Global Economy

Article Index

Taipan Daily: Three Ways to Tell if Your Bank Is Safe

Late Friday evening, the Associated Press announced that six banks in Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey and Wisconsin were closed down by regulators: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday took over the Georgia banks: Bank of Ellijay, in Ellijay, with $168.8 million in assets; First Commerce Community Bank of Douglasville, with $248.2 million in assets; […]

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Cashing in on Canada: Four Ways to Profit - Big - From the World's "Safest Economy"

Canada is more than just back bacon, maple syrup, and hardscrabble-mining claims. It's a leader in natural resources, precious metals, and such alternative-energy investments as oil sands. In fact, Canada right now boasts one of the world's most compelling targets for investors' hard-earned money. In this free report, find out exactly how you could be making a fortune in what is widely considered the world's "safest" economy...

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What's In a Name: Can the U.S. Afford to Call China a Currency Manipulator?

It seems like every six months the debate over China's currency, the yuan, reaches a fevered pitch: The Washington bureaucrats threaten to label China a "currency manipulator" and Beijing threatens to dump its U.S. debt holdings.

Then, with the imminent approach of a major inflection point - be it a key international summit or major financial report - both sides grudgingly agree that a modest appreciation of the yuan would be mutually beneficial.

However, things could be slightly different this time around. China has routinely ducked calls to revalue its currency, and in doing so greatly agitated the West.

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Europe: The Investor Escape Hatch From the U.S. Recession

When I speak with the U.S. subscribers to my Permanent Wealth Investor advisory service, there's one bit of wisdom that I repeat time and again: Just because you're living through a recession doesn't mean that your money has to.

If that's a high-falutin way of telling folks to invest globally, so be it. The reality is that there are other places to invest than in the U.S. economy - and many of those "other" spots offer much better returns.

Take Europe...

To discover four investments that will let U.S. investors profit from Europe's continued turnaround, please read on...

Prosperity Piquing Investor Interest in India

In the investment world, there's often so much talk about China in the United States that the tremendous success in India gets short shrift. But business there is booming.

The world's third-fastest growing economy is set to expand by 8.5% this year, the most in the past half-decade. Such rapid growth has compelled the central bank to lift interest rates four times in the past six months.

Compare that with the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has made clear it intends to keep rates low through at least the middle of next year due to limp demand and negligible inflation.

While American consumers are burdened by high levels of debt and joblessness, India's urban middle class and farmers - who have enjoyed a year of ample but not over-abundant rainfall and rising prices - are eager to spend their newfound wealth.

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Brazil's Shifting Fortunes: This BRIC Economy is Ready to Fall Out of Fashion

Batten down the hatches. Brazil, the media-darling of the world financial press and the poster child for emerging-markets investing, is heading directly into the eye of the storm.

Until now, Brazil has provided investors with a thoroughly rewarding run. Investors who followed Money Morning's October 2008 call to buy the iShares MSCI Brazil Index (NYSE: EWZ) have notched a 160% return.

But with this BRIC country now clearly running into trouble, it's time to trim any holdings you may have.

Here's why...

To see how Brazil is setting itself up for a fall, please read on...

Question of the Week Responses: The U.S. Bond Market Has Lost Its Luster With Investors

Ongoing stock market worries and a string of discouraging economic reports have imbued the U.S. bond market with "safe-haven" status. The upshot: Investors have poured record amounts of money into bond funds.

Bond funds for the past two years have seen inflows almost as high as stock funds did during the Internet bubble, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). From January 2008 through June 2010, outflows from equity funds totaled $232 billion, while inflows to bond funds hit a staggering $559 billion.

Investors are spending billions in the bond market even as yields reach record lows. Investment-grade U.S. corporate debt yields hit a low of 3.79% last week and two-year U.S. Treasury yields fell to less than 0.5%.

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Russia: Is it Time to Invest in One of the Coldest Countries on Earth?

Of all the unpleasant societies in which to live, Vladimir Putin's Russia is among the nastiest. Journalists and businessmen disappear, a knock on the door at 3:00am can prove fatal, and nothing gets done without endless side-payments to obscure fixers.

Still, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) in 2001 identified Russia as one of the four great "BRIC" growth economies. And while much of its gilt has been worn off, Russia still has many supporters in the investment world. So the question is: Provided you don't have to live there, is it worth devoting a few of your investment dollars to the country?

To find out if Russia is worth the investment continue reading...

Is the Bond Bubble About to Burst?

Bonds have provided a welcome safe-haven for investors seeking shelter from the financial maelstrom of the past two years. But now many analysts fear bonds have entered bubble territory and pose a rising threat to their holders.

The amount of money flowing into bonds is "probably not sustainable on a consistent basis" Joel Levington, managing director of corporate credit at Brookfield Investment Management Inc., told Bloomberg News. "Eventually it won't be sustainable. Whether that means five years from now or five weeks is a little difficult to tell."

Bond funds have attracted more investment than stock funds for 31 straight months, which matches the record streak that ran from 1984 - 1987. Bond funds attracted $559 billion in the 30 months through June, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Meanwhile, investors withdrew $209.4 billion from U.S. stock funds and $24.4 billion from funds that buy foreign stocks.

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We Want to Hear From You: Are You Seeking 'Safe Haven' Shelter in the U.S. Bond Market?

Ongoing stock market worries and a string of discouraging economic reports have imbued the U.S. bond market with "safe-haven" status. The upshot: Investors have poured record amounts of money into bond funds.

"It is hard to pick up the newspaper and see anyone optimistic," Francis Kinniry from The Vanguard Group Inc., told Bloomberg News. "The problem is there is not a lot of good news on the recovery front and that translates in people's mind to poor capital markets."

Bond funds for the past two years have seen inflows almost as high as stock funds did during the Internet bubble, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). From January 2008 through June 2010, outflows from equity funds totaled $232 billion, while inflows to bond funds hit a staggering $559 billion.

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Investors' Hopes Riding on Surge in M&A Activity

Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is at its highest level since late 2009, providing a glimmer of hope to investors struggling to decipher stock and bond markets roiled by a weakening U.S. economy.

Global takeovers announced so far this year have totaled $1.29 trillion, up 23% from the same time last year, according to Bloomberg News.

Last week a flurry of bleak economic news headlined by larger than expected unemployment claims spurred a 280-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

But, investors took some solace from a flurry of M&A activity and an initial public offering (IPO) from General Motors Co., because acquisitions are seen as a sign companies are confident the economy will grow and business will improve.

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Are Bonds a Bubble? Don't Bet on It

With the stock market unsteady, don't overlook the value of adding bonds to your portfolio. They provide income and are more reliable than equities.

Indeed, bonds have had a strong run up in the past decade - so strong, in fact, that many investors are afraid they've entered bubble territory. But not Albert Edwards, chief strategist at the old-school French bank Societe Generale SA (PINK: SCGLY).

Edwards isn't your typical white-shoe analyst. Guys in his position tend to have a perpetually optimistic worldview. Since they are in the business of selling the dream, they need to talk up assets. But Edwards is an iconoclast who is known as one of the dourer professional forecasters.

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Three Ways to Profit as China Causes Gold Prices to Spike

When recently gold sold off and fell as much as 8% below its record high level of $1,260 an ounce, investors had to be more than a little concerned.

With the huge debt loads top world economies have taken on to rebound from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, investors have grabbed onto gold as the best way to hedge against the inflation and other financial calamities they felt were certain to come. So far, those calamities haven't materialized.

But those investors shouldn't be worried. There's another catalyst on the horizon. It's headed directly for us. And, at least as far as gold prices are concerned, it figures to be an almost ideal catalyst: Even if it doesn't spawn the near-term price spikes some gold bugs predict, it's a near-certainty to send the yellow metal skyward in the long run.

I'm talking, of course, about China.

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To see just how powerful a gold-price catalyst China figures to be, please read on

Investing Strategies: How to Build a Global-Investing Portfolio Using ETFs

It wasn't all that long ago that global investing was an activity that was restricted to only the wealthiest U.S. investors. If you weren't one of America's ultra-rich, you weren't able to access foreign markets.

That began to change in the 1950s, with the advent of international and global mutual funds, and access further expanded over the next three decades with the introduction of single-country closed-end funds. Today, thanks to the recent explosion in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investing in overseas stocks is now almost as easy as targeting a given market sector here at home.

In fact, although it has been a mere 17 years since the first ETF began trading in the United States (in 1993), the most recent count finds more than 290 international, regional and foreign-country-focused funds listed on the various U.S. exchanges - enough to entice any investor with even a modest yen for overseas portfolio exposure.

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