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 rising price of silver. (See the Precious Metals section.)

Precious Metals:

The shortage of physical silver in the U.S. has been continuing since market demand turned sharply in March. Consequently, dealer premiums have been high, and the available selection of coins has been pitifully small. Today’s market is a classic “beggars can’t be choosers” situation. Even old, tarnished random year “Christmas Rounds” (the familiar 1-ounce annual issue coins from commercial mints) are selling for as much as $8 over spot. And I’ve seen U.S. Mint Silver Eagles selling at as much as $15 over spot. Ouch!  When I last checked, I saw that Gainsville Coins has a more reasonable $9 per coin premium, if you buy Silver Eagles in full U.S. Mint  20-coin tubes. That works about to about $703 per tube. Meanwhile, APMEX sells the same 20-coin tubes for around $739. But be sure check shipping costs before you order, regardless of where you buy. Those costs can vary widely! And, as always, try to place your order on a “dip in the market” day.

Economy & Finance:

Euro zone, economic recovery falters in August

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Australia’s Construction Industry Faces “Bloodbath,” Says Lobbying Group Clamoring for Bailout, after Riding up the Housing Bubble

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The latest podcast, over at Wolf Street: THE WOLF STREET REPORT: The Zombie Companies Are Coming


Texas Crop and Weather Report – Aug. 18, 2020 — Retail beef price drop reflects lower wholesale prices

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OilPrice News reports: Saudi Arabia Refuses To Learn From Its Two Failed Oil Price Wars. This insightful article by Simon Watkins begins:

“Having failed to achieve the slightest semblance of success in the two oil price wars that it started – the first running from 2014 to 2016, and the second running from the beginning of March to effectively the end of April this year – it might be assumed that key lessons might have been learned by the Saudis on the perils of engaging in such wars again. Judging from various statements last week, though, Saudi Arabia has learned nothing and may well launch exactly the same type of oil price war in exactly the same way as it has done twice before, inevitably losing again with exactly the same catastrophic effects on it and its fellow OPEC members. At the very heart of Saudi Arabia’s problem is the collective self-delusion of those at the top of its government regarding the Kingdom’s key figures relating to its oil industry that underpins the entire regime.”

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Is U.S. Shale Poised For A Comeback?


Why the stock market is divorced from the pain of a pandemic economy

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Morgan Stanley Warns “The First Tradable Correction Could Begin Imminently”

Forex & Cryptos:

Swiss Franc Currency Exchange Rate Forecast

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Pound Sterling Holds Key Levels against Euro and Dollar as Markets see Through Brexit Theatrics

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Central Bank Digital Currencies and Their Role in the Financial System

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Central bank digital currencies will ‘complement’ cash: BIS study

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I would never invest one cent in Bitcoin, says Ryanair CEO

Tangibles Investing:

This might seem counterintuitive, but… Used car prices are spiking during the coronavirus pandemic. JWR’s Comment:  Remember that price discovery has two main components: Supply and demand. In this case, it is the supply side that is constricted

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Meanwhile, in the classic car market, it is the “high end” that has suffered, while the “affordable” classics have held their value: This June article from Wolf Street explains the anomaly: Asset Class of Classic Cars Sinks, High-End Hits 5-Year Low, Priciest Ferraris Drop the Most. American Muscle Cars Fall to 2007 Level


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. Good morning
    I was lucky enough yesterday to add two tubes of Silver Eagles from AMPEX on a flash sale they had for only 4 hours. I got them for $5.99 over spot & free shipping as I have been a customer with them for years.
    Sign up for the email alerts and you can get in on these deals also 🙂

    Have a Rockin great day

  2. Silver
    I am still trying to sell my 40% silver coins at spot price it has been 4 weeks and no call yet. They used to sell fast, before.
    Also, saw an ad for $19 dollars for $1.00 [face value] in silver that is below spot price.

  3. Off topic. Does anyone have a solution to MS Windows or an alternative that you don’t have to be a tech junkie to use? Someone and I expect MS is messing with my computer. They are doing daily updates which I assume is for the purpose of downloading the contentsof my hard driveas he HD is constantly operating. Thank you.

    1. Hey Bob… First thing to do (and it is not difficult) is to switch completely over to LINUX from Windows. My husband has done this for us. There are lots of videos and instructions with how-to information (YouTube).

      Virtually all Linux “flavors” are free to download and use. We use Linux Mint. Link is included below…

      It comes preloaded with compatible desktop productivity software including Libre Office which is very similar to MS Word, and can export documents in the MS Word format (docx). …and it’s free.

      We have been using Linux for several years, and would never consider going back to windows.

      You might also purchase a subscription to a VPN (like NORD VPN or EXPRESS VPN or PROTON VPN), and install it on your computer. This will encrypt the data, and hopefully this will protect your HD from incursions.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Hey Bob! I agree with the others here… Linux Mint is a virtually perfect operating system… much less of a resource hog than Windows, infinitely more secure, and customizable to the nth degree. Here’s an idea… you can download the free (Linux is free, and nearly all of the software is free) disk Image, use Windows to burn the iso file onto a flash drive, and then boot your computer into the Linux OS, so you can “try before you buy” (although there is nothing to buy. Unetbootin is the easiest way to do this:
      After you have downloaded the Linux Mint file (I recommend Linux Mint Cinnamon), and burned it to a flash drive, plug it into your computer, and reboot. It may boot directly into the flash drive, or you may have to tell the BIOS to boot into the drive (F2 or DEL usually when you see the first screen). Linux will boot up automatically, and you can test it out.
      Once you have decided that this is better than Windows, you can install it, either on your current hard drive alongside Windows (Dual Boot), you can replace the OS on your current Drive (backup all your photos, music, documents, etc) to an external drive, or buy a SSD ($50) and install it in your computer… this is much easier than it sounds, and generally takes about 10 minutes, including opening the case. If you are using a laptop, may take a few more minutes, but is very easy and almost impossible to mess up. Square peg in square hole, and all that.
      One comment about Mac… this is a far superior system to Windows, as another reader suggested, but the computers are more expensive, and you still have to buy most of your software. We had Macs for years, but have moved everything to Linux, because it is better than even the Mac. You can use your current computer with Linux… not so with the Mac…
      The only issue is that Windows or Mac software will generally not run on Linux, or you have to run emulation software to get common Windows programs to run. If you must use proprietary software that is not available for anything but Windows, this could be an issue, but there are tens of thousands of software titles out there, and many of us here use Linux and can help you with ideas for substitutes. Reminder… almost all of the software is free. Actually free… not free for 21 days, then you pay. Free. Forever. This has saved us thousands of dollars over the years.
      Someone may pipe in here and say that Linux is difficult to use, and you have to know code, and everything is done through the terminal. I say this… that may have been true 15 years ago. Not today. My 80 year old mother-in-law uses Linux, and loves it. It just works. It doesn’t break, it doesn’t require hours of updates (it does require updates, but you can choose when to install them, and they typically take about five minutes.
      Just remember to turn on your firewall after you install… it is not on by default.
      Linux Mint is the perfect OS for preppers as well. But that’s for another post…

      1. Hi Klaude F,

        We run Macs, and I am going to install Proton VPN and mail, onto every phone and computer. Will installing Proton keep me safe and private as opposed to buying a Windows based machine and installing Linux? We have a bit of investment into our Macs, including a new iPad, and buying all new machines would be pricey. Thanks for any help from any blog readers.

    3. I’m going to agree with everybody’s suggestion for Linux Mint.

      See if there is a Linux User Group (LUG) in your area. They can be great places to get help.

      Meetup ( ) is a great place to start looking. Also, if there is a university or community college, check there – even if you’re not a student. Or just search for “Linux User Group” + location using your favorite internet search engine.

  4. Used car prices definitely going up. Been looking for a couple of months. Not many private same ads, even dealers are low in stock. Spoke to one dealer and they said what vehicles are available are at least twice as much at auction currently. Praise the Lord, I was able to purchase a suitable vehicle this week.

      1. It’s fair to say that we are all independent individuals. We would not want to be held accountable for the crimes of another, and we would not want to be held accountable for the thoughts or belief systems of another. Even so… It’s also fair to say that we are influenced by and the products of the environment that surrounds us. One wonders about the influence of this father on his daughter in the development of her own world view, political beliefs, economic philosophy and more. Given the importance of the job for which she is applying, it seems reasonable to ask these important questions — and to look to the influences that surround the candidate, and the history of her own choices in life for information that sheds light on the answers.

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