Thursday, 3 December 2015

Don’t Look Now But The Sky’s Falling.

Baltic Dry Index. 590 -08        Brent Crude 43.08

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

In central banking as in diplomacy, style, conservative tailoring, and an easy association with the affluent count greatly and results far much less.

J. K. Galbraith.

The big day is finally here. The ECB’s big banana, Draghi, finally gets his chance to walk the walk and do “whatever it takes” to trash the euro. Today it’s the eurozone’s turn to take the lead in the currency war to the bottom. With the US dollar already strong, China devaluing, and Europe all but dead in the water and under attack from economic migrants, the ECB’s biggest brain finally gets his chance to show the world that when it comes to voodoo economics, no one can do voodoo economics better than an Italian, European ex Goldmanite .

Below, the desperate reality in the real world. Our central banksters and Great Vampire Squids busy promoting the Great Disconnect Final Bubble just haven’t got a clue. In the real world the sky has now started to fall in. Barring a stunning surprise oil production cut by Saudi Arabia at tomorrow’s OPEC meeting triggering a massive short covering oil rally, our commodity markets and hedge funds are going down for the count.

World's Top Oil Traders Don't Expect Recovery Any Time Soon

December 2, 2015 — 10:50 AM GMT Updated on December 2, 2015 — 4:39 PM GMT
The world’s largest independent oil traders said supplies will overwhelm demand into next year and prices may not rally until 2017, painting a gloomy outlook for energy-rich nations as OPEC gathers to discuss output policy.

Their market view indicates that the 12-member group -- and the oil industry as a whole -- will have to endure a much longer slump than the downturn that followed the 2008 financial crisis, when prices recovered within a year.

"The stock-build will continue to weigh on the market, with prices unlikely to move beyond the current range until well into 2017," said Chris Bake, a senior executive at Vitol Group, the biggest independent oil trader. Benchmark Brent crude has traded between $43 and $65 a barrel over the past six months.

That outlook is echoed by rival trading houses including Trafigura Pte Ltd. and Gunvor Group Ltd. as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia and others pump full-throttle to defend market share. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expected to maintain output policy when it meets on Friday, and Iran planning to ramp up production next year regardless of quotas, brimming stockpiles are set to rise further.

Brazil's economy enters 'outright depression', says Goldman

Dec 2 2015 at 9:19 AM Updated Dec 2 2015 at 7:42 PM
Latin America's largest economy shrank more than analysts forecast, as rising unemployment and higher inflation sapped domestic demand, pulling the nation deeper into what Goldman Sachs now calls "an outright depression".
Gross domestic product in Brazil contracted 1.7 per cent in the three months ended in September, after a revised 2.1 per cent drop the previous quarter, the national statistics institute said in Rio de Janeiro. That's worse than all but three estimates from 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median forecast was for a 1.2 per cent decline. It also marks the first three-quarter contraction since the institute's series began in 1996, and a seasonally adjusted annual drop of almost 7 per cent.
Economic and non-economic uncertainty "that has persisted for several months" continues to hurt the Brazilian economy, the Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement.
A sprawling corruption investigation has caused political gridlock in Brasilia, delaying President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to pass measures to fortify fiscal accounts and revive confidence. As the budget deficit has swelled, boosting threats of further sovereign downgrades to junk, the government Monday was forced to impose a partial shutdown, freezing discretionary spending. Meanwhile, the central bank has boosted borrowing costs to the highest since 2006, depressing demand and boosting unemployment, while failing to tame double-digit inflation.
"What started as a recession driven by the adjustment needs of an economy that accumulated large macro imbalances is now mutating into an outright economic depression given the deep contraction of domestic demand," Alberto Ramos, chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs Group, wrote in a report Tuesday.

Hedge Funds Brace for Redemptions as Losses Engulf Marquee Firms

December 2, 2015 — 4:26 AM GMT
When BlueCrest Capital Management told investors Tuesday it would no longer oversee money for outsiders, one thing founder Michael Platt didn’t mention was that clients had already pulled billions of dollars this year.
Platt, who cited client demands and pressure on fees as a reason for his decision, isn’t alone in feeling the heat from investors. Firms including Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and Mason Capital Management have seen cash flee this year, and others such as Fortress Investment Group LLC’s macro funds business shut down after redemptions and losses.
Hedge fund investors are losing patience even with marquee firms as many of them struggle this year, especially those that offer macro strategies or stock funds heavily weighted to rising shares. Some managers have lost money for two years running, while others such as David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital are suffering declines that rival their worst year. After the weakest third-quarter inflows in six years, the industry could see outflows in the fourth quarter, said investors and bankers who watch the ebb and flow of hedge fund assets.
“The fourth quarter will be flat and possibly negative,” said Peter Laurelli, head of research at Evestment Alliance, which tracks hedge fund investments.
Hedge fund managers got off to a promising start in 2015, outpacing equity benchmarks including the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The second half of the year has proved more challenging as volatile markets create some of the steepest losses since the 2008 financial crisis for some of the most prominent managers in the business. 
---- Among the most prominent losers in the second half is Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is down more than 17 percent in 2015 through November. The firm has been hurt by its investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., whose shares have slumped 31 percent this year amid scrutiny over drug prices.

Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital has declined 21 percent this year, as positions such as SunEdison Inc., Consol Energy Inc. and Micron Technology Inc soured. Einhorn’s worst annual loss was in 2008, when his fund fell 23 percent.

Others firms have been losing money for more than a year. Mason Capital, an event-driven fund based in New York, was down about 20 percent from the start of 2014 through this year’s third quarter, according to investors. Assets fell to about $5.6 billion from about $9 billion at the end of last year.
Fortress Investment Group LLC said in October it was closing its $2.3 billion macro business run by Michael Novogratz after posting losses for almost two years. Earlier that month, Bain Capital decided to shutter its Absolute Return Capital fund after more than three years of declines.
At BlueCrest, assets have shrunk by more than 40 percent this year to $7.9 billion, mostly from withdrawals after years of lackluster returns in what was once its biggest fund. New Jersey’s public pension plan decided to pull $284 million from one international fund as of June 30, citing “disappointing” returns just over a year after adding to its investment.

Abengoa, the Teetering Sun King of Spain, Prepares for End Game

December 1, 2015 — 11:00 PM GMT Updated on December 2, 2015 — 10:42 AM GMT
The world was struggling to recover from its deepest post-World War II recession and Spain was headed toward a European bailout, but Abengoa SA was flying high.

The then-Spanish King Juan Carlos traveled to Seville in September 2009 to christen the solar-energy company’s new headquarters, designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers’s firm. Aggressive growth plans helped Abengoa sell more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of bonds in a few months. A little while later, it won a $1.5 billion loan guarantee in the U.S. to build a solar plant in Arizona.

In the years that followed, Abengoa, founded as an electrical company in the Andalusia region more than seven decades ago, morphed into a global engineering giant. It wasn’t just solar installations but power-transmission lines and water-desalinization plants.

The far-flung expansion, from Brazil to India, with each project raising financing as it went along, cloaked how much the entire operation was borrowing: too much, as it turned out. Even with world leaders gathered in Paris promising a climate-change deal likely to bolster solar operators, Abengoa is fighting to stave off what would be Spain’s biggest corporate collapse.

“Investors stayed in because they thought that Abengoa was too big too fail,” said George Kaknis, an investment analyst at LNG Capital in London.

Teetering for months, the company began to topple in November when a capital-raising plan fell through. Abengoa filed for preliminary creditor protection last week, setting the survival clock ticking. If it fails to reach an agreement with creditors before the end of March, it will have to file for full protection; in Spain, that process ends in liquidation in 90 percent of cases, according to rating company Axesor.

---- The parent company has 8.9 billion euros of gross debt; tabulating the total liabilities is complicated by its 607 subsidiaries, 17 associates, 28 joint businesses and 244 temporary joint ventures in more than 50 countries, according to a 2014 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade

Wed Dec 2, 2015 8:57am EST
Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Russian border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.
In a briefing in Moscow, defence ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighbouring Turkey.
The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.
"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we've received, the senior political leadership of the country - President Erdogan and his family - are involved in this criminal business," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.
"Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one's closest associates."
"In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son has been appointed energy minister. What a marvellous family business!"
"The cynicism of the Turkish leadership knows no limits. Look what they're doing. They went into someone else's country, they are robbing it without compunction," Antonov said.
The ministry also alleged that the same criminal networks which were smuggling oil from Islamic State-held areas into Turkey were also supplying weapons, equipment and training to the militant group.

There can be few fields of human endeavour in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present.

J. K. Galbraith

At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 43.56 Moz, Eligible 114.78 Moz, Total 158.34 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more news from the loons in Paris. Warning: loons can be very bad for our wealth and health.

Turning Exxon's Tiger Into Joe Camel Is Climate Camp's Gameplan

December 2, 2015 — 5:01 AM GMT Updated on December 2, 2015 — 12:20 PM GMT
A cartoon circulating on Twitter carries a warning for the oil industry.
There’s Joe Camel, retired tobacco spokes-animal, suave as ever in a tuxedo, cigarette dangling from his smiling snout. In his hand, a pack of smokes with a twist -- an Exxon Mobil Corp. logo on the wrapper. “Big Oil: The New Big Tobacco,” reads the caption.
Activists have been urging investors for years to pull money out of the fossil-fuel producers blamed for much of the world’s warming. Joe Camel’s new role shows the movement has an even broader target: not just the industry’s money, but its reputation. With envoys gathered in Paris this week for a United Nations summit on climate change, there are signs -- from coal-plant closures to the death of the Keystone XL pipeline -- that the effort is bearing fruit.

“That pariah status is growing,” Bill McKibben, a founder of climate advocacy group, said in an interview. “The fossil-fuel industry remains incredibly strong -- they are super-rich -- but they are not so invincible as they thought they were.”

The Paris talks got under way Monday with more than 150 world leaders vowing to speed the world’s shift away from fossil fuels. In one of the opening acts, the U.S. and about 40 other countries pledged to cut billions of dollars in industry subsidies. Insurers, cities and other investors controlling more than $3.4 trillion in assets have pledged to keep some or all of their money out of fossil-fuel companies -- a high-water mark for the divestment movement, McKibben’s group said in Paris on Wednesday.

Climate Talks Watch: Excitement Fades and Hard Work Begins

By Alex Morales  December 2, 2015
Excitement is abating after the record cast of world leaders departed Paris, leaving lower-level envoys - drawn mainly from energy and environment ministries - to the actual work of finding the groundbreaking deal that for years has proved to be elusive.
"Negotiations today are mostly going slowly after yesterday's euphoria connected to the heads of state," said Samantha Smith at WWF. That's a view shared by Elliot Diringer at C2ES. "Now that leaders have jetted off, the focus has shifted from visionary to nitty-gritty," he said. "There are few visible signs of progress."

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?

New process could be white lightning to electronics industry

Date: December 1, 2015

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Summary: A new era of electronics and even quantum devices could be ushered in with the fabrication of a virtually perfect single layer of “white graphene."
A new era of electronics and even quantum devices could be ushered in with the fabrication of a virtually perfect single layer of "white graphene," according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The material, technically known as hexagonal boron nitride, features better transparency than its sister, graphene, is chemically inert, or non-reactive, and atomically smooth. It also features high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. Unlike graphene, however, it is an insulator instead of a conductor of electricity, making it useful as a substrate and the foundation for the electronics in cell phones, laptops, tablets and many other devices.
"Imagine batteries, capacitors, solar cells, video screens and fuel cells as thin as a piece of paper," said ORNL's Yijing Stehle, postdoctoral associate and lead author of a paper published in Chemistry of Materials. She and colleagues are also working on a graphene hexagonal boron 2-D capacitor and fuel cell prototype that are not only "super thin" but also transparent.
With their recipe for white graphene, ORNL researchers hope to unleash the full potential of graphene, which has not delivered performance consistent with its theoretical value. With white graphene as a substrate, researchers believe they can help solve the problem while further reducing the thickness and increasing the flexibility of electronic devices.
While graphene, which is stronger and stiffer than carbon fiber, is a promising material for data transfer devices, graphene on a white graphene substrate features several thousand times higher electron mobility than graphene on other substrates. That feature could enable data transfers that are much faster than what is available today. "Imagine your message being sent thousands of times faster," Stehle said.
Stehle noted that this work is especially significant because it takes the material beyond theory. A recent theoretical study led by Rice University, for instance, proposed the use of white graphene to cool electronics. Stehle and colleagues have made high-quality layers of hexagonal boron nitride they believe can be cost-effectively scaled up to large production volumes.
"Various hexagonal boron nitride single crystal morphology -- triangle to hexagon -- formulations have been mentioned in theoretical studies, but for the first time we have demonstrated and explained the process," Stehle said.
That process consists of standard atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition with a similar furnace, temperature and time, but there's a twist. The difference is what Stehle describes as "a more gentle, controllable way to release the reactant into the furnace and figuring out how to take advantage of inner furnace conditions. These two factors are almost always neglected."

Gridwatch France.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished November

DJIA: +25 Down. NASDAQ: +121 Down. SP500: +45 Down. 

No comments:

Post a Comment