Monday, 10 July 2017

The G-20 “Kings” Depart.

Baltic Dry Index. 822 -07     Brent Crude 47.08

A permanent Governor of the Bank of England [your CB here] would be one of the greatest men in England. He would be a little 'monarch' in the City; he would be far greater than the 'Lord Mayor.' He would be the personal embodiment of the Bank of England; he would be constantly clothed with an almost indefinite prestige. Everybody in business would bow down before him and try to stand well with him, for he might in a panic be able to save almost anyone he liked, and to ruin almost anyone he liked. A day might come when his favour might mean prosperity, and his distrust might mean ruin. A position with so much real power and so much apparent dignity would be intensely coveted.

Walter Bagehot. Lombard Street. 1873.

The G-20 Great Meeting of Insufferable Egos over, and largely a non-event to the markets, Asian markets got back to the business of inflating stock bubbles again. Despite all of the political noise from Hamburg by the media, little in reality changed at Hamburg, and media hype aside, the G-20 Hamburg meeting is likely to go down in history for the rioting, rather than its accomplishments.  Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be any intentional or unintentional new drags put upon the global economy, just the global warming nonsense imposed by earlier global conferences.

Below, Asia ignores the G-20 and gets on with buying elevated stocks.

Mon Jul 10, 2017 | 4:14am BST

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after U.S. jobs data beats forecasts

Asian stocks rallied on Monday, lifted by Wall Street's strong performance on Friday, while the U.S. dollar extended gains made after much stronger than expected June employment data.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS advanced 0.55 percent while Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.7 percent.

Australian stocks were up 0.6 percent and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 added 0.4 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng .HSI gained 1 percent, though China's bluechip shares .CSI300 were flat.
On Friday, Wall Street closed higher after U.S. jobs growth beat forecasts. However, a lag in wage increases led investors to bet wage data would limit the extent of the Federal Reserve's hawkishness.

The Nasdaq .IXIC led gains with a 1 percent jump, while the S&P 500 .SPX added 0.6 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.4 percent.

"Strong headline growth, amid poor wage growth, is seemingly a perfect storm for equities," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a note.

"Looking ahead, traders will continue to watch fixed income like a hawk for further knock-on effects into foreign exchange and equities," particularly with speeches by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and Governor Lael Brainard due this week, Weston added.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield US10YT=RR hit a two-month high of 2.398 percent on Friday. It was at 2.3909 on Monday.

----"The solid jobs report gives us more reason to expect the Fed to announce that it's prepared to start trimming its balance sheet," said Mitsuo Imaizumi, Tokyo-based chief foreign exchange strategist for Daiwa Securities.

"By contrast, the Bank of Japan is nowhere near a policy exit, and it's taking steps that weaken the yen," he said.

Mon Jul 10, 2017 | 6:12am BST

China stocks shaky as markets await data cues; Financials lead HK gains

SHANGHAI, July 10 China stocks were tentative on Monday morning, as some investors reconsidered their sectoral preferences and awaited fresh catalysts ahead of a burst of data due over the next week or so after the June inflation report met market expectations.

Hong Kong shares gained over 1 percent, as a jump in financials offset a tumble in raw material stocks.
China's blue-chip CSI300 index was unchanged at 3,655.38 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 3,211.31 points.

Small-caps underperformed, with the start-up board ChiNext losing over 1 percent.

Markets shrugged off China's inflation data, which met expectations and did little to alter the view that economic growth is cooling after a solid first quarter.

Producer price inflation was unchanged in June at 5.5 percent and remained well off highs seen earlier this year, while June consumer prices rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier.

Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said that "with slowing credit growth likely to weigh on economic activity in coming quarters ... inflation will start falling again before long.

"This will disappoint those hopping for a sustained period of reflation that could help to erode corporate debt burdens."

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was sanguine about the outlook even as he acknowledged that the economy still faced many difficulties.

Most economists expect growth to cool off in the next few quarters as the key real estate sector slows, while Beijing's crack down on debt risks raises financing costs in a generally tighter funding environment.

China will release second-quarter gross domestic product(GDP) on July 17, along with June industrial output, retail sales and January-June fixed asset investment.

In other Asian news, is it the end of the road for Abenomics in Japan? After five years on Abenomics and with very little to show, voters in Japan, as in Europe, and America, seem tired of the old politics of the past nineties and naughties. Will GB yet get a Prime Minister Comrade Corbyn, the terrorists friend? A prospect more damaging to Britain than a hundred Brexits.

Below, Prime Minister Abe, sets to rearrange the deck chairs on the Japanese Titanic.

Mon Jul 10, 2017 | 6:32am BST

Japan PM Abe to reshuffle cabinet as support plunges to lowest since 2012

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will reshuffle his cabinet and party leaders early next month, moving to shore up his worst levels of popular support since returning to power in 2012, following a historic loss in a Tokyo assembly election.

Last week's loss, delivered by a novice political group, spotlights Abe's potential vulnerability after nearly five years in power, with many blaming voter perceptions of arrogance on his part and that of his powerful Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga.

Opinion polls on Monday showed Abe's popularity at its lowest since he returned to power late in 2012, with support of 36 percent in one conducted by the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper - tumbling from 49 percent a month earlier.

Another, in the liberal Asahi, found support of 33 percent, a slide from 38 percent from a week earlier, with 60 percent of independent voters not supporting Abe's cabinet - numbers Suga said the premier was aware of.

"I believe he wants to sincerely accept this as the voice of the people," Suga told a news conference, adding that the administration needed to "be even more earnest" about tasks such as rebuilding the economy.

Abe, in Europe for a summit of leaders of the G20 grouping of nations, told travelling media he would retain core officials in the reshuffle of the cabinet and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials planned for August.

"I will reshuffle the LDP leadership and the Cabinet members early next month, aiming to renew peoples' feelings," Jiji news agency quoted Abe as saying in Stockholm.

The third, that with the greatest vigor he commanded that his chair should be set on the shore, when the tide began to rise. And then he spoke to the rising sea saying “You are part of my dominion, and the ground that I am seated upon is mine, nor has anyone disobeyed my orders with impunity. Therefore, I order you not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord”.

But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs. Then he moving away said:  “All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws”. Therefore King Cnut never afterwards placed the crown on his head, but above a picture of the Lord nailed to the cross, turning it forever into a means to praise God, the great king. 

Henry of Huntingdon's twelfth-century Chronicle of the History of England.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, more from Reuters on that infamous London Tower block fire. Given what Rueters covers below, why was the London Fire Brigade telling victims to remain in place? They couldn’t possibly know if the added cladding was safe. When if ever did they last inspect Grenfell Tower? What was the outcome of any inspection. What building database does the London Fire Brigade use, to advise and access residential tower block fires? Who creates the database and updates it? How accurate is it? The London Fire Brigade needs to stop hiding behind the bravery of the responders, and start taking ownership of its disastrously wrong and fatal advice.

Sun Jul 9, 2017 | 1:53pm BST

Silence over whether Grenfell Tower materials passed safety test

The cladding system used on London's Grenfell Tower would only have met British regulatory standards if the two main materials had passed a key safety test together, according to a Reuters analysis of the building code and data on the materials.

Three weeks after the June 14 fire, neither the two companies involved in the cladding on the Grenfell Tower nor the local authority which enforces the building codes have addressed questions from Reuters about whether that test was ever conducted and its outcome.

The test is required to show whether both materials when used together were sufficiently resistant to combustion. Without proof that it had been carried out, the cladding system would not have met building regulations.

The cladding work carried about by Rydon Group Ltd, the main contractor on the 2014-2016 refurbishment of the building, and its subcontractor Harley Facades involved attaching insulation boards to the tower's concrete facade and covering them with aluminium composite panels.

France's Saint Gobain said the insulation used was its brand of polyisocyanurate (PIR) called Celotex RS5000.

The aluminium panels, which had a polyethylene plastic core were called Reynobond PE, and made by New York-based ArconicInc, previously known as Alcoa Inc.

If all the elements of the insulation system had achieved a separate and demanding government standard called "limited combustibility", in separate tests, then a combined test would not have been necessary, according to the building regulations.

But Reynobond PE and Celotex did not meet the combustibility test by themselves, according to safety experts and product specifications published by the manufacturers.

This meant that the two materials combined would need to pass another test known as the BS 8414 test, according to the building regulations. This involves setting a fire under a three-storey mock-up of the proposed wall construction.

Both standards, set out in the guidelines to the building code, aim to prevent a fire spreading quickly from inside and up the exterior walls, something that happened at Grenfell Tower.

In a June 29 email, a spokeswoman for Rydon Group Ltd says it “met all building regulations” but did not say if the BS 8414test stipulated in the building codes had been conducted.

The building control department of the local Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC), which is responsible for checking that the building and plans are consistent with regulations, declined to say if it had checked the tests had been carried out.

Police think the cladding system at Grenfell Tower may have contributed to the rapid spread of last month's fatal fire. They have said they are investigating possible criminal behaviour and the role of all the companies involved in the building.

The Department for Communities and Local Government, the government department which is responsible for setting the regulations enforced by building control, has said the cladding system used at Grenfell did not comply with the building rules it oversees. It has not said why and declined to answer detailed questions on its legal reasoning.

The test used to assess combined materials must be commissioned from a government approved independent testing agency. Reuters was unable to determine which, if any lab was used.

Rydon, which had a turnover of 249 million pounds last year, told Reuters the materials it used were suitable for use in tall buildings. “Laboratory testing of the fire resistance of the cladding system used at Grenfell Tower was carried out prior to installation. Please see attached BBA certificate,” the spokeswoman said in the June 29 email.

The certificate Rydon provided showed the panels met a separate standard on the surface spread of fire.
Asked specifically about the BS 8414 test, the Rydon spokeswoman said: “More technical questions would be better directed at Harley as it’s their area of expertise.”

Executives and a spokesman at Harley, a small company with few assets, declined to comment for this story. It said in a statement on its website last month it was not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding to the tower.

An official at RBKC, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, declined to provide details of the specification it approved or what checks it conducted to ensure the actual construction met the approved plan, citing the ongoing police investigation into the fire.

A spokeswoman for Saint Gobain (SGOB.PA) said its BR 135combustibility certification of Celotex was based on tests conducted with a non-combustible cement façade panel. She declined to say if Celotex had ever passed the BS 8414 test with a flammable façade panel such as Reynobond PE.
In other fire news, we urgently need to update fire-fighting, and fire codes, to match our 21st century lifestyles.

Mon Jul 10, 2017 | 4:02am BST

Fire in London's Camden Market brought under control

Firefighters have brought under control the fire in a building in London's Camden Market, the London Fire Brigade said on Monday.

The London Fire Brigade said on Twitter the "fire is now under control but crews will be damping down into the morning".

The first, second and third floors and the roof of the building were on fire, the brigade tweeted earlier, saying more than 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines were on the scene.

The cause of the fire was unknown and there were no immediate reports of any injuries or casualties.
London's Camden Market had an incident of fire in 2008 when market storage areas and shops in the locality were set ablaze and adjoining houses were damaged. A major part of the market had then remained closed for several months. (

In June, at least 80 people died in a devastating fire in London's 24-storey Grenfell Tower.
Prime Minister Theresa May later said that 120 other high-rise buildings had failed fire tests.

Power now fully restored to DWP customers after plant explosion in San Fernando Valley

July 9 2017
Power was restored Sunday to the remaining 94,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers in the San Fernando Valley who lost their electricity after an explosion crippled an electrical receiving station in Northridge.

Power was fully returned to residents and businesses about 8:45 a.m., according to DWP spokesman Michael Ventre. The DWP is telling customers in the Valley to check their circuit breakers if they still don’t have power.

An explosion at the utility’s Northridge plant Saturday evening caused a fire that burned for hours, knocking out traffic lights, stranding people in elevators and leaving huge swaths of the Valley without power, officials said.

The outages hit businesses and residents in Northridge, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, North Hills, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, West Hills, Canoga Park and Woodland Hills, DWP officials said.

Power was out for 13 hours at Pacifica Senior Living, an assisted senior living facility in Northridge. Staffers handed out wet towels and water and a generator kept emergency lights running in the hallways but residents’ rooms remained dark, without air conditioning.
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 future without fakes thanks to quantum technology

First demo of patented technology smartphone app aims to eliminate counterfeiting

Date: July 6, 2017

Source: Lancaster University

Summary: Scientists have created unique atomic-scale ID's based on the irregularities found in 2-D materials like graphene. On an atomic scale, quantum physics amplifies these irregularities, making it possible to 'fingerprint' them in simple electronic devices and optical tags.

Counterfeit products are a huge problem -- from medicines to car parts, fake technology costs lives.
Every year, imports of counterfeited and pirated goods around the world cost nearly US $0.5 trillion in lost revenue.

Counterfeit medicines alone cost the industry over US $200 billion every year. They are also dangerous to our health -- around a third contain no active ingredients, resulting in a million deaths a year.

And as the Internet of Things expands, there is the need to trust the identity of smart systems, such as the brake system components within connected and driverless cars.

But researchers exhibiting at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition believe we are on the verge of a future without fakes thanks to new quantum technology.

Whether aerospace parts or luxury goods, the researchers say the new technology will make counterfeiting impossible.

Scientists have created unique atomic-scale ID's based on the irregularities found in 2D materials like graphene.

On an atomic scale, quantum physics amplifies these irregularities, making it possible to 'fingerprint' them in simple electronic devices and optical tags.

For the first time, the team will be showcasing this new technology via a smartphone app which can read whether a product is real or fake, and enable people to check the authenticity of a product through their smartphones.

The customer will be able to scan the optical tag on a product with a smartphone, which will match the 2D tag with the manufacturer's database. This has the potential to eradicate product counterfeiting and forgery of digital identities, two of the costliest crimes in the world today.

This patented technology and the related application can be expected to be available to the public in the first half of 2018, and it has the potential to fit on any surface or any product, so all global markets may be addressed.

Professor Robert Young of Lancaster University, world leading expert in quantum information and Chief scientist at Quantum Base says: "It is wonderful to be on the front line, using scientific discovery in such a positive way to wage war on a global epidemic such as counterfeiting, which ultimately costs both lives and livelihoods alike."

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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