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There is no shortage of recent news and events which have cast dark clouds on the future of the world.   A global economic crisis, rising tensions in the Middle East, and U.S. political uncertainty and rancor have all contributed to a broad crisis of confidence.  If the U.S. economy is not currently in a recession, it is certainly at the cusp of slipping into one.   On the positive side, despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. corporate profits are strong.   The 2012 election will produce either a reinvigorated Obama administration, or a new government in Washington DC.  Either way, many believe a new era with positive momentum will unfold after the balloting, with American corporations finally deploying cash from liquid balance sheets. 

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