Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Brexit Decision Day.

Baltic Dry Index. 914 -11   Brent Crude 55.53

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

“What me worry?”

Mrs. May, with apologies to Mad Magazine.

Today’s big news will likely be the decision of the UK’s Supreme Court, and how exactly Article 50 is to be triggered. The decision is widely expected to go against the government, given that one Supreme appeared to have prejudged the case in her speech late last year, and many of the other 10 Supremes have ties to Europe. It will be well covered by main stream media, and ironically whichever side loses can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights should they wish.

In other news, President Trump just four and a half days into his term is already shaking up the international crony capitalism order. But is he really going to order the US Navy to blockade Chinese claimed islands in the South China Sea?

Japan says TPP ‘meaningless’ without U.S., but still hopes to save pact

By Mitsuru Obe and Megumi Fujikawa  Published: Jan 23, 2017 10:31 p.m. ET
TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he would continue to advocate free trade, and officials said they hadn’t given up on the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal.
Government spokesman Koichi Hagiuda said it was “meaningless” to have the TPP without the U.S. and Tokyo wasn’t considering revising it excluding Washington.

“Without the U.S., it would lose the fundamental balance of benefits,” Hagiuda said at a regular news conference. Trump formally took the U.S. out of the 12-nation TPP on Monday.
Hagiuda and trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Japan hadn’t given up on persuading Trump to change his mind. “We want to continue to explain to the U.S. about the strategic and economic merits of the TPP,” Seko said. He said Abe spoke by phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday and reaffirmed the significance of the TPP.

Diplomat says China would assume world leadership if needed

Mon Jan 23, 2017 | 4:24am EST
China does not want world leadership but could be forced to assume that role if others step back from that position, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to put "America first" in his first speech.

Zhang Jun, director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's international economics department, made the comments during a briefing with foreign journalists to discuss President Xi Jinping's visit to Switzerland last week.

Topping the bill at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi portrayed China as the leader of a globalized world where only international cooperation could solve the big problems.

Speaking days before Trump assumed the presidency, Xi also urged countries to resist isolationism, signaling Beijing's desire to play a bigger role on the global stage.

Elaborating on that theme, Zhang said China had no intention of seeking global leadership.

"If anyone were to say China is playing a leadership role in the world I would say it's not China rushing to the front but rather the front runners have stepped back leaving the place to China," Zhang said.

"If China is required to play that leadership role then China will assume its responsibilities," he added.

At his inauguration on Friday, Trump struck a nationalist and populist tone, pledging to end what he called an "American carnage" of rusted factories and crime.

China is the world's second-largest economy and others also rely on it for their economic growth, Zhang said.

Trump White House vows to stop China taking South China Sea islands

Mon Jan 23, 2017 | 7:57pm EST
The new U.S. administration of President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea, something Chinese state media has warned would require Washington to "wage war."

The comments at a briefing from White House spokesman Sean Spicer signaled a sharp departure from years of cautious U.S. handling of China's assertive pursuit of territory claims in Asia, just days after Trump took office on Friday.

"The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," Spicer said when asked if Trump agreed with comments by his secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

"It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country," he said.

Tillerson's remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing prompted Chinese state media to say the United States would need to "wage war" to bar China's access to the islands where it has built military-length air strips and installed weapons systems.

---- But analysts said his comments, like those of Spicer, suggested the possibility of U.S. military action, or even a naval blockade, that would risk armed confrontation with China, an increasingly formidable nuclear-armed military power. It is also the world's second-largest economy and the target of accusations by Trump that it is stealing American jobs.

Spicer declined to elaborate when asked how the United States could enforce such a move against China, except to say: “I think, as we develop further, we’ll have more information on it.”

In Europe, some sanity is returning, at least in France. Few there now seem willing to march to Mrs Merkel’s beat.

France's Fillon tells Merkel Russia sanctions are pointless

Mon Jan 23, 2017 | 12:13pm EST
European Union sanctions on Russia are pointless, the frontrunner in France's presidential election Francois Fillon said on Monday in Berlin, warning Russia and the United States under Donald Trump could forge links that exclude the EU.

Speaking after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the conservative candidate said the EU was "despised by major powers" because of its divisions and must better defend its economic interests.

The relationship between France and Germany is essential to driving those changes but it must be a partnership of equals, Fillon said, flexing his muscles on the campaign trail to say the two countries must be open about their differences.

"We have differences? Let's accept them instead of denying them. We have divergences on the issue of refugees or on economic policy? Let's face them to better overcome them," he told a conference.

One of those differences is on Russia, where Germany has taken a hard line in favor of EU sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its support for a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

"I am convinced that the economic sanctions are totally ineffective," Fillon told reporters earlier on Monday. "We must find another way to talk," he said, while adding that a gesture from Russia would be needed before sanctions could be lifted.

"I do not want (U.S. President Donald) Trump to talk with Russia at our expense. It would be damaging for Europe if Trump went above our heads, which is not inconceivable," he said.

An interesting day lies ahead.

“I think we agree, the past is over.”

President Trump, with apologies to George W. Bush.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 29.21 Moz, Eligible 151.24 Moz, Total 180.45 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
After running around like a headless chicken, continental Europe faces difficult choices in the era of President Trump.

Trump Era May Force Europe Into Deciding What Role It Wants

by John Follain and Ian Wishart
23 January 2017, 04:00 GMT
Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House means it may, finally, be decision time for Europe.
The new U.S. president’s barrage of criticism in the run up to his inauguration last week prompted pledges to stick together and revive support for the European Union. Germany’s Angela Merkel vowed to maintain unity through continuous dialogue with other members. Mark Rutte of the Netherlands called for a fresh focus on the economy, while European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans warned critics not to underestimate the bloc’s determination.
The test will be whether their renewed commitment is enough to address flaws in the EU’s structure that have been glossed over in recent years. Since the high water mark of integration brought the single currency and expansion in the east, the EU has fudged questions such as how far to pool its taxes and debts, how much to spend on defense and whether to adopt a common foreign policy toward neighbors such as Russia and Libya.
With the U.K.’s decision to turn its back on the EU buoying populist campaigns across the continent, the bloc’s defenders already face an urgent dilemma over how close a union they’re prepared to forge in response. Trump’s heckling from the sidelines piles on more pressure to adapt or see doubts about the project’s long-term viability increase.
“Trump’s impact is that Europe has to decide very quickly what kind of Europe it wants to be,” Guntram Wolff, director of the Brussels-based Bruegel Institute, said in a phone interview. “This is a big problem because we have to react now and there’s a lot of denial.”
Trump rocked the EU by branding it a vehicle for German domination in an interview published in two European newspapers Jan. 15. He said other countries would follow the U.K. in leaving and called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the guarantor of U.S. military backing for Europe, “obsolete” -- all while making overtures to Russia.
As he addressed the nation from the steps of the Capitol on Friday, he said it’s time to put “only America first” when dealing with other nations. He portrayed the U.S., the world’s biggest economy and its dominant military power, as a nation ravaged by the consequences of weak borders, unbalanced alliances and bad trade deals.
Despite the hyperbole, there’s an element of truth in Trump’s criticism.
Politicians and voters in southern Europe chafed at the demands of Germany and its allies during the euro-area crisis, while the leaders of the world’s biggest economic bloc are conscious that they’ve piggy-backed on U.S. military might for decades.

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?

Solar power to light up smart villages in Rajasthan

TNN | Jan 23, 2017, 07.19 AM IST
JAIPUR: Close on the heels of smart cities, the state government is planning to develop smart villages. The ambitious plan envisages developing play grounds, street lights and lifting garbage in nearly 10, 000 gram panchayats headquarters in the state.

The government is planning to exploit the solar energy in a big way to light up the rural villages and accordingly solar panels would be installed at the panchayat headquarters. It would power street lights as conventional power supply in far-flung villages is a huge task for the government.

The government has decided to rope in IIT Bombay for smart village project, said an official. IIT Bombay will provide technical support for solar project. According to officials, IIT Bombay would provide technical assistance for installation, maintenance and designing solar lighting system to maintain uniformity. Sources said the solar panels had to be acquired through a tender process.

"Rajasthan has abundant sunlight throughout the year to generate solar energy and exploiting this solar power is the way forward for the state in rural electrification," said an official.

The rural development and panchayat raj department is now preparing the action plan for the project. However, who will foot the bill for the project is yet to be decided.


The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

DJIA: 19763  +74 Up NASDAQ:  5383 +70 Up. SP500: 2239 +75 Up

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