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 pre-1899 antique guns. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Silver, Platinum Missed Much of the Commodities Rally. Prices May Catch Up in 2020

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Craig Hemke, over at Gold-Eagle: Real Gold vs Pretend Gold

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: The ‘Golden Age Of Plastic’? Banks Are Quietly Raising Credit Limits For Freespending Borrowers
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Reuters reports: Frustrated Lebanese depositors turn rage on crisis-hit banks

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Wolf Street had this: Union Pacific Cut 17% of its Workers, Will Cut 8% in 2020. Revenue Fell 9.5%, Income 10%. Bought Back $5.8 Bn in Shares. Stock Hits New High

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Report: Your State Is Likely DESTROYING Your Money

Commodities:

Copper: Why The Laggard Metal Could Soar In 2020

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Nickel Outlook 2020: Deficit to Support Prices, EV Story Still Strong

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OilPrice News reports: U.S. Shale Patch Sees Huge Jump In Bankruptcies

Derivatives:

The Doomsday Machine Returns: Citibank Has Sold Protection on $858 Billion of Credit Default Swaps. JWR’s Comments:  The big banks have deduced what “Too Big to Fail” really means. They now feel at liberty to take on huge risks, knowing that congress (and inevitably the American taxpayers) will always be there to bail them out of their blunders. I stand by my 2006 analysis of the global derivatives casino. This will not end well. I predict that 98% of the citizenry will wake up one morning and ask:  “How could this have happened?” But for now, they are blissfully ignorant. You, however, have been warned. Adjust your portfolio, accordingly.

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Forex & Cryptos:

A new Treasury Department report has been released: Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States.  This is a lengthy report, but there is a good executive summary.

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Kathy Lien: FX: Most Important Themes of 2020

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The Dark Side of Becoming the ‘Next Bitcoin’

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Here’s How XRP Could Derail Ripple’s IPO Plans

Tangibles Investing:

SHOT Show: The Winchester 1895 125th Anniversary Model. JWR’s Comments: Seeing so many replica rifles on the market at such elevated prices make me shake my head in disbelief. Why pay that much for a replica (that requires paperwork) when you can find a no paperwork pre-1899 original, for about the same price? What will be the resale value of one of these replicas in 10 years? Or in 20 years? It is plain to see that the much better investment is a hand-picked original. Yes, it takes some time to prowl the gun shows to find one, with a bore light in hand. But your reward in finding one is both monetary and sentimental. That will be a gun worthy of passing down to a child or grandchild.

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Speaking of guns shows, I had another successful show trip this past weekend, attending the Post Falls, Idaho gun show. The crowd there was huge. But I did manage to come home with four nice pre-1899 antiques: a .38 S&W Lemon Squeezer, and 1898-dated Swedish Mauser carbine, a Colt Lightning .44-40 pump action rifle, and a dandy little Marlin Model 1892 .22 lever action. All of these will be included in the inventory of my nascent Elk Creek Company mail order business. I’ve now hand-selected 75 guns, for my initial inventory. Ordering on that web site will go live on February 1st. Thanks for your patience.

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




28 Comments

  1. Regarding the Wuhan virus: my friend/business partner whom I have direct contact with via text message coaches in Beijing half the year. They just moved the entire team to Russia for the remainder of the season. He said the situation is far worse than what the media is reporting and all activities are cancelled in Beijing till April 1st

  2. When the ATF comes a knocking at your house they take everything from you even your antique weapons, even your crossbows and muzzle loaders. Just saying. They don’t look at dates.
    They take air soft guns too.

    1. What are you basing this comment on? Do you have some sort of news article or source indicating that ATF has ever actually gone house to house collecting firearms? I’d be interested in reading this….

    2. In Washington state right now the state house is talking new laws on firearms ,a lot of California repeats ,and no exceptions for old firearms or blackpower ,80%are now a felony as of Jan 1. ,,, my 1760 Brown Bess will need paper on it ,,also a limit on number you can buy in a month ,and number you can possess ,,California ammo laws too

  3. The information in today’s postings in the Derivatives,Precious Metals,and Economy/Finance are not just food for thought but rather an urgent call to action.

    The price train for PM,s is leaving the station.If you want an affordable seat you need to get aboard immediately.

    As the value/purchasing power of the dollar continues to fall the very best hedge against the coming hyper inflation will be gold and silver.

    Few of us are trained economists or financial gurus.However if you can read and add 2+2
    you will see the fix that we are in.

    Getting our financial preps in order is hard work no doubt about it.I believe that it is better to be a year early rather than a minute late.

  4. Wuhan virus: I believe that the seriousness of situation is being masked. I’m not calling for anyone to cash in their 401k’s or to sell their gold but it would be quite prudent to take a very hard, earnest look at your preps and see if you can spot any holes or gaps. That is especially true of any items that you would need to have during a pandemic. Medicine and medical supplies, cash or money in your debit card account to allow for paying necessary Bill’s (especially if you can do do without leaving home), food and water, pet food and supplies…and your list will go on I’m sure. If this fizzles out then you have some extra padding but if it does go nova then you will be blessed to have had foresight.

    1. RE:Wuhan virus,even if grossly covered up is Exponentially overblown a few thousand cases is less than normal events(I live near the 2nd confirmed US case),it has low/no transmissability even lower mortality(+/-.03%). You would be far better off worrying about food poisioning or Aids from your dentist.
      MSMs DOOM PORN dejure
      Keep stacking pm/buy the dips(copper jacketed lead counts too)

      1. The beginning of any pandemic would appear to be overblown or exaggerated. The scale and scope in the early stages would always appear limited, until it doesn’t and then it can move with an unexpected speed. This situation may indeed blow over and be nothing more than a footnote in future medical journals. That being said it has the very real probability of becoming more and the possibility of developing into an actual pandemic. No guarantees obviously but to ignore this seems like an unwise decision. The current actions that are being undertaken in China are new and have not been seen before. The quarantine of so many people over such a large area and now the closing of so many factories, including the Johnson & Johnson medical facilities makes for a rather interesting situation.

      2. There’s a lot of unknowns about the Wuhan (flu) Coronavirus >so far. We in the USA, will NOT know ALL the dangers posed by this flu virus, until American doctors can get sufficient hands-on experience, with the virus and its victims.

        Communist China could be called Fake News 24/7. Communism produces fraudulent liars [everywhere].

        People have an innate fear of diseases. Until recently, epidemics use to kill many more people. … Parents would see many of their young children die during epidemics. Thank God for modern medicine and the USA.
        [It’s a fate worse than death itself; to have your children die before you do.]
        *************************
        “The Greek word for plague is θανάτῳ, which is a variation of Θάνατος, indicating a connection between the Fourth Horseman and plague.” [Wikipedia]

        “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
        [Revelation 6: 7 and 8 in the Good Book. Pestilence = diseases in people.]

  5. Wuhan virus: Does anyone remember the protests that were taking place in Hong Kong in the recent past? it got some media coverage and then they moved on, i recall watching one news organization that had covered the story and that nights coverage was showing the Chinese government with water cannons? hosing down the protesters. Shortly there after the media had reported that sickness had broken out among the protesters, my immediate thought was bio-weaponry or perhaps I’m just being paranoid.

  6. As of this morning there were a reported 81 folks dead of coronavirus in China. There are 20,000,000 folks quarantined. That is a 0.000405% of the quarantined population. So far the deaths are among the aged. I believe they were all over 65. If we could go further, it is those that already have compromised immune systems.

    From what I have read so far, the most susceptible to having more than a bad cold are the very old or the very young with compromised immune systems. The morbidly obese, those with heart conditions, those with respiratory disorders, those with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, you know the drill. Otherwise it’s just a bad cold, with the same symptoms as a bad cold. The ones who are dying are dying of pneumonia brought on by the coronavirus in combination with a compromised immune system. It’s the pneumonia that is the killer.

    Take the usual precautions that would be taken during cold and flu season. Stay warm and dry. Avoid crowds. Use hand sanitizer regularly. Wipe down your shopping carts. If you have cold or flu symptoms stay home, if you can. If you are sick and can’t stay home, be courteous enough to wear surgical masks to avoid making others sick.

    Before I retired I worked a 12 hour on 12 hour off schedule. My counterpart on the other shift always seemed to be sick. He had young kids, and they were always sick. I would get colds from him. After awhile I started wiping down the area where we both worked before I did anything else. I would use an antiseptic spray and clean paper towels. I’d clean the desk, the desk chair, the computer monitor and especially the keyboard. I’d wipe down everything that he might touch, even the refrigerator door. I quit getting sick.

    Take similar precautions with this virus and get your own health right and you should not be susceptible to getting taken out by this. YMMV.

  7. Take this virus seriously, this new nCoV is moving faster than anything we have seen in 100 years, (Spanish flu 1918). We have had some scares with some bad flu seasons, but this is much worse than 2009 avian H1N1 swine flu, 2003 SARS coronavirus, continuing Ebola outbreaks and continual infections from 2012 MERS coronavirus. I believe the new 2019 nCoV is far more infectious than any of the above. If the virus mutates to a higher case fatality rate we will have high numbers of infections and deaths. China is notorious for not giving out actual numbers. Do you really believe all these people who were in Wuhan and flew to other countries, they were some of the first low figure infected? I bet within one week the WHO will declare this virus an International Health Emergency, and within a month it will be declared a pandemic. Do not believe this is only killing the very old, one woman that we know of was 36, and all the way up to 89. Infections now seen in all ages, with many health care workers infected. Information getting out from the public and some health care workers all say this is so much worse than reported. Yes some cases are mild, but with moderate to severe pneumonia many complications can occur, and with very severe pneumonia the treatment usually requires ventilator support. Generally speaking most normal size hospitals have about 4 or 5 in house. Do not believe the “most people had immune problems or other comorbidities” this is just hospital speak for move along, nothing to see here. Having worked in an ICU for 25 years with 100’s of my own ventilator patients, pneumonia’s can worsen very quickly with complications of ARDS and sepsis. When people say….oh he had other health issues, this very well may be something like well controlled hypertension. Top off things you may need and keep up with what’s going on. If you have trouble finding masks, gloves, goggles and protective gowns be sure to goggle medical supply companies in your local town. Places like amazon may be the first to be out of stuff.

  8. I stocked up on PM’s over the holidays.

    Just out of curiosity today when I went to Mom and Dads to deliver the meals for the week that I made for them, I checked out the medical supplies isle at 3 stores and they were STRIPPED CLEAN of any kind of face masks!

    Also, Amazon is pretty much “out “ of face masks (unless of course you want to spend hundreds of dollars on a few)

    Tyvek suits are now DOUBLE what I paid for them.

    I stocked up on these items back in early October !
    Something just told me to.
    I get gut feelings like this a lot more as I get older, I listen to them and act accordingly
    Take care and be safe

    1. Oh my gosh. I ordered masks to, just like you, in the very beginning of October which I had never done before… And, though I forgot your call sign, I have prayed for you and your parents. Blessings.

  9. A thought on the Wuhan virus. I order stuff direst from China on Ali Baba, since I have no idea where in China it comes from and who may handle it I am not going to order anything for a while until we see how this shakes out. A further caution is when ordering from Amazon. If the shipping date is more than a couple of days check the source, I am getting stuff from China that I thought was coming from a US source.

  10. In theory the virus does not live long without the host. a virus on a bare surface may live a few hours (2-3 hours). higher humidity and warmer temperatures may extend that time slightly while cold and dry (or very wet) may reduce it. Even then picking up a virus from contact with a inhospitable surface like a box or back of a truck is not terribly likely. You will generally get it from inhaling droplets expelled (sneezed/coughed) from another person in the last few minutes to an hour or so, Or touching something recently touched by someone and even then what you touched may need to be actual body fluid (mucous/snot) AND touch your own nose or eyes or mouth. Having said that you absolute can get it from a surface that is contaminated but 95% plus it will be from airborne droplets within minutes to an hour after being expelled from someone who is infected.

  11. Maybe one should consider essential oils for the W-virus, flu etc. I use to drive charter bus for up to 6 months with one group I was the second bus. The first bus driver used 3-6 cans of lysol a week for cleaning etc. I sprayed with a mixture of Spearmint 120 drops, Lemon 40 drops and Cypress 40 drops in 4oz spring water. I use a glass bottle with a fine mist pump sprayer. I drove in the winter months in U.S. and Canada mixture didnt freeze either. Other bus had lots of colds, flu and MD visits – guess I was lucky in spraying the bus no one got sick with colds or flu – it also left a plesant smell on the bus and I only sprayed 2 times a week – the oils were antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal when blended together.
    The spray also helped keep everyone alert and awake too..

  12. ALEX AZAR, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been on television speaking about Wuhan China Coronavirus (flue) outbreak.

    The US Government, Center for Disease Control, has a site about this type of Coronavirus flu, at ~cdc(dot)gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary~ … The US Government page and Survivalblogs’ page ~Protecting Your Family From an Influenza Pandemic~ should be the first go to pages.

    As many people now realize, you can’t always depend on someone else to take care of you and your family. People have to be able to take care of themselves, their families and their ~>neighbors too.
    **********************************
    **********************************
    I found >Google worked as a better search engine for finding information on CDC’s site, than the search box at CDC. Use your search engine of choice; some people here do NOT like Google because of it’s tracking of the >searcher.
    [I suspect I might now get a slew of advertisements for Flu remedies. ……. Plus, maybe a CDC worker with a thermometer at my house. (Last sentence is a joke.)

  13. Krissy ,

    Thank you for your kind words
    They put a smile on my face .

    In this world where everyone seems so nasty it’s nice to belong to this community of people who forward think and share encouragement and ideas with each other.

    I really appreciate your prayers for myself and my parents, it’s difficult and heartbreaking to care for them with Alzheimer’s/Dementia but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I feel like it’s such a gift to be able to spend so much time with them.
    I am so lucky that they are both still with me!!

    Again , thank you for thinking of me.

  14. Flu viruses kill 30,000 people a year in this country, United States of America. I don’t understand the panic, I’m not saying bury your head in the sand and don’t get prepared, but you should already be prepared for anything. I will panic, once medical staff in this country quit going to work at local hospitals. Then I know it’s real.

    1. Let’s assume that seasonal flu will kill on average 30,000 people. Mostly old or very young or immune deficient. A sad fact of life. NOW, lets assume we are talking about 30,000 ADITIONAL people dying from a different flu. Is that a big deal? It most certainly is to those 30,000 people and all of their friends and relatives.

      In theory all or most of this could be prevented. Imagine a CDC so effective and so reactive that all international travel was stopped two weeks ago and all international travelers in the preceding two weeks were quarantined for a few weeks. Everyone entering the country other than that travel was checked including knowing their previous travel itinerary. Assuming that would save 30,000 lives wouldn’t it be prudent?

      The problem is we don’t know. We don’t know how virulent the virus is and we won’t know for a few weeks to a month or so and by then it will be too late to retroactively take those actions that could have prevented 30,000 deaths. We don’t know if this is going to be a worldwide pandemic killing half a million. We don’t know but our actions to this point are minimal.

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