Monday, 27 June 2016

Europe Lose-Lose All Round.

Baltic Dry Index. 609 +13       Brent Crude 48.29

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.
"Now the catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible. The financial markets worldwide are likely to remain in turmoil as the long, complicated process of political and economic divorce from the EU is negotiated."
George Soros.
We open today with the chaos of Europe. UK voters voted last week marginally to leave the European Union, but the next government there might lack the votes in Parliament to trigger the process of leaving. Both major parties of UK government are in disarray, and in internal war. On Sunday Spanish voters for the second time in six months elected a hung parliament. In the EU27 ex-GB, their preferred option is to get the UK to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon right away to reduce the uncertainty, but they have no power to force such a British action. In the UK a lame duck caretaker Prime Minister says that triggering Article 50, if it happens at all, must await the arrival of his successor, most likely in mid to late October this year. In Europe this morning, it’s lose-lose all round.
Adding to Europe’s woes, did Friday’s market action in stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities, set off any weapons of mass financial destruction in any of the world’s important banks? More importantly any of the EU’s still very shaky banks. The next few weeks will tell.
Below the state of Europe as we approach the end of the first half of 2016.

Pound Slump Deepens Amid Brexit Turmoil as Gold Gains With Yen

June 26, 2016 — 9:24 PM BST Updated on June 27, 2016 — 5:10 AM BST
The aftershocks of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union continued to reverberate across financial markets, with the pound extending its selloff near a 31-year low and Asian stocks outside Japan slipping with oil.

Sterling added to Friday’s record drop and U.K. stock index futures tumbled more than 3 percent, weighed down by the prospect of months of uncertainty amid turmoil within Britain’s two major political parties and Scotland agitating anew for independence. The Norwegian krone led losses among the currencies of oil-exporting nations as crude slid toward $47 a barrel. Demand for haven assets boosted gold and U.S. Treasuries, while Japanese equities rebounded from their worst day in five years on prospects the government will take steps to stabilize financial markets.

The victory for Brexit tore through world markets on Friday, pummeling the pound and high-yielding assets as more than $2.5 trillion was wiped from global equity values. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned without spelling out when the U.K. intends to leave the EU and eight members of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s team quit amid calls for his ouster. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Brussels and then London Monday as Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland -- whose people voted to stay in the EU -- teases the possibility of a second referendum on independence from the U.K.

“It’s going to be a very tough week,” said James Audiss, senior investment adviser at Shaw and Partners in Sydney, which manages about $7.4 billion. “Unless an investor has a really strong view one way or the other, you’d be brave to buy in. It will be a really volatile week and people are scared to position into things.”

Investor George Soros calls for reconstruction of EU after 'Brexit' vote

June 25, 2016
(Reuters) - Billionaire investor George Soros on Saturday called for thorough reconstruction of the European Union in order to save it, even though he warned that Britain's vote to leave the bloc makes "disintegration of the EU practically irreversible."
Soros, who warned of financial meltdown if Britain voted to leave the EU before Thursday's referendum, also said the effects of the decision will likely damage Britain.
"Britain eventually may or may not be relatively better off than other countries by leaving the EU, but its economy and people stand to suffer significantly in the short to medium term," he wrote in a commentary on the website Project Syndicate.
Soros made huge profits in 1992 by betting against the British pound as it crashed below the preset level and had to be withdrawn from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
He warned of a similar meltdown earlier this week, before the vote, predicting a Brexit victory would send the pound down by at least 15 percent, and perhaps more than 20 percent, to go below $1.15, in an article in British newspaper The Guardian.
In the event, sterling fell around 10 percent on Friday, hitting a 31-year low, but never went below $1.32. It is not known if Soros bet against the pound. A Soros spokesman declined to comment on whether the investor made money on bets placed on Brexit.
"Now the catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible," wrote Soros. "The financial markets worldwide are likely to remain in turmoil as the long, complicated process of political and economic divorce from the EU is negotiated."
He said the consequences for the real economy would be comparable to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Soros said the EU had broken down and ceased to satisfy its citizens’ needs and aspirations. Nevertheless, he called for support to reconstruct it.
"After Brexit, all of us who believe in the values and principles that the EU was designed to uphold must band together to save it by thoroughly reconstructing it," he wrote. "I am convinced that as the consequences of Brexit unfold in the weeks and months ahead, more and more people will join us."

Bravo Brexit!

by David Stockman • June 24, 2016
At long last the tyranny of the global financial elite has been slammed good and hard. You can count on them to attempt another central bank based shock and awe campaign to halt and reverse the current sell-off, but it won’t be credible, sustainable or maybe even possible.
The central bankers and their compatriots at the EU, IMF, White House/Treasury, OECD, G-7 and the rest of the Bubble Finance apparatus have well and truly over-played their hand. They have created a tissue of financial lies; an affront to the very laws of markets, sound money and capitalist prosperity.
After all, what predicate of sober economics could possibly justify $10 trillion of sovereign debt trading at negative yields?
Or a stock market trading at 24X reported earnings in the face of a faltering global economy and a tepid domestic US business cycle expansion which at 84 months is already long in the tooth and showing signs of recession everywhere?
And that’s to say nothing of the endless ranks of insanely over-valued “story” stocks like Valeant was and the megalomaniacal visions of Elon Musk still are.
So there will be payback, clawback and traumatic deflation of the bubbles. Plenty of it, as far as the eye can see.
On the immediate matter of Brexit, the British people have rejected the arrogant rule of the EU superstate and the tyranny of its unelected courts, commissions and bureaucratic overlords.
As Donald Trump was quick to point out, they have taken back their country. He urges that Americans do the same, and he might just persuade them.
But whether Trumpism captures the White House or not, it is virtually certain that Brexit is a contagious political disease. In response to today’s history-shaking event, determined campaigns for Frexit, Spexit, NExit, Grexit, Italxit, Hungexit and more centrifugal political emissions will next follow.
Smaller government—–at least in geography—–is being given another chance. And that’s a very good thing because more localized democracy everywhere and always is inimical to the rule of centralized financial elites

Europe’s Trouble Is Good for Gold.

Posted on
UK voters voted narrowly to exit the European Union on June 23rd, 52:48 percent, confounding complacent stock markets, currency markets and the UK and Europe’s politicians, who nearly all smugly assumed that Prime Minister Cameron’s Project Fear campaign would intimidate GB’s voters to vote to remain in the EU. The prospect of unlimited future immigration from Romania, Bulgaria and eventually Turkey and Ukraine appears to have trumped Prime Minister Cameron’s Project Fear campaign. Now in the aftermath, it is lose-lose all around, except in the precious metals sector, where the massive uncertainty generated, will boost the role of physical gold and silver as safe havens to the fiat euro and fiat British Pound, for months if not years to come.

Massive Uncertainty.

So when will Great Britain exit the EU? The real question is will GB exit the EU even with the referendum outcome? Europe’s Great leaders all met on Saturday and demanded that GB get on with triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and start the process of a two year UK-EU negotiation that ends in GB leaving the EU. This massive uncertainty is bad for all, say the EU leaders. But on Friday, Prime Minister Cameron announced his resignation to take effect after his Conservative Party elects a new leader in October. It will be for that new Prime Minister to start the Article 50 process, sometime in October – December, if at all. However, it is by no means certain that GB will actually get to leave the troubled European Union. John Bull checked in, but checking out is hard.

The UK Parliament has two chambers, an unelected House of Lords, aka the House of Horrors, where only a tiny fraction of the members are anti-EU. The elected chamber is the House of Commons, where roughly three quarters of the existing members are on record as wanting to remain in the EU. Neither House is bound by the result of the referendum. Even if the next Prime Minister is pro leaving, it’s by no means certain he could get leaving legislation through either House, even assuming generous terms from the EU27.

But the prospect of the EU stuck with an estranged member, permanently in a deep sulk, and whose voters would likely vote out the renegade M.P.s at the next election, in favour of the UK Independence Party (UKIP,) merely delays Brexit until after the next general election scheduled for May 2020. Since 2010 when the UK Parliament adopted fixed term Parliaments, there are very limited circumstances for calling an early election. But since that early general election might trigger a massive UKIP vote, neither the deeply split Conservative Party nor the deeply disarrayed Labour Party are about bring forth the conditions necessary to trigger an early election and their demise.

Making matters even worse, Scotland voted to remain in the EU and its local government announced on Saturday that it wants talks with the EU about remaining. That in itself is a nightmare for the EU.  If it agrees to talks, it emboldens all the other regions in EU member states that want to split from member countries, especially regions in Spain, France and Italy. Down that route lies the breakup of the EU itself.

Spanish vote delivers more uncertainty for Europe after Brexit

Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:55pm EDT
Spanish elections delivered a hung parliament for the second time in six months on Sunday, adding to political uncertainty in Europe after last week's shock Brexit vote and piling intense pressure on Spain's warring politicians to form a government.

Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's center-right People's Party (PP) again emerged with the single biggest bloc of seats but fell short of a majority, leaving the euro zone's fourth-largest economy at risk of another lengthy political stalemate or even of a third general election.

The PP was the only major party to increase its share of seats from December's inconclusive poll, sapping the power of a wave of new parties which had fed on years of deep recession and public anger over corruption scandals within the major parties.

"We have won the elections," Rajoy told hundreds of cheering supporters outside PP headquarters in Madrid late on Sunday.

"We claim our right to govern."

The PP won 137 seats, up from 123 in December but short of the 176 needed for an outright majority.

Spain now enters another round of backroom talks to see which parties can form a governing coalition, a task that eluded them despite months of negotiations following the December vote.

"Gold would have value if for no other reason than that it enables a citizen to fashion his financial escape from the state."

William F. Rickenbacker

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 23.81Moz, Eligible 126.95 Moz, Total 150.76 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, Brexit contagion spreads.

Brexit is a bad omen for world commerce

Friday , June 24, 2016 - 10:00 PM (c) 2016, The Washington Post.
The economic story of the past quarter-century was the rapid advance of globalization, the unleashing of trade and commerce among countries rich and poor - a McDonald’s in every European capital, “Made in China” labels throughout Toys R Us. The Brexit vote on Thursday ends that story, at least in its current volume. Voters will soon tell us what sort of sequel they’d prefer.

A slowdown in trade growth has already gripped the globe over the past several years, according to data from the World Trade Organization. Prospects now look bleak for completion of major new trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a new accord between the United States and the European Union, no matter who wins the U.S. presidential election in November.

Political factions in other European countries are clamoring to follow Britain out the door of the European Union. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is promising to levy the highest set of tariffs in the past century for America against China, Mexico and other key trading partners. His presumptive Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has vowed to renegotiate existing deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

These developments come at the hands of an anxious working class across the West, whose members feel left in the cold by many developments of the rapid integration of foreign products and people into their lives.
It is clear from the results of the British vote, and from Trump’s rise in U.S. politics, that there is a large backlash against the results of globalization so far.

Native-born workers without college degrees are venting their frustrations with immigrants, with factory jobs outsourced abroad and with a growing sense of political helplessness - the idea that their leaders no longer respond to concerns of people like them.

University-educated voters in Britain overwhelmingly sided with the “remain” campaign in Thursday’s vote; those without college degrees powered the victory for “leave.” The top issue among those voting to go was Britain’s right to act independently. The second-highest was immigration.

In the United States, throughout the Republican primaries and into the general-election campaign, white voters without college degrees have formed the core of Trump’s support, and polls show they, too, are frustrated with immigration and economic integration (in the form of free trade).

The forces driving those populist uprisings, both against EU bureaucrats in Brussels and elected officials in Washington, are complex and intertwined. They include long-simmering racial tensions and increased political polarization.

But across the West, the economist Branko Milanovic argues, the rise of populism corresponds to a decline in the income share held by the broad middle classes of those countries.

Milanovic has studied global inequality trends extensively and is the creator of a semi-famous chart showing how the rise of global trade boosted incomes for the poorest and very richest workers in the world - everyone, really, except for the working class in the West.

In a recent blog post, Milanovic writes that in the United States and other rich countries, “populism is rooted in the failure of globalization to deliver palpable benefits to its working class.”

With the Brexit vote, the populist movement can already claim a victory: It has won a clear reversal from the economic-integration trend of the past decades.

Now the question is whether the movement will ultimately push the world into a more Western-worker-friendly form of globalization - or a full-fledged retreat to protectionism.

Either seems possible.

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?

Proper breeding ground for germanene

Date: June 22, 2016

Source: University of Twente

Summary: Germanene is a one atom thick sheet of germanium, in a honeycomb structure. It has clear similarities with graphene, the material that induced massive research activity worldwide, especially after 2010's Nobel Prize. A major difference between graphene and germanene is the 'band gap', a property well-known in semiconductor electronics: thanks to this 'jump' of energy levels that electrons are allowed to have, it is possible to control, switch and amplify currents. Graphene had a very small band gap that can only be measured at very low temperatures, germanene shows a band gap that is significantly larger. Previous attempts to grow germanene, however, show that these attractive properties seem to vanish when it is grown on a metal surface: a good conductor of current. To prevent this, the scientists chose the semiconductor MoS2 as the substrate material.
Under ultra-high vacuum conditions, germanene indeed grows on the semiconductor. At first, the scientists observed islands at the locations where MoS2 had crystal defects, after that the germanene is spreading out covering a larger surface. An exciting question is, if the desired properties remain intact. First measurements show that the typical 2D properties and band gap are present, further low temperature measurements are needed to confirm germanene operates in the desired way: the inner part would work as an insulator, while conducting channels are formed at the edges.
The other UT scientists did quantum mechanical calculations on the molybdenum-disulfide combination. They, for example, looked at the direction of growth, to be able to optimize the process. The theoretical group went one step further, by not only investigating the bilayer of molybdenum-disulfide, but als covering the germane with molybdeendisulfide. This prevents germanene from rapid oxidation. Calculations show that the sandwich construction has even better performance when it comes to the band gap.
Both publications show dat germanene, grown on molybdenum-disulfide is an important first step towards new electronic devices or unsuspected combinations with conventional devices. 'Spintronics', based on the spin movement of electrons, seems to be an attractive application area for germanene. Electrons with spin up and electrons with spin down have separate conducting channels on the edges of germanene. Harold Zandvliet recently received a grant for further research on this promising effect.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May

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

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