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Vietnam's "Shadow Plan" for a Fight in the South China Sea
When U.S. President Barack Obama visited Vietnam earlier this week, he became the third American head of state to do so.
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Martin Hutchinson has a reputation for being bearish at exactly the right time. Slate magazine singled him out - above even famed economist Nouriel Roubini - as the financier who most accurately predicted how bad the 2009 bear market would turn out to be. In June 2008 - at a time when the Dow was above 12,000, and most folks were calling for it to go higher - Martin predicted the index could nosedive all the way to 7,800 (it actually spun down to 6,600). Before grabbing recognition for his gutsy timing, Martin worked nearly 30 years as an investment banker, with extensive experience in both New York and London. He's served as a senior vice president and head of derivatives for Creditanstalt-Bankverein, director of the Spanish private firm Gestion Integral de Negocios, and advisor to the Korean conglomerate Sunkyong Corp. But it was Martin's work in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Macedonia that solidified his reputation as a true "hands-on" expert on the developing economies. As the U.S. Treasury advisor to Croatia, he helped the country establish its own T-bill program in the 1990s, launch its first government bond issue, and start a forward currency market. Martin is the author of several books. He also served as the business and economics editor at United Press International during the early 2000s, where he jumpstarted the financial-news operation of that historic wire service. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Cambridge University, and an MBA from Harvard University. He lives outside of Poughkeepsie, N.Y, with his wife, Anna. Martin is our Global Investing Specialist. He serves as editor of the Permanent Wealth Investor, where he focuses on "Alpha Bulldog" stocks that pay high, reliable dividends. In his newest advisory, the Merchant Banker Alert, Martin uncovers the fastest-growing companies in the fastest-growing economies and brings those ideas back home to you.
Let me put it bluntly: The U.S. dollar is nose-diving against foreign currencies. So far, it's down 12% against the euro, 7% to the yen, 8% to the pound, 15% to the Canadian dollar, and 10% to the Swiss frank. And that's just in the past year alone.