What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
What happens in China impacts the rest of the world.
China has recently cut its currency’s ties to the U.S. dollar in favor of a mixed bag of foreign currencies. This decision from the Chinese government comes after the announcement that the Federal Reserve most likely will raise interest rates and is yet another step in the on-going attempt from the Chinese to distance themselves from any backlashes due to changes in American economics. The yuan has been devalued and economic growth is in decline.
This move has drastically upset the international status quo and the impact can already be felt on the U.S. markets. If what’s happening in China would be an isolated event, the ripple effect would be negligible for the Fed, since exports to the eastern powerhouse only represent a measly percent of total domestic production. But the world’s second largest economy is rapidly becoming the main consumer of goods, and the slowdown is having a negative impact on Asian, European and South American markets, as well. The reaction was expected, but also much bigger than anticipated, according to a statement released by the International Monetary Fund. Experts warn that an unchecked development could spark a chain reaction of financial crisis in emerging nations, and that the U.S. and China need to put their differences aside for the sake of global economic welfare.
As usual, it’s all about the dollar. The U.S. dollar is generally considered to be the global currency of choice, and a strong dollar puts significant pressure on foreign companies that make their earnings in local currency while counting their outstanding debt in dollars. The latest fall in oil prices is a direct result of a dollar on the rise. While U.S. companies are losing billions, Asian and Russian operations are cashing in on the crisis because they are able to trade locally in their own currencies. They keep pumping like never before and the increase in supply has in turn affected the U.S. stock and commodity market.
As of today, the Fed is in listening mode, with a second raise already approved, only months after the central bank broke its zero policy in December last year – the first rate hike since before the Great Recession of 2008. China responded by letting the yuan drop and the reaction from nervous investors has lead us up to this point. The Fed is watching the Chinese market closely, ready to respond if a stronger dollar continues to disrupt its economic progression.
In this global economic climate, no nation is an island, and whatever policy the Fed chooses to implement to offset China’s financial condition, it has to do so in tandem with international market developments.…
From Gold to Paper to Gold Again? Gold Bars for Sale Becoming the Currency of Choice for Financial Investors
Mankind has always desired gold. One can easily imagine what the discoverer of the precious metal felt when he or she found that first golden nugget poking out of the dirt, because it’s a feeling we all intimately share. There’s something inherently alluring about gold – its shine and luster, the way it feels in the hand, its supple malleability etc. The desire to hold gold made it the obvious currency for trade, and even with the introduction of more mundane equity that could be easily obtained, the demand for gold has endured and prospered throughout human history. It’s said to be a divine metal, sent to Earth from the heavens, and for a long time, a society’s wealth was measured by its gold reserves.
History seems to repeat itself yet again, as gold is once more becoming the financial resource to possess for central banks and private investors alike. In an uncertain global economy afflicted by political strife and religious conflict, with many of the largest markets showing clear signs of slowing down faster than previously estimated, finding gold bars for sale has rapidly become a number one market priority.
In the United States, with the upcoming general election on the horizon, both political sides are turning to physical gold out of concern for the future economy. Conservatives are worried that a rampant national debt, political corruption and company outsourcing will collapse the U.S. economy and devaluate the dollar. Liberals fear that a top-heavy market climate, manufactured and controlled by corporate interests, in combination with increasing wealth inequality will topple the economy and create a financial vacuum. China’s volatile markets, India’s dependence on imports and foreign exchange, Iran and OPEC members seeing the price of crude oil evaporating, Russia’s need to maintain its economic leverage against international competitors… Everyone is concerned at the moment, and everyone is trying to get their hands on as many gold bars for sale they possibly can.
Buying gold bars is mainly about wealth insurance and keeping a favorable position in case of another financial crisis. With the demand for precious metals being one of the few reliable constants in the ever-changing global equation, multi-billionaires and small-time investors flock towards gold bars on the markets. If you happen to share their interest and wish to join in on the latest gold rush, you can easily find gold bars for sale online. BrightGoldenFuture gives you a detailed review of one of the best gold bar providers in the business, specifically targeting customers who want to keep their funds secure by investing in gold bars for sale. With the emergence of digital services, anyone can become a member of the gold-buying crowd. It’s a simple matter of setting up a self-directed retirement account, transfer your funds into the precious metals of your choice, and you’re officially a gold investor.
As with everything else, there’s an on-going debate whether gold really is the global currency of the future. A number of financial speculators point to the recovery of the U.S. dollar after the last recession as the main reason to not purchase gold assets. The economy is showing signs of gradual improvement and there’s no viable upside of holding gold bars in such a setting. The promoters of gold bar investments counter with the fact that leading countries keep underperforming in terms of annual growth, indicating a negative trend on the rise. Better to find gold bars for sale while the dollar is still performing relatively strong against commodities than wait until it’s too late. The economy came close to total collapse in the last decade and never experienced a proper correction. Instead, central banks flooded the markets with liquidity in the hopes of kickstarting the economy. It’s like using a defibrillator to revive a patient with acute heart failure, and is only a temporary measure until the underlying cause can be found and treated.
At the moment, there’s a massive combined effort of quantitative easing and manipulation of interest rates from the Federal Reserve to keep the U.S. economy going. Quantitative easing is usually implemented by the Fed buying up financial assets, like gold bars for sale, from commercial banks and investment firms to raise prices of said assets and lower their return ratio. At the same time, more money is being printed and put into circulation to give the economy a beneficial injection of cash to be moved around in the system. The level of interest rates can be controlled by encouraging financial transactions through government bonds. Both of these programs are currently being used or considered to various degrees in different areas, but it’s not working nearly as well as predicted.
It’s reasonable to believe that an economic climate where 1% sits on 90% of distributed wealth is both too unbalanced and unpredictable, turning these stimulating programs into nothing but minor band-aids on major wounds. The more paper money being put into circulation in such an environment, the more artificially inflated bubbles can we expect to see in everything from bonds to real estate. It can’t last, it didn’t last the previous time, and the cracks are starting to show once more. When the last financial crisis struck the world, prices of gold bars for sale skyrocketed to new heights as investors abandoned paper assets in droves and started buying physical assets with real, historical value. Despite the opinion of economic optimists, there’s no reason to believe this time would be any different from the last.
Investing in gold bars for sale remains a proven option to safeguard your financial wealth in a volatile economy, as it both keeps your wealth intact and brings you plenty of profit and leverage in an inflationary environment. The central banks know this and a rapidly growing number of investors are starting to realize the same. Gold was, is, and will always be of value to our society, especially in times of uncertainty.…
Climate change is the hot topic once again as the heated debate (excuse the lousy pun) regarding man-made global warming takes another turn. New reports about rising sea levels due to melting ice caps in Antarctica have the scientific community worried that large parts of the Earth’s surface will become inhabitable much sooner than originally expected. In a study published in the scientific magazine Nature, researchers estimate that current numbers of greenhouse gas emissions could potentially make sea levels rise over 3 feet by the end of the century from the ice melt in Antarctica alone. Put together with ice caps in other areas also melting, a rise of 6 feet is a very real and alarming possibility. There’s still insufficient data to accurately predict how much the oceans will rise, but as the reports indicate an accelerated warming of the planet, we can expect many of the world’s coastal cities to be compromised before the year of 2100. In a worst-case scenario, we’re looking at the complete meltdown of the Greenland ice pack, which would make global sea levels increase to 23 feet. This would be enough to completely submerge many of our biggest cities and settlements. If the current emission of carbon dioxide and methane is allowed to continue, the oceans could be rising by more than 1 foot every ten years. In this model, sea levels would be close to 50 feet higher than they are today, according to another study by Pennsylvania State University.
These new reports show a much faster acceleration than previously predicted, meaning we could soon be forced to measure rise of sea levels in centimeters rather than today’s standard of millimeters. The question is, can our society adapt to this new scenario fast enough? The logistic requirements alone would be a nightmare, with an insufficiently combined effort merely halting the tide temporarily. Should we fail to implement the necessary corrections in terms of geoengineering, humanity could be looking at a mass migration inlands. We would have to make a tactical retreat to higher ground and surrender our coastlines to be subjected to nature’s wrath. The United States and Canada would be among the first to feel the impact since it’s currently the western part of Antarctica that displays the largest loss of solid mass. Another concern directly related to climate change is the acidification of oceans. As the seas get warmer, greenhouse gases that are normally kept at greater depths rise to the surface. A substantial increase of carbon dioxide and methane in shallow waters would have a disastrous effect on coastal wildlife and ultimately mankind. The majority of our protein supply is provided by the seas and a crippled ecosystem could lead to a massive food shortage within the span of a few decades.
What’s important to remember is that this is an absolute worst-case scenario based on computer-modeled science. The effect of emissions might be here faster than we’d like, but there’s still time to combat climate change through sound environmental policy. China is in the process of putting together a national environmental program meant to significantly reduce their extreme air pollution in urban areas, and the countries in south-east Asia are becoming more aware of the hazards of deforestation and being dependent on fossil fuels. New technology for transportation is constantly being developed. One of the more recent crusades involves a switch-over from the use of 4-stroke engines to 8-stroke on a global scale. We’re still witnessing massive resistance from the oil companies and their lobbyists, but as more hard data is collected from a more or less unified scientific community, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see some serious regulations for the big providers of non-renewable energy sources. This is crucial moment in the history of mankind, and the decisions we make today will determine which path we take and where it will lead us.…
The American primaries have been an interesting journey so far, to say the least. While the Democrats have been somewhat shaken by the unexpected emergence of Bernie Sanders as one of the top competitors for the nomination spot, their side of the story has so far been pretty standard political fare. Sanders may have hurt Clinton ever so slightly, giving the Democratic establishment something to ponder in terms of future campaign policies, but the neocon frontrunner of the Democratic party is all but guaranteed the seal of approval when heading into the general election.
On the Republican side, however, things have taken a turn toward the slightly surreal and outright bizarre. The Good Old Party finds itself in a tricky predicament where their two leading candidates are, mildly speaking, undesired elements. I don’t think anyone from the Republican establishment could have predicted Ted Cruz to be as strong a candidate as he currently is, and nobody would’ve thought that Donald Trump would be the major force to be reckoned with. But the primary voters have spoken, and here we are. With the Republican convention only a few months away, the rise of Trump and Cruz is a stern wakeup call for the presiding powers of the GOP. They have massively underestimated their voters’ displeasure with the status quo, and it’s come back to bite them in the proverbial behind in a big, and quite embarrassing, manner. More traditional candidates who hold the party’s favor when it comes to campaign policies, like Bush, Rubio and Kasich, have been swept aside by a tidal wave of discontent, leaving the field wide open for a loud-mouthed RINO and a controversial Evangelist. Neither is a preferred choice for the party, but they may have left themselves with no other options come convention time.
Failure to appeal to a more diverse and moderate voter’s base, and a growing alienation of conservative factions, has put the Republican party in a serious (and ironic) predicament. Now they have to choose between a guy they absolutely detest and a guy they hate to back for presidency, and I guess that’s just as much fun as it sounds. There is of course one last string the GOP establishment can pull. If neither Trump or Cruz enters the convention with the needed majority of delegates to secure the nomination, the field becomes open once more. Party rules are quite clear that pledged delegates have to vote for their respective candidate, but only in the first ballot. If the convention becomes brokered after the first round of voting, all delegates are considered to be fair game to anyone who wish to throw their name in the hat. This fact, together with the presence of unpledged delegates, could allow the GOP head honchos to nominate a candidate more to their liking. There’s been some rumors circulating that Mitt Romney intends to put himself out there, and he’s not the only one vying for yet another place in the political spotlight.
It’s a delicate balance, though, as shoving Trump and Cruz out in the cold would send a clear message to the Republican voters. That message is, “Guess what, we don’t really care what you think. The primaries are just another poll – we’re the ones who get to decide, not you.”, and would be perceived as sticking another needle in the eyes of their base. Whether the GOP decides to take firm action against the two frontrunners remains to be seen, and is depending on their willingness to disenfranchise a large number of future voters, as well as how many delegates the two pariahs manage to snatch up before July is here.
One thing is certain, the Republican party finds itself in dire straits and the outcome of this year’s convention could possibly mark the end of American conservatism as we know it. The world is in for an interesting year as the bizarre campaign continues to astound, horrify and amaze.…