Friday, 9 September 2016

To Raise Or Not To Raise, The Fed’s Dilemma.

Baltic Dry Index. 792  +19     Brent Crude 49.53

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

“Call it the Goldman Sachs test. If this is something Goldman would do to its clients, don't do it."

Felix Salmon.

We open with Goldie speculating on the odds of a Fed interest rate hike before the US presidential election on November 8th. I think the odds are zero. The Fedster’s, like Wall Street, the banksters, the US military-industrial complex and the American War Party, all want Hillary Clinton to win. The Fed are not about to sabotage her stuttering campaign with an interest rate hike.

"I'm doing 'God's Work.'

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO,Goldman Sachs, aka Mr. Goldman Sachs. 

September rate hike would break Fed tradition during election year

Published: Sept 8, 2016 10:29 a.m. ET

Goldman Sachs sees 40% chance of tightening

A Federal Reserve interest-rate hike in September would break the U.S. central bank’s tradition of no surprise tightenings during election years, according to Alec Phillips, an economist at Goldman Sachs.

“The Fed appears to have a greater aversion to surprise hikes than surprise cuts in general, this pattern appears even stronger in presidential election years,” Phillips said in a research note.

Since 1990, 6% of the Fed’s hikes have been less than 70% discounted by the market by the time of the meeting. In contrast, no pre-election rate hike —in 1968, 2000, and 2004— has been less than 90% discounted by the fed funds futures market by the time of the meeting, he said.

The Fed meets twice before the upcoming Nov. 8 presidential election, on Sept. 20-21 and Nov. 1-2.

At the moment, the odds of a September rate hike stand at 18%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. One factor is “conventional wisdom” that the Fed would be unlikely to hike rates prior to the election.
Goldman itself has higher odds of a September rate hike. The firm sees a 40% chance of a September move, down from a high of 55% last week.

“We wuz wrong,” say more and more global gambling banksters, whose dire Brexit predictions, got UK Prime Minister Dodgy Dave Cameron cashiered, in the biggest error of judgement since the French General’s told Prime Minister Churchill in June 1940 that  'In three weeks England would have her neck wrung like a chicken.'  Still, for despatching “Dodgy Dave” and his never quite up to the job Chancellor, there was a silver lining to their inept Remainiac campaign.

Below, “Brecession” deferred for now. Though if it happens at all, it will be because of an economic downturn in America, or continental Europe, or in China or Japan.  As floats that convoy of ships, so floats the SS Great Britain. How silly of Dodgy Dave not to have known.

Banks backtrack on ‘Brecession’ prediction after U.K. economy proves resilient after Brexit vote

John Shmuel Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016
So much for the Brecession. 
Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley announced Tuesday that they no longer expect the British economy to slip into recession after the Brexit vote earlier this year. Both upgraded their growth forecasts for the British economy following a string of better-than-expected economic data from the United Kingdom in the past month.
The revised forecasts join a handful of other banks and economists such as JP Morgan that are now casting doubt on the post-Brexit narrative that the vote would do serious harm to the British economy. 
“Previously, we had expected an immediate reaction to the vote to leave,” said analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note to clients. “But in practice, the reaction has been muted, or rapidly reversed.”
The U.K. held a referendum in June to determine whether it should withdraw from the European Union. Prior to the vote, polls showed that it was likely that Britons would vote to stay in the political-economic bloc. But in a shock result, the Leave camp won with 52 per cent of the vote, triggering a crash in the British stock market and the country’s currency.
In the months since, however, with little progress made on how an exit will play out, markets have recovered and the British economy has proven surprisingly resilient. 
This week, the services component of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the U.K. showed a sharp rebound for the month of August, rising from 47.4 to 52.9. Anything above 50 suggests the services industry in the country is growing.
Credit Suisse increased its forecast for growth this year to 1.9 per cent from one per cent on the news. The bank also said that rather than an earlier forecast of a 0.5 per cent contraction next year, it expects the U.K. economy will actually grow by 0.5 per cent.
Stronger growth comes on the back of immediate efforts by the Bank of England to prop up liquidity following the Brexit vote. The central bank unveiled a hefty stimulus package last month, including the first rate cut in seven years and a promise of more easing if the British economy needed it.
Secretary of State David Davis said that the data shows that country’s economy is “robust” in a statement Monday about ongoing work to depart the European Union. He added that it allows the U.K. to enter negotiations to leave from a “position of strength.”
Morgan Stanley said it expects the British economy to grow by 1.9 per cent this year, from its earlier 1.2 per cent forecast. It predicts growth will slip to 0.6 per cent in 2017, slightly higher than its earlier 0.5 per cent call.
Elsewhere in the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR, who knew that taxes were almost entirely optional. Certainly no one bothered to tell me.

Denmark Needs to Fix a $4 Billion Tax Fraud

September 8, 2016 — 2:49 PM BST Updated on September 8, 2016 — 11:00 PM BST
About two weeks after Denmark revealed it had lost as much as $4 billion in taxes through a combination of fraud and mismanagement, the minister in charge of revenue collection says that figure may need to be revised even higher.

Speaking to parliament on Thursday, Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen said he “can’t rule out” that losses might be bigger than the most recent public estimates indicate. It would mark the latest in a string of revisions over the past year, in which Danes learned that losses initially thought to be less than $1 billion somehow ended up being about four times as big.

The embarrassment caused by the tax fraud, which spans about a decade of successive administrations, has prompted Lauritzen to consider debt collection methods not usually associated with Scandinavian governments. Denmark has long had one of the world’s highest tax burdens -- government revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product -- and a well-functioning tax model is essential to maintaining its fabled welfare system.

“We’re entertaining new ideas, considering more new measures,” Lauritzen told Bloomberg.

Danish officials are now prepared to pay anonymous sources for evidence from the same database that generated the Panama Papers. Jim Soerensen, a director at Denmark’s Tax Authority, says the first batch of clues obtained using this method is expected by the end of the month.

“We don’t know whether the information was obtained legally,” Soerensen said. “If we find something that could be of interest to the Economic Crimes Squad, we will obviously inform them.”

Lauritzen said his ministry is also looking into the option of using private debt collectors.

----Danes don’t have the same access to bankruptcy protection that Americans have and debt collection companies can tap private bank accounts and even seize paychecks. In contrast, government debt collection has so far had to live up to requirements that seek to ensure a debtor is left with enough money to cover basic living needs. Social benefits and other welfare payments are off limits.

----The minister is exploring new avenues two weeks after unveiling a package of reforms that included 7 billion kroner ($1.06 billion) in additional spending to improve revenue collection. The plan also entailed hiring about 2,000 more employees.
We close for the week with a very bad idea resurfacing again. Like a bad penny it keeps coming back. In the banksters war on everyone, the elite want to take away the hoi polloi’s access to cash. All the better for big brother to track you and keep you in your proper place, as in serfdom. Of course, that’s not their motive you understand. Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. No really. But remember when the central banksters “temporarily” suspended the dollar-gold link, made permanent a few years later, setting off the giant crony casino capitalism off today.
"I doubt if any of them would even intentionally double-park."
President Nixon, on Haldeman and Ehrlichman, & the White House Plumbers.

Opinion: Why we should get rid of dollar bills larger than $10

Published: Sept 7, 2016 5:24 a.m. ET

Paper currency is costly and has unintended consequences

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Project Syndicate) — The world is awash in paper currency, with major central banks pumping out hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth each year, mainly in very large denomination notes such as the $100 bill.

The $100 bill accounts for almost 80% of the U.S.’s stunning $4,200 per capita cash supply. The 10,000 yen note (about $100) accounts for roughly 90% of all Japan’s currency, where per capita cash holdings are almost $7,000. And, as I have been arguing for two decades, all this cash is facilitating growth mainly in the underground economy, not the legal one.

I am not advocating a cashless society, which will be neither feasible nor desirable anytime soon. But a less-cash society would be a fairer and safer place.

With the growth of debit cards, electronic transfers and mobile payments, the use of cash has long been declining in the legal economy, especially for medium and large transactions. Central bank surveys show that only a small percentage of large-denomination notes are being held and used by ordinary people or businesses.

Cash facilitates crime because it is anonymous, and big bills are especially problematic because they are so easy to carry and conceal. A million dollars in $100 notes fits into a briefcase, a million dollars in 500 euro notes (each worth about $565) fits into a purse.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to bribe officials, engage in financial crime and evade taxes without paper currency. But most involve very high transaction costs (for example, uncut diamonds), or risk of detection (say, bank transfers or credit card payments).

Yes, new-age crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, if not completely invulnerable to detection, are almost so. But their value sharply fluctuates, and governments have many tools with which they can restrict their use — for example, by preventing them from being tendered at banks or retail stores. Cash is unique in its liquidity and near-universal acceptance.

The costs of tax evasion alone are staggering, perhaps $700 billion per year in the United States (including federal, state and local taxes), and even more in high-tax Europe. Crime and corruption, though difficult to quantify, almost surely generate even greater costs. Think not just of illegal drugs and racketeering, but also of human trafficking, terrorism and extortion.

Moreover, cash payments by employers to undocumented workers are a principal driver of illegal immigration. Scaling back the use of cash is a far more humane way to limit immigration than building barbed-wire fences.

Former IMF economist argues for a (relatively) cash-free America

Published: Aug 28, 2016 11:49 a.m. ET
Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist Kenneth S. Rogoff argues in a Review section essay in the Wall Street Journal weekend edition that the U.S. should become a far more cashless society and, in fact, should move toward a phase-out of large notes, saying:
High-denomination notes facilitate crime, public corruption and tax evasion, among other ills, Rogoff says. They even lie “at the core of the illegal-immigration problem in the U.S.”

He acknowledges that the unbanked poor have legal and legitimate needs for cash and that others prefer cash to protect privacy in certain perfectly legal transactions.

But along with “the tax and crime angle,” Rogoff writes, central bankers would, with cash hoarding reined in, find themselves freed to push monetary-policy stimulus more aggressively.

“[I]f done gradually and properly, the balance of arguments is distinctly in favor of becoming a society that depends much less on cash.”
"The tragic lesson of guilty men walking free in this country has not been lost on the criminal community."
President Richard M. Nixon.
At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 29.45 Moz, Eligible 134.63 Moz, Total 164.08 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
No crooks today, just yet more pressure ahead for oil and gas, probably for years to come.

See where Apache Corp. says it found billions of barrels of oil

Published: Sept 7, 2016 3:18 p.m. ET

A sleepy corner of west Texas is home to an ‘immense’ discovery

Apache Corp. stock was among the top gainers Wednesday after the oil and gas company revealed an “immense” oil and gas reserve in a relatively unknown corner of west Texas.

Apache APA, +6.70%  estimated that its more than 300,000 contiguous acres in the region hold about 3 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It called the field Alpine High.

Alpine High is located in the Delaware Basin, the southwest corner of the Permian Basin. The Permian itself is mostly located in west Texas, with a small area straddling southeastern New Mexico.

Texas estimates the Permian already has produced 29 billion barrels of oil, and says industry experts estimate it to contain “recoverable oil and natural gas resources exceeding what has been produced over the last 90 years.”

Thus far, however, the Delaware Basin had been the relative slacker in the Permian, which accounted for nearly 20% of total U.S. oil production a few years back. Formations like Spraberry and Wolfcamp had been way more prolific as seen in this map from the Energy Information Administration:

Until recently experts considered the area a poor candidate for hydraulic fracturing, a process that uses water mixed with sand and chemicals to unlock oil and gas trapped in rock. Analysts at UBS said the area has received “minimal focus from the industry to date.”

The company said it was increasing its 2016 capital spending plan by $200 million to $2 billion. Developing Alpine High will eat more than 25% of Apache’s total spending program.

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?

Australia's solar power production to triple with 12 new plants to be built

By Allyson Horn and staff Updated about 2 hours ago September 8 2016
The construction of 12 new solar power plants in Australia will triple the nation's large-scale solar power production, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says.

The federally funded agency has announced a $92 million investment in six plants in Queensland, five in New South Wales and one at Cervantes in Western Australia.

ARENA said they would increase Australia's large-scale solar capacity from 240 megawatts to 720 megawatts, providing enough energy to power 150,000 average Australian homes.

The agency said the projects were also expected to unlock almost $1 billion of commercial investment and boost regional Australian economies.

The largest plant will be built on Queensland's Darling Downs, and will be able to generate up 110 megawatts of power.

Other solar locations in Queensland include Dalby, Longreach, Oakey, Kidston, Collinsville and the Whitsundays.

The five locations in New South Wales include Parkes, Manildra, Griffith, Dubbo and Glen Innes.
Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey said it was a momentous day.

Another weekend and the Autumn Equinox (equal day and night,) fast approaches. In the old way of thinking, the sun has moved back from the Tropic of Cancer to the Equator. (I know, it’s all really to do with the tilt of the earth.)  Here in the northern hemisphere our days get shorter, and our nights get longer. Just the opposite south of the Equator. Our days and nights in the northern hemisphere get cooler too, before returning to the cold of winter. Unlike our headless chicken central banksters’ economy, at least this part of our global economy works with certainty. Have a great weekend everyone, whichever hemisphere you’re spending it in.

What is the September Equinox?

There are two equinoxes every year – in September and March – when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal.

Seasons are opposite on either side of the Equator, so the equinox in September is also known as the  
Autumnal (fall) equinox in the northern hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's known as the Spring (vernal) equinox

September Equinox in London, England, United Kingdom is on
Thursday, 22 September 2016, 15:21 BST (Change city)

September Equinox in Universal Coordinated Time is on
Thursday, 22 September 2016, 14:21 UTC

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