Friday, 14 July 2017

Fed – Release The Animal Spirits!!!

Baltic Dry Index. 888 +29     Brent Crude 48.37

Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits—a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities.

John Maynard Keynes.

Bubble on, party like it’s the summer of 1987 again. What could possibly go wrong. Far from removing the punch bowl at the party, Fed Chairwoman Yellen in her congressional testimony this week,  signalled that by watching virtually non-existent inflation, the Fed’s punch bowl will be out for longer at the party, and might even in some circumstances get topped-up.

Below, Yellen’s green light for “animal spirits.”

July 14, 2017 / 1:53 AM

Cautious Fed lifts stocks to record high, investors eye earnings boost

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Global stocks scaled record highs on Friday, with Asian equities rising for the fifth straight session, as signs the Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate tightening path and hopes of a strong earnings season lifted appetite for risk assets.

The MSCI World Index .MIWD00000PUS was marginally higher early on Friday, just a whisker below an all-time intraday high hit earlier. It is on track to end the week 1.6 percent higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS advanced 0.3 percent to its highest level in two years. It's set for a 3.3 percent gain for the week.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 added 0.15 percent, poised for a weekly rise of 1 percent.

Chinese shares bucked the positive trend, with the CSI 300 .CSI300 index falling marginally, and the Shanghai Composite .SSEC down 0.15 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng .HSI climbed 0.2 percent.

Wall Street edged higher on Thursday, with the major indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC up between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, as stocks basked in comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank's rate hikes could be gradual, given persistently low inflation despite an improving economy.

Expectations that S&P 500 companies will report second-quarter earnings growth of 7.8 percent also supported stocks. Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Citigroup (C.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N), will report results on Friday.

Yellen Revives Investors' Appetite for Emerging-Market Stocks

By Srinivasan Sivabalan and Selcuk Gokoluk
13 July 2017, 17:08 GMT+1
Stocks in developing nations are flashing signs that the bulls are back after Janet Yellen indicated the era of cheap money won’t end anytime soon.

Equities are nearing a technical level unseen in seven years, a fund that seeks to multiply equity returns has risen to a two-year high and another fund that profits from declines has plunged to a record. These clues have been reinforced by a chart pattern showing that developing stocks’ rise is the strongest in six years.

Investors appetite for emerging-market stocks, which had suffered a selloff over the past two weeks, is being rekindled after Yellen signaled in testimony to Congress on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve would continue its gradual path of rate increases amid weak inflation. The comments have helped calm fears over valuations, slowing growth in major economies such as India and political turmoil in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

“We are back in the bullish mood,” said Mathieu Negre, the head of emerging-market equities at Union Bancaire Privee UBP SA in London. “Yellen confirmed they are more mindful of inflation. That sort of lowers the probability of the Fed hiking or reducing its balance sheet.”

Up next news from the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR. The EU is a giant sclerotic bureaucracy that has never functioned well, and since the introduction of the one size fits all German Euro, is systematically impoverishing ever larger sections of its inhabitants.

Below, poor Italy, not a member of the top table.

Decisions can only be reached in Europe if France and Germany agree.

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

July 13, 2017 / 6:16 PM / 11 hours ago

Poverty in Italy at worst for over a decade in blow for ruling party

ROME (Reuters) - The number of people living in poverty in Italy climbed to its highest level for more than a decade in 2016 despite a modest economic recovery, data showed on Thursday, in a report that could hurt the ruling Democratic Party (PD).

Those living in "absolute poverty" rose to 4.74 million last year, or 7.9 percent of the population, up from 7.6 percent in 2015 and the highest since current records began in 2005, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported.

ISTAT defines absolute poverty as the condition of those who are unable to buy goods and services "essential to avoid grave forms of social exclusion".

Italy emerged from a long recession in 2014, but the report shows that the slow growth posted since then has done little to help the poorest sectors of society.

Gross domestic product is forecast to rise by around 1.1 percent this year, up from 0.9 percent in 2016, but leaving Italy in its customary position among the euro zone's most sluggish economies.

The country faces elections next spring, and opposition parties were quick to blame the PD and its leader, Matteo Renzi, for the record poverty levels.

"When a government is unable to provide for people's basic needs, we can undoubtedly say it has failed," said Giovanni Barozzino, a senator for the Italian Left party, which split from the PD in 2015, complaining Renzi had dragged it to the right.

In the underdeveloped south of Italy, 9.8 percent of people were living in absolute poverty, compared with 7.3 in central regions including the capital Rome, and 6.7 percent in the wealthier north, including the business capital Milan.

ISTAT said Italians living in "relative poverty," or those whose disposable income is less than around half the national average, also edged up in 2016 to 8.5 million people, or 14.0 percent of the population.

That compared with 13.7 percent in 2015 and was the highest since current records began in 1997.

In USA news, President Trump is looking to impose tariffs and quotas on steel imports. Germany has already promised retaliation against US farm products if he does. As the global stock market bubbles surge, a USA v EUSSR trade war gets ever closer this summer. Shades of US Treasury Secretary James Baker’s fight with Europe in the summer of 1987, that led up to the Black Monday crash of October 19, 1987. Not that anyone seems to care. Look for action after President Trump’s return from Paris.

Juncker: "And what were you doing in Paris Donald?" 

President Trump: "Oh, looking over the Parasites."

With apologies to Curly, Moe, and Larry.

Trump suggests tariffs, quotas on steel imports

Published: July 13, 2017 7:05 p.m. ET

‘We’re like a dumping ground…And I’m stopping it’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump reiterated that he is planning to impose fresh curbs on steel imports, though he didn’t elaborate on when he would move forward with the delayed action.
“Steel is a big problem,” Trump told reporters during a flight Wednesday to France. “We’re like a dumping ground…And I’m stopping it.”

Asked what type of measures he would use, the president said “there are two ways — quotas and tariffs. Maybe I’ll do both.”

Trump’s comments, which weren’t made public until Thursday afternoon, were made in response to questions from reporters traveling with him to Paris to join French President Emmanuel Macro for a Bastille Day celebration.

We close for the week with yet more fallout from that murderous fatal tower block fire in London. The first law suit has been filed in New York, seeking class action status for shareholders in Arconic.

July 13, 2017 / 10:29 PM / 5 hours ago

Arconic sued in United States over fatal London tower fire

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A shareholder of Arconic Inc (ARNC.N) on Thursday filed a lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding shareholders over its supply of cladding panels used at Grenfell Tower, the London high-rise where at least 80 people died in a fire last month.

In his proposed class-action complaint, Michael Brave is seeking to recoup "significant" shareholder losses stemming from Arconic's failure prior to the June 14 blaze to properly disclose its use of "highly flammable" Reynobond PE panels.

The shareholder lawsuit filed in the federal court in Manhattan, where Arconic is based, may be the first in the United States tied to the fire that gutted the 24-story Grenfell Tower, in London's North Kensington section.

Arconic's share price fell 21 percent between June 14 and June 27, the day after the company once known as Alcoa said it would stop selling the panels for use in high-rises.

That decline reduced Arconic's market value by more than $2.5 billion, according to Reuters data.

Arconic did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Brave also named former Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld and current Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Giacobbe as defendants.

----Brave said shareholders were deceived by Arconic's inadequate disclosures regarding the cladding panels, and that their use significantly increased the risk of property damage, injury or death in buildings containing them.

He said Arconic's public statements were "materially false and misleading at all relevant times," and that Kleinfeld and Giacobbe should also be held liable for their contents.

It is common for shareholders to sue companies in the United States over unexpected stock price declines that they believe could have been averted.

Italy is not technically part of the Third World, but no one has told the Italians.

P. J. O’Rourke

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, Barnier, Juncker’s EUSSR “negotiator,” plays hardball with British and EU children’s lives. Thuggish. Brexit now!

Dodgy Dave Cameron: "Juncker, I haven't tasted food for 3 days." 

Juncker: "Well, I wouldn't worry about it... it still tastes the same."

How the EU helps out. With apologies to Curly, Moe, and Larry. 

Half a million British children suffering because of THIS unforgivable EU stubbornness

EU chiefs are playing with children’s lives in a bloody-minded bid to score political points in Brexit negotiations, a government adviser warned today.

By Paul Baldwin PUBLISHED: 10:51, Thu, Jul 13, 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13, Thu, Jul 13, 2017
More than half a million kids living in Britain who have EU parents are hugely worried about their status post-Brexit – with many terrified they will be kicked out.

Children's commissioner Anne Longfield has said EU political intransigence is wholly to blame for the uncertainty – and the youngsters’ minds could be put at rest almost immediately if Brussels allowed a little flexibility.

The stumbling block is the EU’s demands that the European Court of Justice continues to police the rights of nationals after Brexit.

She added that despite this headline Brussels had done nothing to detail how this would happen in practice – leaving Brexit negotiators with a flimsy, ill-thought out and legally flawed proposal it would be impossible to work with.

In a letter to the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Ms Longfield accused him of making children pawns in a Brexit game after he reiterated there would be no discussion of future trade arrangements before the principles were settled.

She said: “Many children I have spoken to over the last year have told me they are very worried about the uncertainty surrounding their status after Britain leaves the EU.

“I have been concerned that the rights and outcomes of children have so far been little more than a footnote in the debate about immigration and residence rights following Brexit.

“So I am pleased that both the British Government and the EU have now made substantial offers in regard to future residence rights.

“This will provide some reassurance to the hundreds of thousands of children with EU national parents that they will not be forced to leave the country they feel is their home.

“However, it is vital that agreement on this question is now reached.”

There are almost 600,000 children of EU nationals in this country with more than a quarter of million born here.

The rules are incredibly complex and most agree they need simplifying and speeding up but Ms Longfield said the EU's hard-line position on the ECJ was holding the process up.

She said: “The EU said they wanted to make residence rights of EU nationals the first thing to be agreed during the negotiations.

“Yet their proposal makes residence rights dependent on European Court of Justice jurisdiction, something which won't be agreed until the end of the negotiations.

“If the EU genuinely want to resolve the question of residence rights of EU nationals, they need to separate out the two issues to enable a negotiation in good faith which can give certainty to the hundreds of thousands of children and their families left in limbo.

“Two more years of uncertainty feels like a long time to a child.”
Meanwhile, as the prospect of Brexit gets closer, GB Plc is on a roll.

Brexit BOOM! British exports in RECORD SURGE after vote to ditch the EU, new figures show

BRITISH exports have boomed by a massive 5.8 per cent since the country voted to leave the European Union, new Government figures revealed last night.

PUBLISHED: 00:01, Thu, Jul 13, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:12, Thu, Jul 13, 2017
The total value of UK goods and services sold overseas was a record £547.6billion, the statistics showed.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox hailed the news as the latest evidence that Britain's global trading links are already expanding ahead of the scheduled exit from the EU in 2019.

Dr Fox said: “Over the past twelve months we’ve helped secure more foreign direct investment projects than ever before, supported thousands of UK businesses on their export journey, and continue to promote the UK’s trade values across the world.

---- "And as we leave the EU, we will be able to take advantage of the growing global markets and design a trade relationship in Britain’s national interest.

"There has never been a better time for our dynamic and creative businesses to export their goods and services abroad."

Dr Fox's Department for International Trade released the figure last night to mark its first anniversary.
"[European Monetary Union is] a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe ... [if you are prepared to give up Sovereignty to the EU] you might just as well give it to Adolf Hitler, frankly."

Nicholas Ridley (1929 - 1993) Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.  Spectator magazine, July 1990.
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?

The key to understanding solar panel defects

Published: 11 Jul 2017, 15:36

Extensive, years-long PV field studies by DuPont in the examination of solar defects has yielded valuable knowledge of the areas where solar panels can fail and of the most common defects found.

This accumulation of knowledge enables the development of more stringent risk mitigation techniques and helps purchasers of solar power systems to make educated and informed materials assessments.

For this study, module defects were identified via visual inspection combined with the use of a thermal camera. A PV module with a defect might not have a safety issue or power loss, but may differ in some way from a perfect module. In many instances, the defects were not uniform across all modules in a particular installation.

One area that was examined in the study involved the use of alternative backsheet materials that were lacking in-depth, long-term performance testing. This lack of performance data resulted in expensive field failures.
The study highlighted the critical role that backsheets play in the performance of solar modules. Due to little standardisation between polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films, inconsistent performance in the field and a high rate of early field failures, such as yellowing and cracking, was found. Cracked and damaged backsheets can cause electrical insulation failure, posing a safety hazard and putting your panels at risk.

Drawing on decades of experience researching, manufacturing and testing solar materials, DuPont offers best practices for solar array design, component selection and long-term maintenance. DuPont has made these available as a free-of-charge resource to interested EPCs, roof top installers and energy solutions providers.
To access this free resource, click here.

Another weekend, and will it be the weekend President Trump sets off his trade war on steel with China? That’s unlikely with President Trump basking in the limelight in Paris, but all bets are off concerning next week. Though President Trump has Chinese steel dumping in mind, the collateral damage falls in Canada and Germany. Facing a difficult re-election on September 24th, Chancellor Merkel’s government has already threatened retaliation against President Trump’s farm state supporters. Who will blink first?

Try not to worry too much about similarities with 1987.  This time it really is different. The bubbles are orders of magnitude bigger, fuelled by Everest sized mountains of unrepayable debt. Have a nice day. Have a great weekend everyone.

“If you're not gonna pull the trigger, don't point the gun.”

James Baker.

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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