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, we look at investing in stripped AR-15 lowers. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Barron’s: Russia, China Massively Buying Gold

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Strong Autumn Rally In Silver And Gold Prices

Economy & Finance:

Repo Madness Heads Into Day 4: Another $75 Billion Liquidity Drop from NY Fed Coming Friday

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Several readers mentioned this at Wolf Street: Fed Sheds $20 Billion in Assets in August, Relentlessly Sloughs Off MBS, Adds Some Treasuries, Starts Shift to Short-Term T-Bills

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Reader H.D. sent this: Real US debt levels could be 2,000% of economy, a Wall Street report suggests

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Ron Paul: US interest rates are going negative, and the Fed can’t stop it

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Mauldin: 2020 Will Be the Most Volatile Year in History


Saudi Arabia to restore oil output fully by end of September – energy minister

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Drama in the Oil Markets, But This Isn’t 2007 Anymore

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Why lithium has turned from gold to dust for investors

Tariffs and Taxes:

China exempts 16 American products from additional tariffs — here’s the full list

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Billionaire Carl Icahn moving business from NY to Florida for lower taxes: report

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Four Reasons to Relocate in Retirement

Forex & Cryptos:

How Currency Controls Affect Doing Business in Argentina

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US Dollar Rally Curtailed Ahead of September Fed Meeting – Levels for DXY & USD/JPY

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Libra and cryptocurrencies must be regulated, says France

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Facebook Libra Is Seeking to Register as a Payment System in Switzerland

Tangibles Investing:

The current grandstanding in the District of Criminals (DC) over so-called “Universal Background Checks” (private party sales criminalization) is very likely to result in new Federal legislation that will take effect in less than 8 months. This prospect will mean that  some guns (mostly ARs) and serialized receivers will at least triple and perhaps octuple in value, in the near future. I strongly recommend that if you have at least $500 to spare that you invest it in some stripped AR-15 lowers. This is, if you live in any of the 37 states that still have private party intrastate firearms sales. Lowers are presently available from a variety of makers, and can be ordered through your local FFL. For example, Palmetto State Armory (one of our affiliate advertisers) sells them for between $29 and $49 each–depending on variety and your timing in catching any short-term sale pricing. However, I expect them to be selling for more than $200 each–and possibly even $300 each, by February of 2020. So, again, if you live in any of the 37 states that still have private party intrastate firearms sales, then stock up!  I don’t have any hot stock or cryptocurrency picks for you in this column, but these “alloy futures” seem like a winner!


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 from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be just about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. Re: The Game Changer, the PSA SBR AR


    Now the bad.

    Even with high velocity ammunition rating on the box near 3,200 fps in 20″ barrels, the decrease in velocity when launched from a 10.5 barrel is at the edge of acceptability.

    If using expanding soft point for improved effect over FMJ, the required velocity is only achievable at shorter distances. It is so greatly reduced that good performance might be acceptable at only closer ranges, and only if soft, and explosive varmint round would be used. FMJ may not even tumble. So how would we compensate? For self defense, use a 55 grain Hornady V-max that will out of this short barrel, will not be explosive, but prove adequate. MV might be in the 2,500 fps range, and maximum effective range will be improved, because the bullet construction is of the frangible type, yet will hold together at the reduced speeds of the 10.5 AR -15 pistol barrel. It is it an unexpectedly good combination, of bullet and rifle.

    What is the best knife or tool to have? One you will faithfully carry. The AR pistol makes that more likely.

    1. I have to agree that a 12.5″ barrel is the minimum viable length for a 5.56 mm AR pistol, unless you are running suppressed. (And then, around 10″ is the practical minimum.) The U.S. Army didn’t come up with the 14.5″ barrel length at random. They did a LOT of testing and trade-off studies. I do own a few AR pistols, for CQB and vehicle defense. But most of my ARs have 16″ barrels. I would have bought 14.5″ instead, if more makers produced them with pinned flash hiders, but most seem to make them with pinned muzzle brakes. I loathe muzzle brakes on everything except long hunting barrels. (There is too much flash and they are much too loud!)

      1. Just saw this same debate on another gun topic forum. One of the commenters stated that he built a 5.56 with a 5.5″ barrel, and someone else replied that it can’t be as reliable (trajectory, MOA) as a 16″ or longer barrel. That started a slew of responses by others who claimed barrel length has nothing to do with accuracy (odd, considering some of them also claimed to be experts in loading and ballistics). The person who dissented tried to make his case that there *is* a point at which the continued shortening of length will eventually make performance and accuracy suffer, but nobody else chimed in to agree with him.

        Basically, 5.56 is optimized for 20″ barrels (give or take, of course, depending upon several factors).

        .300 BLK is optimized for 10.5″ suppressed barrels (again, give or take).

        5.56 in a shorty 5.5″ barrel would make for a fun flamethrower and conversation piece, but not much else in my opinion.

  2. If a person were to invest in stripped lowers… 1) where do I sell them once they octuple and 2) how long would I have to get them sold? Guns are certainly up your alley.

    James, you’ve made some great calls. Not sure how you’re doing it but keep on keeping on.

    1. These are the things James does not discuss. Buying stripped lowers via an FFL, means a 4473 is involved, which sort of defeats the purpose.

      Stick to cash and carry via face to face .

    2. You’d want to sell them as Private Party sales (available in 37 states), to get the full market prices. After the law is signed have at least 180 days to sell them, and possibly 210 days. There will be LOTS of eager buyers, even at inflated prices.

  3. I’m very against this bill and have been active in the suggested calling and writing my congressmen. I feel the real issue here is about building a registry. Giving up any ground on gun control is going to end badly and I understand panic buying may happen. However, I’m afraid I’m missing the reason to why prices will jump so highly on stripped lowers. Most sales in my area, I live in one of the Redoubt states, are bought through a FFL already. We just had a gun show in my town last weekend, and if I’m not mistaken, only one table was a private table and they were not even selling guns. At gun shows, it seems to be mostly traveling vendors who require a NICS background check already. Now, I’m an capitalist and like the idea of investing in them for value, but to sell them when the time comes makes it seem like your name would end up on the list as well…

  4. I live in Colorado and of course we all know we have to submit the /removed/ ATF form 4473. We are not one of the 37 states that still allow Private Party Sales PPS.

    A while ago Colorado removed this (thank you bat-man shooter) and you can read all about it here:

    Also, what is the priority? the two-five-six-ten-pack of BaoFeng UV-5R radio before Sept 30? … Never to be available for sale again?
    AR-15 … lowers expected prices to inflate dramatically
    another 500 dollars in junk silver? … prices inflating dramatically
    Don’t buy food for a month and buy all three? drastic times.

    The way I read it, PSA is about to get paid. I have a few different models in my shopping cart that keep getting sold out from under me. But I can’t sell my other cr*p on eBay fast enough to get through the seller and paypal fees. 🙂

    1. It pays to pay attention to the smallest clue that something’s wrong. 6 months prior to Oct 2008, I just happen to one day visit the Fed’s site, and just happened to see their charts that clearly telegraphed disaster ahead. Money flow literally dropped like a rock, and it was there plain as day for anyone to see. I promptly forwarded it to JWR, and he agreed. If you’ve got something, please share it.

        1. LSM,
          Yes, zero hedge is a still a good place, but not the only place. JS is another good place. And it can also be anyone who has their eye’s pealed and a head on a swivel, that may catch the indication that the financial system is in the process of freezing up. Some how back in 2008, I happen to get this inspiration to look at the Fed’s website and stumbled on to the telltale chart. This could happen to anyone. Hopefully they’ll report anything they might have found here just like SR did.

          1. Tunnel Rabbit, The current situation with the Fed and the banks seem to be similar to 2008/2009. Long story made short, I work in the precious metals field and my wife works in the lending industry. We are reflecting back on that time and how it led up to higher metal prices in 2011 and how people who had prior bankruptcies were denied new loans. Remember, if there is a run on the banks the lines will be long to get cash out. People who are deep in credit card debt will get crushed as it becomes more expensive to hold and owe that debt. Hindsight is now. Lastly, I agree with JWR’s long standing that 90% silver coins are so important to own.

          2. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will look at the site!

            I believe something is coming, just don’t know when. Sometimes people get inspiration and stumble on something just as you did with the charts a decade ago. I have not stumbled on anything concrete, just feel it in my spirit something is off. It is a very uneasy feeling to say the least.

      1. Iran and Russia just started a payment system to bypass SWIFT, the US just ended all access to Iranian market. How long till it connects to rest of world and a black swan cuts Fedwire/SWIFT and US is pariah?

        1. Yes, there is more going on than meets the eye. This about protecting what remains of the status of the dollar and Globalist power. There much I could speculate on.

        2. VT,

          I apologize but could you elaborate on your comment? I don’t know what SWIFT is to be honest. I’ve been trying to learn more about markets in my spare time just because I think the next big thing will be connected to our monetary system. I am way behind the game on everything.

          Thank you for your time if you are able to respond to me. I do appreciate it.

Comments are closed.