But to some on Wall Street, the deal-making may not in fact be an indicator of golden years ahead. Optimism about economic growth may not be the sole driver of the boom in acquisitions, they assert. Instead, some chief executives may have come to view takeovers as the only way to obtain big increases in revenue in a still lackluster economy. If the deals then disappoint, the economy could also suffer.
And on Wall Street, a desire to strike while the iron is hot always plays a role in any boom. In this case, companies may be forging a lot more deals because the debt used to help finance many of the transactions could soon cost more, particularly if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates next year.
Consider the analysis from these other writers and then consider your investment risks and your expectations for consequences in our increasingly unstable world.
Ian’s Investment Insights – Special Alert: He makes a good case for the high risk of a major correction in the US stock market, for a turn upward in the HUI (gold stock index), and for a rebound in gold prices.
Can Europe Survive Without Russian Gas? (Kevinoman0221)
Ukraine faces the highest energy security risk in the world, according to the 2013 International Index of Energy Security Risk, due to its inefficient use of energy and almost complete dependence on Russia for energy imports. But Ukraine is not the only country in Europe that relies heavily on Russian natural gas. Twenty-three percent of the gas supplied to Europe in 2012 originated from Russia, with the Baltic states entirely dependent on the Russian state for its gas supplies.
Ukraine doesn’t need Russia to take it down—Kiev is doing fine destroying itself, most recently with a new tax code that doubles taxes for private gas producers and promises to irreparably cripple new investment in the energy sector at a time when reform and outside investment were the country’s only hope. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on August 1 signed off on a new tax code that effectively doubles the tax private gas producers in Ukraine will have to pay, calling into question any new investment, as well as commitment from key producers already operating in the country.
Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov acknowledged that the measures would cause a short-term spike in inflation, but said he did not see a danger in the medium or long term. He said Russia would compensate with more imports of products from other suppliers such as Brazilian meat and New Zealand cheese.
The EU's executive commission said it reserved the right to take action to retaliate against the Russian ban.
The World Health Organization is convening a meeting of ethicists early next week to discuss this sensitive and difficult dilemma. The United States government is also forming a group to consider the same issues, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Scientists in South Korea say they have found a way of converting used cigarette butts into a material capable of storing energy that could help power everything from mobile phones to electric cars.
The cancellation of the federal government’s plan to bury high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada means that the waste will remain at about 70 reactor sites around the country until there is some other plan. Loving County has visions of storing spent fuel from closed reactors in aboveground casks, and later, building a processing plant that would recover unused uranium, and plutonium for reuse, making the rest easier to bury. County officials are working with a company that is hoping to negotiate a deal with the state and federal governments. Two counties just across the state line in New Mexico are also seeking to become storage sites.
Gold & Silver
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