Thursday 31 January 2019

A Trumpian Fed. Russia Evacuates Its Venezuelan Collateral.

Baltic Dry Index 721 -76       Brent Crude    62.11

Trump 25 percent tariffs 29 days away.  Brexit 59 days away.

"In several of their criticisms, the British are right. People's disengagement from Europe is a major subject for all countries. I am completely opposed to the United Kingdom's exit from Europe. The worst case would be Brexit and Turkey joining. That would be the grand slam of errors. But Brexit or no Brexit, we will in any case have to reform the European project thoroughly."

Interview with Le Monde, 17 May 2016 Nicolas Sarkozy. After nearly 3 years, no sign of reform.

With a grovelling Fed firmly in President Trump’s pocket, US stocks soared and re-election in 2020 now looks all but a certainty. Since the Fed caved in to President Trump on Christmas Eve, the Fed “Put” has made stocks the top go to game on Wall Street. 
President Trump has staked his Presidency on how US stocks perform. The Fed seems to be reigniting gold too.

Below, Marketwatch covers the Fed’s formal surrender. What could possibly go wrong?

Don’t fight the Fed.

Wall Street adage. (Trump did, and won!)

How a dovish Fed sparked a stock-market rally and tanked the U.S. dollar

By William Watts Published: Jan 30, 2019 6:29 p.m. ET

Was move overdue or did Fed go overboard?

The Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, changed their tune Wednesday, striking a surprisingly dovish tone that sparked a stock-market rally, tanked the U.S. dollar and roiled other financial markets.

The Fed hinted that it may be at the end of its rate-hike cycle and further surprised investors by issuing a separate statement regarding its balance sheet, indicating that its efforts to reduce the $4 trillion asset portfolio could end sooner than expected. The tone was seen as an about-face from the Fed’s hawkishly received December meeting when it delivered its fourth rate increase of 2018.

“This is one of the most dovish turnarounds by a Fed chair that I have ever seen in my 30-year career,” said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Seaport Global Holdings.

And the initial reaction across markets appeared in keeping with the perceived shift.

The message delivered by the Fed “just couldn’t be much better for both bonds and equities and for the credit markets that track Treasurys,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR, in a note.

Check out: Here are the biggest stock winners on the day the Fed went soft on interest rates

Here’s a rundown of how markets reacted:

Equities soared, surging in the wake of the Fed’s statement and during Powell’s news conference before trimming gains, but still ending sharply higher. The S&P 500 SPX, +1.55% closed up 1.6% at 2,681.05, a nearly seven-week high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.77%  ended 434.90 points higher at 25,014.86, a gain of 1.8%.

For the S&P 500, it was the biggest one-day gain on the final day of a Fed meeting since December 2014, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Congratulations, Market. The Fed Is Officially at Your Mercy.

Policy makers signal they don’t want to rock the boat.
By Brian Chappatta  30 January 2019, 20:19 GMT

But others aren’t so sure. Some see signs of trouble ahead for stocks even with a Team Trump Fed. The rapidly sinking Baltic Dry Index seems to agree.

Stock-market investors should brace for a plunge in business investment, analysts warns

By Chris Matthews Published: Jan 29, 2019 2:28 p.m. ET

Confidence surveys all point to weaker capex spending

For a brief, shining moment, it looked as if American corporations had learned to invest again.
Following the passage of the late-2017 corporate tax reform, U.S. companies rushed to pour money into spending related to investing in research and development, new projects and equipment. So-called capital expenditures, or capex, rose 10.1% in the first half of 2018, more than double the 4.1% increase seen in the six months prior.

However, since then it has sputtered, rising a comparatively meager 2.5% in the third quarter, and there’s reason to expect this downtrend to continue, according to Veneta Dimitrova, senior U.S. economist at Ned Davis Research Group. The analysts said recent surveys on the business outlook paint a unfavorable picture that could spell further drops in corporate investments and possibly an economic retrenchment, a despite a jolt from tax cuts 13 months ago.

“We’ve been skeptical that the massive $1.5 trillion tax reform of 2017 would supercharge U.S. investment growth for years to come,” Dimitrova wrote in a Tuesday research note to clients. “Now there are mounting signs from business indicators that the downward pressure on capex will continue in 2019.”

Dimitrova points to the Conference Boar’s CEO Confidence index, which fell from a reading of 55 in December to 43 in January — its lowest reading since the third quarter of 2012.

The trend in CEO confidence is troubling, as there have only been 10 other instances since 1976 when CEO confidence has fallen to 43 or lower, and in the median case, business investment has declined 4.8% four quarters later. In abut 40% of instances, the low level of confidence coincided with a recession.

 In regime change news, how long can Maduro hold on in Venezuela? America steps up the pressure. The oil market starts to rise. Why would Venezuela’s troops be willing to fight for a dictator who wrecked Venezuela? My guess is that they won’t. Russia evacuates its Venezuelan loan collateral. Surely a signal that his end is near.

'Don't deal in Venezuelan gold,' White House says, in anti-Maduro push

January 30, 2019 / 4:03 AM
CARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House warned traders on Wednesday not to deal in Venezuelan gold or oil following its imposition of stiff sanctions aimed at forcing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.

National security adviser John Bolton tweeted that traders should not deal in gold, oil or other commodities “being stolen” from the Venezuelan people, as opponents of Maduro’s government worried that a Russian-operated plane had shipped gold out of Caracas on Wednesday afternoon.

The White House said U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, by phone on Wednesday, reiterating support for his “fight to regain democracy.”

On one side of the tussle for control of Venezuela, an OPEC member that has the world’s largest oil reserves but is in dire financial straits, Guaido and Western backers led by the United States are insisting on an immediate transition and fresh elections.

On the other, Maduro, with backing from Russia, China and Turkey, says he will remain for his second six-year term despite accusations of fraud in his re-election last year and the economic meltdown.

Venezuela’s struggle to pay its debts even to allies Russia and China amid a sharp drop in oil output has been exacerbated by the new sanctions, which will make it very hard to sell oil to its main client, the United States.

In that context, the arrival in Caracas of a Boeing 777 plane from Moscow on Monday led to speculation Maduro’s government was shipping more gold reserves out of the country, following shipments of $900 million of gold to Turkey last year. That was part of a strategy to increase the central bank’s liquidity.

The flight, operated by Russia’s Nordwind Airlines, left Venezuela at 4.52 pm local time (2152 GMT), a Reuters witness said. Another Russian-operated flight, a Boeing 757 cargo plane, arrived at the airport an hour earlier via Cape Verde, according to publicly-available flight data. There are no routine flights between the two countries.

---- Oil prices rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday, as investors remained concerned about supply disruptions.

Wills Rangel, a board member of state oil company PDVSA, told Reuters the company was having problems unloading fuel imports because the sanctions were complicating payments.
Maduro, 56, says Guaido is staging a U.S.-directed coup against him. He told Moscow’s RIA news agency on Wednesday that Trump ordered “the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” reprising an accusation of plots he has made over the years and which Bogota and Washington routinely deny.

Maduro is not expected to stand down while he has the backing of senior military officers and has made daily visits to troops.

I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.

Henry Kissinger. (Venezuela?)

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, a Brexit update as the sky starts to fall in.

"Deserters will not be welcomed back with open arms."

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed Luxembourg Prime Minister and ex-president of the Euro Group of Finance Ministers. Confessed liar. European Commission President. Scotch connoisseur.  May 20, 2016.

I just got back from my local Tesco supermarket, and the shelves were mostly empty save for a few canned vegetables and some out of date confectionary.  Toilette rolls – all gone. Bread – not expected till June. German, Dutch, Belgian, Czech beer all gone, only some unknown beer from a tiny UK craft brewery on display. Meats only offal on sale. Medicines forget it.  Pasta, gone forever. Tomatoes so 2018.

Instead of masses of obese customers waddling out with overloaded trolleys, just hungry masses wandering around moaning and sighing, trailed by wailing, crying, children, and confused Old Age Pensionners.  Petrol, at least fifty cars waiting on the next delivery, no word on when.

In a recent report from my local newspaper, a Dr. J. Swift reported:

“It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads and cabin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for the Pretender in Venezuela, or sell themselves to the lucky well fed Europeans.”

With apologies.

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

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: Large, stable pieces of graphene produced with unique edge pattern

Date: January 29, 2019

Source: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Summary: Graphene is a promising material for use in nanoelectronics. Its electronic properties depend greatly, however, on how the edges of the carbon layer are formed. Zigzag patterns are particularly interesting in this respect, but until now it has been virtually impossible to create edges with a pattern like this. Chemists and physicists have now succeeded in producing stable nanographene with a zigzag edge. Not only that, the method they used was even comparatively simple.

Their research, conducted within the framework of collaborative research centre 953 -- Synthetic Carbon Allotropes at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has now been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Bay, fjord, cove, armchair and zigzag -- when chemists use terms such as these, it is clear that they are referring to nanographene. More specifically, the shape taken by the edges of nanographene, i.e. small fragments of graphene. Graphene consists of a single-layered carbon structure, where each carbon atom is surrounded by three others. This creates a pattern reminiscent of a honeycomb, with atoms in each of the corners. Nanographene is a promising candidate for use in the field of microelectronics, taking over from silicon which is used today and bringing microelectronics down to the nano scale.

The electronic properties of the material depend greatly on its shape, size and above all, periphery, in other words how the edges are structured. A zigzag periphery is particularly suitable, as in this case the electrons, which act as charge carriers, are more mobile than in other edge structures. This means that using pieces of zigzag-shaped graphene in nanoelectronic components may allow higher frequencies for switches.

The problem currently faced by materials scientists who want to research only zigzag nanographene is that this form makes the compounds rather unstable, and unable to be produced in a controlled manner. This is a prerequisite, however, if the electronic properties are to be investigated in detail.

The team of researchers led by PD Dr. Konstantin Amsharov from the Chair of Organic Chemistry II have now succeeded in doing just that. Not only have they discovered a straightforward method for synthesising zigzag nanographene, their procedure delivers a yield of close to one hundred percent and is suitable for large scale production. They have already produced a technically relevant quantity in the laboratory.

“I told him bluntly, come on David, get real. I know that all prime ministers are promising to help you, but believe me the truth is that no one has an appetite for revolution in Europe only because of your stupid referendum."

"If you try to force us, to hurry us, you will lose everything. And for the first time I saw something close to fear in his eyes. He finally realized what a challenge he was facing.”

European Council President Donald Tusk

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December.

DJIA: 23,327 +115 Down. NASDAQ: 6,635 +152 Down. SP500: 2,507 +90 Down. 
Normally this would suggest more correction still to come, but with President Trump wanting to be judged by the performance of the stock market and his Treasury Secretary activating the Plunge Protection Team after the Christmas Eve Crash, will a politicised PPT cover the President’s back? [Yes] Probably the safest action here is fully paid up synthetic double options on most of the major indexes.
Hopefully a USA – China trade deal reinvigorates the markets, but failure and 25 percent tariffs, is a market killer.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Waiting For The Spin. Global Trade Sinking. A Cancer Cure.

Baltic Dry Index 797 -55       Brent Crude    61.46

Trump 25 percent tariffs 30 days away.  Brexit 59 days away.

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

P. J. O’ Rourke.

Today, it’s all about waiting for the Fed’s action or inaction on interest rates and their explanation of why they’re not in President Trump’s pocket. Plus watching the oil market for any sign that Venezuela’s oil exports will take a big drop from US sanctions.

Of interest too, the start of the latest high-level trade talks between China and the USA, intended to head off Trump’s punitive 25 percent tariffs scheduled for the start of March. All will be focused on how each side spins the outcome of day one. Judging by the rapidly sinking Baltic Dry Index, the shipping industry sees a new recession at hand, probably due to the increasing slowdown in China’s economy.

Below, Asia is nervously higher, but why play a 50:50 bet?

Asian markets mostly higher ahead of Fed meeting, latest trade talks

By Associated Press and Marketwatch  Published: Jan 29, 2019 11:09 p.m. ET
Asian markets mostly rose Wednesday as traders awaited a Federal Reserve policy meeting and U.S.-China talks, though Japan’s benchmark declined.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, -0.39%   retreated 0.3% while South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.48%   climbed 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, +0.04%   gained 0.2%. while the Shanghai Composite index SHCOMP, -0.17%   edged up 0.1%. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 XJO, +0.21%   was about flat. Stocks rose in Southeast Asia and Taiwan Y9999, -0.06%  .

----U.S. indexes reflected a mixed draw of corporate earnings on Tuesday. 3M MMM, +1.94%  , the maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics, posted upbeat fourth quarter results. Harley-Davidson HOG, -5.05%   reported a drop in sales. Apple AAPL, -1.04%   announced better-than-expected earnings, and its shares surged 5.7% to $163.50 in after-hours trading. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.15%   retreated 0.1% to 2,640.00 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.21%   was up 0.2% at 24,579.96. The Nasdaq composite COMP, -0.81%  shed 0.8% to 7,028.29.

All eyes are on a Federal Open Market Committee meeting ending Wednesday. Although the Fed is expected to leave its short-term interest rate unchanged, the nuances of a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell will be closely watched.

American and Chinese officials will begin two days of trade talks in Washington. President Donald Trump will reportedly meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in an attempt to move negotiations forward. But the Justice Department’s charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, its subsidiaries and a top company executive may be a hurdle. China has urged U.S. authorities to end what it called an “unreasonable crackdown” against Huawei, which has been accused of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran.

“Asia’s markets are trading quietly sideways this morning, and we would expect that to be the theme of the day as the event-risk needle swings much higher from tonight in North America,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a market commentary.

U.S., China face deep trade, IP differences in high-level talks

January 30, 2019 / 2:01 AM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China launch a critical round of trade talks on Wednesday amid deep differences over U.S. demands for structural economic reforms from Beijing that will make it difficult to reach a deal before a March 2 U.S. tariff hike.

The two sides will meet next door to the White House in the highest-level talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed a 90-day truce in their trade war in December. 

People familiar with the talks and trade experts watching them say that, so far, there has been little indication that Chinese officials are willing to address core U.S. demands to protect American intellectual property rights and end policies that Washington says force U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms.

The U.S. complaints, along with accusations of Chinese cyber theft of U.S. trade secrets and a systematic campaign to acquire U.S. technology firms, were used by the Trump administration to justify punitive U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement cannot be reached. He has also threatened new tariffs on the remainder of Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

“Clearly on the structural concerns, on forced technology transfer, there remains a significant gap if not a wide chasm between the two sides,” a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Chinese officials deny that their policies coerce technology transfers. They have emphasized steps already taken, including reduced automotive tariffs and a draft foreign investment law that improves access for foreign firms and promises to outlaw “administrative means to force the transfer of technology.”

Opinion: The slump in global trade is a bigger threat than markets imagine

By Stephen S. Roach  Published: Jan 29, 2019 8:16 a.m. ET

An already weakened trade cycle could spark a surprisingly swift deterioration in the global economy

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Project Syndicate) — As the trade cycle turns, so goes the global economy.
But there is a new twist. With growth in global trade sharply diminished since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, an upsurge of protectionism and disrupted global supply chains is all the more problematic. There is a distinct possibility that a turn in an already weakened trade cycle could spark a surprisingly swift deterioration in the global economy.

Early hints of just such an outcome are evident in the January update of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook. While the IMF has revised downward its 2019 forecast of world gross domestic product growth by 0.2 percentage points (from 3.7% to 3.5%), it has made just a fractional reduction to its projection of 4% global trade growth.

This is certainly puzzling. In a climate of increased tariffs between the U.S. and China, with threats of more to come, and given Brexit-related risks to eurozone trade, there is good reason to look for more significant downward revisions to the global trade outlook.

This would be especially problematic, given that the world economy’s support from global trade is already on shaky ground. Following a crisis-induced plunge of 10.4% in the volume of global trade in 2009 — a modern-day record — recovery has been muted. After a brief two-year rebound in 2010-2011, world trade growth averaged just 3.6% from 2012 to 2018 — about half the 7.1% average annual pace in the 20 years before the crisis.

To be sure, the slowdown in world trade may be traceable to the global economy’s relatively weak post-crisis recovery. But the ratio of growth in global trade relative to growth in world output — an indicator that normalizes for different recovery trajectories — says otherwise.

In the two prior expansions — 1985-1990 and 2002-2007 — this ratio averaged 1.6: in other words, once the cyclical noise of post-recession rebounds subsided, growth of global trade was about 60% faster than growth in world GDP. By contrast, in the current expansion, that ratio has averaged just 1.0 over the comparable 2012-2018 period, with global trade having slowed to a pace only equal to the growth of world output.

Debate rages about why growth in global trade has slowed so sharply in recent years. Extensive research published by the IMF in late 2016 attributed the slowdown largely to subdued business capital spending, finding only small effects from protectionism.

Yet the world has changed a lot in the subsequent two years. While the capital spending shortfall persists — despite a temporary increase from large corporate tax cuts in countries like the United States — there has been a marked increase in protectionism, with attendant pressures on global supply chains.

As a result, a rethinking of the IMF findings is in order.


Finally, some better news. Is a cure for cancer actually in sight? An Israeli team think that they’re close.

A cure for cancer? Israeli scientists say they think they found one

“We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer."

By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman  January 28, 2019 23:14
A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer.

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

It sounds fantastical, especially considering that an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to reports by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Further, every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death (second only to cardiovascular disease).

Aridor, chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, say their treatment, which they call MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order.

The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.

In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics.

AEBi is doing something similar but with peptides, compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. According to Morad, peptides have several advantages over antibodies, including that they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate.

Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.

P. J. O’ Rourke.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

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

Today, seriously bent Italy and the totally doubled over, wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR.

The Italians have had two thousand years to fix up the Forum and just look at the place.

P. J. O’ Rourke.

Italy's credit crunch deepens as recession stalks Europe

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard28 January 2019 • 9:20pm
Italy risks sliding into a recessionary vortex after corporate lending slumped by 5.5pc in December, raising the odds of a fresh debt crisis in 2019 without a shift in policy by the eurozone authorities.
Data from the European Central Bank on Monday shows that total loans to non-financial companies in Italy have been contracting at an accelerating pace since the insurgent Lega-Five Star coalition took power in June. This has metastasized into an incipient credit crunch over the last two months.

Italian lenders are now being forced to rein in credit as the ECB imposes draconian capital requirements when the country is already in a technical recession, and in the midst of a serious economic slowdown across the eurozone.

Paola Savona, the Europe minister and ‘shadow’ economic tsar, said the pro-cyclical demands of the ECB are pushing Italy into a vicious circle.

“If you make the banks raise capital in a downturn, you greatly complicate the problem,” he said. “It is totally unacceptable to allow another recession to happen, especially when it stems from abroad, because we have instruments to fight it."

Lorenzo Codogno, the former chief economist of the Italian treasury and now at LC Macro Advisors, said the economy is “entering a self-defeating loop of negative growth”, with rising deficits and debt ratios.

He warned that the economy is likely to contract by a further 0.2pc this year, with perilous effects on the country’s knife-edged debt dynamics.

He said: “I always thought that Italy was one recession away from a full-fledged crisis, as it did not adequately address fiscal and structural issues in the past. Here we are now, with a crisis that looks almost unavoidable."

Mr Codogno said the banks are under huge pressure. The downturn is tightening the noose on their non-performing loans, and now the ECB has told them that they must provision fully for all of these bad debts.

“There isn’t enough capital in the Italian banking system to cover this so the ECB is basically saying that the whole sector is bankrupt,” he said.

Italian lenders cannot access the capital markets at viable cost, and most are shut out entirely. Unicredit had to pay Pimco a rate of 7.83pc to raise a $3bn bond in November.

Rome’s interim deal with the European Commission over the Italian budget may have averted a dangerous political showdown for now but nothing is resolved.

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

P. J. O’ Rourke.

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?

Florida Power & Light’s solar output exceeds 1,000 MW

Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) solar power plants now generate more than 1,000 MW of solar energy. FPL, an energy utility, has 14 solar plants in commercial operation and four more that are near completion. Jan. 25 marked the day the combined energy generation from FPL’s universal solar portfolio reached its highest-ever total.

“FPL is in the midst of one of largest solar expansions in the history of the U.S. We generated 10 times more solar energy last year than we did in 2016, and we’re investing billions of dollars to advance solar affordably for our customers. Crossing the 1,000-MW mark is a symbolic milestone of our commitment, and we look forward to achieving many more milestones like this in the future,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.

The company announced that it would expand its long-standing clean energy commitment with a “30-by-30” plan to install 30 million more solar panels across Florida by 2030. The plan will result in approximately 11,000 MW of installed solar capacity by 2030.

Electricity-hungry Cameroon boosts solar energy in push for rural power

January 28, 2019 / 10:19 AM
MFOU, Cameroon (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Adrienne Ngonou’s 25-seat restaurant used to open from 8 am to 5 pm, shutting it doors as the sun began to go down. But these days it’s open until 11 pm - and her profits have tripled.

“We now sell both during the day and late in the night because of the constant electricity supply,” she said. “Two years ago, this was not possible.” 

Ngonou’s new power source is a government-provided solar array that supplies power to about 300 homes, businesses and other institutions in Mfou, a town of about 10,000 people east of Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.

Earlier the area relied in part on grid power, which has been unreliable as more erratic rainfall and droughts linked to climate change hit the county’s hydropower dams, which supply the majority of its energy.

But the $13,000 battery-backed solar grid, installed in 2017, has given the area it serves 24-hour reliable power - and is now being replicated in other power-hungry parts of Cameroon, as the government tries to plug a stubborn energy gap and shore up its energy system against climate change, officials say.

Mfou’s solar system was part of a deal between Cameroon’s government and China’s Huawei telecommunications company, which also installs solar installations, to supply solar energy to more than 160 villages, largely in rural areas, they say.

---- Energy expansion plans for Cameroon have focused largely on fossil fuel plants and hydropower expansion, mostly funded by China.

But now Cameroon’s President Paul Biya “has thrown his hefty political weight in support of renewable energy and this has brought a new stimulating perspective,” Martine Akame Mesumbe, director of gas exploitation at the Ministry of Water and Energy, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The government hopes to boost Cameroon’s electricity access in rural areas as part of its “Vision 2035” development plan, aimed at expanding the economy and slashing poverty to 10 percent.

Industrialization came to England but has since left.

P. J. O’Rourke

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December.

DJIA: 23,327 +115 Down. NASDAQ: 6,635 +152 Down. SP500: 2,507 +90 Down. 
Normally this would suggest more correction still to come, but with President Trump wanting to be judged by the performance of the stock market and his Treasury Secretary activating the Plunge Protection Team after the Christmas Eve Crash, will a politicised PPT cover the President’s back? [Yes] Probably the safest action here is fully paid up synthetic double options on most of the major indexes.
Hopefully a USA – China trade deal reinvigorates the markets, but failure and 25 percent tariffs, is a market killer.