Monday, 20 June 2016

B-Day Minus 3. The Continental Blitzkrieg.

Baltic Dry Index. 587 -11       Brent Crude 49.66

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

Brexit odds checker.

Brexit Quote of the Day.
“People might cite Dodgy Dave Cameron as proof that you can be totally impervious to the effects of an Eton and Oxford education.”

With apologies to Senator Barney Frank.
It is B-Day minus 3 and at the weekend Project Fear moved seamlessly into Project Smear, shamelessly exploiting the tragic murder of a Remain campaigning Labour Member of Parliament, one of the few in the Labour Party actually campaigning, branding those campaigning for Leave, racists and extremists and somehow directly responsible for her murder. Pages right out of the American, extreme hard left, anti-Trump neo-fascist movement. In reality the Leave campaign had nothing to do with the MPs murder, but in the politics of the 21st century internationalist left, it’s throw enough mud and hope that most sticks.
In continental Europe, it was Blitzkrieg attack time as massed ranks of continental establishment politicians and Brussels Storm Troop troughers, went over the top in an increasingly desperate effort to rescue Dodgy Dave Cameron’s faltering inept, Remainiac surrender campaign. Led by Berlin and Paris, supported by Brussels, Budapest and Rome, nothing but full unconditional surrender is demanded by the Axis powers.  Dodgy Dave Cameron on Sunday night announced on BBC TV that he was just the man to sign on the EUSSR’s dotty surrender line. But by Monday morning, Rome had already been knocked out of the Axis powers yet again. Meanwhile, like Mussolini trapped at Campo Imperatore, Dodgy Dave awaits in London his Otto Skorzeny rescue by the EUSSR.

"Dodgy Dave, the Juncker has sent me to set you free!", to which Dodgy Dave will reply "I knew that my friend would not forsake me!"
We open with France on the attack, no really, seriously. “Britain would become a minor trading post no more important on the world stage than the island of Guernsey if it voted to leave the European Union next week, France's economy minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.”  As usual, Paris has it all wrong. It’s France that would become a minor trading post of Guernsey, almost irrelevant to Guernsey, if GB voters decide on independence on Thursday.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed former Luxembourg P.M., serial liar, president of the European Commission.

Brexit would turn UK into minor trading post: French minister

Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:25pm EDT
Britain would become a minor trading post no more important on the world stage than the island of Guernsey if it voted to leave the European Union next week, France's economy minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Emmanuel Macron said the EU would also have to send "a very firm message and timetable" to Britain if its voters backed quitting the EU, known as Brexit, in a referendum on Thursday.
"In the interests of the EU, we can't leave any margin of ambiguity or let too much time go by," Macron was quoted as saying. "You're either in or you're out."
"Leaving the EU would mean the 'Guernseyfication' of the UK, which would then be a little country on the world scale. It would isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe's border."
Guernsey is a tiny island in the Channel between Britain and France.
The International Monetary Fund has said a vote to quit the EU could leave Britain's economy more than 5 percent smaller by 2019 than if it stays in the 28-nation club.
Former Italian prime minister Mario Monti also had a severe message for the British government on Saturday, saying holding the referendum at all was "highly irresponsible".
"The British government and Prime Minister (David) Cameron decided to risk the European Union dissolving, basically to strengthen the prime minister's position within his own party," Monti said.
Speaking to SkyTG24 television at a conference in Venice, Monti said the British government's actions had also raised the risk of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
---- Britain's partners are stepping up warnings that if it votes to leave, banks and financial firms based in London could lose their money-spinning "passports" to EU markets.
"If the UK wants a commercial access treaty to the European single market, the British must contribute to the European budget like the Norwegians and the Swiss do. If London doesn't want that, then it must be a total exit," Macron warned.
The minister said the referendum, whatever the outcome, would force the EU to work at avoiding a possible "contamination" effect in other countries that could be tempted to leave the bloc.

Euroskeptic Hungary PM to launch ads urging Britons to stay in EU

Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:38am EDT
One of Europe's most euroskeptic leaders, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, will launch a campaign in the British press urging Britons to vote to remain in the bloc at Thursday's referendum, his spokesman said.
Orban will address the British people directly in newspaper adverts, his office added, joining a line of European leaders and institutions saying Britain should stay.

"Although we have earned accusations of being anti-EU from many sides on numerous occasions, this is a testament to the fact that Hungary is committed to the European Union," government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said.

The Hungarian leader has clashed with European authorities several times over his unorthodox fiscal and political reforms since sweeping to power in 2010.

But his country has benefited from its membership of the bloc - under the EU's current financing cycle, which ends in 2020, Hungary gets some 25 billion euros over seven years.

Kovacs said about 250,000 to 300,000 Hungarians were working in the UK.

Brexit Campaigners Are Deceiving Voters, Cameron Says

June 19, 2016 — 8:03 PM BST Updated on June 20, 2016 — 4:37 AM BST
Prime Minister David Cameron entered the final week of campaigning ahead of the U.K.’s referendum on European Union membership with an accusation that his opponents are trying to deceive people into voting to leave.

After 2 1/2 days when campaigning was suspended following the murder of Labour lawmaker Jo Cox, Sunday saw both sides return to the fray. The prime minister, taking audience questions on a BBC television special, criticized his opponents both over the tone of some of their anti-immigration messages and specific claims they’ve made.

He singled out their assertions that Turkey is joining the EU; that Britain would have to sign up to a European army; and that EU membership costs Britain 350 million pounds ($500 million) a week as examples of lies by his opponents.

“I’m sure there are arguments for leaving, but those three, which are the three leading things on their leaflets, are simply not true,” a visibly riled Cameron said. “It would be a tragedy if we damaged our economy and wrecked job prospects in our country on the basis of three things that are completely untrue.”

The referendum on June 23 is being watched by governments and investors all around the world amid worries that a so-called Brexit would spark a wave of turmoil across global markets. Polls suggest the result is still too close to call.

----Elsewhere in the campaign:
  • Ten Nobel-winning economists wrote to the Guardian newspaper saying Britain is better off inside the EU
  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said EU policy makers have safeguards in place to avoid “chaotic developments” should Britons vote to leave
  • The pressure group Migration Watch said migrants cost the U.K. as much as 17 billion pounds a year, without explaining how it arrived at the figure
  • Former Conservative Party Chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi told The Times newspaper she has switched to “Remain” from “Leave” over the campaign’s anti-immigration rhetoric
In his BBC appearance, Cameron repeated his message that departing the EU would be a risk, and that most economists warn it would damage the economy.

“When I’m thinking of buying a house, I listen to an expert,” he said. “When I’m thinking of getting into a car, I listen to the mechanic. If I want to build a bridge, I want an engineer. People in the ‘Leave’ campaign are asking you to trust in just a sense that it’s going to be OK. I don’t think that’s good enough.”
But in Italy, the voters on Sunday trounced the EUSSR’s man Renzi, oiled into the Italian premiership in an earlier EUSSR palace coup.

Five Star Candidates Lead in Rome, Turin Races, Projections Show

June 19, 2016 — 11:17 PM BST
Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement is poised to win elections in Rome and Turin in a populist surge that would give the Italian capital its first female mayor and threaten to derail Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s reform agenda.

Initial projections show Five Star’s Virginia Raggi, 37, a lawyer and former opposition counselor, receiving 67.5 percent of the vote in the Rome run-off, against 32.5 percent for Roberto Giachetti, 55, of Renzi’s Democratic party, or PD. Final results are due on Monday.

Raggi’s would be the biggest victory so far for the euro-skeptic Five Star and a loss for the government party, PD. Rome’s former mayor, Ignazio Marino of PD, stepped down in an expenses scandal. Raggi has promised to overhaul the city’s crippling bureaucracy and tighten checks on public contracts, a key source of corruption.

In Turin, early projections show, Five Star’s Chiara Appendino was pulling 56.7 percent of the vote against 43.3 percent for PD’s Piero Fassino. In Milan the center-left and center-right candidates were running neck and neck.

A poor showing by PD would undermine Renzi’s political authority in the run-up to a referendum due in October on a proposed overhaul of the Senate that’s aimed at ending Italy’s long history of revolving-door governments. Renzi has pledged to step down if he loses the referendum over the reform, which would curtail the upper house’s power to bring down governments with no-confidence votes.
Brexit Joke of the Week.

Pythagoras's theorem - 24 words.
The Lord's Prayer - 66 words.
Archimedes's Principle - 67 words.
The 10 Commandments - 179 words.
The Gettysburg address - 286 words.
U.S. Declaration of Independence - 1,300 words.
U.S. Constitution with all 27 Amendments - 7,818 words.
EU regulations on the sale of cabbage - 26,911 words.

Time to leave the wealth and jobs destroying, dying, EUSSR.

In other world news, World War Three gets closer by the day and the American War Party gets more reckless in the skies above Syria.

06.20.16 2:20 AM ET

U.S. and Russian Jets Clash Over Syria

U.S. and Russian fighter jets bloodlessly tangled in the air over Syria on June 16 as the American pilots tried and failed to stop the Russians from bombing U.S.-backed rebels in southern Syria near the border with Jordan.

The aerial close encounter underscores just how chaotic Syria’s skies have become as Russia and the U.S.-led coalition work at cross-purposes, each dropping bombs in support of separate factions in the five-year-old civil war.

The near-clash also highlights the escalating risk of American and Russian forces actually coming to blows over Syria, potentially sparking a much wider conflict between the world’s leading nuclear powers.

The incident began when at least two twin-engine Su-34 bombers, some of Moscow’s most advanced warplanes, struck what the Pentagon described as a “border garrison” housing around 200 U.S.-supported rebels in At Tanf on the Syrian side of the Syria-Jordan border.

The rebels had been “conducting counter-ISIL operations in the area,” the Pentagon stated on June 18, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

The United States and its allies in Syria clearly did not expect the air strike. The rebels in At Tanf are party to a shaky ceasefire agreement between rebel forces and the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad—and, by extension, the Russian military contingent backing Al Assad. The Los Angeles Times reported that Russian planes had not previously been active over At Tanf.

The Su-34s’ initial strike wounded, and perhaps killed, some of the rebels in At Tanf.

The U.S. Navy scrambled F/A-18 fighters to intercept the Russians, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Navy has deployed two aircraft carriers to the region for strikes on ISIS. As the F/A-18s approached the Su-34s, officials with U.S. Central Command—which oversees America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan—used a special hotline to contact their Russian counterparts directing Russia’s own intervention in Syria.

----With the American jets flying close enough to visually identify the Su-34s, the Russians departed the air space over At Tanf. Some time shortly thereafter, the F/A-18s ran low on fuel and left the area in order to link up with an aerial tanker. That’s when the Su-34s reportedly returned to At Tanf —and bombed the rebels again.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the second strike killed first-responders assisting survivors of the first bombing run.

The next day, senior U.S. Defense Department officials organized an “extraordinary” video conference with Russian counterparts to discuss the incident. The meeting included Acting Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, a strategic planner on the Pentagon’s joint staff, plus unspecified Russian Ministry of Defense officials.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 23.452Moz, Eligible 126.52 Moz, Total 150.05 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today. more on those dodgy car dealers from Germany, peddling unsafe, harmful, dirty, “clean” diesel motors to an unsuspecting, innocent world. Unlike the thieves who bought Manhattan Island for trinkets and pretty beads, Volkswagen was found out.

VW Said Ready With $10 Billion Diesel Plan, to Devise Fix Later

June 18, 2016 — 8:24 PM BST
Volkswagen AG  will submit its $10 billion plan this month to fix a half-million emissions-cheating cars or get them off U.S. roads even though it’s awaiting regulators’ sign-off on how to retrofit the vehicles, a person familiar with the matter said.

About $6.5 billion will go to car owners and $3.5 billion to the U.S. government and California regulators, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t public yet. Because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board haven’t approved VW’s proposed fixes, the deal as of now includes an option for car owners to request their vehicles be repaired, but there’s no timetable for doing so or a guarantee there will be an approved fix, the person said.

Lawyers for car owners are due to submit the proposed deal to the San Francisco federal judge overseeing U.S. lawsuits by June 28. The settlement will include options for car owners to sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen or to terminate their leases early.

Terms of that agreement may change between now and then, the person said. The judge is scheduled to consider the proposal, along with the carmaker’s agreements with regulators, on July 26 before deciding whether to accept it.

Jeannine Ginivan, a Volkswagen spokeswoman in the U.S., declined to comment on the proposed agreement. Spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board didn’t immediately respond Saturday to messages seeking comment on it.

For a QuickTake explainer on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, click here.

The proposal is intended to further the German carmaker’s bid to regain consumer confidence while appeasing regulators after admitting in September that it rigged the exhaust system in 11 million diesel cars worldwide to feign compliance with global emissions standards. Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn stepped down less than a week after the news broke, and Volkswagen has so far set aside 16.2 billion euros ($18.3 billion) to cover the costs of the scandal, including repairs and lawsuits.

VW shares have fallen more than 6 percent in Frankfurt since both sides told U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on April 21 that they had a preliminary agreement.

Proposed Deal

Under the proposed deal, vehicle owners can register to have their car repaired but will be told that it may never actually happen, the person said. Volkswagen has capacity to handle about 5,000 vehicles each week under the settlement, according to the person, meaning it may take almost two years before all 482,000 are addressed.

“There’s just no precedent for what happens if there’s not a fix,’’ said John German, a project manager with the International Council on Clean Transportation, an environmental public-policy group in Washington. “We just don’t know. It’s all speculation.’’

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? 

Playing the nanodrum

Nonlinear effects in graphene membranes can be used for next-generation ICT

Date: June 16, 2016

Source: Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

Summary: Nonlinear effects in graphene membranes can be used for next-generation ICT, report scientists. The discovery paves the way for the application of graphene mechanical resonators in telecommunication applications, for instance, as frequency mixers.

In a study published in Nature Nanotechnology, researchers from Cornell University and the University of Jyväskylä, working with funding from the Academy of Finland, show that by applying an appropriate external force, a circular graphene membrane can be 'played' like a drumset.

The particular interest of this work lies in the fact that by exciting the system at a given frequency -- that is, by playing a certain note -- the researchers were able to control the behaviour of the membrane at a different frequency, amplifying or suppressing its vibrations depending on the specific excitation conditions.

Technically, the researchers obtained the result by applying an external constant voltage to the graphene membrane and using the voltage as a 'tuning peg'. This allowed the researchers to control the membrane tension and thus engineer the coupling needed to control one oscillation mode by exciting the other. This coupling between different modes was made possible thanks to the exceptional mechanical properties of graphene, especially its incredible stiffness.

The discovery paves the way for the application of graphene mechanical resonators in telecommunication applications, for instance, as frequency mixers. Moreover, when cooled down to temperatures near absolute zero, these resonators can play an important role in the detection of the faintest quantum signals and in the definition of new telecommunication technologies in which the counterintuitive properties emerging at the quantum scale can lead to intrinsically secure exchange of information.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May

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

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