Friday, 5 August 2016

Unsound Money.

Baltic Dry Index. 636 -05     Brent Crude 43.85

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

"The international monetary order is more precarious by far today than it was in 1929. Then, gold was international money, incorruptible, unmanageable, and unchangeable. Today, the U.S. dollar serves as the international medium of exchange, managed by Washington politicians and Federal Reserve officials, manipulated from day to day, and serving political goals and ambitions. This difference alone sounds the alarm to all perceptive observers."

Hans F. Sennholz

Since August 15, 1971 and the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money, we exist in an increasingly dysfunctional world of unsound, irredeemable money. More a casino gambling chip, than a store of value, and completely devoid of intrinsic value. But the benefits of fiat money were all front loaded and long ago dissipated by populist politicians and their crooked central banksters. What we have now are beggar-thy-neighbour currency wars, a massive Chinese malinvestment boom now gone horribly wrong, a great global mountain of increasingly unrepayable debt, and Keynesian economics herding us towards an eventual fiat money collapse and revulsion.
We open with yesterday’s fiat money desperation at the 322 year old Bank of England.
"All previous attempts to base money solely on intangibles such as credit or government edict or fiat have ended in inflationary panic and disaster."

Donald Hoppe

Carney Scorns Negative Rate Path Trodden Across World Economy

August 4, 2016 — 4:43 PM BST Updated on August 5, 2016 — 5:00 AM B
Mark Carney has looked at the road his most adventurous -- or desperate -- peers have taken, and decided it’s not for him.

While unveiling a multi-pronged stimulus package aimed at staving off a post-Brexit U.K. slump on Thursday, the Bank of England governor also drew a line splitting the world into monetary jurisdictions that will cut interest rates below zero, and those that won’t.

“I’m not a fan of negative interest rates,” Carney said after the BOE lowered its key rate to 0.25 percent and boosted quantitative easing. “We see the negative consequences of them through the financial system, we’ve seen that in other jurisdictions, we see the issues with savers.”
Bearing in mind that Carney also serves as head of the global Financial Stability Board, that may be as strong a negative indictment as the experimental practice has yet received, more than two years after the European Central Bank became the first major central bank to introduce it. While ECB President Mario Draghi and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda insist that sub-zero rates work, Carney is now firmly in league with U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in saying the policy’s not for them.

Below, how and why it all went so wrong.
"Every individual is a potential gold buyer, although he may not need the gold. It may be added to the store of personal wealth, and passed from generation to generation as an object of family wealth. There is no other economic good as marketable as gold."

Hans F. Sennholz

Trump Isn’t All Wrong About Trade Deficits—-How Washington’s Money-Printers Betrayed American Workers

by David Stockman • 
----Needless to say, the lack of good jobs lies at the bottom of the wealth and income drought on main street, and the recent BLS jobs reports provide still another reminder.

During the last seven months goods-producing jobs have been shrinking again, even as the next recession knocks on the door. These manufacturing, construction and energy/mining jobs are the highest paying in the US economy and average about $56,000 per year in cash wages. Yet it appears that the 30-year pattern shown in the graph below——lower lows and lower highs with each business cycle—-is playing out once again.

So even as the broadest measure of the stock market—-the Wilshire 5000—–stands at 11X  its 1989 level, there are actually 20% fewer goods producing jobs in the US than there were way back then.

This begs the question, therefore, as to the rationale for the “Jobs Deal” we referenced in chapter 1 and why Donald Trump should embrace a massive swap of the existing corporate and payroll taxes for new levies on consumption and imports.

The short answer is that Greenspan made a giant policy mistake 25 years ago that has left main street households buried in debt and stranded with a simultaneous plague of stagnant real incomes and uncompetitively high nominal wages.

It happened because at the time that Mr. Deng launched China’s great mercantilist export machine during the early 1990s, Alan Greenspan was more interested in being the toast of Washington than he was in adhering to his lifelong convictions about the requisites of sound money.

Indeed, he apparently checked his gold standard monetary principles in the cloak room when he entered the Eccles Building in August 1987. Not only did he never reclaim the check, but, instead, embraced the self-serving institutional anti-deflationism of the central bank.

This drastic betrayal and error resulted in a lethal cocktail of free trade and what amounted to free money. It resulted in the hollowing out of the American economy because it prevented American capitalism from adjusting to the tsunami of cheap manufactures coming out of China and its east Asian supply chain.

The full extent of the Fed’s betrayal of Flyover America can only be fathomed in relationship to the contrafactual. To wit, what would have happened in response to the so-called “china price” under a regime of sound money in the US?

The Fed’s Keynesian economists and their Wall Street megaphones would never breath a word of it, of course, because they have a vested interest in perpetuating inflation. It gives inflation targeting central bankers the pretext for massive intrusion in the financial markets and Wall Street speculators endless bubble finance windfalls.

But the truth is, sound money would have led to falling consumer prices, high interest rates and an upsurge of household savings in response to strong rewards for deferring current consumption. From that enhanced flow of honest domestic savings the supply side of the American economy could have been rebuilt with capital and technology designed to shrink costs and catalyze productivity.

But instead of consumer price deflation and a savings-based era of supply side reinvestment, the Greenspan Fed opted for a comprehensive Inflation Regime. That is, sustained inflation of consumer prices and nominal wages, massive inflation of household debt and stupendous inflation of financial assets.

To be sure, the double-talking Greenspan actually bragged about his prowess in generating something he called “disinflation”. But that’s a weasel word. What he meant, in fact, was that the purchasing power of increasingly higher (and therefore increasingly more uncompetitive) nominal American wages was being reduced slightly less rapidly than it had been in the 1980s.

Still, the consumer price level has more than doubled since 1987, meaning that prices of goods and services have risen at 2.5% per year on average even on the BLS’s downwardly biased reckoning. Notwithstanding all the Fed’s palaver about “low-flation” and undershooting its phony 2.00% target, American workers have had to push their nominal wages higher and higher just to keep up with the cost of living.

We end for the week with a message from Sharps Pixley London. Who am I to disagree. As the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money, lurches from crisis to crisis and its eventual end in revulsion, long out of favour gold and silver will retake their proper place in re-establishing an international sound money system.
"The gold standard makes the money's purchasing power independent of the changing, ambitions and doctrines of political parties and pressure groups. This is not a defect of the gold standard; it is its main excellence."

Ludwig von Mises

The interest rate cut by the Bank of England from 0.5 pct to 0.25 pct - the first cut since the economic crisis started - saw the pound fall sharply and correspondingly gold for UK investors saw a significant rally from GBP 1012 and ounce to GBP 1031 an ounce - a gain of just under 2 pct. 

The price rise for UK gold investors - which remains a minority sport here - caps a gain of 42.2 pct year to date.

The move reaffirms gold as the go-to asset in times of economic duress. The UK market is very modest compared to say the German market which is 10 times larger in terms of volumes of coins and sold, 10 times larger in terms of the domestic central bank gold holdings and Germans also have demonstrated 4 times the propensity to save compared to us Brits.

However, with the macro economic environment darkening, there are signs that savers remain concerned about the vulnerability or even fragility of the banking sector and there are only so many options one can go to.

Some will look at the gains in the sterling price for gold and wonder whether they have missed the boat. Buying insurance while your house is on fire is rarely and effective strategy in our view - but there is still plenty of potential upside. Gold is still 41 pct below the levels seen in 2011 and arguably the rationale for buying now - as opposed to then is significantly greater. 

Ross Norman
Sharps Pixley, London

“under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy's stability and balanced growth... The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit... In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation”

Alan Greenspan

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 26.97 Moz, Eligible 126.29 Moz, Total 153.26 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, for Europe’s dodgy banks, 3 cents of capital for every euro of assets, should do the trick, says the European Banking Authority, but not until January 2018. I think that’s a recipe to repeat 2008. The EBA needs to mandate at least double 3 cents on the euro. Preferably getting back to closer to 10 percent.
I can resist anything except temptation.
21st century banksters, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

Europe’s Banks Should Face 3% Minimum Leverage Ratio, EBA Says

August 3, 2016 — 3:30 PM BST
European banks should have at least 3 cents of capital for every euro of assets they hold, the European Banking Authority recommended.

The measure would help reduce the risk of lenders taking on too much debt, while its impact on their ability to finance the economy would be “relatively moderate” at that level, the EBA said in a report Wednesday. While the world’s biggest, most systemically important banks may merit a tougher requirement, overall the result will be a more stable financial system, it said.

Regulators agreed to set a binding leverage ratio to ensure that banks would be unable to reach the levels of indebtedness that in 2008 helped plunge the global economy into the deepest crisis since the Great Depression. The measure, which treats a euro invested in a high-yield bond as bearing the same risk of loss as a euro invested in a German government bond, is designed to complement and backstop the risk-weighted approach which banks typically use.

“The overarching aim of the leverage ratio regulation is to limit the build-up of leverage to the degree that financial institutions do not end up with excessive leverage,” the EBA said in the report. “The leverage ratio and the risk-based capital requirements should function in a complementary manner, with the leverage ratio defining a minimum capital to total exposure requirement and the risk-based capital ratios limiting risk-taking.”

U.S. Ratio

Many European banks are already preparing to meet minimum leverage ratio requirements. Deutsche Bank AG said last year it aimed to have a 4.5 percent ratio by 2018. U.S. regulators have set a 5 percent minimum ratio for that nation’s largest banks, applying slightly different criteria.

The EBA recommended applying the measure from January 2018 and said it should be part of banks’ mandatory, or Pillar 1, requirements. The EBA report will now go to the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, which will propose legislation and will report to the European Parliament and Council on the impact and effectiveness of the ratio by year-end.

In stress tests published last week based on lenders’ balance sheets as of December 2015, the EBA found that leverage ratios of banks including Deutsche Bank AG, ABN Amro Group NV and Societe Generale SA fell below the 3 percent mark in the adverse scenario of the exam.

"Whenever an overall breakdown of a monetary or financial system occurs, return to gold always restores order, revives confidence and brings back prosperity.”

Donald Hoppe

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?

Cadmium-tellurium solar cells: Formula optimized

Date: August 3, 2016

Source: DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Summary: Solar cells could move closer to theoretical levels of efficiency, thanks to new findings. Researchers used advanced microscopy techniques to discover efficiency differences of crystalline structures of various mixtures of cadmium, tellurium and selenium.
Solar cells based on cadmium and tellurium could move closer to theoretical levels of efficiency because of some sleuthing by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
A team led by Jonathan Poplawsky of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences used advanced microscopy techniques to discover efficiency differences of crystalline structures of various mixtures of cadmium, tellurium and selenium. In fact, selenium is an integral part of the formulation that resulted in a world record for solar cell efficiency. The team's paper is published in Nature Communications.
While some of today's solar cells use a blend of cadmium and tellurium to convert light into electricity, adding the optimum amount of selenium in the right places could help increase efficiency from the current mark of about 22 percent to levels approaching the theoretical limit of 30-33 percent. The trick is to determine the best ratio of selenium.
"Using different microscopy methods, we were able to gain a better understanding of the phases, compositions and crystalline structures that allow these materials to convert light into electricity more efficiently," said Poplawsky, adding that the availability of data is limited. "In some instances, adding too much selenium changes the crystalline structure of cadmium-tellurium and dramatically reduces the conversion efficiency."
For this study, researchers studied four solar cells with different selenium contents -- and corresponding changes in crystal structure -- and learned that the one with the highest level of selenium did not perform well. Neither did the one with the lowest selenium content. The alloy composition that performed best consisted of approximately 50 percent cadmium, 25 percent tellurium and 25 percent selenium.
To make their determination, researchers used a combination of analytical techniques, including atom probe tomography, transmission electron microscopy and electron beam induced current. These are capabilities within the CNMS, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Another weekend, and our central bankster world is now deeply split into two camps. In continental Europe and Japan, the central banksters now thing that a negative number of Angels can dance on the head of a 21st century mass produced pin made in China. In America and Britain, and for now Australia and Canada, the central banksters still think that only a positive number of Angels can dance on the head of a pin, even if that number is perilously close to one. I suspect that both ideas have the same fiat money end result. Have a great weekend everyone.

Quantum Gravity Treatment of the Angel Density Problem

by Anders Sandberg
SANS/NADA, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden


We derive upper bounds for the density of angels dancing on the point of a pin. It is dependent on the assumed mass of the angels, with a maximum number of 8.6766*10exp49 angels at the critical angel mass (3.8807*10exp-34 kg).

Ancient Question, Modern Physics

"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" has been a major theological question since the Middle Ages.[5]

According to Thomas Aquinas, it is impossible for two distinct causes to each be the immediate cause of one and the same thing. An angel is a good example of such a cause. Thus two angels cannot occupy the same space.[2] This can be seen as an early statement of the Pauli exclusion principle. (The Pauli exclusion principle is a pillar of modern physics. It was first stated in the twentieth century, by Pauli.)

However, this does not place any upper bound on the density of angels in a small area, because the size r of angels remains undefined and could possibly be arbitrarily small. There have also been theological criticisms of any assumption of angels as complete causes.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished July

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

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