Saturday, 30 January 2016

Weekend Update 30/01/2016 BREXIT

"If Brexit were to occur, continental Europe will be relegated to second rank status."

Deutsche Bank.

Today an update on Brexit from two different European banks. Brexit hurts the EUSSR more than it hurts Great Britain, both seem to agree. But thanks to Merkel’s Madness in inviting all the world’s economic migrants to somehow get to Germany for a job, benefits, free housing, and unprotected free German women, Brexit has never looked better in Britain.  And as a British exit looms, the UK currency sinks giving the UK an exports  advantage in the new round of currency wars set off by Japan just yesterday. How long before China responds with a Yuan devaluation? 

'Devastating' Brexit will consign Europe to a second rate world power, warns Deutsche Bank

"The implications of the UK not being in the EU will be truly devastating for Europe" says David Folkerts-Landau

Britain's exit from the European Union would have a "devastating" impact on the continent, relegating Europe to the status of a second-rank world power, a leading investment bank has warned. 

David Folkerts-Landau, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, said a Europe without British influence would greatly diminish the EU's diplomatic clout at a time when it faces an unprecedented security threat from a revanchist Russia.

"The implications of the UK not being in the EU will be truly devastating for Europe," said Mr Folkerts-Laundau.

A German-born economist, Mr Folkerts-Laundau warned the geopolitical impact of a Brexit had become a "forgotten dimension" of the EU debate.

"Europe will become far less important and its impact on foreign policy, within the UN and global decision making, will be diminished," he said.

Without the UK, Europe could no longer lay claim to the centre of global capitalism: "It would lose London and the Anglo-Saxon connection," said Mr Folkerts-Laundau.

Power dynamics within the EU would also become fundamentally "disturbed" as the Franco-German axis would dominate the continent. "The checks and balances imparted by the UK will be gone".

The warning came as economists said Britain could see 2pc of GDP wiped off the economy in the aftermath of a 'leave' vote.

Credit Suisse said a "toxic blend" of collapsing business confidence, higher inflation and falling incomes, could lead to a sharp contraction in growth after a Brexit vote.

Research from Deutsche Bank shows sentiment for staying in the EU is closely linked with the eurozone's economic fortunes - supporting the case for an early referendum as the currency bloc enjoys a cyclical recovery.

But Mr Folkerts-Laundau said there was no easy way out of the eurozone's economic malaise.

Unprecedented stimulus measures from the European Central Bank were the only things standing in the way of another financial crisis in Europe, he warned.

"If the ECB was to step back from that you would have a massive sovereign debt crisis," he said.

Despite enjoying a virtuous trinity of falling oil prices, low interest rates and looser fiscal policy, growth in the eurozone is only expected to reach 1.7pc this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Britain and the US are expected to expand by 2.2pc and 2.6pc respectively.

Mr Folkers-Laundau said growth needed to exceed 2pc a year for the eurozone to tackle massive stocks of government debt in Italy and Portugal.

Brexit vote could turn UK into a 'safe haven' triggering EU disintegration, say Barclays

Britain's exit from EU would open a 'Pandora's Box' in Europe, a threat which has been underestimated by financial markets, warn analysts

A British exit from the European Union could see the UK becoming a "safe haven" amid a disintegrating Europe, Barclays has said.

Analysis from the bank said a 'leave' vote would open a "Pandora's Box" in the crisis-hit continent, and could dissuade Scotland from breaking away from the relative safety of the UK.

Barclays said financial markets had failed to grasp the sheer "breadth" of the British vote, calling it one of "the most significant global risks of the year", and one which could lead to the collapse of the European project.

Investors have been selling off the pound in anticipation of an EU referendum, which could take place as early as the summer. Sterling has depreciated by 9pc against the single currency since November.

But if Britain voted for an EU exit, the political and institutional reverberations on the continent would be far greater than any economic fall-out, said the bank, who compared the implications to that of a "Grexit".

A number of European countries would be caught in the grip of extremist left-wing and right-wing populist parties, pushing them towards leaving the EU, they said.

"If politics in the EU turned for the worse, the UK may be seen as a safe haven from those risks, reversing the euro's exchange rate appreciation", said the report's authors.

"In that environment, Scottish voters could be even less inclined to leave the relative safety of the UK for an increasingly uncertain EU".

The warning echoes fears that Europe, rather than the UK, would suffer the worst consequences of a Brexit.

Odds of Fed Hike This Year Are Practically a Toss-Up After BOJ's Surprise Move

January 29, 2016 — 3:38 PM GMT Updated on January 30, 2016 — 5:01 AM GMT
The bond market is even more skeptical about the chances of a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase this year after the Bank of Japan’s surprise policy move.

Treasuries wrapped up a 2.3 percent gain in January, the best month in a year, after the BOJ introduced negative interest rates for some bank reserves. The decision prompted traders to assign less than a 60 percent probability that the Fed will boost its benchmark even once this year, down from the 93 percent likelihood seen Dec. 31. When policy makers lifted the target from near zero last month, their median projection called for four increases in 2016.

The move from Japan is another sign of slowing global economic growth, which has triggered volatility across global markets, depressed traders’ inflation expectations and spurred a rally in U.S. debt. The European Central Bank has also signaled it may add stimulus. The policy divergence between the U.S. and other major economies risks strengthening the greenback by luring investors to higher-yielding American assets. That could further damp inflation in the U.S., which hasn’t reached the Fed’s 2 percent target since 2012.

“It’s going to make it very hard for the Fed to be the sole holdout, the one that’s hiking while everyone else is cutting below zero,” said Aaron Kohli, an interest-rate strategist in New York with BMO Capital Markets, one of the 22 primary dealers that trade with the Fed. “Up until now, we had hoped we’d see some stability in foreign-exchange rates, and we wouldn’t see further pressure of the disinflationary kind from abroad.”

US economy slows sharply in the final quarter

Weak US growth figures add to global gloom as economists say March rate hike by the Federal Reserve now less likely

US growth slowed sharply in the final quarter of last year as consumer spending moderated and a stronger dollar hit exports.

The world's largest economy expanded at an annualised pace of 0.7pc in the fourth quarter of 2015, following growth of 2pc in the previous quarter, according to the US department of commerce.

The expansion was slightly weaker than economists' expectations and was dragged down by a wider trade deficit, which shaved 0.47 percentage points off GDP growth. Lower inventories reduced growth by another 0.45 percentage points.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US growth, rose 2.2pc in the fourth quarter, compared with 3pc in the third quarter, as the unusually mild weather hurt sales of winter clothing in December.

Economists said Friday's data added to evidence that the global economy was in a soft patch. While labour market data have shown strong job gains, many believe recent stock market turbulence makes a March interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve less likely.

"The trend in US growth has clearly slowed. Even allowing for the fact that this data is choppy, and considering the last two quarters as a moving average, growth is now barely 1.5pc," said Rob Carnell, an economist at ING. "If this feeds through into softer hiring trends, then we can forget further rate hikes from the Fed any time soon."

"Until government administrators can so identify the interests of government with those of the people and refrain from defrauding the masses through the device of currency depreciation for the sake of remaining in office, the wiser ones will prefer to keep as much of their wealth in the most stable and marketable forms possible - forms which only the precious metals provide."

Elgin Groseclose

Friday, 29 January 2016

Voodoo On Steroids.

Baltic Dry Index. 325 - 12        Brent Crude 34.42

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

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

George Orwell.

It’s desperation time in our growing global recession. With nothing working to plan, or as explained by our increasingly irrelevant central banksters, it was voodoo time in Tokyo today, while in the commodities markets, even rumours of Russia talking to OPEC about rigging oil production to get the price higher, was only good for a measly two dollar rally. The reason, few really believe a production cut will work, Iran will just take up their market share, and more technically, the oil shorts were already squeezed out in last week’s bull raid. With the Baltic Dry Index signalling shipping is all but going out of business, desperate times indeed.

Asian Stocks Rally as BOJ Surprise Sinks Yen; Crude Oil Advances

January 28, 2016 — 11:42 PM GMT Updated on January 29, 2016 — 5:18 AM GMT
Asian shares rose to a two-week high and the yen weakened as the Bank of Japan unexpectedly adopted negative interest rates to support the region’s second-largest economy. Crude oil rallied after Russia’s energy minister said OPEC may meet to discuss output cuts.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced for a third day as Chinese equities trimmed their biggest monthly drop since 2008. Japanese bonds rallied after the central bank decision, pushing yields to record lows, and the yen declined against all of its major counterparts. Energy stocks surged as U.S. crude extended its advance toward $34 a barrel. The ringgit climbed to a three-month high as the rebound in oil brightened prospects for Malaysia.

A January stocks selloff that erased some $7 trillion of market value globally abated over the past week as central banks signaled they may be prepared to act in order to prevent further turmoil. Friday’s rate decision by the Bank of Japan comes after the European Central Bank indicated it could boost stimulus as soon as March, while bets the Federal Reserve will hike borrowing costs again this quarter have dropped. The People’s Bank of China added a record amount of funds to its banking system this week via money-market operations.

These earnings suggest we may be headed for recession

Published: Jan 28, 2016 4:09 p.m. ET

Slowdown in China and falling oil prices lead to corporate sales recession

Another day, another flurry of gloomy earnings reports.
Thursday was the busiest of the current season so far, and while there were some bright spots, it mostly continued the trend of widespread sales misses and lowered guidance for the rest of the year. 

A wide range of companies have missed sales forecasts this week, weighed down by the now familiar list of factors that include the strong dollar, the slowdown in China and the weakness in commodities. There is also growing concern that the Federal Reserve may have pulled the trigger on interest-rate hikes too early.

As per-share earnings are more easily manipulated through such actions as share buybacks, the sales number is a key metric in understanding underlying performance. And the stream of sales misses has analysts using the R word—recession, either confined to the industrial sector or even applied to the broader economy.

Read: Fears of recession in industrial sector grow as pessimism deepens

Oil Trade Slows as Storage Glut Snares Tankers in Bottlenecks

January 28, 2016 — 10:24 AM GMT
The world’s biggest oil companies are asking tanker operators to slow down delivery of crude amid an ever-expanding supply glut on land, Europe’s largest owner of supertankers said.
Tankers hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes are delivering them at speeds of about 13 knots, compared with a maximum of 15, Paddy Rodgers, chief executive officer of Antwerp, Belgium-based Euronav NV, said in an interview in London on Thursday. The slower speeds might result in a voyage that would normally take 40 days instead lasting 48. Shore-based supplies are getting so big that it’s probable the need for storage at sea may soon grow, he said.
The market is contending with a glut of oil that’s not going away because OPEC is insisting it didn’t create the excess and won’t tackle it alone. Countries within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have a near-record of almost 3 billion barrels of oil stockpiled, the International Energy Agency estimates.
“I’ve not seen a supply-side market like it in terms of the production of oil,” said Rodgers, a lawyer who joined Euronav two decades ago and is based in London, after an earlier interview with Bloomberg Television. His company’s VLCCs earned $55,000 a day last year, double what they made in 2014, thanks in part to fuel prices that plunged along with crude, he said.

Next, will the oil contango be enough to save sinking Glencore? Probably not is my guess, unless coal, copper and zinc, have a miraculous recovery.

Glencore Said to Store Oil in Ships Off Singapore Amid Contango

January 28, 2016 — 10:43 AM GMT
Glencore Plc is said to be storing oil on ships off the coast of Singapore and Malaysia as a market structure known as contango allows traders to benefit from holding on to supplies for sale later.
The commodities trader has at least 4 very large crude carriers, each of which can hold about 2 million barrels, floating at sea off the nations’ coast in Southeast Asia, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. When a market is in contango, prices for supplies today are lower than those in future months, allowing traders with access to stored crude to potentially lock in a profit.
Charles Watenphul, a spokesman for Glencore, declined to comment.
While the oil market has been in contango since 2014, the premium fetched by future cargoes increased to the highest since February last month. The price difference between a Brent oil contract for immediate delivery and a year forward was at about minus $7 a barrel on Thursday, twice the level in mid-July.
To benefit from the contango, profits from selling a stored cargo must exceed the cost of chartering ships to hold the supply. Euronav NV, Europe’s largest owner of supertankers, would charge about 75 cents per barrel each month for storing, its chief executive officer said on Thursday. Brent crude for April costs about 80 cents more than for March, data from ICE Futures Europe show. Traders incur additional expenses over and above freight.
Storing crude on ships is close to being viable, Fearnleys A/S analyst Jonathan Staubo said by phone on Thursday. The 3-month contango needs to be about $2.70 to cover the cost of hiring ships and other expenses associated with storing barrels at sea profitably, he said. That spread is currently at about $2.50 for Brent.
Floating storage increases Glencore’s ability to supply cargoes on short notice or load oil on smaller vessels for sale to Chinese refineries and other Asian buyers who don’t have access to ports that can accommodate larger ships, the people said.

Now back to the real world dropping into depression. Goldman Sachs says
Brazil’s a “mess.”

“Call it the Goldman Sachs test. If this is something Goldman would do to its clients, don't do it."

Felix Salmon.

Goldman Sachs Calls Brazil a ‘Mess’ After Warning on Depression

January 27, 2016 — 7:36 PM GMT Updated on January 27, 2016 — 8:45 PM GMT
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the crisis in Brazil will get worse before it gets better after the bank last year warned that Latin America’s largest economy was being dragged into a depression.
“Brazil is a mess,” Alberto Ramos, the chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs, said at an event organized by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York on Wednesday. “Number 10 used to mean Pele. Now it’s inflation rate, unemployment rate and the popularity rate of the president."
President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity is among the lowest of any Brazilian president on record as her party fights corruption allegations while inflation above 10 percent erodes purchasing power and the sinking economy sheds jobs. The nation is headed toward the deepest recession in a century amid the threat of further credit-rating downgrades after Brazil was cut to junk last year.
Brazil’s Presidency press office declined to comment on Goldman Sachs’s remarks about the nation’s economic outlook.
The economic crisis is also being reflected in financial markets, where the real is posting the biggest slide among the world’s major currencies over the past 12 months and the Ibovespa is heading toward the worst start to a year in two decades.
The real sank 1.4 percent to 4.1099 on Wednesday after Brazil’s federal police carried out search and arrest warrants in four cities to probe allegations of money laundering related to a graft scheme at state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

In EUSSR news. German prices sank, while France got a lifeline from Iran. John Bull and Uncle Scam looked on enviously.

German Prices Drop Most in a Year, Highlighting ECB Challenge

January 28, 2016 — 1:00 PM GMT
German consumer prices fell at the fastest monthly pace in a year in January as plummeting oil prices and weakness in emerging-market economies postpone a long hoped-for pickup in inflation.
Prices declined 0.9 percent from December, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said on Thursday. That’s the largest decline since January 2015. Even so, the annual inflation rate rose to 0.4 percent from 0.2 percent the prior month, in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
While slightly faster inflation may seem like welcome news to the European Central Bank which is trying to fuel price pressures in the 19-nation euro area, the acceleration masks a deteriorating outlook. With a drop in oil prices of almost 25 percent since early December weighing on inflation expectations, ECB President Mario Draghi has signaled more stimulus may come as early as March.
Before today’s report, economists projected that euro-area inflation accelerated to 0.4 percent in January from 0.2 percent the prior month. Eurostat will release the figures on Friday.

Iran Buys Airbus A380s, Seals Peugeot Deal at Paris Signing

January 28, 2016 — 4:19 PM GMT Updated on January 28, 2016 — 5:30 PM GMT
Iran placed an outline order 118 Airbus Group SE jetliners including 12 A380 superjumbos and secured an accord with PSA Peugeot Citroen for the modernization of a Tehran car plant as President Hassan Rouhani’s post-sanctions European shopping trip reached Paris.

The aircraft to be bought from Toulouse-based Airbus are worth almost $27 billion at list prices, according to Bloomberg calculations. Assuming all the planes are delivered, Rouhani signed off on deals valued at about 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in a ceremony at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of his French counterpart Francois Hollande, a French official said.

Rouhani is in Europe after a landmark nuclear deal signed with world powers entered force this month, lifting sanctions that have starved Iran’s $400 billion economy of investment and consumer goods. Iran’s central bank Governor Valiollah Seif said in an interview last week that the accord may trigger $50 billion a year in foreign investment.

The Paris accords are comparable in value to transactions announced earlier this week in Italy at the start of Rouhani’s first major foreign visit since the lifting of trade barriers.

Among other deals announced in the French capital, Aeroports de Paris and Bouygues SA will assist in the construction of a new terminal at Tehran’s main Imam Khomeini hub and Vinci SA signed an outline agreement to run and renovate airports at Mashhad and Ispahan.

----The purchase will allow Iran to retire planes that it has kept in service because of the bar on it acquiring new ones, contributing to one of the world’s poorest air-safety records. The country’s passenger fleet averages 26.8 years of age, according to website

Peugeot and long-time local ally Iran Khodro will invest 400 million euros over five years upgrading their auto plant near Tehran in what the French carmaker said is the first industrial accord signed by a Western company since sanctions were removed.

The venture will produce 100,000 vehicles a year starting in late 2017, with output eventually doubling. The revamped factory, which opened about 50 years ago, will make Peugeot’s 208 hatchback, 301 sedan and 2008 crossover.

French container line CMA CGM SA also agreed to cooperate on shipping and terminal development. Suez Environnement Co. will work on water-treatment measures in Tehran, Sanofi signed an accord on health products and Total SA inked a purchase accord for Iranian crude oil.

"Finance is the art of passing customer segregated funds from hypothecation to hypothecation until it finally disappears."

Jon Corzine, with apologies to Robert  Sarnoff

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 36.32 Moz, Eligible 120.80 Moz, Total 157.12 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Don’t let on but our corporate crooks have never been in worse financial shape. Just don’t let on to bubblevision. Our pin is fast approaching.

The $29 Trillion Corporate Debt Hangover That Could Spark a Recession

January 28, 2016 — 12:00 AM GMT Updated on January 28, 2016 — 8:21 AM GMT
There’s been endless speculation in recent weeks about whether the U.S., and the whole world for that matter, are about to sink into recession. Underpinning much of the angst is an unprecedented $29 trillion corporate bond binge that has left many companies more indebted than ever.

Whether this debt overhang proves to be a catalyst for recession or not, one thing is clear in talking to credit-market observers: It’s a problem that won’t go away any time soon.

Strains are emerging in just about every corner of the global credit market. Credit-rating downgrades account for the biggest chunk of ratings actions since 2009; corporate leverage is at a 12-year high; and perhaps most worrisome, growing numbers of companies -- one third globally -- are failing to generate high enough returns on investments to cover their cost of funding. Pooled together into a single snapshot, the data points show how the seven-year-old global growth model based on cheap credit from central banks is running out of steam.

“We’ve never been in a cycle quite like this,” said Bonnie Baha, a money manager at DoubleLine Capital in Los Angeles, which oversees $80 billion. “It’s setting up for an unhappy turn.”
While not as pronounced as the rout in global equity markets, losses are beginning to pile up in the bond market too. The average spread over benchmark government yields for highly rated debt has widened to 1.83 percentage points, the most in three years, from 1.18 percentage points in March, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. Investors lost 0.2 percent on global corporate bonds in 2015, snapping a string of annual gains that averaged 7.9 percent over the previous six years, the data show.
Debt at global companies rated by Standard & Poor’s reached three times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in 2015, the highest in data going back to 2003 and up from 2.8 times last year, according to the ratings company. Total debt at listed companies in China, the world’s second-largest economy, has climbed to the highest level in three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Worsening debt profiles contributed to S&P downgrading 863 corporate issuers last year, the most since 2009. More than a third of commodity and energy companies have ratings with negative outlooks or are on credit watch with negative implications, S&P said. Almost 6 percent of U.S. corporate bonds were downgraded through the third quarter, the largest proportion since 2009, according to Fitch Ratings.
Much of the cheap credit accumulated by companies was spent on a $3.8 trillion M&A binge, and to fund share buybacks and dividend payments. While that tends to push up share prices in the short term, bond investors would rather see that money spent on strengthening the business in the long term.

One of the queries Quakers are asked to consider, is: "Do you maintain strict integrity in your business transactions and in your relations with individuals and organizations? Are you personally scrupulous and responsible in the use of money entrusted to you, and are you careful not to defraud the public revenue?"

Probably why there a no Quakers on Wall Street or in the City of London.

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?

Solar panel costs predicted to fall 10% a year

Climate Home: Power from the sun could supply 20% of energy worldwide by 2027 on current technology trends, say UK researchers
Tuesday 26 January 2016

Solar power costs are tumbling so fast the technology is likely to fast outstrip mainstream energy forecasts.
That is the conclusion of Oxford University researchers, based on a new forecasting model published in 
Research Policy.

Since the 1980s, panels to generate electricity from sunshine have got 10% cheaper each year. That is likely to continue, the study said, putting solar on course to meet 20% of global energy needs by 2027.

By contrast, even in its “high renewable” scenario, the International Energy Agency assumes solar panels will generate just 16% of electricity in 2050. Its widely cited future energy scenarios in previous years failed to predict solar’s rapid growth.

Mathematics professor Doyne Farmer, who co-wrote the paper, said the research could help to shape clean energy policy.

“Sceptics have claimed that solar PV cannot be ramped up quickly enough to play a significant role in combatting global warming,” he said.

“In a context where limited resources for technology investment constrain policy makers to focus on a few technologies… the ability to have improved forecasts and know how accurate they are should prove particularly useful.”

Farmer’s model, jointly developed with economist Francois Lafond, draws on historical data from 53 different technologies.

“We put ourselves in the past, pretended we didn’t know the future, and used a simple method to forecast the costs of the technologies,” Farmer explained.

The research was supported by the European Commission and US Department of Solar Energy Technologies Office.

It comes as India and France are championing a solar alliance to scale up the technology worldwide, boosting energy access and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Another weekend. What can possibly go wrong? Have a great weekend everyone. US politics starts in earnest next week.

"When it becomes serious, you have to lie"

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed Luxembourg Prime Minister and ex-president of the Euro Group of Finance Ministers. Confessed liar. EC President.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

DJIA: +18 Down. NASDAQ: +110 Down. SP500: +36 Down.