Monday, 3 April 2017

The Trump And Xi Summit By The Sea.

Baltic Dry Index. 1297 -27       Brent Crude 53.40

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

“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

Winston S. Churchill

The big meeting between the two presidents takes place in Palm Beach Florida, this Thursday and Friday. President Trump will summit in his modest Palm Beach home Mar-a-Lago, between the Sea and the Lake (Worth.) President Xi and his wife are to slum it at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa. The big topics, trade and North Korea.

Below, diplomacy in the 21st century.

Trump summit will be only US stop for Xi, says Secret Service source

US media reports add that Chinese president will not stay at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 2:47am UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 5:07pm
President Xi Jinping will limit his US visit next month to Palm Beach, Florida, and local US media are reporting that he won’t stay at Mar-a-Lago, US President Donald Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach residence.
A US Secret Service spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that Xi and his delegation would be in Palm Beach on April 6 and 7 for meetings with Trump, and that the ­Chinese president had no other US stops planned.
The spokesperson declined to confirm reports from CNBC and the Palm Beach Post that Xi would stay at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa during his stay.
The White House has not formally announced Xi’s visit, but a senior state department official said on Tuesday that the two leaders would meet in the first full week in April. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had planned to skip a meeting of Nato foreign ministers scheduled for April 5 and 6 to attend the summit.
Xi’s trip to Florida may follow a visit to Finland. The Finnish president’s office said on Wednesday night that Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, would make a state visit to the country on April 5. Xi will meet his counterpart Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Juha Sipila in ­Helsinki to discuss economic and diplomatic matters.
Observers of the planned Xi-Trump summit said the fact that the governments involved had kept quiet about the much anticipated meeting was a departure from diplomatic norms.
It was a sign that Beijing and Washington were negotiating the final details until just days ahead of the summit, they said.
“It is quite extraordinary that no confirmation has been made about the summit even after ­Tillerson’s trip to China, which was aimed at paving the way for the Xi-Trump meeting,” Pang Zhongying, a professor of inter­national relations at Renmin ­University in Beijing, said.
In the past, presidential summits between the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies had usually been officially ­announced weeks, if not months, in advance, observers noted.
---- Analysts said the secrecy surrounding the Xi-Trump summit was also because both sides were aware of the enormous stakes the meeting had, and the increasing challenges to Sino-US relations.
“The fact that neither side has confirmed the trip means there are still certain issues and differences to be smoothed over,” Jin Canrong, a foreign affairs analyst at Renmin University, said.
Pang agreed that the delayed confirmation of the summit showed bilateral ties were facing greater uncertainty under Trump.
“Apparently, Trump has posed unprecedented challenges for Chinese officials and diplomats, who should be adept at making preparations for leadership summits,” he said.

Trump Says U.S. Could Act Alone on Threat From North Korea

by Sho Chandra and Margaret Talev
President Donald Trump said the U.S. can “totally” address North Korea’s nuclear threat unilaterally if China doesn’t cooperate to put pressure on that nation, according to the Financial Times.

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,” Trump said in an interview published on Sunday. When pressed about whether he could do it one-on-one without China’s help, the president said, “I don’t have to say any more. Totally.”

The comments come ahead of Trump’s planned summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The North Korean threat is expected to take center stage at the April 6-7 talks. Trump said he’ll discuss North Korea and the scope for cooperation when he hosts the Chinese leader.

“China has great influence over North Korea,” Trump said in the interview. “And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t.” Cooperation with the U.S. “will be very good for China,” he said. If they don’t cooperate, “it won’t be good for anyone.”

Fri Mar 31, 2017 | 7:55am EDT

U.S. diplomatic delays, Trump agenda snarl Italy's G7 agenda

Italy's preparations for hosting this year's Group of Seven major powers meetings have been hampered by the slow transition at the U.S. State Department, which has created decision-making bottlenecks, European diplomatic sources said.
The G7 draws together the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada, with countries taking it in turn to draw up agendas that they see as of pressing concern.
Italy holds the 2017 presidency and its objectives laid out this week appeared to put Rome on a collision course with U.S. President Donald Trump by promoting highly sensitive topics such as climate change, free trade and immigration initiatives.
The G7 foreign ministers meet in Tuscany on April 10-11, preparing for a leaders' summit in Sicily at the end of May.
However, officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said efforts to reach an agreement on statements and strategy ahead of time - a normal part of pre-meeting G7 diplomacy - were going slowly.
The immediate concerns lay with the State Department, where new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has left vacant numerous positions seen as vital to drafting summit accords.
"It's very difficult to talk to someone who can give a straight answer because the ones who are there are 'acting' head of something and they're not even very senior," said a senior Italian government official involved in G7 diplomacy.
     The White House has yet to nominate candidates for either of the two deputy secretary of state slots, beneath Tillerson. Further down the chain, all six of the department's regional bureaus are led by acting assistant secretaries of state, while Trump has yet to appoint ambassadors to Italy or the Vatican.

The Mar

The Eau.

It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to do it.  Whatever happened to The Breakers?

The EC’s Juncker says the UK cannot negotiate trade deals while still a member of the EU. But non-trade deal negotiations are OK, of course. The “what-if” two year marathon talks begin. 

“Tact is the ability to step on a man's toes without messing up the shine on his shoes.”

Harry Truman

Hammond and Carney Visit India to Promote Post-Brexit Vision

by Svenja O'Donnell
1 April 2017, 22:30 BST
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney are headed to India “to bang the drum for British business,” and make the case that London will remain a main finance hub even after Brexit.
The trip to New Delhi and Mumbai comes on the heels of the U.K. formally triggering two years of exit talks from the European Union. Alongside the messiness of that divorce, the U.K. needs to pursue new business deals. India is a tantalizing prize given the size of its economy and appetite for better roads, bridges and power supplies.
Hammond, accompanied by a delegation of ministers and business leaders, will stress the importance of the City as a place that can finance projects great and small, be it in the realm of technology or infrastructure. The Treasury is estimating India may need over $1.5 trillion of capital for infrastructure investment alone in coming years.
“The U.K. is perfectly placed to be India’s financial partner of choice, helping it to raise the finance needed for its continued rapid growth," Hammond said. As Britain leaves the EU “looking to boost our trade and investment beyond the borders of Europe and strengthening our relationships with the world’s most vibrant economies is more important than ever.”

May Visits Jordan and Saudi Arabia to Promote Trade and Security

by Robert Hutton and Alex Morales
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May begins a visit to Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Monday, with the goal of building security and commercial ties.

May will travel to Amman on Monday, to discuss additional British support for the Royal Jordanian Air Force in its attacks on Islamic State forces, and then move on to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, where her office said the focus would be on trade.

The visits are the prime minister’s first overseas trips since giving official notification last week that the U.K. will leave the European Union, casting doubt over Britain’s future trading relations with its biggest market.

----Saudi Arabia is a major U.K. customer, importing 6.6 billion pounds ($8.3 billion) of goods and services in 2015. Saudi intelligence services also work closely with their U.K. counterparts. These ties have led British prime ministers to offer little public criticism of the country’s human rights policies.

“It is clearly in the U.K.’s security and prosperity interests to support Jordan and Saudi Arabia in tackling regional challenges to create a more stable region, and in delivering their ambitious reform programs to ensure their own stability,” May said in an emailed statement before she left. “And there is so much we can do together on trade, with immense potential for Saudi investment to provide a boost to the British economy.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

 Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 29.50 Moz, Eligible 160.72 Moz, Total 190.22 Moz.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more from Berlin’s never ending nightmare, the five billion airport from hell. If this were happening in Greece, Italy or Turkey, no one would be very surprised, but this is Germany, home of the dodgy dirty diesel! 

Berlin’s Airport Debacle: Five Years Late and Counting

Delays at the new airport have doubled the cost, to $5 billion, and damaged the finances of airlines and local businesses.
by Stefan Nicola 30 March 2017, 05:01 BST
Berlin’s new international airport is almost five years late, and no one can say when it might take off.
The airport’s planned launch in June 2012 was scrapped a month before its unveiling because of fire safety issues, and it’s since been pushed back three times. With costs piling up at €13 million ($14 million) a month, the operating company in March saw the departure of its third chief in four years. The black eye for Germany’s exalted engineering prowess threatens to undermine a tourism boom in Berlin, and there’s talk of scrapping a plan to shutter Tegel, one of the city’s existing airports. “This airport should have been a world-class showpiece for Germany,” says Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, which has long sought to introduce service to Berlin. “It’s an embarrassment.”
The bill for Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt—most people call it BER—has more than doubled, to some €5 billion, since construction began in 2006. And the delayed opening has wounded local restaurants as well as airlines Air Berlin Plc and Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which had expected to expand routes from the capital. Instead, Germany’s biggest city has fewer overseas flights than Düsseldorf (with less than a quarter of Berlin’s population).

The list of construction defects reads like a bad joke: Automatic doors lacked electricity, escalators were too short, and a smoke-extraction system was so complex, yet ineffective, it was dubbed “the Monster,” according to daily tabloid Bild. To keep the air flowing and limit mold growth, empty trains run to an empty station in the basement of BER’s glass-clad terminal. Upstairs there’s everything an airport needs—except passengers.

Once BER opens, it may already be too small. It was designed to accommodate 27 million passengers annually—ample for the 18 million arrivals in Berlin in 2006. But last year, Tegel and the city’s other functioning airport, Schönefeld, handled 33 million passengers. And BER will have 118 check-in counters, about 80 fewer than the combined number at Tegel and Schönefeld. “Resolving the capacity problem of BER will take another several years,” says Simon Morris, vice president at aviation adviser ICF International.

“A diplomat who says “yes” means “maybe", a diplomat who says “maybe" means “no”, and a diplomat who says “no” is no diplomat.”

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

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?

A Company in Japan Just Broke the World Record for Solar Panel Efficiency

April 1, 2017

Solar power is certainly on the rise around the world. There are massive solar power generating installations across Asia, with countries like India and China taking turns being the home of the largest arrays. 

Even the United States is making some massive strides with this source of renewable energy. In fact, solar energy is faring better than coal—even in terms of the economy. There are more people employed by the solar industry than in coal, and the price of solar power continues to fall. A trend that is likely to continue—especially if we continue to improve the efficiency of harvesting the sun’s energy.

To that end, researchers in Japan are doing their part: a team from the company Kaneko has recently announced breaking the efficiency record of solar panels—which now stands at 26.6 percent. “Improving the photoconversion efficiency of silicon solar cells is crucial to further the deployment of renewable electricity,” says the team.

The research has been published in Nature Energy.

The company’s approach—known as thin-film heterojunction (HJ) optimization—improves on a technique that layers silicon inside individual cells to minimize the space where electrons can’t exist. These spaces are call band gaps. A few more innovations allowed for the collection of a greater number of photons, leading to a more efficient panel.

Other approaches have been able to reach an even higher efficiency percentage, but they are not yet viable for consumer-friendly applications.

Continuing on this trend toward efficiency is only going to make the prices of solar power continue to drop. Improvements in production processes will speed this along as well, since panels that are cheaper to produce will cost less for the consumer. Last year, the world was able to double its solar power capacity—so just imagine what will be possible with higher efficiency capabilities.

“You have no idea how much it contributes to the general politeness and pleasantness of diplomacy when you have a little quiet armed force in the background”

George F. Kennan

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished March

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

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