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 declining effectiveness of economic stimulus measures. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Alex Kimani: Gold Could Be Heading To $5,000

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Gold Forecast: Gold Prices Will Rally Back To New All-Time Highs

Economy & Finance:

Reader C.M. suggested this essay by Brandon Smith: The Economy Continues To Unravel Despite All Stimulus Measures. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Fed members and government officials demand hard lockdowns, depleting public savings and destroying small businesses. Then, the public has to beg the Fed and the government for more and more stimulus measures so that they can survive. The people and the system become dependent on a single point of support – fiat money creation and welfare. Yet, the evidence suggests that this strategy is failing to do much of anything except stall the inevitable for a very short time.

If the goal was really to reduce the pain of the pandemic as much as possible, then the strategy should be to keep the economy as open as possible and let the virus run its course. By initiating lockdowns, all we are doing is extending the economic damage over the span of years instead of months. We can deal with the comparatively minimal deaths associated with the virus; we cannot handle the disaster that is about to befall the financial system.”

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On Fumes of Stimulus: California Starts Sending Out $900 Lump-Sum FEMA-Funded Unemployment Payments on Labor Day

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Swiss regulator starts enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse over spying scandal

Commodities:

At OilPrice News:  Do Oil Market Fundamentals Justify $40 WTI?

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Al in Texas sent us this: Coronavirus, oil price crash – impact on chemicals

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The short term outlook for natural gas.

Equities:

At Wolf Street: “Prolonged Period of Risk to Institutional and Retail Investors of Further – Possibly Significant – Market Corrections”

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At Zero Hedge: Warning Flashes As Corporate Execs Dump Most Stocks Since 2015

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Tesla -12% after S&P 500 snub sends shockwaves

Forex & Cryptos:

Reader H.L. sent this: Dollar Resurgence?

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Switzerland August CPI -0.9% vs -0.8% y/y expected. JWR’s Comment: I still recommend the Swiss Franc (CHF) as a hedge.

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In new Brexit turmoil, UK says it may break law in ‘limited way’. Here is a pericope:

“Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 but talks on new trade terms have made little headway as the clock ticks down to an October deadline and then the end of the status-quo transition arrangement in late December.

As diplomats gauged whether Johnson was blustering or serious about allowing a tumultuous finale to the four-year saga, Britain insisted it would abide by the treaty.

Asked if anything in the proposed legislation potentially breached international legal obligations or arrangements, Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis said: “Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

“We are taking the powers to disapply the EU law concept of direct effect required by article 4 in a certain, very tightly defined circumstance,” he told parliament.”

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Bill Sardi: Digital Currency: The End Of American Entrepreneurship & Small Business

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Data Shows Whales Are Loading Up On Bitcoin, But Why?

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How to analyze crypto tokens properly before investing

Tangibles Investing:

I had a consulting client ask me if having 60,000 rounds was “too much ammo.” My reply: “You can never have too much ammo. But you can have too much ammo stored in one place.” I advise spreading it around and hiding it well: In your attic. In your shop. Buried in caching tubes. At your grandma’s house. At your cousin’s house. And of course, keep it all it waterproof containers. These containers needn’t be mil-spec. Tupperware works well enough. So look for used large Tupperware containers at garage sales and at thrift stores.

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The Wall Street Journal reports: Real Estate Is Now About Location, Location, Isolation

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Smith & Wesson Stepping Up Production as Sales Soar 140 Percent

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




47 Comments

    1. Perhaps a paint can that was used for water-based paint. But the remnants of oil-based paints could degrade priming composition. The goal is to have ammo that all still goes “bang” after decades of storage. Better safe than sorry!

      1. This is true, but one could purchase new empty paint cans in either gallon or quart size at any big box store for just a couple of dollars. I’m a big fan of hiding in plain site and this would fit the bill nicely. A little paint dribbled or smeared on the outside and no thief would ever think of stealing that.

    2. Here is a short story about a different kind of investing in tangibles: In 1990, The FDIC received 800 units of Brahma bull semen when the bull’s owner defaulted on a loan.

      Carry on

    3. From what I’ve seen from the three paint suppliers I use only latex or water based paint is the only one they sell in all plastic cans. Solvent based paint still comes in metal cans and buckets. I would still bag all ammo in whatever container I put it in.

  1. Spoke with my barber yesterday and she said her unemployment during the lockdown did not get the extra $600 because it’s “self employed with no ascertainable fixed income”.
    It’s something to think on.
    I tend to tip heavily as I was blessed to have not only steady income but opportunities for increased income in OT and she’s a single mom who tries very hard to raise them right.

    1. It’s nice to hear that someone else does that. I always pay may barber twice what he charges because he’s a good guy who I have known for years and who would give you the shirt off his back. I figure he deserve more than what he charges anyway.

  2. Gold Hits $5,000!
    Gold Hits $20,000!
    GOLD AT 1 ZILLION DOLLARS!
    Oh, enough already with the same old gold-hype sites. They all have a reason to get people buying – PROFIT. If you had bought at $300 you’d have 6x returns now, but it would only buy 1/6 of what that $300 did back then. The best reason to have a tube of Gold Eagles is to lump sum pay off your mortgage when it hits 10k/ounce.

    1. BinWY: Why pay off the mortgage? When the banking system collapses and collapse it will
      there will no longer be foreclosures or evictions.
      When hyper inflation hits no one will have enough fiat currency to meet their needs.
      Even the new digital wallet and universal basic income will be insufficient.

      Of course. The salesmen of PMs want you to buy. It’s what they do. They know that
      their product will never be worthless.
      Gold is the safe haven to protect your wealth. It always has and always will. I feel
      that we are headed toward a barter economy and when that happens fractional gold
      and silver will get people what they need to survive.

      1. Ron unless a bright flash in the sky and all electronics go silent as the world as we knows it dies, BANKS and Government (but I repeat myself) WILL Get their Money. Whatever they choose to call Money, AT the Exchange Values THEY Set Upon it.

        SO don’t expect once the system collapses ALL debts magically go away. They don’t. And Bankers Loans and Government TAXES ALWAYS gets paid.

        My Grandmother lived through the Great Depression the banking system had major failures as folks lost their savings. Yet the Debts were called in as farms and homes went to courthouse auctions to Bankers Protected by the Sheriffs.

        My Grandmother and Grandfather did well enough during the Great Depression, never faced foreclosure, was able to take in several family members that DID and find them employment. They took in Boarders as rent money was welcome. Grandmother washed folks laundry for extra cash. Gardens, chickens, helping milk other folks cows, fishing and so on fed the extended family. Many hands made light work she used to say.

        She always quoted 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 For even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “If anyone is unwilling to work, he shall not eat.”

        Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe both tried to “Print” their way out of trouble and Hyperinflation was the stealth tax that allowed their Government “Promises” like Social Security Checks” to become less and less of value until they are Worthless. Just as the US Dollar is becoming for exactly the same reasons of electronically “Printing” money in the Trillions to bribe voters to elect the Democrats with “Reparation’s” and Student Debt “Forgiveness” and Universal Income and Universal FREE Healthcare.

        TANSTAAFL “There An’t No Such Thing A Free Lunch” Somebody has to pay the tab. Hyperinflation everybody but the Top Dogs PAYS that Tab.

        Winter is coming for our Republic. Unless Trump and Co start arresting those Deep State Traitors and a hanging Judge is employed the Socialist-Democrats WILL with Mail in Voter FRAUD “Win” the Elections of Both Houses of Congress (Did you remember MOAR than Just the Presidency is up for Grabs friends?) AND the President.

        Winter is coming get ready, already preparing is past plan A lots of stuff available to buy, past plan B less stuff more expensive and falling into plan C Hobsons Choice take it or leave it as your choices are limited.

        1. Michael, that was an excellent explanation for Ron, better than I could have done. Even in recent history, the banksters always got “their” money. Enron? The Great 2008 Smash ‘n Grab? It is always ordinary folks who carry the weight of shyster business policies and all-around bad decisions.
          PMs ARE a store of wealth, historically, but you can’t eat them. (See the fable about King Midas) That wealth is all theoretical unless you can use it to save your bacon and eggs. Morally, I would have a very hard time shooting Sheriff’s Deputies for trying to serve me an eviction notice because I failed to make my contractual payments.
          I don’t spend much time thinking about my 401(k)s, IRAs, SS or pension these days – they are all at-risk investments. My PMs and other physical assets that I can sell or barter are the things that I consider real.
          I go on with life as usual (Plan A) for the time being because I am in a place and position that allows me that luxury. Plans B and C are on-deck and ready to go into full-scale implementation as soon as certain threshold situations occur.

          1. ThoDan I was wondering when you’d chime in?

            And there is far more economic malfeasance and such involved in reducing America into a 3rd world worthless money state over several spendthrift decades. But I’m not writing a PhD thesis.

            Our equivalent of the economic damages of the Versailles Reparation’s is self generated by decades of using debt (Selling T-Bills to foreign Nations) to pay for todays wants. Government programs like the war on poverty (and we *still* have severe poverty all around MOAR to come sad to say)

            AND We STILL Have those T-Bills rolled over like using a new credit card to PAY for the old Credit Card eating far MOAR than the actual Taxes Collected by the US Government.

            What happens Sir when your outgo is MOAR than your Income?

            Proverbs 22:6-8 says it all
            …6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.8He who sows injustice will reap disaster, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.…

            We ALLOWED bit by Socialism-Communism and such to be taught to our children. And LOOK at them GO with Molotov’s and Peaceful Protests!!

            We sold our Birthrights as Americans for quick profits. Yes our Voted IN Leaders did. But THEY Will suffer very little with OUR Tax Dollars stuffed in their wallets. We the People will be the Donkeys for this burden and our Children unless we default on our national debts.

            We allowed our leaders to play Policeman all over the world and have created Enemies everywhere our boots hit the ground (Or Aircraft Bombs dropped).

            Enough to say we have Made Our Bed and have to Lie in It for decades to come “Enjoying” the “Equality in Poverty” of Socialism or the Chaos of civil war.

            Unless of course your one of the “MOAR Equal” Animals, like the Pigs in Animal Farm. If you’ve read that book ThoDan. I’ve never seen a Socalist Leader starving or with out a lux lifestyle while making speeches for “The People” to work their way though the Troubles that the (Insert Target of the Peoples HATE here) created for their “Perfect Socialism”.

            The Great Depression was harsh but at least the citizens were not at WAR with each other. We are in for a FAR Harsher scenario no matter WHO “Wins” this CIA Color Revolution against the Republic.

  3. People mistake the Price in Gold (US Dollars) reflects the VALUE of Gold. It doesn’t.

    It reflects the VALUE of the US DOLLAR. Gold’s value in Real Things hasn’t changed much aside from brief enthusiasm-panic values. Gold is a store of wealth independent to the Value of the Debts of the USA. In Victorian times a Gentleman’s suit and ensemble of hat, shoes and so on cost about ONE Ounce of Gold. Today the same quality suit and ensemble also costs about ONE Ounce of Gold.

    At one time the Zimbabwe Dollar was really EQUAL to the US Dollar. You could have bought an Ounce of Gold for the SAME amount of Zimbabwe Dollars as an American dollar. Because of fraud, waste, bad laws and using the Printing Press as the “solution” to poverty (buying VOTES), and lack of real industry the Zimbabwe dollar DESPITE constant Reinvention and revaluations to knock off some zeros is WORTHLESS and you cannot buy an ounce of Gold with it. NOBODY wants them.

    The US Dollar is FALLING into the same trap due to politicians buying votes and selling our businesses overseas for THEIR Profits. What does America still MAKE except US Treasury Bill DEBTS, some agriculture products (a distant second trade item against our selling DEBT) and some doo dads?

    So your 1/6th nonsense Sir shows your lack of economic education. Enjoy your US Zimbabwe Dollars Sir. I hear a wheel barrel next year might be worth more than the pile of US Dollars piled on it…. I hear the breaking glass of Kristallnacht and Weimer Germany Hyperinflation nearby.

    1. Michael, if you follow my reasoning about the “1/6 sense” you would see that we are actually talking about the value of gold in exactly the same way. I know it is not WORTH more, it only costs more to buy – like everything else. Inflation. However, my mortgage is a fixed cost regardless of the price of milk, bullets or gasoline – and that is where the true VALUE of PMs shines. I remember my parents mortgage finally being paid off. When they bought their home that $250/month was a significant chunk of Dad’s salary. Over the course of 20 years his salary increased significantly but the mortgage payment was always that same $250/month, and as a result represented a much smaller bite out of his paychecks.

      1. BinWY I do understand your reasoning friend. That same Real Asset (the house) is being paid for with Depreciating value “Money”.

        It’s the Thief Known as Inflation. It’s how rich people and bankers always do better than the rest of us. They BORROW Other Peoples Money to buy real assets and expect to pay for them with ever less valuable “Dollars”.

        Rich people and Bankers think in decades, you and I think about next weekend. That viewpoint is a problem.

        Like the WHY Plant an apple tree today, protect and care for it for several years just to hope we get apples? It’s SO EASY to go to Whole Foods and…

        Until Whole Foods is a smoking ruin from “Peaceful Protests” or your bank account has “insufficient funds” to buy those apples.

        Gold hold it’s value being “Worth” More fiat dollars when inflation turns my Grandmothers Social Security and Retirement checks (Once thought Generous BTW) into a “Do we Pay our Bills OR EAT this month dear?” scenario.

        Hyperinflation is when Instead of decades of stealth inflation robbing you it occurs as Hemmingway said it “Sir, how did you go broke?, Son, Slowly then ALL AT ONCE”.

        I cannot disagree about the wisdom of paying off the mortgage (from the French “Death pledge”) BUT Taxes are always going to make you a RENTER in your own “Paid for Home”.

        It’s yours until you cannot pay the TAXES then as in the Great Depression the Sherriff will move you out and they will sell it to someone “Rich” enough to profit from it over those unpaid taxes.

        So unless a Bright Flash occurs and all electronics go silent as the world as we know it dies PREPARE to always Earn Enough “Money” to pay your debts and Taxes as the Banks and Government ALWAYS like the Mafia Gets their Money.

  4. Here we go, talking about chasing coins again, like that will keep us safe somehow.

    God’s grace is sufficient. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. You will be better off without it.

    If you have been blessed with bounty from God, do not compare it to your neighbor’s measure. We are not in competition for His love and attention. You may be given more, or less, than the next person. Be grateful for what you have, for tomorrow you may have naught. Use your “talents” to best serve the Master. Go read about Job again if you need a lesson in how insecure the things of this world truly are. Take care of what you have been given, but be mindful how quickly it can be gone, and prepare to live without all of it, and still serve the Master.

    God’s grace is sufficient. The rest is just fluff. Don’t be deceived.

  5. What gets me is the media handwringing over the unemployment rate and at the same time saying we can’t open the economy yet. If you don’t open businesses people can’t go back to work!

    1. I have two of the 9800’s. Nice radios, and they might have received a minor modification (for emergency use only, of course) that opens up the transmit bands to cover MURS, GMRS, FRS, and, you know, everything else. Interesting concept to cross band between MURS and GMRS (or so I’ve been told)…

  6. For those of you who still have IRA and 401k accounts you may want to inquire about a 408 (m) (3) account. Section 408 (m)(3) lets you open a precious metals (self directed) IRA and lets you put real gold and silver into a tax advantage account.

    1. Oly, I have had a self directed IRA since 2012, and love it! Best thing I ever did! I rolled my 401k’s and a lump sum pension payment into it and have never looked back. I have not seen any convincing evidence that a self-directed (or solo) IRA can own prescious metals in my physical possession. In other words, the precious metals have to be held by a custodian. I have read here many times on Survival Blog that if you can’t hold and touch it, you don’t own it. Some firms say that holding it in a safe deposit box at a bank meets the requirements, there is no IRS opinion on the legality of that. The last thing I want is a legal case brought by the IRS named after me. Please share any info you have on physical possession of prescious metals in a solo IRA. It would be much appreciated.

      1. I would be interested to know if there is some way to put the metals into a safety deposit box like you say. My retirement is taken out of my check, I have no say in the matter, it is 6% of my gross pay. I believe I can roll it into an IRA though, and if so I would be interested in putting it into a metals IRA if I could have them either in a safety deposit box, or somewhere nearby my physical location.
        I would cash out the retirement and buy metals if I could, but it isn’t allowed.

        1. In 1933, the federal government declared a Bank Holiday. The banks were closed for a period of time. During this time, all safe deposit boxes were opened and all gold contained in them was confiscated. That’s right- your beloved U.S. government took ALL of the gold in the ‘safe deposit’ boxes. Let that be a lesson to you.

  7. Now this is just a real bummer… We have always liked Dr. Bronner’s products. But… We believe ALL LIVES MATTER (every one no matter age, infirmity, race, color, creed (or religion), or national origin). With this in mind, we will not support companies that pledge support for the violent radical left of the present which has co-opted the true civil rights movement of the historical past.

    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-09-11-dr-bronner-pledged-1-million-to-black-lives-matter-terrorists.html

    Good bye, Dr. Bronner’s. We will find an alterative to your products, and encourage others to do the same.

    1. @ T of A

      That is a total bummer. I absolutely love their Peppermint liquid soap. Even found some to buy when I lived overseas. But supporting BLM. No way! Gonna have to send them a message I guess.

      1. Ani! We know… It’s really is such a disappointment! We have really enjoyed the peppermint liquid soap — and the lavender too. Folks are posting at the Dr. Bronner’s site (for those interested in doing so). There is quite a protest ongoing. The more voices probably the better. Perhaps they will yet reverse course. I am not counting on it, but maybe.

        1. I sent them a brief message that expressed my displeasure and why I don’t support BLM. They responded full of self righteous justification for their support and said that there are other good products out there for me to buy instead of theirs. Ah well…..

          1. …and there you have it! Let the fact that you’re not returning sink in for a bit. Lots of of us are doing the same. We are happy to discover other product lines. No problem whatsoever!

    2. My list of woke companies and their products is getting pretty long, running out of places to spend my money. This will be the watershed event for many companies (and pro sports) that forces them to pull away from political action as a company. It will take time but we must be resolute in our refusal to support those who align themselves with anarchists and SJWs. The American consumer is not a monolithic bloc but we always have the power of the purse, and not just over businesses but also our own government should we choose to use it.

      1. Yes. My list of no-go companies has also expanded. In fact, I now seek out non-chain restaurants and stores to spend my money at. Certain LOCAL chains are OK if they are small but I try to avoid the big names unless I need something specific from them and then I still shop around first.

      2. BinWY! Yes… Our list of woke companies is also getting much longer! It’s okay… We’ll find alternative places to spend our money, or we’ll simply save our money. You are so right. We have the power of the purse, and we must remain resolute!

  8. “Economics & Investing For Preppers”. Well I have a question for you all. Mr. JWR might like to chime in too. I believe you have invested in this as well. It is in regards to Raufoss MK211 rounds – the 50 cal. flavor.

    For longer than I can remember, I have always wanted to obtain some. Why? I guess the “cool factor” is just too great. That and squirrels keep getting in the bird feeders. Lol. My question is, how do you know you are getting what you pay for? Yes, there is tip marking/color and head stamp marking, but still. With the prices involved, I would think that counterfeit would be of some concern. You could x-ray to see the tungsten penetrator, but where are you going to go to get that done?

    Any advise you could provide would be great. They do seem to hold their value and actually seem to increase over time. Because I still have a few more years (I hope) on this Earth, I’m thinking this might be a fun way to do some non-conventional investing.

    1. @Burt Gummer Too!
      I had to look that up (Raufoss MK211). Spendy. Potentially quite useful to someone who needs to defend themselves against superior forces (like an SOUS).

      I had actually been looking at used x-ray equipment for alternative photography purposes, never followed through, but considering the cost of these rounds, might not be a bad investment for the machine as well – portable dental x-ray machines can be had on ebay for less than $500. Just a thought…

      1. @MickeyMoose, @JWR

        Thank you for your replies. I will check out ebay and see what is available. You’re right, it might be something to consider given the prices for these rounds.

        It took a little bit of looking, but I did find the book you mentioned. It seems as if it is out of print. A few places had none in stock and others were asking big bucks – probably due to it being out of print.

        Did find it for $25 (2 or more were $20 each). Brand new. Hopefully it goes well. I bought 3 or them!

        Thanks again for your help guys!!!

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