Thursday, 20 July 2017

Trade War Days Away.

Baltic Dry Index. 948 +16     Brent Crude 49.64

But I believe in fair trade, and I will tell you, I have many, many friends heading up corporations, and people that do just business in China, they say it's virtually impossible. It's very, very hard to come into China. And yet, we welcome them with open arms.

Donald Trump

We open today with USA trade war news. The way is now open for President Trump to impose duties and tariffs on Chinese steel imports. A new and serious global trade war is now just days away from starting.

U.S.-China economic talks end without deal

Published: July 19, 2017 8:42 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — High-level economic talks between the U.S. and China ended Wednesday without any progress, leaving the Trump administration’s efforts to recast trade ties with Beijing in limbo.

After a full day of bilateral meetings, the U.S. side issued a terse statement saying that “China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve.”

The statement didn’t provide further details on just how much the two sides could agree on, or when they would resume discussions. Chinese officials made no comment.

The failure to take concrete steps to close America’s $347 billion trade deficit raises pressure on the Trump administration to consider shifting from its embrace of cooperation with Beijing toward more confrontation. 
The meetings were held to mark the end of a 100-day period that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had set to come up with a comprehensive plan to reset commercial ties between the world’s two largest economies.

In other US-UK news, life goes on without Brussels or Berlin. It’s a big world  out there outside of the wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR.

July 19, 2017 / 7:39 PM / 4 hours ago

U.S. and UK to begin exploring post-Brexit trade - USTR official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and British officials will meet in Washington on Monday for the first meeting of a new trade and investment working group to explore a possible free trade agreement between the countries after Brexit, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

News that the allies will begin exploring their post-Brexit economic relationship comes in the first week of negotiations in Brussels between Britain and the European Union on Britain's departure from the European Union.

Britain will not be free to agree new trade deals until it has left the EU in 2019.

The official from the U.S. Trade Representative's office, who requested anonymity, said the meeting would be held on Monday and Tuesday and include Britain's international trade secretary, Liam Fox, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

"The early discussions will focus on laying the groundwork for commercial continuity for U.S. and UK businesses as the UK leaves the EU and exploring possible ways to strengthen trade and commercial ties, consistent with the EU's common commercial policy," the official told Reuters.

The sides want to ensure there is no disruption to flights between the United States and Britain after Brexit, that commercial data flows are protected and that trade in nuclear materials and technology continues.

U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, has welcomed Britain's 2016 vote to leave the bloc and said he would work hard to get a quick bilateral trade deal done.

Trade became a major issue during the Brexit campaign when U.S. President Barack Obama, Trump's Democratic predecessor, said Britain would go to "the back of the queue" for a deal if it voted to leave.

The comment was denounced as meddling by those campaigning to leave the bloc, who argued that Britain would be free to negotiate quick trade deals with major economies around the world once it had left the bloc.

In Asian market news, a pause, or rigged markets now running out of “greater fool” buyers? What will a new American trade war do to Asian and Chnese stocks? Is it over for China’s HNA? Is the “next Lehman” already knoching at the door of the Great Global Ponzi Scheme?

July 20, 2017 / 5:18 AM / an hour ago

SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of ECB meet; BOJ keeps rates steady

July 20 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
sluggish on Thursday ahead of a meeting by the European Central
Bank, with investors looking for cues on how it will unwind
unconventional policy that has kept borrowing costs at rock

    The ECB meeting later in the global day is expected to lay
the groundwork for an autumn policy shift, after President Mario
Draghi last month opened the door to tweaks in a speech that was
viewed as unexpectedly hawkish.

    "The authorities are expected to prepare the ground for a
gradual tapering exercise, which implies slower pace of stimulus
rather than reversing course to tighten policy," DBS Bank said
in a research note, referring to the ECB meeting.

    Most analysts polled by Reuters expect no change in policy,
but a sizable minority predicted a tweak in the bank's guidance.

    Separately, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on
Thursday, as widely expected, and pushed back by a year the
timing for achieving its ambitious 2 percent inflation target,
reinforcing expectations it will lag well behind other major
central banks in scaling back its massive stimulus programme.

    "I think what's important is their (the central banks')
statements on the health of their respective economies," said
Lexter Azurin, a senior analyst with Manila-based AB Capital

July 20, 2017 / 6:08 AM / 19 minutes ago

China, Hong Kong shares rise on buoyant global markets

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG , July 20 (Reuters) - China's blue-chip index rose to fresh 18-month highs early on Thursday, buoyed by solid corporate earnings and signs Beijing is stepping up restructuring of the country's bloated state sector.

Hong Kong shares were also firm, with the benchmark Hang Seng index on track to rise for the ninth day, bolstered by buoyant global equity markets.

China's blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent, to 3,734.09 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent, to 3,236.58 points.

The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext rebounded more than 1 percent, partly inspired by a strong performance in the U.S. technology sector, which surged past its dotcom era peak on Wednesday. Still, ChiNext is down 2.4 percent so far this week as investors sought security in blue chips.

Ma Wenyu, strategist at Shanxi Securities, forecast that earnings of cyclical sectors such as mining and steel will continue to improve as Beijing steps up "supply-side reforms" to reduce redundant capacity, while "state-sector restructuring is expected to provide additional market catalyst".

Bank of America Halts Deals With HNA Amid Debt Concerns

By Ruth David, Jonathan Browning, and Vinicy Chan
19 July 2017, 23:45 GMT+1
  • Citigroup, Morgan Stanley also avoiding deals with China firm
  • Banks said to find it hard to get internal approvals to lend
Bank of America Corp. has told investment bankers to stop working on transactions with HNA Group Co. for now amid growing concerns about the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate’s debt levels and ownership structure, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. investment bank joins other Wall Street firms, including Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley, that are largely steering clear of advising and financing the group on deals because they are unable to get internal approvals from “know your customer” committees, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Senior officials at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit communicated internally last month that bankers shouldn’t currently pitch for new acquisitions and fundraisings, the people said. Scrutiny of Chinese companies came into focus this week after people familiar with the matter said that China plans to cut off some funding for billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co., concluding the conglomerate breached restrictions for overseas investments.

An internal memo at Bank of America on holding off on deals with HNA for now went to fewer than five bankers who would be in a position to solicit business from the Chinese company, another person familiar with the matter said. The New York Times reported earlier that Bank of America had said in an internal email that it had decided to remove itself from transactions with HNA.

Bank of America had advised HNA on several attempted overseas acquisitions in the past few years, people said. The decision has affected deals the firm was working on for HNA, including the planned Singapore IPO of HNA Commercial REIT, two of the people said. Banks regularly reassess their comfort with potential clients, and their stance toward HNA could change, they said.

HNA hasn’t done significant fee-paying business with Bank of America in recent months, one person with knowledge of the company said.

Citigroup’s and Morgan Stanley’s internal committees have also struggled to get sufficient clarity on the source of funds and ownership structures at HNA, leading those banks to avoid deals for some time, the people said. Still, some firms that shy away from the parent company are willing to do business with HNA units. Morgan Stanley was one of the banks that committed to a total $8.5 billion in financing for Avolon, a business owned by one of HNA’s listed arms, in its purchase of CIT Group Inc.’s airline leasing business last year.

"We are in a trade war. We have been for decades. The only difference is that our troops are finally coming to the rampart. We didn't end up with a trade deficit accidentally. Our trade deficit overall is about $500 billion a year. Quite miraculously, that also equals the net trade surplus with the rest of the world."

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, back to the banksters again. Why do these international criminal organisations still have banking licences?

“When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done”

 John Maynard Keynes

Ex-Credit Suisse Banker Pleads Guilty in U.S. Tax Cheat Case

By David Voreacos
A former Credit Suisse Group AG banker pleaded guilty to conspiring to help Americans hide income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service, admitting that she helped one U.S. client withdraw $1 million in cash rather than declare the money to the IRS.

Susanne D. Ruegg Meier, a Swiss citizen, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, where she made her first appearance after she was indicted in 2011 with several other Credit Suisse bankers. In May 2014, a bank subsidiary pleaded guilty in Alexandria, paying a $2.6 billion penalty while admitting it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes.

At least three other people indicted with Ruegg Meier have come to the U.S. to plead guilty, as they have chosen to resolve their criminal cases rather than have them hang over their heads indefinitely.

Ruegg Meier admitted that she joined a wide-ranging conspiracy from 2002 to 2011, overseeing the bank’s North America desk in Zurich, according to the Justice Department. She “assisted many U.S. clients in utilizing their Credit Suisse accounts to evade their U.S. income taxes,” prosecutors said in a statement.

She faces as many as five years in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 8.

The case is U.S. v. Adami, 11-cr-00095, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
In other bankster news, score one for the banksters on a technicality.
July 19, 2017 / 4:00 PM / 4 hours ago

U.S. appeals court voids Libor convictions of ex-Rabobank traders

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday overturned the convictions of two former London traders from the first U.S. criminal trial stemming from the worldwide probe into manipulation of the Libor interest rate benchmark.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said Anthony Allen's and Anthony Conti's constitutional right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment had been violated, because testimony they had been compelled to give UK regulators was used at their trial.

Allen and Conti, who worked for Dutch-headquartered Rabobank [RABO.UL], were convicted in November 2015 of fraud and conspiracy for trying to rig U.S. dollar and Japanese yen Libor.

They were sentenced to two years and one year in prison, respectively, but remained free during the appeal.
The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

Wednesday's 3-0 decision set back U.S. government efforts to prosecute individuals for financial crimes, long criticized by investors and politicians who believe more people deserve punishment.

Banks use Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, to set rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars of mortgages, credit cards and other loans.

Several, including Rabobank, have paid roughly $9 billion (7 billion pounds) to resolve Libor-rigging probes worldwide.

The UK Criminal Cases Review Commission, which reviews alleged miscarriages of justice, has agreed to examine the 2015 conviction of former star trader Tom Hayes, the first person convicted worldwide of Libor rigging.

Allen's and Conti's appeal challenged testimony from former Rabobank colleague Paul Robson, a cooperating government witness, that they said improperly incorporated their UK testimony.

In a 78-page decision, Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes agreed that Robson's testimony was "tainted" because his review of the compelled testimony colored his own.

He also said that because Robson provided "the only first-hand eyewitness account" undermining the main argument for acquittal, admitting his testimony was not harmless.

"Compelled testimony cannot be used to secure a conviction in an American court," Cabranes wrote, "even when the testimony was compelled by a foreign government in full accordance with its own law."
“I’m just a banker doing God’s work”

Lloyd Blankfein. CEO Goldman Sachs, “Mr. Goldman Sacks.”

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?

Fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes

Date: July 17, 2017

Source: University of Washington

Summary: Researchers have developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.

Supercapacitors are an aptly named type of device that can store and deliver energy faster than conventional batteries. They are in high demand for applications including electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.

But to realize these applications, supercapacitors need better electrodes, which connect the supercapacitor to the devices that depend on their energy. These electrodes need to be both quicker and cheaper to make on a large scale and also able to charge and discharge their electrical load faster. A team of engineers at the University of Washington thinks they've come up with a process for manufacturing supercapacitor electrode materials that will meet these stringent industrial and usage demands.

The researchers, led by UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering Peter Pauzauskie, published a paper on July 17 in the journal Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering describing their supercapacitor electrode and the fast, inexpensive way they made it. Their novel method starts with carbon-rich materials that have been dried into a low-density matrix called an aerogel. This aerogel on its own can act as a crude electrode, but Pauzauskie's team more than doubled its capacitance, which is its ability to store electric charge.

These inexpensive starting materials, coupled with a streamlined synthesis process, minimize two common barriers to industrial application: cost and speed.

"In industrial applications, time is money," said Pauzauskie. "We can make the starting materials for these electrodes in hours, rather than weeks. And that can significantly drive down the synthesis cost for making high-performance supercapacitor electrodes."

Effective supercapacitor electrodes are synthesized from carbon-rich materials that also have a high surface area. The latter requirement is critical because of the unique way supercapacitors store electric charge. While a conventional battery stores electric charges via the chemical reactions occurring within it, a supercapacitor instead stores and separates positive and negative charges directly on its surface.

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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