Monday, 30 January 2017

Trump Week Two.

Baltic Dry Index. 827 -13   Brent Crude 55.24

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

“The period of the disintegration of the European Union has begun. And the first vessel to have departed is Britain,”

Deputy Prime Turkish Minister Nurettin Canikli.

After a flurry of Presidential executive orders, the world is starting to adjust to President Trump’s new broom in Washington. The anti-Trump fifth columnists are still in deep denial of the new reality, and have virtual control of the media. President Trump continues to bypass them with twitter.   An interesting first hundred days still lies ahead. Much like when President Reagan was continuously at war in the early days with the losing Democrats. The Democrats would do well to remember the lesson of Patco.

With China and much of East Asia celebrating the Lunar New Year an erratic week probably lies ahead. With a thin week, time to dress up the month-end stock indexes.

Global shares, dollar retreat on Trump travel ban, weak U.S. GDP

Sun Jan 29, 2017 | 10:31pm EST
Asian share markets and U.S. stock futures fell on Monday after President Donald Trump introduced immigration curbs that sparked criticism at home and abroad, adding to fears that his 'America First' policy may prove destabilizing for the rest of the world.

Trump on Friday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The executive order led to the detention and deportation of hundreds of people arriving at U.S. airports, huge protests in many U.S. cities and a raft of legal challenges amid confusion over its implementation.

Trump defended the move as vital for U.S. security, but his critics have said his action violated U.S. law and the Constitution.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4 percent in holiday thinned trade.
Australian shares tumbled more than 1 percent, while New Zealand pulled back 0.6 percent.

Japan's Nikkei widened losses to 0.7 percent as demand for the safe-haven yen weighed on exporters.
Pointing to a weaker opening on Wall Street, S&P e-mini futures, Dow futures and Nasdaq futures all fell around 0.3 percent.

"Trump always stated these were policies he would implement. Quite a lot of it was brushed off as 'campaign rhetoric' but he is following through," said James Woods, global investment analyst at Rivkin Securities in Sydney.

"This renews concerns about a trade war with China that would significantly affect both Asian and the global economy," Woods said.

"The biggest threat to markets at the moment is if Trump continues down the path of protectionism without focusing on economic policies."

Several countries including long-standing American allies criticized Trump's directive as discriminatory and divisive, and tens of thousands of people rallied in U.S. cities and at airports on Sundays to express their outrage.

U.S. judges in at least five states blocked federal authorities from enforcing Trump's executive order, but lawyers representing people affected said some authorities were unwilling on Sunday to follow the judges' rulings.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were last at 2.4658 percent, down from 2.481 percent as of Friday's close.

---- Adding to pressure on markets, data on Friday showed U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the fourth quarter, with GDP rising at a 1.9 percent annual rate, below the 2.2 percent rise expected by economists and the 3.5 percent growth pace logged in the third quarter.

Earnings disappointments also weighed, led by Chevron, whose quarterly profit missed expectations, and Starbucks, which trimmed its full-year revenue forecast.

But the impact across Asia may be delayed, with China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia shut on Monday for the long Lunar New Year holidays.

---- Markets will also be watching U.S. manufacturing data and the Federal Reserve meeting's outcome on 
Thursday, and Friday's non-farm payrolls figure.

In commodities, oil started the week on a negative note, extending declines on signs on growing output in the U.S. that looks set to offset supply cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers.

The Strike That Busted Unions

THIRTY years ago today, when he threatened to fire nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers unless they called off an illegal strike, Ronald Reagan not only transformed his presidency, but also shaped the world of the modern workplace.

More than any other labor dispute of the past three decades, Reagan’s confrontation with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, or Patco, undermined the bargaining power of American workers and their labor unions.

Up next, something of an EUSSR double first. A German using very English understatement in admitting a mistake in their refugee policy. Talk about shutting stable doors comes to mind. In another surprising use of very English understatement, by of all the unlikely people, Donald Trump, candidate Trump labelled Germany’s refugee policy a "catastrophic mistake."  Other European continentals compare it to more serious like the arrival of the Mongol Horde.

Germany's Schaeuble admits 'mistakes' in refugee policy

Sun Jan 29, 2017 | 4:01am EST
Germany made mistakes with an open-door policy that saw more than a million migrants enter Germany over the past two years, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble acknowledged on Sunday, but he said Berlin was trying to learn from those missteps.
"We have tried to improve what got away from us in 2015," Schaeuble told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "We politicians are human; we also make mistakes. But one can at least learn from them."
Schaeuble is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, who have lost support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party over the migration issue, after several attacks carried out by migrants.
The AfD is now poised to become the third largest party in parliament in September national elections.
The issue has also divided the European Union, with many countries balking at taking in a proportional share of refugees.
Schaeuble said Europe needed to consider harmonising its social benefits to achieve a more equitable distribution of migrants among EU members, a subject that he said had thus far been considered "taboo" in Germany.
"We have much higher standards when it comes to social benefits than most European countries. That's why so many want to come to Germany," he told the newspaper.
Schaeuble also said he was skeptical about the leadership style of the U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sparked concerns among European leaders with executive orders on immigration, as well as his decision to cancel trade agreements.
"In America, we can now see how someone is acting as if he can do everything very quickly. That will not only have good results," he said.
A poll conducted earlier this month showed that refugee policy would be the biggest issue for voters in the September election. [nL5N1EW1C1]
Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in office, spoke by telephone on Saturday with Trump, who has described her August 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open to refugees, mostly from the Middle East, as a "catastrophic mistake."

In other dying EUSSR news, Europe’s year of dodgy elections gets more problematic at every turn. Will Britain hating, ex EU Parliament President, Socialist Schulzie, become Germany’s next Chancellor? If so a clash with President Trump is inevitable. Euros anyone?

“The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle and it will now not be put back.” “EU’s finished, EU’s dead.”

Nigel Farage

Italian vote with current election law would yield no winner: polls

Fri Jan 27, 2017 | 6:38am EST
Italy's three biggest parties are pushing for a national election this year, nine months ahead of schedule, but simulations published on Friday show no clear winner would emerge if the current voting system is used.

On Wednesday the Constitutional Court scrapped part of the lower house election law and left in its place a proportional system similar to the one that gave Italy 50 governments in 50 years after World War Two.

Three different newspapers published simulations that used recent polls to project the results of a hypothetical snap election using the lower-house law created by the court ruling, and all three show no party and none of the conceivable post-vote alliances would win a majority of seats.

"No plausible majority emerges," Roberto D'Alimonte, a leading Italian expert on electoral systems, wrote in Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.

President Sergio Mattarella, who is the only person with the power to dissolve parliament, has said that before an election is called the lower house rules should be aligned with the upper house's slightly different proportional system.

Friday's simulations may contribute to delaying a vote until the end of the legislature in 2018 because there is no agreement in parliament over what alternative election law to adopt.

But the country's three biggest parties - Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party (PD), Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and the far-right Northern League - want a vote this year and have said it could be held with the current rules.

French left votes, right fights scandal as presidential race heats up

Sun Jan 29, 2017 | 12:29pm EST
A new chapter opened in France's closely contested presidential election campaign on Sunday as Socialists voted to choose their champion and conservatives fought to keep their scandal-hit campaign on track.

Polling opened at 0800 GMT in a primary runoff that pits pro-business ex-prime minister Manuel Valls against hard-left lawmaker Benoit Hamon for the Socialist ticket. A result was expected by the end of Sunday.

Francois Fillon - chosen as conservative candidate last year by his party The Republicans but hurt last week by a newspaper claim that his wife was paid for fake work - was meanwhile due to hold a rally on the outskirts of Paris.

Hamon is favourite to beat Valls in the Socialist primary's head-to-head vote, even though the outcome remains uncertain given that any voter can take part.

By midday, the high turnout Valls has been calling for looked likely, with over half a million people taking part by midday, according to the organisers, up from around 400,000 in last week's first round.

Neither man has much chance of winning the presidential race itself, though, after five years of unpopular Socialist rule.

Until Fillon tripped up over his British wife Penelope's pay, prompting the opening of an official inquiry into the matter, he was favourite to move into the Elysee presidential palace.

Opinion polls showed him beating far-right National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen in a run-off vote on May 7 with a comfortable two-thirds of the vote.

Popularity polls since have shown his rating slip slightly, although there have been no polls on voting intentions since the scandal broke.

Whichever Socialist wins on Sunday, opinion polls show the party destined for a humiliating fifth place in the April 23 first round of the election itself, behind Fillon, Le Pen, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Merkel to Face Energized SPD as She Wins Key Bavarian Backing

by Patrick Donahue
Angela Merkel’s bid for a fourth term as chancellor took shape over the weekend as the rival Social Democrats emerged with a re-energized challenger in Martin Schulz and the German leader won key backing from her Bavarian allies.

The president of the European Parliament until last month, Schulz stepped into the fray as the surprise candidate after party leader Sigmar Gabriel unexpectedly stepped aside last week. He made his first speech at SPD headquarters Sunday to a cheering crowd eager to seize the momentum of a candidate who, according to polls, has a better chance against Merkel in the Sept. 24 national election.

“My aim is to be the chancellor of the federal republic,” Schulz, 61, said in the speech. “There is a jolt going through the whole country and we want to use this atmosphere of change.”

As global tensions grow with the ascent of U.S. President Donald Trump and a wave of populist movements upending political orders across Europe, Merkel reinforced her image as a bulwark of stability. At a party meeting in her home constituency on the Baltic Sea coast, Merkel on Saturday invoked the danger of the breakdown of the post-World War II order.

Donald Trump is not just a problem for the EU, but for the whole world.

Martin Schulz

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 29.51 Moz, Eligible 150.21 Moz, Total 179.72 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, as President Trump sets out to chastise Chancellor Merkel and Germany, Chancellor Merkel sets out to chastise international tax cheat Starbucks. From faraway London, the outlook for Starbucks and Merkel, “Grimmen.”
My worry is that Donald Trump may inspire copycats, also in Europe. That's why I hope Hillary Clinton wins.

Martin Schulz

Merkel Takes on Starbucks in Bashing Over Unfair Tax Practices

by Arne Delfs and Patrick Donahue
28 January 2017, 13:41 GMT
Chancellor Angela Merkel decried unfair tax advantages for multinational corporations, singling out U.S. coffee chain Starbucks Corp. as a tax rogue that exploits global arrangements at the expense of German chains.
At a meeting of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in her home district on the Baltic Sea coast, the chancellor sounded off against companies that engage in tax avoidance, hitting a theme that’s been taken up across the political spectrum. Many companies “have managed to pay taxes nowhere in the world,” Merkel said, before laying into the Seattle-based coffee chain.
“Coffee-house operators from Germany have to pay their taxes, while it’s not at all clear with Starbucks whether they pay taxes anywhere,” Merkel told CDU supporters in the northern German town of Grimmen on Saturday. “That’s not right and we have to do something about it.”

Starbucks has been in the cross-hairs of European Union regulators. The company is appealing a 2015 order by EU watchdogs to repay 30 million euros ($32 million) in taxes. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has prioritized the fight against special tax treatment for certain companies, arguing that it amounts to illegal state aid. A call and email to Starbucks in Germany were not immediately returned on Saturday.
Starbucks and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit have been ordered to pay back taxes they allegedly avoided thanks to agreements with the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, have insisted on greater tax harmonization across the EU to stop tax avoidance schemes. As she seeks a fourth term as German leader this year, the chancellor has made clear she’ll use the issue on the campaign trail.

“Big international companies have managed to pay taxes nowhere in the world,” Merkel said in Grimmen. “That can’t be fair. I know about the anger here and it’s completely understandable.”

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?

Antioxidants get small: Molecular compounds mimic effective graphene agents, show potential for therapies

Date: January 26, 2017

Source: Rice University

Summary: New single-molecule compounds that are efficient antioxidants in their own right help scientists understand how larger nanoparticles quench damaging reactive oxygen species in the body.

Treated particles of graphene derived from carbon nanotubes have demonstrated remarkable potential as life-saving antioxidants, but as small as they are, something even smaller had to be created to figure out why they work so well.
Researchers at Rice University, the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Baylor College of Medicine created single-molecule compounds that also quench damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) but are far easier to analyze using standard scientific tools. The molecules may become the basis for new antioxidant therapies in their own right.
The research appears in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.
The original compounds are hydrophilic carbon clusters functionalized with polyethylene glycol, known as PEG-HCCs and created by Rice and Baylor scientists five years ago. The particles help neutralize ROS molecules overexpressed by the body's cells in response to an injury before they damage cells or cause mutations.
PEG-HCCs show promise for treating cancer, rebooting blood flow in the brain after traumatic injury and controlling chronic diseases.
The new particles, called PEG-PDI, consist of polyethylene glycol and perylene diimide, a compound used as a dye, the color in red car paint and in solar cells for its light-absorbing properties. Their ability to accept electrons from other molecules makes them functionally similar to PEG-HCCs. They're close enough to serve as an analog for experiments, according to Rice chemist James Tour, who led the study with University of Texas biochemist Ah-Lim Tsai.
The researchers wrote that the molecule is not only the first example of a small molecular analogue of PEG-HCCs, but also represents the first successful isolation of a PDI radical anion  as a single crystal, which allows its structure to be captured with X-ray crystallography.
"This allows us to see the structure of these active particles," Tour said. "We can get a view of every atom and the distances between them, and get a lot of information about how these molecules quench destructive oxidants in biological tissue.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

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

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