Is the US dollar going to collapse?

The US Dollar collapse

The United States, a once prosperous country which was praised all around the globe as being the land of opportunities is now saddled with an ever increasing debt. After the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which hit not just the US but the whole world, the Federal Reserve chose to cut interest rates several times to a historic low of 0.25%. Further, the Fed continued to enforce its loosening monetary policy by announcing various rounds of quantitative easing, the latest known as QE3 or QE open-ended, buying mortgage-backed securities to the tune of US$ 40 bn a month and keeping interest rates low in order to encourage consumer spending.

This has led to the increase in the value of the dollar. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, has gained 3.3% in the past year, and the same amount so far this year. Budget busting government spending, trillions in Treasury debt and the lowest interest rates on record have many worried about inflation and the damage it could inflict on the dollar once the global economy recovers.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury have flooded the world with greenbacks. Because the dollar is a reserve currency and because US Treasury debt has virtually no default risk, investors have sucked up as many dollars as the US has been willing to provide. But that's sidelined money. Eventually international investors are going to want to sell dollars and buy performing assets.

There are grave consequences if the dollar collapsed. The dollar collapse would create a global economic crisis since investors will immediately start rushing to other currencies or assets, like gold or silver. The dollar collapse will create skyrocketing import prices in the US that will lead to inflation and possibly hyper-inflation. Because of risks, much debate has occurred in recent times whether the greenback deserves its status as the world's reserve currency. Because of the kind of problems that the US is facing and the reckless money printing done by the Fed, dollar is losing value. The question is which currency will replace it? Its counterpart Euro has too many problems of its own to emerge as a serious contender. The same can be said for currencies from the emerging countries. Hence only time will tell whether a dollar collapse is imminent or not.

By Equitymaster – India's leading 'independent' equity research initiative. Trusted by over a million members all over the world, Equitymaster is known for its well-researched, unbiased and honest opinions on the Indian stock markets.
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Finally! Charge your Phone Using Solar Energy!

One of the main concerns of cell-phone users is perhaps battery life. And since long humans have always dreamt of harnessing solar energy for charging their phones. However, what looked to be impossible and a work of fiction just last year is now true.

A French start-up company, Wysips, has managed to create a thin film like device which is photovoltaic. The thin film can be built into the screen of the mobile phone and begins charging as soon as the phone screen comes close to any source of light. The best part? The transparent film is not expensive at all! It costs approximately 1.30 Euros (less than Rs 100) and can easily be fit under the phone display.

The device was showcased at the Mobile World Congress and is already garnering interest from mobile companies. At the event Wysips showcased that how, by shining a torch on the screen, the device immediately began to charge. 

However, the speed of charging is relatively slower compared to traditional electrical charging. A 10-minute charge will enable the user to talk on the phone for 2 minutes. It will take nearly 6 to 8 hours of complete exposure to a strong light source to completely charge up the battery. 

Though the film presently acts as just an emergency charger, it can slowly be developed and used as a second power source for the phone. 

Wysips is presently looking at developing markets rather than developed markets for their invention. The developing markets are yet not 100 percent connected by electricity and could act as a stronger market for alternate source of energy. Also, in regions like India and Africa, the heat and proximity to the sun is greater with there being clear days almost all year round. This could also aid the speed of charging. 

Wysips is confident that the first mobile phones equipped with the gadget will be in stores as early as the end of the year. The company plans to sell the films to mobile manufacturers. The company is already looking at developing films for other devices too and production is on. Wypsis has set up a manufacturing facility in South of France with a capacity of eight million units. The production for the screens is expected to begin next month.
Source - india times

Fall in love with Khajuraho’s legends

It is not just the erotic sculptures that lend sensuality to magical Khajuraho. Interwoven within their amorous expressions are countless legends and stories.

The magnificent Kandariya Mahadev temple in Khajuraho

I, for one, love legends and I instantly fell for this one. There is always something romantic about the moon and it is little wonder that the descendants of the celestial Moon God would build monuments that stand for love.

I am in Khajuraho, lost in the passions of the erotic art that graces the walls of the temples. A beautiful woman, Hemavathy, was bathing in the dark under moonlight when she unwittingly attracted the Moon God himself. Seduced, she ran into the forests for refuge and raised her son, Chandravarman, alone. The moon, however, promised her that their son would one day rule over a kingdom. True to his word, Chandravarman grew up to establish the Chandela dynasty. It is believed that he was influenced by his mother’s story and so he built temples with sculptures depicting human passions and, probably, their futility.

It is not just erotic art that lends sensuality to Khajuraho. Besides, they constitute barely a tenth of the lot of sculptures adorning the temple walls. Walking around Khajuraho, I feel as if I am entering a medieval world of apsaras and deities, mortals and devils.

Located on the banks of a tributary of the Ken river, these medieval monuments are today part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between the 10th and 12th centuries by the Chandela Rajputs, these temples hidden amidst the forests were not fully explored until the 19th century.

The Western Group of temples is the largest. There are then the Eastern and Southern groups and a few Jain monuments as well. There were once more than 85 temples here. Today, about 22 remain. One wonders why this town, named after the khajur or date-palm, would be chosen by the Chandelas as their cultural capital.

The Kandariya Mahadeva temple towers above the rest in the Western Group with almost 900 sculptures jostling for space on its interior and exterior walls. Representing Mount Kailash, the temple gives the illusion of a mountain range. The main tower, almost 30 metres tall, is surrounded by several miniature towers resembling smaller peaks. There are sculptures depicting gods and goddesses, animals and birds, artists and soldiers, and you cannot miss some of the most passionate erotic carvings here. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple is believed to have built by King Vidhyadhara after a successful military campaign.

The Temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India, are famous for their erotic figures depicted in various Kamasutra positions. The so-called Temples of love were built from 950 to 1050 AD by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty and have since 1986 been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. The fine stone carvings are great masterpieces of Indian art and architecture. 

Reliefs and friezes show erotic figures on the temple walls in Khajuraho.
Gods and celestial beauties are depicted in amorous postures on the temple walls.

The Lakshmana temple dedicated to Vishnu, built by Yashovarman, is one of my personal favourites. The Vaikunta image of Vishnu is portrayed as a composite of three faces – those of a lion, boar and a man. Sculptures fill the walls and you can lose yourself in the everyday life of the medieval Chandelas. Facing this temple is a Lakshmi temple that once housed a Garuda and next to it is an intricately carved monolith of Varaha, the third incarnation of Vishnu, built of sandstone. More monuments surround the complex. Along the same platform of the Kandariya Mahadeva temple is a Mahadev temple, another shrine dedicated to Jagadhambi, a Chitragupt temple for the sun god Surya, a shrine for Parvati, and the massive Vishwanath temple.

I head to the oldest temple in this town – the Chausath Yogini Temple -- built in 900 AD. In an open sanctuary located on a mount are 67 cells silhouetted against the setting sun. The shrines, made of granite are however empty. None of the 64 Yogini along with Goddess Durga are around , but I can feel a mystical aura around the mount. My guide believes that the essence of Khajuraho lies in the tantric cult and the erotic sculptures are a manifestation of the same. The local people, however, say that the underlying thought is to leave your lust behind before entering the temple, which is probably why these sculptures do not show the gods and goddesses in intimate moments.

It is in the soft crimson light of the setting sun that I grasp the true meaning of sensuality. Lost in a world of caresses with passions running high are millions of exquisite sculptures carved on the walls. They may be cast in stone but their emotions bring them alive. Love alternates with lust as these amorous men and women are etched in a montage of erotic art. And even in those private moments made public, they seem to have eyes only for their beloveds.
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Govt cuts PPF, NSC interest rate

NEW DELHI: Hundreds of thousands of investors will now get lower returns on small savings schemes like Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Certificates, with the government pruning the interest rate by 0.1 percent.

The interest rate on PPF has now been cut to 8.7 per cent from 8.8 percent with effect from 1 April, 2013, while the rate on five-year NSC has been cut to 8.5 percent from 8.6 percent, and that on 10-year NSC to 8.8 percent from 8.9 percent.

The finance ministry, which cut the rates, has however left the savings deposit rate and the one-year time deposit rate unchanged.
The savings deposit rate has been left unchanged at 4 percent and the one-year term deposit too stays at 8.2 per cent.
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