2020 Vision

By USAGOLD – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Five charts to contemplate as we prepare for the New Year

 1. Gold’s annual returns 2000 to present

In the February edition of this newsletter, we ran an article under the headline:  Will 2019 be the year of the big breakout for gold? Though we would not characterize gold’s move to the upside so far this year as ‘the big breakout,’ 2019 has been the best year for gold since 2010 even with the recent correction taken into account.  Back in September when the price gold reached $1550 per ounce – up almost 22% on the year – 2019 was looking more like a breakout year. Now with the move back to the $1460 level, the market mood has become more restrained. As it is, gold is up 15 of the last 19 years and still up 14.45% so far this year.

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US Is Winning Trade War With China…For Now

The ongoing battle between the United States and China for economic supremacy isn’t only being fought in the gilded ballrooms of Washington, as trade negotiators from either side parry over automobile parts content, intellectual property rights, government subsidies and the like.

Casualties and victories are also borne out over the decks of hulking freighters that carry the commodities which make up the nuts and bolts of international trade.

Indeed, shipping statistics are often sought by economics and traders trying to predict the health of a country’s economy or the world economy. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is one such leading indicator. Another is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). PMIs are a monthly survey of supply chain managers across 19 industries. An economy with a PMI of over 50 is considered to be growing; under 50 means an economy is treading water or possibly drowning.

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Climate Change Friendly Green Steel: “Society Would Have to Accept Higher Costs”

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT 

Steel makers are eager to keep us informed of their efforts to find less carbon intensive ways to produce steel, though they worry production costs will have to rise.

Cleaning up steel is key to tackling climate change

Technology to make grey metal green will not be rolled out commercially until 2030s

Globally, steel is responsible for 7 per cent to 9 per cent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels, with each tonne produced resulting in an average 1.83 tonnes of CO2, according to the World Steel Association.

And as the world’s population grows, demand is only predicted to increase.

Blast furnaces of Třinec Iron and Steel Works, Czech Republic

Blast furnaces of Třinec Iron and Steel Works, Czech Republic. By Třinecké železárny, Attribution, Link

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Singapore, Trade And Geopolitics

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The Western media was incredulous. The Donald had disregarded diplomacy, scuttled out of the G7 meeting in Canada without endorsing the G7 agreement, and ended up shaking hands with a previously avowed enemy in Singapore. The formally leisurely pace of global diplomacy, where all is pre-agreed before the photo-op showing unanimity of leadership, was ditched in favour of the Art of the Deal. Foreign correspondents for the established media were confused and obviously out of their depth, particularly over the deal with President Kim Jong-un.

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The Human Costs of Epidemics are Going Down But the Economic Costs are Going Up

By Vanessa Candeias – Re-Blogged From World Economic Forum

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the deadliest epidemic in history – the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak, which killed around 50 million people.

More recently, several outbreaks with equally familiar names have made headlines: SARS, swine flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika, yellow fever, Lassa fever, cholera, drug resistant infections… the list could go on. In fact, every month the World Health Organization receives 5,000 early-warning disease signals from across the globe, around 300 of which need further investigation and of which 30 warrant more in-depth field studies to investigate their potential for causing epidemics.

A health worker stands by ready to ask incoming passengers to remove any head gears before temperature screenings at the International Airport in Hong Kong April 27, 2009. Asia, a continent that has battled deadly viruses such as the H5N1 bird flu and SARS in recent years, began taking steps over the weekend to ward off a new flu virus.   REUTERS/Vincent Yu/Pool   (CHINA POLITICS HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E54R15DW01

Is Kim Jong Un Making a Visit to China?

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Amid a diplomatic outreach between North Korea and other regional powers, the arrival of a North Korean train in the Chinese capital signals that Beijing is probably preparing to reach out to Pyongyang itself — perhaps through a meeting with Kim Jong Un.
  • Ahead of its likely summits with the United States and South Korea, North Korea may try to use its position of strength to gain more equal footing with China in their relationship.
  • Because any lasting diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis will have to include China, Pyongyang will not be able to sideline Beijing entirely in its negotiations.

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