What the US Dollar of the Future Will Look Like

Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.

Is this a realistic vision of the future, or are we only ever likely to see such scenes in science-fiction movies such as Minority Report? Predicting the future is never easy, but I believe that new technologies will prove the death knell for cash. We’re not there yet, but a cashless society is not as fanciful as it seems. Recent research suggests that many believe we will stop using notes and coins altogether in the not-too-distant future.

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America’s “Secret” Export Boom

America’s shale boom rages on — and we’ve got the exports to prove it.

However, from the outside looking in — with the Keystone pipeline approval in limbo, natural gas exports slow to come online and a U.S. ban on raw crude exports — you’d think the U.S. isn’t exporting much in the way of energy these days.

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A Break in the PGM Supply Chain

In the past two months, strikes in South Africa have crippled the top three platinum players, and knocked 40% off of expected global PGM output. Thus, forward-thinking investors — and potential project partners — are looking for new PGM deposits far from current turmoil.

Meanwhile, due to the South Africa strikes, short term — meaning “now” — PGM stockpiles are quickly declining. By the end of March (yes, this month), absolute shortages will kick in across numerous industries. Prices will begin to climb, affecting supply chains across the world. Platinum is shining, in a manner of speaking…

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NSA Surveillance of European Allies May Block EU-U.S. Trade Talks

The first round of negotiations over a new trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union is scheduled to start this week, but it may be doomed before it even begins. EU officials are demanding answers and threatening to call off the negotiations in light of the latest NSA revelations released last week showing how the U.S. has been involved in extensive spying on EU diplomats. The diminishing trust between the two allies could have a knock-on effect on global copyright regulation and stiffen Europe’s resolve to better protect its own citizens’ online privacy.

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In Gold, Not Cyprus, We Trust

Global investors had to muster the courage to keep calm as news of Cyprus’ proposed partial theft of all bank deposits took Wall Street by surprise, closed the country’s banks and drove the price of gold higher.

The thoughtless idea was intended to capture a portion of the $31 billion in bank assets held by Russians. According to The Financial Times, Cyprus has developed a “well-earned reputation for being a haven for dirty money from Russia.”

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Just When You Thought Central Banks Couldn’t Get Any Dumber…

Let’s start today’s issue with a quick joke, it’s a one-liner:

According to CNN Money “Any bank run at this point outside Cyprus seems unlikely.”

Ha! Unlikely? Yeah, about unlikely as the sun rising.

Without wasting another minute, let’s venture into the world of poor decisions. No, I don’t mean your editor’s St Patty’s Day weekend plans, but rather let’s head to the central bank-plagued Eurozone…

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A New Chapter for Turkey?

In 2012, Turkey was the best performer among the emerging markets we track on our Periodic Table showing a decade of returns. All developing countries rose last year, but stocks in Turkey climbed an astounding 56 percent.

Turkey vs. Other Emerging Markets

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Divided FOMC Lowers Growth Forecasts

The dollar bulls really are having their way with the currencies, which is so weird given the fact that just two weeks ago, the negativity toward the dollar was running at a level I had not seen before… And then it turned on a dime… Here’s the skinny on this as I see it…

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Currency Rally is Wiped Out!

Last night, I went to my computer at home, and brought up the currency markets, and saw that as of 9:00 last night, the currency rally that was VERY strong yesterday, was still “onâ€�… But, like I said at the top, I arrived here, albeit late, this morning and things are drastically changed! I was all prepared to tell you about the 1.70 appreciation of the euro (EUR) in one day, and the $18 rise in gold… But, the best laid plans of mice and men change, eh?

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Is The German Eagle a Grey Swan? (Part One of Two)

While the several sovereign debt crises in the euro-area have taken markets largely by surprise–thus leading them to be labeled as unforecastable, “Black Swan� events–we see a potentially much greater risk ahead, that Germany, at some point, will reconsider its commitment to the bail-out framework agreed with other EU states in May.

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