Monday, 9 January 2017

Trump Minus 11. China Growls.

Baltic Dry Index. 963 -20  Brent Crude 57.10

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

"Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium."

Murray N. Rothbard

America’s Clintonista financial-political class, shunned by incoming President Trump and his team, seems like the UK’s Remainiacs, to have gone into meltdown. The sky is about to fall, they say unanimously. Only bad things can happen, they think.

That may well be true, but not for anything to do with Trump, or for that matter President Putin. The current economic recovery is the weakest on record and already very long in the tooth. We are already overdue the next slowdown. The 1981-2015 bull market in bonds has ended. What comes next is an interest rate normalisation, albeit in tiny baby increments and slowly at first. But going from an interest rate of ¼ percent to ½ percent is a 100% increase in interest cost. The next 1/4% is another 66% increase. Pretty soon you’re facing a different investment environment to ZIRP and NIRP. America’s snowflakes are in meltdown, but for mostly the wrong reasons. Our Great Nixonian Error  fiat money world, August 1971 to present, long ago passed its sell-by date. The benefits of fiat were all front loaded, and ended in the stock market collapse of 1987. We have been on serial boom and bust covered by smoke and mirrors, and bankster conmen ever since.  But now even China has run out of road and patience.

Below, the spurned elite try to talk down Trump.

Summers Warns of Financial-Crisis Risk From Trump Economic Plans

by Christopher Condon 8 January 2017, 17:58 GMT
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers attacked the policy proposals of Donald Trump on several fronts, saying the president-elect’s plans for deregulation were setting the stage for the next financial crisis.

“The deregulation in some areas like finance is hugely dangerous,” Summers said Sunday in an interview on Fox News Channel. “Who wants to go back to the era of predatory lending? Who wants to go back to the era of vastly over-levered banks?”

Members of Trump’s transition team have vowed to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the principal legislative response to the 2008-09 global financial crisis, although Trump himself has given mixed signals on Wall Street regulation. During his campaign, he railed against Dodd-Frank, which greatly increased restrictions on banks operating in the U.S., but also said he would reinstate a separation between bank lending and securities underwriting, which was removed in 1999.

Summers, former chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama and Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, also took aim at Trump’s protectionist rhetoric. That’s already caused a plunge in the Mexican peso, giving Mexican manufacturing an extra advantage over U.S. competitors.

 “Every business deciding whether to locate in Ohio or Mexico is finding Mexico 20 percent cheaper,” said Summers, who’s now a Harvard University professor. “That’s a huge tilt against the United States.”

The peso has lost 14 percent against the dollar since the Nov. 8 election.

Trumponomics Gets The Thumbs Down From Nobel-Winning Economists

by Rich Miller 6 January 2017, 22:17 GMT
A pack of Nobel Prize-winning economists gave Donald Trump and his policy plans the thumbs-down on Friday, with one saying the president-elect’s programs could lead to a deep recession.
Speaking on a panel during the first day of the annual American Economic Association meeting in Chicago, the Nobel laureates voiced a variety of concerns about the billionaire developer’s stance, from his haranguing of U.S. companies about their outsourcing plans to the risk that his tax and spending proposals could lead to run-away budget deficits.
“There is a broad consensus that the kind of policies that our president-elect has proposed are among the polices that will not work,” said Joseph Stiglitz, summing up the views of the panel that included his fellow Columbia University professor Edmund Phelps and Yale University’s Robert Shiller.
Such disapproval though is likely to fall on deaf ears. Trump rode to victory on the back of an unconventional campaign that was short on advice from Ph.D. economists -- relying more on a team of wealthy businessmen -- and there’s no indication that’s about to change. He pledges to accelerate growth and create millions of well-paid jobs through spending hikes and tax cuts as well as reduced regulations and renegotiated trade deals.

Phelps was particularly critical of Trump’s singling out of individual companies for abuse and praise, saying such interference could end up discouraging newcomers from entering markets and bringing with them much-needed innovation.

Fiat Chrysler Announces Plans to Invest $1 Billion in the U.S.

by Jamie Butters and Tommaso Ebhardt

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will invest $1 billion toward making three new Jeep models in the U.S., plus a Ram heavy-duty pickup now built in Mexico, as President-elect Donald Trump pressures the auto industry to hire workers and produce vehicles above the border.

The outlays planned by 2020 include retooling factories in Michigan and Ohio and adding 2,000 jobs, according to a company statement. The Italian-American automaker confirmed the Jeep brand will add the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer sport utility vehicles and a pickup model to its lineup. After improvements to a plant in Warren, Michigan, the site will be able to assemble Ram HD trucks now made in Saltillo, Mexico.

Fiat Chrysler is circulating the plans before any potential criticism of the company by Trump, who last week threatened General Motors Co. with taxes for importing a version of its Chevrolet Cruze from Mexico. Ford Motor Co. has canceled a $1.6 billion factory in the country and will invest $700 million into a Michigan plant.

“The expansion of our Jeep lineup has been and continues to be the key pillar of our strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in the statement. He also highlighted plans to export the SUVs and trucks. “We will finally have the capacity to successfully penetrate markets other than the U.S. which have historically been denied product due to capacity constraints.”

The added Jeep models have long been planned and analysts have been awaiting word on where they would be built, Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at, said in an e-mail. “Investment in Jeep is smart money spent, and timing to ward off President-elect Trump’s possible tweets at the pass doesn’t hurt,” she wrote.

In EUSSR news, belatedly Germany starts to think the unthinkable. One year late and a euro short, the EUSSR missed its chance last year during what turned out to be Dodgy Dave Cameron’s European farewell, renegotiation and reform tour.

Below Gabriel cries over split milk.

Germany's Gabriel says EU break-up no longer unthinkable

Sat Jan 7, 2017 | 10:21am EST
Germany's insistence on austerity in the euro zone has left Europe more divided than ever and a break-up of the European Union is no longer inconceivable, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told Der Spiegel magazine.

Gabriel, whose Social Democrats (SPD) are junior partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in her ruling grand coalition, said strenuous efforts by countries like France and Italy to reduce their fiscal deficits came with political risks.

"I once asked the chancellor, what would be more costly for Germany: for France to be allowed to have half a percentage point more deficit, or for Marine Le Pen to become president?" he said, referring to the leader of the far-right National Front.

"Until today, she still owes me an answer," added Gabriel, whose SPD favors a greater focus on investment while Merkel's conservatives put more emphasis on fiscal discipline as a foundation for economic prosperity.

The SPD is expected to choose Gabriel, their long-standing chairman who is also economy minister, to run against Merkel for chancellor in September's federal election, senior party sources said on Thursday.
Asked if he really believed he could win more votes by transferring more German money to other EU countries, Gabriel replied: "I know that this discussion is extremely unpopular."
"But I also know about the state of the EU. It is no longer unthinkable that it breaks apart," he said in the interview, published on Saturday.
"Should that happen, our children and grandchildren would curse us," he added. "Because Germany is the biggest beneficiary of the European community - economically and politically."

Le Pen Says Brexit Isn’t Disaster and France Should Be Next

by Gregory Viscusi
6 January 2017, 16:07 GMT
French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said the U.K. economy is weathering Brexit, giving her confidence to seek an immediate renegotiation of France’s relationship with the European Union if elected.
“Brexit has not been a disaster,” Le Pen said at a meeting with English-language reporters in Paris on Friday. “The economic signals are good.”
National Front leader Le Pen, who polls suggest will reach the presidential runoff in May, said she would seek talks with France’s EU partners “the day after my election” and put the result to a national referendum. She said the goal is to take back what she called “the four sovereignties”: control of borders, economic policy, money and legislation. France should dump the euro and return to a national currency, though the exchange rate could be linked to some sort of European currency mechanism, Le Pen said.
“I’ll give six months to these talks, and if at the end we have won back our sovereignty, I will tell the French to vote to stay in this Europe of nations and liberty,” she said. “If we don’t, I’ll suggest that they vote to leave.”

Elsewhere, China gets more aggressive.

Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge

Mon Jan 9, 2017 | 1:40am EST
State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Beijing had asked Washington not to allow Tsai to enter the United States and that she not have any formal government meetings under the one China policy.

A photograph tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott shows him meeting Tsai, with a small table between them adorned with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai also met Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

"Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific," said the Global Times editorial on Sunday. The influential tabloid is published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily.

Trump triggered protests from Beijing last month by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai and questioning Washington's commitment to China's position that Taiwan is part of one China.

"If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining," said the Global Times.

“If we went back on the gold standard and we adhered to the actual structure of the gold standard as it existed prior to 1913, we’d be fine. Remember that the period 1870 to 1913 was one of the most aggressive periods economically that we’ve had in the United States, and that was a golden period of the gold standard. I’m known as a gold bug and everyone laughs at me, but why do central banks own gold now?” 

Alan Greenspan. June 28, 2016.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 28.58 Moz, Eligible 152.10 Moz, Total 180.68 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Presented without need for comment. But don’t try stealing the customer segregated funds unless you are very well connected. Jail time for most.

Corzine in $5 million settlement with US CFTC over MF Global collapse

Thu Jan 5, 2017 | 2:51pm EST
Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) co-chairman, will pay a $5 million civil fine to settle a U.S. regulator's lawsuit over the 2011 collapse of his commodity brokerage, MF Global Holdings Ltd.

Thursday's accord with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission resolves the last piece of litigation against Corzine over MF Global's rapid descent into bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2011, as an estimated $1.6 billion of customer money went missing.

The agreement, which has been approved by a federal judge, bars Corzine from ever working for a futures commission merchant or registering with the CFTC. He also cannot ask insurers to cover the fine.
invented by Teads
"I am pleased to have reached this settlement," Corzine, who turned 70 on Jan. 1, said in a statement. "As the CEO of MF Global in 2011, I have accepted responsibility for its failure, and I deeply regret the impact it had on customers, employees, shareholders and others."

Andrew Levander, Corzine's lawyer, noted that none of the criminal and civil probes into MF Global's demise led to charges that Corzine engaged in intentional misconduct or fraud.

In a related settlement, Edith O'Brien, MF Global's former assistant treasurer, agreed to pay a $500,000 civil fine and accept an 18-month industry ban to resolve claims that she "aided and abetted" the misuse of customer funds.

O'Brien's lawyer, Christopher Barber, declined to comment.

The CFTC said MF Global improperly used nearly $1 billion of customer funds to shore up liquidity during the last week of October 2011, rather than keep the funds separate.

This commingling occurred as margin calls, credit rating downgrades and Corzine's big wager on European sovereign debt left customers and investors increasingly worried about the New York-based company's survival.

The CFTC said Corzine failed to properly supervise employees handling customer funds, while O'Brien authorized the illegal transfer of customer funds to MF Global accounts as the specter of bankruptcy loomed.
Customers were fully repaid in 2014.

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?

How porphyrin may enhance graphene

Date: January 5, 2017

Source: Plataforma SINC

Summary: Porphyrins, the same molecules that convey oxygen in haemoglobin and absorb light during photosynthesis, can be joined to the material of the future, graphene, to give it new properties. The resulting hybrid structures could be used in the field of molecular electronics and in developing new sensors.

Porphyrins, the same molecules that convey oxygen in hemoglobin and absorb light during photosynthesis, can be joined to the material of the future, graphene, to give it new properties. This was recently shown by a team of scientists at the Technical University of Munich, in which a Spanish researcher also participated. The resulting hybrid structures could be used in the field of molecular electronics and in developing new sensors.
At the moment, it is difficult to find a material that attracts as much attention from scientists and engineers as graphene, which is made up of a layer of carbon atoms arrange in a hexagonal structure. It is flexible, extremely thin and clear, while being highly resistant and a conductor of electricity -- ideal requirements for a number of uses, especially in the field of electronics.
However, using graphene to capture solar energy or as a gas sensor requires specific properties which it lacks, although it can acquire them by addition or functionalisation with certain molecules.
A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), led by Professor Wilhelm Auwärter, has succeeded in bonding an important biochemical group to the graphene sheet: porphyrins, protein rings which are part of chlorophyll, essential for photosynthesis in plants, and hemoglobin, which is responsible for conveying oxygen in animals' blood.
As Spanish researcher Manuela Garnica Alonso, co-author of the study at the German university, explains: "The new hybrid structures can be used in the field of molecular electronics -- in which electronic circuits are composed of molecular units -- as well as in catalytic processes in which numerous chemical reactions accelerate, and in the development of new gas sensors."
The technique involves growing a graphene layer on a surface of silver to use its catalytic properties. Then, under ultra-high vacuum conditions, porphyrin molecules are added. These lose the hydrogen atoms from their periphery when heated on the metal surface, and they end up joining to the graphene edges.
"For the first time we have managed to covalently bond porphyrins to graphene edges, in other words to create stable chemical bonds, without altering their worthwhile properties," Garnica explains. The researchers used an atomic force microscope to characterise in detail the chemical structure of the molecules involved. With this tool they observed, for example, a metal being incorporated at the centre of the porphyrins, as well as the specific bond of gas molecules, such as carbon dioxide, without altering the graphene properties.
According to the authors, this new graphene 'functionalisation' technique could be extended to more molecules in the future, which would bond to various carbon nanostructures, like graphene nanoribbons, while also having great potential in the development of electronic applications.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

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

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