Bangladesh Tragedy Exposes Real Cost of Corporate Greed
We've known for a long time that the things that fuel our lifestyles can come from some pretty ugly places.
The coltan that's used in our mobile phones and entertainment systems is mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where millions have died in what's been called "Africa's World War." The United Nations has reported that warlords, guilty of numerous crimes against humanity, vie for control of coltan production while enslaving and killing thousands.
Many of the diamonds we buy for our loved ones come from West Africa, where diamond mining and the black market in the stones has fueled bloody wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Now, in light of a recent tragedy in Bangladesh, it seems even the clothes on our backs may be contributing to a portion of human misery.
If North Korea Has Nuclear Missiles, Here's the One Stock You Need to Own
For months now, North Korea has been threatening to launch a nuclear missile strike against the U.S. mainland.
However, the Pentagon has been quite confident in its assertions that the reclusive country doesn't have the technology to actually put a nuclear warhead atop a ballistic missile.
And even if North Korea were able to match a nuke with an ICBM, our military leaders said it could never reach the U.S. mainland.
But we knew better than to be so dismissive.
North Korea has sold so many missiles to Iran, Syria, Pakistan and others that intelligence analysts refer to the arms-dealer as "Missiles "R' Us."
That's why – back in February and March, in reports in both Private Briefing and Money Morning – we cautioned that North Korea's weapons technologies were likely much more advanced than the Pentagon would have us believe.
Now it looks like we were right to be so cautious.
Eurozone Debt Crisis: Now It's a Hopeless Game of Whac-a-Mole
The Eurozone debt crisis that was supposed to have blown over long ago instead has become more like an endless game of Whac-a-Mole, with both new and old problems popping up faster than European leaders can bop them.
As Europe's finance ministers gathered in Dublin today (Friday), they faced at least half a dozen major issues threatening the fiscal health of the Eurozone.
Although Europe's leaders, in concert with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have succeeded in keeping a lid on each successive crisis over the past three years, that streak can't survive in the face of the new and old fiscal woes that have been peppering the Eurozone.
U.S. investors can't let those past successes deceive them into thinking the Eurozone is no longer a worry.
When the Eurozone debt crisis finally implodes – and sooner or later, it has to – it will hammer stock markets around the globe.
This Little-Known Indicator Says Stocks Should Double
With the markets breaking all-time highs last week, it begs the question of just how high they can go.
At 1,569 points the bears would say at this point the S&P 500 is completely overdone. With a sluggish economy and a growing federal deficit, you might be prone to believe them.
But there is a little-known indicator that became very fashionable between 1982-2007 that says something else entirely. Noted for its accuracy over that period, it actually suggests that stocks should double.
It's called the "Fed Model."
Keith Fitz-Gerald: Cyprus is "The First of the Dominoes to Fall"
With guards outside Cyprus banks Friday and depositors reeling after suffering huge losses, the nation's central bank reassured residents they wouldn't face restrictions on using their debit and credit cards.
But according to Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, the reverberations and possible implications of the Cyprus bailout extend well beyond the island nation.
Appearing on the FOX Business Network, Fitz-Gerald said Cyprus had "achieved every central banker's dream. They have privatized gains and socialized losses, and this is the first of the dominoes to fall."
He said "any nation in the world is subject to this now that politicians have figured out they've gotten away with it."
To see why it matters and what else Keith had to say, check out the video below.
After the Cyprus Bailout, Here's Where You Should Keep Your Savings Now
Now that the dust has begun to settle in Cyprus, the battered principle of deposit insurance seems to be safe-for now at least.
In the big stare-down with the European Union the final Cyprus settlement did not zap the small depositors.
Instead it simply shifted the burden further up chain. The final deal increased the "haircut" on large depositors in the Bank of Cyprus and Laika Bank from an originally proposed 9.9% to an astounding 40%.
To me, that's highway robbery — even if the Russian Mafia has to bear a big share of the brunt.
As strange as it may seem, even the Russian Mafia has rights!
The lessons here are quite clear…
Cyprus Bailout Plan: Reaction from the Front Lines
As Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald warned last week, the Cyprus bailout plan is a breach of trust that could derail the entire Eurozone.
Not only does the plan fail to fix the country's economy, it has the potential to seriously damage people's trust in the banking system, making a bad situation even worse.
"Individuals deposit money in banks instead of stuffing it in their mattresses because they believe that their money will be safe there," explained Fitz-Gerald. "Once they realize, or even suspect, that the money they put in the bank is anything but safe, they will take whatever's left and run – and the bank will collapse in spite of the "bailout.'"
To get an idea of what life on the ground in Cyprus is really like right now, Fitz-Gerald recently talked to FOX Business Network's Washington Correspondent Rich Edson. Edson has been reporting from Cyprus as the controversial bailout plan unfolds.
Is the Latest Ultimatum in Cyprus About to Derail the Eurozone?
You probably know the story by now.
Following riots in the streets and a run on local banks, Cypriot lawmakers voted down a key element of the European Central Bank's (ECB) bailout proposal that would have required the country to impose a one-time 9.9% tax on bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros and a 6.75% tax on bank deposits under that amount.
I can understand why people took to the street – the "tax" was little more than organized robbery under the guise of keeping that country afloat.
Why should you care about what happens in Cyprus?…
Cyprus is not Las Vegas. What happens in Cyprus cannot possibly stay in Cyprus. The world's financial markets are too interlinked. Ultimately, it is a move intended to keep the euro afloat at any cost.