The Crime Of ‘33

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, we wrote about the impossibility of China nuking the Treasury Bond market… Really, this is not about China but mostly about the nature of the dollar and the structure of the monetary system. We showed that there are a whole host of problems with the idea of selling a trillion dollars of Treasuries:

  1. Yuan holders are selling yuan to buy dollars, PBOC can’t squander its dollar reserves
  2. If it doesn’t buy another currency, it merely tightens monetary conditions in China
  3. If it does, it will drive up the price of whatever it buys, but crash it when it sells later
  4. It is still supporting the dollar, as the euro is (like the yuan) a dollar-derivative
  5. It would lose money by holding the positon, due to the interest rate in the euro
  6. It incurs severe exchange-rate risk (the euro is in a downtrend against the dollar)
  7. And the debt of Spain, Italy, and others is headed for a train-wreck

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #360

The Week That Was: May 18, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman to NASA after the Challenger explosion.

Number of the Week: 415.26 ppm

Language: In WUWT, a TWTW reader asked: “Do you see a tendency in the climate change reporting, say in the last 3 years? Is it getting better, scientifically speaking, or worse?”

Both in newspapers and in magazines with science or nature in the name, the reporting has been become more strident and personal attacks more frequent. But this was occurring long before the election of Donald Trump.

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3 More Years Of Expansion?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We are just a moment away from a significant achievement. If the current US economic expansion lasts until July 2019, it will reach 121 months, becoming the longest ever. The extended duration of the prosperity begs the question of when the next downturn will occur. Many analysts believe that its days are numbered, but we dare to disagree.

You see, we do not focus on the mere headlines, but always investigate the underlying factors behind the changes in specific data series. That’s true that the current expansion will likely be the longest on the record, but the reason for this is the softness of the recovery. The present expansion has been weaker than historical recoveries. Indeed, the real GDP has jumped just 24 percent since the end of the Great Recession. That’s a very disappointing result by historical standards: on average, the GDP rose by 33 percent during the previous three economic expansions, even though they were shorter.

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Gold Mid-Tiers’ Q1’19 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The mid-tier gold miners’ stocks in the sweet spot for price-appreciation potential have been struggling in recent months, grinding lower with gold.  Their strong early-year momentum has been sapped by recent stock-market euphoria.  But gold-mining stocks are more important than ever for prudently diversifying portfolios.  The mid-tiers’ recently-reported Q1’19 results reveal their fundamentals remain sound and bullish.

The wild market action in Q4’18 emphasized why investors shouldn’t overlook gold stocks.  All portfolios need a 10% allocation in gold and its miners’ stocks!  As the flagship S&P 500 broad-market stock index plunged 9.2% in December alone, nearly entering a new bear market, the leading mid-tier gold-stock ETF surged 13.7% higher that month.  That was a warning shot across the bow that these markets are changing.

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You Know Things are Falling When…

…when the stock market’s decade-long bottom trend becomes its new top trend and then it can’t even make it back up to that line as a top trend.

We’re sloughing away now, and it can be a long slide to the bottom or endless side-winding of big ups and downs that go nowhere, just as the market has now gone nowhere for fifteen months.

Yes, if you bought in January, 2018, (when I said the market would fall) and held, you have made nothing (unless you did well on dividends)! If you continue to hold, the odds are you will do worse than nothing; but, hey, you did get to enjoy a heck of a roller-coaster ride. If, on the other hand, you sold in January of 2018 and put your money in cash, you made 2% a year with worry-free smooth sailing every day of the year. Here’s the proof on stocks:

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Negative Interest Rates Spread To Mortgage Bonds

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

There are trillions of dollars of bonds in the world with negative yields – a fact with which future historians will find baffling.

Until now those negative yields have been limited to the safest types of bonds issued by governments and major corporations. But this week a new category of negative-yielding paper joined the party: mortgage-backed bonds.

Bankers Stunned as Negative Rates Sweep Across Danish Mortgages

(Investing.com) – At the biggest mortgage bank in the world’s largest covered-bond market, a banker took a few steps away from his desk this week to make sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him.

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Utility Halts Natural Gas Hook-Ups For NYC, Long Island After Cuomo Administration Blocks Pipeline

Michael Bastasch – ReBlogged From The Daily Caller

The northeastern U.S.’s largest supplier of natural gas stopped processing new customer applications in New York City and Long Island after the Cuomo administration blocked a major pipeline project.

The moratorium is the second to hit New Yorkers in 2019 as a result of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s opposition to natural gas pipelines needed to meet growing demand in the state and New England.

“We are not processing new applications for any new customers,” National Grid New York President John Bruckner said Thursday. “We’ll continue to receive requests for service, but we’re not processing them.”

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World Leaders’ Ignorance About Climate Change Continues Despite Simple, Obvious Evidence

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From WUWT

“To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.” Arnold Toynbee

Until Trump, and very obviously with his exception, weak, ignorant, pandering, people lead the western nations. They want leadership positions but with no intention of doing the job, or, for that matter, any talent to do it.

We are a long way from Toynbee’s “last product of civilization.” Worse, we are moving further away every day. What can you say about America, supposedly the most advanced civilization in the world, with a regular TV program about 600-pound people in prime time? Is that filling leisure intelligently? What can you conclude about western leaders listening to and, worse, heeding Swedish teenager, Greta Thuneberg about climate change who claims she can see carbon dioxide in the air? This skill may be because she is a 16-year old child who, regrettably, has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Asperger’s Syndrome. We know this because her mother, who needs for child abuse, told us so in the family book ‘Scenes from the heart. Our life for the climate.’ Historically, it was a child who pointed out that the emperor had no clothes. Now the ill-informed, used and abused, children are pointing out the emperor is wearing a cloak of green.

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US & World Issues Affect Gold Market

By Andy Hecht – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Summary

  • The dollar steps on the rally with a bullish reversal last week.
  • Issues around the world warn not to get too bearish.
  • Technical levels to watch in gold on the up and the downside.
  • Gold mining stocks are waiting for gold to make a move – GDX is likely to outperform gold if the price breaks higher.

Gold is a safe haven asset that market participants tend to flock to during periods of fear, uncertainty, and inflation. The yellow metal is both a commodity and a financial asset, making it unique. Along with its many industrial and ornamental uses, gold serves as an asset for countries around the world that hold the metal as part of their foreign currency reserves. Not only do central banks, governments, and monetary authorities hold gold, but they have been net buyers of the precious metal over the past few years. China and Russia are both absorbing their domestic production and purchasing the metal in the international market to build reserves.

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Why Jim Grant Thinks It’s Time to Abolish The Fed

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

[Jim Grant is an old-school observer of this economic age and one of its most brilliant commentators. Following is the speech he gave in accepting the 2019 Bradley Prize, which recognizes those who have helped further the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism. RA]

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a blemish on the age that so many of us know the name of the Federal Reserve chairman. In a better world, that government functionary would be as obscure as what’s-his-name, the home plate umpire who got no arguments calling balls and strikes at Yankee Stadium the other night. Who elected the Greenspans, Bernankes, and Powells to be the arbiters of interest rates, asset prices, the rate of inflation and who knows what else? It wasn’t Alexander Hamilton. Nor was it the Fed’s own founders. If the authors of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act could return to earth to inspect their handiwork, the shock might kill them all over again.

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Death of Local Newspapers in Five Years

By Cathy Burke – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The top editor at the New York Times is predicting the death of local newspapers in five years, lamenting it as “the greatest crisis in American journalism.”

In remarks to the International News Media Association’s “World Congress of News Media” last week, Times executive editor Dean Baquet speculated “their economic model is gone.”

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US Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Approaching American Airspace

By Jack Davis – Re-Blogged From Main Street Patriot

Six Russian warplanes were intercepted by U.S. jets Monday after they flew into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone in a tactic the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command says will continue to be repeated.

A NORAD press release said the U.S. put four F-22s and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System in the air to intercept four nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters.

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NASA Testing Method to Grow Bigger Plants in Space

By Danielle Sempsrott of NASA – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In an effort to increase the ability to provide astronauts nutrients on long-duration missions as the agency plans to sustainably return to the Moon and move forward to Mars, the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment is currently underway aboard the International Space Station.

The present method of growing plants in space uses seed bags, referred to as pillows, that astronauts push water into with a syringe. Using this method makes it difficult to grow certain types of “pick and eat” crops beyond lettuce varieties. Crops like tomatoes use a large amount of water, and pillows don’t have enough holding capacity to support them.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch initiates the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment on the International Space Station within Veggie by filling the upper reservoir on April 25, 2019. Credits: NASA/David Saint-Jacques

NASA astronaut Christina Koch initiates the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment on the International Space Station within Veggie by filling the upper reservoir on April 25, 2019. Credits: NASA/David Saint-Jacques

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Housing Collapse 2.0 Continues as Predicted

Existing home sales were down again nationally (4.4%) in April (fourteenth month in a row of declining sales year on year). That is the longest stretch without a single positive month since the housing-market collapse that brought on the Great Recession.

The graph here shows the point at which I said early last summer housing sales had turned over (for the worst) and would remain on a downtrend indefinitely, and it shows how that prediction has panned out.

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LA’s Rat-Infested Garbage Fueling Typhoid Fears

By Cathy Burke – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Rat-infested garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles is reportedly fueling fear about a typhoid epidemic in the wake of a record number of 2018 cases of flea-borne typhus.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the city’s most notorious trash pile in downtown Los Angeles remains a magnet for rats — months after a cleanup.

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New Film Exceeds Expectations And Defies Liberal Hollywood’s Censorship

Re-Blogged From Mommy Underground

It’s a sad, but true, fact that liberal Hollywood likes to spread the propaganda of its progressive allies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the censorship of conservative speech and films that promote traditional values.

But one current movie has defied the odds and is showing Hollywood that we won’t be silenced.

The movie, Unplanned, is based on the true story of pro-life warrior Abby Johnson.

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Indonesia Threatens to Withdraw From Paris Agreement Over Palm Oil

Re-Blogged From Telesur

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan referenced the U.S. and Brazil’s withdrawal from the agreement.

As the European Union proceeds with a plan to ban crude palm oil (CPO) from use in raw bio-fuel materials, the government of Indonesia is threatening to back out of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The European Commission has approved acts that classify CPO as a non-sustainable product, removing it from a list of raw materials for the eco-friendly transport fuel. The European Union’s parliament will decide in a couple of months whether or not this classification will be enforced by 2030.

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Scientific Hubris and Global Warming

By Gregory Sloop – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Notwithstanding portrayals in the movies as eccentrics who frantically warn humanity about genetically modified dinosaurs, aliens, and planet-killing asteroids, the popular image of a scientist is probably closer to the humble, bookish Professor, who used his intellect to save the castaways on practically every episode of Gilligan’s Island. The stereotypical scientist is seen as driven by a magnificent call, not some common, base motive. Unquestionably, science progresses unerringly to the truth.

This picture was challenged by the influential twentieth-century philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, who held that scientific ”truth” is determined not as much by facts as by the consensus of the scientific community. The influence of thought leaders, rewarding of grants, and scorn of dissenters are used to protect mainstream theory. Unfortunately, science only makes genuine progress when the mainstream theory is disproved, what Kuhn called a “paradigm shift.” Data which conflict with the mainstream paradigm are ignored instead of used to develop a better one. Like most people, scientists are ultimately motivated by financial security, career advancement, and the desire for admiration. Thus, nonscientific considerations impact scientific “truth.”

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Robots Recreating Past Temperatures

From Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog – Re-Blogged From WUWT

AI research over the last couple of years at the University of Tasmania could have been a check on the existing mess with historical temperature reconstructions. Reconstructions that suggest every next year is hotter than the last the world over. Except that Jaco Vlok began with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s temperature datasets without first undertaking adequate quality assurance (QA).

BlueTeam-LookingDown-copy-1024x819

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Fed Encourages Runaway Debt as “Minsky Moment” Approaches

By Clint Siegner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Federal Reserve officials like to pretend they can use interest rates like a motorcycle throttle on the U.S. economy. They can either rev things up by dropping interest rates or slow things down by moving rates higher.

The public has been led to believe the central planners can do whatever is needed with rates to keep things purring along.

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Our Urban “Climate Crisis”

By Jim Steele, From Pacifica Tribune Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s Natural

Our Urban “Climate Crisis”

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Based on a globally averaged statistic, some scientists and several politicians claim we are facing a climate crisis. Although it’s wise to think globally, organisms are never affected by global averages. Never! Organisms only respond to local conditions. Always! Given that weather stations around the globe only record local conditions, it is important to understand over one third of the earth’s weather stations report a cooling trend (i.e. Fig 4 below ) Cooling trends have various local and regional causes, but clearly, areas with cooling trends are not facing a “warming climate crisis”. Unfortunately, by averaging cooling and warming trends, the local factors affecting varied trends have been obscured.

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Deep State And Financial Powers Worry About Alternative Currencies

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

As markets continue to gyrate on global trade and tariff threats, precious metals are struggling to capture investor interest.

Lately, the big push in alternative assets has been in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has doubled in price over the past two months, though it remains well below its old high.

The full implications of new U.S. tariffs and retaliatory tariffs by China have yet to be reflected in markets. The media has reported on how tariffs could help or hurt particular industries. American farmers, for example, are worried they will suffer most from Chinese retaliation.

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Public Pension Funds Falling Short of Needed 7% Returns This Year

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. state and local government pensions, already with about $2 trillion less than they need to cover all the benefits that have been promised, are falling short of their investment-return assumptions this fiscal year — and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China isn’t helping.

The median public fund, which typically has a fiscal year ending June 30, returned 3.25% for the three quarters through March 31, according to Wilshire Associates Trust Universe Comparison Service.

Public Pension Funds Falling Short of Needed 7% Returns This Year

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Is the Great Red Spot Unraveling?

May 20, 2019: Around the world, amateur astronomers are monitoring a strange phenomenon on the verge of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS). The giant storm appears to be unraveling. “I haven’t seen this before in my 17-or-so years of imaging Jupiter,” reports veteran observer Anthony Wesley of Australia, who photographed a streamer of gas detaching itself from the GRS on May 19th:

plume

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An Ocean Acidification Experiment

By Dr. Michael Chase – Re-Blogged From https://clisciwatch.wordpress.com

SCOPE

This article describes the method and PRELIMINARY outcome of a relatively low cost “laboratory” (kitchen) experiment on the response of seawater pH to increases in atmospheric CO2.

When additional CO2 is added to the air above seawater the chemistry of the water is expected to change, with much focus on the pH measure of acidity. I find that the change in pH when equilibrium is established is readily detectable on a low cost portable pH meter with 0.01 resolution, but the measured size of the effect appears to be significantly smaller than reported in the recent scientific literature. This article deals mostly with the experimental method and results.

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Discipline = Freedom

By Jocko Willink – Re-Blogged From Prager UniversIty

In this year’s 2019 PragerU Commencement Address, Navy Seal (Ret.) and best-selling author, Jocko Willink, offers some hard-learned, practical advice. It all starts with Discipline. That’s what will get you on the road to personal fulfillment and success – and keep you there. Watch and find out why.

Please view the Video

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Chinese Lunar Rover May Have Identified Mantle Exposure

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Chang’e-4: Chinese rover ‘confirms’ Moon crater theory
By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website,15 May 2019

The Chinese Chang’e-4 rover may have confirmed a longstanding idea about the origin of a vast crater on the Moon’s far side.

The rover’s landing site lies within a vast impact depression created by an asteroid strike billions of years ago.

Now, mission scientists have found evidence that impact was so powerful it punched through the Moon’s crust and into the layer below called the mantle.

Chang’e-4 has identified what appear to be mantle rocks on the surface.
It’s something the rover was sent to the far side to find out.

Chunlai Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues have presented their findings in the journal Nature.

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Illinois Could Raise EV Registration Fee To $1,000, Hike Gas Tax

A bill at the Illinois legislature proposes to raise the annual registration fee for electric vehicles (EV) from US$17.50 to US$1,000 and to more than double the gas tax from 19 cents to 44 cents per gallon, under a plan to fund infrastructure advanced by Democrat State Senator Martin Sandoval.

According to the bill, introduced at the Illinois General Assembly, owners of fully electric vehicles “shall register the vehicle for a fee of $1,000 for a one-year registration period,” under the proposal that strikes out the current “In no event may the registration fee for electric vehicles exceed $18 per registration year.”

The bill also proposes to increase significantly the gas tax in the state, as well as the license fees.

EV charger

Half of 21st Century Warming Due to El Nino

By Roy W. Spencer – Re-Blogged From http://www.drroyspencer.com

A major uncertainty in figuring out how much of recent warming has been human-caused is knowing how much nature has caused. The IPCC is quite sure that nature is responsible for less than half of the warming since the mid-1900s, but politicians, activists, and various green energy pundits go even further, behaving as if warming is 100% human-caused.

The fact is we really don’t understand the causes of natural climate change on the time scale of an individual lifetime, although theories abound. For example, there is plenty of evidence that the Little Ice Age was real, and so some of the warming over the last 150 years (especially prior to 1940) was natural — but how much?

The answer makes as huge difference to energy policy. If global warming is only 50% as large as is predicted by the IPCC (which would make it only 20% of the problem portrayed by the media and politicians), then the immense cost of renewable energy can be avoided until we have new cost-competitive energy technologies.

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Mighty Greenland Glacier Growing Again

  Re-Blogged From BBC News

European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland’s most important glaciers.

In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.

As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.

But now it’s all change. Jakobshavn is travelling much more slowly, and its trunk has even begun to thicken and lengthen.

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California’s Government Solely Responsible for States Forest Management and Wildfire Debacle

By Larry Hamlin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The inept government, political and regulatory policies of California have clearly driven the present forest management calamitous conditions with that failure leading to disastrous wildfires throughout the state.

Those government and political leaders that are responsible for this situation that has been decades in the making have tried to conceal their incompetence by making scientifically unsupported propaganda claims that “climate change” caused this situation. These government driven problems are clearly identified in two recent reports – one by Cal Fire and the other by the California Legislative Analysts Office. Continue reading

Law Enforcement Busted an LA Terror Plot, Likely Saving Dozens of Lives

By David Inserra – Re-Blogged From The Daily Signal

The FBI on April 26 arrested Mark Steven Domingo, a former Army infantryman, on charges of plotting an Islamist terrorist attack against a white nationalist rally in Long Beach, California.

That was the 110th Islamist terrorism plot or attack since 9/11 and the 97th plot or attack to be attempted or carried out by homegrown terrorists.

Domingo first popped onto the FBI’s radar at the start of March, when he posted a message in a private group of a social media platform declaring his desire to commit an attack in the Los Angeles area.

He declared that “America needs another [Las Vegas] event,” referencing the deadly October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds injured, and posted that “there [must be] retribution” for the March 13 attack on a mosque and an Islamic center in Christchurch, New Zealand, according to federal prosecutors’ criminal complaint.

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Deep State in Local Communities

Re-Blogged From Deep State Journal

After this man’s mother died, his hometown fined him $30,000 for this horrifying reason.

And now the small city of Dunedin, Florida is foreclosing on his home.

Because the Deep State is sprouting up like weeds in local communities.

The city of Dunedin, Florida has a history of excessive fines for minor infractions. Their code enforcement division is one of the most aggressive in Florida.

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Nasdaq De-FAANGed?

By Zachary Mannes – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

We generally chart the regular NASDAQ — the NDX, QQQ, and the futures — but when you consider that a mere five momentum names, affectionately given the acronym “FAANG,” comprise nearly 40% of the weighting of the entire index, a glance at the Equal Weight version is not a bad idea. I prefer the First Trust  (QQEW) to the Direxion (QQQE) as it seems to chart slightly cleaner and the “EW” is easier to remember.

Watching for nuanced differentiation in the patterns between the QQEW and NDX, it is possible to see the potential for the former to lead a bit. For example, back in August/September of 2018, QQEW marked a divergent high. More recently, the QQEW began to count more like the blue 5th wave extension of (5) of Primary Wave 3 before the NDX shifted from it’s “(B)” wave.

More importantly, though, is that fact that the Equal Weight does not get pulled to such price extremes by the disproportionate momentum of a scant few stocks. The Primary Wave 3 in NDX has stretched all the way to the 223.6% Fibonacci extension as measured in log-scale off the July 2010 low for Primary 2. By contrast, the QQEW hit a more perfect 161.8% Fibonacci extension for it’s Primary wave 3 top.

The disproportionate extension, though, also appears to affect the downside corrective moves.

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BIS Immunities From Prosecution and Taxes

A reader of ours, Lucinda Shmulsky, sent this along “In case you would like to share this with your readers….”

The Charter signed by members of the Bank of International Settlements on January 20, 1930 included the following under Article IV

“Privileges and immunities granted to all Officials, The Officials of the Bank, whatever their nationality, shall

(a) enjoy immunity from jurisdiction for acts accomplished in the discharge of their duties, including words spoken and writings, even after such persons have ceased to be Officials of the Bank;

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Slowdown Confirmed

By Mike Savage – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I have had a rough time for the last few weeks coming up with commentary that has anything new to say. It seems that we are bombarded day after day with talk of trade wars, tariffs and counter-tariffs.

Just today, April retail and industrial production numbers came out in China and in the USA. To say the least, the numbers were uninspiring at best.

In the USA retail sales for April contracted 0.2%. Much of the weakness was in auto sales because taking the auto numbers out there was a .1% gain in April. Electronics and building materials also fell. US industrial production, which has been stagnant all year, was not expected to grow in April either. It still surprised on the downside contracting 0.5%. That is the largest monthly drop since May of 2018.

Durable consumer goods dropped 0.8%. What caught my eye, however, was production decreased for business equipment, construction supplies and business supplies. This appears to confirm that 500,000 less people are actually working today than were at the beginning of 2019 even though we have “full employment”. What a joke that is! The only reason production wasn’t hurt worse was an increase in defense and space equipment materials.

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Elvis Calls for “Space Wilderness” to Protect Solar System From Mining!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I had to take a break from writing the sequel to How Climate Change Buried a Desert 20,000 Feet Beneath the Gulf of Mexico Seafloor after running across this gem on Real Clear Science this morning…

Malthusians in Space!

From The Grauniad’s “You Couldn’t Make This Sort of Schist Up If You Were Trying Desk”….

Protect solar system from mining ‘gold rush’, say scientists
Proposal calls for wilderness protection as startup space miners look to the stars

Ian Sample Science editor
Sun 12 May 2019 13.24 EDT

Great swathes of the solar system should be preserved as official “space wilderness” to protect planets, moons and other heavenly bodies from rampant mining and other forms of industrial exploitation, scientists say.
The proposal calls for more than 85% of the solar system to be placed off-limits to human development, leaving little more than an eighth for space firms to mine for precious metals, minerals and other valuable materials.

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Germany Tests its First ‘Electric Highway’ for Trucks

By Jon Fingas – Re-Blogged From From Engadget

Germany is joining the ranks of those countries betting on “electric highways” to foster eco-friendly trucking. The country has started real-world tests of an eHighway system on a 3.1-mile stretch of the Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, with an electric-diesel hybrid truck merging into everyday traffic while it received power from overhead cables to keep it from using its combustion engine. Earlier tests in the country relied on either slow nighttime tests or the safety of an unused military airfield.

The very first eHighway launched in Sweden in 2016. The concept here is the same — the trucks use pantographs (the pickps on their roofs) to latch on to the overhead cables and draw electricity. Trucks can feed electricity into the grid when they brake, making the system particularly useful if there’s ever a jam.

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Liftoff of SpaceX’s CRS-17 Dragon Cargo Craft

Re-Blogged From WUWT

A cool image as space exploration marches onward. ~ctm

46856594435_206c773b5a_o

SpaceX’s Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Saturday, May 4, with more than 5,500 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of investigations aboard the International Space Station. On Monday, May 6, while the station was traveling over the north Atlantic Ocean, astronauts David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Nick Hague of NASA grappled Dragon at 7:01 a.m. EDT using the space station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

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Does NASA’s Latest Study Confirm Global Warming?

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Some heated claims were made in a recently published scientific paper, “Recent Global Warming as Confirmed by AIRS,” authored by Susskind et al. One of the co-authors is NASA’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt, keeper of the world’s most widely used dataset on global warming: NASA GISTEMP

Press coverage for the paper was strong. ScienceDaily said that the study “verified global warming trends.” U.S. News and World Report’s headline read, “NASA Study Confirms Global Warming Trends.” A Washington Post headline read, “Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast,” with the author of the article adding, “New evidence suggests one of the most important climate change data sets is getting the right answer.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #359

The Week That Was: May 11, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “…we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have…. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” – Stephen Schneider, Discover, pp. 45–48, October 1989.

Number of the Week: 0.05ºC in 25 years

Honest Science: The full comment by Stephen Schneider in the 1989 interview in Discover magazine, cited above, is:

“On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

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Plan to Make Immigration More Merit-Based

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump will outline on Thursday a plan to harden border security and overhaul the legal immigration system to favor applicants who speak English, are well-educated and have job offers, senior administration officials said.

Trump’s immigration proposal, the product largely of senior advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller and economic aide Kevin Hassett, is an effort to rally Republicans on an issue that has often divided them.

While its chances of approval by Congress seem distant, the plan will give Republicans an outline they can say they favor as Trump and lawmakers look toward the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections, where immigration will likely be a key issue.

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How Capitalism Will Save Endangered Species

By Dan Hannan| – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Not long ago, a new variety of orchid was discovered at the Newmarket racecourse in Suffolk, England. The track’s managers were horrified at first. When an endangered plant is found on your land in England, eco-regulators seize control; and this flower was, apparently, the only one of its kind in the world.

But the Jockey Club came up with an ingenious defense. If the orchid truly was unique, it argued, and if it flourished only on ground that had been churned up by horses’ hooves for the better part of 400 years, then surely the correct course was to maintain that unusual habitat.

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Did Trump Tank Trade Talks Deliberately?

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Was it President Trump’s intention all along that trade talks with China fail? That’s the contention of ‘Farmer,’ a long-time subscriber who lives in Nairobi. He posted earlier today as follows in the Coffee House, a chat room that runs alongside the Rick’s Picks Trading Room:

“Just for perspective, the average dollar volume of imports being bought from Russia is only $18 billion during the past five years. That’s just 4% of the goods imported from China. Why? Because after decades as a nuclear cold war adversary, it was seen as ill advised to be running massive deficits with a country we were threatened by.  It is not that Russia could not supply goods cheaply that American consumers needed. They have always been technologically advanced. But if they had been favored over China with billions of dollars of orders in hand, they would be the most powerful nation in Eurasia today.

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Rein in the Four Horsemen of Irreproducibility

   By Dorothy Bishop – Re-Blogged From Nature

Dorothy Bishop describes how threats to reproducibility, recognized but unaddressed for decades, might finally be brought under control.

More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement to make the practice of science more robust. It’s not that my contemporaries are unconcerned about doing science well; it’s just that many of them don’t seem to recognize that there are serious problems with current practices. By contrast, I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research.

How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations.

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Frac’ing Goes Green

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This morning, Charles passed a couple of articles on to me about electric fracking. One was from a WUWT Tip submission by RonPE and the other was in an email he received. My first thought was that it might be referring to the use of microwaves to free kerogen from oil shale… Alas, it was just referring to regular old frac’ing using gas turbines, rather than diesel engines to run the pumps.

From The Houston Carbuncle

BUSINESS // ENERGY
Baker Hughes chooses Permian Basin to debut ‘electric frack’ technology

Sergio Chapa April 30, 2019

Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is using the Permian Basin in West Texas to debut a fleet of new turbines that use excess natural gas from a drilling site to power hydraulic fracturing equipment — reducing flaring, carbon dioxide emissions, people and equipment in remote locations.

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A Different Kind Of Wage Inflation Heralds This Cycle’s End

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Towards the end of long expansions (this one is the longest on record) things get tight. Factories operate flat-out and start raising prices. Good workers become harder to find and companies start competing for them with higher wages and other perks.

This story is about the “other perks” which, because they don’t show up in wages aren’t directly inflationary. But they do cost money, which means they shrink corporate profits nearly as much as would a big wage increase. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Factories Tire of Wage Wars; Give Fridays Off, Spiff Up Bathrooms

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Why Don’t You Support Israel?

Israel is one of the most free and most prosperous countries in the world. Not only is Israel a booming economy and a wellspring of innovation, it is the only democracy in the Middle East. So why is it so controversial to support the Jewish state? Stephen Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, lays out several fundamental truths about America’s most critical ally.

Please view the video.

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