Friday, 28 July 2017

Does History Repeat? Corporate Manslaughter.

Baltic Dry Index. 942 -26.     Brent Crude 51.38

(4) the information contains a prominent warning that the figures refer to the past and that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results;

The FCA Handbook.

After Wall Street’s wobble, Asian stocks tremble. Could the giant global stock market bubble blow off in the summer without waiting for the autumn crash season?  Black Monday, October 19, 1987, began with a poor close to the previous week.

Below, our nervous global stock markets. Crude oil’s continued rally will soon bring added cost pressure to most stocks, and most inflation figures too. If the oil rally is war related to a US - North Korea war within weeks, oil prices have much further to travel. An oil shock might lie just ahead. In massive stock market bubbles, getting out early always trumps getting out late.

"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.

Asia Stocks, U.S. Futures Tumble on Tech Selloff: Markets Wrap

By Adam Haigh
Asian stocks and S&P 500 index futures declined as disappointing earnings from Inc. weighed on sentiment that had already been dented by Thursday’s sudden selloff in U.S. technology shares. The euro rallied to the highest since January 2015 against the Swiss franc.

The dollar halted a rebound on data showing U.S. durable-goods orders climbed more than expected. The euro extended an overnight rally against the Swiss franc, surging as much as 0.8 percent to the highest since the Swiss National Bank removed its minimum-exchange rate on the pair. Stocks in Japan, Australia and South Korea were lower, while Amazon weighed on Nasdaq 100 Index futures.

Attention remains on corporate results ahead of a report on U.S. second-quarter growth. U.S. stocks have rallied to records amid signs of solid economic growth globally and as more than three-quarters of S&P 500 companies have delivered earnings that beat forecasts.

“Investors are becoming increasingly wary over the historically low volatility levels, with a host of key economic data coming out in the U.S.,” Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo, said. “With Amazon’s earnings falling short of estimates, the U.S. market may readjust its expectations.”

Dow ends at record, but tech slump weighs on S&P 500, Nasdaq

Published: July 27, 2017 5:05 p.m. ET

Apple shares drop nearly 2% to weigh heavily on benchmarks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record on Thursday driven by earnings-fueled gains in Verizon and Boeing, but the broader market finished in negative territory due to a firm slump in technology stocks.

The Dow DJIA, +0.39%  ended 85.54 points, or 0.4%, higher at 21,796.55, powered by a rally in shares of Boeing Co. and Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, +7.68%

Technology-weighted indexes, however took a beating.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.63%  closed 40 points, or 0.6% to 6,382, but off its worst levels. At its intraday low during the midday pullback, the Nasdaq was down 104 points, or 1.6%, before paring that steep drop. Apple Inc. AAPL, -1.89%  shares weighed on the index with a 1.9% decline.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.10% ended off 2.41 points, or 0.1%, to 2,475.42, weighed by those technology declines, health-care and industrials. Gains in telecoms, energy, the consumer sectors, helped to moderate the broad-market gauge’s decline.

The downturn in tech came despite better-than-expected results late Wednesday from social-media giant Facebook Inc. FB, +2.92% The company could be nearing a $500 billion market cap if shares maintain their strength throughout the session. The stock has already jumped nearly 50% thus far this year.

Facebook is one of the so-called FAANG stocks, a reference to the quintet of technology and internet names (Facebook, Apple, Amazon AMZN, -0.65% Netflix NFLX, -3.38% and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG, -1.45% GOOGL, -1.33% that have powered market returns thus far this year. However, those sharp gains have also raised questions over valuations.
We end with something different. Is this yet another sign, this current long in the tooth recovery has/is approaching the top? Below, Bloomberg gushes and babbles unashamedly, over the latest Rolls-Royce offering.  I’m somewhat less impressed by its looks. If I win the lottery, I’ll wait to see what the next decade’s e-Roller looks like.

Rolls-Royce Unveils Its Grandest Car Yet, the Phantom VIII

It’s been 14 years since Rolls updated its flagship chariot, and the result is worth the wait.
By Hannah Elliott, Elisabeth Behrmann, and Thomas Seal
27 July 2017, 21:00 GMT+1
Rolls-Royce has introduced the Phantom VIII.

This is Rolls-Royce’s largest and grandest car ever, born from the same line as those used by Elvis and Queen Elisabeth II and 50 Cent, plus myriad tycoons and oligarchs the world over. The revamped saloon will cost 375,000-euro ($440,000). 

Unveiled to the public in London today, just days after the U.K. moved to ban combustion vehicles by 2040, the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is only the second modern version of the flagship state car that Rolls first introduced in 1925. BMW Group unveiled the first truly modern Phantom in 2003 and used it until 2011; Phantom VIII is the first time since then that the car has been updated completely. In the years before 2003, Rolls was producing the Phantom VI on an incredible run from 1968 to 1990.

The car’s longevity is a testament to its design, which has withstood the test of time with grace and aplomb. That success is, in turn, a challenge to the Rolls-Royce designers who labored to birth the new one in Goodwood, England. The half-million-dollar Phantom is Rolls’s biggest money-making series around the world. In this rare air, there is no margin for error. 

“Rolls-Royce will start to go electric in the next decade,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the brand’s chief, said in an interview. “You need to have then an effortless charging situation,” as its wealthy clientele isn’t in the mood to spend more than “a couple of minutes” topping up batteries.
From my first experiences with the car, it looks like the team can rest easy. Everything about the Phantom VIII is smooth, especially how it looks. Giles Taylor, the director of design for Rolls-Royce, deserves much credit here for accomplishing what many have not—creating a new iteration of an old car so that it feels fresh but familiar. His Phantom VIII manages to look both modern and majestic. 
During the private preview in New York, Taylor said he wanted the car to look as though it’s surging forward as a boat would emerging from the water. It does: The new super-clean stainless steel grille is recessed and pushed up higher than previous generations so that the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament virtually catapults forward. The front end of the car is shorter and the back is longer than previously, as well. All the styling lines in the rear circle forward and lead the eye back through to the front wheel. The rear glass is raked more aggressively than on Phantom VII, which adds to the general idea of forward thrust.
---- The intricate details of every component inside the car are too numerous and mind-numbing to list here, but suffice to say they adorn the car like jewels. The rear light cluster has tiny Double-RR badges etched in; the high-gloss picnic tables and chrome dials make the rear feel like a theater (yes, there are movie screens); the center of the wheels always point right-side up even as the car drives. Taylor even made the wood paneling across the back of the front seats to evoke the famous Eames Lounge Chair.
Experts give several reasons why past performance is no guarantee of future results. The most frequently cited is that any outstanding track record turned in by a money manager is the result of the market favoring his particular investment style. One implication of this is that any such performance is entirely unpredictable—as is the time period that such good fortune may or may not last.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, more on that great fatal fire of London 2017. The Police are about to go after the Council and Tenant Management Organisation for “corporate manslaughter.” But what about the London Fire Brigade who fatally told the tenants to remain-in-place. Without that disastrous, recklessly wrong advice, there’s a high probability most of the deaths could have been avoided. If it was “manslaughter,” who was it that really caused the manslaughter? But have the police managed to establish any Mens Rea?

July 27, 2017 / 6:49 PM 

British police suspect corporate manslaughter over tower blaze - BBC

LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating the Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 80 people in London last month said there are grounds to suspect that corporate manslaughter may have been committed by the local council, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The BBC said Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation have been told there are grounds to suspect that each may have committed the offence.

"There are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter," the BBC quoted a letter from London police to residents of the tower block as saying.

Kensington and Chelsea Council did not immediately comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

Corporate manslaughter is a criminal offence in English law, being an act of homicide committed by a company or organisation. In general, in English criminal law, a juristic person is in the same position as a natural person, and may be convicted for committing many offences. The Court of Appeal confirmed in one of the cases following the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster that a company can, in principle, commit manslaughter, although all defendants in that case were acquitted.

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?

Carbon nanotubes turn electrical current into light-emitting quasi-particles

Date: July 24, 2017

Source: Heidelberg, Universität

Summary: Light-matter quasi-partic­les can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes, report scientists. Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers, they add.

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University (Germany) and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) used light-emitting and extremely stable transistors to reach strong light-matter coupling and create exciton-polaritons. These particles may pave the way for new light sources, so-called electrically pumped polariton lasers, that could be manufactured with carbon nanotubes. These findings, published in "Nature Materials," are the result of a cooperation between Prof. Dr Jana Zaumseil (Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr Malte C. Gather (St Andrews).

In recent years, research on organic, carbon-based semiconductors for optoelectronic components has led to a variety of applications. Among them are light-emitting diodes for energy-efficient, high-resolution smartphone and TV screens. Despite the rapid progress in this area, realising an electrically pumped laser from organic materials remains elusive. To get closer to this goal, researchers in Heidelberg and St Andrews are working on coupling light and matter in semiconducting carbon nanotubes -- microscopically small, tube-shaped structures of carbon.

When photons (light) and excitons (matter) are made to exchange energy fast enough they form new quasi-particles, known as exciton-polaritons, that also emit light. Under certain conditions these emissions can take on the properties of laser light. Prof. Zaumseil explains that exciton-polaritons are currently investigated as a new way to generate laser-like light from organic materials and research in this area has increased significantly.

The team of researchers around Prof. Zaumseil and Prof. Gather previously showed that it is possible to form exciton-polaritons in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. But they used an external laser to stimulate the formation of the light-emitting quasi-particles. In their current experiments, the researchers showed that it is possible to use electricity to generate these particles. To achieve this, they developed a light-emitting transistor with a dense layer to semiconducting carbon nanotubes that was embedded between two metallic mirrors.

Because of the extreme stability and high conductivity provided by the carbon nanotubes in this device, current densities and thus polariton densities were orders of magnitude above any previously reported values. Calculations by PhD student Arko Graf -- one of the two lead authors of the study, show that the demonstration of an electrically pumped polariton laser is within realistic reach. As the emission of these light sources can be tuned across a wide range of the near-infrared spectrum, this work holds particular promise for applications in telecommunications.

Another weekend and a weekend of frenzied media speculation on both sides of the Atlantic. In GB, was it manslaughter, by who to whom. Who really was to blame for the unnecessary Grenfell Tower deaths? In America, has the US Presidency gone into meltdown? Have a great weekend everyone.

"To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable."

Edgar Bronfman, Chairman, Seagrams .

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished June

DJIA: 21,350 +196 Up. NASDAQ:  6,140 +235 Up. SP500: 2,423 +166 Up.

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