Daily Digest 1/3 - Sound And Fury, Ron Paul Doesn't Like His Chances, Should Oil Investors Be Worried About Iran?
- Sound And Fury
- The Outlook For The U.S. Dollar In 2012 and How To Play A Short-Term Rally
- Investors Hate Uncertainty; 7 Themes For You To Expect In 2012
- Peter Schiff interviews Ann Barnhardt Dec 21, 2011
- Ron Paul Doesn't Like His Chances To Win White House
- Top Ten Myths about the Arab Spring of 2011
- Oil Prices: Should Investors Be Worried About The Iran Situation?
- Storehouses for Solar Energy Can Step In When the Sun Goes Down
Sound And Fury (Ilene)
Shakespeare’s famous quote wasn’t written about the stock market in the year 2011, but it could have been. Hardly reflecting the tensions in the global economy, and volatility in the financial markets, the S&P 500 ended the year virtually unchanged. But the markets were far from dull and lifeless. Without the help of the Federal Reserve’s free money handouts to the Primary Dealers (in the form of Quantitative Easing and later, Operation Twist), and promises to hold interest rates down through 2012, we suspect the stock market would have better reflected the world’s conflicts and the crises du jour.
Several economic factors will weigh far too heavily on the currency for the upward move to continue – although it’s not clear exactly when the short-term surge will lose steam. And investors who understand what’s really driving the U.S. dollar’s value in 2012 can avoid getting burned by the currency’s long-term decline.
The major global macro drivers of the themes I share below are based on two events that tend to be self-reinforcing: 1) debt liquidation, both voluntary and through default, and 2) deflation, based on slowing global demand, rising demand for cash, and debt liquidation.
Farmers and ranchers have had their operating capital stolen by JP Morgan. Former CEO of Barnhardt Capital Management, Ann Barnhardt shut her firm down in the wake of MF Global's collapse to protect her customers. She calls for a general strike against the financial markets. Ouch!
"I don't deceive myself," Paul continued. "You know what the odds are. The odds have been slim."
Muslim radicalism benefited from the revolutions in the Arab world. So far, at least, the beneficiaries of the upheavals have been both secular, left-leaning dissidents and Muslim religious parties. Neither is violent. In Tunisia, the new president, Moncef Marzouki, is a staunch secularist. The al-Nahda (Ennahda) religious party got about 40 percent of the seats in parliament. But neither sort of movement is radical or violent. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is now peaceful and talks moderately, and is attacked for it by the radicals such as Ayman al-Zawahiri. Muslim radicals have not been able to take advantage of these largely peaceful movements in the way they could of George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, which really did fuel the spread of violent extremism. Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman of Yemen argues that if democracy can be achieved in the Arab world, it will finish off violent extremism, which only flourishes under dictatorship.
“The present United Nations, U.S. and EU sanctions have already had a significant toll,” said Moors. “They have effectively prevented Iranian access to main international banking networks. Iran now has to use inefficient exchange mechanisms.”
Two California companies are planning to deploy the storage technology: SolarReserve, which is building a plant in the Nevada desert scheduled to start up next year, and BrightSource, which plans three plants in California that would begin operating in 2016 and 2017. Together, the four projects will be capable of powering tens of thousand of households throughout a summer evening.
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