Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. In this column, JWR also covers hedges, derivatives, and various obscura. Most of these items are from JWR’s “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective. Today, we look at some tax issues. (See the Taxes section.)

Precious Metals:

You may have noticed that silver is gaining, versus gold. As of Saturday morning, spot silver was at $25.34 per Troy ounce, while gold was at $2,003.30 per Troy ounce.  That is a 78.82-to-1 ratio.  I’m still looking at a ratio under 70-to-1 in the short term and 40-to-1 in the long term.  So if you have enough room for some  “ballast” in your vault and you can find a low-premium dealer, then buy silver, not gold.

Signed as Law: Mississippi Takes First Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money.

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At Jim Willie: BRICS Are Driving Dollar & Precious Metals Markets.

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Chart: 200 Years of Global Gold Production, by Country.

Economy & Finance:

Moody’s: What if the Banking Crisis Is Not Over?

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JPMorgan, PNC To Buy First Republic After FDIC Seizure First Leaves Taxpayers Holding The Toxic Stuff.

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At Zero Hedge: So This Is What The Bottom Of The Freight Market Feels Like.

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CNN: The US economy grew at a much slower pace in the first quarter. JWR’s Adds: I fully expect to see a recession in Q2 or Q3 of this year. For some context, here is the trend —  not fully spelled out by the Pro-Bidenista CNN:

  • Growth rate in the third quarter of 2022:    3.2%
  • Growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2022:  2.6%
  • Growth rate in the first quarter of 2023:     1.1%


Lest we forget: 2023 Tax Brackets. JWR’s Comment: In an age of mass inflation, we’ll all become millionaire holders of near-worthless dollars, and we’ll all be in the top tax bracket.

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Tom Christianson suggested this article: IRS Hiring Gun-Carrying Agents in all 50 States.

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Reported last October: Inflation Is Surging, So Are Federal Tax Collections. JWR’s Comments: Despite record revenue, Congress consistently overspends. The National Debt is expected to jump from $31 trillion to $50 in the next few years.  The annual interest payments on the National Debt will soon exceed the size of the annual Department of Defense budget!

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Crypto Tax Rates: Complete Breakdown by Income Level 2023.


Commodities Prices to Remain Sky High Throughout 2024.

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Wheat is looking weak. A quote:

“Wheat futures in the US sank to below $6.3 per bushel in late April, the lowest in 21 months, as supply is set to remain strong…”

JWR’s Comment:  For those who are preparedness-minded. This dip represents a good time to stock up on hard red winter wheat, in quantity.

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From OilPrice NewsOil Set For Sixth Straight Monthly Loss.

Inflation Watch:

US March PCE core inflation 4.6% vs 4.5% expected. JWR’s Comments: Take note that the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price figure is a key indicator used by the Federal Reserve for gauging near-future inflation.  Seeing this number tells me that the Fed’s FOMC will probably continue to remain hawkish on interest rates, at their early-May meeting.

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Why are gas prices rising? 2023 has seen a spike in costs at the pump. Here’s what it means.

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The cost of food is down, but grocery bills are still up. Here’s why.

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Meanwhile, in the U.K.: Food Prices Tracker: April 2023. Rising at a whopping 19.1% rate, in England!

Forex & Cryptos:

From a Saudi publication: Top 10 Highest Currencies Around The World in 2023 (Updated April).

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At Currency Thoughts: Banking System Concerns and Further Evidence that Growth Has Slowed.

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Elizabeth Warren Wants The Police At Your Door In 2024 If You Have A Crypto-Wallet.

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Fed Asks Americans for Feedback on a Central Bank Digital Currency—Here Are Some Responses.

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Bitcoin Price Targets Fourth Consecutive Bullish Monthly Close, Are We There Yet?

Tangibles Investing:

There seems to be another civilian ammunition shortage brewing, in the United States. I recommend stocking up — particularly any modern military calibers, and .22 Long Rifle.


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 or 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. Thanks!