Thursday, 13 April 2017

Maundy Thursday Edition.

Baltic Dry Index. 1282 +20       Brent Crude 55.86

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

LIR updates notice. There will be no LIR update tomorrow, Good Friday. The next update will be the weekend update on Holy Saturday. A Happy Easter and Passover to all.

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will."

President Trump.

Is President Trump about to restart the Korean war over Easter? Or is he like “The Grand Old Duke of York” merely marching his men to the top of the hill, to march them down again. Or in President Trump’s case sailing his carrier group to North Korea, to have them sail away again? Who knows, probably not even “the Donald,” who seems to take his decisions based on what US TV media are promoting as outrage of the moment.  The South Koreans seem to think that they have a right to be consulted before President Trump starts a new Korean war. I hope their US Ambassador has good cable TV and a hotline to Seoul.

Below, reason to be flat this Easter. Risk off. Gold long.

Thu Apr 13, 2017 | 12:43am EDT

Tensions grow on Korean peninsula ahead of 'big and important event'

South Korea said on Thursday it believed it would be consulted by the United States before any possible pre-emptive U.S. strike against Pyongyang, where foreign journalists gathered for "a big and important event".

With a U.S. aircraft carrier group steaming to the area, tensions on the Korean peninsula grew this week 
amid concern that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and benefactor, has called for a peaceful resolution after a sharp rise in rhetoric between the United States and Pyongyang.

While U.S. President Donald Trump has put North Korea "clearly on notice" that he would not tolerate provocative actions by the North, U.S. officials have said his administration was focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions.

Trump has diverted the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group toward the Korean peninsula, which could take more than a week to arrive, in a show of force aimed at deterring North Korea from conducting another nuclear test or launching more missiles to coincide with major commemorative events.

The possibility of U.S. military action against North Korea in response to such tests gained traction after the U.S. Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said he believed Washington would consult Seoul if it was considering a pre-emptive strike against the North.

"Under the South Korea-U.S. alliance, any important measure on the North is taken under consultation with the South Korea government and it will continue in the future," Yun told a parliamentary hearing.

A Washington-based think tank that monitors North Korea, 38 North, said satellite images taken on Wednesday showed continued activity around the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site on the east coast that showed it was ready for a new test.

Thu Apr 13, 2017 | 1:13am EDT

North Korea may be capable of sarin-tipped missiles: Japan PM

North Korea may have the capacity to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve gas, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, amid concerns that the reclusive state could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches.

"There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to deliver missiles with sarin as warheads," Abe told a parliamentary session.

Members of a Japanese doomsday cult killed 12 people and made thousands ill in 1995 in simultaneous attacks with sarin nerve gas on five Tokyo rush-hour subway trains.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated over Pyongyang's continued nuclear and missile testing program, with the United States warning it could take unilateral action and sending a navy carrier group to near the Korean peninsula in a show of force aimed at deterring more tests.

North Korea marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday, North Korea's biggest national day called "Day of the Sun". Leaders have in the past used the date to carry out weapons tests.

North Korea has launched several missile tests this year, the latest on April 5 when it fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast. It conducted its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, 2016.

In other Asian news, another Trump U-turn. With a hot war with North Korea possibly starting next week, the trade war with China is off for now.
We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country. And that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.
President Trump.
Thu Apr 13, 2017 | 12:40am EDT

China's economic picture brightens as trade data tops forecasts, Trump softens tone

China's 2017 export outlook brightened considerably on Thursday as it reported forecast-beating trade growth in March and U.S. President Donald Trump softened his anti-China rhetoric in an abrupt policy shift.
Washington's improving ties with Beijing were underscored when Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview on Wednesday that he would not declare China a currency manipulator as he had pledged to do on his first day in office.

The comments were an about-face from Trump's campaign promises, which had rattled China and other Asian exporters, and came days after his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping where he pressed China to help rein in North Korea.

China's exports rose at the fastest pace in a little more than two years in March, climbing 16.4 percent from a year earlier in a further sign that global demand is picking up, the customs office reported on Thursday.

Import growth remained strong at 20.3 percent, driven by the country's voracious appetite for oil, copper, iron ore, coal and soybeans, whose volumes all surged from February despite worries about rising inventories. Crude oil imports hit a record high.

The stronger trade data reinforced the growing view that economic activity in China has remained resilient or is even picking up, adding oomph to a global manufacturing revival.

"There are increased signs of warming up in the global economy", which helped China's steady growth in the first quarter, Yan Pengcheng, a spokesman for the country's top economic planning agency, told a news conference on Thursday.

----A shadow has fallen over the trade relationship between China and the United States, its largest export market, as Trump has railed against the massive trade imbalance between the two countries, which was $347 billion in favor of China last year.

China's exports to the U.S. rose 19.7 percent in March on-year, while imports from the U.S. rose 15.1 percent.

But China's trade surplus with U.S. remained high in the first quarter at $49.6 billion, down only slightly from $50.57 billion in the year-ago period.

Customs spokesman Huang Songping said on Thursday that better communication between China and the United States will benefit trade and investment between the two countries.

Trump pressed Xi to help reduce the gap at last week's first meeting, with the countries agreeing to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting U.S. exports and reducing China's surplus with the United States.

----Despite Trump's comments backing away from labeling China a currency manipulator, many analysts reckon the new administration is just beginning to flex its trade muscles with Beijing and other major trading partners.

The U.S. launched a probe to determine whether imports of Chinese aluminum foil should be subject to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on March 27.
Next, does history repeat? Ray Dalio fears that it might.

Ray Dalio explains why we may be repeating the mistakes of the 1930s

Bob Bryan Apr. 7, 2017, 10:52 AM
Ray Dalio thinks the world's current path is looking eerily similar to one of the worst decades in recent history.

The founder and former CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, said the economic and political issues popping up around the world were similar to the problems experienced in the lead-up to World War II.

In an interview with Business Insider's global Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget on "The Bottom Line," Business Insider's new weekly business news show, Dalio said the rise of populist leaders across the globe could lead the world down the same path as the 1930s.

"In the 1930s, which was quite similar to a lot of the period we've been through economically," Dalio said, "we had the wealth gap, we had large debts, we had zero interest rates."

The economic fallout of World War I and the Great Depression led to a growth of inequality in the 1930s, pushing many people around the globe toward populist politicians they felt were more aggressive and combative.

"During this same type of period, we experienced more populism, most countries became populist, and so it's very important to understand that," Dalio said.

Given the devastating impact of the rise of populist leaders in the 1930s, Dalio said the current rise of populist sentiment in the US and Europe should warrant scrutiny.

"If you were to see that happen in the United States, Europe, and so on you would have something that would be of concern, because that would alter how the economic conditions work," he said.
Dalio highlighted the rise of President Donald Trump and nationalist French politician Marine Le Pen and said it was important to keep an eye on the institutions that undergird democracies in the US and Europe.
"There are issues here that will be interesting to compare with, such as the sanctuary-city question, or such as the Supreme Court," Dalio said. "Will those conflicts become such that they will become more antagonistic than normal and that tend to be more detrimental to the efficient running of the system?"
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.

At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 30.29 Moz, Eligible 159.57 Moz, Total 189.86 Moz.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Below, another Scottish mystery like Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. But will it be any easier to find?
5 April, 2017 - 18:59 Ashley Cowie

It Started with Bonnie Prince Charlie: Treachery and Skullduggery Accompany a Hunt for Lost Jacobite Gold in the Scottish Highlands

Although only one leather bag of gold coins has ever been recovered, no other treasure in Scottish history has inspired such controversy as the lost Jacobite Gold. The story begins in 1745 when Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) arrived in Scotland claiming the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland, in the name of his father James Stuart (the Old Pretender). Charlie managed to secure financial support from both Spain and Rome.

The Story of the Jacobite Gold

Spain pledged 400,000 livres (or Louis d'or) per month for the Jacobite cause in Scotland, but getting these funds to the rebel army was proving difficult. The first instalment of gold was dispatched in 1745 by Charles' brother Henry, who was residing in France. The French sloop Hazard (renamed the Prince Charles) successfully landed its monies on the north coast of Scotland at Tongue, but it was intercepted by men of the Clan Mackay, who were loyal to King George II of England.

In 1746, after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was massacred at the Battle of Culloden near Inverness, he fled to the Western Isles. Before news of his defeat reached France, two frigates, the Bellona and Mars, were loaded with hundreds of casks of brandy, medical supplies, guns and ammunition, and hidden below deck was the payroll for Charlie’s Jacobite army and funds for his rebellion – 8 big bags of gold coins amounting to 1’200’000 livres. On the 10th of May 1746, the Bellona and Mars sailed into Loch nan Umah near Fort William on Scotland’s west coast - where they unloaded the stores and treasure. Six caskets of gold were transported about 20 miles (32.19 km) overland and buried somewhere near the banks of Loch Arkaig, just north of Fort William.
The secret location of the gold was entrusted to Murray of Broughton, a Jacobite fugitive who was expected to distribute the gold to the clan chiefs. But when he was apprehended by government forces the treasure was entrusted first to Lochiel, chief of Clan Cameron, and then to Euan Macpherson of Cluny, chief of Clan Macpherson. In September 1746, Prince Charles escaped on the French frigate L'Heureux and Macpherson of Cluny retained control of the treasure. And for the next 8 years he famously lived in exile in the Scottish Highlands at a mysterious location known as Cluny’s Cave, which was featured in Robert Louis Stephenson's ‘Kidnapped’.
Prince Charles became obsessed with securing his treasure in Scotland and in 1753 he sent his loyal supporter, Dr. Archibald Cameron, Lochiel's brother (who was acting as secretary to the Old Pretender) back to Scotland on a covert mission to secure the treasure. Dr. Cameron based his treasure recovery mission at Brenachyle, by Loch Katerine, but he was betrayed by the notorious 'Pickle', a Hanoverian spy. After being arrested and charged for his part in the 1745 Jacobite uprising, he was drawn and hanged in 1753, becoming the last Jacobite to be executed.
The Stuarts' papers are currently in the possession of Queen Elizabeth II and they record several accusations, claims, and counter-claims among the Highland chiefs and Jacobites in exile as to the fate of the gold. They also include an account from around 1750, drawn up in Rome by Archibald Cameron, which prove Cluny "had not or could not" account for all of the gold. Charles finally accused Cluny of embezzlement and the gold became a source of discord and grievance among the surviving Jacobites. 
Having spent over a decade researching the known historical texts and records pertaining to the whereabouts of this treasure, I have been able to derive four solid clues as to the possible whereabouts of the gold, from the hard evidence and stories associated to this gold hoard.

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?

Below, a truly life changing development.

Graphene, electricity used to change stem cells for nerve regrowth

Date: April 10, 2017

Source: Iowa State University

Summary: Scientists are combining their expertise to change stem cells for nerve regrowth.
Researchers looking for ways to regenerate nerves can have a hard time obtaining key tools of their trade.
Schwann cells are an example. They form sheaths around axons, the tail-like parts of nerve cells that carry electrical impulses. They promote regeneration of those axons. And they secrete substances that promote the health of nerve cells.
In other words, they're very useful to researchers hoping to regenerate nerve cells, specifically peripheral nerve cells, those cells outside the brain and spinal cord.
But Schwann cells are hard to come by in useful numbers.
So researchers have been taking readily available and noncontroversial mesenchymal stem cells (also called bone marrow stromal stem cells that can form bone, cartilage and fat cells) and using a chemical process to turn them, or as researchers say, differentiate them into Schwann cells. But it's an arduous, step-by-step and expensive process.
Researchers at Iowa State University are exploring what they hope will be a better way to transform those stem cells into Schwann-like cells. They've developed a nanotechnology that uses inkjet printers to print multi-layer graphene circuits and also uses lasers to treat and improve the surface structure and conductivity of those circuits.
It turns out mesenchymal stem cells adhere and grow well on the treated circuit's raised, rough and 3-D nanostructures. Add small doses of electricity -- 100 millivolts for 10 minutes per day over 15 days -- and the stem cells become Schwann-like cells.
The researchers' findings are featured on the front cover of the scientific journal Advanced Healthcare Materials. Jonathan Claussen, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, is lead author. Suprem Das, a postdoctoral research associate in mechanical engineering and an associate of the Ames Laboratory; and Metin Uz, a postdoctoral research associate in chemical and biological engineering, are first authors.
The project is supported by funds from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Iowa State's College of Engineering, the department of mechanical engineering and the Carol Vohs Johnson Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering held by Surya Mallapragada, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, an associate of the Ames Laboratory and a paper co-author.
"This technology could lead to a better way to differentiate stem cells," Uz said. "There is huge potential here."

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished March

DJIA: 20,663  +131 Up. NASDAQ:  5,912 +165 Up. SP500: 2,363 +135 Up.

No comments:

Post a Comment