Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Playing The Trump Bubble.

Baltic Dry Index. 1240 -17   Brent Crude 49.50

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

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

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

H. L. Mencken

We open with worrying news for all, the Trump bubble seems unstoppable.  A rising tide may lift all boats, but right now that tide is going out. Some economies like Japan are already stuck on the bottom. Others like the EUSSR desperately need to jettison antiquated rules and bring in long overdue reform. With a new government coming to America starting January 20th, 2017, a new broom promises to sweep clean.  Meanwhile the Trump bubble continues, and likely will continue out towards January 20. That said, this old dinosaur commodities trader would cautiously begin scaling in to fully paid up synthetic double options on the stock indexes. The logic; either the Trump bubble will grow like Topsy out to the inauguration, or it more likely hits its pin of reality of growing trouble from Asia to America. Either way, I suspect that we are in for a wild ride in stocks.

As always, investors and potential investors, or in this case speculators, should always do their own due diligence, and use their best judgement if deciding on playing the Trump Bubble. It’s not for the fainthearted nor for those unable to stand a loss.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq all close at new record highs

By Anora Mahmudova and Barbara Kollmeyer Published: Nov 21, 2016 4:27 p.m. ET
U.S. stocks closed higher at fresh records Monday, aided by a jump in oil prices and a pullback in the dollar, giving the Dow industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq their third simultaneous all-time closing highs this year.
The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.75%  surged 16.28 points, or 0.8%, to close at a record 2,198.18, with its previous record reached on Aug. 15. Ten of the 11 main S&P 500 sectors finished in the green with energy leading gains, up 2.2%, and the materials sector gaining 1.3%. The real-estate sector was the only decliner, finishing down 0.2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.47% gained 88.76 points, or 0.5%, to close at a record 18,956.69, led by gains in DuPont DD, +1.79% Apple Inc. AAPL, +1.52%  and International Business Machines Corp. IBM, +1.48%
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.89%  advanced 47.35 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 5,368.86, above its previous record of 5,339.52 set on Sept. 22.
The last time all three indexes closed at record highs at the same time was two sessions back in mid-August, and before then had not occurred since 1999.

Asian markets power ahead as oil prices rally

By Ese Erheriene and Kosaku Narioka Published: Nov 21, 2016 10:54 p.m. ET
Asian shares were broadly higher early Tuesday, with the Australian market rising to a one-month high, as oil prices rallied on expectations that key oil-producing countries will agree to a deal to slash production.
The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +1.16%   gained 1.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +1.34%   was up 1.3%, Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.95%   added 0.8%, and the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.78%   rose 0.2%.
Stocks in Japan were initially down slightly, following a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the eastern coast of Japan early Tuesday, though the impact appeared limited and the Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.29%   later reversed to a gain of 0.4%.
Overnight, oil prices rose to a three-week high as investors stuck to bets that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will reach a production deal at its meeting on Nov. 30. Brent, the global crude oil benchmark, was recently up 1.1% at $49.42 a barrel.

“Reports of the OPEC technical committee making progress in the first of their two-day meeting raised hopes of an output agreement,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Markets, in a note. “Jitters should nevertheless be expected ahead of the meeting at the end of the month, as it represents a huge event risk.”

Deutsche Bank: Trump Could Push the U.S. Economy and Stock Markets to New Records

The real economy and financial markets will benefit from the new administration.
Luke Kawa November 21, 2016 — 9:43 AM EST

It's looking more likely that President-elect Donald Trump will preside over a continuing U.S. expansion that could take its place as the longest among American business cycles, according to Deutsche Bank AG. And Chief U.S. Equity Strategist David Bianco predicts that by the time the real estate mogul takes office in January, the S&P 500 Index will eclipse 2,250.

Investors are under-appreciating the "much higher chance now of a long lasting economic expansion that rivals the 10 year U.S. record," the strategist writes "We're more confident now that the S&P will reach 2,500 in 2018 before suffering its next bear market."

The longest U.S. expansion on record stretched from 1991 until 2001, a span of 120 months. That streak will be broken if the American economy makes it until 2019 without a recession.

The structural decline in potential growth means that it doesn't take as large a negative shock as it used to in order to precipitate a downturn in U.S. activity. Conversely, the rising portion of retirees on Social Security increases the stickiness of consumption, dampening the variability of the largest component of GDP.

Global Trade Is Slowing

“China had a great run, but it’s over.”

November 17, 2016 — 11:58 PM GMT
Until he takes office in January, President-elect Donald Trump won’t be able to follow through on his pledges to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or penalize Chinese imports. Even without him, protectionism is rising, and world trade is slowing.
Responding to an outcry from local steelmakers, the European Union this year has punished Chinese competitors for allegedly selling steel below cost. The EU has announced antidumping duties as high as 81.1 percent on Chinese steel. “Free trade must be fair, and only fair trade can be free,” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said in a statement on Nov. 9, adding that some 30 million European jobs depend on free trade.
Around the world, many companies that binged on easy credit after the global financial crisis have excess capacity and are struggling to find buyers, since economic growth in the U.S., Europe, and Japan is relatively weak, and China’s economy is cooling. “The pie is growing more slowly, and that makes domestic producers more defensive about their share of it and more willing to fight when threatened,” says Tim Condon, chief Asia economist in Singapore with ING. Bloomberg Intelligence chief Asia economist Tom Orlik points out that over the past two decades, consumers and businesses have spent heavily on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, but despite efforts by Apple and others to popularize smart watches, there’s no new must-have device to boost global trade. Stagnant income growth in the West also forces politicians to show they understand voters’ worries. “The pressure grows for governments to appease those voices by giving them the things they want,” says Orlik, “and the things they want are trade restrictions.”
----Smaller nations are engaged in their own trade spats. Malaysia in May announced penalties on Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese steel. Peru placed antidumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina in October.
In the five months leading up to mid-October, members of the world’s 20 major economies, the Group of 20, implemented an average of 17 trade constraints a month, the World Trade Organization reported on Nov. 10. “The continued introduction of trade-restrictive measures is a real and persistent concern,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said in a statement.
----Japan’s biggest shippers—Nippon Yusen, Mitsui OSK Lines, and Kawasaki Kisen—expect combined operating losses of 85 billion yen ($780 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2017. The industry is seeing the “highest ship-scrapping level ever,” Nicolás Burr, chief financial officer of German container line Hapag-Lloyd, told a conference in Hamburg on Nov. 10.
In Singapore, which relies heavily on trade, GDP shrank an annualized 4.1 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months. The city-state has one of the world’s biggest ports, but shipping container movement fell 8.7 percent in 2015 and 1.7 percent in 2016 through October.

Macro-Wars Pave Path for Trump as Axioms of World Economy Crack

November 21, 2016 — 5:00 AM GMT
Donald Trump has an invitation from economists to try something new.
Even before the election, Democrats such as Lawrence Summers and Jason Furman helped put fiscal policy back in vogue. Central bank regimes are under review, and there’s a sharper focus on economic losers after decades of liberalization worsened income inequality.
Furman, current chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the old view of fiscal policy as an ineffective tool is “shifting.” The reevaluation isn’t only happening in the U.S.: Koichi Hamada, an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said he has changed his view on the power of monetary stimulus.
Financial crises, weak recoveries, flat wages and populist backlashes in western democracies have underscored doubts over economic beliefs held for a generation. The insurrection in economics opens a window for Trump to push policies that a few years ago would have seemed heretical to a profession wedded to free trade, open capital borders, fiscal restraint and the primacy of monetary policy.
“Practically everything related to monetary and fiscal policy will soon be on the table,” said Andrew Levin, a Dartmouth University professor and former adviser to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Monetary policy is on the back foot in the euro area, and in the U.K., the political convulsions of Brexit have made short work of economic forecasters’ best-laid plans. Meantime, China’s success in weathering tepid global demand with infrastructure investment and the Bank of Japan’s failure to convincingly reflate the economy by hoovering up ever more debt is adding to the field’s introspection.

“What I worry about is that the economics profession has shot itself in the foot,” said William White, chairman of the economic and development review committee at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in Paris. “People have claimed to have solutions that are simple and effective when in reality the solutions that they’ve brought forward might or might not work.”

We close for the day with Brexit. How do you negotiate anything with a fractious grand committee of 27?

How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?

Charles de Gaulle.

Brexit Banks Told to Relax: ECB Won’t Give First-Mover Advantage

November 21, 2016 — 5:00 AM GMT
Finance executives planning to shift operations out of the U.K. because of Brexit have been told by European Central Bank officials not to rush as there will be no first-mover advantage when it comes to gaining regulatory approvals, according to people briefed on the discussions.
To avoid any potential bottlenecks in the process, policy makers are considering allowing banks to use their U.K.-approved internal risk models for an extended period until euro-area regulators are able to hire more staff and perform their own assessments, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No formal talks have taken place and no decisions reached, the person said.
Banks are bracing for the worst -- the loss of their right to sell services freely around the EU from London -- and are set to start the process of moving operations to the euro zone within weeks of the government triggering Brexit, which is scheduled to happen by the end of March. British Bankers’ Association head Anthony Browne said last month that bankers’ hands are “quivering over the relocate button.”
The ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism, which began overseeing the currency bloc’s largest lenders two years ago, is preparing to deal with an influx of requests from global banks with their European headquarters in London, Sabine Lautenschlager, the vice chair of that organization’s supervisory board said Tuesday. Many banks have already reached out to the ECB, she said.

Grandfathering Precedent

We have “a task force which looks into all of the different scenarios, thinking about what does this mean with regard to passporting or no passporting, what does it mean with the whole question of authorizations and model approvals,” Lautenschlager said in Frankfurt, adding that supervisors are already in talks with the U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority.

Spokesmen for the ECB and PRA declined to elaborate on the nature of these discussions.

----There is precedent for the so-called grandfathering of model approvals. When the ECB assumed its oversight role in 2014 it didn’t initially authorize models, relying instead on the previous judgments of national supervisors. It only began a review -- still ongoing -- of the thousands of risk models nearly two years ago.
"Grandfathering the risk models would be the most logical approach," said Jan Putnis, a partner at law firm Slaughter and May in London. "There is no real alternative in the short term. But this will require close co-operation between regulators, not least because the models might require adjustment during the grandfathering period. These arrangements could become very complicated."

Poland’s President Wants Leaders to Cool Off About Brexit

November 20, 2016 — 11:00 PM GMT Updated on November 21, 2016 — 9:27 AM GMT
As European politicians from Rome to The Hague vent frustration with the British government’s preparations for Brexit, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May may have a friend in the block’s biggest ex-communist nation.
Poland is concerned that inflammatory remarks will lead to looser cooperation between the European Union and the U.K. following the country’s exit from the club, which would be detrimental to the economic prospects of both, President Andrzej Duda said in an interview. He urged a more measured approach toward the negotiations after a week of heavy criticism of May’s government, whose strategy for Brexit was described as chaotic by an Italian minister and as “impossible” by a Dutch politician.

 “I propose a glass of cold water to cool emotions, so that in the end it doesn’t turn out that we all lose -- both the EU and the U.K.,” Duda told Bloomberg on Thursday. He said there was danger that a “group of obstinate politicians” will “attempt to punish the British people, or the U.K., for daring to leave the EU.”

Frustration has been building around the continent as May’s government hasn’t detailed how it plans to keep access to the EU’s single market and tighten immigration control without running foul of the block’s rules on free movement of labor. While Poland wants to lure back immigrant workers, including about 1 million in the U.K., Duda said it’s “fundamental” that their rights and benefits continue to be respected while they reside in Britain.

 “It would be a great loss for the EU if it got cut off from the U.K. economy and the ties of good, open cooperation between the two were severed,” Duda said.

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein, “Mr. Goldman  Sacks," CEO of Goldman Sachs unintentionally backs Brexit in a US speech to graduates, mid 2016.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 30.91 Moz, Eligible 147.28 Moz, Total 178.19 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, what are economists good for?  Economist J. K. Galbraith has the answer.
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
John Kenneth Galbraith.

The Rebel Economist Who Blew Up Macroeconomics

November 18, 2016 — 10:00 AM GMT
Paul Romer says he really hadn’t planned to trash macroeconomics as a math-obsessed pseudoscience. Or infuriate countless colleagues. It just sort of happened.
His intention actually had been to write a paper that would celebrate advances in the understanding of what drives economic growth. But when he sat down to write it in the months before taking over as the World Bank’s chief economist, Romer quickly found his heart wasn’t in it. The world economy wasn’t growing much anyway; and the math that many colleagues were using to model it seemed unrealistic. He watched a documentary about the Church of Scientology, and was struck by how groupthink can operate.
So, Romer said in an interview at the Bank’s Washington headquarters, “I just thought, OK, I’m going to say what I think. I don’t know if I’m the right person, but no one else is going to say it. So I said it.”

The upshot was “The Trouble With Macroeconomics,” a scathing critique that landed among Romer’s peers like a grenade. In a time of febrile politics, with anti-establishment revolts breaking out everywhere, faith in economists was already ebbing: They got blamed for failing to see the Great Recession coming and, later, to suggest effective remedies. Then, along came one of the leading practitioners of his generation, to say that the skeptics were onto something.

Going Backwards

“For more than three decades, macroeconomics has gone backwards,” the paper began. Romer closed out his argument, some 20 pages later, by accusing a cohort of economists of drifting away from science, more interested in preserving reputations than testing their theories against reality, “more committed to friends than facts.” In between, he offers a wicked parody of a modern macro argument: “Assume A, assume B, ... blah blah blah ... and so we have proven that P is true.”

What’s at stake far exceeds hurt feelings in the ivory tower. Central banks and other policy makers use the models that Romer says are flawed. The idea that consumers and businesses always make rational choices pervades mainstream economics. Romer thinks that’s not only wrong, but may lead to the misleading conclusion that government action can’t fix big problems.
That debate goes back at least to John Maynard Keynes, who thought policy makers needed to take bolder action to address the deep shortfall in demand that was prolonging the Great Depression. By the 1970s, Keynes’s ideas were mainstream -- but the policies they spawned had failed to prevent high unemployment and inflation.
Economists trying to understand what went wrong came up with the theories of rational expectations and the “real business cycle” -- the ones Romer dismantles. They argued that Keynesian models didn’t account for the way consumers and businesses recalibrate their behavior to take account of policy shifts.

If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.

John Maynard Keynes

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?

Carbon nanotubes couple light and matter

Date: November 15, 2016

Source: Heidelberg, Universität

Summary: Scientists are working on the basics of new light sources from organic semiconductors, outlines a new report.

With their research on nanomaterials for optoelectronics, scientists from Heidelberg University and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) have succeeded for the first time to demonstrate a strong interaction of light and matter in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Such strong light-matter coupling is an important step towards realising new light sources, such as electrically pumped lasers based on organic semiconductors. They would be, amongst other things, important for applications in telecommunications. These results are the outcome of a cooperation between Prof. Dr Jana Zaumseil (Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr Malte Gather (St Andrews), and have been published in Nature Communications.
Organic semiconductors based on carbon are a cost and energy-efficient alternative to conventional inorganic semiconductors such as silicon. Light-emitting diodes consisting of these materials are already ubiquitously found in smartphone displays. Further components for application in lighting technology, data transmission and photovoltaics are currently at the prototype stage. So far, however, it has not been possible to produce one important component of optoelectronics with organic materials -- the electrically pumped laser. The main reason is that organic semiconductors have only limited capacity for charge transport.
Prof. Zaumseil explains that research over the past few years has increasingly focused on laser-like light emission of organic semiconductors based on light-matter coupling. If photons (light) and excitons (matter) are brought to interact sufficiently, they couple so strongly that they produce so called exciton-polaritons. These are quasi-particles that also emit light. Under certain conditions, such emissions can take on the properties of laser light. Combined with sufficiently fast charge transport, exciton-polaritons could bring the production of an electrically pumped carbon-based laser within reach, according to Jana Zaumseil who is the head of the Nanomaterials for Optoelectronics research group at the Heidelberg University's Institute for Physical Chemistry.
Thanks to the cooperation between Prof. Zaumseil and Prof. Gather, it was possible for the first time to demonstrate the formation of exciton-polaritons in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Unlike other organic semiconductors, these microscopically small, tube-shaped carbon structures transport positive and negative charges extremely well. PhD student Arko Graf, the first author of the study, explains that exciton-polaritons also display extraordinary optical properties. The scientists in Heidelberg and St Andrews see their research results as an important step towards realising electrically pumped lasers on the basis of organic semiconductors. Prof. Zaumseil emphasises: "Besides the potential generation of laser light, exciton-polaritons already allow us to vary the wavelength of the light emitted by the carbon nanotubes over a wide range in the near-infrared."

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

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

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