Friday, 11 March 2016

ECB Madness.

Baltic Dry Index. 384 +08        Brent Crude 40.82

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
Cameron: He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

With apologies to Winston Churchill.

We open with Magic Mario Madness, to match Mad Merkel’s Madness in inviting all the world’s economic migrants to come to Germany to settle for free benefits, housing and eventually a job anywhere in the EU 28, including Great Britain.  Brexit doesn’t just look better by the day, it now looks like the only option on the table. According to the most recent polls, Mad Merkel’s Party is about to get its comeuppance in this Sunday’s regional elections in Germany.
Up first, Emperor Magic Mario’s “new clothes.” Stay long fully paid up physical gold and silver held outside of the dodgy and flaky financial system.
If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

J. K. Galbraith.

Draghi Defines His Era With Stimulus Measures Locked Into Next Decade

March 10, 2016 — 7:58 PM GMT Updated on March 11, 2016 — 5:01 AM GMT
Whether Mario Draghi’s latest barrage of stimulus works or not, the European Central Bank president made one thing clear on Thursday: he won’t be the one to clean up afterward.

Instead, ultra-low interest rates that might even pay banks to receive loans are now potentially locked in until after the Italian retires in 2019. The ECB’s new measures have just entrenched policies designed for crisis times into the next decade.

In the face of a global debate on whether monetary policy has lost its effectiveness and is even planting the seeds of the next crisis, the ECB has delivered a solid defense of the right and power of central banks to boost growth and inflation at will. The best that can be said for euro-area fiscal policy is that it’s not hampering the recovery, so Draghi has underlined that he won’t wait for others to act.

“It’s hard to see what would happen with the euro-zone economy without the ECB being there, and obviously they could do more of the same and then even more of the same,” said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING DiBa in Frankfurt. “The situation could be that just as Draghi became governor to reverse Trichet’s rate increase, so it’ll be up to Draghi’s successor to unwind all the unconventional policies and rate cuts.”

Thursday’s meeting in fact helped shape the entire span of Draghi’s term in office, reaching from his immediate reversal of his predecessor’s two 2011 rate hikes after he took charge in November that year, through the torturous debate leading up to quantitative easing, and now embedding bank-friendly credit policies until beyond the end.

The president announced cuts to all three of the ECB’s rates, bringing the deposit rate to minus 0.4 percent, and a 20 billion-euro ($22 billion) expansion of quantitative easing that for the first time opens the door to purchases of corporate bonds. On top of that, he announced a new four-year loan program that potentially allows banks to be remunerated for taking the ECB’s money if they expand credit to the real economy, in a quartet of operations stretching to 2021.

Draghi’s policy arc has been in defiance of warnings by monetary conservatives, including those in Germany’s Bundesbank since the beginning of his term, up to more recent calls by the Group of 20 nations to shift the burden of growth generation away from monetary policy and toward structural policies or more government investment.

Asian markets take ECB stimulus moves in stride

Published: Mar 10, 2016 11:18 p.m. ET
Asian stocks were choppy Friday as investors brushed off a bigger than expected stimulus package from the European Central Bank.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.49%    was down 0.9%, Australia’s ASX/S&P 200 XJO, +0.32%   was up about 0.2%, and Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.24%   was up 0.1%.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.01%   was down 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.70%   was up 0.4%.

The reaction in Asia was largely muted on rising doubts that the ECB has enough policy tools to bolster growth and inflation in the eurozone.

“Further ECB action looks unlikely until at least the second half of the year,” said Colin Graham, chief investment officer of multi-asset solutions for BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “We believe fresh steps will depend on incoming data and might well reflect lessons learned from the market reaction to the latest measures.”

The ECB on Thursday unveiled stimulus measures that were more aggressive than economists expected. The package included expanding the scope and size of the ECB’s bond purchases each month and slashing three key interest rates.

Stocks initially rallied in Europe and the U.S. on Thursday, but retreated after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled that no further rate cuts were coming in the near future due to concerns about their impact on banks.
Following the maxim of why keep a dog and bark yourself, we give the final word on Mario’s madness to a real expert, David Stockman. Besides his bark has real clout compared to my mere yapping.

“But it [the boom] could not last forever even if inflation and credit expansion were to go on endlessly. It would then encounter the barriers which prevent the boundless expansion of circulation credit. It would lead to the crack-up boom and the breakdown of the whole monetary system.”

Ludwig von Mises.

Draghi’s Deadly Derangement

by David Stockman • 
Yes, the man is totally deranged, and so is the entire eurozone policy apparatus. Like much of officialdom elsewhere in the world, the ECB is attempting to fight low growth and low inflation with monetary nitroglycerin. Its only a matter of time before they blow the whole financial works sky high.

Low real GDP growth in the eurozone has absolutely nothing to do with the difference between –0.3% on the ECB deposit rate versus the new -0.4% dictate announced this morning; nor does QE bond purchases of EUR 80 billion per month compared to the prior EUR 60 billion rate have anything to do with it, either. The only purpose of such heavy handed financial intrusion is to make borrowing cheaper for households and businesses.

But here’s what the moronic Mario doesn’t get. The European private sector don’t want no more stinkin’ debt; they are up to their eyeballs in it already, and have been for the better part of a decade.

The growth problem in Europe is due to too much socialist welfare and too much statist taxation and regulation, not too little private borrowing. These are issues for fiscal policy and elected politicians, not central bank apparatchiks.

As shown in the chart below, the eurozone private sector had its final borrowing binge during the initial decade of the single currency regime through 2008; debts outstanding grew at the unsustainable rate of 7.5% annually. But since then the eurozone private sector has self-evidently been stranded on the shoals of Peak Debt.

Outstandings have flat-lined for the past eight years—-not withstanding increasingly heavy doses of ECB interest rate repression that have finally taken money market rates into the netherworld of subzero.
Nor has the approximate EUR $700 billion of bond purchases since QE’s inception last March made one wit of difference. Bank loans outstanding to the private sector were EUR 10.24 trillion at the end of January or exactly where they stood in March 2015 when Draghi and his merry band of money printers went all in.
By the same token, it is damn obvious that low inflation is not a problem, and that, in any event, it is not caused by lack of money printing and insufficient interest rate repression by the goofballs assembled at the ECB’s swell new headquarters in Frankfurt. The eurozone’s respite from its normal 1-2% annual dose of headline inflation is entirely imported via the global tide of plunging oil, commodities, steel and other industrial prices.

That welcome tide of imported deflation, in turn, is actually improving the eurozone’s terms of trade and raising consumer living standards; and it is not remotely connected to anything the ECB has done or not done in the last year or even four years.

Instead, the global deflation is a consequence of the massive malinvestment in mining, energy, industry, transportation and distribution which has resulted from the 20-year global credit binge enabled by the world’s convoy of money printing central banks. Incremental debt of $185 trillion or nearly 4X GDP growth during that period has crushed the world’s capacity for investment and production led growth.

The overhang of excess capacity everywhere on the planet is also drastically compressing prices, margins and profits, but the major impact is in the Red Ponzi and its EM supply chain; and the secondary impact is on engineered machinery, high tech and luxury goods exporters, including Germany and other eurozone export strongholds.

It goes without saying, however, that today’s new round of monetary quackery by the ECB will have no impact whatsoever on eurozone export demand from China and the EM. Not only did Draghi fail to send the Euro careening lower, but it wouldn’t matter anyway. The barrier is not FX; the problem is investment saturation in foreign markets that have run out of  borrowing capacity.
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.
At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 28.71 Moz, Eligible 126.37 Moz, Total 155.08 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today SOS shipping. Nothing that the ECB announced yesterday is going to help save the shipping industry unless shipping companies can somehow turn themselves into thieving banksters.

Too Many Boats for Too Little Cargo Leaves Shippers High and Dry

March 10, 2016 — 12:00 AM GM
Shippers of commodities are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis as waning Chinese growth and a surge in supply push earnings to new lows. These charts show how it happened, how commodity shipping is collapsing and how there’s one glimmer of hope for owners to turn things around.
In the mid-to-late 2000s ship owners gambled that China’s economy would continue to grow at about 10 percent a year. The result: the number of the largest commodity carriers, called Capesizes, has almost doubled since 2008. The fleet hit a record 1,655 vessels in early 2015 -- the same year in which the Chinese economy grew at the slowest pace in 25 years. Owners are now fighting for whatever market share they can get.
Clarkson Research forecasts that this year will see a second consecutive drop in the amount of coal and iron ore shipped around the world. Not since data going back to 1990 has the world seen two consecutive declines in the trade of those two key commodities. Coupled with near-record numbers of ships, that’s leading to enormous losses for the world’s owners. Golden Ocean Group Ltd. said last month it lost $69 million in the final quarter of 2015, versus net income of $5.2 million a year earlier.
Slowing demand for ships and a glut of supply can only mean one thing: record low costs to lease them. Capesize carrier fees have been breaking new lows almost every day this year, and now don’t even cover a third of the daily cost of their crew. When other operating costs and financing costs are included, owners stand to lose around $14,000 a day per ship.
When you’re making a loss on every transaction, it might seem like a good idea to sell some ships to raise capital. But in the Capesize market, carrier prices have plunged. A ship that would have cost $65 million in 2014 would now cost just $35 million. That leaves owners, some of whom borrowed to buy, with an even trickier predicament when trying to stabilize their finances.
The five largest publicly traded shipping companies with fleets dominated by dry-bulk carriers, according to Clarkson data, are almost all down in the past six months, a $1.3 billion decline in total market value. Only Taiwan’s Wisdom Marine Lines Co. matches the performance of the MSCI All Country World Index, a result of buying energy-saving Japanese-made vessels that can get a better leasing contract price, according to Yukai Tsai, an analyst at Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting.
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

Ludwig von Mises.

Brexit Quote of the week.

Cameron: He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

With apologies to George Bernard Shaw

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?

Red wonder: Chemists pave way for phosphorus revolution

Date: March 9, 2016

Source: Florida State University

Summary: Researchers have discovered a way to safely activate red phosphorus, an element that will be critical in the creation of new electronics and the materials of the future.
Florida State University researchers have discovered a way to safely activate red phosphorus, an element that will be critical in the creation of new electronics and the materials of the future.
The discovery, which details the process to activate red phosphorus using inexpensive and widely available potassium ethoxide dissolved in ethanol, was achieved by FSU Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Michael Shatruk, FSU postdoctoral researcher Alina Dragulescu-Andrasi, former FSU Professor of Chemistry Tyler McQuade, and Zane Miller, who recently earned his doctorate from the FSU Department of Chemistry. The research team's findings were published in the top chemistry journal Angewante Chemie.
This research is significant because current exploration of the uses and benefits of phosphorus are hampered by the volatile and highly flammable nature of the white form of the element, which has been generally used as the entry to the chemistry of phosphorus compounds in solutions.
"Activation of phosphorus is an important process for the preparation of semiconductors and low-dimensional electronic materials," Shatruk said. "But industries currently have to choose between using white phosphorus, which is very hazardous, or red phosphorus, which until now has been considered difficult to activate at low temperatures or in large quantities. Our new methodology removes the barriers to using red phosphorus as the starting material and opens up a world of opportunity."
The research team was able to activate red phosphorus using inexpensive potassium ethoxide in ethanol. The reaction can be performed with mild heating and provides access to soluble polyphosphide compounds. Those compounds can be used to explore the chemistry of phosphorus without the need to use flammable white phosphorus.
Phosphorus is most commonly used in fertilizers, incendiary devices and the production of steel, but its unique electrical properties make it a superior rival to graphene, the current go-to element for next generation electronics. Graphene, a single layer of graphite, is able to conduct electricity in remarkable ways, but has properties that make it difficult to regulate the flow of electricity and turn it on and off at will. Phosphorene, a single layer of phosphorus that was discovered only three years ago, is also an excellent conductor of electricity, but it allows the flow of electricity to be controlled, making it ideal for use in future electronics.

Another weekend and in my part of planet earth signs of spring are appearing everywhere. From Bluebells now starting to shoot up in the woods, to wild primroses in full flower, to the emerging Pussy Willow catkins. God’s sanity to mankind in our world full of financial insanity. Have a great weekend everyone. Hopefully the weekend that does for Germany’ Mad Merkel.

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: 16517 -23 Down. NASDAQ:  4558 +45 Down. SP500: 1932 -17 Down. 

No comments:

Post a Comment