Monday, 15 February 2016

The New Economy.

Baltic Dry Index. 291  +01        Brent Crude 33.29

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

"In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension."

J. K. Galbraith.

We open for the week with yet more bad economic news from Asia. While Americans rush off to the shops to celebrate President’s Day, buying tat they don’t need with money they don’t have, imports and exports are dying in Asia. Global trade is dropping into a new recession. Shipping and commodities are already in a depression, the oil glut just started to get worse. At Peak Debt, tomorrow will not be like today which was like yesterday. Tomorrow increasingly is looking like a 21st century version of the 1930s.

China's Exports Decline as Trade Surplus Swells to Record

February 15, 2016 — 2:08 AM GMT Updated on February 15, 2016 — 4:52 AM GMT
A slide in China’s exports in January was eclipsed by an even bigger tumble in imports, leaving a record trade surplus for the world’s biggest trading nation.

Overseas shipments declined 11.2 percent in January in U.S. dollar terms from a year earlier, the customs administration said on Monday, compared with a 1.4 percent drop in December. Imports extended a stretch of declines to 15 months, tumbling 18.8 percent, leaving a record trade surplus of $63.3 billion.

"Taken at face value these numbers are a negative sign for the Chinese economy," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at fund manager AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. "But Chinese economic data is traditionally very volatile around January reflecting the floating timing of the Chinese new year and they may also reflect a correction to possible over-invoicing and disguised capital outflows that could have boosted the December data."

China’s yuan surged by the most in more than a decade, catching up with dollar declines during a week-long holiday, after the central bank chief voiced support for the currency and set its fixing at a one-month high.

The slide in exports underscores the fragility of global demand and signal that policy makers may accelerate fiscal and monetary easing, according to Fielding Chen, an economist at Bloomberg Intelligence in Hong Kong. The People’s Bank of China has held the main rate at a record low since October.

Japan economy shrinks more than expected, highlights lack of policy options

Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:15pm EST
Japan's economy shrank more than expected in the final quarter of last year as consumer spending and exports slumped, adding to headaches for policymakers already wary of damage the financial market rout could inflict on a fragile recovery.

Gross domestic product contracted by an annualized 1.4 percent in October-December, bigger than a market forecast for a 1.2 percent decline and matching a fall marked in the second quarter of last year, Cabinet Office data showed on Monday. It followed a revised 1.3 percent increase in the previous quarter.

The data underscores the challenges premier Shinzo Abe faces in dragging the world's third-largest economy out of stagnation, as exports to emerging markets fail to gain enough momentum to make up for soft domestic demand.

Market speculation of additional monetary easing simmers, although the Bank of Japan's policy ammunition appears to be dwindling, analysts say, after it deployed negative interest rates last month.

"Private consumption is especially weak. The economy is at a standstill," said Junko Nishioka, chief economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

---- But analysts doubt whether the economy will gain momentum in coming months, with the recent market turbulence and slowing Chinese growth clouding the outlook for corporate profits.

Exports fell 0.9 percent in October-December after rising 2.6 percent in the previous quarter, underscoring the pinch companies are already feeling from soft emerging market demand.

In oil news, Iran’s back. The oil glut only gets worse.

Iranian Tankers Set Sail for Europe With Four Million Barrels of Oil

21:37 13.02.2016(updated 22:02 13.02.2016)

Iran's state oil company announced that tankers from Iran will begin delivering the crude oil to French, Spanish and Russian oil companies within the next 24 hours.

Iran will begin delivery of four million barrels of oil to Europe within the next 24 hours, Roknoddin Javadi, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced on Saturday.

The barrels have already been loaded onto tankers headed for refineries in Europe; the Russian company is going to process the oil in its refinery in Romania, Javadi said.

On Thursday Iran released its competitive oil prices to European buyers for the first time since the EU and US lifted financial and economic sanctions that were associated with Iran's nuclear program, and undercut the Saudis by more than $1 a barrel.

Notices from both NIOC and Saudi Aramco show that one of Iran's main export grades, Iran Heavy, will cost $1.25 a barrel less than Saudi Arabia’s most similar crude for March deliveries.

On January 18 Roknoddin Javadi said Iran's Oil Ministry had been ordered to increase the country's daily output by 500,000 barrels following the lifting of sanctions, and Iran is aiming to raise its crude oil exports by a million barrels a day within six months of their removal.

In VW dirty, killer, diesel scandal news, the roof fell in on VW over the amorous weekend. Elsewhere in the EUSSR, the roof fell in in Paris. More sign of the global economy toppling over, just don’t let on to main stream media or bubblevision.

Volkswagen managers were notified about diesel probe in May 2014: sources

Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:40am EST
A high-ranking employee warned senior Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) managers in May 2014 that U.S. regulators might examine car engine software as part of an investigation into pollution levels, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The warning came in the form of a letter, which was sent more than a year before the German carmaker's public admission that its cars had been equipped with software to manipulate emission test results, the sources said, raising questions about how much senior managers knew about the scandal.

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the company for up to $46 billion for alleged violations of environmental law while regulators and prosecutors are looking to establish what role, if any, had been played by senior managers, including former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating pollution tests but has maintained that only a small number of employees were to blame and that there was no indication that board members were involved.

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag was first to report the existence of an internal letter warning senior managers about the investigation.

Citing documents from VW's own investigation of the scandal, Bild am Sonntag said that an employee known internally as "Winterkorn's fireman" had notified superiors about the probe.

"It can be assumed that the authorities will investigate VW systems to establish whether Volkswagen has implemented test-recognition software," the newspaper said, citing the letter uncovered as part of an investigation by Jones Day, a law firm conducting the company's internal investigation.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday that they had knowledge of the Volkswagen letter but that it is not certain that Winterkorn, who resigned shortly after the scandal surfaced, had seen the letter.

The letter was sent from the carmaker's product quality and safety department, one of the sources said.

Paris Pinacotheque museum closes as visitor numbers drop post attacks

Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:55pm EST
The Paris Pinacotheque, one of France's rare privately owned art museums, will close on Monday as visitor numbers have plunged following the November shootings in Paris.

The Pinacotheque, which has been under court receivership for three months, said that like all Paris museums it had suffered a dramatic drop in attendance.

Opened in 2007, the Pinacotheque's two exhibition spaces on the Place de la Madeleine in central Paris mainly ran temporary exhibits with works loaned from other museums or private collections and had a testy relationship with the public French museum world.

"The disastrous economic climate due to a large extent to the Nov. 13 attacks forces us to close the Madeleine sites in Paris," the museum said in a statement.

Last year's show on Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession attracted nearly 400,000 visitors, according to the museum.

Following the November attacks in which Islamist militants killed 130 people and the January 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish deli in which 17 people were killed, the Paris tourist industry has suffered.

Preliminary official data released late January showed museum attendance in the Paris region had dropped 5 percent last year. The Louvre, the world's most visited museum, saw visitor numbers drop to 8.7 million from 9.3 million in 2014.

The Pinacotheque will close on Monday evening, prematurely ending an exhibition of photographs by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld which was set to run until the end of March.

The museum said it hopes to reopen in a less expensive site in a few years, adding that part of its permanent collection - made up mainly from private collector's loans - would be partly relocated to the Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris.

We end for the day with global warming news, now rebranded and relaunched to the unsuspecting masses as “climate change.” It will be interesting to hear how electric vehicles and hybrids got on in this record breaking cold snap.

New York Shivers Its Way to Record Cold Temperatures Sunday

February 14, 2016 — 2:37 PM GMT
The record cold gripping New York City has probably peaked along the East Coast and will start to retreat amid snow, sleet and rain on Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures rise by more than 50 degrees, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

New York’s Central Park got as low as minus 1 degree Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) Sunday morning, breaking a record set in 1916, said Jay Engle, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. The last time Central Park posted a below-zero reading was in January 1985. By Tuesday temperatures there could reach 53 degrees, the weather service said.

A record was tied at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and broken at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which both reached 1 degree, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the Weather Prediction Center based in College Park, Maryland. The old marks were set in 1979. With the bottom reached, temperatures will begin to rise, and with it some stormy weather through Tuesday along the East Coast.

In Boston, readings reached minus 4 just before midnight on Saturday breaking a record set in 1967.

----The weather service posted wind chill warnings and advisories from West Virginia to Maine as the frigid Arctic air moved from the Midwest into the East Coast over the weekend. Extreme cold warnings stretched from Ontario to Newfoundland as well, according to Environment Canada.

In the U.S., the lowest temperature for Sunday was the minus 37 posted in Watertown, New York, near Lake Ontario and about 125 miles (200 km) south of Ottawa, the National Weather Service said.

On Saturday, at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory, 6,288 feet (1,898 meters) above sea level, temperatures dropped to minus 38. Brisk winds there made the readings feel closer to minus 77.

You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.

J. K. Galbraith.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 28.91 Moz, Eligible 128.95 Moz, Total 157.86 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

Today, so you want to remain in the EUSSR. Why?

Spanish council failed to notice civil servant's six-year absence from work

Joaquín García, who was still collecting his annual €37,000 salary, was only rumbled when he was considered for an award for performing 20 years of loyal service

James Badcock in Madrid 3:56PM GMT 12 Feb 2016
A Spanish civil servant who failed to turn up for work for six years was only discovered when he was considered for an award for loyal service.

Former public employee Joaquín García, who was still collecting his annual €37,000 (€31,000) salary, was on Friday ordered by Cádiz city hall to pay €27,000 in compensation.

He had been sent by the city council to oversee the building of a waste-water treatment plant in the southwestern city but records show that Mr García had not turned up for work since 2004.

Mr García responded by filing his own complaint with city hall demanding that councillor José Blas Fernández, in charge of personnel at the time, be disciplined for negligence for failing to notice his absence.

Mr García argued that if it is true that he was absent during all of that time, “it was up to Mr Fernández to make sure that this did not happen”.

• Italian Riviera council workers head to beach or go kayaking instead of work

Mr Fernández took legal action against Mr García in 2010 after seeing his name on a list of employees due to receive awards for long service. Recalling that he had been sent to a post at Cádiz Water under an agreement between the council and the public utility in 1998, Mr Fernández visited the waterworks to find that Mr García’s colleagues had no idea where he was.

“They assumed he had been sent back to city hall,” Mr Fernández said. An investigation revealed that the phantom civil servant had not clocked in to work for six years from 2004.

• Italian policeman who clocked in for work in his underwear is sacked

Mr García claimed that he had occasionally visited his office but that there was nothing for him to do. He said he was the victim of workplace bullying due to disagreements between the council and the water company.

The now-retired civil servant has asked the current mayor of Cádiz, José María González of the Left-wing Podemos party, to be excused having to pay the damages equivalent to one year’s salary.

The median salary in Spain is just over €19,000, while unemployment in Cádiz is above the national average at 34 per cent.

A permanent Governor of the Bank of England [your central bankster here,] would be one of the greatest men in England. He would be a little 'monarch' in the City; he would be far greater than the 'Lord Mayor.' He would be the personal embodiment of the Bank of England; he would be constantly clothed with an almost indefinite prestige. Everybody in business would bow down before him and try to stand well with him, for he might in a panic be able to save almost anyone he liked, and to ruin almost anyone he liked. A day might come when his favour might mean prosperity, and his distrust might mean ruin.

Walter Bagehot. Lombard Street. 1873

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?

Today, compare and contrast. India v the USA.  Thomas Edison shut down by candlemakers.

Solar Power Gets Place in the Sun

Published: 14th February 2016 06:00 AM Last Updated: 14th February 2016 12:00 A
Events in the last few weeks show that the role of solar power in India’s energy may be bigger than portrayed. From repeated concerns by judicial authorities to private power companies dumping coal projects in favour of solar, India’s energy policy is in a state of flux.

Ports-to-power conglomerate Adani Group has frozen its investment in Australia’s largest proposed coalmine until world coal prices show a clear recovery amid a huge move by the company into solar energy. The group plans to set up a capacity of 10,000 MW of solar power by 2022. Adani Green Energy Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, has forayed into solar power generation and PV equipment manufacturing. At present, the group operates a 40 MW solar power plant in Bitta (Gujarat). Its 648 MW plant is under construction in Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu).

Two weeks ago, Reliance Power, one of the three largest private power companies in India, said it wanted to abandon the proposed 4,000 MW Krishnapatnam mega power project in Andhra Pradesh as part of its retreat from coal-centred expansion and move towards solar and other renewables.
The strategic shift has been underscored by an announcement by RattanIndia Power—another major private power generation company—that it wants the Punjab government to approve the use of a 324-hectare site for a solar plant instead of a proposed coal plant. The economics of solar, the company stated, are better than that of coal.
The winning solar power price bids at the recent reverse auctions held in January bolster this reasoning. The auction price came in at `4.34 per kilowatt hour (kWh), a 7 per cent fall since 2015.
It is the lowest price obtained so far in India, which aims to instal more than 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, and was hailed by Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal as a sign that solar power is now cheaper than coal power. Just two months ago, the lowest tariff ‘discovered’ through a reverse auction for a 500-MW project in Andhra Pradesh was `4.63 per unit.
With the prices for solar power in India having fallen by 20 per cent in 2015 and 80 per cent over five years, new coal power plants are facing stiffer competition far sooner than most expected.
Tariffs are sliding in the rest of the world too. China, the world’s largest clean energy investor, reduced solar tariffs from January 1.

The Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power

All over the country, the Kochs and utilities have been blocking solar initiatives — but nowhere more so than in Florida

By Tim Dickinson February 11, 2016

After decades of false starts, solar power in America is finally poised for its breakthrough moment. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than 80 percent since President Obama took office, and the industry is beginning to compete with coal and natural gas on economics alone.

But the birth of Big Solar poses a grave threat to those who profit from burning fossil fuels. And investor-owned utilities, together with Koch-brothers-funded front groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are mounting a fierce, rear-guard resistance at the state level – pushing rate hikes and punishing fees for homeowners who turn to solar power. Their efforts have darkened green-energy prospects in could-be solar superpowers like Arizona and Nevada. But nowhere has the solar industry been more eclipsed than in Florida, where the utilities' powers of obstruction are unrivaled.

The Sunshine State has the best solarity east of the Mississippi, and the third-best rooftop solar potential in America. Yet measured by solar production, it ranks just 16th in the nation. It's dwarfed by solar giants like California. Florida even lags behind Northern states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. "It defies logic," says former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. "It's absolutely absurd."

The solar industry in Florida has been boxed out by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) that reap massive profits from natural gas and coal. These IOUs wield outsize political power in the state capital of Tallahassee, and flex it to protect their absolute monopoly on electricity sales. "We live in the Stone Age in regard to renewable power," says state Rep. Dwight Dudley, the ranking Democrat on the energy subcommittee in the Florida House. "The power companies hold sway here, and the consumers are at their mercy."

The full political might of Florida's IOUs was on display in December, when a deceptive campaign, funded by the state's electric utilities, crushed a citizen-led effort to open Florida to solar competition through the 2016 ballot. "When your opponents have no ethical foundation, have unlimited resources and are willing to say and do anything to defeat you," says Stephen Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which led the pro-solar effort, "it's a tough hurdle to overcome."

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment