Monday, 6 December 2010

QE Forever.

Baltic Dry Index. 2168 +35

LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000. Revised.

Set in Camelot, Arthur and Guinevere have a daughter. At the Blessing of Princess Aurora, Dr Bernanke arrives and sets an evil curse on the child, forcing the child into paying off the national debt….

Apologies to Richard Gauntlett.

Once on quantitative easing it’s impossible to get off it. Last night on American TV Dr. Bernanke seemed to confirm this. Stay long physical precious metals. QE forever spells the death of the fiat dollars as we know it. It ushers in the age of the Italian dollar, the Argentine dollar, and the age of the forever rolling fiat currency crisis.

“There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be, at a certain place you’ve got to say to the people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’”

“Proper” Charlie Munger.

Bernanke Says Recovery ‘Close to Border,’ May Need More Easing

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy is barely expanding at a sustainable pace and that it’s possible the Fed may expand bond purchases beyond the $600 billion announced last month to spur growth.

“We’re not very far from the level where the economy is not self-sustaining,” Bernanke said in an interview broadcast yesterday by CBS Corp.’s “60 Minutes” program. “It’s very close to the border. It takes about 2.5 percent growth just to keep unemployment stable and that’s about what we’re getting.”

Bernanke, in a rare appearance on a nationally broadcast news program, defended the Fed’s efforts to prop up a recovery so weak that only 39,000 jobs were created in November. The unemployment rate last month rose to 9.8 percent, the highest level since April, the Labor Department said on Dec. 3, three days after the Bernanke interview was taped. Republican lawmakers have said the Fed’s policy of “quantitative easing” may do little to help unemployment and may fuel inflation.

“At the rate we’re going, it could be four, five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate” of about 5 percent to 6 percent, Bernanke said. The purchase of more bonds than planned is “certainly possible,” said Bernanke, 56. “It depends on the efficacy of the program” and the outlook for inflation and the economy.

Bernanke said a return to a recession “doesn’t seem likely” because sectors of the economy such as housing can’t become much more depressed.

In European news, the European finance ministers are all travelling to Brussels once again for yet another meeting to save Club Med and Ireland and attempt to save the unloved Euro. If large EU meetings really solved anything by now Club Med and Ireland would be experiencing the boom of all booms. Instead all are just teetering on the edge of going boom. Chancellor Merkel is daring to think and say the unthinkable, and talking about pulling Germany out of the Eurozone. While unlikely, Holland, Austria and Luxembourg, possibly others would likely have to follow Germany into a new D. Mark zone. The rump Eurozone would then be a very strange sick fiat currency, even more unloved than it is now. Below, the great finance chiefs of Europe set out on the road to Brussels once again.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Mark Twain.

Euro Finance Chiefs Meet as Belgium Urges Bigger Fund

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- European finance ministers travel to Brussels today as Belgium argues that the region’s 750 billion- euro ($1 trillion) bailout fund could be increased to fight contagion from the sovereign crisis.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders told reporters on Dec. 4 that the fund might be expanded if ministers decide to introduce a larger permanent facility when the current temporary one expires, breaking ranks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy. “We need to increase the total amount of money for the permanent mechanism coming into 2013,” he said. “If it is possible to organize it earlier, why not?”

European officials will meet at 5 p.m. Contagion has spread from Greece and Ireland on concern the rescue fund may not be large enough to support nations including Spain if needed. While Sarkozy and Merkel last month rejected expanding the fund, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet on Dec. 3 indicated governments should consider such a move.

European Union leaders last month agreed on a mechanism to smooth bond restructurings after 2013 when the European Financial Stability Facility will be replaced with the so-called European Stability Mechanism. Investors speculate that debt- strapped nations won’t be able to cut deficits fast enough.

-----European officials in Brussels are set to approve Ireland’s 85 billion-euro bailout to help stabilize the country’s banking system and push down the budget deficit. Reynders said ministers will also discuss the outlook for Portugal, which is struggling to quash speculation it will also need external aid.

Of course while there they are supposed to beat up on Ireland once again, to make sure the Irish MPs vote tomorrow to take all the potatoes away from the hapless Irish people. The poor Irish are to sold by their politicians in to unrepayable debt slavery to bailout German, French and British banks. You really couldn’t make this sort of nonsense up. While in Brussels, they are also supposed to come up with a “fix” for Portugal and Spain who both insist that they don’t need one, and who both pretend that they’re in perfect financial health. If the Irish politicians wise up, and don’t vote through debt slavery tomorrow, Italy and France will join Portugal and Spain in looking very sick while proclaiming loudly of their excellent state of health. At that point on Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel might be meeting her advisors to actually try putting her new D.Mark zone in effect. Stay long gold and silver, this is no time to be in anything other than PMs and cash.

Ireland Relies on ‘Sugar Daddy’ for Budget Support: Euro Credit

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Among his supporters in the southwest of Ireland, lawmaker Jackie Healy-Rae is known as the “Sugar Daddy” for championing his region. Now Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen may depend on his former political ally to pass next year’s budget and keep international patrons sweet.

The government will lay out details tomorrow of 6 billion euros ($7.9 billion) of spending cuts and tax increases. Cowen’s Fianna Fail party has a minority of seats in parliament and may need the backing of independents such as Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry. They have yet to declare support for the budget.

The 67 billion-euro aid package Ireland sought from the European Union and International Monetary Fund depends on the passing of the budget. A collapse of the Irish rescue accord might reignite the euro region’s sovereign debt crisis and the contagion that swept across Europe last week, pushing the euro down to a 10-week low against the dollar and pummeling Italian, Belgian and Spanish government bonds.

“It is a real possibility that Ireland will not pass the proposed budget,” Mark Grant, managing director at Southwest Securities Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said in a Nov. 30 e-mail. “Then another tailspin down for the euro and for European bank and sovereign debt is in the gun sights.”

Lowry and Healy-Rae to decide budget stance today

DEAGLÁN de BRÉADÚN, Political Correspondent Monday, December 6, 2010

INDEPENDENT TDs Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae are to announce their voting intentions today on one of the toughest and most critical budgets for many years.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin South-East Lucinda Creighton said she would consider abstaining on the budget if Mr Lowry and Mr Healy-Rae failed to support it. She said her party had a similar responsibility.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan last night said the budget, to be announced by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan tomorrow, would include a reduction in politicians’ pay and pensions.

“All these pensions and salaries will be reduced accordingly on the basis that, although people have forgotten that we did take massive reductions in ministerial pay, as did the Taoiseach last year, all politicians took reductions in their salaries and their expenses on the basis that others had to do with less and they would have to do with less,” she said on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics.

The Government currently has a majority of two in the Dáil, including Mr Lowry and Mr Healy-Rae.

If the two Independents abstain on the vote it could be tied. If they vote against it the budget will face defeat unless some Opposition TDs abstain or vote for it.

Mr Lowry, who represents Tipperary North, said he and his colleague from Kerry South would make a clear-cut decision.

“We will not abstain, we will vote either for or against, and both will be doing the same. The issues are too serious for a weak response such as abstention,” he said.

Richard Wittington, an honest dreamer, travels to London “where the streets are paved with gold”. Fairy Bow Bells realises his destiny, and supplying him with an introduction to leading derivatives gambler, Timmy Geithner….

At the Comex silver depositories Friday, final figures were: Registered 48.14 Moz, Eligible 58.98 Moz, Total 107.12 Moz.


Crooks and Scoundrels Corner.

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

No crooks or scoundrels today, just a development in supercapacitors that I think will go on to become a game changer in the world of e-mobility, specifically the world of pure electric vehicles aka Battery Electric Vehicles, BEV. The end goal of our switch to renewable energy and to electric vehicles has to be a switch to BEV, hybrid electric vehicles are only a half way step. Why drag around two engines, power sources and have two different drive trains. If fast charging and range limitations can be overcome, the simplicity of BEV is the way to go. Below, a development with a graphene supercapacitor that I think just brought the age of the BEV a whole lot closer.

Graphene-based supercapacitor offers energy density comparable to NiMH battery, but with rapid charge and discharge

26 November 2010

Researchers from Nanotek Instruments and Angstron Materials have developed a graphene-based supercapacitor that exhibits a specific energy density of 85.6 Wh/kg at room temperature and 136 Wh/kg at 80 °C (all based on the total electrode weight), measured at a current density of 1 A/g. These values are comparable to those of NiMH batteries, the researchers note, but the new supercapacitor offers the ability to be charged or discharged within seconds or minutes. A paper on their work was published online in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

These are the highest energy density values ever reported with carbon electrodes without the pseudocapacitance contributions from a conducting polymer or metal oxide, the authors said, further stating that “We believe that this is truly a breakthrough in energy technology.”

The group, led by Bor Jang of Nanotek Instruments, reported in 2006 that graphene can be used as a supercapacitor electrode material. Despite a number of efforts to improve the specific capacitance of graphene-based electrodes, however, results fell sort of the theoretical capacitance of 550 F/g due to the high tendency for graphene sheets to re-stack together.

The team determined that the best strategy to achieve a high capacitance in such graphene-based electrodes is to use curved graphene sheets rather than flat sheets to prevent the sheets from sticking to one another face-to-face. The curved morphology enables the formation of mesopores accessible to and wettable by environmentally benign ionic liquids capable of operating at a voltage >4 V.

With the total electrode weight of a supercapacitor system being typically one-fourth to one-half of the total system weight, the system-level specific energy of graphene-based supercapacitors can exceed 21.4-42.8 Wh/kg, which is comparable to that of a modern nickel metal hydride battery used in a hybrid vehicle. This breakthrough energy storage device is made possible by the high intrinsic capacitance and the exceptionally high specific surface area that can be readily accessed and wetted by an ionic liquid electrolyte capable of operating at a high voltage.

Regular readers of the LIR know that I am also a contributing editor at the Rare Metal Blog. I covered Graphene and supercapacitors for them back in early October. Click on the link below for more on Graphene.

Giant Vampire Squid is causing havoc. He’s eating all the livestock and demanding extortionate bailouts via his henchman the horrible Timmy from the G-20. Bankrupt Old King Cole has decided to marry off his daughter to a rich Prince from a Chinese land far away….

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished November:

DJIA: +178 Down. NASDAQ: +247 Down. SP500: +167 Down.

The bull market (or bear market rally) that commenced on Nasdaq on 30/4/09 at 1717 has ended. (30/5/09 SP 500 at 919, 30/5/09 DJIA 8500.) While the indicators can flip flop at market turns, this action is rare on the slow monthly indicators. November is the sixth down month in a row.

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