Thursday, 26 January 2017

Trumpmania Rules.

Baltic Dry Index. 862 -24   Brent Crude 55.56

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

In America Trumpmania continues unchecked. Intimidated CEOs are rushing out new US based manufacturing plans. President Trump is setting out to build the Great Wall of America, and other infrastructure projects. Coming soon, a bonfire of regulations and corporate tax cuts and import tariffs. For now, what’s not to like? Where America’s debt ends up in four years’ time is anyone’s guess, but remember it’s only fiat money, communist money, and there’s plenty more where that comes from.

Dow clambers above 20,000 — marks 2nd-fastest run to a milestone in history

By Mark DeCambre Published: Jan 25, 2017 8:15 p.m. ET

It has been 42 days since the Dow hit 19,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday closed above the psychologically significant threshold of 20,000. Finishing at the level represents a milestone for the blue-chip gauge and highlights a relatively speedy path higher for the stock market in the wake of Donald Trump’s election win in November.
The Dow DJIA, +0.78% is up about 9.5% since Trump’s Nov. 8 election victory, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.80% has gained nearly 7%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.99% has advanced roughly 9% during that period.
The equity rally is supported by expectations that Trump will unleash a raft of pro-business policies, including a rollback of regulations, tax cuts and fiscal spending. The gains for the Dow on Wednesday came after Trump signed executive orders on Tuesday to move forward with the construction of controversial infrastructure projects, Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines, which offered a boost to stocks as it supported expectations that a ramp up in infrastructure spending—a boon for economic growth—would be one of the centerpieces of his administration.

The Dow’s milestone on Wednesday, marks the second-fastest 1,000-point move in history (42 days), since the 59-session span between late March and early July 2007 (see table below):


Trump preparing executive orders to reduce U.S. role in U.N.: NY Times

Wed Jan 25, 2017 | 3:45pm EST
The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the U.S. role in the United Nations and other international organizations, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The executive orders would also begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties, the Times reported, citing unnamed officials.

In the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR there is no such optimism. Germany’s Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of President Trump, all that NATO members except the UK, Poland and Latvia, are going to have to come up with loads more cash for defence, and this at time the UK’s second largest contribution to the EUSSR will be ending, with the missing contribution getting shared out among the rump-EU.

German Business Confidence Unexpectedly Weakened in January

by Piotr Skolimowski
25 January 2017, 09:03 GMT 25 January 2017, 10:45 GMT
German business sentiment unexpectedly slipped in January from its highest level in almost three years in a sign that momentum in Europe’s largest economy may have weakened at the start of the year.
The Munich-based Ifo institute’s business climate index dropped to 109.8 from 111 in December. That compares with a median estimate of 111.3 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Confidence in France, one of Germany’s biggest trading partners, also missed forecasts, with a gauge published by the national statistics office down 1 point to 104.
The Ifo report could raise concern that heightened political uncertainty will damp Germany’s economic prospects after growth in 2016 accelerated to the fastest pace in five years on the back of domestic spending. While the Bundesbank predicts job creation will continue to increase strongly, a gauge measuring private-sector activity slipped in January.
Germany is heading into a potentially turbulent year, with a general election in September set to pit the ruling party of Chancellor Angela Merkel against a strengthening populist movement. The start of formal talks about Britain’s exit from the European Union and the risk in trade disruption from the new U.S. administration under Donald Trump could also weigh on sentiment in the trade-oriented economy.
“Weakness in manufacturing is especially eye-catching and this probably has something to do with Trump and related fears of German exporters,” said Andreas Rees, an economist at UniCredit Bank AG in Frankfurt. “If you look at the fundamentals of the German economy, it looks really healthy, but the psychological environment has worsened and it remains to be seen whether it will develop into something more fundamental.”

Out of sight, out of mind, but they’re back, Greece that is. The never ending bankrupt country crisis, that no one on planet earth seems to know how to fix.

"If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?"

Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, former Italy Prime Minister.

Greece’s Tsipras Insists on ‘Not One Euro More’ of Austerity

by Marcus Bensasson
25 January 2017, 09:40 GMT 25 January 2017, 10:59 GMT
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dug in against creditor demands for more pension cuts and tax increases before a meeting of euro-area finance ministers to unblock the country’s bailout review.

“There is no way we are going to legislate even one euro more than what was agreed in the bailout,” Tsipras said in an interview with Efimerida ton Syntakton, to mark the two-year anniversary since he was elected on an anti-austerity platform. “The demand to legislate more measures, and contingent ones, no less, is alien not just to the Greek Constitution but to democratic norms.”

Euro-area finance ministers will discuss Greece when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, with Greece and officials representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund locked in a stand-off over how to complete the country’s second bailout review, now a year behind schedule. The IMF, in particular, views the projections shared by Greece and the European creditors that the country can reach a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2018 as too optimistic.

The IMF says the surplus will only reach 1.5 percent, and that Greece needs to cut the income-tax-free threshold and pensions to meet the target. Greece rejects this, and instead proposes to extend a fiscal contingency mechanism already in place until the bailout expires in 2018. The government proposes extending the mechanism, which automatically triggers unspecified spending cuts if bailout targets are missed, for an additional year to 2019.

An IMF decision not to take part in the bailout would cause problems and bring delays to closing the bailout review before an informal deadline of Feb. 20, when euro-area finance ministers meet again, a European Union official told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday. The official said that after the February meeting, EU governments will have their minds on a series of elections, so it will be hard to take any significant decisions on Greece.

At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 29.34 Moz, Eligible 152.19 Moz, Total 181.53 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Below, what Trumpmania might mean for NAFTA.

How Trump Would Rework Nafta—and What Mexico, Canada Want in Return

by Theophilos Argitis , Eric Martin, and Saleha Mohsin
24 January 2017, 10:00 GMT 24 January 2017, 15:30 GMT
President Donald Trump put neighboring Canada and Mexico on notice: he’s determined to wring out more favorable terms from Nafta. Now comes the hard part of reworking a trade deal that’s framed relations for more than two decades.

Trump’s plan to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement was received in Mexico with a call to protect tariff-free trading, while in Canada officials seemed more worried about avoiding unintentional damage to the economy as the U.S. targets Mexico. The U.S. president has broad powers to implement trade policies. While Trump has given few details about exactly what he’s seeking from a Nafta re-think, it could be a long and potentially messy process.

Trump, who was sworn in Friday, has already spoken to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto about his objective to re-negotiate Nafta, which he’s routinely blamed for the loss of U.S. jobs and called “the worst trade deal in the history of this country.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday said Trump plans further talks about modifying Nafta at meetings with the two leaders in the next 30 days. How discussions unfold will determine the way forward, including if piecemeal reforms are possible or it will require starting over, Spicer told reporters in Washington.

If Trudeau and Pena Nieto “come in and express a willingness to do that, you could negotiate it within the current parameters, and update it through the existing structure,” Spicer said. “If they don’t, and he decides to pull out, then we would have to go back to the drawing table in the future.”

Canada’s strategy, at this stage, seems to be to get out of the way. Canadian officials are holding out hope they’re not Trump’s target, and will do everything they can to make sure they don’t get sideswiped if the president goes after Mexico.

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?

Stanford team demonstrates a graphene-based thermal-to-electricity conversion technology

Jan 25, 2017
Researchers at Stanford University have recently demonstrated a graphene-based high efficiency thermal-to-electricity conversion technology, called thermionic energy convertor. By using graphene as the anode, the efficiency of the device is increased by a factor of 6.7 compared with a traditional tungsten anode. This technology can work in a tandem cycle with existing thermal-based power plants and significantly improve their overall efficiencies.
Hongyuan Yuan and Roger T. Howe, among the leading researchers in the Stanford team, explain that one of the major challenges for wide adoption of TECs is high anode work function, which directly reduces the output voltage as well as the net efficiency. The theoretical maximum efficiency for a TEC with a 2 eV work function anode is 3% at a cathode temperature of 1500 K, compared to an astonishing 10-fold increment to 32% with a 1 eV work function anode.
Before the discovery of graphene, the world-record low work function for a conductor was around 1.1 eV to 1.2 eV, which is achieved by lowering the vacuum level through the deposition of a monolayer of CsO on the surface. Superior to any 3D traditional metal, the work function of graphene can be reduced by not only lowering its vacuum level, but also raising its Fermi level by electrostatic gating through a back gate at the same time. In this approach, researchers discovered that the work function of graphene reached a new world-low record of 1.0 eV in 2015.
The second major challenge to the success of TEC is high space charge barrier between TEC’s cathode and anode, which directly reduces the output current and thus the net efficiency. In order to reduce the space charge barrier, TEC requires a very small vacuum gap to separate the cathode and anode, usually around 10 mm. If the gap is much larger than 10 mm, all the benefit that an ultra-low work function anode could bring would be diminished. In this recent work, the team successfully addressed the above mentioned two challenges, and demonstrated that the previously discovered ultra-low work function graphene can indeed be applied to TEC with a significant amount of efficiency enhancement. Compared to a traditionally used tungsten anode, the net efficiency is increased by a factor of 6.7.
The current demonstration of the TEC device is done in an ultra-high vacuum chamber, with many pumps constantly pumping down the pressure. In reality, it will be vital to fabricate such a TEC device and seal it in a vacuum ‘chip’ using nano/micro fabrication techniques. Only by making the device small and reliably stable would it be economically feasible in the sustainable energy industry.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

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

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