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 continuing surge in American gun sales. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Silver price to outperform gold in Q2 – Orchid Research

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Gold and U.S. equities de-couple with stocks selling off, and gold moving higher

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The Chartist crowd is making Bull Market noises, for gold. They may be right, but of course you know my opinion of Chartism.

Economy & Finance:

Reader F.L. recommended this: Powell warns of a possible sustained recession from pandemic

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At Wolf Street: US Commercial Real Estate Prices Plunged in April, Mall Prices Collapsed

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A Word About the Current Chaos in Prices and Inflation

Commodities:

H.L. sent us this: US fossil fuel giants set for a coronavirus bailout bonanza

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OilPrice News reports: OPEC Slashes 2020 Oil Demand Forecast By 9 Million Bpd

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Saudi Arabia Urges OPEC+ To Cut Oil Output Even Further

Equities:

At Zero Hedge: Is This A Bear Market Rally Or A New Bull? BofA Has The Answer… And What Happens Next. JWR’s Comments: This still smells like a Bull Trap rally, to me. It is noteworthy that despite the sporadic rallies, the S&P Index index is still down more than 12% year to date. It has dropped 16.6% from the all-time high on February 19, 2020.  But it is still over-valued. Beware!

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Druckenmiller Turns Apocalyptic: “Risk-Reward For Equities Is As Bad As I’ve Seen It In My Career”

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“Worse Than 2008” – American Pension Funds Report Record Losses In Q1

Forex & Cryptos:

US Dollar in Favour vs EUR/USD & GBP/USD, CHF Bulls Rise – COT Report

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New Zealand Dollar Outlook Bearish vs USD, CAD & CHF

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At Jameson Lopp’s blog: The Annals of Bitcoin Twitter

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When I last checked, Bitcoin had broken out to near the $9,800 USD level. I suspect that part of this run up is due to the media attention to the recent halving event. I predict that it touches $10K, then there will be some considerable profit taking.

Tangibles Investing:

With gun sales at gun shops continuing at a near record pace, guns store shelves are looking very thin.  And with the Wu Flu pandemic lockdown orders, nearly all gun shows have been cancelled. So many Americans are asking: Where can I find a gun?  There are still some options, namely: Online auctions (with transfers through local FFLs), and pre-1899 guns, that in most states require no background checks. But this scarcity is definitely ratcheting up gun prices. Back in October of 2019, I was still finding Webley Mark I  .45 ACP conversion revolvers available for $700 to $850. But fast forward to May of 2020, and I can’t touch one  for less than $1,000. I’m seeing this trend across the board, with the prices of most pre-1899 cartridge guns. Lets face it: The supply was thin to begin with. But now, the increased demand is outstripping supply. Hence, prices can only go one way: up! So, iI you want to buy any, then buy them soon.  I expect prices to jump 30% or moire, in the next year.

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SOLD OUT: Surge demand for firearms and ammunition creates national shortage

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FBI conducted 2.9 million gun background checks in April as sales remain high. A pericope:

“The FBI conducted nearly 3 million gun background checks last month, an indication that gun sales remain high during the coronavirus pandemic. April was the fourth-highest month for background checks since the FBI began keeping statistics in 1998, according to newly released data from the bureau.

More than 2.9 million new background checks were conducted in April, a decrease from the record-shattering 3.7 million checks conducted in March, but still higher than the number of checks done in January and February. The April 2020 number is also significantly higher than the 2.3 million background checks conducted in April 2019.”

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!




23 Comments

  1. Remember the good old days when the Female Body Inspectors didn’t have time for running background checks on potential gun buyers or planning coups against Presidents and Presidents-elect because they were too busy investigating the unauthorized copying of VHS tapes and DVDs ?

  2. Funny thing is in Ma” commie” achusetts the gun stores are well stocked with ammo and guns. They were closed for weeks so they were still being supplied and have a good amount of ammo and hardware. You will need an appointment though and everything is tracked by big brother. RINO Baker may open things up today.

  3. If there’s one thing this Wuhan hysteria and the media have accomplished, they have managed to wake many people up to the possibility of imminent civil unrest. People who would have never before considered owning a firearm and carrying are now on board. I just hope they all get proper training, cause I have an inability to trust most.

  4. Re: Is this a Bear Market or a Bull Market?

    I control the market. I have proved it over and over.

    If I buy a stock, it goes down.

    If I sell a stock, it goes up.

    I have nearly 100% correlation so it must be true. You need no other financial information as all the rest is irrelevant!

    Since it is difficult for me to take personal advantage of this fact within the market (puts and shorts and such always backfire just as predictably), I am thinking of publishing a for profit news letter laying out my buying and selling. For $100 per month you can buy my newsletter and simply do the exact opposite of what I do and you will become wealthy beyond your wildest dreams! I am also willing to take big discrete kickbacks from big institutional investors and make secret purchases and sales to send the market whatever direction you want.

  5. I appreciate you including this article. I am reminded of the aphorism about pickpockets distracting the victim.

    US fossil fuel giants set for a coronavirus bailout bonanza

    I am truly alarmed. The drop in oil prices predated the pandemic. The proposed bailout would be using OUR money.

    While you are worrying about being able to go out shopping or socializing, senators are planning to give your money to big business.

    Got an alternative, Marine??? Well, read the three paragraphs below. When an industry can’t recover by itself, with its own assets, time to say “goodbye”.

    “The recovery is a choice between propping up the fragile fossil fuel industry and building the resilient green economy we need. The list of who is eligible for the Fed’s massive bond purchase programmes, including struggling frackers, coal companies and supermajors, shows what’s at stake,” said Disterhoft.

    “Recovery funds have to go to workers and environmental clean-up first, not bonuses or dividends, and companies should be required to stop expanding fossil fuels and phase out their fossil business – otherwise we’re just lighting public money on fire and locking in the coming climate crash into the bargain.”

    A separate study last week by economists and Oxford University found that putting public money into a green recovery would produce higher economic returns and create more jobs in both the short and longer term than pouring the same money into the current fossil fuel economy.

    I’ll be forwarding thisto my senators and activists. both right and left who abhor collusion between big government and big business.

    Carry on in grace

    1. I support the above remarks by “O A Marine”; good jobs and new opportunities await any nation which expands their Green Economy. As a young Geolad, my parents identified as Conservatives and since we went camping a lot, cleaned up litter around camp sites and trails, fought to keep hunting options open in various locations, wanted new developments and industries to clean up any runoff/garbage flowing into wilderness lakes, protect game herds and flocks through wise but transparent management, and generally cared for the natural (God Given!!) world so that future generations (our kids, grand-kids and those to follow) could forever appreciate and heal from being outdoors. At that time, I naively assumed Conservative and Conservationist were identical terms. Since I hope our family (and yours) will continue to hunt, fish, camp, hike, contemplate, de-stress in and appreciate Nature and its awesome creatures, I hope we all keep “Conserving” as an important goal going forward. Another words; taking care of this Good Earth should always be any Conservative’s goal. And if Green Industry does that AND builds the economy; win-win!!

    2. So we’re supposed to give big subsidies and massive bailouts to the failed green energy industry instead of giving big subsiies and massive bailouts to the failing fossil fuel industry. The misnamed “green” energy industry is a massive failure at all levels. The aging solar panels are a toxic mess waiting to happen, which will of course require our tax dollars to pay for the cleanup. The wind energy industry has the same problem. We currently have the massive props starting to pile up. There is no recycling of these fiberglass behemoths. Oh, let’s not forget the electrical power industry in general. These private companies demand subsidies and bailouts to the tune of $5T plus (closer to $10T) to upgrade the aging and antiquated power distribution system.

      Since we are on the hook for subsidies and bailouts anyway, let’s subsidize the research and manufacturing of an individual and independent power supply for each and every home and business and factory and farm. Let’s do away with the grid entirely. How? I don’t know, that is what the subsidies would be for. No matter what, let the free market decide what system is best, or better still, which systems are best.

      1. Hey Charles,

        “The misnamed “green” energy industry is a massive failure at all levels.”

        You’ve wrongly assumed the purpose of the green energy industry is to produce lots of cheap green energy. Silly you. The purpose is to generate lots of “green” to line the pockets of lobbyists, politicians, and people who manufacture hardware for the green energy industry. Anybody who’s read a 25-page solar handbook can take one look at most solar farms and immediately see why they only rarely turn a profit.

        If you want an efficient green energy industry to produce lots of cheap energy, you have to get some frugal engineer such as myself to design a system sitting at my kitchen table using Excel, buying bulk solar panels and inverters from the lowest bidder. But that’s not the American Way.

        1. The purpose of “Green Energy” as espoused in the Green New Deal is to concentrate power in the hands of Central Planners, and regulate yet another aspect of our lives (ala health care…), until Central planners control EVERY aspect of our lives. It’s a massive transfer of Power (forgive the pun) over the serfs.

  6. St funogas,,,,,,,green energy what’s that ??? Solar panels require more energy to produce than they will provide in there life time ,proven fact,,,,same for batterys yes I know batterys only store energy and use it too ,
    All the green energy pipe dreams are based on “cheep ” fossil fuel. Our modern world is out of touch with cost V input V gain
    EV are a good example ,take away petro cars and trucks what will you do for power for your frig and stove ,where you going to get the power ?? Wind is not reliable ,hydro is a dirty word ,nuc will get run out of town ,coal really is dirty ,
    Maybe we need a EMP to set our priorities right ,,
    OBTW one of the family ventures was Pioneering EV development ,another was micro nuclear power stations ,,, Maybe explains some time ,a better life is possible and can be had ,

    Not just a dirty old cattle rancher ,in a past life a engineer,,no not trains
    What would John Galt do?????

    1. “Maybe we need a EMP to set our priorities right.”

      Hey Oldhomesteader, IMO the very best thing that could happen would be a Carrington Event large enough to take the world grid down permanently. I think John Galt would agree. But I don’t remember anybody asking me. 🙂

        1. What if John Galt is alive and well ?what if he built a power generator? And it’s up and running ? What would happen to him ??what would the PTB do ???take the generator ?
          ELON MUSK spent much to get TESLA’s. notes and papers ,do you know N tesla had a electric car in the early 1900s
          Much to muse about

        2. Hey Oldhomesteader, one thing is for certain, if it were post-TEOTWAWKI and we were sitting around a campfire, there’d be a lot fewer problems to solve, it would be a lot simpler, a lot more real, and a lot more fun. 🙂

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