China Is Beating the US in the Rare-Earths Game

For more information regarding China and the rare earths situation, see the following previous articles:

 

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It’s time for the administration to use its powers to preserve America’s access to vital defense materials.

How to view China’s recent threat to limit domestic production of rare earths, those 16 elements that make our cellphones and smart bombs work? It’s the latest move in a game that began before the United States realized it was even playing, that has grown more complex than U.S. leaders realize, and that is nearing a very unfortunate ending. Continue reading

Lowest Ever: The Baltic Dry Index Plunges To 394 As Global Trade Grinds To A Standstill

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For the first time ever, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen under 400.  As I write this article, it is sitting at 394.  To be honest, I never even imagined that it could go this low.  Back in early August, the Baltic Dry Index was sitting at 1,222, and since then it has been on a steady decline.  Of course the Baltic Dry Index crashed hard just before the great stock market crash of 2008 too, but at this point it is already lower than it was during that entire crisis.  This is just more evidence that global trade is grinding to a halt and that 2016 is going to be a “cataclysmic year” for the global economy. Continue reading

Bad News For World Economy That No One Wants To Hear

Reading the general run of financial headlines might lead one to believe that price declines in those commodities which are highly sensitive to economic conditions such as iron ore, copper, oil, natural gas, coal, and lumber are good on their face.

Obviously, the declines aren’t good for those who sell these commodities. But, those of us who buy these commodities in the form of cars, houses, utility bills and other products and services ought to be helping the world economy as we buy more stuff with the freed up income. Continue reading

New Zealand, China in Talks on Convertibility of Currencies

The world is leaving the US Dollar, one country at a time, and America is too busy following the Kardashians to notice.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Seeking to help its exporters, New Zealand is negotiating with China to make their currencies directly convertible, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key said.

Talks are in the “very early stages” and “progressing,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the issue had been brought up during Mr. Key’s visit to China last month.

Direct convertibility between the Chinese yuan and New Zealand dollar would end the need for New Zealand’s companies and currency traders to convert New Zealand dollars or yuan into U.S. dollars when making or receiving payments. Continue reading