Just a few months ago, traders were betting that Russia would have to sell its gold reserves. But the newest data show the exact opposite. Russia is now buying more gold than it has since the days of the Soviet Union.
It’s a smart strategy that has helped to stabilize its currency, the ruble. And it will prove even more beneficial if China really is planning to create a gold-backed super-currency, as some speculate.
Russia is also selling off its US Treasuries. This is all part of Russia’s (and its pal China’s) plan to undermine the US dollar. Casey Research analyst Laurynas Vegys parsed the data, and he says the message is clear. “By offloading treasuries and loading up on gold, Russia is making an all-in bet against the US dollar, in favor of the yellow metal.”
Have you ever played a “Freemium” game? You know, one of those iPhone games that’s free to play, but asks you to pay to unlock the most fun features?
They’re part of the growing field of “persuasive technology,” where software employs psychological tricks to get users to take action—like giving the game developer their money.
Is it unethical? Maybe. But as with all technology, that depends on how it’s used. Entrepreneurs are quickly learning how to use persuasive technology to make products that improve people’s lives, says Casey Research Senior Analyst Chris Wood. And that’s creating interesting new business opportunities.
For example, Jawbone makes a smart wristband that learns users’ exercise and sleep habits. It then sends encouraging messages that help the user to live a healthier life. Studies show that it helps people go to bed 23 minutes earlier and move 27% more often.
Corporate America is struggling to sell to the 15- to 35-year-old age group known as “Millennials.” Just look at the identity crisis McDonald’s is having. The classic American hamburger chain can’t seem to figure out what the heck Millennials really want. It’s now trying to woo Millennials with touchscreens that allow customers to build their own burgers.
Millennials are fickle, for sure. But at least their addiction to technology is predictable. For Millennials, social media isn’t just a trend. It’s an obsession. And it’s an obsession that’s attracting gobs of investor capital, says Casey Research Analyst Justin Spittler.
Is the stupid money in the driver’s seat? Investment fund flows point to a stock market correction.
Greece starts seizing bank deposits from debtors. You could see this one coming a mile away.
British government would block a foreign takeover of BP. It’s a strategic asset, they say.
Brad Pitt buys film rights to Law of the Jungle, the story of the fraudulent environmental lawsuit against Chevron.
Michael Lewis on arresting a UK trader for the Flash Crash: “He’s not some kind of exception to the standard operating procedure in finance. He’s a parody of it.”