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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Defense Industry Investments | Defense Sector Investment Opportunities

The Pentagon was declared the big winner of the massive federal budget bill that Congress passed for fiscal year 2014. The spending bill approves $497 billion for the Defense Department, or about the same as in 2013. The Pentagon gets an additional $85.2 billion for war expenses — about $5 billion more than it requested.

Weapons manufacturers are not celebrating, though. Industry sees long-term decline, global trends that could upend the arms business, and a Pentagon customer that is becoming consumed by internal budget battles and is reluctant to commit to big-ticket programs.

The industry is indeed entering a period of change, and defense companies’ fortunes are tied to broader market shifts and government policies that could have lasting impact.

Read More:  The Challenges and Opportunities We See in the Defense Industry

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Will Bitcoin Destroy Lawyers?

A revolution in information technology may soon turn the theory of “smart contracts” into an actual mechanism for increasing trust among transacting parties, reducing the risks inherent when third party intermediaries are needed and even redefining lawyers’ role in and stranglehold over the modern economy.

Universal access to mathematical proof can give new life to the Russian proverb (which Americans may know from President Reagan’s English translation): “Trust but verify.”

Bitcoin2 – along with a growing number of similar cryptosecurity systems such as Ethereum3 -- is a series of algorithmic protocols which use mathematical proof to verify and secure data. Its ability to provide for the strongest,

Read MoreWill Bitcoin Destroy Lawyers?
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Why Blaming China on our Economic Woes

There is clearly a tendency today for countries all over the world to “beggar thy neighbor” (just as happened during the 1930s) and gain a leg up for their exports by cheapening their currencies.

“Beggar thy neighbor” for those who are not familiar with the term or “beggar-my-neighbor”, is an expression in economics describing policy that seeks benefits for one country at the expense of others. Such policies attempt to remedy the economic problems in one country by means which tend to worsen the problems of other countries.

The term was originally devised to characterize policies of trying to cure domestic depression and unemployment by shifting effective demand away from imports onto domestically produced goods

Read MoreWhy Blaming China on our Economic Woes

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Ziad Abdelnour: Military Strike in Syria will be a Game Changer

Wall Street for Main Street interviewed Ziad Abdelnour, who is the Founder & CEO of Blackhawk Partners and Founder & President of the Financial Policy Council. We discussed the potential military strike in Syria and how it will effect the Federal Reserve monetary policy, the price of oil, gold and silver and the overall economy.

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Friday, 11 July 2014

The U.S. Government has Shut Down 18 Times Since 1976

One week has already passed since the Oct. 1 federal government shutdown forcing massive furloughs of workers and suspension of services not excepted by the Anti-Deficiency Act.

Because Congress did not enact regular appropriations or a continuing resolution for the 2014 fiscal year, appropriations have lapsed, and about 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely furloughed without pay, while another 1.3 million “excepted” employees were required to report to work for some indefinite period without pay until an appropriations bill is passed or their function is no longer excepted.

The U.S. government has shut down 18 times since 1976. The last actual shutdown came in 1996 and lasted three weeks.  

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

I wonder What will Happen Twenty Years from Now

So I have to ask, did we, as #Americans, have any sort of real role in the fight?

No. We griped. It’s what we do. We shop and we gripe. We are awesome at deducing problems, but it’s usually up to someone else to fix them, and Iraq was full of problems for us to gripe about.

The dead soldiers and #Marines were used by one party to show how bad the war was, right up until the party lines switched and the same arguments were made again.

Think about it…. How has the daily lives of anyone been changed in the last decade? Was anyone asked to donate or buy war bonds? Were there any new taxes levied to pay for it? Did you have to ration anything? Were you even asked to miss one single episode of “The Voice” in all that time?

Read More: Is the US to blame with today’s mess in Iraq?

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Ziad Abdelnour - When Power goes to People’s Heads

I often wondered why some people go truly out of control when success, money, and power go to their heads until one day I read this: “Money doesn’t make you an asshole. Money just makes you care less if people know you’re an asshole”… How true.

So why does this happen?

Is it because the feeling of power has been found to have a similar effect on the brain to cocaine by increasing the levels of testosterone and its by-product 3-androstanediol which in turn leads to raised levels of dopamine, the brain’s reward system, which is very addictive?

One theory suggests indeed it’s the same way we behave when we are on drugs or craving for drugs. We have tricked our brains long back in the history of our evolution to seek excess of dopamine rewards (the pleasure chemical).

Read More:  Ziad Abdelnour - When Power goes to People's Heads

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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Tech and Software Sectors Close to Eating the World?

Not even in your wildest dreams …. as I believe we are just at the beginning of a revolution still at its embryonic stage.

For a start, you might think that tech is today in a bubble as a company whose sole product is a photo sharing app in which the pictures get deleted after they are shared recently turned down $3 billion.

Maybe…. But the reality is that even if there is a bubble in the making there are really no consequences. Unlike the late 90s, technology is now more entrenched than ever before. If one company blows up, other entrepreneurs will start a new one or join someone else. So If you really think about it, the cost of failure has never been so low, ever.

Having said that, here are a few trends in the making that I believe will be dramatically changing our world:

1. The increasing availability (cost and ease) of DNA sequencing. 10-15 years ago it cost hundreds of millions to sequence the human genome – now that process costs “only” $20k, and is expected to further come down.

Read More:The Tech and Software Sectors Close to Eating the World?

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ISIS in Iraq - Game changer?

The $64,000 question on everyone's mind today is: What would be the repercussions if ISIS were successful in toppling the government of Iraq and most importantly what would be the impact on the US financial markets and oil prices at large?

Given my experience in the region, I would venture to say that if this scenario were to happen, locally Iraq will be renamed and most of the minorities will be cleansed or uprooted. The rest of the Sunni population will be subjected to strict Sharia law, a Taliban style governing with Shuras will be adopted, then the focus will shift to topple Assad completely with the help of revenue generated through the Iraqi oil money.

On a wider scale, Iran will be tempted to invade Iraq thus turning this into a major international crisis as Russia and even #China will be backing Iran since both countries have boiling Islamic militant problems especially Sunni in their background. This will be their "War on Terror" which Washington will have practically no moral grounds to oppose.

Read More: ISIS in Iraq - Game changer?

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