?

      1. Use TOR browser. It masks your IP and you come in every time from a different foreign country. In fact most government websites block your TOR browser due to not being able to track you.

  8. Re. the airlines that are hurting. I’m surprised no US based airlines were mentioned. In my experience, American Airlines is one of the worst managed airlines in this country, with United a close second. Its hard to imagine them able to keep going

  9. A report from a friend who has been flipping property in the Redoubt says bidding wars have begun. His full price offers in the Sandpoint Idaho area are only an opening bid! We saw this coming… Less than 1 percent are now leaving the ‘big city’. Just wait until that number grows. It is now, or never for some.

  10. Although we have had no difficulty securing coin from our local bank… We are also concerned about the larger implications of the question of coin shortage (alleged or real), and are trying to understand this in totality. It’s certainly possible that groups interested in pushing conversion to digital currency are taking advantage of other factors like COVID-19 effects on U.S. mint operations. It’s also reasonable to believe that companies using large amounts of transactional coin may be trying to save on bank fees for provision of coin.

    Remember the telling words… Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Totalitarians look for every opportunity to use any available circumstance to advance the agenda of tyrrany.

    Among many concerns, we are watching this carefully, and appreciate the insights and ideas of others within the SB community too.

  11. Urbanites do not fare well in rural settings. The loss of ready conveniences, having to be more organized over basics, etc. wear on them mentally. They come into direct confrontation with locals who do not want this kind of creeping development and then there is failure of Urban to respect local cultural norms.

    Things like no trash pickup, scarcity of repairmen, and other luxuries of urban settings not available in rural are disconcerting to these initiates. Rural is not “suburban” which seems to be their fantasied belief. They must own new ways of living which means work.

    Several rural counties I know Have preexisting minimum acreages for homes……like 50 acres. This somewhat conserves farmlands and excludes this culture of suburbia.

    1. Great points, SCGal — also true in our experiences with urbanites. What they imagine about living in a rural setting is not often rooted in the reality of a rural setting!

  12. Coin Shortage:
    Not just in large Big Box stores. Our little grocery store, Harvest Foods, is claiming the same thing. It makes me wonder if they are so hot on the trail to use plastic, who will be paying the card use fee? I would guess the consumer will with higher prices on everything. Have a lot of pennies, can’t wait to stand there counting out the exact change for them, better than the little old lady writing a check.

  13. Coin shortage due to corona virus! My aching a** it is, it’s yet another lame attempt by goobermint to take complete control over FREE Peoples Lives and all they do, who they talk to, where they go, where they live, etc. etc. etc.
    My father would not have stood still for this bogus crap, my grandfather most definitely not, and I will not. I am continually amazed by how spineless the American has become.

  14. re: Gold for Platinum trade; Just got off the phone with a local coin/precious metal dealer in Central Colorado. He informed me it would not be a spot-for-spot trade as he paid a $150/coin premium for the two 1oz Pt Eagles he has. BTW, I have been doing business with this dealer for years. He is as honest as the day is long and he is a strong Christian family man. He also mentioned that as of close of business Fri he was getting $6/coin premium for Silver Eagles. Today it is $7 and he has heard of other dealers going as high as $8/coin premium. And that is on ~$20/coin spot price for silver…..Interesting times indeed.

  15. Coins are issued and backed by the US Treasury Dept. Play money is issued by the Federal Reserve (a private corporation).
    If coins were still gold or silver they would retain their full value. As currently minted, they will probably maintain more value then the dollar.
    That’s why people are holding coins and the globalists want them back.

  16. I was wondering about the coin shortage as I saw signs about it nearly every store while in PA this past week. Very strange. I agree it seems strange to worry about “them” tracking what I buy at the store but there must be some nefarious reason for it. I wonder if some stores put them up just because they’re told it exists, absent any proof. “We better put these signs up, we don’t want to run out of coins.” Kind of like the “put the full 2020 on your check instead of just 7/19/20 because someone can fill in a different date.” To what advantage? What are they going to do, make it an older check? Checks are only accepted for about 6 months at most banks. There’s no sense to it that I can tell. Some of this stuff just gets passed along out of habit without being vetted.
    I often wonder if this tracking is all terror related. If an IED goes off in Boston, MA, do they start checking to see who bought one of the components within a certain radius in the last few weeks? When I was a Detective we went around to literally every store in town, with a questionnaire that related to their type of business and asked them to contact us if something suspicious was purchased according to the questionnaire. It was good for getting to know our business owners anyway but it ate up a tremendous amount of man hours, eventually they started having patrol guys do it, which made much more sense anyway. This was done all over the state.

    As for city people (cidiots) moving to the sticks now, there’s no good in that. They are coming from urban, liberal areas and will want to bring their idiotic liberal ideas with them. (See southern NH and it’s influx of Massachusetts people.) The only hope is that if/when things go back to “normal” and they realize they can’t run to Starbucks at 2 am for an overpriced cup of crap, they’ll sell at a loss to normal people. Good luck when they get a foot of snow in Vermont! (“Wait, I have to do my own walkway if I want to get out?! Where’s that realtor’s number?”)

  17. Coin shortages in my area also. This includes the neighborhood produce/meat farm as I asked. I don’t think it is a case of completely out, just hard to come by. I have been to three grocery stores today, one in a town 25 miles away. I have been shocked to see the shortages in Campbell soups. I had not noticed as I don’t use them much, until a friend pointed it out. Almost stripped bare, especially in the small town. All purpose flour is in short supply also. Wide mouth canning jars are not to be had. So glad I have these things in my storage. This is nuts!!

    1. On Campbell Soups: The stores in my area have had a shortage for some time now. They have soup, but not the variety and the shelves are sparse.

      On the coin shortage: My bank is begging for coins, insists they be rolled. My grocery stores are begging for coins, bring them in loose if I want. I’m sitting on about $400 or more in mostly rolled coins. When I worked I kept putting it in the piggybank. Piggybank is full to overflowing. I’ve already been through the coins to get out the 90% silver and 40% silver. I haven’t been through all the pennies yet to separate out the copper from the zinc. Big job, lots of pennies. I’m keeping the copper pennies and all the nickels.

  18. Anybody know a good honest coin dealer/bullion buyer/trader in East TN or W. NC? Who to sell gold* to, if that time comes? I’ve known a dozen or so in the past; can’t trust even one, now…or then, actually, unfortunately. What to do…if need to sell some Au? Find a direct Buyer? Hmmm. Been wondering about this for quite a while.

    *Bullion AND Numismatics

  19. I have a hard time believing there is a rush to move to rural properties. The problem with living in rural areas is lack of employment opportunities. I know some people think they can work from home indefinitely, but I think when push comes to shove the companies that are offering that will realize those employees aren’t real necessary.

    1. If you are considering a move to a rural environment, best you have (or develop) some significant additional skills. Regardless of whether you are rural or not, in the very near future companies will realize that many employees aren’t necessary, regardless of their location. Learn to code. Or, learn to pump septic tanks. Or learn how to install gutters, become an electrician, operate a backhoe, and pour concrete. These are the skills (well, except learning to code) that will serve you well in a rural environment. Anything else and you’re just taking up space and making a nuisance of yourself, and everyone you meet will know it. Rural properties are best for self-starters and a rural mindset. I think the people who are truly moving to rural properties know this. If you’re not sure, rent a cabin for two weeks and decide. It’s a different life out here.

      1. Coding is a great skill to have in a rural environment. Good work from home skill.

        My son in law does not live in a rural environment but his employer is about 1000 miles from where he lives and he makes very good money. Prior to COVID, he did have to travel probably once a month for face to face meetings.

  20. “Learn to code” is a pejorative term generally used to address those with worthless college degrees and/or lack of marketable skills who seemed thrilled with our technocratic society but complain about lack of jobs, income, and opportunities. It’s kind of a tongue-in-cheek thing because obviously, not everyone is cut out to write computer code, and if everyone who could did so, the market for such would be overwhelmed.
    As a skilled tradesman who makes a higher income than most degreed professionals, I can second the advice to pick up a useful, marketable skill for living in rural communities.

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