Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Sea Change In Politics Too.

Baltic Dry Index. 624 -01      Brent Crude 48.12

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
Dodgy Dave on Brexit is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in.

With apologies to Harry Truman and Richard Nixon.
Go on Harry don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel.

We open with more Asian worries over what the Fed does next month. A 45 year bull market bond bubble is coming to an end, and that makes the casino gamblers very nervous. Forget whatever the outcome of the Brexit vote. What happens to interest rates in America, and the outcome of the hard landing in China, will determine what happens next in the UK and EUSSR economy. Despite Project Fear, more on that below, Brexit in or out, is largely a sideshow. A sea change in global politics is underway.
"The paper standard is self-destructive."

Hans F. Sennholz

Asian stocks near 10-week lows; dollar bounces on Fed rate view

Mon May 23, 2016 11:13pm EDT
Asian shares fell to near 10-week lows on Tuesday and the U.S. dollar pared some of its recent losses as investors worried about the likelihood of a U.S. interest rate increase in coming weeks.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slid 0.4 percent, taking its losses to nearly 5 percent so far this month and nearing its lowest levels since March 9.

"The market seems to be taking a cautious stance ahead of the Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech later this week," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

A string of comments in recent weeks by Federal Reserve officials and minutes of the last Fed meeting have put a possible rate hike firmly on the table for June or July, reviving the dollar but cooling appetite for riskier assets, even if markets are not totally convinced a tightening will come so soon.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Monday that a hike in June is appropriate unless data weakens, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said holding rates too low for too long could cause financial instability.

With economic growth across emerging markets showing fresh signs of flagging -- ratings agency Moody's growth in G20 emerging markets to ease to 4.2 percent in 2016 compared to 4.4 percent last year -- investors are growing more bearish on the outlook for stocks.
In China news, more of the same. Rising defaults, missing executives, inventive excuses. Nothing seems to work as it used to.

Lost Seals And Other Excuses Used by Defaulting Chinese Firms

May 22, 2016 — 5:01 PM BST Updated on May 23, 2016 — 7:38 AM BST
Missing corporate stamps, shuffled assets and disappearing executives have become the hallmarks of debt distress in China. Investors are starting to lose patience.
China Shanshui Cement Group Ltd. said this month it couldn’t distribute interest without its company seal, only for the underwriter to report payment later saying the stamp isn’t needed. Shenyang City Utility Group Co. said it couldn’t publish a repayment statement as the holder of its chop was traveling. China City Construction Holding Group Co.’s bonds slumped to 79 yuan out of 100 yuan face value on May 6 after its controlling shareholder changed. Fosun International Ltd. was among issuers to report lost contact with executives.

A lack of transparency and protections in bond documentation are adding to the angst among investors in China, where a record 10 companies have failed to make payments this year amid the weakest economic growth in a quarter century. This has prompted authorities to tighten regulation and scrutinize underwriters’ due diligence work.

“The bizarre defaults may discourage foreign investors from entering China’s corporate bond market,” said Wang Ying, a senior analyst at Fitch Ratings in Shanghai. “The internal corporate management of some companies is in chaos. It’s a typical phenomenon at an early stage of a bond market.”

Fosun’s $400 million of 6.875 percent bonds due in 2020 slumped by a record on the day after Caixin magazine reported in December that Chairman Guo Guangchang had gone missing. The bonds have since recovered to 104.5 cents on the dollar. Future Land Development Holdings Ltd. said in January that its Chairman Wang Zhenhua was being investigated by Changzhou city authorities. Its 10.25 percent 2019 dollar notes plunged by a record the next trading day and have risen to 109 cents. Neither Fosun nor Future Land have defaulted on their debentures.

China Shanshui first defaulted on its onshore notes in November as a shareholder tussle stymied financing. Shenyang City Utility, a local government financing vehicle in the capital of the northeastern province of Liaoning, said on April 28 it couldn’t publish bond repayment statement in time because a traveling employee was unable to chop the company stamp on the document. Chinese companies need seals to institute management changes so they can be registered with the government.
In Europe news, continental Europe is moving far right.

German anti-immigration party breaks off talks with Muslims

Mon May 23, 2016 1:20pm EDT
The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) broke off talks on Monday with representatives of the Muslim community that had been intended to ease tensions after the party declared Islam incompatible with the German constitution.

AfD leader Frauke Perry said she had walked out of the meeting after a prominent German Muslim refused to retract a comment comparing the AfD with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

Last month Aiman Mazyek, leader of the Central Council of Muslims that organized Monday's talks, likened the AfD's stance towards Muslims to that of the Nazis toward Jews in the 1930s after Perry's party called for a ban on minarets and burqas.

"We had to let ourselves - and this really gets to us - be accused of being like a party out of the Third Reich," Petry told reporters. "Comparisons made time and again that the AfD is becoming more like the Third Reich were not withdrawn."

German Muslims have been alarmed by the rise of the AfD, which entered three state parliaments in March by attracting voters angry with Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming of refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

The influx of more than one million mostly Muslim migrants into Germany last year has hardened German public opinion on immigration and pushed the government to toughen asylum rules.

This month AfD members backed an election manifesto that says Islam is not compatible with the constitution.

A party founded by Nazis just lost the Austrian election — barely

Updated by Zack Beauchamp on May 23, 2016, 1:50 p.m. ET
Austria's far-right Freedom Party was founded in 1956, its leadership full of former Nazis. Though it has twice been part of coalition governments, the party has been relatively marginal in Austrian politics.

But it just came within a hair's breadth of winning control of Austria's presidency. In runoff results announced on Monday morning, the Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, lost to the Green Party's Alexander Van der Bellen — by a 0.6 percentage point margin:

To be clear, Austria's president is a historically ceremonial position — the leader of the parliamentary majority, called the federal chancellor, generally wields power. That person is Christian Kern of the center-left Social Democratic Party.

And the Freedom Party isn't openly fascist, nor are its leaders Nazis. But it's still a very hard-right, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim organization — to the point of being outright racist. And the fact that it came this close to victory in a national election illustrates just how powerful the far right is becoming across Europe.
We end once again with Project Fear and Brexit news. Hollywood really couldn’t make this stuff up.
Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Osborne. Forty percent of all people know that.
With apologies to Homer Simpson.

Brexit Vote Could Create 200,000 Financial Jobs, Campaigners Say

May 23, 2016 — 10:38 AM BST
Britain could add 25 billion pounds ($36 billion) to London’s economic output and create more than 200,000 jobs in financial services by 2020 if voters choose to leave the European Union, according to campaigners.
The 28 nation trading bloc hurts economic growth in the City of London and is preparing tougher rules to undermine the capital’s position as the top global business hub in Europe, Steven Woolfe, the U.K. Independence Party’s financial affairs spokesman, and Conservative party lawmaker John Redwood will say in speeches on Monday, according to a statement.

The warning ahead of Britain’s June 23 referendum on EU membership clashes with senior financiers across Europe who argue that a vote to leave could spur an exodus from London’s financial district. It also comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne uses a speech in southern England to say a vote to leave may spark a yearlong “DIY” recession as the government tries to persuade undecided voters that the risks of a so-called Brexit are too great.

“If we stay in the EU, the City will be under siege,” Woolfe, a lawyer who has previously advised Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Aviva Plc, will say. “It will have to deal with wave after wave of attacks from Brussels, but will be powerless to fight back.”

A Treasury forecast issued on Monday said tens of thousands of jobs in the U.K.’s financial services sector would be at risk if Britons vote to leave. It would throw into question the ability for more than 5,000 U.K. firms, from banks to asset managers and insurers, to offer services and establish branches in other EU member states, according to the assessment. Companies may be forced to reconfigure subsidiaries in other EU countries and relocate activities and jobs, it said.

HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver has said the bank may shift 1,000 jobs to Paris if Britain votes to leave the EU, while a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers compiled for TheCityUK lobby group warned up to 100,000 financial-services jobs could be lost.

Brexit Would Make Vacations Pricier for Britons, Cameron Says

May 24, 2016 — 12:01 AM BST
Britons risk pushing up the cost of their vacations if they vote to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron said in his third warning in three days on how a so-called Brexit would hurt ordinary people in their pockets.

An average eight-night, four-person trip to an EU destination would cost an extra 230 pounds ($330), based on a projected 12 percent depreciation of the pound following a vote to leave the 28-nation EU, Cameron said in an e-mailed statement, citing a Treasury analysis. Travelers outside the EU wouldn’t be spared: a two-week family trip to the U.S. would rise by 620 pounds, according to the statement.

“A weaker pound means people’s hard-earned savings won’t go as far on holidays overseas,” Cameron said. A vote to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum represents “a leap in the dark that would raise prices –- including the cost of a family holiday,” he said.

"Those entrapped by the herd instinct are drowned in the deluges of history. But there are always the few who observe, reason, and take precautions, and thus escape the flood. For these few gold has been the asset of last resort."

Antony C. Sutton
At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 30.03 Moz, Eligible 124.26 Moz, Total 154.29 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more on the insanity of the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money. Another unintended consequence of the massive error at Camp David, August 15, 1971.
"The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice."

Henry Hazlitt

One of the World's Most Expensive Countries Is Debating Giving Away Money

Switzerland's unconditional basic income initiative proposes $30,000-a-year payout for everyone

May 23, 2016 — 5:01 AM BST
The Swiss are discussing paying people $2,500 a month for doing nothing.

The country will vote June 5 on whether the government should introduce an unconditional basic income to replace various welfare benefits. Although the initiators of the plan haven’t stipulated how large the payout should be, they’ve suggested the sum of 2,500 francs ($2,500) for an adult and a quarter of that for a child.

It sounds good, but — two things. It would barely get you over the poverty line, typically defined as 60 percent of the national median disposable income, in what’s one of the world’s most expensive countries. More importantly, it’s probably not going to happen anyway.

Plebiscites are a common part of Switzerland’s direct democracy, with multiple votes every year. The basic income initiative is taking place after the proposal gathered the required 100,000 signatures, though current polls suggest it won’t get any further. The idea of paying everyone a stipend has also piqued interest in other countries, such as Canada, the Netherlands and Finland, where an initial study began last year.
The initiators say the sum they’ve mentioned would allow for a “decent existence.” Still, on an annual basis, it would provide only 30,000 francs — just above the 2014 poverty line of 29,501 francs.
About one in eight people in Switzerland were below the level in that year, according to the statistics office. That’s more than in France, Denmark and Norway. Among those over 65, one in five were at risk of being poor.
“It’s not like you see abject poverty in Switzerland,” said Andreas Ladner, professor of political science at the University of Lausanne. “But there are a few people who don’t have enough money, and there are some people who work and don’t earn enough.”
Among the proponents of basic income is former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who says it's necessary as automation and robots increasingly eliminate jobs.
“A rich country like Switzerland has the great opportunity to try out this great experiment,” he said.
The initiative doesn’t lay out the conditions under which non-citizens would qualify.
The proposal is opposed by the government, which says the stipend would mean higher taxes, create disincentives to work and cause a skills shortage. The economy is already hamstrung by the franc’s strength, with businesses warning they’ll move production to less pricey locations to reduce costs.

Brexit The Animated Movie.

Brexit Quote of the week.

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness outside of the EUSSR.”

With grateful thanks to the writers of the US Declaration of Independence.

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?

2 Million Rural Mexicans to Benefit from New Solar Power

Published 22 May 2016
The Mexican energy company Enlight is working on a joint initiative to bring solar power to isolated areas without access to electricity.
Some 2 million Mexicans living in rural areas are set to benefit from solar energy as companies work to install solar panels in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to large Indigenous populations, the Mexico's official news agency Notimex reported Sunday.
The energy company Enlight has launched a program, in partnership with the social enterprise Ilumexico, that promotes the development of solar energy systems in rural communities through the expansion of solar power in cities.
Through the project, the more solar power systems set up by the company in big cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara, the more funding goes towards helping provide single-family solar panels in rural communities.
The company aims to have a social, economic, and environmental impact through the solar energy campaign, Enlight director Roberto Capuano told NotiMex.
The projects plans for the solar technology and equipment being installed to be accessible for local populations, with training to help for communities get set up to be able to manage their own energy systems.
According to Ilumexico, over 640,000 homes in Mexico do not have access to electricity.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished April

DJIA: 17773.64-19 Down. NASDAQ:  4775.36 +11 Down. SP500: 2065.30 -21 Down. 

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