Friday, 12 February 2016

Goldilocks Eaten!

Baltic Dry Index. 290 – unch.        Brent Crude 31.50

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

“The EU is like the orchestra playing on the Titanic.”

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

For more on the EU’s orchestra fiddling away on the EUSSR Titanic, scroll down to Crooks Corner.

And Daddy Bear was real mad and just ate Goldilocks. Below, the growing realisation that at peak debt, our central banksters are out of ammo, road and talent.  Just how are negative interest rates supposed to achieve anything other than a flight into gold and silver, and eventually, the collapse of what’s left of our post 2007-2009 zombie financial system. China is in the early stages of a hard landing from all the malinvestment. Europe’s banking system is an interrelated house of cards in the process of starting to collapse. Shipping and commodities are in a depression awaiting the inevitable tsunami of bankruptcies. America is heading into recession if not actually already in recession.

For a year and a half the FANGs (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google) propelled the 
central bank fuelled phony bull market in US stocks. That delusion ended, with either the crash of Chinese stocks last summer, or more likely the Saudis cratering crude oil prices in an attempt to crash US frackers, at the same time as China’s malinvestment Ponzi Scheme blew up. There is nothing in the Keynesian playbook that covers the present predicament. Hence all the foolishness with ZIRP morphing into NIRP. Borrowing vast mountains of cash to buy back stock, to artificially boost the share price, to boost the CEO’s bonus, is now all about to unravel in the weeks and months ahead. In any sane world this would be criminal stock price manipulation. It show just how far from capitalism, “Bubbles” Greenspan, Bernocchio, and the talking chair strayed, once “Bubbles” started serial rigging of markets after the stock market crash of Black Monday 1987. “Capitalism’s broken” wailed “Bubbles” back in the 90s. He should know. More than anyone after President Nixon, he was the man who broke it.

Below, coverage of yesterday’s action. With a little luck and some help from the Fed’s New York team of riggers and fix-its, today we might get a short covering bounce in stocks. But for now we’ve gone from “buy the dips,” to exit on rallies. The Great Reconnect is underway.

Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway

Warren Buffet.

Here are 5 signs we might already be in a bear market

Published: Feb 11, 2016 5:19 p.m. ET
The classical definition of a bear market is a drop of 20% or more from the recent peak, but there is no prize for recognizing stocks are in a bear market after the fact.

The S&P 500 SPX, -1.23%  fell 1.2% on Thursday to finish at 1,829 and is down nearly 15% from its closing peak on May 21, 2015. Most of those losses have come since the end of last year as investors dump risky assets and seek safety in government bonds and gold.

The weeks-long flight to quality has been blamed on dropping oil prices, global growth fears, an increasing number of central banks opting for negative rates and, more recently, troubles in the European banking sector.

While it’s possible that the market might find its bottom soon and continue the bull market that began in 2009, here are five reasons to think that we might already be in the midst of a bear.

1) Leading indicators

The Dow Jones transportation index DJT, -1.44% has been on a downward path since December 2014, having fallen 26% since then. The transportation sector is known as a barometer of the health of the overall economy. So when transport falters, it signals slower growth.

2) Market breadth

The trend of deteriorating breadth in the market began last year, when the average stock was falling while the S&P 500 hit new highs, entirely thanks to a few mega-stocks that appreciated a lot.
By Wednesday’s close, among the S&P 500 stocks, 289 are down 20% or more from their respective 52-week highs; the average S&P 500 stock is down about 26% from its 52-week high, according to FactSet.

3) Troubled sectors

It is not surprising to see energy XLE, -0.42%  and materials XLB, -2.17%  post declines of 20% or more over the past 12 months. These sectors are tightly correlated with commodity markets and oil has dropped about 80% since peaking in the summer of 2014. Profit growth in these companies declined dramatically over the past year and a half.

Financials XLF, -3.06%  fell into bear-market territory after falling more than 17% this year alone. One explanation for this is the diminishing probability of higher interest rates that had been expected to boost profits for banks.

Global Stocks Slide Into Bear Market Amid Oil Rout as Yen Jumps

February 10, 2016 — 10:54 PM GMT Updated on February 11, 2016 — 10:01 PM GMT
World equities descended into a bear market, as an afternoon comeback in U.S. shares failed to erase losses that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its lowest level since 2014. Oil pared declines after sliding to a 12-year low, while the yen climbed.

The S&P 500 ended Thursday down 1.2 percent as declines that sent Europe’s benchmark to its lowest point since 2013 combined to send the MSCI All-Country World Index down 20 percent from a record reached in May, the common definition of a bear market. Japan’s currency capped a fourth rising day, trading at its strongest level since November 2014, while 10-year Treasury yields dropped to 1.66 percent. U.S. crude clawed back some gains in electronic trading after settling down 4.5 percent at its lowest level since 2003.

Investors ignored a second day of testimony from Janet Yellen, whose indication that the Federal Reserve won’t rush to raise benchmark interest rates in the face of global market turmoil failed to stem a selloff in risk assets from bank shares to crude oil and emerging-market currencies.

Central banks from Europe to Japan signaling that additional stimulus is at the ready is failing to ease investor concern over global growth. Citigroup’s Economic Surprise Index already indicates data in Group of 10 economies are falling short of estimates by the most since 2013, and the selloff in crude oil and weakening credit markets are exacerbating the malaise. Yellen suggested that the Fed might delay, but not abandon, planned interest-rate increases in response to recent turmoil in financial markets.

Five Market Moves that Shook Europe on Thursday

Gold shines. The rest, not so much.

February 11, 2016 — 6:03 PM GMT
There's been no let-up in global markets, with a series of dramatic moves keeping investors on edge. Global equities are nearing a bear market, with stocks in Europe hitting their lowest levels since September 2013. A deepening rout in European banks is dragging everything down.

Banks Go Bad

Banks are having a particularly bad week: Societe Generale was the latest to miss earnings estimates, falling the most since 2011. Credit Suisse Group slid to a 27-year low.

Financial markets are signaling concern that central banks are powerless in propping the global economy. According to one technical measure, European banks are having a worse time than during the 2008 financial crisis.

Oil Gloom

A slide in energy and mining producers is compounding the stock rout. Rio Tinto Group, the world's second biggest miner, is slashing its dividend after tumbling commodities prices reduced annual profits by half. Oil is nearing a 12-year low.

Oil producers and traders gathered in London for this year's International Petroleum Week see no recovery any time soon. The world is awash with oil as Iranian exports increase after the removal of sanctions and U.S. crude inventories remain swollen.

Gold Triumphs

Gold soared to the highest in a year as investors sought refuge from the stock-market tumble.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's suggestion that the U.S. central bank may delay raising interest rates is also driving the flight to gold. Unlike some other assets, gold doesn’t pay interest, so the prospect of lower interest rates for longer is boosting its appeal. 

And now a new scandal is breaking in America. In a bear market, a whole lot of Bernie Madoff’s show up.

Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.

Warren Buffett.

Boeing to Face SEC Probe of Dreamliner and 747 Accounting

February 11, 2016 — 3:38 PM GMT Updated on February 11, 2016 — 9:17 PM GMT
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Boeing Co. properly accounted for the costs and expected sales of two of its best known jetliners, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The probe, which involves a whistleblower’s complaint, centers on projections Boeing made about the long-term profitability for the 787 Dreamliner and the 747 jumbo aircraft, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation isn’t public. Both planes are among Boeing’s most iconic, renowned for the technological advancements they introduced, as well as the development headaches they brought the company.

Underlying the SEC review is a financial reporting method known as program accounting that allows Boeing to spread the enormous upfront costs of manufacturing planes over many years. While the SEC has broadly blessed its use in the aerospace industry, critics have said the system can give too much leeway to smooth earnings and obscure potential losses.

“We typically do not comment on media inquiries of this nature,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said in an e-mailed statement. SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment.

Share Drop

Boeing fell 6.8 percent to $108.44 in New York, the lowest closing price in more than two years.
SEC enforcement officials have yet to reach any conclusions and could decide against bringing a case, said the people. The issues involved are complex and there are few black-and-white rules governing how companies apply program accounting, one person said.

Program accounting has been around for decades. It was first championed by the aerospace industry to address the problem that companies’ biggest expenses are amassed upfront, as they design planes and devise manufacturing processes. Costs typically fall as the assembly becomes more efficient, making it cheaper to build the later jets than the earlier ones.

The method, which is fully compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, lets companies average out the costs and anticipated profits over the duration of the “program” for a specific jet, a period that can last decades and encompass hundreds or even thousands of aircraft.

The expected costs and sales are estimates and they must be updated -- and a loss recorded -- when the program is determined to have reached a point where earnings won’t catch up to losses.

Boeing’s Forecasts

As part of the investigation, SEC enforcement attorneys are examining whether Boeing’s financial statements relied on sales forecasts that might be too optimistic, one person said. Another avenue of inquiry is whether Boeing’s estimates for declining production costs will come to fruition, the person said.

A whistleblower has given SEC officials internal documents and data about Boeing’s accounting, according to the people. The tipster first raised concerns with the regulator more than a year ago, one person said. SEC policy is to not reveal the identities of whistleblowers.

"It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."

Jerome K. Jerome, 19th century English novelist.

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 28.90 Moz, Eligible 128.68 Moz, Total 157.58 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, Brexit. If GB goes, how many more will follow?

When Will the Rest of Europe Want Its Own 'Brexit'?

February 10, 2016 — 11:00 PM GMT Updated on February 11, 2016 — 8:22 AM GMT
If David Cameron leaves next week’s European Union summit with a deal to overhaul the terms of Britain’s membership, many of his counterparts will breathe a sigh of relief -- and dig out their own wishlists.

As populist and anti-EU forces surge across the region, the prime minister’s ultimately successful strategy of issuing demands for change and threatening to leave if they’re not met has left an impression on his fellow leaders, two senior EU officials said. Some see his approach as a template for pushing their own causes, the officials said, asking not to be named because the discussions were private.

“The fact David Cameron raised a number of concerns and these concerns have all been addressed is creating a political precedent,” said Vincenzo Scarpetta, policy analyst at the London-based Open Europe think tank. “The British renegotiation has to be seen as a longer-term path -- Cameron has raised existential questions about the future of the EU.”
Europe’s economic foundations were fractured by the debt crisis and now over a million refugees are pulling at its social fabric, bolstering populist movements from Madrid to Helsinki and fanning anti-EU feeling in former Soviet-bloc nations. That ensures when Cameron pushes for an accord at the Feb. 18-19 summit diminishing some of the bloc’s influence over the U.K., the shockwaves could resonate far beyond the English Channel.
“All eyes are on France,” said John Springford, senior research fellow at London’s Centre for European Reform. EU officials are keen on “sending signals” to National Front leader Marine Le Pen and the wider French electorate “that this trick won’t work,” because “if France goes euro-skeptic, the project is toast.”
From a loosening of the EU’s power to interfere in national law-making to greater integration of economic policy, nations’ pet projects are contentious and contradictory. The paradox, according to the EU officials, is that while the bloc would be stronger if the U.K. opts to stay, any attempts to copy Cameron’s strategy would have a destabilizing effect.
With such an array of outlooks on how the EU should evolve, the bloc could face a difficult few years, said Kevin Featherstone, professor of European politics at the London School of Economics.
“Populist parties from France, Hungary, etc would make different kinds of demands so it would be very much Europe a la carte,” he said. That means “the complexity -- or the chaos -- of dealing with very diverse demands.”
Here’s a list of concerns that could lead to more substantial demands for EU change:
There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.

Warren Buffett.

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?

Amphibious Sherp ATV's big wheels keep on turning, no matter the terrain

C.C. Weiss February 10, 2016 16 PICTURES
When we initially saw the Sherp ATV rolling its way around the Internet, our first thought was that it must be the work of a designer, not a real vehicle. The compact body tucked between ginormous off-road tires just looked too odd to be real. But the Russian vehicle is indeed real and it's one hell of a way to drive over anything short of a sheer cliff face.
Led by technologist Aleksei Garagashian, the minds behind the Sherp ATV – minds that are almost certainly a little twisted – got together in 2012 to develop a vehicle with supreme terrain navigation capabilities. They finished up the design last year and are now showing the vehicle at expos like the upcoming Hunting and Fishing in Russia show.
The Sherp ATV isn't just an off-roader; it's an off-track vehicle designed to navigate over terrain that hasn't benefited from even the most basic human clearing – through the heart of brush fields, into swamps, over deadfall-strewn forest floors, and up and over talus fields. Its positively massive tires stand 63 in (160 cm) tall and provide the size and traction needed to roll over and through virtually anything in the way.
With nearly two feet (60 cm) of ground clearance, the Sherp underbody glides over obstacles that would eat up lesser vehicles. A tire-inflation system helps the vehicle adjust to the varying demands of the ground below.
And the Sherp ATV even swims, with the terrain-grappling ridges on the tires doubling as paddles. Drainage valves shed water after the Sherp ATV gets back on land.
If you think the ultra-rugged, 134 x 99 x 91-in (340 x 252 x 230-cm, L x W x H) Sherp ATV requires some kind of massive engine to shove it forward, you'll be rather shocked to learn that the whole thing is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with just 44 hp (33 kW) on tap. Though massive to the eye, the Sherp ATV weighs as little as 2,866 lb (1,300 kg), and that small engine and the five-speed manual transmission can get it going up to 28 mph (45 km/h) on land and 3.7 mph (6 km/h) in the water.
Sherp drivers also rely on skid steering, whereby the two wheels on each side are locked in synchronization, and can be driven independently of the pair on the opposite side.
The Sherp ATV seats four people inside its steel body and even has two seat belts. It can carry up to 2,200 lb (1,000 kg).

Another wintery weekend in the northern hemisphere, but it’s melting time in global stocks.  Will China coming back out to play next week bring us anything more than a dead cat bounce? Can NIRP bring about anything other than a total disaster? Have a great weekend everyone.

"Get a good night's sleep and don't bug anybody without asking me."

Richard M. Nixon, 37th United States President. Not a Crook.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

DJIA: -06 Down. NASDAQ: +75 Down. SP500: -02 Down.  Both the DJIA and the S&P 500 have now turned negative.

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