Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Donald Trump’s Big Day.



Baltic Dry Index. 878 +03   Brent Crude 56.11

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

Trump: Hi. Do you speak English?

Garage Attendant: Uh, what country do you think this is?

With apologies to Ferris Bueller.

While we all await the speech of the Twitter President later today, surely not to be a bigger fiasco than yesterday’s laughing stock Oscars, today we present this day in earlier US history. A near miss on the President of the day, a tragedy and a love story, and all on the unlikely setting of the USS Princeton, at “sea” on the 400 mile long Potomac river. The moral of the tale: President Trump can be upstaged by earlier US Presidents after all.

"Thank you, your Holiness. Awesome speech."

President George W. Bush -- To Pope Benedict, in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2008

Tyler narrowly escapes death on the USS Princeton

On this day in 1844, President John Tyler cruises the Potomac with 400 others aboard the U.S. Navy’s new steam frigate USS Princeton, not realizing that his life will soon be in danger. In attendance that day were political dignitaries and their guests, which included the wealthy New Yorker David Gardiner and his two daughters. The 54-year-old Tyler, a recent widower, had fallen for Gardiner’s youngest, the lovely 20-year-old Julia, to whom he had proposed marriage. She had not yet responded.
The Princeton carried a brand new 12-inch, 27,000-pound cannon called the Peacemaker. The gun’s co-designer, John Ericsson, argued with the ship’s captain, who wanted to demonstrate the new weapon, over whether it was safe to discharge because he feared it had not been sufficiently tested. Days before the cruise, Captain Robert Stockton had boasted about the Navy’s new ship and armament, which he had helped design, to congressmen and reporters. He and the crew were eager to show off the cannon’s ferocity, and despite Ericsson’s warnings, Stockton insisted on firing the cannon during the Potomac cruise. The first two successful and ear-splitting volleys sent the crowd into wild applause.
Halfway through the cruise, President Tyler, below deck, proposed a toast to the three great guns: the Princeton, her Commander and the Peacemaker. Then the secretary of war asked for a third firing toward Mount Vernon in honor of George Washington. Stockton may have recalled Ericsson’s concerns or thought it best not to push their luck with the new cannon, because he initially refused the secretary’s request. In the end, though, he bowed to his superior’s wishes and gave the order to fire.
The third round proved deadly. In the worst peacetime disaster of its time, the cannon exploded, killing several aboard, including Julia’s father and two members of Tyler’s cabinet. Tyler was halfway up the ladder to the upper deck when the explosion occurred. Julia Gardiner fainted when she heard of her father’s death and, after the ship docked, Tyler whisked her off to safety in his arms. Julia’s admiration for Tyler deepened into love and they were married later that year.

Mon Feb 27, 2017 | 11:08am EST

Trump seeks 'historic increase' in U.S. defense spending, cuts elsewhere

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he is seeking a "historic increase" in military spending to be funded by cuts elsewhere in government.
Trump will seek to boost Pentagon spending by $54 billion in his first budget proposal and slash the same amount from non-defense spending, including a large reduction in foreign aid, a White House budget official said.
"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump told state governors at the White House. "It will include an historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it," he said.
The U.S. military is already the world's most powerful fighting force and the United States spends far more than any other country on defense.
The White House will send Trump's proposal to federal departments on Monday as he gears up for budget negotiations with Congress that often take months to play out. Congress, controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, has the final say on federal spending.
In a speech to conservative activists on Friday, Trump promised "one of the greatest military buildups in American history."
Two officials familiar with Trump's proposal said the planned defense spending increase would be financed partly by cuts to the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defense programs.
One of the officials said Trump's request for the Pentagon included more money for shipbuilding, military aircraft and establishing "a more robust presence in key international waterways and chokepoints" such as the Strait of Hormuz and South China Sea.
A second official said the State Department's budget could be cut by as much as 30 percent, which would force a major restructuring of the department and elimination of programs.
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Trillions of Dollars Are at Stake When Trump Speaks to Congress

by Liz McCormick and Dani Burger
Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday is taking on the importance of a State of the Union speech when it comes to U.S. financial markets.

For investors relying on more than a year of campaign promises of a pro-growth agenda to push U.S. stocks to record highs, the dollar surging and bond yields climbing, the prime-time speech to House and Senate lawmakers couldn’t come any sooner.

“We need to see some details within all the policy talk,” said Sean Simko, who manages $8 billion in fixed-income assets at SEI Investments Co. in Oaks, Pennsylvania. “More specifics in terms of numbers or even a more defined timeline. If there aren’t specifics there, the risk trade might be ending.”

Though new life was given to some faltering Trump reflation trades by the president’s promise of a “phenomenal” tax plan earlier this month, investors say more is needed, especially with the administration designating the repeal and replace of Obamacare as its first priority ahead of a tax overhaul.

While it isn’t considered a State of the Union address since it falls within Trump’s first year, the initial speech to Congress has been no less important to presidents in the modern era. Barack Obama first spoke before both legislative bodies in February 2009 about the financial crisis.
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We close for Trump Super Tuesday, with the rump-EUSSR slowly facing up to the error of disrespecting Dodgy Dave Cameron’s EU reform attempt last year, in what turned out to be his ignominious European farewell tour. Sent humiliatingly back to GB with an empty envelope from Europe to sell to British voters, even Tusk’s promise of a Brexit vote setting off World War Three, couldn’t stop John Bull’s voters from voting for freedom. How long will the rump-EUSSR survive cut-off from Britain, under new German control?

How Brexit Means EU Loses Cash, Influence, Might: Six Charts

by Ian Wishart
27 February 2017, 00:01 GMT 27 February 2017, 11:25 GMT
The U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union means the rest of the bloc is saying goodbye not only to its most awkward member, but also to one of its richest countries, with its biggest defense budget and its most successful financial-services hub.

With Theresa May vowing to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start two-year exit negotiations in March, here are six charts showing what the EU will lose when the U.K. eventually walks away.

Defense is still the preserve of national governments, but there’s a reason why some of the EU’s countries closest to Russia fear they are losing a safety net -- and why the U.K. may be able to use its military might to gain some leverage in the Brexit negotiations.

Britain (with France the only EU countries with nuclear weapons) has participated in many EU military operations, particularly in Africa where the EU has run several peace-keeping and training missions. The British government has said cooperation will continue in some form, but the EU acknowledges that it’s losing expertise and clout.

The U.K. Gives the EU a Louder Voice on the World Stage

Despite the EU being a multinational organization, its countries represent themselves individually in most global bodies. And while there is no guarantee they all sing from the same EU hymn sheet when they meet as part of, say, the Group of Seven, they often try to coordinate positions.

---- The ability of EU citizens, no matter where they come from, to live and work in any of the bloc’s member countries underpins one of the EU’s most cherished principles. It also was one of the main reasons why 17.4 million British voters supported Brexit. With its liberal labor laws, English language and well-performing economy, the U.K. has been one of the biggest attractions for Europeans seeking to take advantage of the EU’s free-movement rules.

---- Financial services will be a key battleground in the Brexit negotiations. The U.K. accounts for 37 percent of all global foreign-exchange trading, 39 percent of the world’s trading in over-the-counter derivatives and is the biggest center for international bank lending, at 17 percent, according to lobby group TheCityUK.
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"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best."

President George W. Bush -- In Washington, D.C., on January 12, 2009

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 30.62 Moz, Eligible 154.65 Moz, Total 185.27 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more from the insane asylum prison of the EUSSR. The wealth and jobs destroying EU simply isn’t working for most continentals either, as more and more continental Europeans start to think the unthinkable. Will Frexit follow Brexit?

French farmers hope Marine Le Pen will free them from EU 'straitjacket

David Chazan25 February 2017 • 6:00pm
Bertrand Hourdel proudly pats one of his plump pigs, but the Brittany farmer is painfully aware that when he sells them, his profits, if any, will be slim.

He blames the European Union’s “straitjacket” of regulations and inaction by politicians from establishment parties for French farming’s deepest crisis since the Second World War.
Brittany’s verdant pastures and ancient stone farmhouses are a picture of bucolic bliss, but anger and desperation in France’s leading agricultural region, and other rural areas, are shifting the political winds in favour of Marine Le Pen’s anti-EU Front National.

“If France left the EU, I hope things would get better,” said Mr Hourdel as he watched pregnant sows bedding down on straw.

France remains the biggest beneficiary of EU farm aid, but more than a third of French farmers earned less than €4,200 (£3,560) last year, squeezed by falling food prices and cheaper imports from other member states.

Some recorded six-figure losses and many were driven into debt. More than 600 livestock farms went bankrupt — a record. On average, one farmer committed suicide every two days, according to France’s public health agency.

Given British resentment over the years at paying into the EU and a popular perception that French farmers were claiming aid and living high on the hog, there may be a certain irony that the French now feel cheated by east European member states.
“We pay a lot into the EU and they give little back,” Mr Hourdel said. “We’re paying for subsidies that go to eastern Europe, financing countries that are competing with us.”
It is true that France is now a net contributor to the EU. Mr Hourdel, who also grows crops on his 300-acre farm in Pordic, collects €40,000 a year in subsidies, but says his expenses are much higher. He would prefer to see EU aid replaced by a national system of quotas and subsidies, as Ms Le Pen proposes.
Mr Hourdel struggles to make repayments on €3 million in bank loans.
---- Like many other farmers, Mr Hourdel, 53, used to vote for mainstream conservatives. Now he feels that Ms Le Pen is the only candidate standing in the presidential election this spring who is genuinely offering farmers a solution.
Imports of cheaper German pork and milk and Spanish fruit have badly hurt French farmers. Labour costs are higher in France, partly because of taxes and compulsory health and welfare contributions. Also, German abattoirs employ temporary workers from eastern Europe on east European pay rates. 
Mr Hourdel welcomes Ms Le Pen’s proposal to restrict imports — impossible in the single market. “What I really want is an end to handouts and to be paid at a fair price for what I do, but that will never happen as things stand now,” he said.
Milk prices paid to farmers fell by about 20 per cent last year because output rose after the EU phased out production quotas in 2015. Beef prices dropped as unprofitable dairy cows were sold to abattoirs.
Pork and chicken prices collapsed after EU sanctions ended exports to Russia. Consequently, many farmers see little harm in Ms Le Pen’s pro-Moscow views. 
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"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

President George W. Bush -- In parting words at his final G-8 Summit to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who looked on in shock in Rusutsu, Japan, on July 10, 2008

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?

As thin as an atom: A revolutionary semiconductor for electronics

Date: February 23, 2017

Source: University of Bayreuth

Summary: Semiconductors that are as thin as an atom are no longer the stuff of science fiction. A new two-dimensional material could revolutionize electronics, say researchers.
A two-dimensional material developed by Bayreuth physicist Prof. Dr. Axel Enders together with international partners could revolutionize electronics.
Semiconductors that are as thin as an atom are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Bayreuth physicist Prof. Dr. Axel Enders, together with partners in Poland and the US, has developed a two-dimensional material that could revolutionize electronics. Thanks to its semiconductor properties, this material could be much better suited for high tech applications than graphene, the discovery of which in 2004 was celebrated worldwide as a scientific breakthrough. This new material contains carbon, boron, and nitrogen, and its chemical name is "Hexagonal Boron-Carbon-Nitrogen (h-BCN)." The new development was published in the journal ACS Nano.
"Our findings could be the starting point for a new generation of electronic transistors, circuits, and sensors that are much smaller and more bendable than the electronic elements used to date. They are likely to enable a considerable decrease in power consumption," Prof. Enders predicts, citing the CMOS technology that currently dominates the electronics industry. This technology has clear limits with regard to further miniaturization. "h-BCN is much better suited than graphene when it comes to pushing these limits," according to Enders.
---- He had the idea of replacing individual carbon atoms in graphene with boron and nitrogen, resulting in a two-dimensional grid with the properties of a semiconductor. He has now been able to turn this idea into reality with his team of scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research partners at the University of Cracow, the State University of New York, Boston College and Tufts University also contributed to this achievement.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170223144446.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmatter_energy%2Fgraphene+%28Graphene+News+--+ScienceDaily%29

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

DJIA: 19864  +92 Up. NASDAQ:  5615 +95 Up. SP500: 2279 +95 Up.

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