Friday, 13 May 2016

Friday The Thirteenth.

Baltic Dry Index. 579 unch.      Brent Crude 47.81

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
BBC "the propaganda arm of the EU."
Martin Durkin. Brexit Filmmaker.

It is Friday the thirteenth, what could possibly go wrong? In our global casinos, once known as stock markets, the party is back in full swing again, since the central banksters brought back the punch bowls again, except in China where they brought out many. China stimulated in Q1 16 at an annual rate of roughly $4 trillion, and that in an official GDP economy of $12 trillion, but unofficially believed to be only 8 to 10 trillion.  The Chinese patient is using opium at a suicidal rate. I suspect that we are not far off from yet another 2008 style crisis moment.
Aside from energy and foodstuffs, where I think we might be about to see an unwelcome return of global inflation, the industrial commodities and shipping, suggest a new recession is starting to appear. If so, the doddering G-20 is about to get hit in the remainder of 2016, with the worst of all possible outcomes. Industrial commodity collapse and deflation, with food and energy inflation due to a vicious Asian drought, and too many bankruptcies in the American oil, gas, and coal sectors. Iron ore and copper will both falter ahead, as China’s insane Q1 financial opiate use comes to an end. For the brave, May 2016 is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to put on synthetic double options on the fate of the global gambling casinos.
The upside, von Mises “crack up boom,” if Draghi and Yellen go for China’s folly of massive financial opium use. The downside, a recession burst bubble in the casinos, if Draghi and Yellen don’t. Expect a whole lot of whinging one percenter’s, as “the Donald” gets proved right in his recession call, and about half the one percenter’s get ejected from the club. Expect a whole lot of global social discontent too. Food and energy inflation combined with a recession, focuses a whole lot of minds superfast, on the crooked politicians and central banksters that delivered such an outcome. The Donald would probably win in a “Reagan landslide.”
While Project Fear in the UK looks likely, as with the Scottish referendum, to produce a Remainiac win, the UK will be chained to a dying EUSSR as any recession will wipe out Italy and others banks, probably wiping out Deutsche Bank, Europe’s biggest bank, too. All those “financial weapons of mass destruction” in their massive gambling book, look to be fatal to me, but I’m only a retired commodities dinosaur. If John Bull votes to remain chained to Johnny Foreigner, he will be in deep regret by the time Christmas rolls around.
And so to this morning’s signs of mounting concern. “Europe” becomes a “bad word.”
“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.

Emerging Assets Extend Weekly Declines on Global Growth Concerns

May 13, 2016 — 5:29 AM BST
Emerging-market stocks were set to decline for a fourth week, their longest losing streak since August, and currencies weakened as concern that global growth remains sluggish spurred outflows.

Chinese shares headed for the longest string of weekly losses in two years on speculation the government will refrain form adding fresh stimulus even as the world’s second-largest economy falters. Chile’s peso, Turkey’s lira, South Africa’s rand and South Korea’s won led currencies lower as the dollar extended gains on the prospect the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.

An emerging-markets rally that started in January lost momentum as investors pulled $2.9 billion from equities in Asia and Brazil this month. Weak data from the U.S. and China fueled concerns that central banks may be unable to sustain a recovery. Malaysia on Friday reported slower economic expansion for a fifth quarter and Chinese data due Saturday are forecast to show industrial output growth moderated in April.

Mining update: Mining production falls in Q1.16 reflecting challenging operating climate and manifesting in poor job prospects

Annabel Bishop 12-May-2016
[South Africa] In March mining production contracted by 18.0% y/y following declines of 8.3% y/y in February and 5.8% y/y in January. The extent of decline exceeded market expectations of a 12.4% y/y contraction in March.
·  On a seasonally adjusted annualised basis, mining production fell by 19.2% q/q. This measure is used to estimate GDP and therefore signals the sector will detract from GDP in Q1.16.
·  In Q1.16, the mineral groups which made the largest negative contributions to the seasonally adjusted measure included platinum group metals (PGMs) and iron ore. The gold mining sector made the largest positive contribution, with the performance possibly aided by the rise in the gold price (see figure 4).
·  Most commodity prices rose during February and March from January lows, supported by a weaker US$ and improved market risk appetite (see figure 3). However, in its recent Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank projects that commodity prices will decline in 2016 owing to “persistently abundant supplies and, in the case of industrial commodities, weak growth prospects in emerging market and developing economies.”
·  Low commodity prices and subdued global demand conditions, will therefore continue to exacerbate the effects on margins of increased domestic operating costs, including labour and electricity.
·  Mining producers have broadly implemented cost rationalisation measures, resulting in deferred capital expenditure plans and poor employment prospects in the sector.
·  Government policy also poses a challenge to the operating environment in the sector. Specifically, in April, revisions to the Mining Charter were published, with perceived insufficient prior consultation with business and labour. This was seen as a further erosion of policy uncertainty.
·  In consideration of these various challenges, a significant recovery in mining production is unlikely over the coming quarters.

IEA Sees Smaller Global Oil Surplus as India Drives Demand Gains

May 12, 2016 — 9:00 AM BST
The global oil surplus in the first half of this year will probably be smaller than previously estimated because of robust demand in India and other emerging nations, the International Energy Agency said.
Supply will exceed demand by an average of 1.3 million barrels a day in the first six months of 2016, down from the 1.5 million projected a month ago, following surprisingly strong consumption in the first quarter, the Paris-based adviser said in a report. Still, further gains in oil prices “are likely to be limited by brimming crude and products stocks,” it predicted.
“Changes to the data in this month’s report confirm the direction of travel of the oil markets towards balance,” said the agency, which advises 29 of the most industrialized nations on energy policy. “The global supply surplus of oil will shrink dramatically later this year.”

The diminished glut indicates that OPEC’s policy, driven by de facto leader Saudi Arabia, to let lower crude prices re-balance world markets is taking effect. Oil futures closed at a six-month high above $46 a barrel in New York on Wednesday as supplies were tightened by declining U.S. drilling, wildfires in Canada and disruptions in Nigeria.

The IEA boosted its forecast for world oil demand this year by 100,000 barrels a day to 95.9 million a day. The rate of growth from 2015, at 1.2 million barrels a day, is unchanged from last month’s report. The agency, which said in March it might lower global oil demand forecasts, may need to increase them further, according to Wednesday’s report.

Strength in the first quarter was driven by China, Russia and by transport fuel use in India, which is “taking over from China as the main growth market for oil.”

Production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached its highest level since 2008 as Iran restored output previously constrained by international sanctions.

Iran pumped 3.56 million barrels a day in April, the most since November 2011 when international sanctions related to its nuclear program started to tighten, the agency said. Together with increased supplies from Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, that made up for disruptions in Kuwait and Nigeria, pushing the group’s total to 32.76 million barrels a day.

Brazil's Temer calls for unity, confidence for Brazil recovery

Fri May 13, 2016 1:23am EDT
Brazil's interim President Michel Temer called on his country to rally behind his government of "national salvation," hours after the Senate voted to suspend and put on trial his leftist predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, for breaking budget laws.

Temer, a 75-year-old centrist now moving to steer Latin America's biggest country toward more market-friendly policies, told Brazilians to have "confidence" they would overcome an ongoing crisis sparked by a deep economic recession, political volatility and a sprawling corruption scandal.

"It is urgent we calm the nation and unite Brazil," he said, after a signing ceremony for his incoming cabinet. "Political parties, leaders, organizations and the Brazilian people will cooperate to pull the country from this grave crisis."

Brazil's crisis brought a dramatic end to the 13-year rule of the Workers Party, which rode a wave of populist sentiment that swept South America starting around 2000 and enabled a generation of leftist leaders to leverage a boom in the region's commodity exports to pursue ambitious and transformative social policies.

But like other leftist leaders across the region, Rousseff discovered that the party, after four consecutive terms, overstayed its welcome, especially as commodities prices plummeted and her increasingly unpopular government failed to sustain economic growth.

Europe becoming 'bad word' due to migrant crisis, other woes: Italy minister

Wed May 11, 2016 9:55am EDT
Europe is becoming "a bad word" due to the strains of the migrant crisis and growing inequality among euro zone countries that risk driving the continent apart, Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was set up 25 years ago after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Padoan said governments were not doing enough to tackle the region's big problems.

"In terms of language, in many cases let's face it, Europe is becoming a bad word and that is very serious," said Padoan.

With the euro zone struggling to shake off debt worries that have nearly split the currency bloc in recent years, Padoan said an even greater threat now came from the possible breakdown of Europe's borderless Schengen region as some countries introduce emergency controls to stem the movement of migrants.

"If Schengen fails, this is going to be much more destructive than a crisis of the euro zone," he said.

More than one million refugees and migrants entered Europe last year, many fleeing wars in the Middle East. Padoan said the crisis was "not a one-off shock" but "a major structural change that is going to be with us for a long time."

Border controls between Schengen countries are usually not allowed, but in a situation of emergency checks can be reintroduced for a maximum of two years.

Heavily-indebted Italy has been lobbying the European Union for more fiscal leeway in its 2016 budget, both to help manage the influx of migrants and to keep a recovery in the euro zone's third-largest economy on track after three years of recession.

The EU Commission will rule on Italy's request this month.

German court orders beer hall to host anti-immigrant party event

Thu May 12, 2016 1:29pm EDT
A Munich court on Thursday ordered the owner of a beer hall where Adolf Hitler is thought to have made his first political speech to allow the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) to hold an event there.

The AfD, whose events often attract protests by left-wing demonstrators, had reserved the Hofbraeukeller in the Bavarian city for Friday, where its supporters will hear a speech by leader Frauke Petry.

But fearing anti-AfD protests outside the venue, hall owner Rickey Steinberg canceled the event.

The district court in Munich said on its website it had ordered Steinberg to honor the contract signed with the AfD and allow the event to go ahead.

"I am obviously very sad that the judge doesn't see our security concerns," Steinberg was quoted as saying by German media. He will not appeal the decision.

Police in Stuttgart earlier this month detained some 500 left-wing protesters who tried to break up the AfD's first full conference, where party members backed an election manifesto that says Islam is not compatible with the constitution.

The arrival of the more than a million migrants in Germany last year has fueled the rise of the AfD, which entered three state parliaments in elections in March.

Greeks Leery of Debt-Relief Talks as They Brace for New Tax Wave

May 12, 2016 — 2:03 AM BST Updated on May 12, 2016 — 10:40 AM BST
Ioannis Plotas doesn’t share his prime minister’s belief that the start of debt-relief discussions on Monday is a step forward for Greece.

Rather, the 52-year-old is worried that the latest hikes in income tax and social security contributions passed by Greek lawmakers on Sunday to appease creditors will drive the dry cleaning shop he runs with his sister in central Athens out of business. 

“They’re taking money out of our pockets and driving our customers further away,” he said. Will debt-relief talks make a difference? “No way,” he said. “The only thing we know for sure is that things won’t get better.”

Demands made by Greece’s European creditors suggest he may be right to be wary. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, addressing his cabinet colleagues on Tuesday, said debt relief will give the country much-needed fiscal breathing space. Still, the timid steps discussed on Monday by finance ministers to ease the burden of Europe’s most indebted nation came with proposals based on Greece running a budget surplus before interest payments of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product for a decade, a criterion many economists say is unreasonable.
“After years of recession, these measures are hurting everyone,” said Ilias Lekkos, chief economist of Piraeus Bank SA in Athens. “However much you raise taxes, however much you make cuts, a 3.5 percent primary surplus is not achievable. Or if we do achieve it, it will be at the cost of a huge recession.”

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

 Albert Einstein

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 29.69 Moz, Eligible 123.13 Moz, Total 152.82 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Don’t look now, but is that a robot I see, coming for your job? Where are the Luddites of the 21st century?

Technology, Demography, And The Future Of Economic Growth

May 12, 2016 2:21 AM ET
Demographic shifts and technological advancements - what effects will these factors have on the global economy?

Two wildly different ones, but together they will exert a massive influence on economic growth and the outlook for the world economy for generations, according to economist and author Dambisa Moyo, in her address at the CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference 2016 in Bahrain.

Setting a bearish tone, Moyo said that the world economy will never again experience the rapid growth rates seen prior to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. She found this to be "incredibly damning."

In order to put a significant dent in world poverty, Moyo continued, there must be a global growth rate of around 7% a year. At best, she said, we are expanding at 2.5% annually. And in the emerging markets, where the vast majority of the global population lives, few nations are hitting that 7% mark. Indeed, Brazil is in the midst of a recession.

As for the headwinds behind this stubborn decline in economic growth, Moyo pointed to technology and demographics.

Over the next 20 years, 47% of all jobs in the United States will be eroded or disrupted by technology, Moyo said. Think of the changes caused by the shift away from agriculture since the early 1900s. At the outset of the last century, Moyo observed, much of the US workforce was involved in agriculture. Today, less than 2% of the US workforce is. This transition is largely a function of technological advancements, and Moyo anticipates similar transformations in the years ahead.

Most of the heavier automation is taking place where much of the world population works, in the unskilled or low-skilled positions of the manufacturing sector. This leads to fewer jobs and fewer hours worked - to less human productivity - and is accompanied by a decline in real wages, thus further impeding economic growth.

---- In sharp contrast to the decline in jobs and human productivity, global demographics are exploding. Currently, 7.5 billion people live on the planet. To put this into context, there were three billion in 1960, and it took 125 years to expand from two to three billion, Moyo said. According to a 2015 UN study, this growth will continue until a predicted plateau of 11 billion in 2100. In a poll taken before Moyo's presentation, however, a plurality of conference participants said demographic forces will have a positive influence on global growth over the next year.

Brexit The Animated Movie.

Brexit Quote of the 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. European Commission  President.

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?

Revolutionary graphene filter could solve water crisis

March 10, 2016
A new type of graphene-based filter could be the key to managing the global water crisis, a study has revealed. The new graphene filter, which has been developed by Monash University and the University of Kentucky, allows water and other liquids to be filtered nine times faster than the current leading commercial filter.

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, lack of access to safe, clean water is the biggest risk to society over the coming decade. Yet some of these risks could be mitigated by the development of this filter, which is so strong and stable that it can be used for extended periods in the harshest corrosive environments, and with less maintenance than other filters on the market.

The research team was led by Associate Professor Mainak Majumder from Monash University. Associate Professor Majumder said the key to making their filter was developing a viscous form of graphene oxide that could be spread very thinly with a blade.

"This technique creates a uniform arrangement in the graphene, and that evenness gives our filter special properties," Associate Prof Majumder said.

This technique allows the filters to be produced much faster and in larger sizes, which is critical for developing commercial applications. The graphene-based filter could be used to filter chemicals, viruses, or bacteria from a range of liquids. It could be used to purify water, dairy products or wine, or in the production of pharmaceuticals.

This is the first time that a graphene filter has been able to be produced on an industrial scale – a problem that has plagued the scientific community for years.

Research team member and PhD candidate, Abozar Akbari, said scientists had known for years that graphene filters had impressive qualities, but in the past they had been difficult and expensive to produce.

"It's been a race to see who could develop this technology first, because until now graphene-based filters could only be used on a small scale in the lab," Mr Akbari said.

Graphene is a lattice of carbon atoms so thin it's considered to be two-dimensional. It has been hailed as a "wonder-material" because of its incredible performance characteristics and range of potential applications.

The team's new filter can filter out anything bigger than one nanometre, which is about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The research has gathered interest from a number of companies in the United States and the Asia Pacific, the largest and fastest-growing markets for nano-filtration technologies.

The team's research was supported by industry partner Ionic Industries, as well as a number of Australian Research Council grants.

Graphene's love affair with water

February 13, 2014
Graphene has proven itself as a wonder material with a vast range of unique properties. Among the least-known marvels of graphene is its strange love affair with water.

Graphene is hydrophobic – it repels water – but narrow
capillaries made from graphene vigorously suck in water allowing its rapid permeation, if the water layer is only one atom thick – that is, as thin as graphene itself.

This bizarre property has attracted intense academic and industrial interest with intent to develop new water filtration and desalination technologies.

One-atom-wide graphene capillaries can now be made easily and cheaply by piling layers of graphene oxide – a derivative of graphene – on top of each other. The resulting multilayer stacks (laminates) have a structure similar to nacre (mother of pearl), which makes them also mechanically strong.

Two years ago, University of Manchester researchers discovered that thin membranes made from such laminates were impermeable to all gases and vapours, except for water. This means that even helium, the hardest gas to block off, cannot pass through the membranes whereas water vapour went through with no resistance.
Another late spring weekend in my part of the world, with the hedgerows full of the Mayflower, hawthorn blossom, the swifts, swallows and house martins back from Africa, and the mayfly starting to appear in great numbers. Have a great weekend everyone. What could possibly go wrong. Even HMQ was a winner yesterday, though according to the accounts, Phil and Liz do seem to have something of a food and drink problem.

Queen wins £50 Tesco gift card at horse show

Prize at Royal Windsor equestrian event delights the monarch – but Tesco is not among suppliers with royal warrants
Thursday 12 May 2016
Every little helps when your food shop rings up at an average £25,000 a week. So the Queen was understandably delighted when she won a £50 Tesco gift card at an equestrian event.

The monarch grinned as she clutched the credit card-sized voucher at the Royal Windsor horse show. Her horse Barber’s Shop won the Tattersalls & RoR Thoroughbred Ridden Show. However, it is unlikely that she ever eats anything from Tesco, since the company does not appear on the list of firms with royal warrants.

Held in the grounds of Windsor castle, the most ancient of the Queen’s residences, the four-day event was one of the main celebrations for her 90th birthday. However, it has been badly affected by the weather.

A waterlogged car park forced the cancellation of the preview performance on Wednesday, but the sun was shining as the main equine eventing got under way on Thursday, which may have been as much the source of the Queen’s good mood as her £50 windfall.

She would be a good customer for any grocer. According to their publicly available accounts in the year to March 2015 the royal family spent £1.3m – about £25,000 a week – on food and drink.

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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