Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Trump Minus 2. Elite Trumped And Thumped.

Baltic Dry Index. 922 -03   Brent Crude 55.66

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

We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness outside of the EUSSR.”

With grateful thanks to the writers of the US Declaration of Independence.

We open with  Bloomberg still in deep denial that Hillary Clinton lost the November election. American voters didn’t want more of the same. Didn’t want rule by banksters and gambling Great Vampire Squids needing bailouts. Didn’t want their jobs exported to Mexico and China. Didn’t want unlimited illegal immigrants taking their remaining jobs and forcing down the price of labour.
Below Bloomberg’s Editorial Board, like the UK’s fanatic Remainiacs, still hasn’t got the voters message. Davos upstaged. In Davos, China’s Xi blinked.  For more on the New American Revolution, scroll down to Crooks Corner.

Trump's Trade Plan Is a Looming Disaster

Jan 17, 2017 2:00 AM EST
Even by his standards, President-elect Donald Trump's statements on trade have been stunning in their recklessness. His proposals essentially amount to the repudiation of a system that has fostered global stability and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the last several decades -- and if he actually intends to execute his radical agenda, there's little to stop him.

In other areas of economic policy, such as budget matters, Congress will make the crucial choices. On trade, the White House has wide discretion. The stakes could hardly be higher.

During the campaign Trump threatened to rip up existing trade pacts, withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, and put punitive tariffs on imports from Mexico and China. He's called the World Trade Organization, which promotes liberal trade and adjudicates disputes, "a disaster," and he has said the U.S. might "pull out." Congratulating Britain on its decision to quit the European Union, he says the U.K. and the U.S. can design a new trade deal -- but that it makes no difference to the U.S. whether the EU, "a vehicle for Germany," stays together or falls apart.

Trump's nominee for commerce secretary, meanwhile, appears to believe in the top-down management of trade: "We should treat ourselves as the world's biggest customer and treat nations that are selling to us as suppliers to us," Wilbur Ross told the Financial Times. The global economy, according to this thinking, is not about myriad firms competing across borders to give consumers everywhere the best products at the lowest cost; it's a zero-sum battle between two monolithic collectives: us and them.

Trump's other trade appointments aren't reassuring. Peter Navarro, named as head of the new National Trade Council, seems opposed to imports on principle. He says they subtract from economic growth, which is nonsense. The nominee for U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, brings his experience as an advocate for restrictions on imports of cars and steel -- restrictions that made U.S. consumers worse off and impeded the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete.

Congress wouldn't be able to do much to restrain the new team's trade measures, especially in the short term. Laws authorizing existing trade agreements, as well as other statutes delegating authority to the president in times of emergency, grant the president wide powers to take unilateral action such as terminating previous commitments and imposing tariffs, quotas or other restraints. Such moves would surely face a legal challenge, but before the cases were resolved, President Trump could very well kill or cripple Nafta, the WTO and any prospect of orderly market-driven trade arrangements.

Trump's Shadow Looms Over Davos

by Matthew Campbell and Jacqueline Simmons
The road to Davos, it seems, passes through Trump Tower this year. In the run-up to the World Economic Forum’s annual conclave in the Swiss Alps, corporate titans like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma, AT&T Inc.’s Randall Stephenson, and Microsoft Corp.’s Satya Nadella have taken time out to court Donald Trump at his gilded Manhattan residence.

The president-elect won’t make the trip to Davos, but he’ll most certainly be a presence. As corporate titans and political grandees gather in the snow-covered resort, the question of the day is how to engage an unpredictable U.S. leader who has pledged to rewrite the tax code, overhaul healthcare, and tear up trade agreements.

“Everybody wants to stay out of sight and out of mind and wait to see what really happens,” said Alex Molinaroli, chief executive officer of manufacturer Johnson Controls. “You don’t do anything you don’t have to do right now.”

Even before his inauguration, Trump has whipsawed share prices and shaken investment plans with tweets and public statements attacking the likes of Lockheed Martin Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co., and the entire pharmaceutical industry. The effect can be dramatic; Toyota’s shares fell more than 3 percent after Trump’s Jan. 5 broadside, and its chairman pledged to take the real-estate mogul’s views into account in investment decisions.

Though stock markets continued to rally amid investor optimism about tax cuts and deregulation, anxiety over Trump’s plans was impossible to avoid on Tuesday, the first day of the forum, which runs through Jan. 20. The overall message is clear: The mood swings of the new occupant of the White House pose a critical challenge for big companies. But winning his favor -- or finding lucrative ways to navigate the landscape he creates -- augurs hefty rewards.

----For decades, delegates to Davos have championed economic integration, making this year’s forum feel more disconnected than ever from from the rest of the world. One of the few major politicians in attendance will be Chinese president Xi Jinping, who is making his first visit to Davos in part to pitch a new economic vision that would be led from Beijing.

Business leaders are coming to Davos “thinking we need to bridge the chasm that has opened up,” said Jonas Prising, who runs staffing firm Manpowergroup Inc. “The polarization of populations and of the workforce is not good for societal progress and business progress.”

The forum’s final day will coincide with Trump’s inauguration in Washington, providing must-watch populist counter-programming to sessions with titles like “Realizing the Migration Dividend” and “Immersive Learning with Holograms.” The mood in Europe is equally gloomy for the Davos set, after the surprise victory of anti-European Union campaigners in the U.K.’s June referendum and recent gains by France’s hard-right National Front.

Xi says world needs China, U.S. to have stable relationship

Tue Jan 17, 2017 | 10:26pm EST
The world needs China and the United States to have a stable and cooperative relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, just days before new uncertainty looms with Donald Trump taking office as president.

Meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi told Biden that he "positively appraised" his efforts to increase friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries, China's Foreign Ministry said late on Tuesday.

"In the 38 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, relations between the two countries have weathered wind and rain, but generally have continued to forge ahead," the statement paraphrased Xi as saying.

Under President Barack Obama, there has been a "correct" development in relations, and important and positive results achieved, with trade and people-to-people exchanges reaching new highs, Xi added.

"The basic interests of the people of both countries and the world need China and the United States to work hard, to form a long-term, stable cooperative relationship," Xi said.

The statement cited Biden as saying that the United States hopes the two countries can continue to deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation.

It made no mention of Trump, though China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who last month met a senior advisor to Trump, also attended the Xi-Biden meeting, the foreign ministry said.

We close with bad news for OPEC. Libya and Algeria both plan on increasing their oil production this year. As do US frackers, Iraq and Iran. OPECs six month production cut looks like merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Passing market share around to others.

Libya Oil Output Rebounds With Power Returning at Fields

by Salma El Wardany 17 January 2017, 13:01 GMT
Libya’s oil production rebounded to about 700,000 barrels a day after dipping temporarily due to power outages that disrupted operations at some of the OPEC member’s fields.
Electricity is returning gradually to fields in western Libya following a blackout on Jan. 14, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified for lack of authorization to speak to news media. Oil output dropped to 655,000 barrels a day this week as a result of the outages, and production should increase further as electricity is restored at more fields, the person said.
The blackout occurred after an unspecified group of people closed the valve of a natural gas pipeline that feeds the Zawiya power station in the western region, and electricity was restored later in some areas, the state-run Lana news agency reported on Jan. 15. Other factors contributed to the outages, including attacks on power stations, the national utility GECOL said in a Jan. 15 statement.
Libya, with Africa’s largest crude reserves, is trying to revive its oil production in spite of political turmoil and conflict among armed forces competing to control the nation’s energy assets. It reopened two of its biggest fields last month, as well as a pair of oil terminals that had been closed for two years. Libya is still pumping far less than the 1.6 million barrels a day it produced before a 2011 uprising that set off years of instability.

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 28.58 Moz, Eligible 153.40 Moz, Total 180.98 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
As Great Britain sets out its course for Brexit and freedom, below how America set out on its course for independence from the British Empire.
Major, MacBroon, and Blair, The Three Prime Minister Remainiac Stooges.

Major: "Gimme a 3 letter word meaning 'rat'." "Meaning 'rat'?" "Yeah." (MacBroon points to Blair) "H-i-m."

With apologies to The Three Stooges.


Thomas Paine was born in 1737 in Britain. His first thirty seven years of life were pretty much a series of failures and disappointments. Business fiascos, firings, the death of his first wife and child, a failed second marriage, and bankruptcy plagued his early life. He then met Benjamin Franklin in 1774 and was convinced to emigrate to America, arriving in Philadelphia in November 1774. He thus became the Father of the American Revolution with the publication of Common Sense, pamphlets which crystallized opinion for colonial independence in 1776.

The first pamphlet was published in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776, and signed anonymously “by an Englishman.” It became an instantaneous sensation, swiftly disseminating 100,000 copies in three months among the two and a half million residents of the 13 colonies. Over 500,000 copies were sold during the course of the American Revolution. Paine published Common Sense after the battle of Lexington and Concord, making the argument the colonists should seek complete independence from Great Britain, rather than merely fighting against unfair levels of taxation. The pamphlets stirred the masses with a fighting spirit, instilling in them the backbone to resist a powerful empire.

It was read aloud in taverns, churches and town squares, promoting the notion of republicanism, bolstering fervor for complete separation from Britain, and boosting recruitment for the fledgling Continental Army. He rallied public opinion in favor of revolution among layman, farmers, businessmen and lawmakers. It compelled the colonists to make an immediate choice. It made the case against monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny and unfair taxation, offering Americans a solution – liberty and freedom. It was an important precursor to the Declaration of Independence, which was written six months later by Paine’s fellow revolutionaries.

Paine’s contribution to American independence 241 years ago during the first American Fourth Turning cannot be overstated. His clarion call for colonial unity against a tyrannical British monarch played a providential role in convincing farmers, shopkeepers, and tradesmen reconciliation with a hereditary monarchy was impossible, and armed separation was the only common sense option. He made the case breaking away from Britain was inevitable, and the time was now. Armed conflict had already occurred, but support for a full-fledged revolution had not yet coalesced within the thirteen colonies. Paine’s rhetorical style within the pamphlets aroused enough resentment against the British monarchy to rally men to arms, so their children wouldn’t have to fight their battles

---- “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” – Thomas Paine – The American Crisis

The wealthy landowners and firebrands who comprised the Continental Congress leadership were not the audience Paine was trying to sway. They were focused on how a Declaration of Independence would affect the war effort. They were deficient in making their case to the less informed populace.

Without public support and volunteers to fight the Redcoats, the revolution would have failed. Paine’s indispensable contribution to our country’s independence was initiating a public debate and disseminating ideas about independence among those who would need to do the fighting and dying if independence was to be achieved.

Paine was able to synthesize philosophical enlightenment concepts about human rights into common sense ideas understood by ordinary folks. Paine was not a highly educated intellectual and trusted the common people to make sound assessments regarding major issues, based upon wisdom dispensed in a common sense way. He used common sense to refute the professed entitlements of the British ruling establishment. He used common sense as a weapon to de-legitimize King George’s despotic monarchy, overturning the conventional thinking among the masses.

Paine was able to fuse the common cause of the Founding Fathers and the people into a collective revolutionary force. Even though their numbers were small, Paine convinced them they could defeat an empire.

"Our genius ain't appreciated around here... let's scram!"

John Bull. With apologies to Curly, Moe and Larry.

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?

Graphene photodetector enhanced by fractal golden 'snowflake'

January 16, 2017 by Lisa Zyga
(—Researchers have found that a snowflake-like fractal design, in which the same pattern repeats at smaller and smaller scales, can increase graphene's inherently low optical absorption. The results lead to graphene photodetectors with an order-of-magnitude increase in photovoltage, along with ultrafast light detection and other advantages.

The researchers, from Purdue University in Indiana, include graduate students Jieran Fang and Di Wang, who were guided by professors Alex Kildishev, Alexandra Boltasseva, and Vlad Shalaev, along with their collaborators from the group of Professor Yong P. Chen. The team has published a paper on the new graphene photodetector fractal design in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

Photodetectors are devices that detect light by converting photons into an electric current. They have a wide variety of applications, including in X-ray telescopes, wireless mice, TV remote controls, robotic sensors, and video cameras. Current photodetectors are often made of silicon, germanium, or other common semiconductors, but recently researchers have been investigating the possibility of making photodetectors out of graphene.

Although graphene has many promising optical and electrical properties, such as uniform, ultra-broadband optical absorption, along with ultra-fast electron speed, the fact that it is only a single atom thick gives it an intrinsically low optical absorption, which is its major drawback for use in photodetectors.

To address graphene's low optical absorption, the Purdue researchers designed a graphene photodetector with gold contacts in the form of a snowflake-like fractal metasurface. They demonstrated that the fractal pattern does a better job of collecting photons across a wide range of frequencies compared to a plain gold-graphene edge, enabling the new design to generate 10 times more photovoltage.

The new graphene photodetector has several other advantages, such as that it is sensitive to light of any polarization angle, which is in contrast to nearly all other plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors in which the sensitivity is polarization-dependent. The new graphene photodetector is also broadband, enhancing light detection across the entire visible spectrum. In addition, due to graphene's inherently fast electron speed, the new photodetector can detect light very quickly.

"In this work, we have solved a vital problem of enhancing the intrinsically low sensitivity in graphene photodetectors over a wide spectral range and in a polarization-insensitive manner, using an intelligent self-similar design of a plasmonic fractal metasurface," Wang told "To our knowledge, these two attributes were not achieved in previously reported plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors."

"Our proposed fractal metasurface has the unique ability of supporting plasmonic resonances (free electron oscillations) over a wide spectral range in a polarization-insensitive way due to its complex and highly hexagonally symmetric geometry," Kildishev said. "Previously reported plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors use simpler narrowband and polarization-sensitive structures, and therefore the enhancement is also narrowband and polarization-sensitive."

As previous research has shown, the reason that a fractal pattern can improve optical absorption is that the fractal metasurface creates additional resonances, with the amount of resonance increasing as the number of fractal levels increases. In addition, the researchers here found that the fractal metasurface confines and enhances the electric field of the light that hits the surface. This ultimately leads to a higher photovoltage generated in the graphene photodetector.

----In the future, the researchers plan to explore the potential applications of graphene photodetectors, which could extend beyond photodetection to photoharvesting, with applications such as solar cells and optical heating. Technologies that require a fast response could also experience significant improvements due to the graphene photodetector's fast operation speed.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

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

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