Friday, 4 November 2016

Anyone Got Solomon’s Telephone Number?

Baltic Dry Index. 849  +15   Brent Crude 46.51

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

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

“What me worry?”

Mad Magazine.

For more on the big news on Brexit paralysis yesterday scroll down to Crooks Corner. Yesterday, Dodgy Dave Cameron was nowhere in sight.

We open with Wall Street starting to sense that despite the overwhelming money and media coverage, their dog in the POTUS fight might actually lose. Or even if it wins, might be so damaged as to be unable to deliver the promised spoils.

Since love and fear can hardly coexist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Niccolo Machiavelli.

Trump gains ground on Clinton: Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation

Thu Nov 3, 2016 | 10:21pm EDT
The race for the Oval Office tightened significantly in the past week, as several swing states that Republican Donald Trump must win shifted from favoring Democrat Hillary Clinton to toss-ups, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project.

The two presidential candidates are now tied in Florida and North Carolina, and Clinton’s lead in Michigan has narrowed so much that the state is too close to call. Ohio remains a dead heat and Pennsylvania is now tilting to Clinton.

While Clinton remains the odds-on favorite to win Tuesday's election, Trump now has a plausible route to victory, especially if there is a sharp fall in turnout among African-Americans from the levels of the 2012 election.

Still, Trump must win both Florida and North Carolina to have a good chance of winning the White House. Clinton could lose both states and still win.

The States of the Nation project estimates Clinton’s odds of winning the needed 270 Electoral College votes at about 90 percent, down from 95 percent last week. If the election had been held on Wednesday, the project estimates, she would have had 256 solid electoral votes and an estimated final tally of about 302 votes, to 236 for Trump. Last week, she had 278 solid votes and a final tally of 320 votes, to 218 for Trump.

By any measure, however, Trump has had a good run in the past week. He has seen his support grow in 24 states while losing ground in 11. Conversely, Clinton’s support grew in 13 states while shrinking in 22.

Brexit Flashbacks Haunt Traders Bracing for Clinton-Trump Vote

November 3, 2016 — 11:08 PM GMT
Less than five months after the U.K.’s surprise Brexit vote shook up global markets, traders are scouting the best locations to once again assume the fetal position.

The Nov. 8 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has trading firms preparing for potential upheaval -- financial, political and personal. They’re boosting staffing, carrying out stress tests and hedging bets in the event of Brexit-style turbulence on Tuesday.

“I’m getting night sweats and flashbacks of Brexit,” said Brian Frank, portfolio manager at Key Biscayne, Florida-based Frank Capital Partners LLC. “I’ve got my bomb shelter ready with battle helmets and water supply.”

All the talk about curling up and hoarding supplies is only a little facetious. From currencies to bonds to equities, volatility is surging. The measure of stock-market fluctuations, known as the VIX, has risen for eight days, matching the longest streak on record, while currency and U.S. Treasury volatility were near three-month and seven-week highs, respectively. With polls showing a close race, investors are taking no chances. They’re gearing up for rocky trading.

----According to polling, Clinton’s lead over Trump has shrunk in the past week, sparking an attack of nerves among many investors, who view him less favorably. Trump has promised to tear up existing U.S. trade agreements and, partly due to his lack of policy clarity and in some degree because of his temperament, investors perceive him to be less predictable than his Democratic rival.

ICAP Plc plans to double staffing on the customer-support desk for its electronic currency trading platform on election night, according to Darryl Hooker, co-head of ICAP’s EBS BrokerTec Markets unit. The company carries out regular checks of its systems’ capacity, and Hooker said he expects regulators and central bankers will ask for a review of market operations after the election, as they typically do after big events.

In the $5.1-trillion-a-day currency market, the importance of preparing for the unexpected was made plain four weeks ago when the pound crashed 6 percent in a matter of minutes during early Asia trading hours. The plunge in the world’s fourth-most-traded currency followed at least three other bouts of puzzling foreign-exchange turbulence in the past two years, including in South Africa’s rand and New Zealand’s dollar.

Elsewhere, is all news still good news? It doesn’t look like it from London this morning. With the US election a nasty toss up, the rest of the world seems to have begun following its own agenda.

Yuan Drops to Record Versus Peers Amid Bets PBOC Helping Exports

November 4, 2016 — 2:58 AM GMT Updated on T
China’s yuan dropped to a record low against a trade-weighted currency basket amid speculation policy makers are using recent dollar weakness to boost the competitiveness of the nation’s exporters.

A Bloomberg replica of the CFETS RMB Index, which measures the yuan against 13 exchange rates, fell to 93.78 Friday. That’s the lowest since the gauge was introduced in December. The basket usually declines when the greenback weakens because the yuan tends to rise less against the U.S. currency than its peers, said Harrison Hu, chief greater China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Singapore.

“The PBOC is intentionally allowing a weaker yuan as it hasn’t done any great intervention to prop up the exchange rate," said Zhou Hao, economist at Commerzbank AG in Singapore. "A weaker currency makes more sense for China now as it helps the economy."

China’s monetary authority was speculated to prop up the yuan during the run-up to a Group of 20 meeting in September and the yuan’s entry into the International Monetary Fund’s reserves on Oct. 1. The PBOC was then seen pulling support, leading to a 1.5 percent tumble in October as a gauge of dollar strength surged on mounting bets of Federal Reserve tightening.

Fortunes have flipped again this week, with growing unease in global markets fueled by an ABC News/Washington Post poll that placed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump one percentage point ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has fallen 0.8 percent since Friday, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had reopened its investigation into Clinton’s use of an unauthorized e-mail server.

Mexico's Government Is Working on a Trump Contingency Plan

November 3, 2016 — 4:51 PM GMT Updated on November 3, 2016 — 5:48 PM GMT
Financial leaders in Mexico anticipating the prospect of volatility in their markets or a slump in trade following the result of the U.S. presidential election are weighing the idea of a wall of their own -- call it a firewall.

Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens, who has called Republican nominee Donald Trump a "hurricane" for Mexico’s economy, told Milenio TV that Mexico risks turbulence no matter who wins the vote on Nov. 8. The central bank is working on a contingency plan with Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, who told Televisa Wednesday there’s not much point in intervening in the peso for now.

"If the adverse scenario manifests itself, it’s possible that Mexican authorities will respond in some way," Carstens said, according to Milenio. "It’s a contingency plan that we’re talking with the finance minister about. We hope we don’t have to use it."

The peso has fallen by 11 percent against the dollar this year through Tuesday, the most of any major currency after the British pound, and has dropped sharply in recent days as prospects of a Trump victory improved. Trump’s fortunes in the election have routinely affected the peso after he vowed to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and to renegotiate trade terms that could lead to higher tariffs for a nation that sends almost 80 percent of its exports to the U.S.

"If what we have is a global concern surrounding the result of November 8, where the markets of the world -- not ours, not a local phenomenon, not a phenomenon that we can resolve with intervention -- is moving our exchange rate, then intervention would be like throwing drops of water into the ocean," Meade told Televisa. "It’s not the instrument that would help us."

We end for the day with unstable Turkey, getting more unstable and out of US control with each passing week. Will NATO member Turkey be the trigger for World War Three?

Turkey Police Round Up Kurdish Party Leaders in Midnight Raids

November 4, 2016 — 12:26 AM GMT
Turkish police began rounding up Kurdish lawmakers in post-midnight raids on Friday, extending a crackdown on the opposition as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan consolidates power following a July 15 coup attempt.

Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, also known as the HDP, were among those detained, according to CNN-Turk. At Erdogan’s request, parliament had passed a law in May stripping the party’s lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution, which allows them to be charged with terrorism-related offenses.

Last year, Demirtas looked to be a rising political star in Turkey. He led a pro-Kurdish party to win seats in parliament for the first time, passing the threshold of 10 percent of the national vote. He also ran for president in 2014, and campaigned on a promise to prevent Erdogan from winning the power he seeks to transfer the seat of power in Turkey from parliament to an enhanced executive presidency.

The police raids were carried out in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s largest Kurdish-majority city, and in the capital Ankara, according to Haberturk newspaper. Sirri Sureyya Onder, a member of parliament representing Istanbul, was also detained in Ankara, it said. Over the weekend, police arrested the elected mayors of Diyarbakir and later replaced them with government appointees.

Blast in Turkey's largest southeastern city wounds 6 people - TV

Fri Nov 4, 2016 | 1:53am EDT
Six people were wounded in a large explosion on Friday in a central district in the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, broadcaster NTV reported.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, which was heard around the city, witnesses said.
The explosion occurred just hours after police raided the homes and detained 11 lawmakers in parliament's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Turkey's Erdogan says Germany has become 'haven for terrorists'

Thu Nov 3, 2016 | 8:28am EDT
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Germany had become a haven for terrorists and would be "judged by history", accusing it of failing to root out supporters of a U.S.-based cleric Ankara blames for July's failed military coup.
Erdogan said Germany had long harbored militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy, and far-leftists from the DHKP-C, which has carried out armed attacks in Turkey.
"We are concerned that Germany, which has protected the PKK and DHKP-C for years, has become the backyard of the Gulenist terror organization," Erdogan said, referring to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
"We don't have any expectations from Germany but you will be judged in history for abetting terrorism ... Germany has become an important haven for terrorists," he told a ceremony at his palace in the capital Ankara.
Ankara blames Gulen for the coup attempt and has suspended or dismissed more than 110,000 of his suspected followers from the civil service, security forces and other institutions in a crackdown. Gulen has denied involvement in the putsch.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Tuesday that he did not want to judge whether the Gulenist movement was political in nature or not. He also said Berlin would not extradite suspects if they faced political charges.
"That would certainly not happen," he said. For any extradition to take place, there had to be firm indications of "classic criminal activity".
Erdogan said he was concerned by Germany's reluctance, and warned that "the menace of terrorism would come back and strike it like a boomerang."

"The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice."

Henry Hazlitt

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 30.46 Moz, Eligible 143.08 Moz, Total 173.54 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.

Yesterday, the UK’s over-robed, horsehair wig wearing, High Court Justices, “big wig beaks,” barrelled in to the UK’s unwritten constitutional law, where angels fear to tread.  In something of an own goal, they decided that since Parliament is Supreme, Her Majesty’s Government requires parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the process of leaving the EUSSR. Exiting stage left, they rushed off back to their chambers for another round of port and cheese. And so at a stroke, GB’s Brexit heads off next to be reheard in front of the Supremes next month. Possibly even on the  European Court of Justice, as Brexit Remainiacs take Brexit on an ever more bizarre journey.
In the meantime, sharp eyed lawyers out to make a high paying career for themselves, will pour over the judgement with a fine tooth comb, seeking out times past, when HMG also failed to consult Parliament in similar circumstances, and so acted ultra vires, possibly making those laws and treaties null and void, or unenforceable. Brexit has become a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Europe’s negotiating committee of 27 plus Walloonia, can now stand down for a while, confident in the notion that GB may not in fact leave the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR, confident in the notion that GB will definitely leave and ASAP right after triggering Article 50, and confident in the notion that some sort of usual European fudge might be needed next year, allowing all sides to claim victory and stagger away.
Still the ruling, if it stands, does call into question a whole slew of HMG actions over the last 43 years, where some EU law may no longer apply in the UK, but no one to know which it is yet. When the Committee of 27 plus the Walloonatics does finally start to negotiate Brexit, opposing them will now be a Grand Committee comprising HMG, 645 Members of Parliament, plus uncountable, unelected legions of Members of the House of Horrors, Freaks and Loons. Nice one, way to go, be-robed, befuddled,  bewigged, High Court judges! Does anyone have the telephone number of Solomon?

UK court says parliament must have Brexit say, dealing blow to government

Thu Nov 3, 2016 | 9:59am EDT
England's High Court ruled on Thursday that the British government requires parliamentary approval to trigger the process of exiting the European Union, upsetting Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans.
The government said it would appeal against the decision and a spokeswoman for May said the prime minister would press ahead with the planned timetable of launching talks on the terms of Brexit by the end of March.
The pound rose on the court's ruling, hitting a three-week high against the dollar. Many investors took the view that lawmakers would temper the government's policies and make an economically disruptive "hard Brexit" less likely.
"The most fundamental rule of the UK's constitution is that parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses," said Lord Chief Justice John Thomas, England's most senior judge.
Thomas and two other senior judges did not spell out what action the government needed to take. They also did not say whether it would need to pass a new law to trigger the divorce proceedings, which could face opposition and amendments from both houses of parliament, particularly the House of Lords, the unelected upper chamber.
In theory, parliament could block Brexit altogether. But few people expect that outcome, given that the British people voted by 52 to 48 percent to leave the EU in a referendum in June.
However, the ruling makes the already daunting task of taking Britain out of a club it joined 43 years ago even more complex. It also puts at risk May's March deadline triggering Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, the formal step needed to start the process of exiting the bloc.
"The government is disappointed by the court's judgment," trade minister Liam Fox told parliament. "The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by acts of parliament. The government is determined to respect the result of the referendum."
Making clear the government planned to stick to its timetable, the spokeswoman for May said: "Our plan remains to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, we believe the legal timetable should allow for that."

What Will The U.K. Supreme Court Say About Brexit?

November 4, 2016 — 12:01 AM GMT
The century-old Portland stone building of the U.K.’s Supreme Court stands on London’s Parliament Square, separated from the historic structures housing lawmakers and religious leaders by about 400 feet.

The top court was founded seven years ago to ensure that politics and the judiciary never mix. That balance faces an unprecedented test as early as Dec. 5, when lawsuits seeking to delay Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for exiting the European Union are heard.

"It will be the most important constitutional case that court will have heard," said Robert Thomas, a professor of public law at the University of Manchester. "It’s such a big constitutional issue, testing the relationship between parliament, the courts and the government in the light of the referendum."

A panel of three senior judges said Thursday that Parliament must hold a vote before starting a two-year countdown to Brexit, in a ruling that sidestepped political allegiances to focus on constitutional law.

"Nothing we say has any bearing on the question of the merits or demerits of withdrawal by the United Kingdom from the European Union: nor does it have any bearing on government policy because government policy is not law," the judges said in the ruling.

No matter how hard they tried, though, the decision was seized upon by politicians who campaigned to leave the EU.

Worried Victors

"Unelected judges calling the shots: this is precisely why we voted out," David Davies, a Conservative Party lawmaker, tweeted after the ruling. U.K. Independence Party interim leader Nigel Farage said he was worried “every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50.”

Still, lower court triumphs don’t guarantee a final victory. Of the 92 appeals heard at the Supreme Court in the 12 months from April 1, 2015, 34 were successful and 31 were dismissed, with just two being referred to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The Supreme Court could refer the suit to the ECJ if any of the lawyers raise issues around EU law, said Dr. Nikos Skoutaris at the University of East Anglia.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Spencer Churchill.

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?

Drought-hit Mozambique signs first major solar power deal

Tue Nov 1, 2016 | 8:29pm EDT
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Drought-stricken Mozambique will start building its first large scale solar plant in early 2017, after Scatec Solar, which owns several such plants in Africa, signed an $80 million deal to sell electricity to the state-owned energy company for 25 years.
The 40MW plant will deliver power to the national grid and produce energy for some 175,000 households, Oslo-based Scatec Solar said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The project is the first large scale solar plant to be built in the country and represents an important first step in realizing Mozambique's ambition to increase renewable power generation in its energy mix," it said.
Mozambique has been hit by the worst drought in 35 years, which has reduced water levels in its huge Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam.
Some 1.5 million hungry people in the impoverished southern African country are in need of aid, the United Nations says.
The solar project is backed by the World Bank's private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, and the public-private Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.
The plant will be built near the city of Mocuba in Mozambique's central, coastal Zambézia Province.
"This is an excellent example of how private public partnerships can deliver renewable energy and support further economic growth in Mozambique," Scatec Solar's chief executive Raymond Carlsen said.
"It paves the way for further investments in renewable energy in the country."
Only three percent of the world's electricity is generated in Africa, Scatec Solar said.
The company also owns solar plants in South Africa and Rwanda, with others under development in Mali, Nigeria and Kenya.

Another weekend, and the final weekend of the entertaining US election season. A final weekend for yet another election bombshell. But which side will it fall on and dropped by whom? Will Richard Nixon remain for long the only US President to resign from office? A weekend for all of the legal eagle journalists here in the UK. Did the UK High Court just overreach itself, and if so by how far? Did democracy just suffer a massive push back in the UK? From my seat in London this morning it looks like it did. Have a great weekend everyone.

"When a President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

President Richard Milhous Nixon. Resigned 1974.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

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

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