One of the books I just finished reading is The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. The thesis of the book is fascinating to those of us interested in the rise and fall of empires: Rome expanded for many reasons, but one that is overlooked was the good fortune of an era of moderate weather from around 200 BC to 150 AD: rain was relatively plentiful/ regular and temperatures were relatively warm.
Then one of Earth’s numerous periods of cooling–a mini ice age–replaced the moderate weather, pressuring agricultural production.
Roman technology and security greatly expanded trade, opening routes to China, India and Africa that supplied much of Roman Europe with luxury goods. The Mediterranean acted as a cost-effective inland sea for transporting enormous quantities of grain, wine, etc. around the empire.
These trade routes acted as vectors for diseases from afar that swept through the Roman world, decimating the empire’s hundreds of densely populated cities whose residents had little resistance to the unfamiliar microbes.
Rome collapsed not just from civil strife and mismanagement, but from environmental and infectious disease pressures that did not exist in its heyday.
Since February 9th, the price of gold has been working towards a recovery. With the price of the precious metal heading upward, gold bugs have been all over social media, gearing up for a strong 2018 year. However, is this going to be a strong year for gold? Today, we’ll talk about the pressures the commodity faces, why gold bugs believe that 2018 is going to be a strong year for the precious metal, and what we’ll be watching for ahead.
Pressures Mounting On Gold At The Moment
While the price of gold has been headed upward as of late, there has been quite a bit of pressure on the precious metal throughout the year thus far. Unfortunately, the news suggests that these pressures will continue. Here are some of the key factors that will likely be sources of pressure in the year ahead: (more…)
It’s been a lean few years for Australia’s mining sector, as the demand for products such as iron ore has fallen while competing nations such as China have ramped up their own production efforts.
This could all be about to change, however, with activity in Australia’s mining sector set to increase exponentially amid a multitude of factors.
We’ll explore this in greater detail in this post, while asking whether or not iron mining will remain central to the future growth of the Australian economy:
What has Caused Activity in Australia’s Mining Sector to Accelerate?
The most recent data sets released by industry analysts BIS Oxford Economics revealed that mining exploration, production and maintenance will see considerable growth between now and the end of 2018. This applies across all niches, including iron ore, coal and even tech metals, which are promising to revolutionise Australia’s economy in the future. (more…)
I have long maintained that the structural imbalances of debt and risk that triggered the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008-2009 have effectively been transferred to the foreign exchange (FX) markets.
This creates a problem for the central banks that have orchestrated the “recovery” by goosing asset bubbles in stocks, real estate and bonds: unlike these markets, the currency-FX market is too big for even the Federal Reserve to manipulate for long.