Tuesday 31 March 2015

The Oil Glut To Enlarge?

Baltic Dry Index. 599 +03     Brent Crude 55.86

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

"In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension."

J. K. Galbraith.

If all goes well today, Iran will be shortly re-entering the crude oil market as a major seller. But will all go well today? The market appears to think not. Brent crude remains trading in the mid-50s. But if a US – Iran nuclear deal works out today, Iran could be selling off its stored oil as early as June, probably sooner.

We open on oil with the latest on the oil glut in America. With or without Iran, America’s fracking bust just keeps getting worse. Will the Saudis new war in Yemen come to the rescue of oil prices?

These Charts Show Clearly Why Oil Prices Crashed

In 2014 U.S. oil expanded the most since at least 1900
5:45 PM BST  March 30, 2015
The geopolitics of oil are complicated, but last year's oil crash isn't. There's one reason above all others for the drop in prices: The U.S. oil boom. Last year was the biggest spike in U.S. oil production since at least 1900, according to a new analysis by the Energy Department.

U.S. production jumped by 1.2 million barrels per day in 2014, to 8.7 million barrels per day. That was the biggest expansion in U.S. crude since record-keeping began in 1900 (which makes it a pretty good bet for the biggest expansion ever). Here's a chart going back to 1960, published today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

----The world’s oil supply is outpacing demand in the most uncomfortable way for the oil industry. Some blame OPEC, or Saudi Arabia specifically, for not slowing production. But as the EIA's analysis shows, it’s really America’s relentless oil boom that’s flooded this market.

Most of last year's surge came from shale-oil production in North Dakota, Texas and New Mexico. Advances in horizontal drilling—specifically, fracking—have made more oil available, at a faster rate, than before. 

Oil extends losses as deadline for Iran nuclear deal looms

SINGAPORE | Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:52pm EDT
(Reuters) - Oil futures extended losses on Tuesday, as Iran and six world powers ramped up the pace of negotiations to reach a preliminary deal that could ease sanctions and allow more Iranian crude onto world markets.

With a deadline less than 24 hours away, United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China were trying to break an impasse in negotiations aimed at stopping Iran from having the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb, in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

Officials said talks on a framework accord, which is intended as a prelude to a comprehensive agreement by the end of June, could yet fall apart over disagreements on enrichment research and the pace of lifting sanctions.

"Iran has built up significant oil inventories and could immediately increase exports if sanctions are lifted," analysts at ANZ said in a note.

Shipping sources say Iran is storing at least 30 million barrels of oil on its fleet of supertankers, as Western sanctions keep a lid on sales.

---- Iran could increase oil production by some 500,000 barrel a per day (bpd) in three to six months if sanctions are removed, and by an additional 700,000 bpd within another year, according to estimates by Facts Global Energy.

"Iran will be very reluctant to accept a lower quota given that it has given up so much production due to sanctions," the consultancy said in a note.

Saudi oil infrastructure at risk as Mid-East conflagration spreads

The war against Yemen further entrenches al-Qaeda in the country and threatens to ignite a sectarian backlash within Saud Arabia itself

Saudi Arabia’s escalating intervention in Yemen is a high-stakes gamble that risks back-firing in a series of complex ways, ultimately endangering Saudi oil infrastructure and the security of global energy supply.

Military analysts say there is little chance that air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni countries will subjugate the Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen. It may require a full-blown invasion by land forces to secure control. Large concentrations of Saudi armour and artillery are already massing near the border, though this may simply be a negotiating ploy.

The longer the conflict goes on, the greater the risks that it will stir up internal hatred in a country that has traditionally been relatively free of sectarian violence. Adam Baron, from the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the inflammatory comments about the Sunni-Shia struggle by politicians across the region are becoming “self-fulfilling prophecies”.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) – thought to be the most lethal of the jihadi franchises, and a redoubt for Saudi jihadis – already controls a swathe of central Yemen and is the chief beneficiary of the power vacuum.

AQAP can plan terrorist strikes against Saudi targets from a deepening strategic hinterland with increasing impunity. All US military advisers have been withdrawn from Yemen, and much of the country’s counter-terror apparatus is disintegrating. It is becoming harder to harry al-Qaeda cells or carry out drone strikes with precision.

The great unknown is whether a protracted Saudi war against Shia forces in Yemen – and possibly a “Vietnam-style” quagmire – might tug at the delicate political fabric within Saudi Arabia itself. The kingdom’s giant Ghawar oil field lies in the Eastern Province, home to an aggrieved Shia minority.

“If the Saudis continue this war – and if they keep killing civilians – this is going to create internal instability in Saudi Arabia itself,” said Ali al-Ahmed, from the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington.

Large numbers of Saudi youth are disaffected. An estimated 6,000 have been recruited by al-Qaeda and a further 3,000 have fought for ISIS in Syria and Iraq. While the Saudis have a formidable security apparatus, with a 30,000-strong force guarding the oil infrastructure, the risk of infiltration is high even among clans linked to the royal family.

In Asian news, Taiwan is to join the AIIB. But will China let them in? That leaves only Japan sticking to Uncle Scam’s line, probably because they need Uncle Scam’s Navy in their dispute over the Diaoyu Islands.

Taiwan to apply to join China-backed AIIB investment bank

Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:47am EDT
(Reuters) - Taiwan will submit an application to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Tuesday, despite historical animosity and a lack of formal diplomatic relations between the island and China.

In a statement released late on Monday, Taiwan presidential office spokesman Charles Chen said joining the AIIB will help Taiwan in its efforts at regional economic integration and raise the possibility of joining other multinational bodies.

It was not immediately known whether Beijing would accept Taiwan's application to join the AIIB. The bank is seen as a significant setback to U.S. efforts to extend its influence in the Asia-Pacific region and balance China's growing financial clout and assertiveness.

Most countries, including the United States, do not recognize Taiwan due to pressure from China. Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

We close for today, “dress up stocks for the end of quarter day,” (though they seem to have started yesterday,)  with more on the Greek “Russian Roulette” battle. Germany and Greece play on round after round. But how long before someone’s luck runs out?

Greek PM says wants 'honest compromise' but not at any cost

ATHENS |  Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:25pm EDT
(Reuters) - Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday appealed for an "honest compromise" with lenders but warned Greece would not agree to an "unconditional" one, after its biggest creditor demanded it do more to show commitment to reform.

With its cash coffers emptying rapidly, Athens is running out of time to convince euro zone and IMF lenders that it will implement reforms and is worthy of fresh aid. Athens could run out of cash by April 20, a source has previously said.

"It is true that we are seeking an honest compromise with our lenders but don't expect an unconditional agreement from us," Tsipras told parliament at a special session on the status of talks with lenders.

The radical leftist premier gave away litle on progress made in talks, but, in a boost for the government, said a new law making it easier to repay tax arrears had already resulted in 100 million euros flowing into state coffers in a week.

---- "Whatever you do, do it fast," said Samaras, who lost the January national election to Tsipras, accusing the 40-year-old leader of facing "deadlocked talks and panic".

The comments came after Greece's biggest creditor Germany said the euro zone would give Athens no further aid until it has a more detailed list of reforms and some are enacted into law, adding to scepticism over plans presented last week.

“It is difficult not to marvel at the imagination which was implicit in this gargantuan insanity. If there must be madness something may be said for having it on a heroic scale."

J. K. Galbraith. The Great Crash: 1929.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 70.58 Moz, Eligible 106.50 Moz, Total 177.08 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today we celebrate the anniversary of man’s first powered flight. Richard Pearse, Waitohi, New Zealand, March 31, 1902. Yes that’s right a Kiwi beat the Wright brothers by almost two years, but Wilbur and Orville generally get the credit on December 17, 1903.

Man's First Powered Flight

Popular history has it that the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk [in the United States] were the first to fly [a heavier-than-air craft], but this is not true! The first flight was by a twenty-five year old New Zealander, Richard Pearse on March 31, 1902. Pearse, (1877 - 1953), is not generally known for this wonderful feat as [until recently?] there has been very little publicity about it. In fact the first formal mention of his achievement was some seven years later in the newspapers of 1909.

Pearse was an enthusiast, and perhaps a turn of the century 'mad scientist' inventor. Certainly his other creations - mostly farm machinery - were far from the mainstream and thus [ also ] didn't get much credit. But he did get a few things right on his flying machine that were amazingly advanced for the time.

Accounts by witnesses of the flight vary, from "50 to 400 yards in length", but it seems most likely that it was around 350 yards long, and ending prematurely when the flying machine landed in a large hedge - 4 metres off the ground ! The aircraft was the first to use proper ailerons, instead of the inferior wing warping system that the Wright's used. 

The flying machine also had a modern tricycle type landing gear, thus negating the need for ramps, slides, or skids. Any suitable road would do. The flying machine was aerodynamically crude, for sure, but did the job on the day, and in fact for months afterwards.

By the end of July 1903, Pearse had achieved flights of around one kilometre in length, and perhaps even more amazingly, some of them included turns ! An absolutely fantastic achievement for the time. Pearce also built the engine, which was estimated at about 15 - 22hp, but hampered by a much cruder propeller than the Wright's machine.

The Flights

Mch 31, 1902 - First powered flight. Estimated distance around 350 yards. Similar to the first Wright Brothers flight, ie, in a straight line, and barely controlled.

Mch  ? 1903 - After spending a year working on the engine, and tending to his farm, Pearce made another flight, this time with a distance of only about 150 yards.

May  2, 1903 - Distance unknown, but as usual the aircraft ended up stuck in a gorse hedge 15' off the ground!

May 11, 1903 - This, my opinion, [ie. the opinion of Bill Sherwood] was man's first real flight. Pearse took off along the side of the Opihi River, turned left to fly over the 30' tall river bank, then turned right to fly parallel to the middle of the river. After flying nearly 1,000 yards, his engine began to overheat and lost power, thus forcing a landing way down the dry-ish riverbed. One of the locals, Arthur Tozer, was crossing the river at the time and was rather surprised to have Pearse fly right over his head!

Richard Pearse

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: +120 Down. NASDAQ: +213 Down. SP500: +169 Down.  

Monday 30 March 2015

Another Banking Crisis.

Baltic Dry Index. 596 -02     Brent Crude 55.98

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

A large Bank is exactly the place where a vain and shallow person in authority, if he be a man of gravity and method, as such men often are, may do infinite evil in no long time, and before he is detected. If he is lucky enough to begin at a time of expansion in trade, he is nearly sure not to be found out till the time of contraction has arrived, and then very large figures will be required to reckon the evil he has done.

Walter Bagehot. Lombard Street. 1873

The big news from last week  was the Fed signalling that the next move in interest rates is higher. They tried their hardest to ring a bell that the era of ZIRP and NIRP is about to end. More on this later in the week.  The bond market said “Yeah right,” and went on its merry way.  Stock traders though, got nervous. Few at present think that the Fed is about to later this year pull the trigger on Wall Street’s Great Vampire Squids. For now the prevailing view is that Wall Street owns the Fedsters Lock, stock and barrel.

We open today with yet another growing banking scandal in Europe. Banksters there can resist anything but temptation. Below, the latest news in banking.

Andorra on the brink of Europe's next banking crisis

Tiny principality has been rocked by allegations of money laundering in its oversized banking sector

Andorra, the tiny Catalan principality nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, tends to conjure up images of scenic ski resorts, medieval churches and duty-free shopping.

The country has for many years enjoyed the benefits of European borders without the restrictions of EU membership, allowing light-touch regulation that has brought in tourism and wealthy expats from its bordering countries.

However, in the last three weeks, the state has been gripped by a banking crisis that threatens to take it to the brink. Bankers have been thrown in jail, savers’ deposits have been restricted, and the country’s government is scrambling to convince powerful regulators thousands of miles away that the country is not a haven for tax evasion.

On Tuesday March 10, the US Treasury Department’s financial crime body, FinCEN, accused Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), the country’s fourth-largest bank, of money-laundering. The authority said “corrupt high–level managers and weak anti–money-laundering controls have made BPA an easy vehicle for third–party money-launderers”.

Three senior managers at the bank accepted bribes to help criminals in Russia, Venezuela and China, to funnel money through the Andorran system, according to FinCEN.

The next day, the state took charge of BPA, dismissing three directors. On the Friday, the bank’s chief executive, Joan Pau Miquel, was arrested and detained. Mr Miquel remains in a jail cell in La Comella, the country’s only prison, with a capacity of 145.

At BPA, the Andorran authorities have installed new management. After international banks cut off links, withdrawals were capped at €2,500 (£1,830) a week, a limit many people are maxing out.

Banco Madrid, the Spanish subsidiary of BPA acquired as part of an expansion spree in recent years, filed for administration on Wednesday.

----The state’s banks have assets under management 17 times bigger than the economy, and the sector accounts for a fifth of GDP – almost all of the rest is from tourism.

Were its banks to get into trouble, Andorra, which is not a member of the eurozone but uses the single currency on an informal basis, would have no way of bailing them out.

In short, the country faces a catastrophe if its banks fall apart. The crisis is a classic example of how countries seeking to welcome financial services by promising a hands-off approach to regulation, can become dangerously vulnerable to them.

Andorra’s exposures to its banks provoke echoes of Iceland and Cyprus – both of which suffered painful economic crises when their lenders fell into trouble. But unlike Cyprus, which received a last-minute bail-out, Andorra has no central bank to act as a lender of last resort: if its banks go under, it goes under.

The crisis has now led Standard & Poor’s, one of the three major ratings agencies, to downgrade the value of the principality’s sovereign debt.

“The risk profile of Andorra’s financial sector, which is large relative to the size of the domestic economy, has increased beyond our expectations,” S&P said two weeks ago.

“The absence of a central bank or a lender of last resort in the Andorran financial system exacerbates the risks, in our opinion.” S&P said that the government, which runs on a budget of around €400m a year, would have almost no chance of supporting BPA, with assets of more than €3bn.

BPA may be put up for sale or into administration if it cannot recover. The real fear now is that the rest of the country’s banks have similar problems. Fitch put three Andorran banks – Credit Andorra, Andbank and MoraBanc – on negative watch last week, indicating it was likely to downgrade their debt.

US isolated as Australia and Russia join China's development bank

Countries add to list of names signing up after Washington rebuked UK earlier this month

America's opposition to China’s development bank appeared increasingly isolated on Sunday after Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia all said they plan to join.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, institutions founded with American help, has now signed up many of America’s Western allies.

The UK angered Washington when it became the first major western country to join the Chinese-led bank, but a string of nations have since put their name to the $50bn organisation.

On Sunday, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said the country, a key US ally, is signing a memorandum of understanding to join the AIIB to “allow Australia to participate as a prospective founding member”.

Meanwhile, China’s ministry of finance said Denmark had written to “announce its intention to apply to be a founding member”. It follows Russia and Netherlands saying on Saturday that they plan to join, while Brazil, South Korea, France, Germany and Italy have all expressed their interest.

Elsewhere, more on the downside of the disaster of unorthodox financial policy.

The Essence Of QE: Taxing Savers, Subsidizing Debtors, Wrecking Markets

by Newsmax • 
Quantitative easing (QE) — the monetary elixir administered in huge doses by the Federal Reserve and now copied by central banks the world over — is going to lower living standards for generations to come, according to Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners.

Improved economic growth in the U.S. and elsewhere amounts to a “monetary illusion,” he wrote in an article for the Financial Times.

“With politicians lacking the willingness or ability to implement labor and tax reforms, monetary policy has perversely morphed into a new orthodoxy where even central bankers admittedly view it as their job to use their balance sheets as a tool to implement fiscal policy,” he noted.

Minerd called attention to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch research note that projected global economic growth will fall in 2015 for the first time since 2009, the peak of the financial crisis.

In his view, the kinds of risk appropriate for a central bank include maintaining a nation’s banking system and defense of the nation’s currency. However, critics say central banks have now also usurped broader fiscal policy — long the domain of elected officials — as well.

“The depressed returns available on fixed-income securities, largely as a result of QE, are acting as a tax on investors, including individual savers, pension funds and insurance companies,” Minerd argued.

“Essentially, monetary authorities around the globe are levying a tax on investors and providing a subsidy to borrowers.”

According to Minerd, the consequence of surrendering fiscal policy to non-elected officials at the Fed and other central banks is still not fully understood by many.

While QE programs may prop up financial markets, interest rates and currencies for the moment, in the long run “pricing distortions created by the current global regimes of QE will lead to a suboptimal allocation of capital and investment, which will result in lower output and lower standards of living over time,” he predicted.

He noted U.S. stock prices are setting record high, even as real median household incomes are 9 percent beneath their 1999 highs. And he cited Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s conclusion that QE and currency depreciations are not leading to higher global output.

We close for the day with graphene news. Our new Carbon Age that will eventually get the world out of the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money gets an incremental step closer. Sadly we are still 5 to 10 years away.

Lightbulb moment as first mass-market graphene product goes live

Andrew Bounds, Enterprise Editor March 27, 2015 3:26 pm
The first mass market product made with the “miracle material” graphene is about to go on sale: a lightbulb.

The invention is a dimmable LED lightbulb that can cut energy costs by at least 10 per cent and last for several years. Its developers at Manchester University say it is within months of going on sale.

The bulb copies the classic design of the inventor Thomas Edison, but its filament has a coating of graphene, an atom-thick layer of carbon that is stronger than steel and conducts heat and electricity efficiently.

Current dimmable LED bulbs cost £15 or more, but the price of the new bulb will be lower.

Its maker, Graphene Lighting, is a spin-off company from Manchester University and an unnamed commercial partner. Prof Colin Bailey, a director, said: “People are amazed at just how quickly we have managed to take it to market. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get a new discovery out there.”

Graphene was first isolated at the university in 2004. Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov won the Nobel Prize for their work.

Prof Bailey said the business, backed by Canadian investors after a fundraising by Industrial Alliance, a financial group in Quebec, was proof that the UK could make money from graphene. Graphene Lighting was likely to be floated on the Canadian stock market, he added.

"Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium."

Murray N. Rothbard

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 70.57 Moz, Eligible 105.90 Moz, Total 176.47 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

No Crooks today as we enter Holy Week. Today an update on market closures over Easter. Note there will be no LIR update on April 3rd, Good Friday. There will be an update on Monday April 6th.

When do markets close for Good Friday?

Published: Mar 27, 2015 5:44 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)—Most major markets in Europe and the U.S. will be closed on Good Friday, which falls on April 3, with exchanges in the U.K. and on the Continent set to remain closed on Easter Monday as well. Here’s a guide to what’s happening:

All major U.S. stock exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, will be closed on Good Friday. Trade reopens on Monday, April 6.

But what about the jobs report? Good Friday isn’t a federal holiday. And since April 6 is the first Friday of the month, that means the March jobs report will be released as scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. See: What happens when jobs report is released on Good Friday.

There will still be an immediate market reaction, since electronic trading of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s equity index futures, and its interest-rate and forex futures, will be up and running. But you better get your orders in quickly, as electronic trade closes early at 9:15 a.m. for stock-index futures, while interest-rate and forex product futures trading closes at 11:15 a.m. Eastern.

Sifma, the securities industry trade group, has recommended a noon Eastern close for U.S. bond markets on Good Friday.

Major U.S. commodity markets will be closed on Good Friday.

Elsewhere, the Toronto Stock Exchange will also be closed.

All Western European exchanges, including those in London, Paris and Frankfurt, are closed Good Friday and April 6, the Monday after Easter.

Several Asian and Pacific region exchanges will also be closed. Singapore is closed Good Friday, while Hong Kong is scheduled to be shut Good Friday, Easter Monday (which is the day following the Ching Ming Festival), and on Tuesday, April 7. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will be closed on Good Friday and April 6.


This date in science: Biggest earthquake in North America

What’s now known as the Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska caused extensive property damage and natural changes, but few deaths.

March 27, 1964. On this date, at 5:36 p.m. local time, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska, causing extensive initial damage and a subsequent tsunami. It had been a relatively warm day in Anchorage – Alaska’s largest city, about 75 miles (120 km) from the quake’s epicenter – and schools had been closed for Good Friday, along with many offices. In Anchorage, dozens of blocks of buildings were leveled or heavily damaged. The city of Valdez, closest to the epicenter, was completely destroyed. The quake came to be known as the Good Friday Earthquake. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), it was the biggest earthquake in North America – and second-biggest earthquake in the world as a whole – since modern seismometers came into general use around 1900.

The earthquake shook the land for nearly four minutes and caused many natural changes. The Latouche Island area, for example, moved to the southeast by nearly 60 feet (nearly 20 meters), according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC). USGS now estimates the March 27, 1964 earthquake and tsunami caused $311 million in damages across the state of Alaska.

"We are in a world of irredeemable paper money - a state of affairs unprecedented in history."

John Exter

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: +120 Down. NASDAQ: +213 Down. SP500: +169 Down.  

Saturday 28 March 2015

Weekend Update – El Nino 2015?

Baltic Dry Index. 596 -02     Brent Crude 56.41

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

This weekend we ask, is this the start of El Nino 2015-2016?

Atacama desert deluge forces Antofagasta to shut three mines

Andrew NeilMarch 27 2015, 8:11am
Torrential rains and flooding in a desert region in northern Chile have forced copper producer Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) to temporarily shut down three of its mines.

Thunderstorms and flash floods moved into the usually bone-dry Atacama desert earlier this week, causing the Copiapo River to overflow its banks.

Seven people have already lost their lives and fears of mudslides have prompted authorities to evacuate thousands from their homes, many of which are mining communities situated in narrow valleys that cross the desert.

The desert deluge has been described as the worst rain disaster to fall on the north of the country in 80 years and the army has been placed in charge of public order in the region.

The area, home to giant mines, is famed for being one of the driest places on earth, with the mining town of Calama receiving an average 6 millimeters (0.2 inch) of rain a year.

Antofagasta’s Centinela, Antucoya and Michilla mines are located in the Atacama desert, and today, the FTSE 100 firm said operations in each have been suspended.

“The impact of the rain on the operations is currently being assessed and normal operations are expected to resume as soon as the situation improves,” the firm said in a statement.

El Niño

El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (commonly called ENSO) and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the International Date Line and 120°W), including off the Pacific coast of South America. El Niño Southern Oscillation refers to the cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific. The cool phase of ENSO is called "La Niña" with SST in the eastern Pacific below average and air pressures high in the eastern and low in western Pacific. The ENSO cycle, both El Niño and La Niña, causes global changes of both temperatures and rainfall.[2][3] Mechanisms that cause the oscillation remain under study.

Developing countries dependent upon agriculture and fishing, particularly those bordering the Pacific Ocean, are the most affected. In Spanish, the capitalized term "El Niño" refers to the Christ child, Jesus (literal translation "The (male) Child").

----Because El Niño's warm pool feeds thunderstorms above, it creates increased rainfall across the east-central and eastern Pacific Ocean, including several portions of the South American west coast.
The effects of El Niño in South America are direct and stronger than in North America. An El Niño is associated with warm and very wet weather months in April–October along the coasts of northern Peru and Ecuador, causing major flooding whenever the event is strong or extreme.[11] The effects during the months of February, March, and April may become critical. Along the west coast of South America, El Niño reduces the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water that sustains large fish populations, which in turn sustain abundant sea birds, whose droppings support the fertilizer industry. The reduction in upwelling leads to fish kills off the shore of Peru.[8]

The local fishing industry along the affected coastline can suffer during long-lasting El Niño events.
The world's largest fishery collapsed due to overfishing during the 1972 El Niño Peruvian anchoveta reduction.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 70.57 Moz, Eligible 105.90 Moz, Total 176.47 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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


The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: +120 Down. NASDAQ: +213 Down. SP500: +169 Down.