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. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on investing in AR-15 family rifles and lower receivers. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)
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Economy & Finance:
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At Seeking Alpha: As The Global Economy Slows, The Grab For Yield Will Accelerate 
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U.S. Energy Exports To See Significant Increase . JWR’s Comments: The construction of large coastal Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals will surely generate lots of export revenue. But it will also create some very lucrative targets for international terrorists. LNG facilities can blow up very dramatically , often with large loss of life. For example, the Cleveland East Ohio Gas explosion in 1944  killed 130 people and burned down one square mile of Cleveland. I have read that this disaster was downplayed in the media at the time, because of “The War Effort”, and fears of a copycat sabotage attack. When LNG is spilled onto water, it can undergo a rapid phase transition (RPT)–which is very dangerous! Beware of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
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Tangibles Investing (AR-15 Family Rifles):
A nationwide “Universal Background Checks” (Private Gun Transfer Ban) law now looks like it has a 80% chance of passage by congress. The House version (H.R.8 ) has
229 [Update: 231] cosponsors–enough for passage. Meanwhile, the new Senate version (S.42 ) already has 41 co-sponsors. (Just 10 votes short of sure passage. Yikes!) Both bills are now headed to committee hearings, and are “on the fast track” to floor votes. Sadly, President Trump indicated that he would sign such a law , if it reaches his desk.
Most Americans have not yet considered the full implications of a nationwide private transfer ban. It would essentially end the privacy of firearms ownership. Nearly all transfers would have to go through an FFL (for an undefined fee) with an FBI background check. Whether it is a sale, a gift, a trade, or a loan, gun transfers would also have to be “papered” on a ATF Form 4473. The only exceptions would be gifts (not sales) within an immediate family, and transfers of antique (pre-1899 manufactured) guns.
So what does this legislative news mean to you and me, as tangibles investors? Market chaos and wildly higher prices in the near future. Bottom line: Get thee to a gun show in your state, pronto! Bring plenty of cash and any guns that are excess to your needs, to trade. Presently, you can buy a decent AR-15 family rifle or carbine for around $450, and an AR-10 for under $800 . But if the Federal private transfer ban passes… …the sky will be the limit! In the interval between passage and its effective date, I expect the price of even just low end generic ARs to jump to between $1,200 and $2,000. High end ARs would be even more expensive. So buy all the complete ARs–or at least the lowers–you can find now, while prices are low.
Oh, and I must mention: After the dust settles on this new law, folks will wake up to the fact that only pre-1899 manufactured guns  will be exempt from the background checks and paperwork. So find some of those as well. Buy still-reliable cartridge guns made before 1899–preferably ones that are chambered for cartridges that are still regularly-produced by factories.
Addenda: I am currently drafting an article titled: Becoming a Savvy Pre-1899 Antique Gun Buyer. I plan to post that in SurvivalBlog on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.
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 particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often get the scoop on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!