Thursday, 19 May 2016

Sell In May.

Baltic Dry Index. 642 -01      Brent Crude 48.09

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell.
Sell in May, go away has never looked better this year. The Fedster’s next interest rate rise, is on again for June, apparently, after a few weeks of being off for June.  I’m glad I’m not a professional money manager, attempting long term pension planning in the central bankster bond bubble era of the Fed’s final bubble.
In the oil patch, despite rising production difficulties in Nigeria, America, and Canada, global demand is slowing along with production, so Brent crude failed to take out $50 and is back at $48 again. My guess is that at higher prices, China simply slows down purchases for their strategic reserve. One side plays with the spigot of production, the other side plays with the spigot of demand.  Both sides ignore rising signs of recession approaching America, and a crash landing approaching China.
The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.

Walter Bagehot.

Asian stocks choppy as Fed news turns investors wary

Published: May 18, 2016 11:55 p.m. ET

Analysts say possibility of U.S. rate hike could shake up markets

Shares in Asia were choppy and shares were sliding — except in China and Japan — as many investors grow cautious about the stronger chance that U.S. interest rates will rise in June.

In China, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.42%   recently rose 0.6%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -0.07%   opened higher but pared gains to recently trade about flat. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.50%   dropped 0.4%, Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.57%   fell 0.5% and Australia’s ASX/S&P 200 XJO, -0.93%  sank 0.7%.

Many investors across the Asia-Pacific region pulled back after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes suggested a June interest-rate increase was still in the cards if data supported the case that the American economy was getting stronger.

The U.S. dollar strengthened against its major peers after the minutes were released, putting pressure on some Asia-Pacific stock markets and prices for commodities.

“In Asia it should be quite negative — especially in emerging markets we have seen the USD bid higher” against Asian currencies, said Tareck Horchani, a senior sales trader at Saxo Capital Markets. “This rate hike is not really a good sign. I believe we might see some larger correction in Asia over the next few days.”

Investors were initially more positive in Japan, where stocks were up as much as 0.5% in the early morning. Shares gained after the yen weakened overnight.

A weaker currency helps Japanese exporters, who can sell their goods at more competitive prices overseas and can increase earnings made abroad when they are repatriated into yen.

Fed Puts June Rate Increase on Table Provided Economy Says Go

May 18, 2016 — 11:10 PM BST
Federal Reserve officials want to raise interest rates in June. Now, it is up to the U.S. economy to confirm their view that slow growth in the first quarter was temporary.

Minutes of the April 26-27 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday in Washington used the word “June” six times in a policy context. That signal follows several speeches by regional Fed bank presidents warning investors not to dismiss a mid-year hike after the odds of such a move edged close to zero.

“The Fed put the June hike relatively aggressively on the table so long as the economic data continues to show positive signs,” said Tony Bedikian, managing director of global markets for Citizen’s Bank in Boston.

Chair Janet Yellen will have an opportunity to harden the impression that a June move is on the cards when she speaks at Harvard University on May 27. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia has also announced she will address their members on June 6. That’s on the eve of the blackout period before the next FOMC meeting on June 14-15, and three days after the release of the May U.S. employment report.
In China news, Q1 16s one trillion credit/debt expansion seems to have been a one off boost to the economy. At least according to an unnamed authority speaking through the People’s Daily. Time will tell if it is, but if it is/was, a string of Chinese debt defaults lies ahead this summer. Uncle Scam heats up his trade war with the Middle Kingdom. Bunker time I think.

China’s Debt Bomb: No One Really Knows The Payload

by ZeroHedge • 

No one knows if it’s a hand grenade or a nuclear warhead

The ramp up in Chinese debt accumulation has been a leading concern of investors for years. The average total debt of emerging market economies is 175% of GDP, and skyrocketing corporate non-financial debt has launched China far beyond that number.

The real question is: by how far?

The answer is disconcerting, as VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins warns, because nobody really knows.

If the Chinese debt bomb is detonated, the impact on markets is anybody’s guess. Kyle Bass says the losses would be 5x that of the subprime mortgage crisis, while Moody’s says the bomb will be safely disarmed by authorities far before it goes off.

In today’s chart, we look at various estimates to the size of China’s debt bomb, its payload, and what might spark the fuse…

----Mckinsey came out with a widely-publicized estimate of China’s debt at the beginning of 2015. Using figures up to Q2 2014, they estimated that total Chinese debt was 282% of GDP, an increase from 158% in 2007.

Since then, various trusted organizations have come up with follow-up estimates.

On the low end, Goldman Sachs came out with an estimate in January 2016 of 216% total debt-to-GDP for 2015. (A few months later, they put out a separate report saying that total debt-to-GDP was estimated to be closer to 270% for 2016.)

On the high end, Macquarie analyst Viktor Shvets said that China’s debt was $35 trillion, or “nearly 350%” of GDP.

The truth is that it’s anybody’s guess. China’s official estimates are fairly useless, and the country has a massive and quickly evolving shadow banking sector that complicates these projections significantly.

----Total debt is made up of various components, including government, corporate, banking, and household debts.

In the case of China, it is corporate debt that is particularly explosive. According to Mckinsey, the country’s corporate sector already has a higher debt-to-GDP than the United States, Canada, South Korea, or Germany, even while still being considered an “emerging market”.

S&P Global Ratings now figures that Chinese corporate debt is in the 160% range, up from 98% in 2008. The current number in the United States is a less ominous 70%.

China’s central bank is just as concerned as anyone else. Here’s what the Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, had to say about a month ago:

Lending as a share of GDP, especially corporate lending as a share of GDP, is too high.

China to support steel exports as U.S. imposes hefty tariffs

Thu May 19, 2016 1:15am EDT
China said it would persist with controversial tax rebates to steel exporters to support the sector's painful restructuring, defying a United States move to impose punitive import duties on Chinese steel products.

A worldwide steel glut has become a major trade irritant, with China under fire from global rivals who say it is dumping cheap exports after a slowdown in demand at home.

In a marked escalation of the spat, the United States on Tuesday said it would impose duties of more than 500 percent on Chinese cold-rolled flat steel, widely used for car body panels, appliances and in construction.

However, China's Ministry of Finance said it would "continue to implement a tax rebate policy on steel exports" as it tries to finance a costly capacity closure plan.

By far the world's largest steel producer, China plans to eliminate 100-150 million tonnes of annual production - more than the U.S. produces per year - over the next five years. The cabinet said central government-controlled firms will cut steel and coal production capacity by a tenth in 2016-17.

---- China's Commerce Ministry expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the U.S. ruling, and said the United States should rectify its mistakes as soon as possible.

"The United States adopted many unfair methods during the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese products, including the refusal to grant Chinese state-owned firms a differentiated tax rate," it said.

The Group of Seven rich nations plans to address the steel glut when it meets in Japan later this month, in a move seen likely to add to pressure on China.

Analysts said the potential closing off of the U.S. market would not substantially reduce China's exports, accounting for just 2 percent of its total shipments.
And there was more disconcerting economic news from Asia too.

Japan machinery orders points to spending slowdown

Wed May 18, 2016 11:22pm EDT
Japan's core machinery orders rose more than expected in March but companies expect orders to decline in the current quarter as firms become increasingly cautious due to a rising yen and weakness in overseas economies.

The 5.5 percent rise in core orders was more than the median estimate for a 0.5 percent increase in a Reuters poll of analysts. In February, core orders fell 9.2 percent.

Companies surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, would fall 3.5 percent in the April-June quarter.

The data suggests companies are starting to delay their investment plans due to uncertainty about the overseas economy and signs that domestic consumer spending is struggling to gain momentum.

"Capital expenditure has entered a period of stagnation," said Hiroaki Muto, economist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.
We end for today with the EUSSR, where in Brexit news, Project Fear says that if we leave, youth unemployment will soar to the levels of Greece and Italy. And the Thames will turn to blood and a plague of locusts will arrive, and I don’t mean migrants, but Project Fear is holding these in reserve for nearer the date. Today, an update on Merkel’s Migrant Madness. They may not be much in the news, but they haven’t gone away. Just wait until things really start falling apart later in the year.

EU appeals to states as migrant moves 97 percent short of target

Wed May 18, 2016 9:07am EDT
EU states virtually ignored a European Commission target for them to take in some 20,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy by mid-May, the bloc's executive said on Wednesday, renewing a call for more action.

In a regular report on its emergency relocation scheme, which aims to move refugees from the Mediterranean frontline to the rest of the European Union, the EU executive's data showed only 563 asylum seekers had been moved since it set the 20,000 target two months ago -- only 3 percent of the increase needed.

In total, 1,500 people have now been relocated since the scheme began late last year, a tiny fraction of the 160,000 that governments agreed to take after fractious negotiations in the face of an unprecedented surge in arrivals in Italy and Greece.

Noting that, since the closure of the Balkan route to Germany, some 46,000 migrants are now in Greece waiting for asylum claims to be processed, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "We cannot be satisfied with the results achieved so far. More has to be done, and swiftly."

Some of the 28 member states, notably formerly communist countries in the east, have fiercely opposed Commission pressure on them to take in refugees, while most other governments have shown little enthusiasm for a scheme unpopular with many voters.

Migrants set fire to Lampedusa migrant shelter in protest

Tue May 17, 2016 6:56pm EDT
A group of migrants set fire to a shelter on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa on Tuesday that caused no injuries, an Italian fire official said, marking an increase in tensions in Italy's packed centers as arrivals continue.

Lampedusa's mayor, Giusi Nicolini, said one building was set ablaze and the four men suspected of lighting it had been identified. Several mattresses were set on fire, but the extent of the damage was not yet determined, a fire department spokesman said.

Two other times, in 2009 and in 2011, fire destroyed portions of the migrant center, which has been the first port of call for tens of thousands of boat migrants sailing to Europe from Africa.

In the past two years, more than 320,000 boat migrants have arrived on Italian shores and many made their way north, bypassing European Union rules.

So far this year, more than 31,000 have arrived and Italian shelters are bursting at the seams even before the expected summer surge.

“When it becomes necessary for a state to declare itself bankrupt, in the same manner as when it becomes necessary for an individual to do so, a fair, open and avowed bankruptcy is always the measure which is both least dishonorable to the debtors and least hurtful to the creditor”

Adam Smith
At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 29.67 Moz, Eligible 123.67 Moz, Total 153.34 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, the St Louis Fed lets out the truth on NIRP.

The real problem with negative interest rates? They are a stealth tax

Published: May 18, 2016 2:31 a.m. ET

Someone has to pay for negative rates, either banks, borrowers or depositors

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Central banks have slashed interest rates to nothing. They have printed money on a vast scale. Where that has not quite worked, and if we are being honest that is most places, they now have a new tool. Negative interest rates. Across a third of the global economy, money you put in the bank does not only generate nothing in the way of a return. You actually get charged for keeping it there.
That is already producing strange, Alice-in-Wonderland economics, where nothing is quite what it seems. Governments want you to delay paying taxes as long as possible, the mortgage company pays you to stay in the house, and cash becomes so sought after there is even talk of abolishing it.
But the real problem with negative rates may be something quite different.
As a fascinating new paper from the St. Louis Fed argues, they are in fact a form of tax. They impose a levy on the banking system that has to be paid by someone — and that someone is probably us. That may explain why central banks and governments are so keen on them. Hugely indebted governments are always in the market for a new tax, especially one that their voters probably won’t notice. But it also explains why they don’t really work — because most of the economics in trouble, especially in Europe, are already suffocating under an impossible high tax burden.

Negative interest rates have, like a fast-mutating virus, started to spread across the world.

The Swiss first tried them out all the way back in the 1970s. In June 1972 it imposed a penalty rate of 2% a quarter on foreigners parking money in Swiss francs amid the turmoil of the early part of that decade, but the experiment only lasted a couple of years. In the modern era, the European Central Bank kicked off the trend in June 2014 with a negative rate on selected deposits.

Since then, they have spread to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland (again), and more recently Japan, while the ECB has cut even deeper into negative territory. They already cover about a third of the global economy, and there is no reason why they should not reach further. The Fed might be raising rates this year, but it is the only major central bank to do so, and if, or rather when, there is another major downturn, it may have no choice but to impose negative rates as well.

----In fact, negative rates are a form of stealth tax. In a paper this month, the St. Louis Fed published a paper arguing that negative rates were a form of tax. Why? Because they effectively impose a levy on bank reserves, in the sense that instead of just parking reserves with the central bank at zero cost, or with some modest rate of interest, they now have to pay for the privilege.
And just like any levy imposed on companies, that has to be passed along somehow — in higher charges for customers, or lower wages, or lower dividends. Wherever the bill ends up, someone eventually has to pay. “At the end of the day, negative interest rates are taxes in sheep’s clothing,” it concludes.

Brexit The Animated Movie.

Brexit Quote of the week.
BBC "the propaganda arm of the EU."

Martin Durkin. Brexit Filmmaker. 

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?

Microwaved nanoribbons may bolster oil and gas wells

Researchers microwave a composite to toughen wellbore walls

Date: May 12, 2016

Source: Rice University

Summary: Researchers have microwaved composite materials of graphene nanoribbons and thermoset polymers to dramatically reinforce wellbores.
Wellbores drilled to extract oil and gas can be dramatically reinforced with a small amount of modified graphene nanoribbons added to a polymer and microwaved, according to Rice University researchers.
The Rice labs of chemist James Tour and civil and environmental engineer Rouzbeh Shahsavari combined the nanoribbons with an oil-based thermoset polymer intended to make wells more stable and cut production costs. When cured in place with low-power microwaves emanating from the drill assembly, the composite would plug the microscopic fractures that allow drilling fluid to seep through and destabilize the walls.
Results of their study appeared in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
The researchers said that in the past, drillers have tried to plug fractures with mica, calcium carbonate, gilsonite and asphalt to little avail because the particles are too large and the method is not efficient enough to stabilize the wellbore.
In lab tests, a polymer-nanoribbon mixture was placed on a sandstone block, similar to the rock that is encountered in many wells. The team found that rapidly heating the graphene nanoribbons to more than 200 degrees Celsius with a 30-watt microwave was enough to cause crosslinking in the polymer that had infiltrated the sandstone, Tour said. The microwave energy needed is just a fraction of that typically used by a kitchen appliance, he said.
"This is a far more practical and cost-effective way to increase the stability of a well over a long period," Tour said.
In the lab, the nanoribbons were functionalized -- or modified -- with polypropylene oxide to aid their dispersal in the polymer. Mechanical tests on composite-reinforced sandstone showed the process increased its average strength from 5.8 to 13.3 megapascals, a 130 percent boost in this measurement of internal pressure, Shahsavari said. Similarly, the toughness of the composite increased by a factor of six.
"That indicates the composite can absorb about six times more energy before failure," he said.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished April

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

No comments:

Post a Comment