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 fate of the U.S. Dollar. (See the Forex & Cryptos section.)

Precious Metals:

We’ll start off today’s column with this piece by Arkadiusz Sieroń: Fed Can Control Yield Curve. But It Can’t Control Gold

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Reader “S.” sent me this note:

“Jim, I work at a large coin and precious metals scrap shop in the midwest. We have bought over $1 million of bullion and scrap from the public in the first half of this month. Not many small businesses can do that. There may a run on silver by the big boys and those who have funds to invest, but some of the general public are flat out broke and the larger numbers influenced them to sell in a panic. As of right now, the public is not panic buying/investing in metals.”

Economy & Finance:

Paul Kupiec: Reading the inflation tea leaves. 

JWR’s Comment:  Some long-time SurvivalBlog readers may recall that back in 2008 I suggested that we might see simultaneous inflation and deflation in America. Much like in that financial crisis, as a nation, we are now crossing a similar Rubicon in the debt, equity, metals, and land markets.  Witness the recent inversion of the Yield Curve. So now, once again: We might see simultaneous inflation and deflation. Let me be more specific: By this, I mean that some sectors of the economy may have rising prices, while at the same time, other sectors might have falling prices.

The Depression of the 1930s was an almost entirely Deflationary Depression. But the Depression of the 2020s could very well be an Inflationary-Deflationary Depression(TM). One current example: Rural real estate versus urban real estate. The big cities–particularly on the coasts–are presently hearing a Giant Sucking Sound. But rural properties are selling very rapidly. And I can foresee both personal (wrist and handheld) electronics–as well as most other home electronics–continue to fall in price. Ditto for photovoltaic panels — where the bottom might be found as low as 40 cents per watt. Oh, but large storage battery prices meanwhile might rise. Stocks and even the Dollar itself may crash, while precious metals and cryptocurrencies rise. Fuel prices may fall, while many staple foods may rise. Guns and ammo will probably continue to rise, while many other durable consumer products fall.

Buckle up, folks!

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At Zero Hedge“It’s Just Absolutely Incredible”: What’s Going On In The Corporate Bond Market Is Stunning

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Paul in Nashville sent us this headline: We Just Crossed the Line Debt Hawks Warned Us About for Decades

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At Wolf Street: Disconcertingly, Both State & Federal “Initial” Unemployment Claims Jump. 28 Million People on Unemployment Insurance, 17.5% of Labor Force: Week 22 of U.S. Labor Market Collapse


Coking coal prices may rise slowly after breaching marginal costs: sources

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OilPrice News reports: Demand For Oil Tankers Plunges As OPEC+ Restricts Exports

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Shell’s Colossal Miscalculation in 2011 of Today’s LNG Price: Largest-Ever $12-$17-Billion “Floating Facility” Shut Down, Months After Shipping First LNG. Done in by Long Price Collapse


From the Perpetual Cheering Section at Yahoo: Record-high prices is no reason to dump stocks: Morning Brief. JWR’s Comment: The eternal trurth: Buy low. Sell high. Today is is a good time to unload most of your remaining equities. The artificially low interest rates and multi-trillion dollar bailout (“stimulus”) spending cannot continue indefinitely!

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Warren Buffett: Prepared for an Epic Stock Market Crash

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Business Insider reports: Four reasons the stock market is at record highs despite the sharpest economic decline since the Great Depression.

Forex & Cryptos:

Roubini: Is the Almighty Dollar Slipping?

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US Dollar stalls after slipping to 27-month low, economic uncertainties linger

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I see that the inflation rate in Zimbabwe is now back up to 35.5% per month.  How would you enjoy losing 0ne-third of your national currency’s buying power, in just a month? Learn from this, folks. In the midst of a currency collapse, tangibles will be your safe harbor.

o  o  o

Some interesting reading: Doubling-Down On Failed Policies With Central-Bank-Digital-Currencies

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Analysts Think the U.S. Dollar May Bottom—and That’s Bad for Bitcoin

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Offline Staking, Explained

Tangibles Investing:

I see that the AR lower receivers at Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD) are no longer dirt cheap. $399 for Black Rain Ordnance stripped lower??? (I should mention that CTD is notorious for jacking up their prices, in the midst of crises. So I don’t do business with them.) Mark my words: There may come a day when a stripped alloy AR lower is worth more than its weight in silver. Here is a pithy aphorism for you, of my own invention:  When does a commodity cease to be a commodity? When everyone wants to buy it.

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New York and San Francisco Can’t Assume They’ll Bounce Back. JWR Says:  “Go rural, young man.”


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. I am new to this blog, but would like some guidance as far as investing in metals. If SHTF, the paper certificates are worthless, but I worry about theft if the metal was in the house.

    Any suggestions where to start?

    1. Seth, The chances of having it stolen from your home is minimal compared to having it stolen on paper certificates due to grid down situations or just the dishonesty of the seller of the certificate during difficult times. ALWAYS have your precious metals on hand. There are always places in the home to hide it all around. Don’t keep it all in one place. Paper is just paper. Having your PM’s on hand doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sell it during a crisis, but at least you’ll have it, with a chance to barter it or sell it later during better times. With certificates during a crisis, they are no better than toilet paper. Take the chance with physical and not paper…..A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush…… My opinion only

      1. The best place to hide small valuables like cash, gold, silver etc. is in the ground. Take a fruit jar with a new lid and bury it in your yard so that the top of the jar is about one inch below the ground. It will be thief proof, tornado proof and fire proof. Replace the lid and ring about twice a year. This is an old fashioned way of safely storing your valuables but it worked just fine for your grand parents. And don’t forget where you buried it!

        1. Hide it in plain sight, somewhere that’s easy to get to if you want to look at it, like an old tool box, just put it in the bottom of the box and put a piece of tin over it and fill the box back up with wrenches, screw drivers and hammers. Then leave it set on the work bench or on the floor in the utility room, ain’t many thieves looking to steal some old Chinese wrenches. Trekker Out

    2. You might try looking into the Sprott fund stocks to diversify some precious metals holdings away from storing too many in your home. I don’t hold long-term savings in cash, but in Sprott funds. These are fully backed by physical metals, they have a stellar reputation, and they are a Canadian company (so in a country that respects property rights as opposed to a 3rd-world nation). If you had a gazillion dollars worth of this stock, you could redeem for physical metal – I think this stock will always have buyers because of this. Stocks will give you quick liquidity if needed so I like these funds for medium and long term savings both.

      I would always want some physical pm’s around my home, but if you are genuinely uncomfortable with that or might need to be a bit more liquid, look at the Sprott funds. Their main funds are gold, silver, or platinum/paladium.

    3. Buy lead if you are not already fully invested. 5.56 has in recent months outperformed precious metals. Small and large rifle primers are actually harder to come by than loaded ammunition. .243, .30-06, .270 and .308, and 7.62×39 are now drying up and prices will jump up accordingly. I would also back up the truck for antibiotics. Both can save lives and will be priceless for those who do not have enough.

    4. The most important thing is that no one knows you have silver or gold bullion in your home. Not your children, neighbors, family members co-workers, no one. If they know you have thousands of dollars in PM’s they will tear your house apart looking for it. Don’t hide them in the master bedroom, freezer, etc. The crooks are smart too and they know where to look. Put it in the bottom of the junk box under more junk boxes maybe in a corner of the garage. You can buy a safe and put it in there but if I were a crook breaking into a house and encountered a safe I would set the 60″ TV down and begin working on the safe. I would beat up the home owner until they opened the safe. The safe is a huge “magnet”. My best advice about the safe would be to put one in a obvious place and secure it with a trigger wire to a really loud alarm that cannot be shut off. Then when the perp sees the safe and tries to take it or open it the alarm goes off.

    5. If you are worried about theft of high value tangibles, then do some research into different ways to hide things within traditional home construction. There are myriad open wall spaces, and even options like false closet or pantry ceilings, to hide small document style fire safes in most any house.
      They can’t steal it if they can’t find it.

    6. The vast majority of my silver purchases have been from Ebay sellers. Also have bought from Modern Coin Mart, and Apmex. I’ve only been to a couple of coin shows and bought there.

      Most of my Ebay purchases were junk dimes, quarters, and halves. Often at about $1-$2 per ounce over spot. Often very close to spot, but the higher prices were for Mercury dimes or Franklin halves that looked good. Also, most purchases were rolls (50 coins in a dime roll, 40 in a quarter roll, etc). I think I got good deals. The trade-off is it takes time to go through the searches and auctions. I don’t think I ever got cheated on an Ebay silver deals, and I’ve done hundreds.

      My experience buying from MCM and Apmex were good.

      The coin shows were good. I just bought worn junk silver in their scrap piles. Was buying for silver content, not numismatic, and I got lots right at spot, sometimes even a tick below.

      If you are comfortable with Ebay, I’d say it’s a good route. So, right this minute the lowest Buy It Now for a 50-coin silver dime roll is $110 shipped. 50 x .07234 = 3.617 troy ounces. $110/3.617 = $30.41. That’s pretty high. Spot price for that roll is 3.617 x $26.71 = $96.61. So you’d pay $3.70 over spot and it’d be delivered to you. If you poked around in some auctions you could get it for less. If you used Paypal and got 1% cash back that’s another $.30 less per ounce you’d pay. Anyway, something to consider. You could also find a reputable coin dealer in your area. I wouldn’t get into numismatics at first, just look to buy silver.

      I think it’s good to keep some in easy reach, hide some where it’s easy to get to, and bury some in sealed PVC pipes.

    7. Best thing you can do from a security standpoint is Don’t Talk About It. Don’t post photos, even on the cloud. Don’t tell all your friends that metals are the future. Make sure your kids don’t spread it around their schools that “Daddy has a treasure box in the basement”.

      Follow rhat advice, you’l have no problems.

  2. If you have a basement or a garage, install a “floor safe” in the concrete slab.
    If your house burns the dirt under the slab will help protect the contents of the safe somewhat. Drag some piece of furniture over the floor safe and its doubtful anyone looking to rob you will find a floor safe.

  3. NYC evacuees have precipitated the raising of real estate prices in CT dramatically; not just in the suburb and rural areas, but in the cities also. I haven’t seen price increase rates in the cities like this in my lifetime.
    These people are not going back any time soon.

  4. Precious Metals Reader “S.” sent me this note
    I believe what this guy is saying.
    I get rolls of half dollars to search. I do find silver some before 1965 but most
    1965 to 1969 so those are 40% silver. I do not want the 40% ones so I sell them at spot
    Most times they sell in a few days now we are not talking a lot here like 50 coins at a time .
    Well, my [40% silver coins for sale] ad has been up for 3 weeks and not a person has called, so I guess I am going to start saving them, too.

    1. Agreed, me and most of the locals are praying for some HARD winters! We have been invaded here and many are NOT you friendly, get along and help your neighbors types.

    2. All the escapees that have moved to our little piece of heaven in Idaho are so GRATEFUL and kind and caring and helpful. They are responsible for revitalizing the tiny town that was in disrepair. I asked one of my neighbors, seeing that one of their vehicles had Idaho plates, “so did you make the leap?” She said, “partly, my husband has an elderly father he must care for right now, so we’re only here part time still. But, I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!” Just noting that it is not my experience that uber liberals are moving to Idaho. Quite the contrary. May be different in other states.

  5. re:
    Gotham and Gamorrah

    I visit elderly shut-ins.
    Often, we chat while half-spectating at televisionprogramming.
    One favorite televisionprogramming is the series SUITS about high-price lawyers in New York city and Chicago and Baltimore [ theme song: ‘Greenback Boogie’ (“…another piece of the pie…”)].

    The comparison between the televisionprogramming of a couple-three years ago and the YouTube videos of drivers manoeuvring through big cities in the last few months is astonishing:
    * miles of burned or boarded-up businesses covered with painted vandalism.
    * tons of rotting garbage.
    * thousands of aimless vagrants, their only goal is destroying everything they were taught to hate.

    In the televisionprogramming, fancy-dressed VerySelf-ImportantPeople travel around in foreign hotrods and limousines and other announcements of their target value.

    Decades ago, I worked with Michael Milken.
    He drove a battered old Plymouth.
    He also earned a million dollars a day, and that was back when a million dollars was really something.
    After the bosses insisted, he traveled with a retired LawEnforcementOfficial… in the same battered old Plymouth.

    Televisionprogramming is not real.
    I’ll go so far as to say ‘televisionprogramming is the opposite of reality’.
    And where do most folks get their information! about this phase of this Economic Lock-Down?

    1. LargeMarge!
      Loved the story of Michael Milken and the battered old Plymouth!

      You are right. Television programming is not real… It’s a great concern to me also people rely all too heavily on works of fiction for the conclusions they draw about reality.

  6. My Dad for years said that this economy can’t go on forever, the inflation. But he was saying this back in the 60’s already, and whenever there was a change in the government or related area, he would start talking ( complaining, griping, he and Mom lived through the depression ) and he was still talking about the way the economy is today pretty much until the day he passed away. And on the subject that Roseman brought up about real estate prices going out of sight, we had this happen here in the upper midwest when Citibank came to town. People from New York city, New Jersey, CT came to this area to work and live, they bought ” farms ” when in reality they were buying farmyard with buildings and yes there were some who purchased regular farmland for investment, but they drove the farm and land prices right through the roof. Yes , a lot of them stayed but most I’ve been told have moved back to the east coast because there wasn’t enough to do here, entertainment, night life etc etc. Just my two cents here.

    1. Alfie! An interesting point you make about “lifestyle”, and it’s true… Some adjust and stay in rural areas. Many leave and return to the cities. These are two entirely different kinds of living experiences. I remember the stark contrast when I spent a great amount of working time in a very large metro area and was a weekender myself in a more rural location. Of course, I was always destined to return to rural life as was my husband — and wild horses couldn’t drag us back to a metropolitan area. If we had to do it all over, we would simply make the full time transition much sooner in life.

  7. What I invested in: Not 1, but 2 german shepherd puppies since I could not find any “rescuable” GSDs. Sadly, if they aren’t trained properly, many are surrendered for severe aggression issues and very difficult to train them out of their issues. So…the training has begun at barely 8 weeks old. When I see that cute little fur ball doing something unacceptable, I see it as if he is his adult 90 lb weight! Now that summer is almost over, demands are less, shifting into Fall gear – I can devote myself. I’m super happy, but I’m a realist after having raised or been involved with more than a dozen GSDs. Wish me luck. LOL.

    1. Enjoy those pups, SaraSue!

      Also wanted to expand on a point you made about cute little fur balls engaging in unacceptable behaviors, and imagining those behaviors in a full grown adult dog.

      We ought to consider the same as we raise human children! Clearly we must communicate with children in ways that are age appropriate and developmentally appropriate — and as well with tremendous kindness and compassion — but we should not dismiss inappropriate behaviors because we know — if these are left unchecked — that these will result in problems down the road for our smaller children as they get older.

      1. Totally agree. I was pleasantly surprised when my grandchildren visited last week. They have great manners and are well behaved, and I know what a struggle it’s been. That’s really hard for a 1, 3 & 4 yr old!! Their parents are soooo consistent. Made gramma’s heart proud.

    2. SaraSue, I am so happy for you and your puppies. Will definitely be praying for successful training. My neighbors K-9 GSD was 120 lbs last time I talked with them, and he wasn’t fully grown! Quick. Stock up on more dog food supplies! hahaha
      Many, many blessings to you this week, Krissy

      1. Thank you! I do a raw food diet for the dogs, so they eat human food which makes it much simpler. (Not to start any controversies!! LOL). I do have some cans of very high quality food for “emergencies”, but I figure if I’m eating, they’re eating.

  8. Anyone that is interested at all in what is planned for the monetary system of our country
    will want to read and understand U.S. Senate Bill 3571.
    You may need buy some Imodium after reading it.

  9. $2,000 for a basic AR [that I saw] listed this morning.
    I still don’t want the money bad enough to sell any excess to those who suddenly decided to get it together though.
    Too many things are fixing to happen for that temptation. If not I still won’t be crying over it because I’d rather be safe, make sure all my folks are good and not arm the opposition accidentally.

  10. Economic decisions are closely related to personal and social psychology — and the broader psychological and sociological environment. With this in mind, Mike Adams has an interview with “NC Scout” (American Partisan) related to the changes in ground conditions. NC Scout talks about what he anticipates in and around the election, and following it.

    I believe President Trump, if reelected, will succeed — and all those of us who believe in Constitutional government, civil society and personal liberty, and law and order will also succeed. We will succeed in the face of and despite all the adverse efforts. Radical leftists won’t make it easy, and they will attempt to make conditions painfully difficult — but they will not succeed in the course of a 2nd term for President Trump.

    We must remain steady, focused, and prepared.

    We must persevere.

    1. Great thoughts. I also think they won’t succeed if by some off chance the President is not re-elected. Because… everyone has seen what they’re capable of and it’s a rare person who thinks any of that is good for this country.

  11. From your post, Matt in Oklahoma: “…and not arm the opposition accidentally.”

    You raise an important consideration. We should not accidentally or inadvertently arm the opposition!

  12. Regarding the national debt; we will never pay it off. There are three possibilities:
    1. We commit to paying it off and over 20 years or so and much suffering we finally admit we can’t pay it off and decide to write it off.
    2. We ignore it and it continues to grow and we experience hyper-inflation, a great depression, years of suffering and finally figure out we cannot pay it off so we write it off.
    3. We get a brilliant and patriotic congress and President and over a weekend they write it off.

    We are too stupid to do #3 first so I expect when this finally crashes we have 20 years of suffering to go through until we finally write of the debt.

  13. Dear Jim:

    Thank you for including the inspiring remarks from Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona). That brings back fond memories.

    My dad was an ardent supporter of Goldwater and I remember him driving our young family to see the Senator when he made a campaign stop in Portland, OR — I think it was April of 1964. I recall picking up several campaign items at that event. I may still have a bumper sticker that reads: “AuH20”

    I admired Goldwater for being an avid ham radio operator, and also an accomplished pilot who flew his own airplane. (I eventually got my General Class ham radio license, and also became a licensed pilot flying my Cessna 337 — so perhaps he helped inspire me.)

    Even though Goldwater did not win the 1964 Presidential election, he helped plant the seeds of the modern conservative movement. He lived to see the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, and I’m sure that was a great satisfaction to him.

    In my early morning prayer walk today, I found myself praying for the upcoming general election. There is much at stake in 2020 — both at the national, state and local levels. I hope that many of us will band together in praying that God’s will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).

    Blessings to each of you!
    Cliff (in Oregon)

    1. We join you in this too…

      From your post, Cliff in Oregon: “In my early morning prayer walk today, I found myself praying for the upcoming general election. There is much at stake in 2020 — both at the national, state and local levels. I hope that many of us will band together in praying that God’s will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).”

      1. Replying to myself with a chuckle… I was thinking about the post by Cliff in Oregon, and should have signed off Telesilla of Argos (even though I did grow up in Oregon).

        1. Thank you so much, Telesilla! It is so powerful when we as Christians agree and unite in prayer for our nation.

          By the way, no worries about saying “Telesilla of Oregon” — it actually has a nice ring to it! Have a great day!

  14. I read it and think that I will be requiring tar, feathers, and a rope for any politicians that vote for this bill. Honestly how much more will we have to put up with before we start dealing with politicians the way that they deserve ?

    1. I’m not a fear monger, nor am I a violent person. But, I do believe in tar & featherin’, as well as stringing up evil politicians. And I’m not just saying that. They are truly running an insurgency against the Republic. They deserve a traitor’s death. I do believe that if the Department of InJustice continues to allow crime to run rampant throughout politics, the People will have to take matters into their own hands. That is my firm belief and I’m sticking to it. I don’t know if that day will ever come for us. I don’t know if The People will have the guts to take matters into their own hands in order to save the Republic. The very idea requires each of us to know and understand our own “red line”, and agree collectively (or not – because I inherently hate the word “collective”), that the line has been crossed. Lots to think about.

  15. Imagine the U.S. economy if it were not suffering financial exsanguination by China (and others including, unfortunately our “allies” within the European Union).

    To SaraSue’s thoughts about traitors among us… It would surely be helpful if our politicians were not bought off by and beholden to the CCP (not that this is the case for all of them, but surely an investigation in this regard should be conducted in earnest and is long overdue).

  16. Off the topic of economics and investing, but an important prayer request of the SB community… Please prayer for the safe delivery of all who are in the path of the storms moving up through the Gulf.

  17. If we have diligent faith, God’s grace will be sufficient to see us through. Whatever we are given, we will surely be provided with all we need to do His will. Our diligence is to do with what we are provided, follow His direction, and not worry about the rest. Worry is not of God, but of the world. We, the faithful, already know what God’s will is, and ought only to focus on that one, singular objective. Let us be His instrument for fulfilling our purpose, for God is love.

  18. About: “We Just Crossed the Line Debt Hawks Warned Us About for Decades”
    This paragraph is in the article: =
    “The coronavirus pandemic, and the economic collapse that followed, unleashed a historic run of government borrowing: trillions of dollars for stimulus payments, unemployment insurance expansions, and loans to prop up small businesses and to keep big companies afloat.”

    The pandemic was ~intentionally exacerbated by Communist China. … China, when the Flu started in Wuhan, restricted travel within China. ~ Yet, China permitted travel outside of China to the rest of the World; without an accurate warnings about the Covid-19 Flu. China also lied to the world about the contagious characteristics about Covid-19. … The China Flu is a worldwide problem. China owes many countries compensation for the harm China has intentionally caused.

    President Trump has suggested having China pay for all the harm, China has caused to the rest of the world, because of China’s duplicity about Covid-19. …. … Here’s an idea too: “Trey Gowdy Proposes Plan To Make China Pay – Trump Can Just Deduct America’s Costs From Chinese Debt.” … … “China has steadily accumulated U.S. Treasury securities over the last few decades. As of May 2020, the Asian nation owns $1.08 trillion, or about 4% [of the US National Debt]” (from the Internet)

    Communist China also has other investments in the USA. I would support any politician that would place a debt-lien on China owned property, here in the USA! …. I might even consider approving of ‘waterboarding’ the US Politicians ~owned by the Chinese Communists, too. [Unfortunately, China Joe, Crazy Nancy, Sneaky Diane, Cryin’ Chuck, Crooked Hillary and so forth ~ are all too old to Waterboard.]

    Many US Politicians have gotten rich and old, after years of selling-out Americans for the benefit of Communist China.

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