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Cash in on This "Invisible" $33 Billion Business

U.S. defense contractors don’t make a habit of sending “thank you” letters to America’s enemies.

But if they did, the corporate leaders at The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) might want to look up Vladimir Putin‘s address – before running to the Hallmark store.

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  • China Using Government Muscle to Turbo Charge its Auto Industry Having already supplanted the United States as the world's largest auto market, China is on the fast track to becoming the global leader in hybrid and electric cars.

    General Motors and Chrysler were forced into bankruptcy largely because they failed to pursue more fuel-efficient models. Indeed, GM and Chrysler looked wholly unprepared as gas prices soared over $4.00 a gallon in 2008.

    As GM emerges from bankruptcy - having been bailed out by the U.S. government - it will put a renewed focus on alternative energy. Unfortunately, it's too late to make a difference. As U.S. car companies sputtered amid the country's economic collapse, carmakers in China raced ahead. And with billions of dollars in government backing, they are the companies that will set the pace for the global auto market.

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  • Australia Reduces Mining "Super Tax," Reviving Profitability of Resource Sector Australian mining companies declared a huge win today (Friday) when the government announced the proposed mining "super tax" would be reduced, prompting some companies to reactivate shelved projects and reopen merger and acquisition talks.

    Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed on a compromise plan that would reduce the planned tax to 30% of profits from iron ore and coal, and 40% tax on oil and natural gas, down from the originally proposed 40% tax on all resources. The new plan, called the mineral resource rent tax, would also raise the tax's trigger level to profits that exceed a 12% rate of return instead of 6%.

    "The reduction in the headline rate is an amazing concession," John Robinson, chairman of Global Mining Investments Ltd., told Bloomberg. "It's certainly better than I had expected."

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  • Question of the Week: Readers Respond to Money Morning's Afghanistan Mineral Wealth Query The news that there is $1 trillion of Afghanistan mineral wealth hiding in the country's scarred and deserted landscape has global investors calculating how likely it would be for this incredibly poor country to transform itself into a natural-resources powerhouse.

    It has also spawned debates about which nations should be given a piece of this vast apparent fortune.

    The discovery - and its transformational potential - is mind-boggling: At $1 trillion, the estimated value of the mineral reserves is 100 times the size of Afghanistan's entire economy, estimated at $12 billion. And it's not just the dollar figures that could bring about change. Much of Afghanistan's economic activities involve drug-trafficking and terrorism. About 40% of the country's population lives below the poverty line, and 70% lives on $2 a day.

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  • We Want to Hear From You: Is Afghanistan's Mineral Wealth a Blessing or a Curse? The news that there is $1 trillion of Afghanistan mineral wealth hiding in the country's scarred and deserted landscape has global investors calculating how likely it would be for this incredibly poor country to transform itself into a major global exporter.

    It has also spawned debates about which nations should be given a piece of this potential fortune.

    At $1 trillion, the estimated value of the mineral reserves is 100 times the size of Afghanistan's $12 billion economy. And it's not just the dollar figures that could bring about change. Much of Afghanistan's economic activities involve drug trafficking and terrorism. About 40% of the country's population lives below the poverty line, and 70% lives on $2 a day.

    Read More...