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 further examine the accelerating exodus from the big cities that is creating demand for suburban and rural real estate. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Where Will The World’s Next Giant Gold Discovery Be Made?

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M.B. sent this news: Two gold nuggets worth $350,000 found in Australia

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COMEX EFP (Ab)Use Has Collapsed

Economy & Finance:

At Investment WatchStagflate, Tax & Lie About Economic Data: US Dept Of Labor Changes Jobless Claims Methodology

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Deloitte: Weekly global economic update. Here is an excerpt:

“Just prior to the current crisis, unemployment was low in most advanced economies. Working-age populations were starting to decline. New technologies offered the promise that we could produce more with less labor, enhancing living standards without too much displacement of workers. Then came COVID-19. The need for social distancing led us to work, shop, and be entertained remotely using technology. It allowed many of us to produce more with fewer inputs. It also led to the demise of countless small and relatively low-productivity businesses, with their market share likely to be captured by larger more productive enterprises. In part, these changes are likely to persist beyond the virus—with both positive and negative consequences.

Consider working from home. Prior to the crisis, the average American spent 225 hours per year traveling to and from work. Millions traveled by air frequently, including most of us, to attend meetings. The shift to remote work means that tasks can be accomplished with fewer resources and time expended. This is a productivity improvement and implies producing the same or greater output at much lower cost, which is potentially beneficial to everyone. Yet society will still pay a price. Less demand for office space, air travel, hotels, restaurants, and public transportation will mean that countless low-wage workers will be displaced. Existing real estate will lose value, companies will fail, asset holders will lose wealth, and social problems could explode.”

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At Wolf Street: Jingle Mail for Malls: Even Biggest Landlords Walk from Malls as Stores Go Bankrupt, Refuse to Pay Rent, Mall Values Slashed Brutally. But those Shorting Mall CMBS Made a Killing

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The Second Wave of Layoffs is Here, Now Hitting Well-Paid Jobs


H.L. sent us this:

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OilPrice News reports: Saudi Arabia’s Oil Exports To The U.S. Slump To Lowest Level In Decades

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Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Curb US Reliance On China For Rare Earths

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Natural Gas Prices Plunge On Expectations Of Lower Demand


Next, over at Seeking Alpha: Tesla’s Revenue Would Need To Increase More Than 40 Times To Justify Its Valuation.  JWR’s Comment:  With a deep and long recession looming, now would be a good time to sell any Tesla stock.

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In Historic Reshuffling, Exxon, Pfizer & Raytheon Kicked Out Of Dow Jones Industrial Average, Replaced By Saleforce, Amgen & Honeywell

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€22Bn Hedge Fund H2O, Majority-Owned by Natixis, Ordered to Freeze Funds. Fishy Smells Emanate

Tangibles Investing:

“Demand Is Insane”: NYC Movers Turn People Away, Suburban & Rural Housing Snagged Up, As Big City COVID-Exodus Accelerates

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Landlords, Please Chime in: After CDC Eviction Moratorium & State Eviction Bans, How Big is Nonpayment of Rent, amid Sharply Conflicting Household Surveys & Landlord Data

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Reader H.L. sent this: One In Four Workers Say They Are Working Entirely From Home: Gallup

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Study predicts millions of unsellable homes could upend market

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New Jersey Is Becoming The Most Hated State As Households Flee In Record Numbers

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And Reader D.S.V. sent this: Big Cities Going Down Hard


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 left Jersey 50 years ago. I tell my wife, the only thing good that came out of Jersey, besides me, is any empty Trailways bus and tomatoes. Jersey tomatoes are the best…I hope they have Jersey tomatoes in Heaven!

  2. “The Second Wave of Layoffs is Here, Now Hitting Well-Paid Jobs”

    Cut off their unemployment benefits. Otherwise, they won’t be motivated enough to look for work.

    1. Unemployment benys are not enough to live on if you are used to any normal paying job. Now that the extra $600 a week ended in July top pay is only $360 a week. They won’t stay on it for long and maintain any sense of worth.

  3. As cities continue their collapse of workers, those able to move out do so, will is it probable this could cause the socioeconomic collapse? It has been on my mind these past few months. Our entire division was teleworking 100% these past few months. Large centers, like the one in Birmingham are not renewing the lease. Interesting times ahead, stay prayed and prepped up!

  4. Restoring, rebuilding and returning manufacturing infrastructure to the United States is absolutely critical to our survival — economic and otherwise — even understanding the concept of comparative advantage. President Trump is working hard to accomplish this goal, and every member of Congress should join him in this endeavor. The Russia hoax, the ridiculous impeachment pursuit, the current efforts to invalidate Trump’s reelection should the Communists not be able to steal it… All of this is costing us precious time, folks — and truly we are long since out of time for this kind of bad behavior.

  5. I cannot help wondering if the tremendous increase in working from home may have some unintended consequences? With all the businesses and services that have been required to maintain the city work environment eliminated, one might pause and reflect if working from home will not further cripple our economy. I for one believe so. Sucking all this capital from the system of an all ready failing economy so rapidly will further increase unemployment, government revenue, and lead to the inevitable increasing of taxes used to keep the rabble under control. Of course actions taken by the government will be short sighted and hasten the economic collapse.
    I am certainly extremely concerned by how fast good is turning to bad and rethinking about a lot of things that I need to do to protect my family. If I had a 401K I would be thinking of liquidating as large a part of it as I could now without penalties and putting the money into tangible goods. My battery is as large as it needs to be so food, alternative shelter, fuel and medicines are occupying my mind almost full time.

    1. Working from home only slightly reduces consumer spending. The key difference is geographic. Instead of spending money in urban areas, people are now spending it in the suburbs, and in rural areas. Hence, the cities (and their restaurants, theaters, cafes, beauty parlors, and shops) will receive less gross revenue. But meanwhile, small-town stores and online retailers will flourish.

      With their big “draws” now shuttered (i.e. restaurants, theaters, concert halls, sports stadiums, and museums) what is the appeal of cities, in the age of telecommuting?

      1. “With their big “draws” now shuttered (i.e. restaurants, theaters, concert halls, sports stadiums, and museums) what is the appeal of cities, in the age of telecommuting?” Not to mention the higher Covid rates and the “peaceful protests” in the big cities.

        Really, I think lots of people are asking themselves why bother to stay given the multiple issues with city living as well as the lack of access to what made them want to stay there(restaurants, theater, etc). If they can now telecommute from anywhere that has high-speed internet, why remain in NYC, LA, Chicago etc. and pay those exorbitant rents or mortgages?

        While some of the expenditures will just transfer over to a new locale(grocery shopping, gyms, car expenses, vet, plumbers, etc) some of it will just disappear I’d imagine if telecommuting becomes the rule. If you’re working from home you just make yourself a coffee, snack or lunch at home; no need to buy it at a Starbucks or lunch spot. If you’re mostly working from home, why bother to buy nice clothes and shoes when sweats and a t-shirt will work just fine? I’d imagine less will be spent at hair and nail salons as well. Plus reduced transportation costs if home is your new office. All of this works out to lowered levels of spending I’d think.

      2. That sucking sound that I mentioned was not just about consumer spending, it is about empty buildings, rent, mortgage default, bank failure, along with the destruction of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac. The consumer spending drop can be attributed to the loss of city jobs due to obsolescence in the business and housing rental industry. This is sure to cause a trickle up demise of the economy, the big guys are starting to hurt all ready, the banks not so much.

        1. @ Joe

          As well, the loss of all of the support jobs no longer needed when the white collar folks move out and work from home will have a major impact. When zillions of people are no longer showing up at their office to work 5 days/week, there’s no need for all of the office cleaners, those that maintained the offices(HVAC, plumbers, electricians etc), baristas, lunch cooks and servers, bus and train operators, UBER drivers, retail clerks, street cleaners and on and on. These job losses will impact the generally lower paid service sector and many won’t be able to find new work yet lack the resources to pick up and move(exception being skilled trades people). So we end up with a lot of permanently unemployed people in the cities with few options.

          1. I hope all the work from home promoters realize, that work from home can be from anywhere!

            Unless your skills are irreplaceable, the job will eventually go to the lowest bidder.

            One more step toward a one world economy.

      3. I work for the enemy BIG PHARMA- I would say that our working from home along with many of the other companies will have tremendous impact. I’m not flying to meetings, driving to visit physicians, staying in hotels, catering lunches. This is just my industry- I see it as having a huge effect.

        1. DS,

          What a strange thing to say. I love pharmaceutical companies!
          I can’t imagine life without them.

          Most of us and those we love, would be dead without them;
          in the very least, our lives would be greatly diminished.

          I have paused to contemplate, and I can’t come up with anyone I know who has had a perfectly healthy life, safe from accidents or sickness.

          I think most people take issue with medicines and/or vaccines being forced upon them, or for example, a sudden 800% price increase for episode-pens.

          Bottom line for me: For better or worse, Big Pharma blesses our lives.

      4. the point is company spending you don´t need an office and much less infrastructure for people who work from home and for meetings etc you could rent a day or a few hours

    2. “I cannot help wondering if the tremendous increase in working from home may have some unintended consequences?”

      Lack of social interaction. Although a lot of employers have been doing their best to dehumanize workers for a while now — because people exist to serve the market, not the other way around — working from home is going to make it worse.

      A recent article in The Atlantic (I know, I know) noted that

      “Friendship at work is crucial to happiness for most people. Among employees and managers studied by the human-resource advisory firm Future Workplace and the workplace-wellness company Virgin Pulse, more than 90 percent said they have friends from work, 70 percent said friendship at work is the most important element to a happy work life, and 58 percent said they would turn down a higher-paying job if it meant not getting along with co-workers.”

      Although the context was about how lonely it is to be the boss, the same applies to us drones. And also for the unemployed; financial worry isn’t the only stress of not working.

      1. Yeah, especially if work consumes 40 plus hours/week. Many people have little time to socialize when they aren’t at work so work becomes their social life and “family” of sorts. Being at home alone and connected only with Zoom meetings. Slack etc is likely going to bring what one does for work into stark relief. That is if you’re an office drone etc that is now working at home tethered to your phone and laptop. Maybe lots of people will end up taking a good hard look at their jobs and seek more fulfilling work at some point.

      2. I agree with the study. Work provides significant social interaction during the week. I’m working from home full time until its safe to go back to the office. I’m fine, been at work for 30+ years and know my job well. Its been tougher for the younger workers though, as OJT and mentoring is more difficult over wires vs in person. Meetings are not quite as efficient either, and those go visit someones desk for a quick discussion about a problem aren’t happening either. Work is more efficient and effective when a team knows each other and has built up trust over time through one on one in person conversations.

  6. re:
    new ‘laws’ against Americans using chinese rare earth minerals

    That could be a farce story from The Onion or Babylon Bee!

    Why do American bureaucrats think more bureaucracy is the cure?

    The chinese RulingElites are long-thinkers, the worst totalitarians with zero empathy for anybody except chinese RulingElites.
    Compared to the American bureaucrats, our RulingElites at least pretend to care about veterans and po-folk and half-wits.

    In the long picture, these united states of America will continue squabbling about short-term ‘urgent issues’… such as drug-addicted career-criminal George Floyd and his ilk.
    In the long picture, these united states of America are collapsing as a ‘global policeman’.
    In the short-term, American shipping ports such as Los Angeles, frisco, Portland, Seattle are collapsed from ‘”internal strife”.
    Who benefits from “internal strife” and short-term import shortages for Americans?
    Follow the money.

    The chinese RulingElites are not our friends… despite ‘esteemed senior-statesman’ Nixon bestowing upon them the exalted title of “Most-Favored Trading-Partner”.

  7. “As an old saying tells us, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.” [from the Internet]

    “He (Jesus) said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    “Then he (Jesus) opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”
    [Luke 24:43-45 , New International Version]
    About: Where Will The World’s Next Giant Gold Discovery Be Made? =

    This site ~gold(dot)info/en/gold-deposits~ has general information about the types of gold mining used. … Plus, there are internal links for areas with gold deposits.
    Gold is ~everywhere on the Earth (even in seawater). … But an economic retrievable concentration of gold occurs only in certain locations.

    Articles about ‘Blood Gold’ are on the Internet. … Thugs around the world will say, “We came, We saw, He died.” … The criminal thugs think nothing of causing death and destruction, to obtain wealth.
    Sometimes, thugs act like Al Capone and destroy the competition, which increases the value of their own products.

    Only certain areas on the Earth, permit private enterprise to mine gold. … But even in the ‘free areas’, it’s necessary to pay-off the politicians. … Votes and Money are all that matter to almost all politicians.
    …. … In the USA, people that want the destruction of the economic wealth of working Americans, can muster several hundred lunatics to dress up like Chipmunks, and angrily chatter at the politicians.

    Many USA politicians are pantywaists, and bend to the demands of Money Donations and the people that dress and chatter like Chipmunks.
    God in your Mercy, help us.

  8. 7.62×39 continues to creep up. The least expensive was recently as low as .26 cents, and now is upwards of .35 cents/rd. At this level, soft point ammunition is being snapped up, and there is usually none to be found.

    Even the crudest, or a junky looking AK can make for a good bullet hose when you need that option. Install a Tapco trigger, or otherwise lighten the trigger, and put it on a bi-pod of some kind, or better yet, a homemade tripod, essentially a secured platform that acts as swivel that the rifle is firmly mounted onto, even if with only bailing wire. Remove the upper hand guard to allow much needed cooling of the gas tube. Start out with a 75 round drum if possible, thereby attaining accuracy through volume fire, or otherwise, a wall of lead The chrome lined barrel that most AK’s have will hold up, and a good AR will not be exposed and ruined by the excessive heat, likely loosing it’s accuracy due the abuse a barrel experiences with sustained volume fire. And an AK is half or less the price to feed. You’ll want cases of the stuff. A cheap, beat up looking AKM rifle, that can not even hit the broad side of a barn, even when inside a barn, can be a huge force multiplier in the right hands. MAC90’s are mil-spec, Arensal makes a solid AK, and Krebs is possibly the best, but don’t spend the money if an ugly WASR-10, or whatever junky and dirt cheap AK you can find because it will work just fine in this role. Just make sure it runs before buying it.

    There might be a lull in demand, but that will instantly change in the near future. Don’t hesitate.

  9. The grapes of wrath, this time coming to the big cities. When will they ever learn.

    Our industry is war. This goes hand in hand with politics. Up till now it’s been on foreign soil. Looks like it is coming home again, finally.

    Gonna be interesting to see what our enemies do once we start the real in-fighting. Looks like they are already lining up to get their slice of our pie.

    Better take a page from the Chinese peasants of the mid-late 20th century and develop a taste for dirt. That which does not kill us can still make us might ill.

    Selco was right after all. Forget John Galt. We are going to end up like Papillon before this is done.

  10. Could it be that the cities are being emptied, so that they can be repopulated with immigrants from China and India???

    All part of the great replacement? It seems like folks are being driven from certain areas, facilitated by people in authority.

    Are the DNC / Elitist politicians going to replace traditional Americans with “High Tech” immigrants?

    It will be interesting to see who gets all the reconstruction contracts and what kind of housing they build.

    Also, there is a push to move the low income folks to rural locations.

    These cities could be rebuilt, and repopulated/colonized in just a few years.

    What is the difference between a riot and a hurricane, besides one being man made and one being natural? Lots of destruction: homes, businesses, vehicles…

    There are some folks that will make a lot of money off of all of this…

  11. Stopped in a local gun store recently and while looking at their large supply of empty shelf space, I saw a decent looking used AK-47 with a 30-round steel magazine. The price was a blistering $1,400 and it took some fortitude not to pass out right then. They actually had a supply of Glock and S&W semi-auto handguns but no ammo and a very meager assortment of extra magazines.

    The nearest large metro area is facing a problem because too many businesses are closed – temporarily or permanently – and combined with fewer workers in the area it really is hurting their tax revenues! All the businesses like restaurants and such are closed or operating at mininal level and paying much less taxes than normal. I expect the big city politicians to eventually cut services as they have already frozen wages for employees, at least those who still have a job.

  12. $1,400.00!? No way, unless it was an Arsenal or some other high quality AK. The price of mine was near that pre-Covid-19. The guy is fishing for a sucker. But that is a price the market may eventually bear. Here is an AKM from Palmetto State Armory for only $699.99.

    Again, with the price of AK ammo less than half that of 5.56, it would be good to diversify. Buy 5 cases of AK ammo from and get an PSAK-47 GF3 bullet hose for free! In other words buy the AK rifle and ammo for $2,450.00 verses 3 cases of the least expensive 5.56 ammo at SGAmmo for about the same money, or about $2,400.00. Of course if you have lot of time and money into the muscle memory on an AR, it might be best to stick with an AR, but if you need additional fire power, and another rifle for some one else, this might then make sense.
    To pull this off, act swiftly.

    This is the current best price, and the best AK ammo available at Read the reviews. It is true mil-spec, low flash, yaws immediately on impact, and as accurate as AK ammo gets for the price. Although I prefer soft points, it is generally no longer available, so I got this ammo $30.00 cheaper 10 days ago. I’ll buy more next week if I can. Eventually this source will dry up.×39-fmj-bt-golden-tiger-124-grain-russian-ammo

    I suspect my long heavy barrel may shoot this as accurately as most mil-spec AR’s with this ammo, or about 2 MOA at about 2,500 fps, or so. It is an atypical, and unusually accurate AK. However, at the moment, I can only hope so…. If you see an RPK style AK, go for it. Look for Norinco MAC-91, or Norinco NHM-91, or other. Most do not know what they have.

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