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 poor long-term prospects for private cryptocurrencies. (See the Forex & Cryptos section.)

Precious Metals:

Silver price to push above $30 an ounce in 2021 despite short-term turbulence – Metals Focus.

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Jim Curry: Key Message for Gold & U.S. Stocks

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SBTV: Gold Outperformed Buffett and the Stock Market

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: US Manufacturing Disappoints In Early October PMI Data As Election Anxiety Builds

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Union: Remington Arms, oldest U.S. gunmaker, terminates 585 employees at birthplace

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At Wolf Street: Fed Assets Eke Out New Record for First Time Since June 10. But Repos, Dollar Liquidity Swaps, SPVs Mothballed

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And another from Wolf: Jingle Mail Haunts Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities as Property Values Get Slashed Below Loan Amounts

Commodities:

Reader H.L. spotted a recent piece by our friend Patrice Lewis, over at WND: Shortages of necessities: The New Normal

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OilPrice News reports: Venezuela’s Oil Industry Could Take Decades To Recover

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USDA:  Macroeconomics & Agriculture

Forex & Cryptos:

Over at Currency Thoughts: Intensifying Pandemic and Coming U.S. Election Rattle Investor Confidence.

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The Sure Short: Zimbabwe expects inflation of 134% this year

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USD/GBP Forecast, United States Dollar / British Pound Sterling currency rate prediction: Buy or sell USD/GBP pair?

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Jameson Lopp, on cryptocurrencies: The Custodian Menace

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Will they or won’t they? Central banks eye each other’s digital currency moves.  JWR’s Comment: I still recommend limiting your cryptocurrency holdings to just a very small part of your portfolio. In an age of uncertainty, tangibles rule. And keep in mind that once sovereign (national) e-currencies are established, nation after nation will ban or attempt to heavily tax private cryptocurrencies. That imperative matches the essential Mafia-like nature of all governments: They hate competition.

Tangibles Investing:

A friend in Phoenix, Arizona wrote to mention that most of the local gun shops and outfitter shops (such as Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse) are almost completely sold out of ammunition and reloading components. Meanwhile, their supplies of guns and full-capacity magazines are also heavily depleted. And notably, the staff behind the counter of two major chain stores mentioned to him that they were ordered to remove from display all of their inventory of semi-auto rifles and shotguns at least until after the presidential election, next Tuesday. The order was, in effect: “Box them up, set them aside, and await further instructions.”  And it has been reported that Wal-Mart stores are removing ALL of thair guns and ammuntion until after the election.

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2020 Election, Violence, Kidnapping Plots Huge Spike in Gun Sales in Michigan

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In The New York Times: A Divided Nation Agrees on One Thing: Many People Want a Gun

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The Pre-Election Sale at Elk Creek Company will end in just four days. Biden may prevail, or it may end up a horribly contested election, and thus we may end up with Interim President Nancy Pelosi. (God forbid!) So don’t hesitate: Order your No-FFL antique cartridge guns, soon.

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!




37 Comments

  1. Academy had 223 on the shelves 2 days in a row. $1.30rd. It’s match ammo.
    Could be in part cause of the ice storm. Not many folks shopping, mostly cleaning up and no one thinks they’ve got power.
    I’d stopped in cause I got out to help my neighbors who run outta gas and was taking their cans to refuel. Been doing the generator refuel for his wife while he’s at work. Anyway I grabbed another person a headlamp at academy. Then yesterday afternoon my buddy texted me wanting to know if I wanted any of the high dollar stuff.
    He’s sitting at home in the dark with no lantern, way to cook or power but out buying ammo. SMH

    1. We were fortunately to find thousands of small rifle primer for .5 cents each a few hours drive from here. These were not advertised on the internet. Of course we bought them all. There is no way I can pay $1.30/ round. I found suitable powder for under $20/pound, and accurate bullets for .10 cents each. The practice of reloading is finally paying off. I suspect I might be able to sell home made ammunition in the future, and certainly after the cities are burning the shooting starts for more than $1.30/round. I’ve already been approached.

  2. “The New Normal”:
    It’s a crybaby article. Having travelled around the world with the green machine most folks do shop for things when they’ve got it good. Shop as in the act of
    You don’t just get to go to one store. You don’t get to choose your favorite brand.
    Don’t get sucked in to things are bad because we’ve gone from great to good. Crying bout not having pepperoni for your pizza when you’ve still got pizza, not to mention a ton of options in meat and veggies because you only went to one store is pathetic. You had money to go, you went in a car or public transportation probably in climate control and had power when you got there. You went home to a place to be able to cook and ate not in fear of it getting taken away, shot while eating or it being contaminated with dirt n disease.
    Toughen up
    I know this crowd reading here is better than this article. Y’all know eat from not eating and when life is really bad. Be vocal and educate these spoiled soft people.

    1. Respectfully, Patrice wasn’t “crying about pepperoni”—it just caused her to think and remember other things she’d seen and heard from others. There ARE shortages of “real” things, not just “desired” brands. Here are some local examples. Around here, yeast only became regularly available again about four weeks ago. Prior to that it was very hit and miss, and limited to three of the 3-packs per person when it did show up (jar yeast has additives to which some react negatively, I have friends with this problem). I can make sourdough, but some can’t and the learning curve is steep. Bread was in short supply for the first couple of months of the “shelter in place” hence the need for yeast for some people. The produce around here is intermittently just horrible (I’m talking slimy and buggy, half rotten) and this is the People’s Republik of Kalifornia, a state KNOWN for its high quality fresh produce! Frozen vegetables are hit and miss. Facial tissue is limited to the little portable packages—when they have it. You can get boxes at some stores, but it’s artificially fragranced, so that’s not acceptable to those of us who are allergic to the fragrances (it’s not always about subjective choices and “favorite” brands, in other words). Thankfully, my family began transitioning out of these products in favor of washable/reuseable ones a while ago. TP is also limited purchase and smaller packages. There are HUGE holes on the shelves, and the stores are being reconfigured to make it look like things are normal. There is not much depth of product on the shelves that are not empty. Exception: one of the stores where I shop for house-bound elderly family members has plenty of breakfast candy (sugar cereal, “toaster pastries” and the like), sugary snacks and other junk food, and soda (of all brands, including house brands), but real food is much less lightly stocked. Friends report that there are stores still rationing meat around here. Aluminum foil seems to be not always available recently as well. There are even shortages and limitations at the local Costcos, Walmarts, and Targets. These are just the ones I’ve seen or heard about. Most do not affect us (thank you, Lord!), but they are affecting friends and family. Employees at the stores are reporting that the store orders are being short-shipped most of the time. I’ve never seen these things on this scope before and I’m in my seventh decade of life, raised by Great Depression era folk. I shop at several different stores and more than one day a week now since I shop for several households (friends and family, we divide stores geographically). Yes, things ARE better than their era, and better than third world countries, but for some people this is a real struggle. For real reasons, not just lack of pepperoni or favorite brands.

      1. I think as you noted, that the point was really to prod people to be aware of what is in short supply now or just not available. It’s interesting to me when I do go to a store to check this out. I can’t really figure out why some things are available and others aren’t. Some oddball things are hard to get here; sponge brushes for paint or plastic storage tubs for instance. Lots of lentils but no split peas. Some brands of salsa but none that I regularly get. But there is food on the shelves, although for many items, only in a single row on the shelf edge. And some stuff has returned such as pasta, flour, sugar, yeast, bleach, detergent etc. I do think the fear of lockdowns is still out there as the TP section continues to be sparse. But truly, we have had a virtual cornucopia in our stores for so many years. We still have so much.

    2. I understand what you’re saying. I think the author was using an example, “pepperoni”, to make a point in a humorous way. The point being that something you use, need, or want, may not be available to you in the “new normal”. Personally, I reject the entire concept of “new normal”. Doggone it! I rail against the Powers That Be for wrecking our country. Next week, I’m votin’ for Freedom.

    3. You laid it on the line, Matt.

      This line from that article stood out for me, “Will we be required to cower in our homes forever?”

      No one is under house arrest. Sweet spouse and I just enjoyed a few days at a local retreat center. Quiet, spiritual readings, walking. There was no effort to arrrst us. We are robust people who DO NOT COWER, those of us on SB. We stand and do the work of citizens.

      Oh, and I’m glad you made it home from those places you describe, Matt.

      Carry on

  3. My local (NE OK) Academy had both WW M193 and WW M855 in 200 round boxes for $84.99 & $94.99, respectively. On the 26th they had a 3 box limit, after that it was a one box limit. That works out to $0.42/each and $0.47/each. The best online price I found prior to Tuesday was around $0.64/each.

  4. Local Walmart almost out of rifle ammo the last time I looked. A few boxes of .243, 7mm Remington and .300 Winchester magnums. Some birdshot, no buck or slugs. Perhaps half a dozen long guns. Palmetto State Armory ammunition supply is also pretty sparse, but they did have guns. Same with Bass Pro in Savannah. A small local gun shop did have a selection of rifle and handgun ammo, maybe a couple of dozen boxes per caliber. This is why you plan and prepare.

    1. Our local Walmart was selling Winchester “White Box” 9mm target ball at $35 per box of 200 before COVID. Now that it’s all sold and gone, and Walmarts in CA have been getting out of the ammo business, anything in 9mm is hard to find. However, during a recent visit to my LGS, the owner had just received a case of White Box and had stocked his (mostly bare) ammo shelf. Price was $35 per basic box of 50(!) rounds, and people were buying!

  5. I am currently in the Phoenix Arizona area and can report to you that any “rumors” relating to ammunition are true. The shelves are empty. However, if you buy a firearm at Sportsman’s Warehouse they allow you to purchase two boxes of ammunition.

    On Wednesday I purchased a long gun and my allowed two boxes; the sales clerk confided that if you don’t see ammo on the shelves just ask about availability. It appears that they have some good stuff rat-holed in the back. I saw some going out the door (the reason I asked).

    That’s the report.

  6. The recent article about Remington was illuminating. According to the mayor of Ilion, the small town in upstate NY where Remington began in the early 1800’s, he’s all for background checks. After all, he was in law enforcement for thirty years. He and his cohorts in LE should be in charge of who gets to use the Second Amendment, for, you know, hunting and such.

  7. The shops in Springfield have guns. Bass Pro is looking like pre- crazy times, except there is almost no ammo available. Even shotgun ammo is depleted. Academy is a waste of time. My favorite shop is a smaller one, but they’ve been doing a really good job of keeping stuff in stock. They have been getting in ammo and guns on a regular basis, just not in the quantities they use to. I’ve put a few things on layaway to make sure I’ve got it, just in case.

    Reloading supplies are another story. I can find bullets, I can find powder, but primers are the tough one. I still have quite a few, but I always want to top off what I’ve used. At least I still have a bunch of Lyman #2 alloy to cast bullets, and powder for days.

  8. I live near a gun shop in Tucson and it seems to have most of the desired types of guns still in stock and also a variety of ammo accept 9mm and .223. I found a pawn shop which has most ammo calibers in stock except for 9mm. The reloading supplies are very limited in Tucson.

  9. Remington: the employees were told during summer to use up any vacation time before the bankruptcy which I believe most did from what I hear. I would think the bankruptcy judge would have had a copy of the union contract.
    Walmart preparing for “potential unrest” removing guns and ammo chain wife and also running evacuation drills. I know someone who was at our local upstate NY store when they ran their evacuation drill.
    Shortages: cleaning supplies, some grocery items out or lower in stock particularly staple of pantry items. Prepackaged heat and eat type stuff seems to be in good supply as well as junk food and alcoholic beverages. Sign of the times you can buy alcohol but you can’t go to church.
    The spiritual battle intensifies daily. Stay strong in the Lord.

  10. My problem is I’m tripping over sealed cases of 7.62×39, 7.62×51, .40SandW, 22Lr, and cases of magpul mags. .223 and 9mm went first and fast. My sons listened to me and in addition to their AR’s and 9mm’s bought bought AK’s and stocked ammo.
    Not that I’m boasting mind you:) The wife hasn’t said anything but sighs a lot. My excuse is it’s money in the Oly bank.

    1. Maybe she would be more understanding if you stacked all those cases to make chairs, ottomons, legs for a new dining room table. A good solid base for an outdoor gazebo. Hide in plain sight as the saying goes.

    1. In our town, we have multiple and massive above ground propane tanks that would be too easily set off. What could happen may not be limited to the big cities. They would naturally look for soft targets. They were already chased our of our region.

    2. Oh boy. Thanks for the heads up. There are so many things to be aware of when considering all hell may break loose in a week. I’m praying.

      I specifically switched from propane tank to wood burning stove this past summer, thanks to all the encouragement from people here. I now have the equivalent of almost 5 cords of wood (wood + Idaho energy logs). My place is small so I doubt I’ll blow through that even if we lose power in the winter. I’m guesstimating half of that, but we’ll see. I’ll be interested to assess my consumption this winter.

      Praying. Praying. Praying.

      1. SaraSue,
        Your estimate about your wood use is hard to say. My guess, no less than 3 cords for a small place. Much depends on how well it is insulated, ceiling height, and square footage. 5 cords is good to have if it is very cold winter. Many run out and are looking for more wood at the start of spring if it is colder winter than expected. Anything is possible this, or any year. Too much is better than not enough. The jet stream is now fickle and we are in solar minimum.

  11. Wife suddenly learned I have 8 AR-15s while i was on a phone call. “Eight?!”
    Well, what does she think I’ve been doing for the last 43 years? I have four daughters. And the wife. So….SPARES, you know?
    If it wasn’t for the Democrats, I wouldn’t have nearly this much stuff!

      1. Well, yeah….just the 5.56 family. Then there is the deep support effort to sustain them, and the whole story repeats in 7.62 NATO, .30 Soviet, shotguns, pistols, etc. Budget in many thousands for training. Then there’s the 38 man/year supply of food, meds, sustainable power and water capabilities and other projects.
        At some point, one must realize that man does not live by lead alone.

        1. Paul, Shaking my head in awe of how wonderful you are to have prepared for your family the way that you have.

          May the Lord bless you and keep you.
          May His face shine upon you
          and give you peace.
          Krissy

  12. We live at the edge of a newer housing area that’s filling up faster than we predicted. Came here for peace and quiet. That’s not working out. I believe there are”scouts” driving and walking through the area looking for victims. We’re retired and home most of the time, and we see the thugs…they are not from here. A week ago two women walked through our neighborhood twice on same day with one carrying a notebook. They were pointing at houses (?) and after a discussion they would take notes. We have cameras front and rear including trail cams out back. Only two homes in this area, including us, are still flying flags. No one has Trump signs. There are 3 homes with bite me signs.
    I’ve photographed numerous strange vehicles slowly driving and then parking for a few minutes. These are no doubt scouts. Our Doberman, the original USMC Devil Dog, barks at the windows most of the time. We are talking to neighbors we can trust and prepared for next few days.
    I’m sure all you who regularly participate in reading and commenting here are aware of what’s happening. Good luck and may God be with us all.
    Semper Fi

  13. Stuff is available in El Paso County CO. Might have to visit Magnum, Bass Pro and a few Big Rs, but there is still a good firearms selection and sparse ammo and reloading supplies, but each store has something in common calibers. Oddball and 300 Mag is plentiful, just bought a used 300 Encore barrel on Gun Broker and a used Weaver fixie on ebay (total under 4 bills) and took advantage of that bounteous blessing. No problem getting a berm at my Eastern county gun range. I needed new tires for a rig this week and had to go with my third pick due to availability. Safeway had jars of yeast back on the shelf for the first time in forever. Sadly, no one has spaghetti sauce mix or throwback mountain dew.

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