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Top 50 websites install average of 64 trackers on your computer

Living in the digital age has created new opportunities for advertisers to track more data than ever before. The Internet has revolutionized the marketing industry by the pure volume of data they're able to record from visitors on their site. However, the gross majority of info these agencies collect is done without the user's knowledge or consent. To give privacy back to the customers, the Senate Commerce Committee is now deliberating regulation that would force companies to[...] Click here to continue reading

Be very careful what you say in Sri Lanka

As a international traveler, it is essential to know the economic and political environment of any place you visit. With the advent of the Internet, countries are becoming quick to censor any form of political dissent and use force quiet resistance. In another attack on freedom of the press, the Sri Lankan government recently shutdown two entire publishing companies based in Colombo. Yahoo News reports on the censorship:
Sri Lankan police Friday shut down opposition news websites,[...] Click here to continue reading

Soon everyone might be using the renminbi

Over the past couple years China has been making strides to expand the use of the renminbi for international trade as apposed to using the US dollar as an intermediary. With a growing Chinese economy and a weakening USD, increased use of the renminbi protects global trade from the desperate moves made by the US Federal Reserve. The Financial Times reports on this big economic development:
China plans to create a special zone to experiment with currency convertibility[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s time to connect the dots

June 29, 2012
Tel Aviv, Israel

This week may very well go down as 'connect the dots' week. Things have been moving so quickly, so let's step back briefly and review the big picture from the week's events:

1) After weeks... months... even years of posturing and denial, Spain and Cyprus became the fourth and fifth countries to formally request aid from Europe's bailout funds on Monday.

In doing so, these governments have officially confessed to[...] Click here to continue reading

EU steps up against facial recognition

Personal privacy is always a major concern and today's technology makes your personal privacy more vulnerable than ever. New facial recognition software makes it easy for the government and companies track your all of your movements. In a promising move for privacy advocates, the EU will be mandating that companies make their customers opt into facial recognition services instead of only opting out. The Electronic Frontier Foundation elaborates on the decision:
Last summer, the Article 29 Working Party—an[...] Click here to continue reading

This country has the “best performing prime residential market in the world”

Real estate bubbles have scared many investors aways from potential housing hotspots. The housing bubble of 2007 along with current bubbles like the one in Burma, create major uncertainty for investors. However there appears to be a rapidly growing market for luxury homes in Kenya that's based on sound growth and economic fundamentals. CNN reports on this new hotbed for real estate investment:
...a study earlier this year by estate agents Knight Frank and Citi Private Wealth found that Nairobi[...] Click here to continue reading

Chinese company prepares for platinum boom

The precious metals market has taken a beating recently however this trend hasn't scared off Chinese mining investment. In addition to their deals with mines in Mongolia and Chile, a Chinese mining company has now moved into the South African platinum market. In spite of the market uncertainty, the acquisition still poses big opportunities. The Asian Times reports:
One of China's largest mining companies has dipped its toes into South Africa's platinum sector, at a time when the industry[...] Click here to continue reading

India and Afghanistan envision a “new silk road”

There is a rich legacy of trade from India through the Middle East. The historic Silk Road was a highway of merchants and nomads that brought wealth and commerce to cities along the route. In an attempt to revitalize the trade corridor, India has been pushing for increased investment in Afghanistan. BBC reports on the new economic initiatives:
The Indian government is keen to emphasise the soft power side of its strategy, such as Thursday's[...] Click here to continue reading

Obama claims Individual Mandate is not a tax…Supreme Court disagrees

Flip-flopping is unsurprisingly common in politics and Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on the individual mandate is another example how the Obama administration changes its rhetoric whenever it's convenient. In 2009, President Obama repeatedly claimed that the individual mandate was not a tax increase, however, the Supreme Court just ruled it constitutional based on congress's right to tax. Here's Obama in an interview from 2009 along with a report from Politico on the recent news:


Click here to continue reading

Myanmar’s huge real estate bubble is about to burst

There has been much buzz surrounding the recent economic reforms underway in Myanmar, however the amount of hype surrounding this up and coming nation is overblown. Not to say Myanmar doesn't have great potential, but the country is currently experiencing a real estate bubble of epic proportions. The Global Post discusses the causes behind the high property demand:
There are now too few hotels and office buildings in the crumbling commercial capital, Yangon, to cope with[...] Click here to continue reading

Uranium Mining: Sorting fact from fiction

After the massive earthquake rocked Japan and lead to the Fukushima nuclear disaster over a year ago, many environmentalists have pushed heavily against nuclear power initiatives. Around the world and recently at a site in Virginia, activists have been protesting against the mining of uranium citing "health risks" that the process involves. In an recent article, Reason analyses the safety of uranium mining using Canada as a case study:  
Here is how the Canadian government – the government, not the uranium[...] Click here to continue reading

Biggest cyber bank robbery in history

Cyber security threats pose a greater danger today than they ever have as more systems are interconnected via the Internet. With governments employing cyber-weapons like Flame and Stuxnet along with rogue hacker groups like Anonymous, cyber-attacks are becoming all the more common. An attack to over 60 banks recently discover by McAfee, has been reported to be the largest cyber bank robbery in history. Sky News reports:
According to a joint report by software security[...] Click here to continue reading

Mongolian mining hurt by animosity towards China

Historically, China has been the subject of serious animosity from their neighbor Mongolia and now that China has become an international power, the animosity has intensified. As China's domestic metal reserves shrink, they have been looking to import resources from countries like Chile, Brazil and especially Mongolia. However, Mongolia's fears of being economically dominated by the Chinese have hurt their metal export opportunities. The Globe and Mail reports:
Shares in SouthGobi Resources Ltd. fell nearly 20 per cent Tuesday[...] Click here to continue reading

What is secretly eating away at your 401k

The goal of investing in a 401k is to make money for your retirement, however, in a volatile market, losses taken can drastically impact your nest egg. In addition to the risk of investments, if you're using mutual funds in your 401k you could be paying exorbitant fees even when you lose money. CNN explains danger of hidden fees in mutual funds:
According to a recent AARP survey, 71% of people with 401(k)s didn't even know they were paying fees for[...] Click here to continue reading

And you thought your government told big lies…

June 27, 2012
Yerevan, Armenia

Despite being neighbors, there are no flights between Tbilisi, Georgia and Yerevan, Armenia. No reason to bother with air travel from one poor country to another, I suppose, the demand just isn't there.

So I opted for the train. Specifically the overnight Armenian train. And everything about it is a throwback to the Soviet days... Metal seats. Bathrooms without running water. No food. And that's the first class carriage.

The train creaks[...] Click here to continue reading

EU sanctions already impeding economic growth

Economic sanctions have been used to mandate international policies for centuries. Like most times governments mettle in the economy, economic sanctions can cause unintended and destructive consequences to occur. On Sunday, EU mandated sanctions are scheduled to go into affect against Iran however the economic ripples are already being felt across the oil industry. Rueters reports on the effects the sanctions are already causing:
Iran's top commercial tanker operator NITC has delayed the expansion of its oil[...] Click here to continue reading

MYTH BUSTED: America’s severe income inequality

One of the central themes behind the Occupy Wall Street protests was the widening income disparity between the classes and the 99% versus the 1% mantra. Despite this class warfare, a recent study indicates that our conventional method for tracking income inequality could be all wrong. This new research focuses on consumption levels instead of the peoples annual income. Business Insider reveals the data:
In "A New Measure Of Consumption Inequality," Kevin A. Hassett and Aparna[...] Click here to continue reading

New USDA ad claims food stamps make people healthier

Since the Food Stamp Act of 1964, Americans have been receiving government aid to pay for their groceries. However, the percentage of the population on food stamps has dramatically increased from when the program was first launched. Today there are almost 48 million people receiving food stamps and in a new ad by the USDA, they are actually encourage people to join the program by claiming that "food stamps can make you look and feel your[...] Click here to continue reading

The key to forming a family dynasty

Family dynasties have continuously thrived throughout history: The Habsburgs, The Romanovs, The Rothschilds. Many people believe that these families maintain their wealth simply because they have masses of it, however a recent study indicates that there is a much stronger factor which drives financial success from one generation to the next. United Press International reveals the results of the study and their implications:  
Human capital -- intelligence, advice, work ethic -- may be why high-income fathers have richer sons, U.S. researchers[...] Click here to continue reading

Chile makes deal with China to double bilateral trade

Over the past few years Chile has made continuous strides to position themselves as a business friendly country. Investment in Chile has historically been directed to their rich copper mines and in a move to spur their metal exports, Chile has made a paramount deal with China to drastically increase their trade. News of this deal should mean good things for Chilean mining investment. Rueters reports on the details of the agreement:
"The president and I[...] Click here to continue reading

Is silver finally bottoming out?

Over a year ago, I penned an article entitled “4 Silver Investments to Avoid.” About two weeks later, on April 26th, I wrote another article: “Should I Sell My Silver?” saying that I expected an imminent correction in the silver price, after it had gone “parabolic.”

It caused quite a stir at the time. There was no shortage of people calling me delusional for suggesting the bull market in silver was overdue for a pause. Some even labeled me[...] Click here to continue reading

Chinese women rush to India for entrepreneurial opportunities

Women have always faced adversity in the business world especially in non-western countries. As China's presence as an international trading power has grown, so have the business opportunities for women. Most recently, female executives have been following a trend of moving production and other operations farther south into India. The New York Daily News explains the reasoning behind the growing number of female Chinese investing in India: 
IANS caught up with a group of women entrepreneurs[...] Click here to continue reading

Motivational Monday: Internet start-ups selling for top dollar in down economy

In spite of these harsh economic times, there is still much money to be made in independent start-ups and VCs. Recent buyouts have indicated that investors are willing to spend big on the next potential Twitter or Facebook. George Zachary, initial investor in the internet start-up company Yammer, reveals in an interview with Fortune his reactions to selling the company to Microsoft for a cool $1.2 billion:
FORTUNE: Most meaningful success in your career. Why?

Zachary: Because [Yammer[...] Click here to continue reading

UN believes Obama is violating human rights

The United States has a long history of assassinating "threats" to their sovereignty but when does it go too far?  Even thought President Obama will never be tried for international war crimes, members of the UN are now suggesting that the President's drone bombing campaigns could be a violation of human rights. Personal Liberty explains the illegality and inhumanity of America's drone policy:
The United States uses military drones to carry out attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq,[...] Click here to continue reading

Sluggish Chinese growth causes irrational decision making

China's economy has been steadily booming over several decades but recently they've experienced a decline in growth. In a knee-jerk reaction to this trend, Chinese officials are now seeking to implement a massive government stimulus plan to encourage Taiwanese investment on China's mainland. The Asian Times reports on the implications and motivations behind the recent move:
Four Chinese state banks will offer up to US$95 billion in credit to Taiwanese investments in business on the[...] Click here to continue reading

This company knows EVERYTHING about you

Your personal privacy is always a top concern, however, with the digital age comes new threats to your personal information as is it more accessible than ever. The largest aggregator of peoples personal information isn't Google, but actually an unknown company called the Acxiom Corporation. The Week reveals what this company does and the threat it poses to your privacy:
What is Acxiom Corp., and what does it do?
The company fits into a category called database marketing. It started in[...] Click here to continue reading

Surprise! An economy with a pulse!

June 25, 2012
Tbilisi, Georgia

With so much economic doom and gloom out there, it's easy to forget that there are actually some bright spots in the world. I've spent the last few days in one of them-- Georgia.

Perhaps most famous for being continually stomped on by Russia, this place has suffered severe hardship practically since independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

In 2005, Georgia was shut out of the Russian market,[...] Click here to continue reading

Pelosi wants the President to abolish the debt ceiling

Last year there was an extremely heated debate over the raising of the debt ceiling causing severe animosity across the partisan isle. In an attempt to circumvent the budgetary process, Nancy Pelosi has now proposed an unprecedented expansion of power for the executive branch along with unmitigated spending and debt increases. The Washington Examiner explains:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., thinks that President Obama should unilaterally eliminate the debt ceiling, rather than negotiate with Congress to spend more[...] Click here to continue reading

The correct way to implement national defense

The United States far and away spends the most money of any nation on "national defense", however many critics argue that most of the resources are really used to maintain a national offense. Switzerland on the other hand has long maintained it's neutrality yet has extremely secure borders and a strong defense from any possible invasion. According to Geoff Manaugh and Business Insider:
"To interrupt the utility of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has[...] Click here to continue reading

Berkley says no to police state policies

With growing concerns over an ever-strengthening police state, Indiana has recently passed legislation to allow civilians to use lethal force against "civil servants" (aka police) if they enter their property without just cause. In addition to that win for civil liberties, Berkley, California has also moved to pass laws protecting individuals' rights in the wake of police abuse done to OWS protestors. Personal Liberty reports:
The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., has decided to move to[...] Click here to continue reading

Signs point towards a new global currency

With the extension of operation twist and and the inevitable QE3, continued volatility and devaluation of the USD is the in the near future. This uncertainty has caused other countries to seek other options for international trade than the reserve currency. Hong Kong recently announced the possibilities of de-pegging from the USD and now China is making deals to turn the Yuan into an internationally used currency. BBC reports:

China and Brazil have agreed a currency swap deal in a bid[...] Click here to continue reading

Obama is turning into Dick Cheney

President Obama has drawn comparisons to many leaders, however former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney is a comparison that's hardly mentioned. Obama's rhetoric on being independent of foreign oil is very similar to Cheney's chant back in 2000 and now Obama is following Cheney's exact blueprint for militaristic energy politics. The Asian Times explains:
As details of his administration's global war against terrorists, insurgents, and hostile warlords have become more widely known - a war that involves[...] Click here to continue reading

Could this make Ben Bernanke a Soviet dictator?

June 22, 2012
Minsk, Belarus

More than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Iron Curtain is still alive and well in an often forgotten corner of Eastern Europe... albeit a kindler, gentler version.

Belarus has been ruled by the same person, Alexandr Lukashenko, practically since its independence in the early 1990s.

He has total control of every facet of the country, from media and information flow, to education, to the military and[...] Click here to continue reading

The next potential currency to de-peg from the USD

Over it's history, Hong Kong has gone from a backwater trading port to one of the financial trade capitals of the world in a relatively short period of time. For over 30 years, Hong King's currency has been pegged to the US dollar with hope that the reserve currency would bring monetary stability. However, with the current uncertainty in the USD, Hong Kong policy makers are weighing their options whether to peg to another currency[...] Click here to continue reading

Asian immigrants more qualified for white-collar jobs than Americans natives

America has a rich history of immigration, especially with the far east. Asians have been immigrating to the US since the 19th century and have been met with staunch resistence like the Chinese Exclusion Act. Recent statistics show a rise in Asian immigration, but instead of unskilled labor, they tend to be educated and highly motivated. In contrast to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the past, it's important for the US to embrace these newcomers to fill their[...] Click here to continue reading