Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Goldilocks Near Death. Undertakers Measuring.

Baltic Dry Index. 1188 -03    Brent Crude 66.23

“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No.1”

Warren Buffett.

Chairman Powell came to Washington and proclaimed the US economy healthy, in fact more than healthy “stimulative.”   Back in intensive care, Goldilocks suffered a relapse. On Wall Street undertakers got busy measuring coffins. The Goldilocks free money economy now looks to be so rear mirror.

Below how Chairman Powell showed that he’s no Chairwoman Yellen. The next Lehman just took a giant leap closer. But will the Great Vampire Squids still try to dress up the month end markets, or did they just run out of greater fool buyers?

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Warren Buffett.

Stock market ends lower as Powell’s testimony stokes fresh inflation, rate-hike fears

Published: Feb 27, 2018 4:39 p.m. ET
U.S. stock-market indexes closed sharply lower Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted the strengthening economy during his congressional testimony, but investors grew jittery that that improvement may prompt the central bank to be more aggressive in tightening monetary policy.

Recap of live blog: Fed Chairman Powell testifies before House

How did the main benchmarks perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  DJIA, -1.16% tumbled 299.24 points, or 1.2%, to 25,410.03. Walt Disney Company DIS, -4.50%  was the worst performer on the Dow, falling 4.5%. Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, -2.39%  fell 2.4%, while Nike Inc. NKE, -2.33%  dropped 2.3%.
The S&P 500 index SPX, -1.27% fell 35.32 points, or 1.3%, to 2,744.28 with all of the 11 main sectors finishing in the red. Consumer-discretionary and real-estate stocks led the losses, down more than 2%, while telecoms and utilities, sectors—the most sensitive to interest rates—fell 1.8% and 1.7% respectively.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.23% declined 91.11 points, or 1.2%, to 7,330.35

Equity prices turned lower in early trade and extended losses into the close, while the bond yield on the 10-year Treasury shot up to 2.9%.

With one trading day left in the month, the S&P 500 and Dow are set to book their first monthly declines in nearly a year.

What drove markets?

“We’ve seen continuing strength in the labor market. We’ve seen some data that will, in my case, add some confidence to my view that inflation is moving up to target. We’ve also seen continued strength around the globe, and we’ve seen fiscal policy become more stimulative,” Powell said in testimony.
Powell’s comments, especially his personal view about the economy, appeared to turn investors cautious as they considered the possibility of faster pace of rate increases. Odds of four rates increases in 2018 rose to 33% from about 20% on Monday, according to CME Group’s data.

Opinion: Powell’s first faux pas came quick

Asian markets slip following Wall Street’s post-Powell selloff

Published: Feb 28, 2018 12:56 a.m. ET
Asia-Pacific equities were down Wednesday after an afternoon selloff in the U.S., as a roller-coaster February closes.

After big gains in much of the world in January, February began with a long-awaited slide — widely attributed to rising bond yields and inflation anticipation — and though a rebound followed, the month will go down as the worst in at least a year for a number of stock benchmarks.

Given the rebound, “the urge to take money off the table is quite high,” said Hao Hong, head of research for Bocom Securities in Hong Kong.

Selling was heaviest in Hong Kong and China, as mainland large caps continued their recent weakness.

The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.72% was off 0.7% — getting back half of its 1.3% morning-session drop — while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -1.36% slid 1.7% and a measure of mainland companies also listed in the city slumped 2.6%. Those mainland companies are down 6% to 9% for February, heading for their biggest monthly declines since January 2016, when worries about China’s economic growth fueled a global stock slide.

The decline in Tokyo shares, which began modestly, as elsewhere in the region, accelerated after the Bank of Japan cut purchases of long-term government bonds in its latest market operation by 13%, continuing its gradual retreat from its heavy buying of recent years.

----In the U.S., fresh concerns that the Federal Reserve will pick up the pace of interest-rate increases was seen as stoking Tuesday afternoon’s stock weakness, as well as dollar gains and bond-yield increases.

The cause of the concern: New Fed chief Jerome Powell’s expression of confidence in the U.S. economy.

“My personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since December,” he told the House Financial Services Committee. He pointed to data that increases his confidence that inflation is moving toward the central bank’s 2% target.

Investors responded by boosting bond yields and adjusting their rate-increase expectations. According to CME data, Fed-fund futures now show a 27% chance of four increases in the key rate this year, up from 21% a day earlier, and a 39% chance of three increases, up from 37%. Meanwhile, the probability of just two increases dropped to 21% from 27%.

Today, more on inflation. Is inflation back?

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”

Warren Buffett.

February 26, 2018 / 6:32 AM

Corporate America’s new dilemma: raising prices to cover higher transport costs

SEATTLE/BOCA RATON, Fla. (Reuters) - The drive for cost cuts and higher margins at U.S. trucking and railroad operators is pinching their biggest customers, forcing the likes of General Mills Inc (GIS.N) and Hormel Foods Corp (HRL.N) to spend more on deliveries and consider raising their own prices as a way to pass along the costs.
Interviews with executives at 10 companies across the food, consumer goods and commodities sectors reveal that many are grappling with how to defend their profit margins as transportation costs climb at nearly double the inflation rate.

Two executives told Reuters their companies do plan to raise prices, though they would not divulge by how much. A third said it was discussing prospective price increases with retailers.

The prospect of higher prices on chicken, cereal and snacks costs comes as inflation emerged as a more distinct threat in recent weeks. The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier this month that underlying consumer prices in January posted their biggest gain in more than a year.
As U.S. economic growth has revved up, railroads and truck fleets have not expanded capacity to keep pace - a decision applauded by Wall Street. Shares of CSX Corp (CSX.O), Norfolk Southern (NSC.N), and Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) have risen an average 22 percent over the past year as they cut headcount, locomotives and rail cars, and lengthened trains to lower expenses and raise margins.
Quickening economic growth, a shortage of drivers and reduced capacity, and higher fuel prices have driven up transportation costs, prompting some companies to threaten to raise prices on goods ranging from chicken to cereal.

Cream of Wheat maker B&G Foods Inc (BGS.N), Cheerios maker General Mills and Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N), owner of Hillshire Farms brand and Jimmy Dean sausage, said they will pass along higher freight costs to their customers.

Tyson Chief Executive Officer Tom Hayes told Reuters in an interview that its price increases ”should be in place for the second half” of its fiscal year, and that it has begun negotiating price increases with retailers and food service operators. The company declined to specify how much its freight costs increased in recent months, but a spokesman said they are up between 10 to 15 percent for the total industry.

Finally, I want free things too. If the bankster can have free money, I want free money as well. Warning: fake news or real news? Out of 330 million Americans, these results are based on just 3,000 adults. Who funded it? Why?

"Cui bono?"

More Americans now support a universal basic income

  • Forty-eight percent of Americans support a universal basic income.
  • Longtime advocates say we're closer than ever to adopting the program.
February 26, 2018
Political philosopher and economist Karl Widerquist, an associate professor at Georgetown University in Qatar, remembers a poll from 10 years ago that showed just 12 percent of Americans approved of a universal basic income.

That's changed — and quickly. Today, 48 percent of Americans support it, according to a new Northeastern University/Gallup survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults.

"It represents an enormous increase in support," said Widerquist, who is a well-known advocate for a universal basic income. "It's really promising."

Proposals for universal basic income programs vary, but the most common one is a system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment.

Pilots of such programs are underway in Finland and Canada. In rural Kenya, a basic income is managed by nonprofit GiveDirectly. India — with a population of more than 1.3 billion residents — is considering establishing a universal basic income.

Some projects are happening closer to the U.S.

Y Combinator Research, based in Oakland, California, started a test of a basic income last year, and is raising funds to expand the research project. This year in Stockton, California, Mayor Michael Tubbs's Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration will give several dozen low-income families $500 each month in a study of basic income. And for decades, Alaska residents have each received around $2,000 a year from the Alaska Permanent Fund.

These examples are an opportunity to debunk many of the myths about a universal basic income, said Guy Standing, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. He recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the subject.

"The claim is often made that if you give people a basic income, they'll become lazy and stop doing work," Standing said. "It's an insult to the human condition. Basic incomes tend to increase people's work rather than reduce it."

That's because research has shown that a basic income can improve people's mental and physical health, Standing said, as well as encourage them to pursue employment for reasons more meaningful than just a need to put food on the table.

Rising inequality, and its vast effects, have triggered a "perfect storm" for basic income, Standing said.

"People are saying, 'Look we cannot let inequality continue to grow, because the political consequences could be a disaster'," Standing said, pointing to the recent rise of more authoritarian figures.

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

Warren Buffett. (Such an old fashioned notion.)

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Cryptos again today. Another day, another loony crypto scheme announced. Who would want to participate in the great cryptocurrency scam? Well America’s IRS is for one. Crypto tax time is fast approaching in Uncle Scam land. But who is scamming who?

“The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

Warren Buffett.

Would you believe this? Steve Wozniak's bitcoins actually got stolen

By Sujata Reddy  Feb 26, 2018, 10.21 AM IST
Steve Wozniak has an inventive mind, so it comes as no surprise that he’s a fan of Bitcoin. The Apple cofounder spoke at the ET GBS about what made him a fan of the cryptocurrency. “Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered,” he said.

Unfortunately, all of this doesn’t safeguard Bitcoin from fraud. The American inventor and philanthropist told a full house at the summit how his own Bitcoins got stolen. “The
blockchain identifies who has bitcoins… that doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud though. I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud. Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they cancelled the credit card payment. It was that easy! And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back,” said Wozniak.

Asked about his experience of investing in Bitcoin when they were going at $700 a piece and then selling them for a fortune when the price shot up, Wozniak said that he “did not invest in bitcoins”, but bought them as an experiment. “I had them so that I could someday travel and not use credit cards, wallets or cash. I could do it all on Bitcoin. I studied which hotels and facilities accepted Bitcoin... it’s still very difficult to do so. I also tried to buy things online and trade Bitcoin online.”

So, why did he sell them? “Because I didn’t want to watch the price everyday… I sold all except one. It was enough to experiment,” added Wozniak.

Coinbase tells 13,000 users their data will be sent to the IRS soon

Coinbase told its customers on Friday that it plans to comply with a court order and hand over about 13,000 customers’ data to the IRS within 21 days. The IRS made the request back in November 2016, asking for the Coinbase records of all the people who bought bitcoin from 2013 to 2015 to seek out those who were evading cryptocurrency taxes. Anyone affected by the order should now have received an email from Coinbase to that effect.

Coinbase heavily resisted the summons. But ultimately, in November last year, the San Francisco court ruled Coinbase had to turn over identifying records for all users who have completed transactions of more than $20,000 through their accounts in a single year between 2013 and 2015. The data requested includes taxpayer IDs, names, dates of birth, addresses, and transaction records from that period.

In an email and on its website on Friday, Coinbase noted that it had tried: “Coinbase fought this summons in court in an effort to protect its customers, and the industry as a whole, from unwarranted intrusions from the government.”

It informed its 13,000 affected customers that the “court order requires us to produce information specific to your account,” but that the company could not provide legal or tax advice. So far, 2018 is shaping up to be the year that tax collectors get serious about bitcoin earnings, meaning that it’s a good time to be extra careful about compliance.

Marshall Islands Preparing a Cryptocurrency, Two Officials Say

By Olga Kharif
The Republic of the Marshall Islands plans to release its own cryptocurrency to serve as an official legal tender, according to two government officials.

Members of parliament voted this week to proceed with the plan, Kenneth Kedi, a senator and the body’s speaker, said in a phone interview. A council still has several days to object, a move he said is unlikely.

The digital coin, to be known as the Sovereign, will probably be issued this year, David Paul, minister-in-assistance to the president, said in a phone interview. The government will arrange an initial coin offering and exchanges will be allowed to apply to trade the currency, he said. The move is seen as a way to bolster local budgets, he said.

“This was specifically targeted for the long-term needs of the country,” Paul said.

Roughly 70,000 people live in the Marshall Islands, a collection of more than 1,100 islands and islets in the Pacific. Some proceeds from the crypto offering will be used to provide health care to locals affected by U.S. nuclear tests conducted in the area decades ago, Paul said.

Several governments have sought to strengthen their finances with cryptocurrencies. This month Venezuela launched its own digital token, the Petro.

“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”
Warren Buffett.
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?

Solar power: the next generation

last updated: 26/02/2018

Why Scientists are excited by 'next-generation' solar cells and what they could mean for the future of energy.

Scientists are working on an exciting new material called perovskite – a light sensitive crystal which could revolutionise solar power.

In just a few years its power conversion efficiency figure is nearly on a par with traditional silicon at around 22 per cent, and it’s some 1,000 times thinner.

All this could mean the price we pay for solar power in the future could fall considerably.

These third generation solar cells are built-up layer by layer, like a sandwich, with perovskite as the light-harvesting active layer.

It is semi-transparent, meaning a building’s windows could one day be replaced by coloured plates of perovskite, that would also generate electricity.

Experiments on the solar cells are taking place in the Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne as part of the EU’s GOTSolar research project. Directing research there is Professor Michael Gr├Ątzel.

He says: “What is surprising about perovskites is that they’re made from a solution with simple procedures and from materials which are readily available and we’re seeing performance results which today are already ahead of silicon polycrystals.

“The caveat is the lead, of course, we must be careful we manage this weakness properly. But otherwise, it really is an extraordinary material, which will forge its own path.”

To get around the lead, scientists coat the solar cells in protective glass. This also solves one of the other problems – perovskites are very sensitive to humidity, and the glass protects them from moisture.

The final layer of the solar cell is gold, which acts as an electrode.

One aspect the GOTSolar project is exploring its so-called tandem technology, using silicon and perovskite together for super-charged results.

Professor Adelio Mendes is the project coordinator. He explains: “The most interesting thing is the fact we can combine this technology with the one that used silicon in order to obtain cells whose efficiency can reach 30%.”

It is in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, that researchers are working on scaling up the perovskite solar cells.

The challenge is to replicate the results of the laboratory on a larger scale, an important step along the road to commercialising perovskite solar cells.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Warren Buffett.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

DJIA: 26,149 +282 Up. NASDAQ:  7,411 +310 Up. SP500: 2,824 +212 Up.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Mr. Powell’s Big Day. Is Goldilocks Dead Or In Recovery?

Baltic Dry Index. 1191 +06    Brent Crude 67.47

In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.

John Kenneth Galbraith.

Today all eyes are on Washington District of Crooks, and Fed Chairman Powell’s big day. Global markets are anticipating nothing but a Powell Put. Goldilocks may have been savaged earlier in the month by the bears, but Mr. Powell has to say that she survived and is doing well in recovery. Any hint that she died and got eaten in early February, and that the three bears are out on the loose and looking for desert, and February’s month end will turn into a rout.

Of course Chairman Powell is well aware of all this, and so everyone and their dog is out betting on Goldilocks again. Chairman Powell and the rest of the Fedster’s are well and truly over Wall Street’s barrel, which is exactly how Wall Streeters like it. They wouldn’t have it any other way. But are they right?

February 27, 2018 / 1:14 AM

Asian shares rise to three-week high ahead of Powell's testimony

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares extended their recovery on Tuesday, hitting a three-week high as U.S. borrowing costs eased ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s highly-anticipated first congressional testimony later in the day.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 percent, building on its bounce from a two-month low touched on Feb. 9.

It has now recouped more than 60 percent of its losses from a sharp global rout in early February.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to three-week highs.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 1.18 percent on Monday helped by fall in U.S. bond yields.[.N]

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield eased to 2.864 percent, dropping further from its four-year peak of 2.957 percent touched on Feb 21, driven by month-end buying as well as position adjustments ahead of Powell’s testimony.

Powell’s debut appearance is seen as critical for financial markets at a time when many investors are nervous about the Fed’s policy normalization following years of stimulus after the financial crisis almost a decade ago.

It has now recouped more than 60 percent of its losses from a sharp global rout in early February.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to three-week highs.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 1.18 percent on Monday helped by fall in U.S. bond yields.[.N]

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield eased to 2.864 percent, dropping further from its four-year peak of 2.957 percent touched on Feb 21, driven by month-end buying as well as position adjustments ahead of Powell’s testimony.

Powell’s debut appearance is seen as critical for financial markets at a time when many investors are nervous about the Fed’s policy normalization following years of stimulus after the financial crisis almost a decade ago.

Powell Faces Policy ‘Combativeness’ in Riskier Post-Yellen World

By Craig Torres
Updated on 27 February 2018, 05:01 GMT
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s embrace of his predecessor’s gradual approach to tightening monetary policy is about to be tested.

Since Powell accepted President Donald Trump’s nomination almost four months ago, the near-term outlook has changed significantly.

Financial volatility has awakened, and a booming stock market has shown it can also go down. A $1.5 trillion tax package is adding stimulus to the U.S. economy at a time of very low unemployment and solid growth, a trend that could red-line demand and kick up a central banker’s worst enemy -- inflation. The government wants to test the limits of the world’s appetite for its debt, a boost in supply that’s putting upward pressure on market interest rates.

For Powell, who delivers his first congressional testimony as Fed chairman on Tuesday, there’s suddenly a lot more political and economic risks testing the new leader from the outset.

“In this environment, you will have more combativeness between fiscal and monetary policy,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago. “Debt-financed fiscal stimulus is hitting the accelerator on growth at the very moment the Fed was attempting to tap on the brakes.”

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen pursued a policy of ultra-patience, letting the economy work through headwinds of tight credit and weak confidence. She raised benchmark lending rate just five times over her four-year tenure. She also exploited a period of low inflation to test the limits of labor market slack.

Fed’s Quarles Raises Hope for Faster, Sustained U.S. Growth Pace

The margin Powell faces to continue to run the economy hot is slimmer. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month and forecasters expect it to drop into the 3s this year. The debate inside the Fed will intensify over the pace of tightening. Policy makers penciled in three hikes in December, but just a few weeks later they boosted their outlook for growth, according to minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Fed Gauges of Factories’ Pricing Power Add to Signs of Inflation

By Vince Golle
More and more U.S. factories are getting some pricing power back. 
Robust orders for business equipment, steady consumer spending and improving economies around the world have stoked demand for raw materials. An acceleration in prices of just about everything from chemicals and fuel to lumber and metals has been in train for months. More recently, some producers have shown a greater ability to pass those costs onto their customers, based on the latest data from regional Federal Reserve banks.

Having more success in passing along higher input costs may be good news for Americans’ paychecks. as it gives companies the wherewithal to boost pay while ensuring profit margins don’t erode. At the same time, inflation also eats into consumers’ purchasing power, and concerns about faster price gains fueled big drops in stocks and Treasuries earlier this month.

An unidentified respondent in the most recent survey of manufacturers in the Kansas City Fed District, released on Feb. 22, said materials prices seem to be on the cusp of increasing significantly. And with qualified workers harder to find, inflation is on the way, according to the comment.

The largest recent increases in input costs are petroleum based, with diesel prices having surged more than 43 percent in the past 12 months. But the jump isn’t confined to energy. Lumber, chemicals, plastics, paints and scrap metal are among the biggest year-over-year price gainers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

----A firming up of the world economy is also helping to propel materials prices higher. A recent JPMorgan Chase & Co. survey of leaders of mid-size U.S. companies showed 69 percent were upbeat about global prospects this year, more than double the 30 percent who said so in 2017. Such optimism helps explain a surge in metals futures over the past year.

BlackRock Has It Wrong on U.S. Stocks, Russell Investments Says

By Cormac Mullen
A difference of opinion is what makes a market -- and BlackRock Inc.’s bullish case for U.S. equities over their European counterparts last week has prompted a rebuttal from Russell Investments, which argues the world’s largest money manager has got it the wrong way round.

The strong earnings momentum in U.S. stocks championed by BlackRock is actually a cause for concern to Russell’s Wouter Sturkenboom, senior investment strategist at the $297 billion asset manager. It raises the hurdle for positive profit surprises and the earnings revisions ratio highlighted in the BlackRock note doesn’t have a great track record as a leading indicator of returns, he said.

“While we admire the strategists at BlackRock and other industry pundits who share this view” on U.S. stocks, he wrote in a blog post, “we respectfully disagree.”

For Sturkenboom, the U.S. government’s fiscal stimulus will increase inflation, grow the budget deficit and cause interest rates to move higher. This poses a risk to valuation multiples, he said, an expansion of which has been behind much of the strong returns in U.S. stocks in recent years.

“The chart clearly shows the majority of return has come from a change in valuation, which the recent selloff did not really impact at all,” he wrote in a blog post. “As a result, we take the risk of higher inflation, interest rates and monetary policy uncertainty much more seriously.”

While BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist, Richard Turnill, also noted the risk to multiples in his note, he argued earnings growth matters more than valuations over shorter-time horizons at this stage of the economic cycle.

The strategists also differ in their views on Europe. BlackRock downgraded its view on European stocks to neutral, while for Russell Investments they are the “clear” preference over their U.S. peers.

Europe has strong economic growth, expanding corporate margins and “virtually nonexistent” inflation risk, according to Sturkenboom. Monetary policy is expansionary and expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, another day, another cryptocurrency scandal. This one ought to be good.

Why did I take up stealing? To live better, to own things I couldn't afford, to acquire this good taste that you now enjoy and which I should be very reluctant to give up.

Cary Grant. To Catch A Thief.

Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Inventor Accused of Swindling $5 Billion of Cryptocurrency

By Jef Feeley
Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of bitcoin, is accused of swindling more than $5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency and other assets from the estate of a computer-security expert.

Wright, who claimed in 2016 that he created the computer-based currency under the pseudonym Satoshi ‎Nakamoto, allegedly schemed to use phony contracts and signatures to lay claim to bitcoins mined by colleague Dave Kleiman, another cryptocurrency adherent, who died in 2013, according to a lawsuit filed by Kleinman’s brother.

Kleiman’s family contends they own the rights to more than 1 million Bitcoins and blockchain technologies Kleiman mined and developed during his lifetime and that the assets’ value exceeds $5 billion, according to the Feb. 14 filing in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Craig forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him,’’ lawyers for Kleiman’s family said in the complaint. “Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.’’

Wright, an Australian who lives in London, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the suit, which also accuses the entrepreneur of violating partnership duties to Kleiman and unjustly enriching himself at his colleague’s expense. There is no attorney listed for Wright on the docket.

Wright and Kleiman formed a Florida-based company, W&K Info Defense Research LLC, in 2011 to focus on cybersecurity, according to the court filing. The pair also had earlier worked together on the development of Bitcoin and had extensive mining operations, according to the family’ s lawsuit.

The pair controlled as many as 1.1 million Bitcoins at the time of Kleiman’s death, according to the suit. They were held trusts set up in Singapore, the Seychelles Islands and the U.K., the suit says.

Wright said in a 2016 blog post and interviews that he was the main participant in a team that developed the original Bitcoin software under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. After skeptics questioned the claims, Wright said that he decided not to present any further evidence to prove that he is the creator of Bitcoin.

In the filing, Kleiman’s brother includes what he says is email traffic between himself and Wright in which the entrepreneur indicates he may have been holding 300,000 of Kleiman’s Bitcoins.

Dave “mentioned that you had 1 million Bitcoins in the trust and since you said he has 300,000 as his part,’’ the computer expert’s brother wrote. “I was figuring the other 700,000 is yours,” he added in the email. “Is that correct?”

“Around that,” Wright wrote back. “Minus what was needed for the company’s use.”

The case is Ira Kleiman v. Craig Wright, No. 18-cv-80176, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

"The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice."

Henry Hazlitt
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?

Reinventing the inductor

Materials-based approach yields a smaller, higher-performing alternative to the classic design

Date: February 21, 2018

Source: University of California - Santa Barbara

Summary: A basic building block of modern technology, inductors are everywhere: cellphones, laptops, radios, televisions, cars. And surprisingly, they are essentially the same today as in 1831, when they were first created by English scientist Michael Faraday. Now, a team has taken a materials-based approach to reinventing this fundamental component of modern electronics.

The particularly large size of inductors made according to Faraday's design are a limiting factor in delivering the miniaturized devices that will help realize the potential of the Internet of Things, which promises to connect people to some 50 billion objects by 2020. That lofty goal is expected to have an estimated economic impact between $2.7 and $6.2 trillion annually by 2025.

Now, a team at UC Santa Barbara, led by Kaustav Banerjee, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has taken a materials-based approach to reinventing this fundamental component of modern electronics. The findings appear in the journal Nature Electronics.
Banerjee and his UCSB team -- lead author Jiahao Kang, Junkai Jiang, Xuejun Xie, Jae Hwan Chu and Wei Liu, all members of his Nanoelectronics Research Lab -- worked with colleagues from Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China to exploit the phenomenon of kinetic inductance to demonstrate a fundamentally different kind of inductor.

All inductors generate both magnetic and kinetic inductance, but in typical metal conductors, the kinetic inductance is so small as to be unnoticeable. "The theory of kinetic inductance has long been known in condensed-matter physics, but nobody ever used it for inductors, because in conventional metallic conductors, kinetic inductance is negligible," Banerjee explained.

Unlike magnetic inductance, kinetic inductance does not depend on the surface area of the inductor. Rather, kinetic inductance resists current fluctuations that alter the velocity of the electrons, and the electrons resist such change according to Newton's law of inertia.

----The UCSB team designed a new kind of spiral inductor made up of multiple layers of graphene. Single-layer graphene exhibits a linear electronic band structure and a correspondingly large momentum relaxation time (MRT) -- a few picoseconds or higher compared to that of conventional metallic conductors (like copper used in traditional on-chip inductors), which ranges from 1/1000 to 1/100 of a picosecond. But single-layer graphene has too much resistance for application on an inductor.

However, multilayer graphene offers a partial solution by providing lower resistance, but interlayer couplings cause its MRT to be insufficiently small. The researchers overcame that dilemma with a unique solution: They chemically inserted bromine atoms between the graphene layers -- a process called intercalation -- that not only further reduced resistance but also separated the graphene layers just enough to essentially decouple them, extending the MRT and thereby increasing kinetic inductance.

The revolutionary inductor, which works in the 10-50 GHz range, offers one-and-a-half times the inductance density of a traditional inductor, leading to a one-third reduction in area while also providing extremely high efficiency. Previously, high inductance and reduced size had been an elusive combination.

"There is plenty of room to increase the inductance density further by increasing the efficiency of the intercalation process, which we are now exploring," said co-author Jiang.

"We essentially engineered a new nanomaterial to bring forward the previously 'hidden physics' of kinetic inductance at room temperature and in a range of operating frequencies targeted for next-generation wireless communications," Banerjee added.

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.


The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

DJIA: 26,149 +282 Up. NASDAQ:  7,411 +310 Up. SP500: 2,824 +212 Up.