Friday, 10 March 2017

A World Turned Upside Down.

Baltic Dry Index. 1064 +19   Brent Crude 52.26

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

Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.

Mark Twain.

May you live in interesting times, allegedly goes an old Chinese curse, believed to date back to at least the 1920s. We have made it into interesting times. Stay long gold and silver, as insurance. America’s Obamaites and Clintonites are allied with the War Party and “deep state” and at war with the Trumpian “deplorables.”  Nothing good comes from the leader of the free world being in a state of sedition and anarchy. Allies China and Russia are ascendant. Europe is a wealth and jobs destroying, bureaucratic basket case, in the process sinking under its own maladministration. South Africa seems to want to repeat the folly of next door Zimbabwe.

South Korea's President Park Ousted in Unprecedented Ruling

by Kanga Kong
A South Korean court unanimously affirmed parliament’s impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, removing her from office and opening the door for her to face jail time in one of the most stunning political downfalls in the nation’s history.

Friday’s ruling means Park must leave the presidential residence in Seoul, where she had plotted her defense since lawmakers impeached her in December amid a corruption probe. It triggers an election that must be held within 60 days, with opposition figures leading in polls.

Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn plans to address the nation at 5:00 p.m. local time, YTN news reported. Park plans to stay at the official residence Friday, Yonhap News reported.

The decision brings South Korea closer to moving past one of its most turbulent periods in decades, in which millions of people rallied to demand a graft investigation into some of the country’s most powerful business and political leaders. Prosecutors have indicted about 40 people so far, including Samsung Electronics Co. heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee.

Park’s removal could allow South Korean policy makers to focus more on a slowing economy, tensions with North Korea and economic retaliation from China over a plan to deploy the Thaad missile-defense system. The leading candidates to replace her also favor moves to break up family-run conglomerates that have dominated Asia’s fourth-biggest economy for decades.

“History is moving forward with the great power of the people,” presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in said in a statement. “The Republic of Korea will now restart upon this new and amazing experience.”

Bond Rout Deepens; South Korea Digests Park Ruling: Markets Wrap

by Adam Haigh
  • Gold on longest losing run in 5 months, oil remains below $50
  • Australian 10-year yield rises, following move in Treasuries
The rout in global government debt continued ahead of the U.S. jobs report, with Treasuries heading for their longest slump in more than 40 years. South Korea’s currency fluctuated and its stock market climbed after President Park Geun-hye was removed from office.

Australian 10-year bond yields extended their advance as rates on similar-dated Treasuries rose for a 10th day, which would be the longest streak since 1974. The yen fell past 115 per dollar, buoying Japanese stocks, as the dollar clung to gains. Stocks gained in Australia and India, while property shares spurred a rebound in Singapore. Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong declined. Gold slid below $1,200 per ounce, dropping for a fifth day, its longest losing run since October. Oil climbed from a three-month low but remained below $50 a barrel.

Friday’s American jobs report is the last major piece of economic data before the Federal Reserve meets next week, with markets poised for a rate increase. The ECB signaled it won’t add to stimulus as growth picks up. In China, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the yuan should be relatively stable this year even as higher U.S. interest rates lead to volatility.

Oil’s tug of war gives way for a price collapse

By Myra P. Saefong Published: Mar 9, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET
Rising U.S. crude production and overbought conditions in the market have combined to undermine OPEC-led efforts to reduce global output, fueling a plunge in oil prices to their lowest levels of the year.
Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude CLJ7, +0.55%  sank by 5.4% on Wednesday and posted a 2% loss Thursday to finish below the key $50 level, but they could fall to $40 a barrel this year.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries “didn’t reduce their production volumes to bring the U.S. shale producers ‘back into the game,’” analysts at Secular Investor said in a research note Thursday.

We end with probably the biggest red flag of all. Has the world finally run out of greater fools? Is Trumpmania about to end?

Manhattan Rents Fall for Every Apartment Size, Even Studios

by Oshrat Carmiel
Rents fell last month for Manhattan apartments of all sizes, the first across-the-board price decline in at least four years, as a construction boom brought more buildings to market and allowed some tenants to leave for bigger or newer units.

For studios, which held their own last year while costs for bigger apartments slid, the median rent dropped 2.6 percent, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report Thursday. It was the biggest year-over-year decrease since the firms started tracking the data in 2012. The median price of studios last month was $2,500, the lowest it’s been since January 2015.

“There’s so much inventory, and that influx is hitting across all price points, even the studios,” Hal Gavzie, executive director of leasing for Douglas Elliman, said in an interview. “There were a lot of studios that hit the market and have been sitting there. They had to reduce prices.”

Until now, studios -- smaller, cheaper and in demand among young job-seekers in Manhattan -- had better withstood the pressures from the wave of apartment construction that’s kept a lid on prices across the market. Now, even those units are getting reductions as landlords fret about rising vacancies and renters at all price levels sense they have the leverage to demand a better deal.

Apartments available for rent at the end of February totaled 6,872, a jump of almost 12 percent from a year earlier. The number of new leases fell 28 percent last month to 3,634, while the median monthly rent for units of all sizes slipped 0.9 percent to $3,350.

At the Comex silver depositories Thursday final figures were: Registered 36.11 Moz, Eligible 151.84 Moz, Total 187.95 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, the nutty, wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR again. Why would anyone want to remain a member of a lunatic asylum like this?

It is easier to stay out than get out.

Mark Twain.

Enter Berlusconi: A Man, a Ban, and His Plan to Restore the Lira

by Marco Bertacche and Chiara Albanese
9 March 2017, 06:00 GMT
Markets wincing at every twist in Marine Le Pen’s electoral fortunes have helped revive political risk in the heart of the euro zone.

Yet they may be overlooking a subtler threat to bondholders, in the form of billionaire Silvio Berlusconi’s comeback plan.

At the age of 80, the three-time prime minister and media mogul is seeking to overturn a ban from public office and dip his toes back into the country’s political arena. That he’s doing so amid a rupture in the Italian left means analysts are starting to take seriously his candidacy -- and with it, his proposal to introduce a parallel currency.

“The return of Forza Italia and by extension Berlusconi is a genuine concern, especially since the Democratic Party appears to be splitting into two,” said James Athey, fixed income portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management in London.

“Forcing a parallel fiscal currency is very difficult to do without strict capital controls,” Athey said. “But not impossible.”

The ambitions of the self-described “most-persecuted man in history” depend on the result of an appeal making its way through the European Court of Human Rights. Berlusconi is seeking to overturn a ban on running for public office that was the result of his 2013 tax-fraud conviction.

If he succeeds, that puts a Le Pen-esque plan on the agenda in another one of the euro area’s biggest economies. A key difference with France, as Bloomberg Intelligence analysts wrote last week, is that in Italy there is broad public antipathy toward the single currency.

That’s why economists including Deutsche Bank AG’s Marco Stringa are calling Italy, not France or Greece, the “main risk” to euro-area stability. The country’s 10-year bonds have sold off faster than those of any developed-world peer so far in 2017.

They’ve been helped on their way by the ascendance of the the Five Star movement, which unlike Berlusconi seeks to leave the euro outright.

Tsipras Faces Fight as Greek Opposition Won't Back New Measures

by Marcus Bensasson and Caroline Connan
Greece’s main opposition party has a clear message for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras: Don’t count on us to bail out your government.

The country needs new elections, and the New Democracy party will vote against the “excessive” fiscal measures demanded by creditors for 2019 and 2020, its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Thursday.

“These fiscal measures are the cost that Greece unfortunately has to pay for the incompetence of this government,” he said. “Mr Tsipras has brought us into this mess. He’s been claiming that he has a solid parliamentary majority so it’s up to him to deliver.”

Tsipras’s government has been locked in talks with officials representing the euro-area and International Monetary Fund -- Greece’s creditors -- trying to agree on a package of measures and economic reforms the government needs to undertake for a bailout review to unlock more loans. Once a deal is reached, the package will need approval from the country’s 300-seat parliament, where Tsipras’s governing coalition has a majority of just three.

Varoufakis, Die Linke MEP Reveal Request to ECB for Information on 2015 Closure of Greek Banks

By A. Makris - Mar 8, 2017
Regarding the events in 2015 that led to a bank holiday and capital controls in Greece on his watch, the country’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Wednesday announced that he had officially requested the European Central Bank (ECB) to release information regarding the decisions made during this period. Speaking during a press conference with German Die Linke MP Fabio De Masi at the European Parliament, Varoufakis said he had specifically asked the ECB to make public the legal opinion of a private firm it had consulted, on which it had based decisions that starved Greek banks of cash and forced the bank holiday. 
When the ECB made the decisions involved, ECB President Mario Draghi had asked a private legal firm for advice because he was uncertain whether he was legally empowered to make such a decision, Varoufakis said. The firm’s legal opinion was then never made public and the ECB was now refusing to do so, citing reasons of confidentiality.

----De Masi said that a process to collect signatures in support of the petition was underway, with 25,000 collected so far, to request the release of the information under freedom of information acts. It this request was also denied, he added, the matter would go to court where there was a “good chance” of winning. “This is not just about Greece. It also concerns Ireland and Cyprus. It must be answered to what extent the ECB is empowered to intervene in such a way and at the same time provide liquidity with the aim of forcing governments to cut wages and pensions,” he said.

Poland Threatens to Sabotage EU Summit in Bid to Oust Tusk

by Wojciech Moskwa
9 March 2017, 10:46 GMT 9 March 2017, 11:09 GMT
Poland may not sign off on the European Union summit’s decisions if its candidate for the bloc’s president, who hasn’t been publicly supported by any of the other 27 EU members, isn’t allowed to present his views, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said.
The results of the summit, due to start later on Thursday in Brussels and widely expected to pick former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for a second term as EU president, would be “in danger” if the government refused to sign the protocol, Waszczykowski said. Poland is kicking up a fuss over Tusk, the former leader of the current opposition Civic Platform party, because it feels he’s part of a Brussels establishment that has unfairly accused the government of eroding democratic standards.

Thu Mar 9, 2017 | 6:34pm EST

EU snubs Poland by keeping Tusk in top post

The leaders of the European Union delivered a withering snub to Poland's right-wing government on Thursday by steamrolling its objections and reappointing former Polish premier Donald Tusk to chair their summits.

Tusk's successor as prime minister Beata Szydlo, acting on orders from her party boss and long-time Tusk adversary Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had vowed to stop him securing a second 30-month term. But the other 27 leaders wasted no time in moving to a cold-blooded vote in which she was the lone objector.

Warsaw portrayed the issue as one of fundamental principle, in which vital national interests had been ignored by a Brussels machine dominated by "German diktat". Its crushing defeat showed how far the biggest of the ex-communist states that joined the EU after the Cold War appears isolated, even in Eastern Europe.

The row, albeit driven by Polish domestic politics, clouded attempts at the meetings in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to forge a common front as Britain prepares to deliver its formal notice that it will exit the bloc in 2019.

Kaczynski said the vote showed the EU was run by Germany and was trampling on national interests: "If the EU does not abandon this road, it will be consigned to history," he said in Warsaw.

It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.

J-C “Glenlivet” Juncker, with apologies to Mark Twain.

Technology 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?

Chemists create molecular 'leaf' that collects and stores solar power without solar panels

Date: March 8, 2017

Source: Indiana University

Summary: An international research team has engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction." The discovery is a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.
An international team of scientists led by Liang-shi Li at Indiana University has achieved a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.
The chemists have engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction."
The process is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"If you can create an efficient enough molecule for this reaction, it will produce energy that is free and storable in the form of fuels," said Li, associate professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry. "This study is a major leap in that direction."
Burning fuel -- such as carbon monoxide -- produces carbon dioxide and releases energy. Turning carbon dioxide back into fuel requires at least the same amount of energy. A major goal among scientists has been decreasing the excess energy needed.
This is exactly what Li's molecule achieves: requiring the least amount of energy reported thus far to drive the formation of carbon monoxide. The molecule -- a nanographene-rhenium complex connected via an organic compound known as bipyridine -- triggers a highly efficient reaction that converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.
The ability to efficiently and exclusively create carbon monoxide is significant due to the molecule's versatility.
"Carbon monoxide is an important raw material in a lot of industrial processes," Li said. "It's also a way to store energy as a carbon-neutral fuel since you're not putting any more carbon back into the atmosphere than you already removed. You're simply re-releasing the solar power you used to make it."

Another weekend, and what mischief can “the Donald,” “Glenlivet” Juncker, Donald Tusk, Love-Rat Hollande, and Migrant Mad Merkel unleash on an unsuspecting, innocent world this weekend? Stay tuned. Have a great weekend everyone.

'Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.'
Mark Twain

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: 20,812  +133 Up. NASDAQ:  5,825 +120 Up. SP500: 2,364 +115 Up.

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