Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Fed’s Talking Chair To Sing Today.

Baltic Dry Index. 688 -14   Brent Crude 55.65

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

"When it becomes serious, you have to lie"              

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed Luxembourg Prime Minister and ex-president of the Euro Group of Finance Ministers. Confessed liar. EC President.

Who knew, that Dodgy Dave Cameron, BOE comedian “Art” Carney, the 5 useless EU Presidents, and President Barry Hussein Obama, would all get Brexit so hopelessly wrong. They couldn’t have been more wrong if they’d tried, and most of them really tried. WW3 has not broken out, western civilisation as we know it hasn’t collapsed, and as of this morning, not a single lying, cheating, stealing, rent-seeking, London bankster has slithered away to continental Europe, Dublin or New York. Not that they should stay in London for a single hour longer than necessary. The next Lehman is out there, getting closer to bursting by the day, leaving the UK taxpayer still on the hook to cover the banksters’ next bailout.

Below the latest wisdom from our “friends” in the EUSSR. But are they now telling the truth or did their lips move?
He may look like an EU idiot and talk like an EU idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an EU idiot.
With apologies to Groucho Marx

Brexit's Hit to Growth Will Be Milder Than Expected, EU Says

by Brian Swint
13 February 2017, 10:00 GMT
The European Commission is the latest forecaster to say the impact of Brexit will be milder this year than previously anticipated.

The EU’s executive arm revised up its estimate for U.K. economic expansion to 1.5 percent in 2017 from a 1 percent prediction in November. It left its forecast for 2018 unchanged at 1.2 percent.
The Bank of England also revised up its forecasts this month as it kept interest rates at a record low. Both the BOE and the commission predict that expansion will slow in 2017 as consumer spending weakens and inflation speeds up. The commission sees U.K. consumer price growth accelerating to 2.5 percent this year from 0.7 percent in 2016.
“The impact of the vote by the U.K. to leave the EU in the referendum held on 23 June 2016 on growth has yet to be felt,” the commission wrote in a report published in Brussels on Monday. “Recent momentum is projected to largely continue in the first quarter” but “ease notably thereafter.”

But Project Fear is back, this time running full throttle in France. But if France exits the euro, where will all those recently relocated British rent-seeking banksters go? “Oh, the inhumanity!” to misquote Herbert Morrison.

Bank of France Warns Voters on Cost of Euro Exit, Rising Spread

by Mark Deen
13 February 2017, 11:27 GMT
Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau cautioned French voters about the costs of withdrawing from the euro, noting that local interest rates are already rising on concerns about this year’s presidential election.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who wants to take France out of the single European currency, is on track to place first in the initial round of voting in France’s 2017 election, though she is unlikely to win the run-off and attain office, polls show. Even so, with the National Front closer than ever to power, the premium the French government pays to borrow over Germany has increased to its highest level in more than four years.
“The recent increase in French rates -- which I believe is temporary -- corresponds to a certain worry about the exit from the euro,” Villeroy de Galhau said Monday on France Inter radio.
Le Pen has the support of about 26 percent of the electorate for the first round of voting in April, compared with 20.5 percent for independent Emmanuel Macron and 17.5 percent for Republican Francois Fillon, according to the latest Ifop daily rolling poll. Both Macron and Fillon would defeat Le Pen in the second round vote, all polls show.
The National Front candidate has been hammering home her message on euro exit. Speaking Sunday she said that the single currency was a political instrument that limits French sovereignty.
“I can’t implement my promises of intelligent protectionism and industrial policy with the single currency,” Le Pen said. “It’s a brake on the economy, it’s an obstacle to the recovery. The euro isn’t a currency, it’s a political tool.”
Villeroy, by contrast, estimates that leaving the euro would increase the cost of debt service for the French government by about 30 billion euros ($32 billion) a year.
“That might seem a bit abstract to listeners, but 30 billion euros, to be very concrete, is equivalent to France’s annual defense budget,” he said.

Elsewhere, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Trump’s team need to reread the Cairo Declaration of the meeting in Cairo in late 1943, attended by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Chiang Kai-sheck for China, and reaffirmed in the Potsdam Declaration 1945. The Diaoyu Islands are Chinese or Taiwan-Chinese. The USA never held sovereignty over them and hence only passed Japan “administration” of the Chinese islands. Will America really fry Manhattan for Shanghai, over some obscure islands that everyone agreed in 1943, and reaffirmed in 1945, were to be returned to China by Japan after the war?

China upset at disputed islands mention in Japan-U.S. meeting

Mon Feb 13, 2017 | 4:05am EST
China's Foreign Ministry expressed concern on Monday after Japan got continued U.S. backing for its dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea during a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A joint Japanese-U.S. statement after the weekend meeting in the United States said the two leaders affirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty covered the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China was "seriously concerned and resolutely opposed", adding that the islands had been China's inherent territory since ancient times.
"No matter what anyone says or does, it cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, and cannot shake China's resolve and determination to protect national sovereignty and territory," Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
The United States and Japan should watch what they say and do and stop making the wrong comments to avoid complicating the issue and affecting regional peace and stability, he added.

Next, Morgan Stanley falls in love with and approves of China. But are they just talking up their book? If not, MS seems not to have got the Trump memo. At MS it’s still “China First” apparently.

China Will Avoid a Bank Crisis, Reach High Income Status: Morgan Stanley

14 February 2017, 04:36 GMT
China will likely avoid a financial crisis and is on track to reach high income status by 2027, according to a new Morgan Stanley report on the nation’s longer-term prospects titled "Why we are bullish on China."

The sweeping outlook comes amid growing concern over China’s surging debt levels, slow pace of reforms and the impact of a potential trade spat with the U.S. While acknowledging those concerns as legitimate, the analysts point to the country’s increasing shift into high value-added manufacturing and services that will play a central role in boosting per capita incomes to $12,900 over the next decade from $8,100 now.

If China manages to pull off that feat, it will join South Korea and Poland as the only large economies with a population of over 20 million to achieve that over the past three decades, Morgan Stanley said. The World Bank defines high-income economies as those with a gross national income of at least $12,476 per person.

There are other positives, too. Consumption and services are increasingly powering growth and proposed structural reforms such as the closure of uncompetitive state-owned enterprises will clear the way for new, high-value added industries in areas such as health care, education and environmental services, according to Morgan Stanley. That would spur the creation of a new generation of Chinese multinational corporations with significant presences both at home and abroad.

At the same time, the risk of a financial shock remains low even though overall debt soared to 279 percent of the economy last year from 147 percent in 2007. That’s because borrowing has been funded by China’s own savings and been used for investment. Strong net asset positions provide a buffer along with an ongoing current account surplus, high foreign reserves and the absence of significant inflationary pressures that would destabilize the financial system, according to the report.

A one-off devaluation of the yuan is also unlikely though the currency will likely weaken further, according to Morgan Stanley.

We close for the day with the markets cautiously awaiting the Fed’s talking chair. Is she or is she not, in love with Trumponomics?

"With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly."

Ben “Bernocchio” Bernanke. November 15, 2005.

Asia shares eke out 19-month top, cautious ahead of Yellen

Tue Feb 14, 2017 | 12:22am EST
Asian shares inched to 19-month highs on Tuesday as the potential for economic stimulus in the United States underpinned the dollar, bond yields and Wall Street stocks.

Yet caution bled into markets ahead of testimony by the head of the Federal Reserve, which could highlight the likelihood of two or more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Japanese shares also ran into trouble after Toshiba Corp (6502.T) delayed an anxiously-awaited earnings release, including details of a multibillion dollar charge related to cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear arm.

The Nikkei .N225 slipped 0.7 percent as Toshiba shed more than 8 percent under the weight of sell orders.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged up 0.2 percent, trying for its fifth straight session of gains.

Helping sentiment was data showing consumer and producer prices were rising in China, thus reducing the danger of deflation across the globe.

Stocks in Shanghai .SSEC were barely changed on the day, as were E-mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1.
Wall Street indexes had hit historic peaks on Monday, with the benchmark S&P 500's market value topping $20 trillion as investors bet tax cuts promised by President Donald Trump would boost the economy.

The Dow .DJI rose 0.7 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.52 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.52 percent. Apple (AAPL.O), a component of all three indexes, rose 0.9 percent to close at a record high for the first time since 2015.

"The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost."

Ben “Bernocchio” Bernanke. November 21, 2002.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 30.76 Moz, Eligible 150.98 Moz, Total 181.74 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, Europe’s NATO problem. After freeloading on America for decades, Continental Europe’s defence bill from President Trump on behalf of Uncle Sam, just came due. If anyone seriously thinks that President Trump or anyone else, is willing to swap Manhattan for Vilnius, Riga or Tallin, they had better think again. NATO is now encamped in Narva Estonia, just 98 miles from St Petersburg, arguably Russia’s most important city. Just who is encroaching on and threatening who?
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell.

Trump's Right - NATO Is Obsolete For The US

Feb 13, 2017 2:00 AM
Submitted by George Friedman via MauldinEconomics.com,
Donald Trump deeply upset the Europeans when he raised the possibility that NATO is obsolete and that the European Union is failing.

But this isn’t the first time these issues have been discussed. I wrote about it last year, and the conversation has only continued.

What Trump has done is simply bring into the open the question of Europe’s relationship with the US.

The missions and motives of NATO and the EU

NATO was an alliance with a single purpose: to protect Western Europe from a Soviet invasion.
The basic structure of NATO didn’t change when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It simply grew to include the former Soviet satellite states and the Baltic states.

The motive behind the expansion was to bring these countries into the framework of the Western defense system in order to give them confidence in their independence. And help support the development of democracies.

The motivation was roughly the same for expanding the EU. The bloc was primarily an economic union. Simply being an EU member was believed to enhance prosperity, so that even the economically weakest country would become strong after attaining membership.

The real goal was to expand the EU as far as possible. As with NATO, EU expansion had less to do with the EU’s primary mission than with political and ideological factors.

NATO is obsolete if it can’t support the US’ interests

The EU question is ultimately a European problem.

But NATO is an alliance. The US has important and legitimate interests. But there are questions.

First, with the Soviet Union gone, what is NATO’s purpose?
Second, how does NATO serve the American national interest?
Third, given that the EU has almost as large a GDP and almost 200 million more people than the US, why isn’t its collective contribution to NATO’s military larger than the US?

The automatic answer to the first question is fairly basic: NATO’s purpose is to guarantee its members’ security.

On the second question, it cannot be argued that NATO has served American interests since 1991.

It is true that NATO’s area of responsibility is focused on Europe. The US’ current wars are outside of this area. But from the American point of view, having an alliance with a region where large-scale warfare is unlikely makes little sense.

NATO must evolve with the needs of its members. If it can’t, it can be seen (as Trump put it) as obsolete.

This brings us to the third question, the size of the European force. A military alliance needs a military.

Many European countries, in times of wealth as well as constraint, have chosen not to create a force large enough to support American interests.

----Nations have the right and obligation to carry out their foreign and military policies as they wish. But an alliance holds nations to behave in a certain way given certain events.

Europeans must face two facts

First, the wars that matter to the US are being fought in the Islamic world. Second, Europe is not struggling to recover from World War II. Its military capabilities should be equal to those of the US.

NATO is obsolete if it defines its responsibility mainly to repel a Russian invasion. Especially since it refused to create a military force capable of doing that. It is obsolete in that it regards the US as the guarantor of Europe’s security when Europe is quite capable of incurring the cost of self-defense.

If European nations are free to follow their own interests, then so is the United States.
When we step back, we see a broader truth. First, the European Union is breaking. 

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?

Exploring mysteries on the surface

2D materials reveal surprising properties

Date: February 10, 2017

Source: Ames Laboratory

Summary: Scientists have discovered the unique properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials and metals grown on graphene, graphite, and other carbon coated surfaces.

Two-dimensional materials are a bit of a mind-bending concept. Humans live in a three-dimensional world, after all, where everything observed in our natural world has height, width, and depth. And yet when graphene -- a carbon material unique in its truly flat, one-atom-deep dimension -- was first produced in 2004, the mind-bending concept became reality and an unexplored frontier in materials science.
Ames Laboratory scientists Pat Thiel and Michael Tringides are explorers on that frontier, discovering the unique properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials and metals grown on graphene, graphite, and other carbon coated surfaces.
"Our work is somewhat of a miracle, if scientists can talk about miracles," said Tringides, who is also a professor of physics at Iowa State University. "Only a few decades ago, no one would have believed that we could see individual atoms, but our capabilities now not only allow us to see them, but manipulate them, like a child building with Lego® bricks. We're able to create these materials from the bottom up, ones that could never happen in nature."
They're created in a controlled laboratory setting, in an ultra-high vacuum environment, and investigated with the aid of scanning tunneling microscopy. After heating the substrate to high temperature all impurities and defects are removed. The substrate is cooled and atoms of interest are deposited one by one from specially designed sources. By tuning the temperature and deposition rate, the researchers search for the Goldilocks-like condition: atoms move not too fast and not too slow, so a truly 2D material forms.
While their research groups create a variety of surface materials in their work, the fabrications methods all have one thing in common: attempting to confine the assembly of the atoms to the 2D plane. That's difficult, because it's counter to what atoms naturally want to do under most conditions, to assemble in three dimensions.
"Atoms are chaotic by nature; we are fighting this randomness in everything we do," said Tringides. "In our work, atoms are precisely arranged on a highly reactive surface in a vacuum. Every aspect of the environment is controlled. Our work is to fabricate very small, very clean, and very perfect. Working on materials in the nanoscale demands it."
Learning how these materials behave is paramount. Because 2D materials are all surface with no bulk, a host of unique nanoscale properties -- chemical, magnetic, electronic, optical, and thermal -- can be attributed to them.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

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

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