Friday 30 June 2017

H2 17 Arrives! Buyers Remorse?

Baltic Dry Index. 920 -09     Brent Crude 47.94

What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know Comrade Corbyn is nuts.

John Bull, with apologies to Homer Simpson.

Dress up Friday has finally arrived in the markets, but are US tech stocks signalling Trumpmania is finally ending? Is the harsh reality of real global uplift triggering higher interest rates, about to torpedoe most ships? With higher interest rates, is the debt tsunami about to reach shore? Has the high watermark of Trump, Trudeau, and Macron already been hit? Is it all “Calamity May” from here. “Sell in May, go away,” is starting to look better, than “every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” 

Tech stocks suggest, that far from getting better and better, tech stocks have run out of “greater fools” to buy them at ever higher and higher prices. Eventually all manias end the same way. That last tulip, didn’t give as much delight as the first. The wife and mistress both agree your nuts, you’ve been a greater fool. The specs look around and see the casino’s not as full as it used to be. And those left seem to be edging towards the door. Hopium morphs into fear and despair.

Below, the bloom seems to be off the rose. Just as rising tide raises all ships, a falling tide lowers them. As interest rates rise the tide falls. Cue the Fed’s Plunge Protection Team.

"Liquidation sometimes is orderly, but more frequently degenerates into panic as the realization spreads that there is only so much money, not enough to enable everyone to sell out at the top."

Charles P. Kindleberger,  Manias, Panics and Crashes.

Tech Spoils Bank Party as Stocks, Dollar Slide: Markets Wrap

By Samuel Potter and Jeremy Herron
28 June 2017, 23:18 GMT+1
The shift in tone from central banks in Europe and the U.S. continued to drive financial markets, with stocks and bonds selling off and currencies from the euro to the loonie padding gains versus the dollar.

The U.S. technology sector’s woes deepened as renewed selling in the year’s biggest winners sent software and chipmaker shares to the lowest in seven weeks. Investors rotated into banks after the Federal Reserve cleared them to repurchase stocks. The 10-year Treasury note rate topped 2.26 percent, while government debt in Europe sold off faster on hawkish sings from the European Central Bank. The euro hit the highest level in more than a year and sterling rose a seventh day.

Volatility returned the financial markets as investors grapple with the fallout from central banks that seem intent on raising interest rates amid signs that the global economy is picking up steam, signaling the start of the end to nine years of stimulus. Tech remained a victim of investor rotation from growth to value stocks, suggesting that investors may be questioning the growth prospects in the world’s largest economy.

Here are some key upcoming events and data releases:
  • The Trump travel restrictions start from 8 p.m. New York time today, a person familiar said.
  • Japan’s calendar is even heavier with economic data on Friday, with reports due on inflation, factory output, unemployment, household consumption and housing starts.

Fri Jun 30, 2017 | 5:16am BST

Dollar sulky on hawkish central banks, Asia stocks join global slump

The dollar extended its losses on Friday as major central banks signalled that the era of cheap money was coming to an end in a boon to sterling, the euro and the Canadian dollar, while Asian shares were hit by dismal performances of European and U.S. markets.

"International markets continued to adjust for a 2018 outlook where other central banks join the Fed in gradually reducing monetary stimulus," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, wrote in a note.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.1 percent to 95.505, poised for a 1.8 percent slide this week, having fallen in all sessions but one. It is down 1.45 percent for the month, and 4.8 percent for the quarter.

The Korean won weakened against the dollar after the country reported industrial production rose by 0.2 percent in May from a month earlier, missing expectations for growth of 1.5 percent. That followed a 2.2 percent decline in April

The dollar was up 0.3 percent at 1,144.3 won KRW=KFTC.

But the greenback remained lower against other major currencies. Adding to the dollar's weakness against the yen was data showing Japanese core consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in May from a year earlier in its fifth straight month of gains, although inflation remains well below the central bank's 2 percent target.

The dollar fell 0.25 percent to 111.84 yen, after losing 0.2 percent on Thursday. It was heading for a 1.1 percent gain for the month, but is down 4.3 percent this year.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney surprised many on Wednesday by conceding a rate hike was likely to be needed as the economy came closer to running at full capacity.

Sterling GBP=D3 was 0.1 percent higher on Friday at $1.3017, adding to Thursday's 0.6 percent gain.
Two top policymakers at the Bank of Canada also suggested they might tighten monetary policy there as early as July.

China Manufacturing Rose in June Amid Global Upturn

Bloomberg News
China’s official factory gauge concluded the first half of the year on a robust note, the latest evidence of stable momentum that gives policy makers room to continue defusing financial risks.

Key Points

  • The manufacturing purchasing managers index increased to 51.7 in June, beating all estimates compiled by a Bloomberg survey of economists, and the 51.2 reading in May
  • The non-manufacturing PMI rose to 54.9 compared to 54.5 a month earlier
  • New export orders rose to 52.0, the highest level since April 2012 
  • Numbers higher than 50 indicate expansionary conditions; below 50 signals contraction
·         Economic activity this year has proven more resilient than expected, giving policy makers time to focus on reining in financial risks and cooling a frothy property sector. Firmer global trade is boosting corporate profits and hiring, easing fears -- for now -- that efforts to cut excessive financial borrowing could derail the government’s target of 6.5 percent expansion in output.

Companies are assuming that curbs on excess leverage and the property sector will be transient this year, as the Communist Party won’t allow much economic pain before the leadership transition in the fall, according to a report published by research firm CBB International this week.

China’s manufacturing PMI reached its second highest level this year on the back of improving market sentiment and industrial upgrading, according to an NBS statement posted on its website. Pharmaceuticals, electrical and mechanical equipment manufacturing sectors performed especially well, while some traditional industries such as petroleum processing are under pressure, according to the statement.

"Stronger foreign demand is helping to support manufacturing activity," Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in Singapore, wrote in a note. "The price components both increased for the first time since December, suggesting that downward pressure on producer prices may now be easing."

Fri Jun 30, 2017 | 12:17am BST

BoE's Haldane says need to look seriously at rate hike - BBC

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said on Thursday that the central bank needed to "look seriously" at raising interest rates to keep a lid on inflation which has pushed past the BoE's target and is set to rise further.

Last week, Haldane surprised financial markets by saying he was likely to vote for higher borrowing costs this year, adding to speculation about the first BoE rate hike in a decade.

"We need to look seriously at the possibility of raising interest rates to keep the lid on those cost of living increases," Haldane told the BBC during a visit to Wales.

"For now we are happy with where the rates are, we need to be vigilant for what happens next."
British inflation is at its highest level in nearly four years at 2.9 percent, tightening the squeeze on consumers who now face the added worry of political uncertainty after this month's inconclusive election.

In other news, Mrs Merkel seems to be spoiling for a G-20 fight in Hamburg. China does its own thing. A repeat of the summer of 1987? Russia takes a pot-shot at “Big Lizzie.”

Merkel Slaps at Trump, Brexit in Combative Preview of G-20

By Patrick Donahue and Arne Delfs
29 June 2017, 08:27 GMT+1 29 June 2017, 11:32 GMT+1
German Chancellor Angela Merkel championed Europe, dismissed Brexit and said efforts to fight climate change are irreversible in a combative speech ahead of the Group of 20 summit that’s shaping up to be a confrontation over the direction of global policy.

Merkel, in a speech to lawmakers in Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday, noted that “the world has become less united” and acknowledged that discussions at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg on July 7-8 “will be very difficult.”

“The discord is obvious and it would be dishonest to paper over the conflict,” she said.

Merkel is preparing to host world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping of China amid a global shake-up that threatens much of the international order on issues established since World War II. On the agenda for the meeting are free trade, climate change and migration. G-20 nations, from Australia to Brazil, make up about two-thirds of the world population.
In a swipe at Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, the chancellor said that nations turning to isolation and protectionism are making a serious mistake and showcased a renewed “spirit of unity” in the European Union after the U.K. decision to exit.

All the same, the G-20 takes place “amid a particular set of challenges,” she said. “I’m convinced that we need the G-20 more urgently than ever before, because we can only move things together,” Merkel said. “Whoever believes that you can solve problems through isolation and protectionism is making a grave error.”

The German leader reserved her most dramatic language for the Paris climate treaty after Trump pulled out of the global accord aimed at confronting climate change, which Merkel called “irreversible and not negotiable.”

“We want to tackle this existential challenge and we can’t and we won’t wait until the last person on earth is convinced of the scientific basis for climate change,” Merkel said.

In response to Trump’s inward shift, Merkel played up new French President Emmanuel Macron as an ally, saying the German-France axis will drive forward European unity, “regardless of Brexit.” She is hosting Macron in Berlin on Thursday along with European leaders including the U.K.’s Theresa May and Paolo Gentiloni of Italy to align their position ahead of the G-20.

Fri Jun 30, 2017 | 1:40am BST

China builds new military facilities on South China Sea islands - think tank

China has built new military facilities on islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday, a move that could raise tensions with Washington, which has accused Beijing of militarising the vital waterway.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said new satellite images show missile shelters and radar and communications facilities being built on the Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs in the Spratly Islands.

The United States has criticized China's build-up of military facilities on the artificial islands and is concerned they could be used to restrict free movement through the South China Sea, an important trade route.

Last month, a U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in a so-called freedom of navigation operation, the first such challenge to Beijing's claim to most of the waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

China has denied U.S. charges that it is militarising the sea, which also is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Trump has sought China's help in reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and tension between Washington and Beijing over military installations in the South China Sea could complicate those efforts.

China has built four new missile shelters on Fiery Cross Reef to go with the eight already on the artificial island, AMTI said. Mischief and Subi each have eight shelters, the think tank said in a previous report.

In February, Reuters reported that China had nearly finished building structures to house long-range surface-to-air missiles on the three islands.

On Mischief Reef, a very large antennae array is being installed that presumably boosts Beijing's ability to monitor the surroundings, the think tank said, adding that the installation should be of concern to the Philippines due to its proximity to an area claimed by Manila.

A large dome recently was installed on Fiery Cross and another is under construction, indicating a sizeable communications or radar system, AMTI said. Two more domes are being built at Mischief Reef, it said.

Thu Jun 29, 2017 | 2:44pm BST

Russia calls Britain's new aircraft carrier 'a convenient target'

The Russian military mocked Britain's new aircraft carrier on Thursday, saying the HMS Queen Elizabeth presented "a large convenient target" and would be wise to keep its distance from Moscow's warships.
The giant vessel, Britain's most advanced and biggest warship, embarked on its maiden voyage on Monday, prompting British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to say he thought the Russians would look at it "with a little bit of envy."

Stung by that remark and angered by Fallon calling Russia's sole aircraft carrier "dilapidated," the Russian defence ministry issued a strongly-worded statement on Thursday, criticising Fallon and deriding the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

"These rapturous statements ... about the supremacy of the new aircraft carrier's beautiful exterior over the Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov expose Fallon's utter ignorance of naval military science," the ministry said.

"Like a bee, the British aircraft carrier is only capable of independently releasing planes from its belly closely flanked by a swarm of warships, support ships and submarines to protect it. That is why ... the British aircraft carrier is merely a large convenient naval target."

The ageing Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, and a ship that Fallon has criticised more than once, was by contrast armed with an array of defensive missiles, the ministry said, warning the HMS Queen Elizabeth to keep her distance from the Russian navy.

"It is in the interests of the British Royal Navy not to show off the 'beauty' of its aircraft carrier on the high seas any closer than a few hundred miles from its Russian 'distant relative'," the ministry said.

Freedom is the right to tell Europe what they do not want to hear.

President Trump, with apologies to George Orwell.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, it’s those unstoppable, dastardly, genius Russians again. Of course, the source of this article being American, it’s quite possible, the American’s are now falling for their own deep state propaganda.
Russians. Is there anything they can't do?
With apologies to Homer Simpson.

Is the "NotPetya" ransomware a Russian cyberattack in disguise?

Rich Haridy June 28, 2017
As Tuesday's ransomware attack continues to spread around the world, several security analysts are saying that this virus may not be ransomware after all. New reports are claiming the virus has been designed to permanently delete a system's Master Boot Record before a victim even gets the chance to read the ransom demand. This points to the virus potentially using the guise of ransomware as cover for a more destructive and politically-orientated cyberattack.
Early reports hypothesizing the source of the infection as coming from some Ukranian accounting software called MeDoc have now been confidently verified by Microsoft. The company's security blog says, "Microsoft now has evidence that a few active infections of the ransomware initially started from the legitimate MEDoc updater process."

As well as the genesis of the infection now being confirmed, several different sources are claiming the the malware does not function like regular ransomware, but instead acts like a wiper virus with a singular intent of destroying data on an infected system.

Matt Suiche from Comae Technologies discovered code in the virus that specifically acts to wipe part of an infected computer's boot system. He notes that this particular part of the virus is different from the version of Petya that went around in 2016 functioning as traditional ransomware.

"We believe the ransomware was in fact a lure to control the media narrative, especially after the WannaCry incidents to attract the attention on some mysterious hacker group rather than a national state attacker like we have seen in the past in cases that involved wipers such as Shamoon," Suiche writes.

The allegations that this virus was a cyberattack disguised as ransomware certainly fit with the strangely inept and complicated ransom method outlined by the virus. The odd tactic of using a single Bitcoin wallet and asking victims to email a specific email address is not only unconventional for a ransomware attack, but also fundamentally ineffective. As the email address attached to the ransomware demand was quickly inactivated by the company owning the domain, it seemed to suggest that money was not the primary motive of this attack.

Security researcher "the grugq" posted a compelling investigatory blog looking at how the initial infection vector spread across Ukraine. He points out that while the virus did have significant collateral effects across neighboring countries, Russia in particular seemed to be managing the damage unexpectedly well. Although Russian state-owned company Rosneft, and the Russian oil sector, were reportedly hit by the virus, no major interruptions to their systems were noted.

"Curious that they were so poorly protected they got infected," 'the grugq' writes,  "especially since they aren't connected to MeDoc (the initial infection vector)   however they were so well protected they were able to remediate the infection (which didn't spread… although it can take out 5000 computers in less than 10 minutes.) It's a miracle!"

The tactic of wiping an infected computer's Master Boot Record in the way this virus does has been noted by Wired as a calling card of a group of cyberattackers known in the industry as Sandworm. These attackers have been striking Ukraine for several years now and one security firm has linked the group to Russia.

Many of these mysteries may never be resolved, as the shady world of cyberwarfare is notoriously tricky to pin down. What is reasonably clear at this point is that this recent outbreak definitely started in Ukraine and was intended to be destructive. The collateral damage the rest of the world has seen may be a taste of how the future of cyberwarfare could play out.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell.
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?

Graphene and terahertz waves could lead the way to future communication

Date: June 27, 2017

Source: Chalmers University of Technology

Summary: By utilizing terahertz waves in electronics, future data traffic can get a big boost forward. So far, the terahertz (THz) frequency has not been optimally applied to data transmission, but by using graphene, researchers have come one step closer to a possible paradigm shift for the electronic industry.

By utilizing terahertz waves in electronics, future data traffic can get a big boost forward. So far, the terahertz (THz) frequency has not been optimally applied to data transmission, but by using graphene, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have come one step closer to a possible paradigm shift for the electronic industry.

Over 60 young researchers from all over the world will learn more about this and other topics as they gather in outside of Gothenburg, Sweden, to participate in this week's summer school Graphene Study, arranged by Graphene Flagship.

It is the EU's largest ever research initiative, the Graphene Flagship, coordinated by Chalmers, who organises the school this week, 25-30 June 2017. This year it is held in Sweden with focus on electronic applications of the two-dimensional material with the extraordinary electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties that make it a more efficient choice than silicon in electronic applications. Andrei Vorobiev is a researcher at the Department of Micro Technology and Nanoscience at Chalmers as well as one of the many leading experts giving lectures at Graphene Study and he explains why graphene is suitable for developing devices operating in the THz range:

"One of the graphene's special features is that the electrons move much faster than in most semiconductors used today. Thanks to this we can access the high frequencies (100-1000 times higher than gigahertz) that constitutes the terahertz range. Data communication then has the potential of becoming up to ten times faster and can transmit much larger amounts of data than is currently possible," says Andrei Vorobiev, senior researcher at Chalmers University of Technology.

Researchers at Chalmers are the first to have shown that graphene based transistor devices could receive and convert terahertz waves, a wavelength located between microwaves and infrared light, and the results were published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. One example of these devices is a 200-GHz subharmonic resistive mixer based on a CVD graphene transistor integrated on silicon that could be used in high-speed wireless communication links.

Another weekend, and effectively a July 4th weekend in America. We are half way through the first year of a very different, very American, President Trump. While most of Europe seems to be ganging up with Germany against President Trump’s America, for the coming G-20 meeting in Hamburg, President Trump doesn’t act like he really cares what Europe does or doesn’t do. He’s been to Europe many, many times, and knows first-hand that Europe’s not a role model America should follow. Enjoy the weekend everyone. I’m sure that President Trump will, even if not Europe’s new overlord, Merkel.

When Chancellor Merkel says jump, I only ask “how high?”

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed Luxembourg Prime Minister and ex-president of the Euro Group of Finance Ministers. Confessed liar. European Commission President. Scotch connoisseur.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May

DJIA: 21,009 +157 Up. NASDAQ:  6,199 +219 Up. SP500: 2,412 +161 Up.

Thursday 29 June 2017

Hong Kong Plus 20. Comrade Corbyn’s UK.

Baltic Dry Index. 929 +26     Brent Crude 47.54

The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.

Mikhail Gorbachev.

Today, Hong Kong twenty years on from the handover. Communists, like leopards, can’t change their spots. Creeping repression, and a lack of respect of the transfer agreement, has many young Hong Kong-ers getting ready to head for the exits.

But first Asian markets getting all dressed up for the end of the half year.

"Countries have the right to development, but they should view their own interests in the broader context. And refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others."

President Xi Jinping.

Financial stocks lead Asian market gains

Published: June 28, 2017 11:56 p.m. ET

Banks get boost after results of Fed stress test

Equity markets in Asia were higher early Thursday, with finance stocks broadly leading gains after all major U.S. financial institutions received approval from the Federal Reserve to ramp up dividend payouts and share buybacks.

The approvals — the first time since the annual tests began in 2011 that all firms got passing grades — reflect a turning point for big financial institutions that have been shackled by tighter regulation since the crisis.

That move paves the way for U.S. banks to increase dividend payouts and share buybacks to their highest levels in years, providing investors with confidence to invest in high-growth assets like technology stocks.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +1.06%   advanced 0.9% on Thursday, building on its largest one-day gain in two weeks on Wednesday. Stocks of large banks were among the big gainers, with Macquarie Group MQG, +2.25%  rising 2.1%, National Australia Bank NAB, +2.25%   rising 1.8% and WesPac WBC, +2.17%   gaining 2%.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.82%   was up 0.8%, led by strength in banking giant HSBC 0005, +4.01%  , which surged 3.7%. Standard Chartered 2888, +3.12%   gained 3.2%.

An indication of improved investor sentiment was rising crude-oil prices despite inventory data showing an increase in U.S. stockpiles. The front-month futures for Brent crude LCOQ7, +0.42%  , the international benchmark, gained 0.3% in Asia.

“You know you are back in a market with a bullish bent when [U.S. oil-inventory data] is ignored,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

Thu Jun 29, 2017 | 5:29am BST

Celebration and protest as China president visits Hong Kong

President Xi Jinping arrives in Hong Kong on Thursday to celebrate its 20th anniversary of Chinese rule, but he faces a city divided, mass protests and aggrieved crowds resentful of Beijing's growing meddling in local affairs.

Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, under a "one country, two systems" formula which guarantees wide-ranging autonomy and judicial independence not seen in mainland China.

The central government in Beijing has promised Hong Kong's capitalist system will remain unchanged for "at least" 50 years, but it has not clarified what happens after that.

Fears of the creeping influence of Communist Party leaders in Beijing are highlighted by the abduction by mainland agents of some Hong Kong booksellers who specialised in politically sensitive material and Beijing's efforts in disqualifying two pro-independence lawmakers elected to the city legislature.

An annual protest to press for full democracy in the city is expected to take place after Xi's departure on the afternoon of July 1. The city is already on tenterhooks. On the eve of Xi's visit, police arrested pro-democracy protesters, some of whom scrambled up a monument symbolising the city's handover from British to Chinese rule.

Part of the major rift under Chinese rule in Hong Kong has been a tenacious push by activists to get China to live up to a constitutional promise under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, to allow universal suffrage as an "ultimate aim."

Wed Jun 28, 2017 | 2:33pm BST

Hong Kong protesters arrested for democracy protest ahead of Xi's visit

Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested pro-democracy protesters, some of whom scrambled up a monument symbolising the city's handover from British to Chinese rule, a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to arrive for the celebrations.

Hong Kong marks the July 1, 1997, handover on Saturday, amid calls for democracy and fears of creeping influence of Communist Party leaders in Beijing undermining the "one country, two systems" formula under which it operates.

The city is under lockdown, with a massive security presence expected for Xi's arrival on Friday.

About 30 protesters, including student protest leader Joshua Wong, gathered at the six-metre "Forever Blooming Golden Bauhinia" statue on the Wanchai waterside, a gift to Hong Kong from China, in front of the Chinese national flag and hundreds of perplexed Chinese tourists.

The sweet-smelling bauhinia is the official Hong Kong emblem.

They unfurled a black banner demanding full democracy for the city and the unconditional release of Nobel Peace Prize winning activist Liu Xiaobo, who was recently diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
"Democracy now. Free Liu Xiaobo," the protesters shouted. "We do not want Xi Jinping. We want Liu Xiaobo."

Xi is due to arrive on Thursday afternoon and make a speech before joining celebrations to mark the handover on Saturday, when he will also swear in the city’s next leader, Carrie Lam. Police said the demonstrators, including Wong who helped lead the 2014 "Occupy" street protests that blocked key streets for 79 days, were arrested for causing a public nuisance.

Wed Jun 28, 2017 | 2:33pm BST

Hong Kong residents seek British passports amid fears for future

Many Hong Kong residents, worried about growing encroachment by Beijing as the financial hub marks 20 years since its return to China, are rushing to secure British passports as a safety net in the case of social unrest or the erosion of civil liberties.

British government data, diplomatic sources and testimonials from six Hong Kong residents paint a picture of rising anxiety over the future and growing mistrust of Communist Party leaders in Beijing, especially among the younger generation.

Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, under a "one country, two systems" formula which guarantees wide-ranging autonomy and judicial independence. China has promised Hong Kong's capitalist system will remain unchanged for "at least" 50 years, but it has not clarified what happens after that.

Hong Kong foreign passport holders and diplomats interviewed by Reuters say the rush for overseas protection has been fuelled by the territory's divisive battle for democracy, especially the "Occupy" street protests of 2014, and increasing calls for independence, a red line for Beijing.

We close for the day with EUSSR news. Nothing much ever changes in the wealth and jobs destroying Brussels asylum, where everything is an exception to the rules.

The EU is the old Soviet Union dressed in Western clothes

Mikhail Gorbachev.

Wed Jun 28, 2017 | 7:44pm BST

Germany's Schaeuble bemoans EU 'loophole' after Italy banks' rescue

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday underscored Germany's concerns about what he called a regulatory loophole after the EU cleared Italy to wind up two failed banks at a hefty cost to local taxpayers.

Schaeuble told reporters that Europe should abide by rules enacted after the 2008 collapse of U.S. financial services firm Lehman Brothers that were meant to protect taxpayers.

Existing European Union guidelines for restructuring banks aimed to ensure "what all political groups wanted: that taxpayers will never again carry the risks of banks," he said.

Italy is transferring the good assets of the two Veneto lenders to the nation's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), as part of a transaction that could cost the state up to 17 billion euros ($19 billion).

The deal, approved by the European Commission, allows Rome to solve a banking crisis on its own terms rather than under potentially tougher European rules.

Noting that closure under national insolvency laws benefited owners and investors, Schaeuble said: "We in Europe need to think about this regulatory loophole."

Schaeuble's spokeswoman, Friederike von Tiesenhausen, on Monday urged the European Commission to enforce rules requiring state aid to be limited to a minimum in bankruptcy cases.

We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them. The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every US president has to have a war.

Mikhail Gorbachev.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

Today, future life under Comrade Corbyn’s New Communist Labour Party. Hacking a wind farm. The London Fire Brigade’s fatal error.

I am a Communist, a convinced Communist! For some that may be a fantasy. But to me it is my main goal.

Comrade Corbyn, with apologies to Mikhail Gorbachev.

This story concerns 10 drinkers in a bar who decide to settle their £100 weekly beer bill roughly the same way we pay our taxes.

So, the first four men (the poorest) paid nothing; the fifth paid £1; the sixth £3; the seventh £7; the eighth £12; the ninth £18; and the 10th man, the richest, paid £59.

Then the barman decided to give them a £20 discount for being good customers. The group wanted to continue to pay the new £80 bill the same way as before. While the first four men still drank for free, the other six divided up the £20 windfall by following the progressive principle of the tax system. So the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing, making a 100 per cent saving; the sixth man paid £2 instead of £3 (a 33 per cent saving); the seventh man paid £5 instead of £7 (a 28 per cent saving); the eighth £9 instead of £12 (a 25 per cent saving); and the ninth £14 instead of £18 (a 22 per cent saving). The 10th man paid £49 instead of £59 (a 16 per cent saving).

The men then began to compare their savings. “I only got £1 out of the £20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the 10th man, “but he got £10 – the wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” said the first four men, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new system exploits the poor.” So the other nine men surrounded the 10th and beat him up. The next week he didn’t show for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when they came to pay, they discovered they didn’t have enough money between them to pay even half the bill.

Lakesman. From the Guido Fawkes blog.

Researchers Found They Could Hack Entire Wind Farms

On a sunny day last summer, in the middle of a vast cornfield somewhere in the large, windy middle of America, two researchers from the University of Tulsa stepped into an oven-hot, elevator-sized chamber within the base of a 300-foot-tall wind turbine. They’d picked the simple pin-and-tumbler lock on the turbine’s metal door in less than a minute and opened the unsecured server closet inside.

Jason Staggs, a tall 28-year-old Oklahoman, quickly unplugged a network cable and inserted it into a Raspberry Pi minicomputer, the size of a deck of cards, that had been fitted with a Wi-Fi antenna. He switched on the Pi and attached another Ethernet cable from the minicomputer into an open port on a programmable automation controller, a microwave-sized computer that controlled the turbine. The two men then closed the door behind them and walked back to the white van they’d driven down a gravel path that ran through the field.

Staggs sat in the front seat and opened a MacBook Pro while the researchers looked up at the towering machine. Like the dozens of other turbines in the field, its white blades—each longer than a wing of a Boeing 747—turned hypnotically. Staggs typed into his laptop's command line and soon saw a list of IP addresses representing every networked turbine in the field. A few minutes later he typed another command, and the hackers watched as the single turbine above them emitted a muted screech like the brakes of an aging 18-wheel truck, slowed, and came to a stop.

For the past two years, Staggs and his fellow researchers at the University of Tulsa have been systematically hacking wind farms around the United States to demonstrate the little-known digital vulnerabilities of an increasingly popular form of American energy production. With the permission of wind energy companies, they’ve performed penetration tests on five different wind farms across the central US and West Coast that use the hardware of five wind power equipment manufacturers.

As part of the agreement that legally allowed them to access those facilities, the researchers say they can't name the wind farms’ owners, the locations they tested, or the companies that built the turbines and other hardware they attacked. But in interviews with WIRED and a presentation they plan to give at the Black Hat security conference next month, they're detailing the security vulnerabilities they uncovered. By physically accessing the internals of the turbines themselves—which often stood virtually unprotected in the middle of open fields—and planting $45 in commodity computing equipment, the researchers carried out an extended menu of attacks on not only the individual wind turbine they'd broken into but all of the others connected to it on the same wind farm's network. The results included paralyzing turbines, suddenly triggering their brakes to potentially damage them, and even relaying false feedback to their operators to prevent the sabotage from being detected.

Below London Fire Brigade film of European plastic backed fridges v USA metal backed, on fire. And despite knowing this, and not knowing the safety state of the Grenfell Tower, the LFB still  told victims to remain in place, we will rescue you. The Metropolitan Police need to investigate the LFB, and the Fire Brigade Union, for their fatally flawed advice and contributory negligence and wrongful death.

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?

Accelerating the quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics

Research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures

Date: June 23, 2017

Source: University of California - Riverside

Summary: In the world of electronics, where the quest is always for smaller and faster units with infinite battery life, topological insulators (TI) have tantalizing potential. Scientists report they have created a TI film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a 'heterostructure.'

In the world of electronics, where the quest is always for smaller and faster units with infinite battery life, topological insulators (TI) have tantalizing potential.

In a paper published today in Science Advances, Jing Shi, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Arizona State University report they have created a TI film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a "heterostructure." This heterostructure makes TI surfaces magnetic at room temperatures and higher, to above 400 Kelvin or more than 720 degrees Fahrenheit.

The surfaces of TI are only a few atoms thick and need little power to conduct electricity. If TI surfaces are made magnetic, current only flows along the edges of the devices, requiring even less energy. Thanks to this so-called quantum anomalous Hall effect, or QAHE, a TI device could be tiny and its batteries long lasting, Shi said.

Engineers love QAHE because it makes devices very robust, that is, hearty enough to stand up against defects or errors, so that a faulty application, for instance, doesn't crash an entire operating system.

Topological insulators are the only materials right now that can achieve the coveted QAHE, but only after they are magnetized, and therein lies the problem: TI surfaces aren't naturally magnetic.

Scientists have been able to achieve magnetism in TI by doping, i.e. introducing magnetic impurities to the material, which also made it less stable, Shi said. The doping allowed TI surfaces to demonstrate QAHE, but only at extremely low temperatures -- a few hundredths of a degree in Kelvin above absolute zero, or about 459 degrees below zero Fahrenheit -- not exactly conducive to wide popular use.

Many scientists blamed the doping for making QAHE occur only at very low temperatures, Shi said, which prompted researchers to start looking for another technique to make TI surfaces magnetic.

Enter UCR's SHINES (Spins and Heat in Nanoscale Electronic Systems) lab, a Department of Energy-funded energy frontier research center at UCR that Shi leads and is focused on developing films, composites and other ways to harvest or use energy more efficiently from nano (think really small, as in molecular or atom-sized) technology.


The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May

DJIA: 21,009 +157 Up. NASDAQ:  6,199 +219 Up. SP500: 2,412 +161 Up.