Monday, 13 February 2017

Germany Declares War on Trump.

Baltic Dry Index. 702 -05   Brent Crude 56.66

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.
“A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
H. L. Mencken.
Germany seems to have declared war on President Trump. If not war, open season. Germany may be an unlikely “moral” leader of the rabble of the left, hard left, Trotskyists and communists, given its past, but this is 2017. In Russia President Putin fights to uphold Orthodox Christian values. In China, President Xi fights to uphold the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party. In America, President Trump fights for the values of  the “forgotten Americans” who elected him, the occupants of the “flyover” states between Goldman Sachs owned North East states, and the pornographer’s state of California.

With Pied Piper Germany in the lead like this, Brexit cannot come soon enough.
If the financial system goes down, our business is going down and, trust me, yours and everyone else's is going down, too.
Lloyd Blankfein’s CEO Goldman Sachs, threat 2008. Mr. Goldman Sacks.

Germany Picks Anti-Trump President as Trans-Atlantic Bonds Fray

by Patrick Donahue
12 February 2017, 05:00 GMT
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former German foreign minister who was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during the U.S. election, is poised to become the country’s 12th postwar president.

The Social Democrat who served two stints as foreign minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged as her governing coalition’s candidate last November as the parties sought to avoid a political spat over the appointment in an election year. With the support of Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc and the Social Democrats in a special assembly on Sunday, Steinmeier is all but assured victory to the mostly ceremonial post.

While Merkel steered clear of sharing her views on Trump before his election as president, her top diplomat vociferously derided what he saw as a campaign that broke taboos and threatened trans-Atlantic bonds. At one point, Steinmeier called Trump a “hate preacher.” As head of state, Steinmeier will be Trump’s counterpart according to protocol, even if the German presidency lacks the political or policymaking power held by the chancellor.

The day after Trump’s surprise election victory, Merkel issued a couched warning that offered the new U.S. president German cooperation based on joint values, including democracy, respect for the rule of law and for human dignity “independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.” Steinmeier was less diplomatic.

“The result is not what most German would have wished,” Steinmeier said on Nov. 9. “I don’t want to sugarcoat anything. Nothing will be easier, many things will become more difficult.”

Steinmeier, 61, is set to succeed Joachim Gauck, 77, the one-time Protestant pastor and political dissident in communist East Germany who opted to stand down after serving a single five-year term.

The Federal Assembly, a constitutionally mandated body made up of lawmakers from the lower house and party representatives from the German states, will convene at noon in Berlin. Germany’s presidency mostly involves representing the country abroad, though Gauck has also intervened in domestic politics, including on Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis.

Steinmeier, who had a 79 percent approval rating this month in a poll for public broadcaster ARD, came forward as a presidential hopeful after Merkel failed to find a suitable candidate from within her party bloc willing to run. Sigmar Gabriel, the outgoing Social Democratic leader who succeeded Steinmeier as foreign minister, stepped into the void, advocating for Steinmeier as the coalition’s choice. Wanting to avoid a costly battle over a presidential pick ahead of the Sept. 24 election, Merkel relented.

That setback is more pronounced now that the Social Democrats have enjoyed a surge in support after the surprise candidacy for chancellor of Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president. Enthusiasm for Schulz in the SPD base has narrowed the gap with Merkel seven months before the vote, with one poll last week showing the party ahead.

Up next, those tax and work shy Greeks. The EC’s Juncker goes on the attack.

Alexis Tsipras: "Juncker, we Greeks haven't tasted food for 3 days." 

Juncker: "Well, I wouldn't worry about it... it still tastes the same."

How the EU helps out. With apologies to Curly, Moe, and Larry.

Move Over Brexit: Standoff With Athens Revives 2015 Grexit Talk

by Nikos Chrysoloras
12 February 2017, 00:00 GMT
With Greece poised to miss a deadline this month that would conclude a review of its latest bailout, the government of Alexis Tsipras risks reprising the antagonistic relationship with his country’s creditors that nearly knocked the nation out of the common currency in 2015.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Tsipras lashed out again at the International Monetary Fund, one the institutions monitoring Greece’s rescue, as the auditors insisted on legislation that would trigger further budget cuts if fiscal targets are missed. That gives Athens about a week to reconcile those differences.
Even though the European institutions have disagreed with IMF projections and said Greece didn’t need the extra measures to meet requirements set out in its 86 billion-euro ($92 billion) bailout, they have fallen into line to keep the fund involved, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. Blaming the IMF for the deadlock is a strategy that may not work anymore as Tsipras faces a more aligned group.
Germany and the Netherlands had threatened to end the Greek program if a deal wasn’t reached that included the IMF. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s vocal insistence on the fund’s participation gave the IMF leverage when lobbying for its demands, said a separate European official involved in the discussions. Both officials asked not to be identified because the meetings were private.
European Union officials set a Feb. 20 deadline for Greece to complete the review, before the start of a busy national election season that will make additional negotiations with Tsipras’s government politically difficult. Failure to reach a deal means Greece may not be able to repay about 6 billion euros of bonds it has coming due in July.
In an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Friday, bailout auditors -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the IMF -- asked Tsipras’s government to legislate additional fiscal cuts equal to about 2 percent of gross domestic product if the country fails to meet certain budget targets, according to another person with knowledge of the talks. These contingent measures are the basis for further discussions, the person said.

Greece says bailout deal close, Juncker says it's on shaky ground

Feb 11, 2017 | 11:32am EST
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned international lenders on Saturday not to heap new burdens on his country but said he believed the drawn-out bailout review with them would end well.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, however, said the deal was "on shaky ground" because the International Monetary Fund had not decided what role it would play.
The comments came a day after Greece and its international lenders made clear progress towards bridging differences over Athens's fiscal path in coming years, moving closer to a deal that would secure new loan disbursements and save the country from default.
"(The review) will be completed, and it will be completed positively, without concessions in matters of principle," Tsipras told a meeting of his leftist Syriza party on Saturday.
But further cutbacks, particularly to pensions which have already gone through 11 cuts since the start of the Greek debt crisis in 2010, would be hard to swallow.
"We are ready to discuss anything within the framework of the (bailout) agreement and within reason, but not things beyond the framework of the agreement and beyond reason," Tsipras said. "We will not discuss demands which are not backed up by logic and by numbers."
He warned all sides to "be more careful towards a country that has been pillaged and people who have made, and are continuing to make, so many sacrifices in the name of Europe".
---- The IMF has sat on the sidelines of the latest bailout program and says it cannot participate in a program which could keep Greece in a never-ending cycle of indebtedness that could push national borrowing to 275 percent of economic output by 2060.

Juncker says Britain may divide EU over Brexit talks

Sat Feb 11, 2017 | 1:02pm EST
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he fears Britain will divide the European Union's 27 remaining members by making different promises to each country during its Brexit negotiations.

"The other EU 27 don't know it yet, but the Brits know very well how they can tackle this," Juncker told Deutschlandfunk radio. "They could promise country A this, country B that and country C something else and the end game is that there is not a united European front."

Britain will by the end of March trigger formal divorce talks with the EU, a major test for the bloc which is struggling to have a grip on other challenges like keeping Greece in the euro zone, the refugee crisis and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

To add to all of that, the Netherlands, France and Germany are holding general elections this year, in which populist anti-EU parties are expected to make strong showings.

"Now everyone is saying in relation to Trump and Brexit: 'Now is Europe's big chance. Now is the time to close ranks and march together,'" Juncker said in the radio interview which will be aired on Sunday.

"I wish it will be like this, but will it happen? I have some doubt. Because the Brits will manage without big effort to divide the remaining 27 member states."

---- Juncker, who will host U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Brussels next weekend, said a protectionist trade policy by the Trump administration would be an opportunity for the EU to forge new trade alliances.

In other news, India’s war on cash just keeps going from unintended bad consequences to worse. Prime Minister Modi shot the Indian economy in both feet. Just imagine how bad the global economy gets when the EUSSR and the USA take up the coming war on cash.

India’s Oil Demand Plunges Most in 13 Years Amid Cash Crackdown

by Saket Sundria
India’s monthly oil demand fell the most since May 2003 as the government’s crackdown on high-value currency notes continued to reverberate through the country’s $2 trillion economy.

Fuel consumption fell 4.5 percent to 15.5 million tons in January from 16.2 million tons a year ago, the Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell said Friday. Diesel use, which accounts for about 40 percent of total fuel demand in India, dropped 7.8 percent to 5.8 million tons, the biggest decline since September. Gasoline consumption fell the most since June.

Expansion in the world’s fastest-growing major economy is under pressure after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November withdrew high-value currency notes in a country where almost all consumer payments are in cash. Growth in gross domestic product may slow to 6.5 percent in the year through March from 7.9 percent the previous year, according to an Economic Survey presented by the finance minister’s advisers.

“This decline in demand is due to demonetization,” according to Tushar Tarun Bansal, director at Ivy Global Energy. “I would expect this decline to be a one off and dissipate from February. This should result in a slower demand growth for diesel in the first quarter in 2017.”

Petcoke consumption fell for the first time in more than a year, declining about 9.9 percent to 1.95 million tons. Gasoline consumption fell 0.6 percent to 1.8 million tons. Liquefied petroleum gas use expanded 16.4 percent to 2 million tons, while jet fuel demand increased 17.8 percent to 627,000 tons.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

John Kenneth Galbraith.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 30.20 Moz, Eligible 151.53 Moz, Total 181.73 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Below, apparently the Fed’s still agnostic on Trumpmania. You’re either with us or against us, as George Bush the lesser used to say. That’ll put the Fed in the against camp, I’d say.
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

George Orwell.

'Significant uncertainty' about fiscal policy under Trump: Fed's Fischer

Sat Feb 11, 2017 | 3:50 PM EST
By Helen Reid and Abhinav Ramnarayan | COVENTRY, England
U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said there was significant uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy under the Trump administration, but the Fed would be strict in meeting targets of creating full employment and getting inflation to 2 percent.
Speaking at the Warwick Economics Summit on Saturday, Fischer also said he thought Dodd-Frank financial regulation would not be repealed as a whole, and he hoped capital requirements for banks would not be significantly reduced.
"There is quite significant uncertainty about what's actually going to happen, I don't think anyone quite knows. It's a process which involves both the administration and the Congress in deciding fiscal policy," Fischer said, in response to a question.
"At the moment we're going strictly according to what we see as our responsibility according to the law, which is maintaining full employment and getting inflation to 2 percent."
He also said he thought Dodd-Frank banking regulation legislation would not be repealed, though there may be some adjustments.
"I don't think Dodd-Frank as a whole is going to be repealed, but there may be some adjustments to it," he said. "Significantly reducing capital requirements would reduce the safety of the system. I certainly hope it's not going to happen."
Dodd-Frank financial regulation was passed in 2010 after the financial crisis of 2008-09, and included legislation requiring banks to maintain higher levels of capital.
Fischer also mentioned adjustments to Dodd-Frank could include being less demanding of community banks.
The comments came the day after the Federal Reserve Board's top bank regulator, Daniel Tarullo, said he would resign, giving a boost to President Donald Trump's plans to ease reforms put in place after the 2008-09 financial crisis.
Trump last week ordered reviews of major banking rules that were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, drawing fire from Democrats and sending banking stocks higher on expectations that looser banking regulation is coming.

"In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension."

John Kenneth Galbraith.

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?

UPS Goes Big on Solar

United Parcel Service this week announced that it will deploy solar energy assets worth $18 million to at least eight of its facilities by the end of the year.

The new investments will produce almost 10 MW of power, which represents an almost five-fold increase over current generation. The locations were not named in the press release. The plan is to purchase more than 26,000 panels and enable each facility to produce half of its electricity in the manner.

UPS has been using solar power since 2004, when it installed equipment in Palm Springs, CA facility. Solar power also is in use at UPS facilities in Lakewood, Parsippany and Secaucus, N.J. The press release says that additional deployments are expected in the future.

Now was the right time to go big. “UPS has been involved in the solar market since our first installation in 2004, and in that time frame we have seen a steady drop in prices,” wrote Bill Moir, UPS’s Director of Facilities Procurement in response to emailed questions from Energy Manager Today. “As solar prices drop, and the cost of electricity continues to climb, we are seeing more and more UPS facilities which present as offering solid financial returns for on-site solar. The last 6 months alone have seen a 20% drop in panel prices. This competitive market has made the opportunity attractive for UPS.”

UPS says that it has worked on energy efficiency and renewables more broadly than solar. “UPS’s long history is one of highly engineered efficiency, both on road and at the facility level,” Moir wrote. “There are very few things UPS has not explored within the facility efficiency space, from lighting upgrade programs dating back to 1994 (in excess of 200,000 fixtures upgraded since then), to experimental facility fuel cells, energy management systems, high SEER HVAC upgrades and thermal storage. We tend to be in our facilities for a very long time, and UPS recognizes the value that a highly efficient facility can add to your bottom line, while improving your sustainability.”

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

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

No comments:

Post a Comment