Friday, 17 February 2017

Hell, Our Future?

Baltic Dry Index. 710 +22   Brent Crude 55.71

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

There can be few fields of human endeavour in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present.

John Kenneth Galbraith.
Don’t look now but everyone’s exiting US Treasuries. The 36 year long US bond bull market must be over, they think. If they’re right, a very different era lies directly ahead as interest rates normalise, savings return to positive real interest rates, corporations face the reality of their borrowing-to-excess binge, governments face the harsh reality of interest on the gargantuan debt crowding out bribes to the voters. Tomorrow will not be like today which was like yesterday. Tomorrow will become hell for the indebted and those without savings.
It’s not a panic if you’re first.

China's Holdings of Treasuries Dropped in 2016 by Most on Record

Sarah McGregor and Andrea Wong
15 February 2017, 21:02 GMT 15 February 2017, 22:08 GMT
China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries declined by the most on record last year, as the world’s second-largest economy dipped into its foreign-exchange reserves to buttress the yuan. Japan, America’s largest foreign creditor, trimmed its holdings for a second straight year.
A monthly Treasury Department report released in Washington on Wednesday showed China held $1.06 trillion in U.S. government bonds, notes and bills in December, up $9.1 billion from November but down $188 billion from a year earlier. It was the first monthly increase since May.
The People’s Bank of China, owner of the world’s biggest foreign-exchange reserves, has burned through a quarter of its war chest since 2014 in an effort to underpin the yuan and deter capital from fleeing the country. Chinese sales have made borrowing more costly for the U.S. government: 10-year yields rose to 2.6 percent last year, from as low as 1.3 percent.
“China is a massive player in our market, and can move the markets whether they are a buyer or seller,” said Tom di Galoma, managing director of government trading and strategy at Seaport Global Holdings. “If 10-year yields are going to trade to 3 percent this year, China will be the catalyst.”

China’s foreign currency reserves fell for a seventh straight month in January to $3 trillion, to the lowest in almost six years, driven by the central bank’s intervention in foreign-exchange markets. More broadly, America’s biggest creditors are re-thinking their financing of the U.S. government amid the prospect of bigger deficits and more inflation under President Donald Trump or higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

Japan’s portfolio decreased for a fifth consecutive month in December, falling by $17.8 billion to $1.09 trillion, according to the data. The holdings declined by $31.6 billion last year.

The report, which also contains data on international capital flows, showed net foreign selling of long-term securities totaling $12.9 billion in December. It showed a total cross-border outflow, including short-term securities such as Treasury bills and stock swaps, of $42.8 billion.

Total foreign ownership of U.S. Treasuries in December amounted to about $6 trillion, down from $6.15 trillion a year earlier, the report showed.

In Brexit news, the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR is so old socialist yesterday.

Britain, China pledge to promote free trade

Thu Feb 16, 2017 | 8:08pm EST
China and Britain have pledged to promote free trade and cooperate on building a open world economy, fanning efforts to shore up what the two governments have called a "golden era" in their relationship, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

China is one of the countries Britain hopes to sign a free trade agreement with once it leaves the European Union, and London and Beijing have been keen to show that Britain's withdrawal from the bloc will not affect ties.

The pledges on trade and cooperation were made during a Thursday meeting by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of 20 largest industrialized countries held in Germany's western city of Bonn.

The two countries have in recent months announced closer cooperation in areas such as financial services as the British government prepares to negotiate the country's EU divorce.

Wang said that both nations would promote flagship cooperation on projects such as the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Britain, and would look to strengthen their partnership on issues such as trade through close high-level exchanges, Xinhua said.

Johnson said that Britain will strengthen strategic cooperation with China on international affairs, the report added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been invited by China to attend a major summit on the "One Belt, One Road" initiative to build a new Silk Road, diplomatic sources have told Reuters.

Finally, gold continues making a comeback. Shame that Gordon MacBroon sold off half Britain’s gold at about 280 dollars a troy ounce.

This Country Wants Everyone to Have 100 Grams of Gold

by Evgenia Pismennaya and Anna Andrianova
15 February 2017, 21:00 GMT 16 February 2017, 08:48 GMT
A landlocked nation perched between China and Kazakhstan is embarking on an experiment with little parallel worldwide: shifting savings from cattle to gold.
One of the first post-Soviet republics to adopt a new currency and let it trade freely, Kyrgyzstan’s central bank wants every citizen to diversify into gold. Governor Tolkunbek Abdygulov says his “dream” is for every one of the 6 million citizens to own at least 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the precious metal, the Central Asian country’s biggest export. 
“Gold can be stored for a long time and, despite the price fluctuations on international markets, it doesn’t lose its value for the population as a means of savings,” he said in an interview. “I’ll try to turn the dream into reality faster.”
In the two years that the central bank has offered bars directly to the population, about 140 kilograms of bullion have been sold, Abdygulov, 40, said by phone from the capital, Bishkek.
“We are hopeful that our country’s population will learn to diversify its savings into assets that are more liquid and -- more importantly -- capable of retaining their value,” he said. In rural areas, cattle is still the asset of choice for investors and savers, according to Abdygulov.
Kyrgyzstan has bucked a trend among central banks, the biggest owners of bullion, by stepping up buying even as its counterparts cut purchases in 2016 to a six-year low. Global combined bar and coin demand fell, according to the World Gold Council.

Across the emerging world, gold -- often seen as the ultimate haven at times of upheaval -- hardly needs any extra promotion. India, the world’s largest consumer after China, is in fact taking steps to curb imports of the precious metal by encouraging its citizens to deposit private gold holdings in banks.

In Turkey, where banks can use bullion as part of their reserve assets, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year called on people to convert their foreign-currency savings into liras and gold.

What makes Kyrgyzstan unique is the central bank’s effort to win converts by providing infrastructure for safe-keeping and investment. The central bank produces bars of different sizes, varying in weight from 1 to 100 grams.

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

John Kenneth Galbraith.

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 30.08 Moz, Eligible 153.28 Moz, Total 183.36 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today in an endless ever growing corruption scandal, South Korea arrests Mr. South Korea. Globally, corruption scandals are all the rage.

Samsung chief Lee arrested as South Korean corruption probe deepens

Fri Feb 17, 2017 | 1:29am EST
Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested early on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, dealing a fresh blow to the world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips.

The 48-year-old Lee, scion of the country's richest family, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre after waiting there overnight for the decision. He was being held in a single cell with a TV and desk, a jail official said.

Lee is a suspect in the influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye in December, a decision that if upheld by the Constitutional Court would make her the country's first democratically elected leader forced from office.

Shares in flagship Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) fell 1.1 percent, while shares in Samsung C&T Corp (028260.KS), the de facto holding company of Samsung Group, were down 2.8 percent compared with the wider market's .KS11 drop of 0.2 percent.

Prosecutors have up to 10 days to indict Lee, Samsung's third-generation leader, although they can seek an
 extension. After indictment, a court would be required to make a ruling within three months.

No decision had been made on whether Lee's arrest would be contested or whether bail would be sought, a spokeswoman for Samsung Group [SARG.UL] said.

Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case.

"We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings," the Samsung Group said in a brief statement after Lee's arrest.

The same court had rejected a request last month to arrest Lee, but prosecutors on Tuesday brought additional accusations against Lee, seeking his arrest on bribery and other charges.

"We acknowledge the cause and necessity of the arrest," a judge said in his ruling.

The judge rejected the prosecution's request to arrest Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin.
While Lee's detention is not expected to hamper day-to-day operation of Samsung firms, which are run by professional managers, experts said it could hinder strategic decision-making at South Korea's biggest conglomerate, or chaebol.

Samsung has been in the midst of an ongoing restructuring to clear a succession path for Lee to assume control after his father was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.

Decisions that could be complicated by Lee's arrest include deliberations over whether to reorganize the group under a holding company structure, as well as its plan to abandon its future strategy office, a central decision-making body that came in for criticism during the scandal.

Staff moves have also been in limbo. Samsung, which employs around half a million people, has yet to announce annual personnel promotions and changes, which it typically does in December.

One employee at Samsung Electronics’ chip division said colleagues were unsettled that prosecutors had singled-out Samsung.

"The mood is that people are worried," said the employee.

"a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is".

The South Sea Bubble 1720

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?

Using 'Scotch tape' and laser beams, researchers craft new material that could improve LED screens

Date: February 15, 2017

Source: University of Kansas

Summary: Researchers report a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in thickness, that someday could lead to more efficient and versatile light emission.

A cover story appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Nanoscale Horizons reports a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in thickness, that someday could lead to more efficient and versatile light emission.
Researchers working at the Ultrafast Laser Lab at the University of Kansas successfully created the material by combining atomically thin layers of molybdenum disulfide and rhenium disulfide.
"Both absorb light very well as semiconductors, and they're both very flexible can be stretched or compressed," said Hui Zhao, associate professor of physics and astronomy at KU, who co-authored the paper. "The goal of this whole direction of research is to produce light-emitting devices, such as LEDs that are ultrathin -- just a few nanometers thick -- and flexible enough that you can bend it. We showed through this bilayer material, it can be achieved."
To explain the breakthrough, Zhao likens the behavior of electrons in the new material to a classroom.
"One can think of a material as a classroom full of students -- which are the electrons -- one on each seat," he said. "Sitting on a seat, a student -- or electron -- can't move freely to conduct electricity. Light can provide enough energy to stand up some of the students, who can now move freely and, as electrons, to conduct electricity. This process is the foundation for photovoltaic devices, where the energy of sunlight is captured and converted to electricity."
The KU researcher said that emission of light involves the inverse process, in which a standing electron sits down in a seat, releasing its kinetic energy in the form of light.
"To make a good material for light emission devices, one needs not only the electrons that carry energy, but also the 'seats' -- called holes -- for the electrons to sit down," he said.
Previous studies by several groups, including Zhao's, have produced various bilayer materials by stacking different types of atomic sheets. However, in these materials, the electrons and the "seats" exist in different atomic layers.
"Because electrons cannot easily find seats, light emission efficiency of these bilayer materials is very low -- more than 100 times lower than in one atomic layer," he said.
But in the new material announced by Zhao and his co-authors, "All the electrons and their seats will be in their original layer, instead of separate. The light emission will be a lot stronger."

Another weekend, and another weekend for “the Donald” and “Team Donald USA First” to get into more misadventures against the hidden “deep state” fifth columnists, Obama holdovers, and die hard Clintonistas.  And we are only barely one month in to a four year marathon. What could possibly go wrong? Still it might be a good idea for everyone not trapped in deep poverty, to keep a little fully paid up physical gold and silver on hand. After the MF Gobal multiple hypothecation fiasco, physical gold and silver held outside of the financial system itself. Have a great weekend everyone. Stay tuned to Twitter.

While we all await the next development in the epic Trump presidency, below a little knowledge everyone should know if entering pub quizzes, or setting out to enter the Orange Juice trade.


Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by mass. If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content. The °Bx is traditionally used in the wine, sugar, carbonated beverage, fruit juice, and honey industries.

Comparable scales for indicating sucrose content are the degree Plato (°P), which is widely used by the brewing industry, and the degree Balling, which is the oldest of the three systems and therefore mostly found in older textbooks, but also still in use in some parts of the world.[1]

A sucrose solution with an apparent specific gravity (20°/20 °C) of 1.040 would be 9.99325 °Bx or 9.99359 °P while the representative sugar body, the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA), which favors the use of mass fraction, would report the solution strength as 9.99249%. Because the differences between the systems are of little practical significance (the differences are less than the precision of most common instruments) and wide historical use of the Brix unit, modern instruments calculate mass fraction using ICUMSA official formulas but report the result as °Bx.

In the early 1800s, Karl Balling, followed by Adolf Brix, and finally the Normal-Commissions under Fritz 
Plato, prepared pure sucrose solutions of known strength, measured their specific gravities and prepared tables of percent sucrose by mass vs. measured specific gravity. Balling measured specific gravity to 3 decimal places, Brix to 5, and the Normal-Eichungs Kommission to 6 with the goal of the Commission being to correct errors in the 5th and 6th decimal place in the Brix table.

----Brix is used in the food industry for measuring the approximate amount of sugars in fruits, vegetables, juices, wine, soft drinks and in the starch and sugar manufacturing industry. Different countries use the scales in different industries: In brewing, the UK uses specific gravity X 1000; Europe uses Plato degrees; and the US use a mix of specific gravity, degrees Brix, degrees Baumé, and degrees Plato. For fruit juices, 1.0 degree Brix is denoted as 1.0% sugar by mass. This usually correlates well with perceived sweetness.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

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

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