Saturday 30 June 2018

Weekend Update 30/06/2018. Will Summer Get Hot? Icy For Stocks?

"I always thought Merkel was, like, this great leader. What she's done in Germany is insane. They're going to have riots in Germany."

President Trump, October 2015.

This weekend, will Ukraine  v Crimea turn hot again after the World Cup in Russia ends on July 20? Is another El Nino about to form in the Pacific Ocean, adding to our global problems with droughts? And will it/has it turned icy for global stocks and cryptocurrencies?

We open with a pathetic “dress up” Friday for stocks. Getting out first always beats getting carried out last. Up next, a Trumpian July 4th, then President Trump, takes on NATO, Brussels, London, and President Putin.

I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany

President Trump.   

U.S. stocks finish higher but post weekly losses

Published: June 29, 2018 5:23 p.m. ET

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday even as the earlier rally in financial shares flamed out, but for the week, all major benchmarks finished lower due to ongoing trade war-related jitters.

Market observers blamed some of the late selling pressure on investors window-dressing their books for the end of the quarter. Friday marks the end of the month, the second quarter and the first half of the year, with major U.S. stock indexes putting in mixed performances over these periods.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.08% rose 2.06 points to 2,718.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.09% climbed 6.62 points to 7,510.30.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.23% added 55.36 points, or 0.2%, to 24,271.41. The blue-chip index was up more than 200 points during the session but surrendered most of its gains in the afternoon.

Extended gains after Thursday’s upbeat session was led by energy and materials sectors. Financials were also popping higher earlier after several banks announced plans to return capital to shareholders late Thursday after the Federal Reserve released results of its annual stress test. However, financials finished in the red as investors pocketed profits toward the closing bell.

June 29, 2018 / 11:56 PM

Canada hits back on U.S. tariffs; Mnuchin denies Trump wants to quit WTO

OTTAWA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada struck back at the Trump administration on Friday over U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion (£9.6 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

The retaliation came as General Motors Co warned that any tariffs Washington might impose on imported vehicles could cost U.S jobs, and as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin denied a report that President Donald Trump wanted to withdraw from the World Trade Organization.

Rising trade tension between Canada and the United States and a pushback from U.S. businesses on further tariffs, including on imported autos, pressured a White House that has championed an “America First” protectionist stance since Trump took office in January 2017.

Mnuchin lashed out against a report by the Axios news website that said Trump frequently told advisers he wanted the United States to quit the WTO, a move that could devastate global commerce. The report cited people involved in discussions with the president.

----Canada's retaliatory tariffs, effective on July 1, largely target U.S. steel and aluminium products, along with foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup and whisky, according to a list released by Canada's Finance Department.

“We will not escalate and we will not back down,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters at a Stelco Holdings Inc plant in the steel city of Hamilton, Ontario.

The measures are designed to pressure Trump by focusing on goods from states where his Republican party is fighting to hold Congressional seats in the November midterm elections. They were announced just as America’s largest automaker warned that overly broad tariffs could isolate U.S. businesses and cut jobs.

----In comments filed with the U.S. Commerce Department, GM said expansive tariffs could “lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less — not more — U.S. jobs.”

GM, which makes many vehicles for the U.S. market in Mexico and Canada, said the tariffs could hike vehicle prices and reduce sales.

June 29, 2018 / 2:01 AM

World stocks up slightly Friday, but down for June as U.S. trade policy unnerves investors

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks edged up slightly on Friday with Wall Street and European indexes rallying through the day, but overall major markets ended lower for the third straight week as U.S. trade policy took its toll on investor and business confidence.

----MSCI’s gauge of stocks in major world markets gained 0.66 percent on Friday but ended down 1.26 percent for the week and 0.7 percent for June.

Canada struck back at the Trump administration over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

----The U.S. administration is due to impose tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion beginning July 6, likely prompting a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

In Europe a deal struck by EU leaders on immigration helped sentiment and triggered a jump in the euro.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.8 percent at its close, while Germany’s trade-sensitive DAX jumped 1.1 percent.

----While Asian stocks also rose, the Chinese yuan suffered its worst month on record, losing 3.0 percent against the U.S. dollar in June as investors pulled money from a market likely to suffer from higher barriers to trade.

----The yield curve between two-year and 10-year U.S. notes flattened to 30 basis points, the flattest since 2007, after U.S. consumer spending data disappointed some analysts’ expectations. Some investors see its flattening as a sign recession may be around the corner.

The next major U.S. economic release will be next week’s employment report for June, which will be scoured for any indications of rising wage pressures.

BERLIN — At the end of a long weekend of rhetorical salvos over the G7 summit’s chaotic ending, German Chancellor Angela Merkel added her voice to the chorus, saying she found Donald Trump’s actions “sobering and a bit depressing,” while calling for more civility in international exchanges.

“The situation isn’t very nice,” Merkel told German public television in a lengthy interview. “I don’t think that ratcheting up the rhetoric is going to improve things.”

US ambassador to Estonia resigns 'over Trump comments'

2 hours ago
The US ambassador to Estonia is resigning, reportedly in frustration at remarks made by President Donald Trump about America's European allies.

James D Melville revealed in a Facebook post that Mr Trump's comments had brought forward his decision to retire, Foreign Policy magazine reported.

The US president has imposed trade tariffs on some EU industries and strongly criticised Nato allies.

Other US diplomats have also left their posts early in recent months.

Now back to that possible hot summer and a new El Nino for later in the year. Trump, trade wars, currency wars, drought, water wars, and a possible new El Nino, and stocks only slightly off their central bankster rigged highs; what could possibly go wrong?

June 28, 2018

Is Putin Planning a Post-World Cup Surprise?

By James Brooke
A Russia-Ukraine water war may emerge after the World Cup final on July 15.

Just as President Vladimir Putin made his move to invade Crimea immediately after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, he could decide that it is once again time for decisive action after the Russia-hosted World Cup wraps up.

Currently, a tense situation is building on and around the Black and Azov seas. Ukraine has cut off the flow of water to Crimea; that and a drought are pushing the Russia-occupied peninsula to ration water. At the same time, Russia is quietly strangling ship traffic to Berdyansk and Mariupol, Ukraine’s two major steel exporting ports on the Sea of Azov. A Russian-instigated military response is not implausible.

For Russian authorities on Crimea, the bone-dry canal from Ukraine is a convenient scapegoat. Without Dnipro River water flowing from Ukraine through the North Crimea Canal, agriculture on the peninsula has collapsed. A new Euromaidan report estimates that, with this summer’s drought, Crimea may only have adequate water for 1 million of its 2.5 million inhabitants.

A Russia-Ukraine water war may emerge after the World Cup final on July 15.

Just as President Vladimir Putin made his move to invade Crimea immediately after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, he could decide that it is once again time for decisive action after the Russia-hosted World Cup wraps up.

Currently, a tense situation is building on and around the Black and Azov seas. Ukraine has cut off the flow of water to Crimea; that and a drought are pushing the Russia-occupied peninsula to ration water. At the same time, Russia is quietly strangling ship traffic to Berdyansk and Mariupol, Ukraine’s two major steel exporting ports on the Sea of Azov. A Russian-instigated military response is not implausible.

For Russian authorities on Crimea, the bone-dry canal from Ukraine is a convenient scapegoat. Without Dnipro River water flowing from Ukraine through the North Crimea Canal, agriculture on the peninsula has collapsed. A new Euromaidan report estimates that, with this summer’s drought, Crimea may only have adequate water for 1 million of its 2.5 million inhabitants.

Stopping vessels carries an economic cost. Since April, the Russians have stopped and “inspected” as many as fifty Ukraine-bound ships. With some ships detained for as long twenty hours, shipping deadlines are missed. Costs to shipping companies can mount as high as $15,000 per vessel, Ayna Chagir, Mariupol Port spokeswoman, tells the Kyiv Post.

Shipping at both ports had been declining, but this pressure is accelerating the trend. Through May, cargo to Mariupol is down 14 percent year over year. Now, insurers are raising rates, shippers are looking for alternatives, and some seamen are refusing to go the Sea of Azov.

On the water, Ukraine has no navy ships and only a few Border Guard patrol boats.

With a disproportionate conflict increasingly possible, Ukrainian strategists increasingly talk of creating a “mosquito fleet.” In this scenario, Ukraine would put to water small, high speed power boats armed with shoulder-held ship-killing missiles, Mykhailo Samus, deputy director for Foreign Affairs of the Center for Army, Conversion, and Disarmament Studies, writes.

With tensions rising, the main hope is that the Kremlin is following an old Soviet ploy: create a problem, then offer the solution. The tradeoff would be water flows to Crimea in return for freedom of navigation for Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.

But Russia also has two possible military responses to Ukraine’s actions.

Meanwhile, is another El Nino forming in the Pacific?

Super El Nino could well have had an Indian Ocean trigger, say Japanese researchers

Thiruvananthapuram, June 29
The super 'El Ninos' (the likes of 1972, 1982 and 1997) with devastating impacts worldwide could well have been the handiwork of a villain traced to no farther away than in the Indian Ocean.
A study by a team led by Saji N Hameed, Professor at University of Aizu, Japan, has shown for the first time that the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events are a key factor in the generation of super El Ninos.
Noting that the years of super El Ninos co-occurred with IOD events (a phenomenon similar to El Nino, but generated by processes inherent to the Indian Ocean), the researchers explored possible mechanisms linking both phenomena.
They found that while Pacific processes are needed to initiate El Ninos, it was the extra energy generated by the IOD, and transferred to the Pacific through atmospheric pathways, which eventually transformed the El Nino into a super El Nino event.
The study, titled 'A model for super El Ninos' has been published in Nature Communications, Saji Hameed wrote in an e-mail to BusinessLine. In this manner, the University of Aizu team has identified two distinct Indo-Pacific processes shaping the unique features and extraordinary ferocity of super El Ninos.
Elusive super El Ninos
A systematic analysis of these processes and their interactions will improve the forecasts for elusive super El Ninos, the researchers claim.
One of the most powerful El Ninos in 1972 set off economic shock waves when it utterly devastated the Peruvian anchovy fishing industry and drove global food production per capita and global food reserves to their lowest level since the end of World War II.
With the arrival of the powerful El Ninos of 1982 and 1997, scientists felt the need for a new term ‘'super El Nino' to describe these extraordinarily strong El Nino events.
"Till recently, scientists believed that climate and weather processes operating within the Pacific Ocean could explain the occurrence of super El Ninos. The infamously failed prediction of the 2014 super El Nino event had its root in these assumptions," says Saji Hameed.
Computational simulation
To unveil the mechanisms of super El Ninos, Hameed and his colleagues conducted computational simulations that recreated selected Pacific Ocean processes involved in the generation of El Ninos. To their surprise, they discovered a new mechanism embedded within the Pacific Ocean, which prevented sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the far-eastern Pacific rising too far above normal.
"Extremely warm sea surface temperatures are a notable feature of the super El Ninos," said Dachao Jin, co-author of the study, who was a visiting scientist from the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology at that time.
"The fact that Pacific Ocean processes responsible for generating regular El Ninos could not explain this key signature of super El Ninos came as a big shock", he added.
Meanwhile, responding to a specific question, Hameed told BusinessLine that he was not very sure “'if what we are going to see concurrently in the Pacific’’ is an El Nino.
"There has been strong decadal SST variations since 2012, and my feeling is that we are still seeing some remnants of that. The situation with IOD is also not yet clear as on date."

El Niño watch issued for fall, winter: What does that mean?

by Caroline Brown Wednesday, June 27th 201
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued an El Niño watch… but what does that even mean?
A watch means that there is a possibility of development, but it has not happened yet. In fact, there is a 50-percent chance of development this fall and a 65-percent chance of development this winter for an El Niño to form.
But what is El Niño?
El Niño is actually the warm phase of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation), which is a coupled climate event. It is considered to be coupled because El Niño is the ocean component, which interacts with the atmospheric component (Southern Oscillation). During El Niño the surface temperature of the water in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are warmer than normal. This causes the easterlies along the equator to switch direction to become westerlies. During a La Niña, the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific are cooler than normal, which results in stronger easterlies. These events both have a tremendous amount of impacts across the globe. Some of these impacts during the El Niño phase can be seen in the graphic.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”

Mark Twain.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished June.

DJIA: 24,271 +221 Down. NASDAQ: 7,610 +267 Down. SP500: 2,718 +169 Down.
All three slow indicators moved down in March and April and May and continued down in June. For some a new bear signal, for others a take profits and get back to cash signal. 

Friday 29 June 2018

Dress Up Half Year Friday.

Baltic Dry Index. 1329 +20    Brent Crude 77.77

“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,”

President G. W. Bush. 2008.

We have arrived at the critical half year closing stock market numbers, and the traditional day to dress up stock prices for those “critical” bonuses of the stock pedlars. This year, barring a late St Peter and Paul Day miracle, very few stock pickers and algo traders front running everyone else, are in line for any kind of bonus at all.

Stock mania peaked all the way back in January, following bitcoin’s peak back in December at 20,000. As of last night, bitcoin settled at 5,847.89, so if the market is following bitcoin unicorns, stocks still have quite some downside to go.

Still unlike bitcoin, most over priced stocks have some sort of real value, unlike bitcoin which has no value at all. So while bitcoin can fall to zero, most stocks bottom out above zero, unless they’re in the leveraged derivatives gambling business and outside of the central bankster lifeboats, like Bear Sterns and Lehman Bros. back in 2008,  so there’s a pretty good chance of a dress up, dead cat, stock bounce coming today.

June 29, 2018 / 2:01 AM

Asian shares rally on China rebound; trade worries linger

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Asian share markets rallied from nine-month lows on Friday, after China eased foreign investment limits, but underlying sentiment was dampened by worries over trade frictions a week before initial U.S. and Chinese tariffs were set to take effect.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1 percent higher, while Australian shares were flat.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index was down 0.3 percent, and South Korea’s KOSPI was down slightly.

After falling to fresh two-year lows on Thursday, shares in China rebounded Friday. While analysts said the jump reflected technical factors, it was helped by news that Beijing would ease foreign investment curbs on sectors including banking, automobiles, heavy industry and agriculture.

The country’s central bank also said on Thursday that it would ensure that market liquidity remained “reasonably ample.”

The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 1.5 percent, and the Shanghai Composite index was 1.1 percent higher. Nevertheless, the CSI300 and Shanghai Composite are the world’s two worst-performing major indexes this year, and are set for their worst monthly performances since January 2016.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.2 percent.

Despite the bump on Friday, analysts downplayed the impact of China’s relaxing of investment curbs on broader trade issues.

“This may not be enough to ease current tensions, with the U.S. calling for much greater market access and fairer competition for foreign enterprises. The list affirms China’s stance that opening up will occur in its own timeframe,” Everbright Sun Hung Kai analysts said in a note.

Elsewhere in the region, investors remained focused on concerns over global trade, as the U.S. ambassador to China said Washington was not convinced that China is willing to make fast progress on trade.

The U.S. administration is due to activate U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion on July 6, which is expected to prompt a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

“The trade war issue is coming up to a critical junction because of that impending implementation of those tariffs,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist and head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.

The stock market is days away from setting a bearish record

Published: June 28, 2018 4:29 p.m. ET

The Dow and S&P 500 are 10 trading days away from their longest corrections since 1984

The U.S. stock market is a few days from hitting a notable milestone, but it isn’t one that investors will feel particularly good about.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.41%  and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.62%  have been mired in correction territory for months, ever since Feb. 8, when concerns that inflation was returning to the economy sparked a selloff that led to their dropping 10% from record levels hit earlier in the year.

Amid months of rangebound trading, neither index has been able to fully recover and notch new records, which is what would be needed for them to exit correction territory (the Nasdaq Composite Index, which never officially corrected, hit a record earlier this month).

As of Thursday, both the Dow and the S&P have been in correction territory for 98 trading days. This stands as the longest such stretch since the financial crisis in 2008, when 108 days passed before the two exited corrections.

Should the two primary market gauges stay in correction for another 11 days — through July 16, given the Fourth of July holiday next week — and exceed the length of the 2008 correction, that will mean they are in their longest such stretch since 1984. In that stretch, it took the S&P 122 days to emerge from correction territory, and the Dow 123 days, according to the WSJ Market Data Group.

Corrections of this length are extremely unusual. According to the data, of the past 20 corrections (including the ongoing one), only two lasted longer than 100 trading sessions. The average length is about 46 trading sessions.

Based on their Thursday closing levels, the Dow would need to rise about 9% to hit a new record and exit correction territory, while the S&P 500 would need to gain 5.5%.

Opinion: The next bear market in stocks will spark a retirement crisis

Published: June 28, 2018 10:29 a.m. ET

A recession could decimate even substantial retirement portfolios, and Social Security and Medicare are facing shortfalls

Almost lost amid the torrent of recent news was a sobering item that will surely have far-reaching consequences.

The U.S. government announced that for the first time since 1982, it is tapping into Social Security trust funds to pay current benefits to recipients and it is dipping into Medicare’s reserves to cover the costs of that program.

The trustees also projected that the trust fund will run out of money by 2034 and that Medicare’s fund for paying costly hospital bills will be depleted by 2026.

That may ultimately force a cowardly Congress to cut benefits, raise taxes, increase the eligibility age, or some combination of the three. For the 52% of Americans who rely on Social Security for more than half their retirement income and the 25% of retirees who get more than 90% of their income from the program, that would be a disaster.

But the 10,000 baby boomers who will turn 65 every single day from now until 2029 face an even broader retirement crisis that could cause big social and political fallout.

Over the next few years, we will almost surely confront a bear market and recession that could decimate even substantial retirement portfolios, not to mention financially dicey state and local pension plans and the federal government itself. And those governments will have few tools to fight it. Consider:

• We are in the 10th year of an economic recovery and bull market in stocks. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.62%   has more than quadrupled from its March 2009 bottom, for a compound annual growth rate of 17.5% during that time. Since the S&P 500 has averaged a 10% annual gain over the past 89 years, at some point there has to be a reversion to the mean.

Finally, in dying EUSSR news, what is the point of the EUSSR anymore? Nine hour dinners and a meaningless final statement, meaning all things to all men and nothing.  Can Deutsche Bank survive the next recession? The EUSSR warn Trump against imposing car tariffs. We’ll trigger mutual assured destruction (MAD,) if you do, they threaten.

June 28, 2018 / 12:19 AM

EU struggles to bridge migration rift at tense summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European leaders struggled to overcome deep divisions on migration at a tense EU summit that dragged into the early morning hours of Friday before yielding vague pledges to strengthen external borders and explore new migrant centres.

The meeting in Brussels, dominated by a nine-hour dinner, underscored how Europe’s 2015 spike in immigration continues to haunt the bloc despite a sharp drop in arrivals of people fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

It took place in an atmosphere of political crisis, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel under intense political pressure at home and a new eurosceptic Italian government threatening to torpedo any deal that did not meet its demands.

A bleary-eyed Merkel, speaking to reporters at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), tried to put a positive spin on the result, saying it was a good signal that leaders had been able to agree a common text on the controversial migration issue.

But she acknowledged that the bloc still had “a lot of work to do to bridge the different views.”

“Italy is not alone anymore,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

French President Emmanuel Macron said European cooperation had “won the day”.

In a final statement full of convoluted language meant to satisfy the divergent views, the leaders agreed to set up joint asylum processing sites and restrict migrant moves within the bloc, but they made clear that virtually all of their pledges would be carried out on a “voluntary basis” by member states.

June 28, 2018 / 9:47 PM

Deutsche Bank fails Fed stress test while three U.S. lenders stumble

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.DE) U.S. subsidiary failed on Thursday the second part of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests due to “widespread and critical deficiencies” in the bank’s capital planning controls.

The Fed board’s unanimous objection to Deutsche Bank’s U.S. capital plan marks another blow for the German lender, sending its shares down 1 percent after hours. Its financial health globally has been under intense scrutiny after S&P cut its rating and questioned its plan to return to profitability.

The Fed also placed conditions on three banks that passed the test. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) cannot increase their capital distributions and State Street Corp (STT.N) must improve its counterparty risk management and analysis, the Fed said.

Deutsche Bank last week easily cleared the Fed’s easier first hurdle that measures its capital levels against a severe recession, the strictest ever run by the Fed.

Thursday’s second test focuses on how the bank’s plan for that capital, such as dividend payouts and investments, stands up against the harsh scenarios.

“Concerns include material weaknesses in the firm’s data capabilities and controls supporting its capital planning process, as well as weaknesses in its approaches and assumptions used to forecast revenues and losses under stress,” the Fed said in a statement.

While failing the U.S. stress test would not likely affect the bank’s ability to pay dividends to shareholders, it will require Deutsche Bank to make substantial investment in technology, operations, risk management and personnel, as well as changes to its governance.

EU Warns Trump That Car Tariffs Would Prompt Retaliation

By Jonathan Stearns 29 June 2018, 03:51 GMT+1

European government leaders pledge response to protectionism

EU summit stance highlights risks of escalating trade war

A large Bank is exactly the place where a vain and shallow person in authority, if he be a man of gravity and method, as such men often are, may do infinite evil in no long time, and before he is detected. If he is lucky enough to begin at a time of expansion in trade, he is nearly sure not to be found out till the time of contraction has arrived, and then very large figures will be required to reckon the evil he has done.

Walter Bagehot. Lombard Street. 1873

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Not the usual crooks and scoundrels today. Today, are we busy creating another “plastics problem” in the rush to switch over to EVs? Hopefully not, if we’re inventive enough.

Where 3 Million Electric Vehicle Batteries Will Go When They Retire

GM, Toyota and BYD are part of a potential $550 billion industry.

June 27, 2018, 5:00 PM EDT
The first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age, yet they aren’t bound for landfills. Instead, they’ll spend their golden years chilling beer at 7-Elevens in Japan, powering car-charging stations in California and storing energy for homes and grids in Europe.
Lithium-ion car and bus batteries can collect and discharge electricity for another seven to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis -- a shelf life with significant ramifications for global carmakers, electricity providers and raw-materials suppliers.

Finding ways to reuse the technology is becoming more urgent as the global stockpile of EV batteries is forecast to exceed the equivalent of about 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared with about 55,000 this year, according to calculations based on Bloomberg NEF data.

China, where about half the world’s EVs are sold, is implementing rules in August to make carmakers responsible for expired batteries and to keep them out of landfills. The European Union has regulations, and the industry expects the U.S. to follow.

General Motors Co., BMW AG, Toyota Motor Corp., BYD Co. and a clutch of renewable-energy storage suppliers are among those trying to create an aftermarket and extra profits for a device that only recently coalesced into its own market. Second lives generate second revenue streams for the same product, and those could help lower prices for EVs.

“The car manufacturers have an upcoming problem, and one that we are already starting to see: this massive volume of batteries,’’ said Johan Stjernberg, chief executive officer of Box of Energy AB, a Swedish company working with Porsche and Volvo Cars. “The market will be enormous for second-life applications with storage.’’

The decade-by-decade forecast by BNEF is staggering. By 2030, there will be a 25-fold surge in battery demand for EVs. Automobiles have overtaken consumer electronics as the biggest users of lithium-ion batteries, according to Paris-based Avicenne Energy.

By 2040, more than half of new-car sales and a third of the global fleet –- equal to 559 million vehicles -- will be electric. By 2050, companies will have invested about $550 billion in home, industrial and grid-scale battery storage, according to BNEF.

“The logic behind this is the circular economy,” said Cecile Sobole, program manager for Renault SA’s EV business. “The battery coming from the electric vehicle will become more and more a part of the energy world.”

Yet as many companies dive in, the biggest U.S. electric-car maker -– Tesla Inc. –- stays on the sidelines. The Palo Alto, California-based company said its batteries probably won’t be suitable for a new task after 10 to 15 years of use, and it’s focusing on recovering the raw materials.

Repurposing efforts may slow if it becomes more profitable to extract materials like cobalt and simply make new batteries.

Declining performance for an EV battery is evidenced by fewer miles of driving per charge and more frequent plug-ins by owners. The components typically will be swapped out after about a decade in family cars and four years in harder-working buses and taxis.

While those replaced batteries can’t run a passenger vehicle, they’re ideal for less-demanding tasks such as storing electricity from solar panels and wind turbines, and hoarding power from a regular grid connection when prices are low.

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?

Graphene forms electrically charged crinkles

Date: June 27, 2018

Source: Brown University

Summary: Gently compressed stacks of graphene form sharp crinkles that carry an electric charge, which could be useful in nanoscale self-assembly and other applications.

Researchers from Brown University have discovered another peculiar and potentially useful property of graphene, one-atom-thick sheets of carbon, that could be useful in guiding nanoscale self-assembly or in analyzing DNA or other biomolecules.

A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A demonstrates mathematically what happens to stacks of graphene sheets under slight lateral compression -- a gentle squeeze from their sides. Rather than forming smooth, gently sloping warps and wrinkles across the surface, the researchers show that layered graphene forms sharp, saw-tooth kinks that turn out to have interesting electrical properties.

"We call these quantum flexoelectric crinkles," said Kyung-Suk Kim, a professor in Brown's School of Engineering and the paper's senior author. "What's interesting about them is that each crinkle produces a remarkably thin line of intense electrical charge across the surface, which we think could be useful in a variety of applications."

The charge, Kim says, is generated by the quantum behavior of electrons surrounding the carbon atoms in the graphene lattice. When the atomic layer is bent, the electron cloud becomes concentrated either above or below the layer plane. That electron concentration causes the bend to localize into a sharp point, and produces a line of electrical charge roughly one nanometer wide and running the length of the crinkle. The charge is negative across the tip of an upraised ridge and positive along the bottom of a valley.

That electrical charge, Kim and his colleagues say, could be quite useful. It could, for example, be used to direct nanoscale self-assembly. The charged crinkles attract particles with an opposite charge, causing them to assemble along crinkle ridges or valleys. In fact, Kim says, particle assembly along crinkles has already been observed in previous experiments, but at the time the observations lacked a clear explanation.

----Similarly, strange behaviors have been seen in experiments with biomolecules like DNA and RNA on graphene. The molecules sometimes arrange themselves in peculiar patterns rather than flopping out randomly as one might expect. Kim and colleagues think that these effects can be traced to crinkles as well. Most biomolecules have an inherent negative electrical charge, which causes them to line up along positively charged crinkle valleys.

It might be possible to engineer crinkled surfaces to take full advantage of the flexoelectric effect. For example, Kim envisions a crinkled surface that causes DNA molecules to be stretched out in straight lines making them easier to sequence.

"Now that we understand why these molecules line up the way they do, we can think about making graphene surfaces with particular crinkle patterns to manipulate molecules in specific ways," Kim said.

Another weekend with more retaliatory anti-Trump trade war tariffs set to kick in on July 1st, July 6th for the next round of US tariffs. But for most of the world, another World Cup weekend of diversion, beer and burgers. Have a great weekend everyone. Ignore for now that Captain Trump just hit an iceberg.

“It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of those [Credit Default Swap] transactions.”

Joseph J. Cassano,  former head of A.I.G. Financial Products, London, August 2007. AIG was bailed out with 85 billion September 2008, after Cassano’s riskless CDS blew up.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished May.

DJIA: 24,416 +201 Down. NASDAQ: 7,442 +276 Down. SP500: 2,705 +180 Down.
All three slow indicators moved down in March and have continued down in April and May. For some a new bear signal, for others a take profits and get back to cash signal