Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Merkel Still Doesn’t Get It.

Baltic Dry Index. 687  -04    Brent Crude 48.71

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

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

John Kenneth Galbraith

She came, she saw, and though no one died Hillary Clinton Style in Libya, Germany’s Mrs Merkel showed that she’s learned nothing since GB’s historic vote to leave the dying, wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR.  She tried to conquer Italy, pressing on with the failed, bossy, austerity policy that will lead to the break up of the EUSSR. The EU and euro simply aren’t working anymore, for more and more of Europe’s voters.

Below, continental Europe stuck in a time warp.  The rules can’t be bent for Italy, but it’s OK to bend them for Germany, France and Spain. Germany, the home of dirty, killer diesel engine producer Volkswagen, stamps down its boot on hapless Italy. Perhaps it was revenge for Germany losing to Brazil in the Olympic lesser version of the World Cup.

Merkel Tells Renzi He Can’t Bend Euro Rules to Boost Growth

August 22, 2016 — 6:47 PM BST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel lauded Italian Premier Matteo Renzi’s economic policy as “courageous,” while signaling that European Union budget rules can’t be bent to help Italy boost growth.

Merkel’s comments alongside Renzi and French President Francois Hollande hinted at one of the divisions between the leaders of the euro area’s three biggest economies as they met on Monday to plan the European Union’s way forward after Britons voted to leave the bloc. Italy’s economy stagnated in the second quarter, pushing off budget forecasts, and Renzi is pressing for greater flexibility by the European Commission.

“The stability pact has a lot of flexibility, which we have to apply in a smart way,” Merkel told reporters aboard the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi, where the leaders discussed topics from refugees, border controls and terrorism to jobs and investment. “Europe isn’t the most competitive place in the world in all sectors yet.”

Renzi signaled he’ll push ahead with his reforms even as his public standing slips.

“Italy’s deficit is at the lowest level of the last ten years,” Renzi said. The government “will go ahead with structural reforms and deficit reduction for the good of our children and grandchildren,” he said.

Hollande said the U.K. referendum in June to leave the EU is spurring uncertainty that requires a response by EU leaders, including measures that feed through to people’s everyday lives, including more jobs for young people. Europe is “on the spot” after Brexit and policy makers need to show they can deliver “results,” Merkel said.

In yet more sign that Europe’s lost its way, below how Bloomberg reported on the crisis of confidence rattling Germany and France. So how will an exclusive big three summit go down with the excluded 24 minnows?

Merkel Says Brexit Is U.K.’s Loss While Pledging Results for EU

August 22, 2016 — 7:47 PM BST Updated on
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union needs to show it can prosper without the U.K. as she and the leaders of France and Italy sought to chart a way forward for Europe.

“We respect Britain’s decision but naturally also want to make it clear that the other 27 are working for a prosperous, safe Europe,” said Merkel, standing alongside President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on an Italian aircraft carrier to show resolve in mastering the continent’s crises. “We need results,” she said.

The leaders of the three biggest euro-area economies met aboard the Giuseppe Garibaldi on Monday as concern mounts in the EU that its post-World War II construction is ill-equipped to deal with 21-century challenges. Even before the British exit referendum in June, the union was being buffeted by economic turmoil, a migration crisis, rising anti-EU populism and a surge in terrorism.

With future relations between the EU and the U.K. in limbo for now, continental leaders are trying to move toward an initial vision of the post-Brexit bloc for a summit of all 28 EU countries except Britain next month. Merkel will talk to another 13 leaders between Wednesday and Saturday as she canvasses opinion before in-depth talks at the meeting in Bratislava on Sept. 16.

“Many thought Europe was finished after Brexit -- it wasn’t,” Renzi said at a joint news conference. “We think that Europe can be a solution to problems, while populists think that Europe is the cause of all problems.”

The Brexit process has laid bare competing visions between those who view closer European integration as part of the solution and countries that want to put the EU’s institutions -- and their bureaucrats in Brussels -- on a shorter leash.

Driving that debate has been the resurgence of political parties such as France’s National Front, which wants to take the country out of the EU, as well as populist movements in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and across eastern Europe.

Below, Bloomberg for once offers a sensible Brexit compromise. Long a part of the Project Fear Remainiac campaign, the media’s overwhelming Remainiac coverage led both the EU and the government of Dodgy Dave Cameron to assume that Remain would automatically win, so neither administrations made any contingency plans for Brexit. Both got exactly what they deserved.

A Cure for Brexit Paralysis

Aug 22, 2016 2:00 AM EDT
The European Union says it wants clarity on whether U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is serious in her pledge that “Brexit means Brexit.” That clarity would be good for Britain as well as the rest of Europe, and there’s a simple way to get it: Extend the two-year deadline triggered by formal notification of the decision to leave the bloc.

As things stand, Article 50 of the EU treaty allows for two years of negotiations once Britain has formally declared that it’s leaving. This isn’t long enough: Neither side is ready and there’s far too much to discuss. Britain is in no hurry to start the process -- the early part of next year is being discussed -- and it controls the timing. Yet European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker both insist that talks about Britain’s future relationship with the bloc cannot start until Article 50 is invoked.

The answer is to invoke Article 50 swiftly but drop the arbitrary two-year deadline for concluding the talks.
This would give both sides something they want. Europe would get the clarity it’s demanding: Britain is leaving and can be formally recognized as a soon-to-be non-member. And Britain would get the time it will need to arrange an orderly transition to new trading arrangements with the EU and rest of the world.

To be sure, each side would also lose something. Europe would give up some bargaining power: It wouldn’t be able to use the two-year deadline as an implicit threat to bounce Britain into a harsh settlement. And Britain would lose the option of dithering indefinitely over whether it’s really in or out. On balance, though, both sides would be better off with clarity on “in or out” combined with adequate time to negotiate an orderly and friendly separation.

David Davis, the minister in charge of Brexit, has reportedly hired less than half of the 250 staff designated for his new department. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, employs fewer than 100 of the estimated 1,000 trade-policy experts he’ll need. A further complication is elections in France and Germany next year. Until those are out of the way, Britain doesn’t know who will be representing the EU’s two most powerful members -- and the results may change the course of the talks, with the Article 50 clock, if started by then, rapidly running down.

Italy to hold elections in 2018 whatever referendum outcome: Renzi

Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:45pm EDT
Italians will vote in new general elections in 2018 no matter how a referendum on constitutional reform turns out later this year, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday.

Renzi, who came to power two years ago by ousting grand coalition-leader Enrico Letta, has staked his political future on winning the referendum which he says is crucial to more stable and stronger government.

Asked in an interview before an audience at an outdoor festival in Marina di Pietrasanta in Tuscany whether elections would be held in 2018 whatever the outcome of the popular vote, Renzi said "yes".

But the 41-year-old indicated he would nonetheless step down from office if he lost the referendum.

"If the no [vote] wins I have already said what I will be doing," he said. Renzi has previously commented he would resign.

The referendum, the date of which has not yet been announced, seeks to do away with a parliamentary system in which the upper and lower houses have equal powers, effectively abolishing the Senate as an elected chamber and sharply reducing its ability to veto legislation.

Critics fear the proposed reform could give excessive powers to the government and its leader.

Renzi reiterated it had been a mistake to personalize a referendum in which he promised to resign if he failed to convince voters to support the need for constitutional change.

"I made a mistake and because of this the whole thing has become a debate about everything," he said.

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.

John Kenneth Galbraith.
At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 27.43 Moz, Eligible 129.20 Moz, Total 156.63 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today Germany. What do the authorities there know that we don’t?
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you."
Joseph Heller.

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks: FAS

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:43am EDT
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.
Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.
"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" - which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry - as saying.
The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.
People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.
The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany's territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.
However, the precautionary measures demand that people "prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future," the paper cited the report as saying.
It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.
A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.
Germany's Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the "crosshairs of terrorism" and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.

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?

Zenyatta Ventures Graphene – Wonder material makes concrete stronger and environmentally friendly

August 21, 2016 10:16 PM ET

By now most investors have heard of the new wonder material called graphene. This single carbon atom super material can be derived from natural graphite. Graphene can truly be called the material of the future as it is 200 times stronger than steel but very flexible, and it conducts electricity better than any other material.  Graphene is so thin that it may be thought of as two-dimensional and can be mixed with all manner of materials to increase strength. Due to these and other properties, it has the potential to literally revolutionize several industries.  Thousands of researchers all over the world are working to develop many disruptive and game changing graphene applications.  One such revolutionary application is the addition of graphene to cement creating a strong and environmentally “green” concrete.

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (TSXV-ZEN) partnership with Ben-Gurion University (‘BGU’) and Larisplast Ltd. is putting the junior mining company on the leading edge of a graphene concrete application because of its purity and crystallinity derived from a rare igneous (or volcanic) style of graphite.  The deposit, called Albany, is especially well suited to form graphene from graphite as noted by scientists from BGU and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

The timing was perfect for Aubrey Eveleigh, the President and CEO of Zenyatta, who was looking for that leading edge graphene application while Israel’s BGU was looking at the effect of adding graphene to concrete. The main objective of the work is to develop concrete admixtures containing Zenyatta’s natural nano-graphite (graphene) to create improved mechanical properties. Several benefits expected from the development of this enhanced concrete product include the following: allowing a faster curing time; using less concrete during construction but still achieving a superior mechanical performance; inhibiting premature failure; and withstanding large forces, typically produced during earthquakes or explosions.

It also has an important positive environmental impact.  The concrete industry produces significant carbon dioxide (CO) which is a major greenhouse gas.  In 2015, a total of 4.1 billion tonnes of cement was produced globally. Next to water, concrete is the second most widely consumed substance on earth. Recent estimates by the Freedonia Group suggest that “World demand for cement is projected to grow to 5.2 billion metric tons by 2019. In value terms, this means global demand for cement will advance 7 percent per year to $420 billion by 2019.”  Studies have shown that for every tonne of cement that is produced approximately one tonne of CO is released into the atmosphere. Adding graphene will have the potential to reduce the amount of concrete used in construction and consequently cut considerable carbon dioxide emissions.

The test results at BGU using Zenyatta graphene in concrete were extremely encouraging. The development of this new enhanced product could greatly reduce the amount of concrete used in construction and consequently cut considerable CO emissions.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished July

DJIA: 18432  +03 Up NASDAQ:  5162 +10 Up. SP500: 2173 +01 Up.

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