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 2020 gun and ammo shortage. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

US Dollar Devalues By 99% Vs Gold In 100 Years As Gold Price Crosses $2,067

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Can gold price see quick return to record highs after worst daily sell-off since 2013?

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Chinese company makes agreement to buy Nunavut gold mine

Economy & Finance:

David Haggith: US In Long-term Economic Decline

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At Zero Hedge: Fed Wants Inflation But Their Actions Are Deflationary. A snippet:

“Over the last decade, the Federal Reserve has engaged in never-ending “emergency measures” to support asset markets and the economy. The stated goal was, and remains, such actions would foster full employment and price stability. There has been little evidence of success.”

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At Kiplinger: Mark Zandi: The U.S. Economy Won’t Recover Until We Have a Vaccine or Treatment

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At Wolf Street: Bite the Bullet or Extend & Pretend? Unemployment in Europe


Hay prices are still high. With poor summer rainfall in much of the west, the key phrase coming from those that don’t irrigate is: “We’re just getting one cutting this year.”

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OilPrice News reports: U.S. Oil Rig Count Falls To Lowest Level Since 2009

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Corn, soybeans rise on recovering demand following today’s WASDE reports


A pointed lesson from the 2008-2009 crisis: Counterparty Risk in the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Market. JWR’s Comment: The longer that interest rates are held artificially low, the greater the risk of another global financial crisis.

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PDF from ISDA: The Impact of COVID-19 and Government Intervention on Swaps Market Liquidity

Forex & Cryptos:

US Dollar Consolidates Below Critical Support – Key Levels for DXY Index

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Still stuck in Burger King: British Pound May Fall on Virus-Hit GDP Data, Brexit Stalemate. Here is a brief excerpt:

The British Pound remains suspended by political angst over the resolution of an almost five-year divorce agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union. Last week, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted guidelines for businesses to prepare for potential cross-border friction after the December 31, 2020 deadline.

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EUR/CHF Price Outlook: Key Chart Levels to Keep in Focus

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Jameson Lopp:  Are Chinese Miners a Threat to Bitcoin?

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Mike Novogratz: Bitcoin and Gold Likely to Head Even Higher This Year

Tangibles Investing:

Shelves going bare in gun shops as sales boom continues.

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A Fox News report: Skyrocketing gun sales trigger US ammo shortage. The article begins:

“More and more Americans are buying firearms for the first time this year. Loading them is a different story.

“Some of the frustration we’ve frankly heard from some of the new users is that they bought a firearm, they can’t find any ammunition, because it’s in short supply,” Vista Outdoor Inc. CEO Christopher Metz said on the company’s quarterly earnings call on Thursday.”


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. 223/556 is double what is was and I believe will triple by November.
    We all believe in “Buy It Cheap Stack It Deep” and the theory was sound. I believe food is next.
    I had decided to build an AR in 6.5 Grendel, as our world was ending lol, and debated with myself several times on doing it. I got it done and don’t have a ton of ammo/mags laid in but it was primarily a hunter that was capable of tactical and not my primary.
    I also think that if things hold together that by this spring there will be a lot of guns on sale by folks who no longer want them “cause I don’t use it anyway” or it was just flat out the wrong gun like the couple who walked out with their first rifle, a 45-70, because it was all they had with ammo available. I’ll be waiting with cash in hand for a couple of ones that I’d like to have in the collection.

    1. Matt, I think it has more than doubled. I checked 5 online ammo sales and 4 of the 5 were out of stock. The one with availability was $24.89/20bx ($1.25 each) and this was M855. Four months ago it was $0.33 each. Even steel-cased 5.56 is 50 cents each. I reload so I never buy steel case. In the valley where I live there was always multiple locations shooting every weekend. It’s quiet as a mouse lately. Folks conserving ammo?

      1. I got an e-mail for 1K of American Eagle AE223BK 55gr FMJ for $629.99. I saw another supplier selling TULA for .69rd. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 1k for $1K.
        So if y’all got it at your price you might get it. $438 is still higher than it was even just a few months ago.

    2. At a recent gun show in my area, 5.56 was selling for .85 to $1 per round for green tip. As for food, freeze dried food has been hard to get for months. There is an 8 week delay at ready made resources and the deep discounts off msrp are gone.

      1. LL

        Yes, this is why I ended up purchasing a home Freeze Dryer. Not only because freeze dried food is expensive and nearly impossible to come by, but because now I can freeze dry my own food as another way of preserving along with canning and dehydration.

        When I purchased my freeze dryer back in March, they also had 8-10 week lead times.
        Maybe something to consider? This would be a good family purchase that a few could go in on to split the costs as they are a rather large $ item.

        Have a Rockin great day

        1. Hey Matt in Oklahoma,

          That’s awesome!
          Also check out Pleasant Grove Farms on Amazon. This is where I ordered my Mylar Bags to use with my freeze dryer. I have no connection with them but the bags they sell are good quality and I have ordered sizes ranging from pint up to 5 gallon. They are a little pricey but I think they are worth the cost.

          Rock on

          1. Well I see they are 7mil. The ones I’ve been getting are only 3.5mil.
            That might be better with sharp edges like the hard tack we made a while back because I ended up making “sleeves” for the cracker out of leftover mylar scraps before sealing them.
            Appreciate it

          2. Hey RKRGRL68, I’ve never used Mylar bags but I tried to source some last week for 5-gallon buckets. Most of the reviews I read had complaints about holes along the folds. Is that a problem with any of the ones you’ve used?

            Thanks! And of you can include a link to the 5-gallon bucket ones you use, I’ll be forever grateful. 🙂

  2. See the picture of the spilled case of Remington 115 gr 9mm practice ammo at the header?
    That’s EXACTLY the ammo you never want in your stores. It is a full 200 foot seconds underloaded compared to Winchester White Box 115 grain or Fiochi and about 185 foot seconds under Federal. Dirty burning. I used a case of this trash for a class a few years ago and my girls had plenty of stoppages to resolve. No complaints as this was a training course and they were there to learn stoppage reduction. With this Remington trash, they became EXPERTS in clearing malfunctions! The Glocks would barely run in my hands, but with the teenage girls, they experienced about 10% problems. Failure to extract, stove pipes, etc.
    After a couple of hours of that training, we got them into .40S&W Glocks and the problems instantly vanished for the entire course. Positive function. Later, Winchester White Box replaced the Remington junk and there were no more issues with the girls and their 9mms.
    I still retain a half a case of the Remington junk just for training students in stoppage reduction. But really, Remington, 950 foot seconds is just a tad low for a 115 grain bullet. Think of the money they saved on propellent!

  3. A word of advice to mining companies and others that are contemplating selling to the Chinese Government-owned companies. DO NOT DO IT. This is short-sighted business and is in effect selling your country out for a quick profit from an evil communist government. No good will come from selling a depleting asset with all the profits going overseas. I am all for the free market but giving non-free market countries a piece of your land is asking for trouble, they do not reciprocate.

  4. Here in the SouthEast… we are currently in the middle of the third cutting of hay. If I could find a good way (fiscally) to move a good many of these round bales out West, I’d probably sell a good many.

    Surprisingly many former cattle farmers again went with corn in the pastures instead of cattle this year. Last year the call went out to help make-up the gap from the drought… but to see all this corn around again was surprising. Deer are going to get fat again this year.

    In this crazy year (It’s 88 days till election, yet not ONE convention much less a debate) I had to bite the bullet and pull the trigger on some drum magazines, not as many as I wanted… but to even find some on sale was nice. And by “on sale” I mean the same price I paid at a LGS last year…

    Think I’m also going to get another case of 762×39 today… while I can.

  5. The deficit and debt bomb is likely to kill us all. The spending will never slow. Too many
    people demanding a hand out.

    No matter how well prepared that you think you are and no matter how sustainable your life
    style is,eventually supplies will be exhausted.

    Those in power must be forced to do what is necessary to save our country and our way of

    The implication of the “Quote of the Day” is lost to many people

  6. When and if things settle down and go “back to normal,” whatever that is, a lot of these first time gun buyers will have buyers remorse, and one should be able to find some really good deals. That’s a big ‘IF.’ Things are probably going to get worse in the run up to the election, and no matter what happens, the violence we’ve seen so far will escalate.

    Go to the online sites and sign up for alerts to let you know when things are back in stock, and then jump on it when it comes in. Learn to fight with what you have now, because something is better than nothing.

    What I find ironic now is that we can find AK ammo pretty easily, but getting AKs is difficult. Parts kits abound for the AR, so you can build your own, but 5.56 ammo is almost impossible to find. Strange times, for sure.

    1. I was at a gun show in Huntsville , Alabama this past weekend. AK’s were $1750. Old SKS’s were $650. There are no bargains….BTW, out of all the tables there was just one FFL dealer.

    1. Hi Telesilla of Argos,

      Can’t really say much about the big cities, live in a very rural county. However, I know for a fact that the economic fallout is really bad. A food salvage store I formally frequented (before covid) is expecting their last shipment. They are shutting their doors. the owner told me last week, one day she did a total sales of $34, mostly change. She has been paying everything out of pocket for several months now. She said when the stimulus checks came through, she saw an uptick in business but now the money has run out.

      Mom and Pop stores are shutting down everywhere in our area.

      Churches, VFD, local groups are pleading for food donations to help those out of work. Schools are giving folks a choice on “in person” or remote learning.

      It doesn’t surprise me about the DFW area. It may be a large metro area, but there are a lot of smaller communities surrounding it.

  7. Get your own freeze dryer from Harvestright. No affiliation on my part but their customer support is great and you can start making all kinds of food and store your own. Store what you eat and eat what you store. I freeze almost all of the leftovers and get fruit on sale. Grandchildren love the pineapple and other fruits. You also know what goes into it. Milk, eggs, chicken and other meats will store for 25 years. Add this to the beans and rice.

  8. Now that silver is just above what I started paying for it years ago, all it means is that it’s now worth what I paid for it, and has more value when our “monetary system” turns into the barter version of an economy. You can only start so many fires with paper currency till it runs out and coin don’t seem to work at all.
    Having said that I still think ammo in whatever caliber you chose is the smart buy, anytime at mostly any price……if you can find it. Ammo is one of those things people will hoard, money of any sort, not so much…. Something do do with “value” I think…. Remember boys and girls, if you don’t physically have it in your pocket, you don’t have it…… Long Live Our Republic…

  9. My local Walmart has all the shotgun shells you could want, 12 & 20 gauge, and .410. There were 60+ boxes on the shelves. $22 for boxes of 100 12 gauge so I grabbed more of those, $19.95 for 20 ga. I couldn’t get up to the very mobbed ammo counter, but they had 50 boxes or so. I tried to take a photo since I couldn’t get close enough to see but it was too dark when I zoomed in and couldn’t make out the calibers other than some .30-30’s. I could make out the prices, $15.74 – $21, averaging around $16.50, so 82¢/round. The rifle case was full but I didn’t note the calibers, next time.

      1. Hey RCB5472TN, yes, the $22 was correct ($21.95) but it was only 8 shot. Intruders coming through the front door probably won’t stop to ask and bobwhites are all that’ll be left after the first 30-days of TEOTWAWKI. 🙂

  10. I really do love my Harvest Right Freeze dryer.
    While you can get mylar bags and O2 chips from them also, another really good company for that is IMPAK, our of California and Florida.
    Thank you for all you do Mr. Rawles. I have been reading your sight and books for many years.

  11. Colorado: I bought an AR15 lower half way through last week and they said it was a 3 day wait for the background check. Wed – Friday afternoon. I finally passed at EOB Friday.

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