Like falling dominoes, the drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shaking up world energy markets from Washington to Moscow to Beijing. Some predict what was once unthinkable: that the U.S. won't need to import natural gas in the near future, and that Russia could be the big loser.
The advantages of the United States, whose currency acts as the key reserve currency, are obvious. The orientation of the majority of countries on the US dollar allows the US to fully exercise international settlements with its own national currency at constant or even increased demand for the dollar as the world's most common means of payment and savings.
China officially rolled out its first aircraft carrier on Tuesday amid an escalating diplomatic spat with Japan and Southeast Asian countries over territorial claims to several islands.