February 25, 2024

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. This column emphasizes JWR’s “tangibles heavy” investing strategy and contrarian perspective. Today, we look at Costco’s gold sales boom. (See the Precious Metals section.)

Precious Metals:

Costco Just Sold More Than $100 Million in Gold in One Quarter. The article begins:

“In a surprising turn of events, Costco has struck gold with online shoppers, raking in more than $100 million in sales of the precious metal during its fiscal first quarter, which concluded on November 26. This revelation was shared by Costco’s Chief Financial Officer, Richard Galanti, during the company’s recent earnings call.

The sought-after 1-ounce gold bars have become a hot commodity, consistently selling out within hours of being listed on Costco’s website. In September, Galanti noted that the gold bars, priced at $2,069.99 per ounce on the website, were in high demand, often disappearing swiftly despite their premium cost compared to the latest spot price of $2,020.58.”

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Rick Ackerman, at Gold-Eagle.com: Gold Can’t Pussyfoot Forever.

Economy & Finance:

Rickards’ Five 2024 Forecasts.

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WSJ: How the Housing Market Slowdown Is Rippling Through the Economy in Five Charts.

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Reader H.L. sent this: Carbon Capture Needs Enough Pipelines to Circle Earth Four Times.

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A piece by Alasdair Macleod, from D.S.V.: Underestimating Debt Traps.

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AI is a danger to the financial system, regulators warn for the first time.

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The New York Fed Has Extended Its Half Trillion Dollar Bailout Facility to a Sprawling Japanese Bank You’ve Never Heard Of.

Commodities:

Eggflation isn’t over yet: Why experts say egg prices will be going up.

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Monday’s Energy Absurdity: Winter Range Anxiety – Just Another Reason Why EVs Can’t Replace Gas Cars.

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Surging Steel Prices Defy Manufacturing Slowdown.

Taxes:

The IRS released its 2024 tax brackets. Here’s how to see yours.

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From the creators of TurboTax: Tax Tips After January 1, 2024.

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From the “user-friendly” IRS web site: Get ready to file in 2024: What’s new and what to consider.

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2024 State Business Tax Climate Index. (Tax Foundation.)

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California’s ‘Stealth Tax Increase’ Set to Hit in JanuaryJWR’s Notes:  As of January 1, 2024, California’s income taxes will increase again. Anyone making more than  $61,214 will pay a 10.4% rate. (Up from the current 9.3%.)  And those in the top income bracket will pay a whopping 14.4 percent, up from the current 13.3 percent.

And FYI, see the sales tax rates in California, by county.  JWR’s Comment:  Will the last taxpayer leaving California please turn out the lights?

Forex & Cryptos:

Most EM currencies to rebound in 2024, ‘carry trades’ still attractive: Reuters Poll.

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At Currency Thoughts: Watching for Central Bank Rate Cuts.

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Spot ETF Momentum, ‘Unprecedented Demand’ Set to 10x Bitcoin Price.

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US court approves settlement against Binance, firm to pay $2.7B to CFTC.

Tangibles Investing:

Vase found at thrift store sells for more than $100,000.

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Newsweek: House prices are in “freefall” in dozens of major US cities, with new buyers — often young families — losing in some between $70,000 and $122,000.

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Palmetto State Armory (one of our affiliate advertisers) has some great pre-Christmas specials, this week.  Just one example: A “name brand” Armalite M-15 Tactical .223 Rem/5.56 Semi-Automatic AR-15 Rifle for just $799.99  (These are regularly priced at $2,200.)  To find this deal, paste SKU 774906 in their search box.

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 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!