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If You Want to Double Your Money, Don't Touch That Dial

Just about this time last year, we made two bold predictions.

In the first, we told you to expect a big shift from the current high-definition-standard (HD) televisions to next-generation UHDTVs (ultra-high-definition televisions).

In the second, we told you there were immediate opportunities to cash in…

  • Eurozone

  • Money Morning Investment Report Update: German Economy Shows Surprising Strength The German economy - Europe's largest, and one of three markets highlighted in Money Morning's most recent investment-research report - is demonstrating some real muscle.

    Just as we expected it to.

    The country's statistics office, Destatis, said Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a better-than-expected rate of 0.2% in the first three months of this year. The results surprised analysts, who had expected a zero-growth first quarter because of bad weather that stymied construction work.

    "The German economy is slowly... Read More...
  • Germany's Short-Selling Ban Lacks the Political Muscle to Go Global Hoping to win more public and political support for its involvement in the bailout of Greece, Germany has banned the naked short-selling of European sovereign debt instruments. However, other European governments are refusing to follow suit, highlighting the lack of political will that's needed to regulate the credit default swap (CDS) market.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ban would remain in place until the EU comes up with a comprehensive plan for financial reform.

    "This will all remain in place until other rules are established on the European level," she said.

    Read More...
  • What Does Germany's Credit-Default-Swap Ban Mean for You? Germany did something on Tuesday that I've been hoping would happen for three years: It outlawed naked short-selling and speculation on European government bonds with naked credit default swaps.

    The financial institutions that have been profiting from this type of speculation immediately went on the offensive.

    German officials justified the surprise, unilateral move by financial regulator BaFin by stating that the "exceptional volatility" in government debt - if accompanied by massive short-selling and naked CDS trading - could result in excessive price movements that would actually "endanger the stability of the entire financial system."

    To learn about the strategies you should employ because of Germany's move, please read on... Read More...
  • A Broad-Based U.S. Recovery is Strengthening the Global Economy Against Europe's Turmoil Stocks scattered across the capital markets last week like the unwanted children of a terrible divorce, as a blunted rally following a global margin call put a hex on every sector and most commodities - but a U.S. recovery marched on.

    So far in the ten sessions of May, the Dow Jones Industrial Averageis down 3.6%, theNasdaq100is -4.7%, the S&P SmallCap600is -3.1% and overseas large-caps are down 8.6%.

    That's a whole lot of falling, and for what reason? The headlines tell us that investors freaked out over Greek debt, fear of a contagion effect on Spain, speculation that U.S. earnings have peaked, and worry that the great global capital machine will soon seize up for lack of customers and credit.

    But headlines don't always tell the whole story.

    To take a closer look at why the markets are down, click here.

    Read More...
  • Gold Prices Surge and Will Keep Climbing as Investors Protect Against European Debt Crisis Gold prices yesterday (Wednesday) broke through to a record high, as investors feared the Eurozone bailout plan would debase the euro and escalate inflation.

    Gold for June delivery continued its record-breaking Tuesday climb to hit $1,243.10 an ounce Wednesday. The contract reached an intraday high of $1,249.20 an ounce. Spot gold prices hit $1,244.45 an ounce, up almost 20% in the past three months.

    Gold's reputation as a "safe haven" investment causes the metal's price to move inversely to investor confidence, which has been rattled by the Greece debt crisis and last week's 1000-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

    Read More...
  • Does the EU Bailout Signal the Euro's Demise? Does the European Union (EU) bailout signal an end for the euro currency?

    Investment icon Jim Rogers and lauded economist Nouriel Roubini think so.

    And they may be right.

    Eurozone governments were forced to spring into action on Sunday to defend the besieged euro. The currency has come under tremendous pressure as investors wonder if Greece's fiscal crisis will spread to other heavily indebted nations.

    Greece's deficit-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is a staggering 13.6%, but Greece is No. 2 on the list of over-spenders. No. 1 is Ireland, whose deficit-to-GDP ratio is 14.3%. Spain comes in third at 11.2%; and Portugal is fourth at 9.4%.

    The euro in the past six months has dropped by about 17% against the dollar, as investors rushed to ditch the currency.

    Read More...
  • How the Greece Bailout Turned Gold Into a 'Must-Have' Investment With so much uncertainty in the U.S. stock market - not to mention the debt-contagion concerns emanating from Greece and other European Union (EU) countries - it's more important than ever for investors to hold "hard assets," such as gold and other commodities.

    In my view, what's happening in Europe is particularly important for investors to be aware of and understand. The so-called " shock-and-awe" bailout strategy undertaken by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - which establishes a $1 trillion rescue package for member-countries facing financial crisis - will not be the answer.

    To see how gold and other hard assets are becoming "must-have" investments, please read on... Read More...
  • Taipan Daily: Trillion Shmillion – Europe's "Common Currency" Is Still Doomed As far as the euro goes, the trillion-dollar "shock and awe" program was a shocking disappointment. Here's why.

    "... while Europeans no longer fear foreign armies, they are starting to fear foreign bondholders. Europe's existence as a "lifestyle superpower' has depended on an ample supply of credit... "
    - Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

    "...this is just another example of a short-term, leveraged solution, that merely adds to the burden of future problems..."
    - Marc Ostwald, Monument Securities

    Read More...
  • Could the British General Election's 'Hung Parliament' Lead to a Resurgent U.K. Economy? In the depths of the Depression-ridden 1930s, two years after a British General Election that yielded a "hung parliament" - came the formation of a coalition government that resulted in one of the strongest decades the British economy has ever enjoyed.

    Seventy-nine years later, in the throes of another global downturn - with another "hung parliament" and yesterday's (Tuesday's) resignation of Britain's prime minister paving the way - could history be repeating itself?

    To find out how Britain's election results could nurture an economic rebound, please read on... Read More...
  • The Eurozone Bailout Plan Puts a $962 Billion Price Tag on Saving the Euro – But Is It Finally Enough? European Union (EU) finance ministers yesterday (Monday) announced a $962 billion (750 billion euros) Eurozone bailout package that rallied global markets with a drastic new attempt to prevent a euro collapse and contain the Greek debt crisis.

    European policy makers agreed to the massive effort in a 14-hour meeting Sunday, trying to beat the start of Asian markets. The aid plan will include $77 billion (60 billion euros) from a European Union emergency fund (the first lifeline to be tapped for aid), $562 billion (440 billion euros) from Eurozone governments, and $320 billion... Read More...
  • Despite Spiraling Contagion Fears, Spain Debt Worries Are Overblown It had a huge housing boom, and is now dealing with the fallout. It has a left-of-center government and a big budget deficit, but relatively low debt in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP). And it has a worrisome current account deficit.

    I'm talking, of course, about Spain, which investors clearly fear will be the next domino to fall as a result of the Greek debt contagion.

    I disagree.

    To see why Spain will shrug off the Greek contagion, please read on... Read More...
  • Taipan Daily: Could Continent-Wide Bank Runs Collapse the Eurozone? The eurozone's woes are giving us a preview of what could eventually happen in the United States (but not before Europe is engulfed first). As fears of sovereign debt crisis mount, the debt "contagion" spreads. It is not just Greece that has investors afraid, but Portugal. And Spain... and Italy... and so on.

    The problem is classic, and long ago highlighted by Austrian economics. Building up a lot of debt, to make a slightly crass analogy, is like putting on a bunch of weight. It's hard work getting the debt off - the same as it is taking weight off.

    The way to lose weight is to eat right and exercise. The way to get out of debt is to cut back on spending and increase productivity.

    Read More...
  • $147 Billion Bailout Package for Greece Won't End European Debt Crisis In an effort to stabilize the widening European debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), together with Eurozone countries, agreed to extend an unprecedented $147 billion (110 billion euro) bailout package to Greece in return for deep cuts to the country's budget.

    Under the three-year agreement reached late Sunday, Greece would receive $105 billion (80 billion euros) in loans from other Eurozone members and $40 billion (30 billion euros) from the IMF. The planned rescue is the largest ever attempted by the IMF and a first for the 16-member Eurozone. It still requires final approval from national governments.

    Also, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Monday it would indefinitely accept the country's debt as collateral regardless of its credit rating. The ECB didn't release figures, but the value of Greek assets used as collateral in its liquidity-providing operations is thought to be worth tens of billions of euros.

    Many observers felt the huge bailout was designed not only to support Greece, but to shore up confidence in the euro, which has come under fire by currency traders. Just a few weeks ago, EU countries offered only $40 billion (30 billion euros) to help Greece.

    Read More...
  • Debt Contagion Fear Spreads in Europe as S&P Lowers Eurozone Credit Ratings Standard & Poor's yesterday (Wednesday) lowered Spain's credit rating - just one day after downgrading the ratings of Greece and Portugal. The downgrades have prompted Germany to promise a quick release of Greece bailout funds as fears of a debt contagion spread rapidly across Europe.

    "It is probably fair to say that Tuesday, 27 April was the day that the situation in the euro area took a dramatic and rather frightening turn for the worse," credit analysts at Credit Suisse (NYSE ADR: CS) in London said in a research note. "The concern is the extent and speed of the spreading of the crisis in an environment of too many financial obligations, not all of which will be serviced, in our view, and in a crisis which in our view is about far more than Greece."

    S&P downgraded Spain's long-term credit rating one notch to AA from AA+ with a negative outlook, citing an extended period of low economic growth and high borrowing costs.

    Read More...
  • Greece Activates Emergency Bailout, Testing Financial Strength of Eurozone Countries Greece on Friday officially asked to tap into a $60 billion (45 billion euro) emergency aid package after months of talks, setting into motion a bailout process that will put the financial strength of Eurozone nations to the test.

    Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou called his debt-stricken country's economy a "sinking ship," as borrowing costs reached 12-year highs and recent austerity measures didn't rally the market support needed to save Greece.

    "This is the moment. The time that was not granted to us by the markets will be given to us by the support of the Eurozone," Papandreou said.

    Read More...