Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The HillBilly Campaign Wobbles.

Baltic Dry Index. 838 -19   Brent Crude 47.81

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

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

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken.

For more on the HillBilly campaign wobble if not implosion, scroll down to Crooks Corner.

We open today with Asian markets coming to the realisation that Donald Trump might actually win the job of President of the United States. That it was “the FBI what won it for Trump,” to rework Murdoch’s Sun newspaper headline for Mrs. Thatcher. With just six days left to go, Wall Street and Hollywood’s man, has made a pig’s ear out of a silk purse of the election, given the overwhelming coverage she held in fawning media and Wall Street cash. It all goes to show just how flawed a candidate Clinton is in the eyes of American voters. What in normal circumstances should result in a landslide victory, in 2016 is ending in a limp towards election day.

Below, in America is the worm turning? Is main stream media starting to give up on Hollywood and Wall Street’s “man?”

Asian stocks spooked by Trump’s resurgence in polls

Published: Nov 1, 2016 10:54 p.m. ET

Investors worry about impact on markets if Trump elected

Shares were sharply sold off across Asia on Wednesday, as a new poll showing Republican candidate Donald Trump leading the U.S. presidential race spooked investors.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -1.63%   was down 1.2% in early-morning trade, opening at a seven-day low at 17238 points. Australia’s S&P/ASX XJO, -1.16%   traded 0.8% lower, having earlier hit a seven-week low. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.34%   was off 1.1% and Korea’s Kospi SEU, -1.46%   was down 0.8%.

“The market this morning is driven by the latest poll from ABC/Washington Post and Asian equities are all lower,” said Tareck Horchani, deputy head of APAC sales trading at Saxo Markets.

Overnight, an ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll showed Trump with a one-point advantage over Democrat Hillary Clinton, leading 46% to 45%.

U.S. stocks broadly fell as investors pulled back from risk, which spilled over into the Asian session. Clinton is seen as the more market-friendly candidate by many investors.

In Japan, financial and exporter stocks were particularly hard hit as investors digested what a win for Trump would mean for markets, given his stance on trade and economic policies. Among individual shares, Sumitomo Mitsui 8316, -2.42%   shed 1.9% of its value, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306, -2.39%   fell 1.7%, Suzuki 7269, -1.69%   was down 2.2% and Honda 7267, -3.26%   slipped 2.7%.

Opinion: Hillary Clinton is irreparably damaged, even if she wins

Published: Nov 1, 2016 12:24 p.m. ET

Renewed email probe ensures that Clinton faces never-ending investigations by Republicans

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — We don’t know whether the reopening of the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails will cost her the election.

It may be that she will still emerge the winner after next Tuesday’s vote, or that Donald Trump’s momentum from the Wikileaks emails, Obamacare’s failures, and Clinton’s flawed candidacy were going to carry him to victory in any case.

What we do know is that whoever wins, we are in for a fiasco in politics that will make even this fiasco of a campaign pale by comparison.

There is hardly any scenario that is too far-fetched. Even if the polls are right and Clinton’s lead translates into an electoral victory, she will be so damaged going into office that her chances of getting anything done will be virtually nil.

In this sense alone, Trump’s claim that this scandal is “worse than Watergate” could prove to be true. As an incumbent, Richard Nixon at least had an administration in place when he won re-election in 1972, though it took nearly another two years before he was forced to resign under threat of impeachment.

Clinton is likely to be stymied from the start, especially if the ongoing investigations into her email practices and the Clinton Foundation lead to further damaging disclosures.

For one thing, we now have the precedence of Watergate, and Republicans, who are sure to retain the House and now probably the Senate, will not let go.

There is hardly a chance that it will all end well for Clinton and that she will be exonerated because what is already known has many Republicans convinced that she is guilty at the very least of mishandling classified documents and perhaps obstruction of justice.

While the immediate attention in the wake of last week’s disclosure about reopening the email investigation has focused on FBI Director James Comey, the real conundrum in all this concerns his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Lynch fatally compromised her position by meeting with former President Bill Clinton just days before the original investigation was closed without a grand jury ever considering the evidence. And now her failure to block Comey’s disclosure — while leaking that she wanted to — is another ethical lapse. Other reports indicate that she attempted to quash the investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

It is hard to see how she can remain in office even if Clinton wins and wants to keep her. Her resignation — or even impeachment — seems inevitable with Republicans out for blood.

The damage done to the whole Clinton entourage through the machinations exposed in the Wikileaks emails means that many of them — Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, John Podesta, Neera Tanden — will be virtually untenable in any position of responsibility in a new Clinton administration.

And this is the best-case scenario for Clinton. We all know what the worst-case scenario is.

Next, how do you dispose of 4.3 million inflammable toxic smart phones. Call Samsung urgently, for a large reward,  if you have the answer.

Samsung urged to avoid ‘environmental disaster’ in Galaxy Note 7 disposal

Published: Oct 31, 2016 8:58 p.m. ET
What’s going to happen to the 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that Samsung Electronics Co. has recalled over exploding batteries? No one is really sure, and Greenpeace on Monday urged the company not to merely dump the phones, warning of “environmental disaster.”

Samsung KR, -0.90%   has not publicly stated how it will dispose of the phones, other than to say they would not be repaired or reused. “We have a process in place to safely dispose of the phones,” the company told Vice Media’s Motherboard recently. Samsung did not immediately respond for comment Monday.

Greenpeace called on Samsung to find new ways to recycle the massive amount of metals and rare earth elements inside the phones, and to be transparent with its disposal methods.

About 50 elements go into a Note 7, but only 12 can be recycled, due to today’s inefficient recycling methods.

According to German researchers at the Oeko-Institut, the 4.3 million Note 7s that were produced contain more than 20 metric tons of cobalt, more than 1 ton of tungsten, 1 ton of silver, 100 kilograms of gold and between 20 and 60 kilograms of palladium, Greenpeace said.

“These materials could be recovered but will instead end up harming the environment if Samsung doesn’t repurpose or reuse them,” the environmental group said in a statement.

While most of the metals themselves are not necessarily toxic, the methods of extraction can be, with mercury and cyanide used for some mining operations. The mining techniques to acquire those metals can also be environmentally destructive and are highly inefficient, according to a 2013 report by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which estimated that it takes about 165 pounds of raw materials to build a single smartphone. To simply destroy all the smartphones would be a massive waste of costly resources.

“Samsung now has an opportunity to set an example for the industry — will it recover and reuse the precious metals and other valuable materials in these 4.3 million devices and avoid an environmental disaster or will it simply dump them?” Jude Lee, senior IT campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said in a statement. “We are launching a global petition challenging Samsung not to dump the phones and instead take this chance to totally rethink how it designs and produces its products.”

One major problem for potential recycling efforts is the Note 7’s battery, which is glued to the device. Wired has reported that recyclers must carefully pry out the potentially explosive battery from each device, which one engineer compared to “brain surgery with a patient that might catch fire.”

We end for the day with some surprising commodities news. You just can’t keep a good sugar trader down.

Top Five Metals Trader Is Hiding Inside Food Giant Louis Dreyfus

November 2, 2016 — 12:01 AM GMT
Tucked behind Geneva airport in an unremarkable office, and surrounded by colleagues bartering grains, cotton and soybeans, sit the men and women running one of the world’s largest metals traders.

LDC Metals, a unit of foodstuffs merchant Louis Dreyfus Co., has built a trading force within a decade. It handles more than 3 million metric tons of material a year, bringing it closer to the ranks of the industry’s top players.

Headed by Oxford-educated Paul Akroyd, a 25-year veteran of the group and former sugar trader, the division is now one of the five-largest refined metals traders. In concentrates -- the processed copper, zinc and lead ore sold to smelters -- it is in the top three, trailing just Trafigura Group and Glencore Plc.

Long overshadowed by the group’s food trading, LDC Metals is gaining attention as Louis Dreyfus’s profits fall amid oversupply of farming commodities and a lack of price volatility. The parent’s first-half operating profit sank 20 percent.

The unit, founded in 2006, makes up a greater share of such earnings. Last year, it had net income of $40.3 million, according to a filing in the Netherlands. That’s 19 percent of the $211 million profit parent Louis Dreyfus reported for the year. In 2014, it was 8.5 percent.

----Adding to the new-found attention for the operation is a plan by the 165-year-old parent, controlled by Russian-born billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, to seek a joint-venture partner for the unit next year. Louis Dreyfus Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena says it won’t sell control.

The metals unit had an equity book value of $305 million in 2015, up from $266 million the year before, according to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce filing.

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

H. L. Mencken.

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 30.46 Moz, Eligible 143.12 Moz, Total 173.58 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, how Washington really works. Why millions of Americans voted for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  But what could possibly go wrong for the Arkansas HillBilly campaign except someone else winning the presidency and getting control of the Department of Justice.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

H. L. Mencken.

John Podesta's Best Friend At The DOJ Will Be In Charge Of The DOJ's Probe Into Huma Abedin Emails

by Tyler Durden Oct 31, 2016 4:36 PM
Now that the FBI has obtained the needed warrant to start poring over the 650,000 or so emails uncovered in Anthony Weiner's notebook, among which thousands of emails sent from Huma Abedin using Hillary Clinton's personal server, moments ago the US Justice Department announced it is also joining the probe, and as AP reported moments ago, vowed to dedicate all needed resources to quickly review the over half a million emails in the Clinton case.

In the letter to Congress, the DOJ writes that it “will continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible,” assistant attorney General Peter J. Kadzik writes in letters to House and Senate lawmakers.
So far so good, even if one wonders just how active the DOJ will be in a case that has shown an unprecedented schism between the politically influenced Department of Justice and the FBI.
And yet, something felt odd about this.
Kadzik... Kadzik... where have we heard that name?
Oh yes. Recall our post from last week, "Clinton Campaign Chair Had Dinner With Top DOJ Official One Day After Hillary's Benghazi Hearing" in which we reported that John Podesta had dinner with one of the highest ranked DOJ officials the very day after Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony?
It was Peter Kadzik.

In other words, the best friend of John Podesta, Clinton's Campaign char, at the DOJ will be in charge of a probe that could potentially sink Hillary Clinton.

For those who missed it, this is what we reported previously:

The day after Hillary Clinton testified in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi last October, John Podesta, Hillary's campaign chairman met for dinner with a small group of well-connected friends, including Peter Kadzik, who is currently a top official at the US Justice Department serving as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs.

 The post-Benghazi dinner was attended by Podesta, Kadzik, superlobbyist Vincent Roberti and other well-placed Beltway fixtures. The first mention of personal contact between Podesta and Kadzik in the Wikileaks dump is in an Oct. 23, 2015 email sent out by Vincent Roberti, a lobbyist who is close to Podesta and his superlobbyist brother, Tony Podesta. In it, Roberti refers to a dinner reservation at Posto, a Washington D.C. restaurant.  The dinner was set for 7:30 that evening, just one day after Clinton gave 11 hours of testimony to the Benghazi Committee.

 Podesta and Kadzik met several months later for dinner at Podesta’s home, another email shows. Another email sent on May 5, 2015, Kadzik’s son asked Podesta for a job on the Clinton campaign.

As the Daily Caller noted, the dinner arrangement "is just the latest example of an apparent conflict of interest between the Clinton campaign and the federal agency charged with investigating the former secretary of state’s email practices." As one former U.S. Attorney tells told the DC, the exchanges are another example of the Clinton campaign’s “cozy relationship” with the Obama Justice Department.

The hacked emails confirm that Podesta and Kadzik were in frequent contact. In one email from January, Kadzik and Podesta, who were classmates at Georgetown Law School in the 1970s, discussed plans to celebrate Podesta’s birthday. And in another sent last May, Kadzik’s son emailed Podesta asking for a job on the Clinton campaign.

“The political appointees in the Obama administration, especially in the Department of Justice, appear to be very partisan in nature and I don’t think had clean hands when it comes to the investigation of the private email server,” says Matthew Whitaker, the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a government watchdog group.

“It’s the kind of thing the American people are frustrated about is that the politically powerful have insider access and have these kind of relationships that ultimately appear to always break to the benefit of Hillary Clinton,” he added, comparing the Podesta-Kadzik meetings to the revelation that Attorney General Loretta Lynch met in private with Bill Clinton at the airport in Phoenix days before the FBI and DOJ investigating Hillary Clinton.

Kadzik's role at the DOJ, where he started in 2013, is particularly notable Kadzik, as helped spearhead the effort to nominate Lynch, who was heavily criticized for her secret meeting with the former president.

It gets better because, as we further revealed, if there is one person in the DOJ who is John Podesta's, and thus the Clinton Foundation's inside man, it is Peter Kadjik.

Kadzik represented Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. And in the waning days of the Bill Clinton administration, Kadzik lobbied Podesta on behalf of Marc Rich, the fugitive who Bill Clinton controversially pardoned on his last day in office. That history is cited by Podesta in another email hacked from his Gmail account. In a Sept. 2008 email, which the Washington Free Beacon flagged last week, Podesta emailed an Obama campaign official to recommend Kadzik for a supportive role in the campaign. Podesta, who would later head up the Obama White House transition effort, wrote that Kadzik was a “fantastic lawyer” who “kept me out of jail.”
More. Much more.

Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Fundraising Benefited From Loophole In Federal Anti-Corruption Rule

Despite an anti-corruption rule that was designed to reduce the financial industry’s political power, top officials from the investment firm BlackRock hosted Hillary Clinton at campaign fundraisers earlier this year. The cash -- which poured in through a loophole in the law — came in as BlackRock’s federal contracts to manage billions of dollars of retiree assets will be up for renewal during the next president’s term.

In 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission looked to stop campaign donations to public officials from financial firms seeking to convince those officials to hire them to manage public employees’ retirement assets. The agency enacted a pay-to-play rule that applied such a restriction to state and local officials. The rule, however, was structured in a way that effectively exempted federal agencies from its restrictions -- and it was created even though a major federal agency had just been plagued by an investment-related influence-peddling scandal.

In practice, the gap in the rule allows BlackRock executives to raise big money for presidential candidates who -- if they win -- will appoint the officials that run the federal Thrift Savings Plan, which awards contracts to manage retirement assets for nearly 5 million current and former federal employees. The loophole also allows Wall Street executives to give cash to presidential candidates, even as those executives’ firms get deals to manage -- and earn fees from -- investments for the federal government’s separate pension insurance agency, which is run by presidential appointees.

In all, the loophole in the SEC rule effectively leaves nearly a half-trillion dollars of retirement assets unprotected by the nation’s major anti-corruption measure. Clinton’s presidential campaign has raised more than $1 million from financial firms that are contracted to manage those assets.

Two SEC spokespeople, Ryan White and Judith Burns, declined to answer questions from International Business Times and MapLight about the pay-to-play rule carveout for federal agencies.

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

H. L. Mencken.

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?

A chill in Siberia is a bad sign for the US winter ahead

Siberian snow could has knock-on effects on the weather in the US.

By Martha Henriques October 31, 2016 18:06 GMT
Heavy snowfall in Siberia in October means the US is in for a harsher winter in the north-east than government forecasts are predicting, says Judah Cohen, a climatologist at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a Verisk Analytics business.

This winter is due to be a harsh one in the north of the country, he says, going against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's recent forecast. The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says that the natural cooling of the oceans around the US, known as La Niña, will bring a warm, dry winter to the south and even chances of a cold or mild winter in the north.

Cohen, however, argues that AER's forecast is more accurate because it accounts for the effects of snowfall in Siberia, a vast stretch eastern Russia that is larger than the US as a whole.

Heavy snowfall in Siberia means that there's more bright white snow to reflect heat from the sun back into space. This lowers air temperatures in Siberia, but it also means lower temperatures elsewhere, Cohen says.
The cold Siberian air is in stark contrast to the air over the warmer seas – an effect that's exaggerated if there's also little sea ice. It's this temperature difference that can have effects on weather systems far beyond Siberia.

The steep temperature difference can disrupt a weather system in the Arctic region, called the polar vortex. Air in the polar vortex ordinarily travels in tight concentric circles over the pole, Cohen told IBTimes UK.
But a strong temperature gradient between Siberia and the surrounding sea can disrupt the polar vortex. "It starts to wobble and then it becomes susceptible to more and more energy. It becomes highly distorted and disrupted and can split into two pieces in the most extreme cases."

When this happens, the cold air that was confined to the Arctic in the tight circles of the polar vortex can spill down into lower latitudes. That's when you get a particularly cold winter, especially in the east of the US, Cohen says.

----Since publishing AER's seasonal forecast earlier in October, the polar vortex has already broken down. This is happening far sooner than expected, Cohen says. "The fact that it takes place in late October or early November won't impact the whole winter," he says. "It's broken down already and that's very early. I do expect there to be more breakdowns in the polar vortex reoccurring later in the winter."

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

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

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