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 economic implications of Joe Biden’s policies. (See the Economy & Finance section, the Commodities section, and the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold off 2-week high as investors book profits.

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Even if you’re not a geologist, you can tell if a gold stock is legitimate

Economy & Finance:

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.us: Blue State Economies Will Soon Crumble – But Will They Take Red States With Them?

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At Seeking Alpha: COVID response: Biden to use Defense Production Act, executive actions

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Over at the left-leaning Quartz news outlet: Biden has a $1.9 trillion economic recovery plan—and a path to achieve it.  JWR’s Comments: In at least one way, Biden is a lot like Trump. He is willing to vastly expand the debt burden of future generations, in exchange for short-term benefit. Beware. This may just be the beginning of a lot more over-spending.  You’ve surely heard the old expression: “Our forefathers are rolling in their graves.” Well, Biden should have our unborn children rolling in their wombs.

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At Wolf Street: Eviction Bans, Surging Apartment Vacancy Rates Trip up CMBS Backed by 43 Apartment Buildings.

Commodities:

OilPrice News reports: Biden Plans To Kill Keystone XL Oil PipelineJWR’s Comments:  The promises that Biden has made to the Green Mafia–peppered with “people of color” rhetoric–include reduced fracking, reduced drilling in Alaska, higher fuel taxes, higher taxes on energy producers, “a global moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic“, a “clean energy future and environmental justice“, “aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations”, and much more. Most of Biden’s cabinet picks are delighting the greenie-socialist Sierra Club. We can anticipate the U.S. transitioning from an energy-exporting country into an energy-importing country in less than four years.

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What’s Next For Very Volatile Natural Gas Markets

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Lithium Outlook 2021: Analysts Positive on Pricing, More Balanced Market Ahead

Equities:

At Seeking Alpha: Market Report: Smart Money Is Selling At The Fastest Pace Since 2007

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Jim Rogers predicts the next bear market will be the worst in over 70 years

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Technically Speaking: Signs Of Exuberance Warn Of Correction

Forex & Cryptos:

Reader H.L. spotted this article on the slide in the exchange value of the U.S. Dollar: The Next Financial Crisis is Coming Soon

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USD/CAD Snaps Lower Following Bank of Canada Rate Decision

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At Seeking Alpha: Bitcoin crumbles even as good news rolls in

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More than 7,000 comments were received regarding the proposed FINCEN regulation and surveillance of cryptocurrency transactions.

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Man who accidentally threw out a bitcoin fortune offers $70 million for permission to dig it up

Tangibles Investing:

Alabama saw record gun sales in 2020; sales starting strong in 2021 after DC protest. JWR’s Comment: With Biden’s plans to further restrict guns, the shortages at the retail level that we’ve seen for guns, ammunition, and full capacity magazines will undoubtedly continue. Methinks the next big shortages will be AR-15s, and Beta-style AR drum magazines. And that may soon be followed by a shortage of all AR magazines.

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Florida Gun Store Says Customers Are Camping Out For Ammo. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)

Provisos:

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!




52 Comments

  1. Then why have the ammo makers not expand their production capacity at all? Like add
    new machines and hire more workers. Like any other industry does . Sorry sheep as long as the stock market posts record highs when you all get fleeced great. Peace. May God Have Mercy On Us All.

    1. Wizzo, if it was that easy, there would be new ammunition companies popping up like AR-15 companies boomed when they were in short supply.

      But while you can repurpose all sorts of CNC machines to make aluminum receivers, you can’t do that with loaded ammunition. Nor can companies just go out and buy these machines off the shelf. They have to be purpose built. Beyond that, I would expect that there are supply constrains for components and raw materials like primers and lead.

      The long and short of it is that expanding or building a new ammunition plant is so time consuming and expensive that no company will consider it when Joe Biden and company could destroy their market with a vote in congress or a signature. Look at the disruption he caused with the XL pipeline as an example.

    2. You need a market that justify the investment, than you need the money to pay for machinery, a suitable(with energy, traffic connections etc) place for this machinery, raw materials and enough trained crew for a core and then you need the raw materials which most likely needed to be produced by someone else

  2. Wizzo…you just dont add equipment. You need infrastructure, floor space, capital, hire and training people, etc… That takes months of planning and the manufacturer needs to insure he has enough business to pay back his investment and keep the new people employed. Not that simple.

    1. True, but if they’re not already working three shifts, they can add a shift and avoid the first three costs you listed. There’s definitely enough demand to justify ramping up.

  3. $9 a rd for 38 yeah folks are camping out. The lines start at 0400 at Academy, twice a week, in OKC for a truck that may or may not show that may or may not have ammo and may or may not have the type of ammo needed.
    Reports are that it is many of the same “customers” and those are from small gunshops and pawnshops buying it at regular prices then selling it at inflated prices later.
    BTW there have ben reported robberies shortly afterwards of ammo purchases which is funny seeing as how this is a constitutional carry state but whatya expect from folks who didn’t prepare to start with because I’m “the crazy one one”. They aren’t even carrying that gun for the ammo they just got because they will magically know when it will be needed just in time to retrieve it from the safe and conquer.
    Safe queens are like girlfriends as they are only fun when you are with them and a car is not a holster. CARRY means CARRY

    Foods Next

    1. Matt, you’re right.
      Food price increases will be next. … Senile Joe, and his handlers, already are set out plans to ~increase the price of Energy in America. … Our society is dependent on inexpensive fuels. = The foundation of America.
      This is an old comment from here at SurvivalBlog:

      “JWR Replies: I am a big believer in sprouting. The nutritive value of sprouts is tremendous There are quite a few articles and letters on the topic in our archives. Using our Search window (at the top of SurvivalBlog’s right hand bar), just search on the words “sprouts” and “sprouting”. I haven’t tried sprouting Salba, but I plan to soon give it a try.”
      [From a reply to SurvivalBlog, AUGUST 13, 2008]
      ********
      ********
      [GGHD] Sprouting provides ‘edible greenery’ in the diet. … Sprouting ~requires clean water as a necessity for intestinal health. … People could consider trying-out some sprouting now, while the times are still good. There’s a library of information here at SurvivalBlog.

      1. Food prices have been steadily rising throughout the pandemic. Since food and energy are not included in the inflation index, few people notice. When we go to the store, I frequently sit in the car and watch while my wife shops.
        Half the people who shop are going into the store and coming out with one small plastic bag, food for one meal or one day. These are people who will turn criminal first when the supply chain breaks down, and the number is staggering. In the cities they will be the early on in the devastating death toll that will occur, but before they die they will kill many of those who were prepared — mostly seniors who understand things like depressions.

  4. DanO
    In terms of production, COVID is a factor. Employees have been required to maintain “social distancing” which – so I’ve read – results in fewer people on the line so, production slows.

    Frankly, until ammo buyers decide that they have “enough” I don’t think the ammo manufacturers can produce enough because for many people seeing ammo on the shelf IS the justification for buying more.

  5. 1) IRS: All Your Bitcoin are belong to us.

    https://money.yahoo.com/irs-bitcoin-and-virtual-currency-tax-form-193503386.html

    2) It seems to me that anything tied to computers or an electronic box can be used for surveillance or oppression — because you have no way of knowing what’s in it and to whom it is talking.

    3) Dozens of CIA’s foreign agents were captured and executed –probably after agonizing torture — because the CIA itself had not learned that lesson. How much more will that apply to those without the CIA’s massive resources?

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/15/botched-cia-communications-system-helped-blow-cover-chinese-agents-intelligence/

    4) The Tech and Comms billionaires did not become so rich by standing up to the other Elites and defending the rights and freedom of the common citizen. In many respects, Windows has always been a surveillance package that victims install themselves — a convenience for the National Security Agency. One reason why the anti-trust laws have never been applied to Microsoft.

  6. Ron Paul on the next economic collapse, America’s future, and universal basic income (Pt. 1/2)
    (YouTube Video, 20:35)
    Kitco NEWS
    Jan 21, 2021
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MHJL-jc-Io

    “When the inevitable correction comes it’s going to be more violent than ever before,” Paul said.

    0:00​ – America’s priorities
    7:07​ – Debt and inflation
    10:11​- Collapse of the Soviet Union
    12:08​ – Government intervention
    13:47​ – Universal basic income
    18:27​ – Wealth gap

    1. Should bitcoin be a reserve currency? Is gold price ‘fixed’? Ron Paul answers (Pt 2/2)
      (YouTube Video, 13:51)
      Kitco NEWS
      Jan 22, 2021
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18iVvYPw14w

      Whether or not bitcoin should be a reserve currency should be left to the free markets to decide, said Ron Paul, former Congressman and host of the Liberty Report.

      0:00 – Bitcoin as reserve currency?
      4:35 – Gold price fixing?
      6:50 – Foreign policy
      8:49 – Censorship
      11:37 – Advice for the younger generations

  7. Personally I won’t do business with the corrupt oligarchs who installed the illegitimate president and the two illegitimate communist senators from Georgia among others. And I encourage patriotic Americans to do the same. Quit giving them your money and personal data to be mined for their power and profit. Amazon, fakebook, anything google. With the upcoming loss of domestic energy independence and likely market crash it’d be a great time to quit supporting Wall Street as well.

  8. Here in Tucson there is not a round of .22 to be found. Ammoseek.com shows the price per round of .22 as being 35 cents a round. All calibers of ammo are hard to find here now. Reloading components are getting difficult to come by. Most types of firearms are still available but the prices are going up. Food prices are increasing and gas went up 10 cents a gallon overnight. The Arizona Senate is forensic auditing the Maricopa county voting machines so one wonders what will be found and will the general public ever find out the results of the audit. Invest in GUSH which is an oil stock to hedge against higher energy stocks. AGQ is a good silver stock. Buy physical silver and gold is you have enough bullets.

  9. The very best investment during these times is in personal health. All of the many preps that
    you have acquired are useless if you are not alive.
    Ivermectin is highly effective in fighting the COVID disease at all stages across all age groups. I suppose that skepticism comes from the fact that Ivermectin is a anti parasitic
    drug. Do your own research and I think you will reach the same conclusion that I have. Time
    Is getting short and so is the supply of Oral Ivermectin.

    It seems odd that most comments on this and other sites are centered around the ammo
    shortages or big tech and Joe Biden. Sure they are all bad but none are likely to kill you in the next few days or weeks.

    This virus is real it is all around us and it will not go away any time soon. This virus will kill
    you if you are not careful. To believe otherwise is foolish.

    Take a break from whining and complaining.Get busy staying alive.

      1. Mongo Bailey: We contacted our family doctor who is an internal medicine specialist. We showed her the COVID Care protocol that was developed by the doctors and scientists at
        Eastern Virginia University School of Medicine. After reading the protocol she was all in as
        far as treating the COVID disease with oral Ivermectin. Go to evms.edu/CovidCare for the full
        and complete treatment protocol as it involves more than the use of oral Ivermectin.

        She wrote us a script with one refill. We worked very hard to get more from friends,relatives,
        and anyone that owed us a favor. Some from Mexico. We have heard that the demand for oral Ivermectin is way above the available supply. DO NOT listen to anyone that says that the topical or injectable forms of Ivermectin is ok. That is completely wrong.

        We really had to pull out all of the stops to secure our supply. You will need to to do the same.
        Sorry it took so long to reply to you. I will be happy to help in any way. God Bless!

        A

    1. Vickie ,,,,,,i have used pour on Ivermectin in third world countries for over 35 years treating kids ,pills would not work , the kids would chew and spit them out , im just a volunteer teck that payed my own way doing mission work in places most won’t go to,,in Africa and south America on vacation instead of sitting on a beach drinking umbrella drinks ,

      Tea and chocolate

      1. Oldhomesteader: That was then this is now.We all applaud your volunteer missionary work.
        The facts are clear that oral Ivermectin successfully treats the COVID disease in the blood
        stream and the respiratory system of human beings. [Deleted section, by Lily]

    2. Vickie,

      You are fresh air. The oligarchs want us to complain, and stay seated.

      Taking responsibility for one’s health and well-being requires standing up and getting into action.

      Carry on

    3. Vicki, the virus has a 99% recovery rate. If you’re under 60 and aren’t obese or suffering other Comorbidity issues, it’s closer to a 99.9% recovery rate. Specifically what is it about this virus that has you so terrified? Is it all the closed businesses, the mask mandates, the fear in other people’s eyes…? Remember, none of that is the virus. All of that is the government. The virus didn’t close a single church, school, or business. The government did that, and they did it for a reason. Perhaps to create your fear, so as to gain your compliance. Stop being afraid. They are lying to you.

      1. Come archer,,,,,,i know of two farmers / ranchers that have died form it or its compilations , on 12 30 a former member of our group died ,you knew her as Maryanne , and I lost my mom to it last week ,all of us are older 65-85 , and mom at 97. I was down with it in March before we knew much , and again in October ,yes a second time ,only then we knew how to treat it , was up in 3 days the first time 10 weeks and 5 months recovering , I hope your not implying that becuse we are older our life has less value ,
        I have started to look for that attude in New folks wanting to join our group ,,, need to guess how that goes ,not,,,
        Vickie,,,,,,if you have a old PDR you can find reference to pore on with humans , im not a dumb cowboy ,, I have a PHD and two spin off dgrees ,one in a medical field ,,,
        Your resistance to pore on that is and has saved lives is disturbing to me , bad karma for you

        1. Old homesteader, no sir, definitely not implying that an older life has less value. Not at all. Older folks are definitely at risk and should stay home best they can. It is asinine, though, to shut down an economy and trample on this country’s rights (assembly, privacy, etc) and forcibly shut businesses for a virus that has a 99% recovery rate. If you’re concerned, stay home. The rest of us need to go to work, church, school, etc.

      2. Come archer: I am 74 years old with C.O.P.D. high blood pressure and obesity caused by chronic Osteoarthritis of the ankles,knees,spine and shoulders.My wife is in just about the same shape. So I guess that we are in that 1% that would likely not survive the COVID disease.
        We are afraid of dying. Aren’t you?No one has lied to us with the possible exception of those who say that the virus is a government perpetuated hoax.

        1. I understand you’re afraid of dying. You should be afraid of this virus. You’re old and obese and I’m bad shape overall it sounds like. This virus is a beast for folks in your situation.

          So stay home. It is ludicrous to shut down an economy and destroy the lives that action is destroying because of this virus. The vast vast overwhelming majority of Americans are not at risk as you are. We should not have to give up our freedoms because you’re out of shape. Stay home. No one is forcing you to leave. They are forcing the rest of us to not work, go to school, go to church etc. do you honestly think shutting down our nation has made you safer? Could you not have achieved that same safety by staying home? Are you so self centered that you think we should shut down an entire economy so as to slow the spread of this virus that is borderline impotent with 99% of the nation?

        2. Also, arthritis doesn’t cause obesity. If you’re obese you eat too much and likely the wrong things. Arthritis will definitely cut back on the cardio and movement, but sounds like you’re doing the damage at the dinner table. More salads. Less bread. Less soda. And stay home. But those of us who want to work should be allowed. Any other attitude is selfish.

  10. Guns, ammunition, reloading components, all are hard to get right now. But, you can still get:

    -magazines
    -Medical gear
    -holsters
    -optics
    -knives and multi tools
    -food
    -water
    -seeds
    -commo gear
    -TRAINING
    -most everything else on JWRs List of Lists

    Start looking at what you CAN do. Just because we can’t get all of the guns and ammo we want right now, doesn’t mean we don’t start looking at what else is still available. I’d tell folks to really start stocking up on more medical gear, and the training to use it. There’s a lot we can still do.

  11. All good comments!!
    I’ve been checking the local stores on a circuit in Salt Lake every day, along with many others. We’ve gotten to know the same faces at different stores! The reason I do this is because many of my friends did not take me seriously when I pushed them….hard….to buy several thousand rounds of their pistol ammo when it was stacked on pallets for $.20 a round (Winchester-made Browning…$99.00 per 500 round brick). Or .30 cents per round for 5.56 ball. Duh!
    So, while I’ve been adding to my larder for 40 years, the others are now seeing more clearly as their children and grandchildren, who have heretofore shown no interest in being armed, badly want to- NOW. Relentless TV coverage of riots, crime, many while police allow it- have made it clear: You are ON YOUR OWN.
    So now, that 1500 round stash of 9mm doesn’t look so deep when five of your descendants suddenly want to train and carry. It takes 500 to 1500 rounds to train ONE person to carry and handle firearms every day. Most of the time. Safety is a relative goal. As my favorite instructor advises students during the course introduction, “Our goal is to train you to safely and competently handle loaded firearms in your life every day, and not have accidents…..too often.” Yeah. Those last two words.
    Training is expensive, and it just got a lot more expensive in November. So i check the stores and buy what I can for my friends who have underestimated the problem.
    I’m in fat city. You buy primers when they are $.002 each, not when they are $.40 each and impossible to find. Tens of thousands of them. A hundred thousand. Maybe many will do that if the supply miraculously returns.
    Locally, I see pistol shelves stripped bare, and then supplies return when the UPS truck arrives. Rifles are still available at higher prices. And why not? I call it the stupid tax.
    The last week in particular was very hard on ammo availability. However, after a year of stripped reloading component shelves, I spy twenty five 500 count boxes of 9mm Hornady 124 grain XTP bullets! So I grab four and head for the door, tripping over a 1980 count box of .40 cal 180 grain XTP bullets…it weighed 50 lbs. I thought it was nailed to the floor. These were the last two categories I was a little lite in. I’m nervous when I get down to 1500 in anything.
    Like many of you, the critics (“he’s cra-cra”) have fallen silent.
    When I get those phone calls asking me “Do you know of any good deals on ammo?”, I play them the Youtube recording of Vincent Price laughing.
    And, as others have mentioned, food and other things are still available, but will eventually go sky high or disappear altogether eventually.
    Crack on!

  12. Trump said “America will never be a socialist country” while redistributing more of other peoples ‘money’ than any person in history. Looks like we just exchanged one freedom hating socialist for another.

  13. JWR’s Comments: In at least one way, Biden is a lot like Trump. He is willing to vastly expand the debt burden of future generations, in exchange for short-term benefit.

    I wonder if it will ever be payed? Most nations eventually default on their debt. Furthermore I sometimes wonder if Trump, being a businessman, was sometimes considering “bankruptcy” for the US sooner than later and that was one reason they wanted him out so bad. A large portion of that money is owed to the Fed. So who would that impact. There is a conspiracy theory about Kennedy messing with the Federal Reserve and being killed for it.

  14. Now is the time to start supplementing your own food supply. Within the next month gardeners will begin planting in the deep south, and some are growing things that can handle cold weather (spinach and several other greens). If you have a yard or even a few pots on the patio you can grow salad components. Read today’s article, it is a good one, but you can start gardening with a shovel, hoe, and garden rake, and ground you can dig up. I usually produce many dollars worth of produce from seed that come in twenty and fifty cent packages at Wal-Mart, although I get my seed normally through the local farm store and local greenhouse. I also explore the farmer’s market when it starts in the early summer. We grow food to eat fresh, but we also can and freeze many items (all the excess that we cannot eat at the time. I also include a number of perennials. Asparagus taken from the freezer in the middle of winter is great, and it doesn’t cost three dollars a pound.
    Gardening is an easily developed skill which you will continue to learn more about throughout your life. Want to develop good mental health? Work to develop other skills that will make you more self-reliant and good mental health will be developed as you gain more confidence in your abilities and skills.

  15. Thank you for the reminder about sprouting. I bought a large bag of sprouting seeds months ago because I knew that in a pinch, you can sprout and have great salads, add them to soups, casseroles, sandwiches, smoothies, etc., to meet nutritional needs. I think I’ll get more – excellent shelf life.

    1. Don, I read the article. Yellen talked about keeping records for some of the transactions because the exchanges and cryptocurrencies are being used for illegal activities, like money laundering and transferring money to terrorists operations. I’m not involved with either of those activities, nor do I condone or approve of either. I read nothing indicating that the bitcoin belong to the government. The article and intent of law enforcement as indicated by testimony does show that some of the anonymity of cryptocurrencies could be reduced over time, especially for large transactions. How is that different from withdrawing cash from a bank? If you don’t want anyone to know about your wealth buy gold, silver, diamonds or other tradeable assets and exchange such person to person.

  16. Under the Harris/Biden regime, an unborn child still rolling in their mother’s womb I’m going to count as a win. They can worry about fiscal responsibility once they’ve cleared the breach.

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