Friday, 20 January 2017

Trump Day Edition. “Swampy” Arrives.

Baltic Dry Index. 942 -10   Brent Crude 54.32

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

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

Donald J. Trump.

Today America is lucky or unlucky, depending on your point of view, to get two Presidents. President Obama in the morning and President Trump after his swearing in. America still has a way to go to catch up with the dying EUSSR, which has at least 5 ineffective, unelected Presidents, beavering away all 365 days a year, 366 days every leap year. 

But today it’s out with “Yes We Can,” and in with “Make America Great Again,” a process that apparently involves building long walls, draining swamps, and transferring manufacturing jobs from Canada, China and Mexico to America. It’s out with Hawaii too, and in with Palm Beach Florida. The new President Trump doesn’t just play golf, serial style, like Presidents Eisenhower and Obama, Trump goes all-in, building and renovating serial golf courses. The next four years are going to be fun filled. Sort of like Teddy Roosevelt  - the sequel. Somehow I get the feeling that America 2021 is going to look nothing like America 2017.

Below, the world and the Trump Presidency. Germany’s Der Spiegel and America’s FBI seem to have opted for all-out war.

“Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”

Donald J. Trump.

China says can resolve trade disputes with new U.S. government

Thu Jan 19, 2017 | 2:51am EST
China and the United States can resolve any trade disputes through talks, the government said on Thursday, as a Chinese newspaper warned U.S. business could be targets for retaliation in any trade war ushered in by President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump, who is sworn into office on Friday, has criticized China's trade practices and threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Trump's choice for commerce secretary, voiced sharp criticism of China's trade practices on Wednesday, telling senators he would seek new ways of combating them.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Sun Jiwen said the government was willing to work with the new U.S. administration to promote the healthy development of commercial ties.
"I believe China and the United States can resolve any disputes through dialogue and negotiation and that the China-U.S. commercial relationship will not significantly stray from the path of mutual benefit," Sun told reporters.
"Both sides benefit with cooperation, and both are hurt with conflict," he added.
But an influential state-run newspaper took a harsher line.
In an editorial, the Global Times said that as the United States has the stronger economy, China may suffer more once a trade war starts, but China "will take the U.S. on to the end".
"There are few cases in modern history where only one party surrendered in a trade war; rather, the two parties ended up compromising with each other. How could Trump's team believe China would surrender without any countermeasures?" it said.
"The arrogant Trump team has underestimated China's ability to retaliate. China is a major buyer of American cotton, wheat, beans and Boeing aircraft," the paper added in the editorial carried in its Chinese and English-language editions, without elaborating.
Boeing Co's China office declined to comment.
Boeing anticipates China will need 6,800 new jetliners worth $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

Xi portrays China as global leader as Trump era looms

Wed Jan 18, 2017 | 7:48pm EST
China will build a "new model" of relations with the United States, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday in a speech that portrayed China as the leader of a globalized world where only international cooperation could solve the big problems.
Two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump who has promised to be a U.S. president putting "America first", Xi urged countries to resist isolationism.
"Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one," Xi told an invited audience at the United Nations in Geneva.
"Big countries should treat smaller countries as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others."
Xi called for the world to unite on everything from environmental protection to terrorism and nuclear disarmament, in contrast to Trump who has said he has an "open mind" on climate change and that the United States would win any nuclear arms race.
"We will build a circle of friends across the whole world," Xi said.
"We will strive to build new model of major country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, a partnership for peace, growth, reform and among different civilizations and a partnership of unity and cooperation with BRICS countries."
While U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Xi it was "very reassuring to see China assuming such a clear leadership in multilateralism in today's world", rights campaigners expressed concerns about China's record.
“It is unfortunate that Chinese President Xi was given an obsequious red carpet treatment at the U.N. today while NGOs with concerns about his dismal rights record were kept out," said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

Mr. Me

No One Loves the 45th President Like Donald Trump

The hope that Donald Trump might become more presidential as his inauguration approached has proven misguided. The 45th president of the United States has shown that his own public image is his first priority.

January 18, 2017  03:27 PM
To understand how the future president of the United States thinks and acts, a look back at how he treated one of his former employees can be helpful. The woman in question didn't become known because of complaints regarding Donald Trump's behavior. Rather, he himself boasted about his own treatment of her in one of his many books.
Trump hired the woman in the 1980s. "I decided to make her into somebody," he writes in "Think Big and Kick Ass," a book in which he seeks to share the secret of his success with the world. He gave her a great job, Trump writes, and "she bought a beautiful home."
In the early 1990s, when his company ran into financial difficulties, Trump asked the woman to request help from a friend of hers who held an important position at a bank. The woman, though, didn't feel comfortable doing so and Trump fired her immediately.
Later, she founded her own company, but it went broke. "I was really happy when I found that out," Trump writes in his book. Although he had done so much for her, he writes, "she had turned on me."
In Trump's world, even just the appearance of disloyalty is an unforgivable sin. He encourages his readers to react in such cases with brutal vengeance. Ultimately, the woman lost her home and her husband left her, Trump relates. "I was glad." In subsequent years, he continued speaking poorly of her, he writes. "Now I go out of my way to make her life miserable."
At the end of the chapter called "Revenge," Trump advises his readers to constantly seek to take revenge. "Always make a list of people who hurt you. Then sit back and wait for the appropriate time to get revenge. When they least expect it, go after them with a vengeance. Go for their jugular."
This hardcore Darwinism helped Trump, who sees life as "a series of battles ending in victory or defeat," become a rich man on the often fierce real-estate market.
Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday as the 45th president of the United States, appears to be relying on the same formula for success in his new job -- despite all of the predictable effects that might have for his country and the world. Just last week, it was obvious on several occasions that Trump has no intention whatsoever of adjusting his behavior to correspond to the dignity of the office he has been elected to fill. He seems to continue believing exclusively in his own maxim: "Think Big and Kick Ass."

Feds investigating Russian intercepts for Trump ties: report

By Mike Murphy Published: Jan 19, 2017 11:53 p.m. ET
Federal authorities are investigating intercepted communications and financial transactions over possible links between Russia and members of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign team, the New York Times reported Thursday night. The counterintelligence investigation is focused on former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, policy adviser Carter Page and Republican strategist Roger Stone, the Times said. U.S. intelligence has concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election, and worked in Trump's favor. The newspaper's sources did not say if the intercepts implicated anyone in illegal acts. Manfort told the Times the report was a "dirty trick and completely false." The FBI is said to be leading the probe, which was not based on the secret dossier leaked last week containing a number of unsubstantiated claims.

But we give the last word on President Trump to a bitter old man who backed the losing side against The Donald, and is rumoured to have lost a billion in the weeks after Donald Trump won.

Soros Says Markets to Slump With Trump, EU Faces Disintegration

by Simone Foxman and Saijel Kishan
19 January 2017, 20:00 GMT
It’s tough to be gloomier than billionaire George Soros right now.

America has elected a would-be dictator as president, the European Union is disintegrating, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won’t last long as her nation prepares to secede from the EU, and China is poised to become an even more repressive society, the investor told Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“It is unlikely that Prime Minister May is actually going to remain in power,” Soros said. She has a divided cabinet and base and Britons are in denial about the economic impact of Brexit, he said.

----Soros had particularly harsh words for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday. Calling Trump a “con man,” Soros said the billionaire will fail because his ideas are contradictory and his White House advisers and cabinet members will fight with each other, an apparent reference to the conflicting views expressed during Senate confirmation hearings. The stock market rally since the November election, spurred by Trump’s promises to slash regulations and boost spending, will come to a halt, Soros said.

 “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” 

Donald J. Trump.

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 29.19 Moz, Eligible 151.03 Moz, Total 180.22 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Why do these two “banks” still have banking licences?
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”

Donald J. Trump.

How Deutsche Bank Made −€367 Million Disappear

A dubious trade leads to a criminal trial for Europe’s most important bank.
by Vernon Silver and Elisa Martinuzzi  19 January 2017, 06:00 GMT
On Dec. 1, 2008, most of the world’s banks were still panicking through the financial crisis. Lehman Brothers had collapsed. Merrill Lynch had been sold. Citigroup and others had required multibillion-dollar bailouts to survive. But not every institution appeared to be in free fall. That afternoon, at the London outpost of Deutsche Bank, the stolid-seeming, €2 trillion German powerhouse, a group of financiers met to consider a proposal from a team led by a trim, 40-year-old banker named Michele Faissola.
The scion of an Italian banking family, Faissola was the head of Deutsche’s global rates unit, a division that created and sold financial instruments tied to interest rates. He’d been studying the problems of one of Deutsche’s clients, Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which, as the crisis raged, was down €367 million ($462 million at the time) on a single investment. Losing that much money was bad; having to include it in the bank’s yearend report to the public, as required by Italian law, was arguably much worse. Monte dei Paschi was the world’s oldest bank. It had been operating since 1472, not long after the invention of the printing press, when the Black Death was still a living memory. If investors were to find out the extent of its losses in the 2008 credit crisis, the consequences would be unpredictable and grave: a run on the bank, a government takeover, or worse. At the Deutsche meeting, Faissola’s team said it had come up with a miraculous solution: a new trade that would make Paschi’s loss disappear.
The bankers in the room had seen some financial sleight of hand in their day, but the maneuver that Faissola’s staffers proposed was audacious. They described a simple trade in two parts. For one half of the deal, Paschi would make a sure-thing, moneymaking bet with Deutsche Bank and use those winnings to extinguish its 2008 trading losses. Of course, Deutsche doesn’t give away money for free, so for the second half of the deal, the Italians would make a bet that was sure to lose. But while the first transaction was immediate, the second would play out slowly, over many years. No sign of the €367 million sinkhole would need to show up when Paschi compiled its yearend financial reports.
The audience for the proposal that day was Deutsche’s global market risks assessment committee, a top-level panel that reviews transactions with legal, regulatory, and reputational considerations. Respectively, that means asking: Is a given trade within the law? Is it within the looser framework of industry rules and standards? And even if so, can Deutsche pull it off without maiming its brand—its basic ability to operate as a trustworthy member of the global financial system?
To at least one member of the committee, the possibilities of Faissola’s trade seemed wondrous. “This is fantastic,” said Jeremy Bailey, Deutsche’s European chairman of global banking, according to testimony of an executive who later recounted the exchange for an internal disciplinary panel. “You can book a [profit] in front and spread losses over time?” Bailey added. “We should do it for Deutsche Bank.”
Ivor Dunbar, the meeting’s chairman, curbed Bailey’s enthusiasm. “We are not discussing [our] balance sheet here,” he said. (Bailey, through a spokesman, denies he made the remarks.)
---- When the meeting ended after almost 90 minutes, Faissola got a go-ahead—setting in motion a scandal that has resulted in a criminal trial now under way in Milan. A judge there has accused Deutsche Bank and five former executives, including Faissola and Dunbar, of colluding with Paschi to falsify its accounts in 2008. (None of Deutsche’s top managers at the time has been accused of wrongdoing. Faissola declined to comment for this article, as did both banks. Dunbar didn’t respond to requests for comment.)
Eight years after the financial crisis, the stakes could hardly be higher. Being the biggest bank in Germany makes Deutsche the most important bank in Europe, and the Paschi trial is an uncomfortable reminder that its operations, already with barely enough capital to meet industry standards, are threatened by persistent scandal. Deutsche is also facing investigations into whether it helped clients launder billions out of Russia. This month the bank agreed to pay $7.2 billion to resolve a U.S. probe into its subprime mortgage business, admitting it misled investors. Deutsche has paid more than $9 billion in further fines and settlements related to claims of tax evasion; violating sanctions against Iran, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, and Sudan; rigging the $300 trillion Libor market; and other alleged breaches of the law.

“My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”

Donald J. Trump.

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?

Milestone in graphene production

Date: January 18, 2017

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Summary: For the first time, it is now possible to produce functional OLED electrodes from graphene. The OLEDs can, for example, be integrated into touch displays, and the miracle material graphene promises many other applications for the future.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP from Dresden, together with partners, has succeeded for the first time in producing OLED electrodes from graphene. The electrodes have an area of 2 × 1 square centimeters. "This was a real breakthrough in research and integration of extremely demanding materials," says FEP's project leader Dr. Beatrice Beyer. The process was developed and optimized in the EU-funded project "Gladiator" (Graphene Layers: Production, Characterization and Integration) together with partners from industry and research.
Graphene is considered a new miracle material. The advantages of the carbon compound are impressive: graphene is light, transparent and extremely hard and has more tensile strength than steel. Moreover, it is flexible and extremely conductive for heat or electricity. Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms which are assembled in a kind of honeycomb pattern. It is only 0.3 nanometers thick, which is about one hundred thousandth of a human hair. Graphene has a variety of applications -- for example, as a touchscreen in smartphones.
Chemical reaction of copper, methane and hydrogen
The production of the OLED electrodes takes place in a vacuum. In a steel chamber, a wafer plate of high-purity copper is heated to about 800 degrees. The research team then supplies a mixture of methane and hydrogen and initiates a chemical reaction. The methane dissolves in the copper and forms carbon atoms, which spread on the surface. This process only takes a few minutes. After a cooling phase, a carrier polymer is placed on the graphene and the copper plate is etched away.
Gladiator project was launched in November 2013. The Fraunhofer team is working on the next steps until the conclusion in April 2017. During the remainder of the project, impurities and defects which occur during the transfer of the wafer-thin graphene to another carrier material are to be minimized. The project is supported by the EU Commission with a total of 12.4 million euros. The Fraunhofer Institute's important industrial partners are the Spanish company Graphenea S.A., which is responsible for the production of the graphene electrodes, as well as the British Aixtron Ltd., which is responsible for the construction of the production CVD reactors.
Applications from photovoltaics to medicine
"The first products could already be launched in two to three years," says Beyer with confidence. Due to their flexibility, the graphene electrodes are ideal for touch screens. They do not break when the device drops to the ground. Instead of glass, one would use a transparent polymer film. Many other applications are also conceivable: in windows, the transparent graphene could regulate the light transmission or serve as an electrode in polarization filters. Graphene can also be used in photovoltaics, high-tech textiles and even in medicine.

Another weekend and the first weekend of the new President Trump. We can hardly wait for his weekend tweets. Have a great weekend everyone. The next four years look like fun.

What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.

Donald J. Trump.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

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

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