Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A Plague of Devils.

Baltic Dry Index. 857 +23   Brent Crude 48.96

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

Eurasian Snow cover. (How bad will winter be?)

"I think we agree, the past is over."

George W. Bush, May 10, 2000.

In EUSSR news, John Bull gambles on a failed Remainiac fear monger staying on at the Bank of England, while Spain gambles on a new conservative minority government. America takes a gamble whichever candidate for POTUS wins. A crooked Live Cattle futures trader or a loose cannon golf course developer.  GB, the EUSSR, and the USA seem headed for an especially difficult year ahead.

Today it is All Saints’ Day, and wouldn’t you know it, on two great continents there isn’t a Saint in sight, just a plague of devils. Stay long fully paid up physical precious metals as insurance. One of these days we’re sure to need it.

"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating."

George W. Bush, April 23, 2002.

Carney to Stay at BOE Until June 2019 to Help Address Brexit

October 31, 2016 — 6:02 PM GMT Updated on October 31, 2016 — 9:48 PM GMT
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will extend his time in office by a year to 2019 to guide the economy through Britain’s split from the European Union.

Choosing a middle path between leaving in 2018 as planned or remaining until 2021 as entitled, Carney said in a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond that by staying until June 2019, he will help with an “orderly transition to the U.K.’s new relationship with Europe.”

The decision ends months of speculation about the 51-year-old Canadian’s future that raged as he led the charge to safeguard financial markets and the economy following June’s referendum. By providing continuity at the central bank, it’s likely to soothe investor concerns over the uncertainties that still lie ahead as the U.K. negotiates its break with the EU, which is scheduled to occur shortly before he steps down.

Still, Prime Minister Theresa May will have to search for a new governor just as the talks are reaching their climax and find one skilled enough to manage the post-Brexit economy. Carney’s decision to stay put is also likely to irk those Conservative lawmakers who accused him of showing political bias during the referendum campaign and then of overreacting to the result and underestimating the economy’s resilience.

Spain's Rajoy sworn in as PM, minority government may struggle

Mon Oct 31, 2016 | 10:17am EDT
Mariano Rajoy was sworn in for a second term as Spain's prime minister on Monday but may struggle to form a cabinet that can overcome scars left by 10 months of political deadlock and allow him to govern effectively.
The conservative Rajoy was sworn in before King Felipe at Zarzuela Palace near Madrid after winning a parliamentary confidence vote on Saturday, giving Spain a fully-functioning government once more after two inconclusive elections and fruitless coalition talks.
Rajoy's appointment was not enough to dispel investor concerns over Spain's ability to implement reforms and rein in a burgeoning deficit.
The country's benchmark 10-year bond saw its yield drop slightly in line with most other euro zone government bonds on Monday, while the country's benchmark IBEX stock index .IBEX tracked a weak open across major European stocks.
Rajoy, who will head a minority government with the weakest mandate in Spain's modern history, is working on a new cabinet that must build cross-party support to pass reforms in a hostile parliament.
His team, to be announced on Thursday, will be scrutinized for signs he wants a fresh start by bringing in new faces, even if most are expected to come from his People's Party (PP). There were no immediate leaks on the new cabinet to the Spanish press.
Rajoy, 61, governed with an absolute majority in his first term and was often disdainful of the opposition. Now he must convince opposition parties he is genuine about working with them.
Spain suffered a severe recession during Rajoy's first term when its banks needed a 41 billion euro ($45 billion) European bailout but the economy is now recovering.
The fragmentation of Spain's parliament arose from widespread disillusion with the political establishment and the emergence of new parties at a time of economic hardship, with unemployment peaking at 27 percent, and anger over corruption.
Rajoy has said he is open to dialogue and negotiation, but in an uncompromising speech before Saturday's vote, he urged opponents not to tie his hands, saying: "Spain ... needs a government that is capable of governing."
He will have backing from the liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) party, the fourth-largest group in parliament, on a list of 150 previously agreed measures.
"Whatever government there is, there will be a change of direction and there will be reform measures," Ciudadanos lawmaker Jose Manuel Villegas told reporters on Monday.
But even with Ciudadanos' votes, Rajoy lacks a majority. He faces hardline opposition from anti-austerity Podemos, the third largest party in parliament.
The Socialists, the second biggest, are licking their wounds over their leaders' decision to permit a Rajoy government after earlier blocking him.
Edoardo Campanella, an economist with Italian bank UniCredit, said the new Spanish government would be weak with every measure entailing "endless and draining" negotiations.
"It is hard to expect the adoption of major reforms like, for instance, a further consolidation of the banking system or a further overhaul of the labor law," he said in a note.
After 10 months of paralysis, urgent issues await Rajoy's attention. First will be a new budget for 2017 to appease Brussels and meet next year's deficit targets, which will require either spending cuts or raising extra revenue.
Rajoy will also have to respond to an independence push by the wealthy northeastern Catalonia region, which plans a referendum next year on breaking away from Spain.

In other news, after 45 years in the wilderness of the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money, far from reaching the central banksters promised land of milk and honey, we have emerged instead out into the barren plain of the Great Uncertainty.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

George W, Bush,  Aug. 5, 2004.

Inflation Pickup Comes With Bad News for ECB

Weakening underlying price pressures build case for more stimulus

October 31, 2016 — 1:05 PM GMT
Euro-area inflation accelerated at the fastest pace in more than two years in October. But what looks like progress in stoking consumer prices actually contains some bad news for the European Central Bank.
Policy makers including ECB chief economist Peter Praet have warned repeatedly that they're lacking convincing signs of underlying price pressures, and inflation data published Monday proved them right. Digging deeper into the figures shows the core rate, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, fell to the lowest in six months. That's critical since the central bank views the measure as a guide for where headline inflation will settle.

For Holger Sandte, chief European analyst at Nordea Markets in Copenhagen, soft inflation data and the prospect of core inflation remaining "firmly anchored" below 1 percent seal the case for an extension of quantitative easing beyond its current end-date. "The ECB cannot just sit and watch and let the asset purchases end in March next year," he wrote in a note to clients.

The ECB next sets policy on Dec. 8, when it will also publish fresh economic forecasts. Policy makers have recently suggested that inflation may reach the goal of just under 2 percent at the end of 2018 or early 2019 — a level it hasn't touched since early 2013. If that's to be sustained, the core rate is going to have to improve substantially.

Oil's Heading to $40 If OPEC Fails, Says Goldman

November 1, 2016 — 2:50 AM GMT
An OPEC deal to cut oil output at a meeting this month is looking increasingly unlikely, with failure warranting prices in the low-$40s, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“The lack of progress on implementing production quotas and the growing discord between OPEC producers suggests a declining probability of reaching a deal on November 30,” Goldman analysts including Damien Courvalin wrote in a note dated Oct. 31.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to meet in Vienna to implement the first supply cuts in eight years and get other producers from outside of the group to join in the action, including Russia. Brent crude extended losses below $50 a barrel on Monday after weekend talks failed to yield concrete details on an accord to reduce the global crude surplus and stabilize prices.

“The lack of an agreement so far has pushed oil prices sharply lower, with weakening oil fundamentals warranting oil prices in the low $40s a barrel in our view if OPEC is unable to deliver a convincing agreement,” the Goldman analysts wrote.

Even if the fear of slumping oil prices prompts the group to hammer out an accord, the probability of the deal successfully reducing inventories is low, the bank said. Rising October OPEC production and a faster ramp up of new non-OPEC projects have reduced the odds that an agreement translates into a decent draw in inventories during the first half of 2017, it said, estimating average OPEC output at about 34.2 million barrels a day last month.

Barclays’s 25% Cut in London Office Space Signals Threat of Glut

October 31, 2016 — 6:27 PM GMT
Barclays Plc’s decision to cut 25 percent of its London office space highlights the growing risk that tenants will be in short supply for developers of buildings currently being constructed.

The lender is seeking to sublease offices in the Canary Wharf financial district to the U.K. government, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. They asked not to be identified because the information is private. It shows how space that was previously occupied can suddenly come back on the market as companies downsize, providing more competition than investors expected.

Developers sought to capitalize on escalating rents by starting work on a record number of central-London office projects in the six months through March -- making oversupply a bigger threat to rents and values than Brexit, UBS Group AG said in August. Companies could shift as many as 100,000 jobs away from London within two years of the U.K. starting the process to leave the European Union, Jefferies Group LLC analyst Mike Prew wrote in a note to clients in June. That’s the equivalent to 20 skyscrapers the size of the Gherkin building, he said.

 “Tenants are getting the upper hand in rental negotiations, with banks optioning space to relocate from London,” Prew wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “Property yields may give the illusion of looking screamingly cheap, but we have expected rising yields” since August 2015.

Barclays’s space cut, for which the bank took a 150 million-pound ($183 million) charge in the third quarter, will probably be completed in the next two weeks, Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said on a Oct. 27 call with analysts. It’s the equivalent of about 5,000 desks. The reduction in office space came after a hiring freeze was put in place, a spokesman for the bank said on Monday.

China as Factory to World Mulls the Unthinkable: Price Hikes

October 30, 2016 — 4:01 PM GMT Updated on October 31, 2016 — 12:00 PM GMT
China’s factories may be on the cusp of delivering a new shock to the global economy after years of undercutting rivals with cheaper costs. This time, increases in prices could reverberate around the world.

To understand why, consider the dilemma facing Jiangmen Luck Tissue Mfy Ltd., now caught in a squeeze between surging wages and tepid demand. The company has already slashed staff by half, shaved prices and automated production to survive. Now, with margins razor thin, it’s weighing the first price increases since 2010.

“There’s just no possibility for me to cut prices any more,” says deputy director Roger Zhao, 52, whose company is based in the city of Jiangmen in southern Guangdong province. “Because costs are already pretty high and I don’t see any possibility they’ll go down, I’m seeking opportunities to raise prices a little bit.”

That push to recover lost margins -- even as demand remains muted -- was shared by exporters of everything from clocks to hot tubs interviewed in Guangzhou last week at the Canton Fair, a biannual gathering where 25,000 exhibitors and 180,000 mostly foreign buyers ink export deals in booths spanning exhibition space equivalent to about 3,400 tennis courts.

For the world economy, decisions from companies like Jiangmen Tissue to stop cutting prices -- and even raise them where demand allows -- removes a source of disinflationary pressure. To be decided is whether China, the factory to the world, swings from becoming a drag on consumer prices to a source of pressure nudging them higher.

China’s manufacturing prices rose in September for the first time in almost five years and overall producer prices also clambered out of negative territory. Those likely to feel the biggest lift if Chinese export prices follow through with sustained increases would be the country’s top five markets: the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Mexico.

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?"

George W. Bush,  Jan. 11, 2000

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 30.46 Moz, Eligible  142.99 Moz, Total 173.45 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, welcome to the Ukraine. American War Party favourite for NATO, Migrant Mad Merkel’s candidate to join the EUSSR, and unfortunately, the most corrupt nation in Europe by far, though there were several other European contenders. Not that hard working German Germans need worry much about the Ukraine joining Mrs. Merkel’s pro-immigrant EUSSR. The EUSSR will be long gone before the Ukraine ever gets clean enough to apply. No wonder the mostly Russian Crimean peninsula voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.
"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."
George W. Bush, May 25, 2004.

Ukrainians shocked as politicians declare vast wealth

Mon Oct 31, 2016 | 10:08am EDT
An anti-corruption reform requiring senior Ukrainian officials to declare their wealth online has exposed a vast difference between the fortunes of politicians and those they represent.
Some declared millions of dollars in cash. Others said they owned fleets of luxury cars, expensive Swiss watches, diamond jewelry and large tracts of land - revelations that could further hit public confidence in the authorities in Ukraine, where the average salary is just over $200 per month.
Officials had until Sunday to upload details of their assets and income in 2015 to a publicly searchable database, part of an International Monetary Fund-backed drive to boost transparency and modernize Ukraine's recession-hit economy.
Prime Minister Voldymyr Groysman, who last week likened the declarations process to jumping out of an airplane, revealed that he and his wife had a total of $1.2 million and 460,000 euros in cash and a collection of luxury watches.
The database also shows that Groysman, a former businessman and provincial mayor, is not alone in preferring to keep much of his money out of Ukraine's banking system.
Reuters calculations based on the declarations show that the 24 members of the Ukrainian cabinet together have nearly $7 million, just in cash.
The declarations of two brothers in President Petro Poroshenko's faction, Bohdan and Yaroslav Dubnevych, show holdings of over $26 million, also in cash only.
"When the Economy Ministry says that in some areas around 60 percent of the economy is in the shadows, then this is accounted for by the volume of cash registered by civil servants, officials and lawmakers," said Taras Kachka, deputy executive director at George Soros's International Renaissance Foundation.
"This is a reflection on the state of our society."
Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko, who declared $1 million in a bank account and a further $500,000 in cash, said officials' decision to hold cash pointed to a mistrust in the banks that many Ukrainians could relate to.
"Of course to EU countries it seems uncivilized that people hold cash," he said. "But it is linked to the fact that the banking system could, let's say, be doing better. This is a problem for many Ukrainians who lost their savings in the bank."
The online declaration system is intended to represent a show of good faith that officials are willing to open their finances up to public scrutiny, to be held accountable, and to move away from a culture that tacitly allowed bureaucrats to amass wealth through cronyism and graft.
However, the public reaction has been one of shocked dismay at the extravagant lifestyles conjured up by many of the disclosures.
"We did not expect that this would be such a widespread phenomenon among state officials. I can't imagine there is a European politician who invests money in a wine collection where one bottle costs over $10,000," said Vitaliy Shabunin, the head of the non-governmental Anti-Corruption Action Center.
Opposition bloc lawmaker Mikhail Dobkin's declaration included 1,780 bottles of wine and an antique copy of Russian novel Anna Karenina worth at least $5,500.
Roman Nasirov, the head of the State Fiscal Service, disclosed that he and his wife owned Swiss watches, diamond jewelry, fur coats, fine porcelain and crystal glassware, an assault rifle and cash in euros and dollars worth $2.2 million.
The declaration of Oleh Lyashko, the head of the populist Radical party who has styled himself as a representative of the common man, showed he rented a house and land in Kiev's most exclusive district and his household had cash worth the equivalent of over $1 million.
Other forms give an insight into particular hobbies and interests of Ukraine's elite.
hor Hryniv, the head of Poroshenko's faction, has a collection of icons dating from the 14th century and several works by Ukrainian impressionist masters. Lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk declared an array of antique weapons, including a 16th century Turkish scimitar, an English broadsword and a Nazi SS dagger.
Many senior politicians filed their forms in the last two days before the deadline, resulting in a crescendo of surprise and anger on social media over the weekend.
"I personally feel unwell. Or rather, like someone who has been beaten and is therefore unwell. I had no illusions about our political and official elite. But all the same, what's come out is beyond the pale," Roman Donik, a volunteer to Ukraine's frontline troops, said on Facebook.
The average Ukrainian citizen has been hit hard by the economic crisis that unfolded in the wake of the 2014 pro-European 'Maidan' uprising and subsequent pro-Russian separatist conflict.
The national hryvnia currency has plummeted to 25 to the dollar from 8 in 2013 and energy tariffs have soared under the IMF-backed economic reform program.
The latest revelations will likely add to public dissatisfaction with the current leadership's progress on reforms. A September poll showed that only 12.6 percent would now vote for Poroshenko's faction, down from 21.8 in the last election. Meanwhile support for populist and opposition parties has risen.
The anti-corruption agency says it will now start verifying the declarations, but with over 100,000 forms submitted, it is unclear how thorough the process can be.

"I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will."

George W. Bush, Oct. 5, 2002.

How bad can the next POTUS possibly be?

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?

Below, Tesla talks up Tesla. Well what did you exect.

Tesla's solar roof solution hides in plain sight

Eric Mack October 29th, 2016
Tesla CEO, SolarCity chairman and general billionaire tycoon Elon Musk wants to see every rooftop go solar, but in a way that you don't see where the roof ends and the solar panels start. At an event in California on Friday evening, Musk unveiled a handful of new types of roofing tiles that also double as solar panels.
Standing outside surrounded by newly roofed houses of different styles, Musk showed off glass tiles that mimic textured tiles, French slate, flat modern and even Tuscan style curved roof tiles. Each individual tile looks opaque from most ground level vantage points, hiding the solar cells that become more visible from above where they perform their critical energy transaction with the sun.
"The goal is... to have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and actually have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity," Musk told a small crowd gathered at the faux block party. "Why would you buy anything else?"
Musk demonstrated the durability of the solar glass tiles with a video showing a Tesla roof tile taking a hit from a weight dropped from above. The tile cracks but does not shatter into shards like other conventional roofing tiles. No mention was made of the price, electricity generation capability of each tile or insulation value.
Musk also introduced the second generation of both a battery power solution aimed at electric utilities and Tesla's Powerwall. The US$5,500 Powerwall 2 is essentially a battery pack that can provide 14 kWh of storage or twice as much power as the first generation model. That's enough per charge to power everything in a four-bedroom house for a full day, according to Tesla. If it's hooked up to a solar system on the roof, it could theoretically power a home indefinitely.

Tesla says that taking orders for the new solar tiles and Powerwall 2 will begin soon. The initiative is being billed as a joint effort of Tesla and SolarCity. The two companies could be set to merge if a shareholder vote next month approves of the deal.
Source: Tesla

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

DJIA: 18142  +32 Up NASDAQ:  5189 +31 Up. SP500: 2126 +46 Up.

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