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Welcome to the "Wolf Creek Pass" School of Monetary Policy

I don’t know if you folks remember that hit ditty: a humorous tune about two truckers attempting to manhandle an out-of-control 1948 Peterbilt down the “other side” of Wolf Creek Pass – a death-taunting section of U.S. Highway 160 where the elevation drops a hefty 5,000 feet in a relatively short distance.

The song’s two characters – a truck driver named Earl and his brother, who’s his partner as well as the song’s narrator – are taking a flatbed load of chickens on a speedy trip down this winding, two-lane Colorado highway. After the narrator gives Earl the above-mentioned warning, the ancient semi’s brakes fail.

From there on down, the narrator tells us that the brothers’ trip “just wasn’t real pretty.” The truck careened around hairpins and switchbacks, and then raced at an uncontrolled 110 mph toward a tunnel with “clearance to the 12-foot line” – with chicken crates sadly “stacked to 13-9.”

The drivers and the runaway Peterbilt “went down and around and around and down ’til we run outta ground at the edge of town… and bashed into the side of the feed store – in downtown Pagosa Springs.”

Believe it or not, I started thinking about this funny old country tune the other night – right after I’d read a piece about QE3 and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As zany as it first sounds, the parallels are striking.

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    3D Printing: How "Desktop Factories" Will Create the Next $1 Trillion Industry

    Don't worry if you've never heard of 3D printing. It's so new it's not on many radar screens yet.

    But soon everyone will know about it.

    Still in its very early stages, 3D printing is destined to have a huge impact on the entire world economy.

    These "desktop factories" will one day become a $1 trillion industry-completely changing the traditional factory model forever.

    It's what's known as a "disruptive technology."

    Here's why...

    By the end of this decade, everyone from consumers to big businesses to solo inventors will be able to make their own unique products in just a couple of hours.

    Need a special tool?... Or a new spare part?

    Soon you will be able to fire up the 3D printer and make one from composite materials.

    Indeed, I recently watched a YouTube video of Z Corp. making an adjustable wrench from high-tech compounds. It was a copy made from metal.

    Though it weighed less than the original, the "printed" wrench worked just as well and looked every bit as strong.

    And let's not gloss over the medical products that can be created by these revolutionary printers. An 83-year-old woman in Europe recently received a new jaw doctors printed with titanium powder.

    Medical team members said they made the implant in just a few hours compared with the several days usually required with existing methods.

    That's why I say this technology symbolizes the Era of Radical Change. Now, anyone who knows computer basics can make or invent products on the fly.

    3D Printing: A New Wave of Innovation

    Technically, you don't really "print" a new product, though the process is similar. Rather than putting ink on paper, the system creates the product by adding thin layers of special polymers and some metals.

    This is literally "cutting edge" high tech that is destined to become big business.

    I believe it is the 21st century equivalent of the laser printer and the dawn of desktop publishing in the 1980s that changed the entire print industry.

    But don't take my word for it...

    Let's hear from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), the high-tech giant that knows both types of printers extremely well.

    The Silicon Valley leader now offers a high-end unit made for professional use. Its DesignJet Color 3D printer reportedly sells for $20,000.

    But consider this: 3D printing will soon come to the masses at prices they can afford.

    Today, MakerBot sells its Replicator for $1,749. Its users can download free modeling software such as TinkerCAD or Sketchup from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) to print their own products.

    Small-cap leader 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) also recently launched the Cube, a competing device that lists for $1,299. A related website, Cubify.com, combines the simplicity of a coloring book with robust digital resources.

    The firm's CEO, Abraham N. Reichental, told BBC news that 3D Systems already has 1,000 workers -- and nearly as many patents.

    Now just think of what will happen when the price of these machines drops to $500....

    We're talking mass customization of a wide range of goods, from forks to jewelry to high-tech ski helmets.

    When this happens, 3D printing will undoubtedly unleash a whole new wave of innovation.

    And for a very simple reason...

    To continue reading, please click here...
    Read More...
  • Next $1 Trillion Industry