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Trends, Themes and Fault Lines: Where Could All This Inequality End Up – in Darkness or the Light?

Since July 2013 the FTSE100, the leading UK share index, has ranged between 6400 and 6800 points. While the larger US S&P 500 index has moved from 1600 points up to record highs, closing above the 1850 level on several occasions, notably since January the S&P 500 has traded in a more sideways fashion. Perhaps this indicates a top in the market or a pause for good reason- reported earnings weaknesses or Fed tapering – however it’s still an impressive increase from the market lows during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The bulls and bears react to positive or negative news and information which forms investor sentiment to drive the markets on their trajectories and so forth.
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A crisis in the Crimea and growing volatility in the world’s markets – it’s been quite a 1st quarter for 2014.

Back in January it was hoped that global equities may repeat some of 2013 rally. However, the US Federal Reserve increasing tendency to taper remains firmly part of the US financial agenda. China property bubbles and debt defaults have started to concern investors. Yet so far the Chinese authorities have bailed out government entities and kept a lid on a more general panic in view of the vast quantities of property related-debt. Vladimir Putin put on a good show with the Sochi Winter Olympics, where some of his now sanctioned oligarchs made a few (billion) now devalued roubles, while plotting and executing a, relatively harmless welcomed by many, annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
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Al-Megrahi and MacAskill Observation

Well to remember- Play hard and well in international relations as coming bottom of the league isn’t a sporting option in the real world. A thought from a few years back-
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The Grangemouth Conspiracy – Close To Reality Or A Product Of My Furtive Imagination: You Decide And You Read It Here First.

2014 following on from 2013 has the continuing debate on Scottish independence and with the referendum this September. However, the industrial action at the Grangemouth refinery near Falkirk, Scotland last autumn an issue came to mind involving the global view of possible US security and economic interests with friends and allies. Read more

The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound

The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound. Is a new currency looming for an independent Scotland and would the EU accept Scotland into its membership?
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Future Perfect or Future Problem: Part 2: Defence and Diggers

And 2014 the Year For A Lot of Yellen

2014 has started with a Polar Vortex descended on a huge chunk of North America some 190 million people affected by the icy Artic blast. The US has reported disappointing employment statistics for the end of 2013, the BoE and ECB have held rates at their current lows and the Federal Reserve has Janet Yellen as its new Chairwoman – a 1st too.
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We, the people demand some decent Government and…

They’re back on the streets again in the Ukraine and Thailand. Brazil has got its share of protesters too never mind the problems of Arabic North Africa, the Levant or Iran and Saudi Arabic too. People are demonstrating to varying degrees of success of course about not just political freedoms but economic ones too.
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Is it Future Perfect or Future Problem?

Part 1:

During the 2030s the economic difficulties from continual high Government spending and rising national debt along with demographics trends will have materialised. The Baby-Boomers will be retired and the Millennial Generation will be taking the economic burden. Will the Euro still exist and will China have grown old before it gets rich? These questions and many more will be getting answered.
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3D printing the next big thing: It’s exciting but investors should watch, wait and be choosy.

Increasingly Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing has become a hot news feature in the scientific or technical press and television news proclaiming revolutionary techniques to create products as diverse as jewellery, curvy concrete walls or car dashboards and even human spare parts. Pioneering medical applications include replacement jawbones and ears using powdered titanium or actual human tissue. The technology commonly uses resins, plastic pellets or powered metals or liquids to print a product using a specially adapted printer applying layer by layer the material through a nozzle or fusing by heat from a laser with a design created by CAD 3D software transferred to the printing device. The technology has been around for more than 20 years already and has been used by engineering companies such as GKN or Rolls Royce for parts in aeroplanes and automobiles. The internet was similarly available to academics and researchers before the worldwide web transformed its use. Read more

Will Agriculture Provide A Bumper Harvest For Investors?

It is harvest time again in the UK with grain making its way from fields and barns via grain merchants to mills or silos for storage. Farmers will be looking for decent grain prices to cover their input costs like fertiliser, seed, or fuels and drying costs especially if cutting still in September. Friend and fellow private investor Mustard Man noted that this year “yields are down on average but with the late summer sunshine [has created] a greater percentage of milling wheat than average.” This bodes well for those farmers with better quality grain to sell. The grain markets are dominated by large trading houses such as ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus collectively known as the ABCD of global commodity trading. Glencore Xstrata the new mining trading combine also has a global market share in soft commodities. Read more