Wednesday, 22 June 2016

B-Day Minus 1. Chill the Korbel Champagne.

Baltic Dry Index. 580 -02       Brent Crude 50.91

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Ok F**k it. Where do I sign the surrender, Juncker?”

Dodgy Dave Cameron, with apologies.

There is just one day left before the Brits get to vote themselves out on the EUSSR insane asylum. All the propaganda arms of the state, the trougher’s at the EUSSR pork barrels, the billionaires club, the Bilderberger’s club, the Davos smart set, and legions of global politicians, have been brought out to urge British voters to remain in the asylum on pain of death. Yet all the signs are that GB voters might actually ignore their “betters” and vote themselves back into freedom. In sheer desperation, Beckingham Palace was forced to announce yesterday, that former footballer David Beckham was voting to remain in the fat cats asylum, while the chief surrender Remainiac, Dodgy Dave Cameron, used a hastily arranged TV appeal in front of number 10 Downing Street to beg British voters not to desert the EUSSR.

We open this morning with news from Bloomberg that the EUSSR hasn’t made any plans for a British exit vote. So confidant were they that no one would ever want to leave the dying wealth and jobs destroying, 5 presidents run, EUSSR. If the Brits vote themselves free tomorrow, what happens next in the EUSSR can be blamed on Merkel and Hollande, Juncker & Co., for a lack of planning, and for living in the cosy, crony, EUSSR bubble.

While Beckingham Palace sees money to be made from remaining in the EUSSR, Buckingham Palace is still looking for reasons to stay.

Merkel-Hollande Brexit Plan Said to Amount to Statement of Unity

June 21, 2016 — 11:01 PM BST
If you’re waiting for Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande to produce a post-Brexit master plan for Europe, don’t hold your breath.

The German and French leaders do plan a show of unity in the event of a U.K. vote to quit the European Union, but it’s likely to be confined to a restatement of shared aims and values, according to people familiar with the planning in Berlin and Paris.

For all the reassurances of recent days that the EU is prepared for the prospect of a so-called Brexit, there is no detailed program ready to be wheeled out on Friday, said one senior government official. Another denied the existence of any blueprint in a drawer, while a third said there is no guarantee other EU states would sign up to a German-French idea of unity in any case. All asked not to be named discussing their strategy.

In fact, several officials said a Brexit risks sharpening differences between Europe’s two main drivers. Hollande’s favored response, to push to strengthen the euro area with an expansion of shared risks, would run into immediate opposition in Berlin. Germany would rather the reaction was EU-wide.

“They don’t have the same priorities,” former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said in a phone interview. “Germany is dealing with refugees and France with its economy.” That raises the risk that “nothing major will come out” of common efforts to re-establish EU unity until Germany has held general elections due in the fall of 2017, he said.

For more detail on what the first 100 days post-Brexit could bring, click here

The diverging views at Europe’s core suggest investors and Europe’s allies may fail to get the quick, forceful reassurances needed to avert political contagion and ease market turmoil. Terrorism and labor protests in France, surging anti-EU parties in both Germany and France and Hollande’s record-low popularity mean Europe’s presumed power couple has limited clout to impose solutions, even if Britons vote to stay.

It’s not for want of trying. The German and French leaders have discussed responses to a British vote to leave the EU on several occasions this year, according to two of the people with knowledge of their talks. They just haven’t agreed on a detailed strategy.

EU referendum: Queen asks guests to give her three reasons why Britain should remain in Europe

21 June 2016 • 4:38pm
he Queen has been canvassing opinion on the EU debate by asking dinner companions: "Give me three good reasons why Britain should be part of Europe."

Her Majesty's biographer, Robert Lacey, reported the Queen's comments and suggested they may mean the Queen favours withdrawal from the European Union.

Buckingham Palace would neither confirm nor deny that the Queen had been debating the merits of Brexit in private, but royal sources pointed out that the words attributed to the Queen were "a question not a statement".

However the leading nature of the alleged question adds weight to previous claims that the Queen would like Britain to pull out of the EU.

Last month the press regulator found that the Sun newspaper had been guilty of "significantly misleading" its readers when it printed the headline "Queen backs Brexit" above a story about the Queen complaining about Brussels to Nick Clegg.

---- Mr Lacey made his claim about the Queen questioning dinner guests in a blog for the Daily Beast website.

He told The Telegraph: "She asked the question in the context of a general debate - she loves a bit of forthright discussion and this sort of remark is tossed around the dinner table like a ping pong ball. That is the way she frames her questions."

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "We would not comment on private conversations the Queen may or may not have had, but the Queen is above politics, has remained politically neutral for the 64 years of her reign and we are very clear that the EU referendum is a matter for the British people."

We leave the last word on Brexit today to a young American in California, with no dog in the Brexit fight. Thanks Jason.

Hi Graeme,

As the calendar ticks closer to the day of the vote polls could not be closer between the two campaigns. My concern is that the prophecies of doom and gloom from a vote to Leave would become self fulfilling. The EU as an institutional construct is so dependent on the concept of eastward and southward expansion it can't seem to rationalize the concept of a highly developed, western member leaving. Whatever the outcome is my hope is that an orderly process prevails. Though it is curious that the same American leaders that are getting ready to celebrate freedom and self determination from Britain this 4th of July are so staunchly opposed to freedom for Britain in this referendum. Seems a bit hypocritical. So far the global markets seem to have bought the premise that an exit would be a market calamity. Of course this comes from the same media outlets that serve as microphones [for] banks and global businesses that have proven to have no regard for the accountability implied by a democratic process. Anyway, best wishes for an outcome that is peaceful and accurately reflects the will of the British voters. My sense is that this may not be the last referendum on this topic.



N. Jason Jencka is presently studying Finance and Economics at Sierra Nevada College, located near the shores of Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.His interests include the interplay between world markets and the global political sphere, with a focus on developments of both sides of the Atlantic in North America and Europe.In his leisure time he enjoys connecting with those people that have an interesting story to tell and a genuine desire to make an impact in the world.

Elsewhere, in other non-Brexit news, the Fedster’s in America are in a big muddle. To raise interest rates or not to raise interest rates, that is the big question. “Got me,” says the Fed’s big banana, the Fed’s talking chair. Wanted at the Fed urgently, someone with some credibility.

"You look up and down the bench and you have to say to yourself, 'Can't anybody here play this game?'"

Casey Stengel.

Yellen Leads Fed in Retreat as Reasons for Rate Hikes Fade

June 21, 2016 — 9:20 PM BST
Three weeks ago, Federal Reserve officials sounded like they needed a reason not to hike interest rates soon. Now, they’re in search of a reason to consider any change in policy.

“Unless something unexpectedly positive happens, they’re likely on hold for the next couple of meetings,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust Corp. in Chicago.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen sketched a cautious and uncertain view of the economy in testimony before lawmakers in Washington Tuesday. After her remarks, Tannenbaum was among several economists who said they believe Yellen is among the six Fed officials who last week predicted just one rate increase this year. And that others on the Federal Open Market Committee may soon follow her lead.

If the chair was one of the officials who forecast a single rate increase, that would mean she stepped below the median forecast of the 17 participants published June 15, which was for two hikes. That would be unusual because Fed chairs typically lead from the center of the committee. They can’t do that if they are outliers, said Laurence Meyer, a former Fed governor who now runs a policy analysis firm in Washington that bears his name.

----The case for a strong consumer took a blow, however, when the Labor Department reported that employers in May created a disappointing 38,000 new jobs -- fewer than in any month since September 2010.

“It seems pretty clear the Fed’s confidence was pretty badly shaken by those recent numbers,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, who also pegged Yellen as likely favoring one hike this year.

“The latest readings on the labor market and the weak pace of investment illustrate one downside risk -- that domestic demand might falter,” Yellen said Tuesday.

A strong jobs report for June could convince some policy makers that May was something of an anomaly. But Yellen on Tuesday also highlighted worries over longer-term problems in the U.S. economy that are unlikely to reverse any time soon.

Those “headwinds,” like weak productivity growth or tepid business investment, may only slowly fade over time, she said. In that context, there would be little need to raise interest rates quickly so long as inflation remains around the Fed’s 2 percent goal.

Don’t look now! Helicopter money is already being deployed

Published: June 21, 2016 5:48 p.m. ET

Helicopter money is often viewed as a policy tool of last resort

Apparently Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen didn’t get the memo but helicopter money is already at work in the U.S.

Last week, Yellen conceded that the Fed may have to “legitimately consider” resorting to unconventional measures in the event of a severe economic downturn.

But Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist, argues that the Fed has been employing measures similar to helicopter money via its remittances to the Treasury.

“The Fed in 2015 paid the U.S. Treasury $117 billion and dividing that by the total number of households (125 million) shows that the Fed is already giving money to U.S. consumers,” he said in a note on Tuesday.

That comes out to each U.S. household receiving about $1,000 from the government and equivalent to a 2% tax relief for households falling in the $50,000 median-income bracket, according to Slok.

By law, the Fed is required to remit any excess funds remaining after covering for its expenses to the Treasury Department. Such payments have been made going back as far as 1917, four years after the Federal Reserve was established.

Helicopter money in its simplest form calls for a central bank to print money and give it to people, most likely in coordination with fiscal policy like a tax cut or to fund spending. Its an idea that was first articulated by Milton Friedman in his 1969 paper, “The Optimum Quantity of Money.”

Slok’s main point is that helicopter money isn’t always accompanied by fanfare.

“[It] is normally thought of as a big event where fiscal and monetary policy work together to kick-start the economy. Today’s version of helicopter money is more quiet. What the Fed is doing today corresponds to a situation where the Fed sent a check every year of $1,000 to every single household,” he told MarketWatch.

In other words, sometimes it’s “the communication of helicopter money that determines how effective it is in supporting GDP growth,” Slok said. Traditionally, the concept of helicopter money has been viewed as a policy tool of last resort and sometimes policy makers are reluctant to publicly embrace such drastic measures.

“What is at stake here is the risk that people lose faith in money and in the government having things under control. So there are good reasons why policy makers in the U.S., Europe, and Japan are hesitant to do full-blown helicopter money,” Slok said.

With the global economy shackled by anemic growth, more economists and Wall Street big shots have called on the Fed to explore creative means to resuscitate the economy. DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach recently predicted the Fed will have to resort to the helicopters.

Economist Nouriel Roubini also has urged central banks to deploy more “unconventional” monetary policies as “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Federal Reserve says U.S. stocks have gotten expensive

Published: June 21, 2016 4:48 p.m. ET
Even the Federal Reserve is weighing in on valuations in the U.S. stock market.

In its monetary policy report submitted to the Congress ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony, the central bank acknowledges that stock values have grown somewhat richer since the beginning of 2016. Here’s how they put it:

“Forward price-to-earnings ratios for equities have increased to a level well above their median of the past three decades. Although equity valuations do not appear to be rich relative to Treasury yields, equity prices are vulnerable to rises in term premiums to more normal levels, especially if a reversion was not motivated by positive news about economic growth.”

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.27% closed higher Tuesday, up 0.3% at 2,088 and it appears investors are shrugging off both the testimony and the report on valuations.

Of course, not everyone views the Fed as an authority on stock values and some analysts and traders disagree with the notion that equities have gotten pricey.

“No one looks to the Fed as a chief market strategist and markets have their own dynamics on valuing stocks,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sachs unintentionally backs Brexit in a recent US speech to graduates.
The Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 23.94Moz, Eligible 125.51 Moz, Total 149.45 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, news from the country Dodgy Dave Cameron surrender monkey, wants to bring into the EUSSR. 

Turkey Press Crackdown Seen Widening to Human Rights Groups

June 20, 2016 — 4:33 PM BST Updated on June 20, 2016 — 8:09 PM BST
Turkey jailed three leading press freedom and human rights advocates, charging them with disseminating terrorist propaganda after they joined a solidarity campaign for a newspaper focusing on Kurdish issues.
Erol Onderoglu, who represents the Paris-based press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, was arrested after appearing in an Istanbul court on Monday. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a forensics expert who helped set the international standard for documenting torture claims, and writer Ahmet Nesin, were also sent to prison on similar charges.
The three had served as honorary editors-in-chief for Ozgur Gundem, a daily newspaper and news website whose coverage focuses on the conflict between the government and the autonomy-seeking Kurdish militant group PKK. Turkish authorities have opened criminal investigations against 37 of 44 people who protested a crackdown on Ozgur Gundem staff by joining a campaign to serve as the paper’s rotating "on-duty editor-in-chief" since last month, T24 news reported.
Monday’s arrests mark "an unbelievable low" for Turkey, Reporters Without Borders said in a tweet following the arrests. Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch, said they also signify a new chapter in Turkey’s crackdown on civil society.

"These are the very people who have been documenting the human rights deterioration in Turkey," Sinclair-Webb said by phone from Berlin on Monday. "We’ve seen this kind of crackdown on the media, we’ve seen this kind of crackdown on academics, and I think now this is the beginning of a crackdown on human rights defenders themselves."

Turkey has slid toward the bottom of world press freedom rankings during the 14-year rule of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now president, and his Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party, or AKP. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said last year that Turkey has one of the world’s worst records for jailing journalists, along with China and Egypt.

Fincanci, who also heads the Turkey Human Rights Foundation, is a renowned forensic scientist whose work helped set the international standard for the documentation of torture claims. Her name is on the document adopted by the United Nations in 1999 that set guidelines for investigating alleged torture, also known as the Istanbul Protocol. Nesin is an author and journalist, and the son of celebrated Turkish writer Aziz Nesin.

Turkey ranked 151st out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders 2016 World Press Freedom Index, sandwiched between Tajikistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Journalists in Turkey are frequently accused of insulting Erdogan, an offense that carries a jail sentence, or with terrorist propaganda for coverage of the conflict in the nation’s Kurdish-majority southeast that doesn’t toe the government line.

Brexit The Animated Movie.

Brexit Quote of the week.

“The old grey donkey, Cameron stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.”

Dodgy Dave Cameron, with apologies to A.A. Milne, and Winnie-the-Pooh

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this 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?

SiNode wins $4m to jumpstart silicon graphene automotive batteries

June 20, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
US startup SiNode Systems has been awarded a $4m grant to develop lithium ion battery technology using silicon and graphene for Ford, Fiat and General Motors.

The grant from the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a collaborative organization of Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, is for the development of advanced anode materials for automotive lithium-ion battery applications.

The 30-month program will focus on the development of silicon-graphene high-energy anode material for vehicle applications and the development and scale up of pouch cells with higher battery capacity and faster charging rates than today’s graphite-based lithium ion pouches with a capacity of 372 mAh/g. Instead, the graphene approach can provide capacities between 1000 mAh/g and 2500 mAh/g, while the nano-engineered porosity introduced into the graphene layers allows rapid diffusion of lithium through the structure for faster charging.

All of this can be produced with a low cost, chemistry-based manufacturing process, says the Chicago-based company. “SiNode Systems is pleased to be a recipient of this grant and is proud to contribute to USABC’s battery technology research and development programs,” said Samir Mayekar, Co-Founder and CEO of SiNode Systems. “We believe our advanced anode materials technology will be an enabler in improving the performance and reducing the cost of advanced batteries for vehicle electrification.”

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May

DJIA: 17787  -20 Up NASDAQ:  4946 +04 Down. SP500: 2097 -18 Up.

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