Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Rising Global Chaos.

Baltic Dry Index. 622 -06        Brent Crude 47.25

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

Today we open with a fast slowing China. On 11/11 “sticks day” aka singles day, it’s the Chinese equivalent of America’s “black Friday,” the great shopping day after Thanksgiving. Of course all such days are merely retail marketing days designed to separate the gullible from their money, but empty head media people like them as it fits right in with their dumbed down agenda. Below, singles day ot not, China continues to slow.

China Factory Output, Investment Sluggish as Old Economy Slows

November 11, 2015 — 5:34 AM GMT
China’s industrial production and investment slowed further in October, showing the government’s pro-growth measures are yet to revive the nation’s old economic engines. Retail sales defied the weakness, rising more than economists forecast.

Industrial output rose 5.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the National Statistics Bureau said Wednesday, below the 5.8 percent median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and compared with September’s 5.7 percent. Fixed-asset investment increased 10.2 percent in the first 10 months, while retail sales climbed 11 percent in October.

China’s leaders are seeking to transition from an investment-driven, manufacturing-dominated economy to a more consumption and services-led one in the next five years while maintaining growth of at least 6.5 percent a year. With the real estate sector stalling, manufacturing deteriorating, and inflation muted, policy makers are under pressure to step up stimulus as new growth drivers aren’t picking up the slack quickly enough.

The better-than-expected economic growth figure last quarter "did not alleviate downside risks facing the economy," Liu Li-Gang, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in a note ahead of the data. Liu wrote that the central bank "will remain accommodative and keep market interest rates steadily low."

The retail sales result compared with a median economist projection of 10.9 percent. Wednesday is an annual e-commerce shopping bonanza known as Singles’ Day in China.
Transactions on this year’s event passed 57.1 billion yuan ($9 billion) before midday, eclipsing the 2014 mark with another 12 hours still to go.

China’s consumer inflation waned in October while factory-gate deflation extended a record streak of negative readings, data Tuesday showed. That followed a tepid trade report suggesting the world’s second-biggest economy isn’t likely to get a near-term boost from global demand as overseas shipments dropped 6.9 percent in October in dollar terms from a year earlier.

Next the EUSSR, where events are getting quite interesting. Portugal’s had enough of austerity. Britain is getting closer to Brexit. Spain is getting closer to splitting. France is getting closer to Frexit. And Germany, as usual, is busy annoying all its neighbours and getting closer to becoming a Khanistan with dirty killer diesels . Euros anyone?

Portuguese Government Falls After Lawmakers Block Coelho's Plan

November 10, 2015 — 5:22 PM GMT
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho was forced from power less than six weeks after winning Portugal’s general election as a loose alliance of opposition parties voted down his program for governing.

The Socialists, the Left Bloc, Communists and Greens formed a parliamentary majority to push through a motion rejecting Coelho’s plans by 123 votes to 107 in the 230-seat parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, the assembly’s president, said Tuesday.

Coelho, a Social Democrat, struggled to form an administration since his coalition lost its majority in last month’s election after steering Portugal through a financial rescue. Socialist leader Antonio Costa, who has 86 lawmakers to the Coelho coalition’s 107, says he can form a minority government.

The Socialists want to bolster family incomes and reverse state salary cuts faster than Coelho’s government had proposed.

Under the Portuguese constitution, it’s up to President Anibal Cavaco Silva to decide whether to name Costa as prime minister, seek an alternative candidate, or invite Coelho to continue as a caretaker until new elections can be held after April.

UBS chairman: Brexit will not undermine the City of London

Britain’s financial centre will still have access to Europe if the UK leaves the EU, according to Axel Weber

Tim Wallace and agencies 12:10PM GMT 10 Nov 2015
Britain will get a “very favourable deal” if the country leaves the EU, ensuring that the City of London is not undermined as a major financial centre, according to UBS’ chairman Axel Weber.

The former head of Germany’s central bank is one of the heavyweights of the financial and regulatory world, and his words will carry clout in the debate over Britain’s future in the EU.

Rival business groups are arguing over the relative merits of leaving or remaining in the EU, but the City of London is widely seen as pro-EU because it fears losing access to European markets should Britain quit the Union - a fear Mr Weber believes is misplaced.

"It won't undermine the UK as a financial centre,” he told a Wall Street Journal event in London.

“But it would be more challenging to get market access.”

However, the chairman of the Swiss banking giant said he does expect the UK to be able to negotiate a good deal if the country leaves the EU, giving financial services firms good access to EU markets.

"If the UK were to leave the EU I think there would be two or three years of heightened uncertainty but pretty much the same rights," Mr Weber said.

"The UK would get a very favourable deal with the EU to maintain a large part of market access to the EU.”
UBS is building a major new office in the City, a move which has been seen as a sign of its intent to keep substantial operations in the UK regardless of whether or not British voters choose to stay in the EU in the upcoming referendum.

Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain

9 November 2015
The parliament of the Spanish region of Catalonia has adopted a resolution which supports independence from Spain.

The declaration of secession is the first step towards independence, says the Catalan separatist alliance which tabled the motion.

It says it believes it will be achieved within 18 months.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would file an appeal with the constitutional court to try to stop the move.

He told reporters that, after an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he would "sign a recourse [to the Constitutional Court] of unconstitutionality and will ask for... the immediate suspension of this initiative and all its possible effects".

Mr Rajoy had previously said he would take legal action against the Catalan parliament if it was to approve a secession plan.

Catalan nationalist parties won a majority of seats in the parliament in September and the motion approved on Monday is seen as the first step towards the creation of an independent state, says the BBC's Tom Burridge in Madrid.

The two-page document states that because the pro-independence parties won the elections, while campaigning purely on the issue of independence, the process of creating a new Catalan state has now begun.

Le Pen Draws Inspiration From Cameron on Euro Exit Referendum

November 10, 2015 — 12:01 AM GMT
Marine Le Pen has a new role model: David Cameron.
The head of France’s far-right National Front party wants to take a leaf out of the U.K. leader’s playbook and use the threat of an exit from the European Union as a bargaining chip to win concessions for her country.

“I am so happy to see David Cameron doing in the U.K. what I want to do for France,’’ Le Pen said in a telephone interview. “He’s using the months ahead of the referendum to get what he wants for his country, and we want that too, more sovereignty for France and more freedom.”

While tapping into her party’s euro-skepticism, the comments mark a shift for the 47-year-old self-proclaimed “Madame Frexit,” who in June called for an orderly breakup of the common currency. The move is in line with Le Pen’s effort to elbow her way into the mainstream, distancing herself from the party’s hard-line fringe on everything from the economy to race issues in a bid to win votes -- and power -- in
France’s regional elections December 6 and 13.

Poll Leader

The latest polls show Le Pen on track to win the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, bordering the Channel and facing the U.K., in the December ballot. Her call for a confrontation with the EU has some traction there, as high unemployment, thousands of migrants and post-industrial depression have already made the region fertile ground for the National Front. The North led the No vote in the 2005 referendum on a European Constitution and Le Pen made her best scores there in the 2012 presidential elections.

“Numbers don’t lie, she stands a major chance,” said BVA pollster Adelaide Zulfikarpasic. “Everything is helping her: the migrant crisis, massive unemployment, pessimism and her standing up to defend the ‘little people’ against the might of Europe.”

An Oct. 22 poll for La Voix du Nord daily showed Le Pen winning the two-round vote in all scenarios. The National Front could also win in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur and Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine to the east, according to several polls.

Refugee influx could cost Germany $22.58 billion this year: Ifo

Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:03am EST
Germany faces costs of over 21 billion euros ($22.58 billion)this year to house, feed and educate hundreds of thousands of refugees, the Munich-based Ifo institute said on Tuesday.

The new estimate, which assumes that 1.1 million migrants will seek asylum in Germany in 2015, represents a sharp increase over a previous projection from late September which put the cost at 10 billion euros.

That estimate had assumed 800,000 arrivals and did not include costs related to education and training, which the Ifo said were necessary to ensure that refugees, many of them fleeing war in the Middle East, were successfully integrated.

"Training and access to the labor market are key in terms of both costs and integration," Gabriel Felbermayr of the Ifo institute said in a statement.

The German government has not published an official estimate for how much the influx of refugees will cost it this year, but it has boosted funding to the country's 16 regional states by 4 billion euros.

We end for the day with a long term warning on crude oil.

World energy watchdog fears 1970s oil crunch as Mid-East regains stranglehold

The Mid-East share of global oil exports will rise to 75pc if oil prices stay low and investment collapses, risking a strategic crisis in the future

The world risks a return to the strategic oil crises of the 1970s as Mid-East producers regain their stranglehold on global supply and drive non-Opec producers out of the market, the International Energy Agency has warned.

The Paris-based watchdog said upstream investment in crude oil ventures is collapsing. Low prices are forcing companies to abandon high-cost projects in the US, Canada, Russia, Brazil and parts of Africa, storing up a potential oil crunch in the future. It leaves the world economy dangerously reliant on Gulf supplies, unless counter-measures are taken in time.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s director, said the oil industry needs $650bn a year of fresh investment just to keep output steady as old wells are depleted and the decline rate steepens, yet new outlays have fallen 20pc this year and are expected to drop by another 20pc next year.

“This is what I am worried about the most. It is the first time since the 1980s that investment will have declined for two consecutive years, and it will have serious consequences,” he said.

The IEA said in its World Energy Outlook that a protracted period of low oil prices near $50 a barrel would increase the Mid-East grip on oil exports from 50pc to 75pc, with very little spare capacity to cope with a crisis. Shale oil output in the US would drop by 2.5m barrels a day (b/d) by 2020 under this scenario, eliminating more than half the gains made during the shale revolution.

“Reliance on Middle East oil exports eventually escalates to a level last seen in the 1970s. Such a concentration of global supply would be accompanied by elevated concerns about energy security, with Asian consumers particularly vulnerable,” it said.

The concern is not so much that the Opec cartel would abuse its monopoly for political purposes – as occurred in the embargo of 1973 – but rather that the whole region is a maelstrom of sectarian conflict that could spin out of control at any time. The ISIS terrorist network is reaching ever wider.

Mr Birol said the consuming countries cannot afford to sit back, enjoy the windfall of cheap oil and ignore the security threat.

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 43.34 Moz, Eligible 117.87 Moz, Total 161.21 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Not the usual suspects today, just a nostalgic look back to the good old days of Merrie Olde London.

London's 11 most notorious public execution sites

Fifty years after the death penalty was abolished in Britain, we track down the places in the capital where the condemned were killed

The death penalty was abolished in Britain exactly 50 years ago. To mark the anniversary, we've tracked down the capital's most notorious public execution sites.

1. Tyburn

Tyburn was synonymous with public executions for almost 600 years. A mere village in 1196, when the first took place there, the site is now close to Marble Arch, one of central London’s busiest corners.

A stone memorial can be seen on the pavement marking the spot where the Tyburn Tree, its distinctive three-sided gallows, once stood. Oliver Cromwell's exhumed body was, symbolically, hung at Tyburn in 1661.

2. Newgate Prison

In use for more than 700 years – from 1188 to 1902 – and the site of London’s gallows after Tyburn was retired from duty in 1783. The executions took place in public – with the gallows set up on Newgate Street – until 1868.

The prison, whose former inmates include Casanova, William Kidd and Daniel Defoe – was demolished in 1904. The Old Bailey occupies the main site, but head to the church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate to see the old jail’s execution bell, Amen Court, which is home to a surviving wall, or The Viaduct Tavern, where five former cells of a neighbouring lock-up are visible in the basement.

5. Execution Dock

For more than 400 years pirates, smugglers and mutineers sentenced to death by Admiralty courts swung at this scaffold on the banks of the Thames at Wapping. Most were brought from Marshalsea, a prison in Southwark (on what is now Borough High Street – look out for a plaque on the prison's last remaining wall). The execution procession took them over London Bridge and past the Tower, with a stop at a public house, for a final quart of ale, customary.
Until the end of the 18th century, the bodies of pirates were often left on the noose until at least three tides has washed over their heads. Others were displayed at Cuckold’s Point, on the Rotherhithe peninsula, or Blackwall Point, on the Greenwich peninsula, as a warning to others.
Perhaps the most famous execution here was that of Captain Kidd in 1701. A riverside pub is now named in his honour, while a replica of the gallows can be seen outside a second (The Prospect of Whitby).

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?

Using hydrogen to enhance lithium ion batteries

Date: November 5, 2015

Source: DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Summary: Scientists have found that lithium ion batteries operate longer and faster when their electrodes are treated with hydrogen.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have found that lithium ion batteries operate longer and faster when their electrodes are treated with hydrogen.
Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are a class of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
The growing demand for energy storage emphasizes the urgent need for higher-performance batteries. Several key characteristics of lithium ion battery performance -- capacity, voltage and energy density -- are ultimately determined by the binding between lithium ions and the electrode material. Subtle changes in the structure, chemistry and shape of an electrode can significantly affect how strongly lithium ions bond to it.
Through experiments and calculations, the Livermore team discovered that hydrogen-treated graphene nanofoam electrodes in the LIBs show higher capacity and faster transport.
"These findings provide qualitative insights in helping the design of graphene-based materials for high-power electrodes," said Morris Wang, an LLNL materials scientist and co-author of a paper appearing in Nov. 5 edition of Nature Scientific Reports.
Lithium ion batteries are growing in popularity for electric vehicle and aerospace applications. For example, lithium ion batteries are becoming a common replacement for the lead acid batteries that have been used historically for golf carts and utility vehicles. Instead of heavy lead plates and acid electrolytes, the trend is to use lightweight lithium ion battery packs that can provide the same voltage as lead-acid batteries without requiring modification of the vehicle's drive system.
Commercial applications of graphene materials for energy storage devices, including lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors, hinge critically on the ability to produce these materials in large quantities and at low cost. However, the chemical synthesis methods frequently used leave behind significant amounts of atomic hydrogen, whose effect on the electrochemical performance of graphene derivatives is difficult to determine.
Yet Livermore scientists did just that. Their experiments and multiscale calculations reveal that deliberate low-temperature treatment of defect-rich graphene with hydrogen can actually improve rate capacity. Hydrogen interacts with the defects in the graphene and opens small gaps to facilitate easier lithium penetration, which improves the transport. Additional reversible capacity is provided by enhanced lithium binding near edges, where hydrogen is most likely to bind.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

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

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