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. 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 Black Gun Lowers. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Wall St., Main St. Still See Gold Bull Running Strong

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What’s Up With Australia’s 80 Tonnes Of Gold At The Bank Of England?


Global Economy & Finance:

From Wolf Richter: What the Fed Actually Said About Ending the QE Unwind. Here is a snippet:

“That the QE unwind would continue on autopilot at least until the next meeting was clear from the post-meeting Implementation Notes, released on January 30. And it was repeated in the minutes – same language as it has been since late 2017.

“The Committee directs the Desk to continue rolling over at auction….” Up to $30 billion in Treasury securities and up to $20 billion in mortgage-backed securities would be allowed to mature and roll off the balance sheet without replacement, same as before.”

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At Zero HedgeShocking Philly Fed Collapse: Biggest Drop Since 2011 US Rating Downgrade

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Venezuela: Hunger, punishment and fear, the formula for repression used by authorities under Nicolás Maduro. (Thanks to G.P. for the link.)

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German Industrial Production Falls the Most Since 2009. New Orders Plummet

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As The Real Estate Market Slows, Canadians Continue To Plunder Equity From Their Homes. Here is the crux of the article, at Zero Hedge:

“Canadians are accelerating the rate at which they borrow cash against their homes, despite the fact that the real estate market is slumping in the country. This exposes the country’s financial system to obvious vulnerabilities, according to rating company DBRS and Bloomberg.

Home equity lines of credit in Canada reached a record $184.5 billion (USD) as of October 31, which equates to 11.3% of total household credit. This is the highest share since mid 2015, according to a report released last Thursday. Canadians are drawing on their home’s equity to fund everything from home renovations to car purchases.

And they’re doing it so quickly that borrowing has grown faster than mortgages since 2017.
Analyst Robert Colangelo, who published the report on Thursday, commented: ‘The flexibility of Helocs could increase financial system vulnerabilities. In the event of a correction, borrowers could find themselves with a debt load that exceeds the value of their home, which is often referred to as negative equity.'”



European Oil Demand Is Shockingly Weak

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12 empty supertankers reveal truths about today’s oil market



Ethereum Condemns ‘Toxic’ Behavior That Caused Developer’s Abrupt Exit

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Bitcoin Price Crosses Key Long-Term Hurdle For First Time in 4 Months


Tangibles Investing (Black Gun Lowers):

Oregon rental property just became a very poor investment: Oregon housing squeeze sets stage for statewide rent control

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An Observation: The current gun-grabbing push in the U.S. Congress seems to be directed toward background checks and Red Flag laws. The Dianne Feinsteins of the world would love to get the  “whole enchilada”, but they are pragmatists. They are contenting themselves with taking our freedom one bite at a time. The current bite seems to be directed at gun buyers and owners, rather than attempting to legislate against  whole categories of guns or magazines themselves. So, at least for this year, they are de-emphasizing black rifle bans and magazine bans.

Therefore, from a tangibles investing standpoint, for anyone living in the 43 42 states without “universal background checks”, I would recommend shifting your emphasis toward private party (paperless) purchases that will round out a  well-balanced gun battery for your family and for your current or future grandchildren. Since it appears that upper halves (“barreled uppers”) will continue to be unrestricted until at least 2020, you should concentrate on buying private party FRAMES/RECEIVERS (‘lowers”), for your planned builds. That is the most efficient use of scant gun investing dollars.

If you can find some private party serialized black gun lowers at gun shows, then great, jump on them. Ditto for any seriallzed SIG P320 Trigger group modules you can find. (Legally the “frame” of that model pistol.) But if you cannot find lowers and you cannot presently afford to buy complete rifles, then you should consider making your own, using unrestricted 80% complete lowers. And no, you don’t need to invest in a Ghostgunner milling machine. You can finish 80% black gun lowers with a drill press, or even with a hand-held drill if you use a drill guide and are careful and patient.


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 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!


  1. I bought the “universal” router jig from 5D Tactical, will allow AR15, AR10, AR9 lowers to be milled. Its a fantastic tool, highly recommend. Now stocking up on 80% lowers.

  2. I bought a table top mill from Grizzly last year and have completed several 80% lowers. Really the only part with close tolerances is the drilling of the holes for the selector ,hammer pin, and trigger pin. A good jig is necessary for this or machinist training and the ability to read blue prints. As far as milling the pocket out one can simply look at a blank completed lower and measure a little and do it. A jig makes it much easier though. My son is a machinist and just to see if he could do it on my little machine he did one completely from blue prints and it turned out fine.

    There is a learning curve and expect to ruin 1 or 2 before you get it down. Patience is the KEY word here. My first disaster was milling through the floor because I was taking too much at a pass. If you want to make a nice pretty one you need to get the bare aluminiun mill it and then coat it. I have been unable to finish a coated one without scratching it some.

    I have found this place the best for bulk 80% lower purchases. On the reciept it only says machine parts. I am sure there are other good places too.


  3. Remember the old rule of negotiation. Always ask for more than you want. This is what the demos are doing with there anti-gun (read civilian disarmament) plans.
    I wonder if writing to our congress-critters is even worth the trouble anymore. (I still do it anyway.)
    Looks like all we can do is prepare, prepare, prepare.

  4. lowers are very effective. Their throw-away one-use jigs are outstanding in performance, IF you follow the instructions and use a hand-held drill (not drill press) in the appropriate spots. No worries about having to coat the finished receiver.

      1. Reduced weight, and self-lubricity, are a couple benefits of polymer. Also, it is thicker than aluminum in critical places. The G150 is beefed up, and it looks like the new RL556 lower may be even tougher. It may help to use reamers to clean up the pin and detent holes, if you have access. Otherwise, maybe a wire-gauge-size drill bit on the detent holes, and the recommended chainsaw file on the pin holes.

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