Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brexit – The Great Escape.

Baltic Dry Index. 1333 +51   Brent Crude 51.37

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

During my life time most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it."

Margaret Thatcher

Part one of John Bull’s daring Great Escape from the wealth and jobs destroying, dying EUSSR, swings into action today, with HMG triggering the escape clause Article 50. Not that you would know it from the BBC and much of mainstream media still peddling Project Fear fake news.  The sky will fall they scream. But given the state of the world, the sky may fall, with GB in or out of the EUSSR anyway. But if we are out of the wealth and jobs destroying,  unreformed, dying EUSSR, our chances for recovery are infinitely better and faster. If it happens, let GB be a beacon to the rest.

Below, Germany on the ropes, from Migrant Mad Merkel’s failed attempt to get Dodgy Dave Cameron to sell an empty EU reform envelope to British voters. Her anti-Trump campaign against America is going over like a lead balloon too.

"What we should grasp, however, from the lessons of European history is that, first, there is nothing necessarily benevolent about programmes of European integration; second, the desire to achieve grand utopian plans often poses a grave threat to freedom; and third, European unity has been tried before, and the outcome was far from happy."

Margaret Thatcher

Tue Mar 28, 2017 | 3:49am EDT

Brexit will hurt business for German firms, DIHK says

Britain's departure from the European Union will significantly hurt German firms' business with the United Kingdom and investment will decline strongly in the long term, the president of Germany's DIHK Chambers of Commerce said on Tuesday.
Four in ten companies expect business to weaken, DIHK President Eric Schweitzer said a day before Britain triggers divorce proceedings with the European Union.
"We should expect further declines in trade in the coming months," he added.
He said almost one in ten companies was already planning to withdraw investment from Britain even though the terms of Britain's departure are not yet known.

Tue Mar 28, 2017 | 3:09am EDT

Changes: Five ways Brexit will transform the EU

Leaving the European Union, to be triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, may transform Britain but it will also change the EU. Here's how:
The Union's budget accounts for only 2 percent of public spending in the bloc. But in the east, transfers from Brussels contribute a much bigger share - some 8 percent of Poland's budget and nearly a fifth of Bulgaria's.
Without Britain, Brussels will have about a sixth less to give to countries that are net recipients, setting up a fight between east and west over a 7-year spending plan from 2021.
In the short term, there will also be a battle with Britain over what it owes on leaving. London may choose to keep paying for access to some key EU budgets, such as for research. But big accounts, like farm subsidies, could be in for radical review.
Britain has used its 12-percent share of EU votes to curb Brussels spending and push hard for free trade. Its departure worries smaller northern allies like the Nordics and Dutch.
Poorer easterners, whose membership Britain championed, fret that Germany and France may stiffen barriers to their low-wage workforce or beef up EU federal powers the ex-communist states dislike. Aspiring new members, notably in the Balkans, also lose an ally against rich westerners wary of further EU enlargement.
The 19 euro countries will lose a key block on their caucus power. They can now outvote non-euro states, but only just. A non-euro bloc led by Poland and Sweden would need major dissent among euro countries to prevent the euro zone setting EU policy.
France becomes the EU's only nuclear-armed, veto-wielding U.N. Security Council member and loses a dogged opponent of its ambitions for more EU defense cooperation outside the U.S.-led NATO alliance; defense is already back on Brussels' agenda.
Germany, ambivalent about being seen as dominating Europe by dint of its economic muscle and being home to nearly one post-Brexit EU citizen in five, is uneasy about how to maintain balance, notably with economically struggling co-founder France.
The EU loses a hefty interlocutor with the United States and the wider English-speaking world. A historic diplomatic and military force, Britain's insight and influence with powers like China and Russia or in the Middle East have been useful to the EU. In Africa, a source of growing concern over migration, British aid budgets and other clout have played a key role.
London's tough line with Moscow has won it friends among the likes of the Baltic states and the Netherlands, which fear that a softer approach from France, Italy and, possibly, Germany will undermine a consensus for pressuring Russia with sanctions over its actions in Ukraine or for cutting dependence on Russian gas.

"The European single currency is bound to fail, economically, politically and indeed socially, though the timing, occasion and full consequences are all necessarily still unclear."

Margaret Thatcher
We close on UK Freedom Day with yet another red flag from America, that all is not well in the US economy, and hasn’t been for some time despite Trumpmania. As go new car sales so goes America, isn’t quite 100 percent, but it’s pretty close. This development wants careful watching. Skies do fall from time to time.
"(A unified) 'Europe' is the result of plans. It is, in fact, a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage done is in doubt."

Margaret Thatcher

New cars are taking longer to sell than they have since 2009

Published: Mar 27, 2017 10:02 p.m. ET

Incentives persist as competition rises for dealers to sell new vehicles

That new car on the dealer’s lot is getting older — fast.
New vehicles in March were sitting on the dealer’s lot for about 70 days, the longest amount of time for any month since July 2009, according to research firms J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive. 
During previous months, new cars hovered in the lot around 65 days, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. It takes dealers about a week longer to sell new cars than it did this time last year, said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at used and new car sales site
There are a few reasons for the delay: The first, manufacturers have an imbalance in the vehicles they’re producing compared with the vehicles consumers want, Schuster said. More people have become interested in SUVs and manufacturers increased SUV production without decreasing the production of other cars. “Deals on vehicles will still be very strong, and to take that a step farther, with the launch of new vehicles, the competitive pressure is at an all-time high,” Schuster said. The second, the industry might have seen its “peak,” where they’ve seen unprecedented growth in sales that is beginning to level out, Krebs said. And third, people are tightening their purse strings and opting for less expensive vehicles, sometimes in the form of used rental cars.
New-car sales for March are expected to have a 3% increase year-over-year, according to vehicle valuation and consumer resource Kelley Blue Book, and though that is the second highest first quarter on record followed by the first quarter of 2000, it is still likely to finish flat compared to last year because of a weaker demand from consumers. Overall, car sales have been slowing down in recent months. Dealers have been pushing incentives, such as favorable interest rates and cash rebates, Schuster said.

The average new-vehicle price is $31,074 this month, just a few dollars more than it was this time last year at $31,049. Incentive spending, which is how much consumers get in deals, per vehicle was $3,768, a record for the month of March and the highest since March 2009, when it was at a high of $3,609.

"Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' is not above sudden, disturbing, movements. Since its inception, capitalism has known slumps and recessions, bubble and froth; no one has yet dis-invented the business cycle, and probably no one will; and what Schumpeter famously called the 'gales of creative destruction' still roar mightily from time to time. To lament these things is ultimately to lament the bracing blast of freedom itself."

Margaret Thatcher

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 41.28 Moz, Eligible 150.21 Moz, Total 191.49 Moz.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today some very bad news from Germany. The world’s largest gold coin, has gone missing. Who knew all you needed was a ladder round the back by the railway tracks. My guess, it’s probably on its way to Turkey by now, if not already there.

"Countries trade with each other - or to be more precise people buy and sell from each other across frontiers - because that is the way to advance their interests. We do not need to beg people to trade with us - as long as we have something that people want, of a quality they expect and at a price they are prepared to pay."

Margaret Thatcher

A $4.5 million, giant gold coin was just stolen from a German museum

Published: Mar 28, 2017 3:43 a.m. ET

The coin is in the Guinness Book of World Records

A gold coin weighing in at a whopping 221 pounds was reportedly stolen in the wee hours of Monday morning from Berlin’s Bode Museum.

A spokesman for the museum quoted by the Associated Press said the thieves—likely more than one considering the weight of the coin—broke in through a window at 3:30 a.m., snatched the “Big Maple Leaf” coin from a cabinet, and escaped before police could get there. He also said, without specifying, the coin is on loan from a private collection.

A police spokesman told Reuters that the coin was secured with bulletproof glass and that the thieves got in through the back of the museum by railroad tracks, where a ladder was later found.

The coin is more than an inch thick with a diameter of 21 inches. Its face value is said to be $1 million, but by weight alone, it would bring in almost $4.5 million at market prices. Gold GCJ7, -0.18%  recently took out highs not seen in a month in the wake of GOP leaders’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The coin, with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and a maple leaf on the other, holds a Guinness record for its purity, the AP reported.

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein, “Mr. Goldman Sacks,” CEO of Goldman Sachs, unintentionally backs Brexit in a speech to US graduates, mid 2016.

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?

How graphene could cool smartphone, computer and other electronics chips

Date: March 27, 2017

Source: Rutgers University

Summary: With graphene, researchers have discovered a powerful way to cool tiny chips – key components of electronic devices with billions of transistors apiece.
"You can fit graphene, a very thin, two-dimensional material that can be miniaturized, to cool a hot spot that creates heating problems in your chip, said Eva Y. Andrei, Board of Governors professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "This solution doesn't have moving parts and it's quite efficient for cooling."
The shrinking of electronic components and the excessive heat generated by their increasing power has heightened the need for chip-cooling solutions, according to a Rutgers-led study published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using graphene combined with a boron nitride crystal substrate, the researchers demonstrated a more powerful and efficient cooling mechanism.
"We've achieved a power factor that is about two times higher than in previous thermoelectric coolers," said Andrei, who works in the School of Arts and Sciences.
The power factor refers to the effectiveness of active cooling. That's when an electrical current carries heat away, as shown in this study, while passive cooling is when heat diffuses naturally.
Graphene has major upsides. It's a one-atom-thick layer of graphite, which is the flaky stuff inside a pencil. The thinnest flakes, graphene, consist of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice that looks like chicken wire, Andrei said. It conducts electricity better than copper, is 100 times stronger than steel and quickly diffuses heat.

"To be free is better than to be unfree - always. Any politician who suggests the opposite should be treated as suspect."

Margaret Thatcher

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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