September 9, 2010

1940's America in Color Photographs

An amazing look back in time!

These photos are almost eerie, in the sense that images like these are normally in the "comfortable" black and white!

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Posted via email from Global News Feed

August 28, 2010

Research Experiment Disrupts Internet

"An experiment run by Duke University and a European group responsible for managing Internet resources went wrong Friday, disrupting a small percentage of Internet traffic. The damage could have been far worse however, and the incident shows just how fragile one of the Internet's core protocols really is, security experts say."

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August 23, 2010

How Does WikiLeaks Keeps Its Funding Secret?

Well, I was wondering the same thing... and so I read this good piece at the Wall Street Journal.

Some Highlights:

"the site has established a complex system for collecting and disbursing its donations to obscure their origin and use, Mr. Assange said. Anchoring the system is a foundation in Germany established in memory of a computer hacker who died in 2001."

"WikiLeaks's financial stability has waxed and waned during its short history. The site shut down briefly late last year, citing a lack of funds, but Mr. Assange said the group has raised about $1 million since the start of 2010."

"WikiLeaks's lack of financial transparency stands in contrast to the total transparency it seeks from governments and corporations."

The irony of that last highlight is not lost upon me : )

I guess the Swedes know where to draw the line... I don't !

December 29, 2009

Indian Central Bank Buys IMF Gold


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the quantity of its gold holdings. With a recent purchase of 200 tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund, the Indian Central Bank is now the ninth or tenth largest holder of gold globally.


Executed as a part of its foreign exchange reserves management, the RBI recently purchased $6.7 billion USD worth of the IMF's gold, from Oct. 19 to Oct. 30th 2009. Although the RBI does not officially discuss its diversification strategy, speculation is rampant that the purchase may be part of India's push for greater influence within the IMF itself. 


India, along with other emerging BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) is jockeying for greater bearing on the global economic stage, and this recent move may be a tactic of this strategy. The Indian economy has grown rapidly in recent years, and is now in aggregate, a $1.2 trillion USD economy. 


According to the latest data, of India’s total foreign reserves of $285.5 billion on Oct. 23, 2009, slightly more than $10 billion worth was in gold. The recent purchase has increased India’s percentage of gold holdings in its portfolio, from approximately 4 percent to approximately 6 percent. The purchase was one of the largest single purchases of gold by a Central Bank, in memory.


Portfolio-wise, Indian gold holdings are on average much less than most Central Banks of the developed world, but interestingly, Indian gold holdings are approximately four times the size of China's share. With this recent move, perhaps New Delhi may be trying to assert its strength in world economic affairs, relative to the other BRIC nations.


For gold markets in general, the picture is less clear. What does the RBI’s decision signal for the global gold market? Does India’s recent move potentially signify the beginning of a new bull market for bullion? Only time will tell.

Posted via web from Global Business News

November 21, 2009

US and Asian GDP Return to Growth


American GDP is growing again.

After four consecutive quarters of GDP decline, the US Economy grew in the third quarter by 3.5%.  This ends the longest contraction in the US economy since the Great Depression. The 3.5 per cent growth figures were stronger than expected by some analysts, including Goldman Sachs, who had forecast only 2.7 per cent growth. 

Simultaneously, the IMF has doubled its forecast for Asian economic growth in 2010. 

The region’s prospects have improved dramatically over the past 6 months due to the concerted efforts of Asian Governments to nurse their economies back to health. China, South Korea, India, and Japan have taken the lead in this regard. The International Monetary Fund has forecast GDP growth of 2.8 per cent for 2009, and 5.8 per cent in 2010 for the region. 

The “Great Recession”, as it has come to be known, may be technically over according to the Economists, but it's been replaced by fears that this may only be a statistical recovery. The manifest growth in the US is literally underwritten by billions of dollars in US Federal government spending. Some economists posit that all of the government money in the US system will lead to an artificial and jobless recovery in America. Last month's US jobless rate was 9.8 per cent, its highest rate in 26 years. 

Nonetheless, third quarter figures indicate that 2010 will be a year of growth in the American economy, which is certainly reassuring news for the Global economy, as the US Economy is currently underperforming globally.

Posted via web from Global Business News