Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Online Sales – Caveat Emptor.

Baltic Dry Index. 706 -15        Brent Crude 48.85

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

I strongly support the Bush Administration's clean diesel rules, which will reduce air pollution from diesel engines by more than 90 percent, and reduce the sulfur content of diesel fuel by more than 95 percent.

Steve Buyer

Who knew you could buy a diesel Porsche? Why would you want to? Turning up in a cloud of nasty smelling smoke, with a clattering  engine noise making all around think your Porsche is dying, rather defeats the snobbish appeal of owning a Porsche in the first place! Now thanks to the Yanks, a Porsche diesel has all the resale appeal of that other German car, the Trabant. Below, the Volkswagen scandal that keeps growing like Topsy.

Porsche, more Audi models pulled into VW emissions scandal

Mon Nov 2, 2015 5:18pm EST
Volkswagen used devices to cheat air pollution tests in diesel luxury vehicles, U.S. environmental regulators said on Monday, in a new blow to the automaker already reeling from similar allegations regarding millions of smaller diesel engines.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it is now looking at 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines used mostly in larger, more expensive models like the Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle in addition to engines on Jettas, Passats and other mass-market models whose test-deceiving software were initially targeted by the agency in mid-September.

Volkswagen in a response Monday took issue with the EPA's findings, saying that "no software has been installed" in its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines "to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner."

VW made similar denials for more than a year to U.S. regulators before admitting to cheating on the four-cylinder diesels.

A VW group source familiar with the EPA investigation on Monday said, "We want to know more from the regulators about how they came to this conclusion. We're not sure how they came up with their findings, and would like a better opportunity to review the data with the regulators."

The V6 diesel was designed by VW's Audi unit and widely used in premium models sold by the VW, Audi and Porsche brands in model years 2014 through 2016.

The move pulls Porsche and Audi deeper into the scandal that has already engulfed the corporate parent Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and its mass-market VW brand, shaving nearly 20 billion euros ($22 billion) off its market capitalization.

On the road, emissions of the smog-causing pollutant nitrogen oxide on the affected high-end vehicles could be nine times higher than allowed, the EPA said.

“The latest revelations raise the question, where does VW’s road of deceit end?," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton said in a statement, adding that the disclosure "prompts questions regarding the prevalence of the emissions cheating and how it went undetected for so long.”

---- Among the diesel models officials named on Monday as being in violation of U.S. laws are five Audi models, including the A6 sedan and the Q5 SUV. Also cited were the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne.

In a separate statement, Porsche said it was "surprised to learn this information."

1975 Trabant

This is the car that gave Communism a bad name. Powered by a two-stroke pollution generator that maxed out at an ear-splitting 18 hp, the Trabant was a hollow lie of a car constructed of recycled worthlessness (actually, the body was made of a fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood). A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany's answer to the VW Beetle — a "people's car," as if the people didn't have enough to worry about. Trabants smoked like an Iraqi oil fire, when they ran at all, and often lacked even the most basic of amenities, like brake lights or turn signals. But history has been kind to the Trabi. Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator. Once across the border, the none-too-sentimental Ostdeutschlanders immediately abandoned their cars. Ich bin Junk!

Up next buyer beware! At least as far as online sales go in China. Alibaba and the Forty Thieves isn’t just a Christmas pantomime

Over 40 percent of China's online sales counterfeit, shoddy: Xinhua

Mon Nov 2, 2015 7:57pm EST
More than 40 percent of goods sold online in China last year were either counterfeits or of bad quality, the official Xinhua news agency said, illustrating the extent of a problem that has bogged down the fast-growing online sector.

According to the report, which was delivered to China's top lawmakers on Monday, just under 59 percent of items sold online last year were "genuine or of good quality", Xinhua said.

China has been trying to shake off a notoriety for pirated and counterfeit goods, long a major headache for global brands targeting the Chinese market from iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to luxury retailer LVMH (LVMH.PA).

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) has been lobbying to stay off a U.S. blacklist for fakes after coming under renewed pressure this year over suspected counterfeits sold on its shopping platforms.

The report called for "accelerated legislation in e-commerce, improved supervision and clarification of consumers' rights and sellers' responsibilities". It added these were needed due to the rapid emergence of online sales, which grew 40 percent last year to 2.8 trillion yuan ($441.84 billion).

China wants to boost protection for consumers online, where there is still a lot of uncertainty about how consumers can claim compensation or hold online vendors to account. The report added customer complaints about online orders hit 77,800 last year, a steep jump of 356.6 percent against 2013.

Ali Baba & The Forty Thieves

by Simon Rayner Davis published February 2011
Suitable for All Groups Price: £6.00
This hilarious new version of the Arabian Nights tale is a traditional family pantomime full of slapstick, silly jokes and songs by Abba with specially rewritten lyrics.

Set in Old Baghdad, the plot has Ali Baba, a poor wood cutter, and his son Abba stumble across the cave of One-eyed Maid Earlier and her motley crew of Thieves in the Forest of Foreboding. Ali's brother Cassim finds out about Ali's secret and is discovered by the Thieves in their cave. When Cassim escapes from the cave the Thieves go in search of him to kill him and his family once and for all. It is left to Morgiana, Ali's servant girl, to save the day.

Players: 4 male 5 female 7 male or female

We end for the day with good news for all motorists everywhere, except thos driving a diesel Porsche or planning to attend next month’s climate junket in Paris. Oil’s not running out, according to BP. Another nail in the coffin for America’s deeply in debt frackers.

The Earth is not running out of oil and gas, BP says

Global reserves could almost double by 2050 despite booming consumption, oil major says

By Reuters 10:57PM GMT 02 Nov 2015
The world is no longer at risk of running out of oil or gas, with existing technology capable of unlocking so much that global reserves would almost double by 2050 despite booming consumption, BP has said.

When taking into account all accessible forms of energy, including nuclear, wind and solar, there are enough resources to meet 20 times what the world will need over that period, David Eyton, BP Group head of technology said.

"Energy resources are plentiful. Concerns over running out of oil and gas have disappeared," Mr Eyton said at the launch of BP's inaugural Technology Outlook.

Oil and gas companies have invested heavily in squeezing the maximum from existing reservoirs by using chemicals, super computers and robotics. The halving of oil prices since last June has further dampened their appetite to explore for new resources, with more than $200bn-worth of projects scrapped in recent months.

By applying these technologies, the global proved fossil fuel resources could increase from 2.9 trillion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to 4.8 trillion boe by 2050, nearly double the projected 2.5 trillion boe required to meet global demand until 2050, BP said.

With new exploration and technology, the resources could leap to a staggering 7.5 trillion boe, Mr Eyton said.

"We are probably nearing the point where potential from additional recovery from discovered reservoir exceeds the potential for exploration."

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

John Kenneth Galbraith

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 43.04 Moz, Eligible 119.77 Moz, Total 162.81 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Things are getting seriously Stalinist in pseudo capitalist China, and deadly too, apparently, before that part of the unfolding story was purged. Not too worry though, as friends and cronies of the Fedster’s, Wall Street’s Great Vampire Squids are safe. Too busy doing “God’s work” to have time to front run the Feds, in our gambling den, casinos of Mammon.

Chinese Manager of Highflying Funds Is Arrested in Insider Trading Case

HONG KONG — He has been called China’s Carl Icahn. But now, the billionaire owner of one of the country’s most successful investment firms has become the latest victim of China’s crackdown on corruption in the financial industry, arrested on charges of insider trading.

The arrest on Sunday of the fund manager, Xu Xiang, nicknamed Big Xu, followed what could easily have been an American story line. He was apprehended near the exit of the 22-mile Hangzhou Bay Bridge in eastern China, and the highway patrol closed the bridge’s entrances and exits for more than half an hour, according to the official Hangzhou Daily.

Mr. Xu’s Zexi Investment, based in Shanghai, was the subject of intense market speculation in September, when a post on social media accused the company of market manipulation. The online post suggested that Zexi had told China’s biggest brokerage, Citic Securities, to buy shares of an unprofitable Shanghai clothing retailer to lift its price for one of its politically connected investors. At the time, Zexi said the attacks were “fabrications from nowhere and malicious attacks.”

On Sunday, Xinhua issued a terse statement, saying that “Xu Xiang and others are suspected of insider trading and other offenses and are in criminal detention.” The statement provided no details, and there was no indication that there had been any substance to the market speculation.

Joanna Jiang, a public relations representative for Citic Securities, said in an email that the company “does not comment on market rumors.” Calls to Zexi Investment went unanswered. The police headquarters in Zhejiang Province, where the arrest took place, did not answer phone calls.

On Monday, the website of another official publication, China National Radio, published an article from the government’s Xinhua News Agency stating that an associate of Mr. Xu had been shot and killed by the police while attempting to escape. The report was quickly retracted with no explanation and was not available on Xinhua’s website.

Later in the day, Xinhua reported on on of its social media accounts that its name and the name of its reporter were used falsely to spread a “rumor” that the police had killed Mr. Xiang’s associate. Xinhua reported the incident to the police.

The arrest comes after Wang Qishan, the Communist Party official in charge of the crackdown on graft, announced last month that officials from his Central Commission for Discipline Inspection would begin investigations of financial companies.

Zexi funds have outperformed almost every other investment vehicle in China in recent years. Although the Shanghai composite index has risen less than 5 percent so far this year, the Zexi No. 1 Fund, which works with a subsidiary of the state-owned conglomerate China Resources, gained 323 percent through Friday and has risen 3,270 percent since its inception in 2010. The Zexi No. 3 Fund has gained 382 percent this year and 3,945 percent since 2010, according to figures on the company’s website, which were obtained before it was taken down late Monday morning.

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this new section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next?

Super sensitive magnetic sensor created

Date: October 30, 2015

Source: National University of Singapore

Summary: Researchers have developed a new hybrid magnetic sensor that is more sensitive than most commercially available sensors. This technological breakthrough hails opportunities for the development of smaller and cheaper sensors for various fields such as consumer electronics, information and communication technology, biotechnology and automotive.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a new hybrid magnetic sensor that is more sensitive than most commercially available sensors. This technological breakthrough hails opportunities for the development of smaller and cheaper sensors for various fields such as consumer electronics, information and communication technology, biotechnology and automotive.
The invention, led by Associate Professor Yang Hyunsoo of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS' Faculty of Engineering, was published in the journal Nature Communications in September 2015.
High performance magnetic sensors in demand
When an external magnetic field is applied to certain materials, a change in electrical resistance, also known as magnetoresistance, occurs as the electrons are deflected. The discovery of magnetoresistance paved the way for magnetic field sensors used in hard disk drives and other devices, revolutionising how data is stored and read.
In the search for an ideal magnetoresistance sensor, researchers have prized the properties of high sensitivity to low and high magnetic fields, tunability, and very small resistance variations due to temperature.
The new hybrid sensor developed by the team led by Assoc Prof Yang, who is also with the NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute (NUSNNI) and the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials (CA2DM) at NUS Faculty of Science, may finally meet these requirements. Other members of the interdisciplinary research team include Dr Kalon Gopinadhan of NUSNNI and CA2DM; Professor Thirumalai Venkatesan, Director of NUSNNI; Professor Andre K. Geim of the University of Manchester; and Professor Antonio H. Castro Neto of the NUS Department of Physics and Director of CA2DM.
More than 200 times more sensitive than commercially available sensors
The new sensor, made of graphene and boron nitride, comprises a few layers of carrier-moving channels, each of which can be controlled by the magnetic field. The researchers characterised the new sensor by testing it at various temperatures, angles of magnetic field, and with a different pairing material.
Dr Kalon said, "We started by trying to understand how graphene responds under the magnetic field. We found that a bilayer structure of graphene and boron nitride displays an extremely large response with magnetic fields. This combination can be utilised for magnetic field sensing applications."

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

DJIA: +31 Down. NASDAQ: +125 Down. SP500: +53 Down. 

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