My internet went out today, and after chewing out my service provider for a good half-hour, I got to thinking about how we accomplished work in the good old days, before the age of information, when a mouse was just a furry varmint chased by cats. My thoughts snowballed, as they often do, and I began considering technology - the hard reality that makes the soft, virtual world possible. What is a laptop made of?
In a miracle I can't begin to understand, my connection to the world wide web was resurrected. Upon making my routine visit to STRATFOR.com to check out their latest geopolitical analysis, I stumbled upon this article on China's reported manipulation of the market of rare earth elements--used in the production of everything from petroleum to laptops to hybrid cars to radar--and how that will affect everything from importing nations to industries to consumers in the next 2-5 years.
The technology boom could have been predicted decades ago by next to no one. The few individuals who had that kind of foresight are doing very well for themselves now, I'm sure. That brings me back to STRATFOR - a company that specializes in forecasting. I'm sending you the piece I referenced above, but you can also join their free mailing list here, or become a premium member to access their just-published Q4 forecast.
On a lighter note, did you catch the Rangers game Tuesday night?
Your gloating in the thrill of victory (while it lasts) analyst,
John Mauldin, Editor
Outside the Box
China and the Future of Rare Earth Elements
A recent diplomatic spat between China and Japan has heightened territorial tensions and called attention to China’s growing forcefulness with foreign powers. One of the more intriguing aspects of this development was China’s suspension of the export of “rare earth” elements (REE) to Japan. REE comprise 17 metallic elements with a variety of modern…