Leading Power: A Look at Japan vs. China

One of Geopolitical Futures’ most controversial forecasts is that by 2040, Japan will rise as East Asia’s leading power. Many readers often ask for an explanation of the logic in this forecast. They understand that GPF is bearish on China. And while some readers may disagree on that point, they usually see that the reasoning is sound and that China will face serious problems in coming years… problems that will strain the Communist Party’s rule.
Japan, however, seems a bridge too far. Its population is less than a tenth of China’s size (and it’s not just aging but shrinking). Japan also has a debt-to-GDP ratio over 229%. So, how is it that Japan will emerge in the next 25 years as East Asia’s most powerful country?
A full answer would require more space than we have in this article. But a good place to start is a broad comparison of the structure of China and Japan’s economies (the second and third largest economies in the world, respectively). This analysis will reveal strengths and weaknesses for both and will aim to bring our forecast into sharper relief.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JANUARY 30, 2017.

What the Heck Happened to Hanjin’s Ships and the Collapsed Freight Rates?

Bankruptcy reveals ‘opaque ownership.’ And freight rates surge.
When Hanjin Shipping Co. declared bankruptcy on August 31, 2016, the world’s seventh largest container carrier, and the largest ever to go bankrupt, threw the shipping industry into chaos. Fully loaded ships were stranded at sea and in legal limbo. Supply chains were disrupted. Hanjin had been considered too-big-too-fail for South Korea, and the industry had relied on a bailout, but it was allowed to fail.
Now that Hanjin is being liquidated and that the logistical nightmares have cleared up, what happened to Hanjin’s 98 containerships – and their ‘opaque’ ownership?
And what happened to container freight rates? They’d plunged to historic lows in the spring of 2016, among rumors that they’d collapse to ‘zero,’ and had pushed already listing Hanjin to keel over entirely.
After Hanjin’s bankruptcy, its 98 ships with a combined nominal capacity of 610,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) joined the already massive global idle fleet as overcapacity has been dogging the industry. According to Drewry Maritime Research, the total idle capacity soared from 904,000 TEU in August before Hanjin’s bankruptcy to a peak of 1.7 million TEU by mid-November. Nearly 9% of the global fleet was anchored somewhere, waiting for better days!

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jan 30, 2017.

Quebec Mosque Shooter Reportedly A Racist, Sexist Le Pen/Trump-Supporting Lone-Wolf

Having cleared one suspect (of Moroccan descent) as merely a witness, The Globe and Mail reports that the white male suspect in the deadly Quebec City mosque attack yesterday was known in the city’s activist circles as a right-wing troll who frequently took anti-foreigner and anti-feminist positions and stood up for U. S. President Donald Trump.
As Reuters reports, a French-Canadian university student was the sole suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque and was charged with the premeditated murder of six people, Canadian authorities said on Monday, in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called “a terrorist attack.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.

JAN 30/GOLD ADVANCES BY $4.80 AND SILVER UP BY 2 CENTS/GERMAN INFLATION RISES TO 1.9% WHICH WILL BE PROBLEMATIC FOR THE ECB/TROUBLE IN GREECE AS THEY REFUSE FOR AUSTERITY: THEY HAVE 3 WEEKS LEFT …

Gold at (1:30 am est) $1193.20 UP $4.80
silver at $17.12: up 2 cents
Access market prices:
Gold: $1195.30
Silver: $17.12
THE DAILY GOLD FIX REPORT FROM SHANGHAI AND LONDON
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.
And now the fix recordings:
MONDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai FIRST morning fix Jan 30/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $ holiday
NY ACCESS PRICE: $xxx (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $xxx
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Shanghai SECOND afternoon fix: 2: 15 am est (second fix/early morning):$ holiday
NY ACCESS PRICE: $xxxx (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME/2:15 am)
SPREAD/ 2ND FIX TODAY!!: $xxx
China rejects NY pricing of gold as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London FIRST Fix: Jan 30/2017: 5:30 am est: $1189.85 (NY: same time: $1189.95 (5:30AM)
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London Second fix Jan 30.2017: 10 am est: $1193.25 (NY same time: $1192.80 (10 AM)
It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.
Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices. They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on January 30, 2017.

A BETTER SOLUTION THAN TRUMP’S BORDER WALL

Just one week in office, President Trump is already following through on his pledge to address illegal immigration. His January 25th executive order called for the construction of a wall along the entire length of the US-Mexico border. While he is right to focus on the issue, there are several reasons why his proposed solution will unfortunately not lead us anywhere closer to solving the problem.
First, the wall will not work. Texas already started building a border fence about ten years ago. It divided people from their own property across the border, it deprived people of their land through the use of eminent domain, and in the end the problem of drug and human smuggling was not solved.
Second, the wall will be expensive. The wall is estimated to cost between 12 and 15 billion dollars. You can bet it will be more than that. President Trump has claimed that if the Mexican government doesn’t pay for it, he will impose a 20 percent duty on products imported from Mexico. Who will pay this tax? Ultimately, the American consumer, as the additional costs will be passed on. This will of course hurt the poorest Americans the most.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JANUARY 30, 2017.

Stock and Precious Metals Charts – The Dark Night of the Soul

‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden.’
Ian MacLaren
‘There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action. All simple souls must admire and respect one another, saying: ‘Let us each proceed along our path to the same goal, united in purpose and by means of God’s order which, in its great variety, is in us all.’’
Jean-Pierre de Caussade
The Trump trade blinked a bit today, as stocks gave up some of their phenomenal gains on doubts about the presidential ban on visitations from seven countries which had been identified by the prior administrations as high risk locations for terrorists.
While this act was sweeping and lacked finesse, operationally clumsy to say the least, the reaction to it was just about as dramatic, including tears. Well, that’s politics in the 21st century. And I am sure we will see much more of this sort of thing over the next few years.
We are going to learn more about ourselves than we may have expected. There is nothing new in this; it is the particular experience of about every other generation and their own ‘rendezvous with destiny.’ How can we be content when the choices are between the ‘lesser of two evils.’ They are both evil, and many including me are not happy about it – but it is what it is.
Gold and silver were struggling to make some gains, and ended the sessions largely unchanged. Stocks managed to claws back some of their earlier losses. What a surprise. The warehouses are pretty much in a lockdown on the Comex. I find it to be rather uninformative compared to the real markets in Asia which unfortunately are a bit more opaque.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 30 JANUARY 2017.

Economic Indicators Show Clear Signs The Economy Is Slipping Into A Depression – Episode 1191a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jan 30, 2017
US & UK move forward with trade deals. Americans are spending more money than they earn for 9 months straight . Starbucks is going to hire 10,000 refugees over 5 years. US Auto Industry is in crisis, the bubble is about to pop. Citigroup is getting out of the mortgage business. The latest economic indicators show that the economy is heading into a depression. ECB assets rise above 36% as the ECB continually purchases corporate debt.

UK Parliament To “Immediately” Debate Trump Ban After Millions Sign Petition

Update: During a joint press conference with Irish leader Kenny, UK PM Theresa May confirms Trump’s invite still stands…
*MAY: STATE VISIT INVITATION TO TRUMP STANDS A petition to ban President Donald Trump from visiting The UK has now received over one million signatures and the UK parliament has just agreed to immediately hold a three-hour debate on the decision.
Since we posted yesterday the signature count has risen from 400,000 to 1.4 million…


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.

Gold and Silver Market Morning: Jan 30 2017 – Gold and Silver holding up well while Shanghai closed!

Gold Today – New York closed at $1,190.90 on the 27th January after closing at $1,189.10 on the 26th January. London opened at $1,192.00 today.
Overall the dollar was mixed against global currencies early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was unchanged at $1.0696: 1 from $1.0696: 1 Friday.
– The Dollar index was slightly stronger at 100.55 from 100.50 Friday.
– The Yen was slightly stronger at 114.86:$1 from Friday’s 114.99 against the dollar.
– The Yuan was unchanged at 6.8772: $1, from 6.8772: $1, Friday.
– The Pound Sterling was weaker at $1.2545: 1 from Friday’s $1.2565: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
Shanghai is closed today until Friday for the Lunar New Year celebrations.
LBMA price setting: The LBMA gold price was set today at $1,189.85 up from Friday’s $1,184.20.
The gold price in the euro was set lower at 1,115.34 after Friday’s 1,107.45.
Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,191.00 and in the euro at 1,116.42. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $17.09.
Silver Today – Silver closed at $17.12 at New York’s close yesterday against $16.80 on the 26th January.
Gold (very short-term) The gold price will consolidate, in New York today.
Silver (very short-term) The silver price will have consolidate, in New York today.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 30 January 2017.

Global Growth Is ‘N Sync – All Eyes on Yields

Originally posted at Briefing.com
Without looking it up, can you name all five members of the boy band ‘N Sync? Don’t be disappointed if you didn’t get past Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass, but if you got the third, fourth and/or fifth members, give yourself a synchronized high-five. Now, stop to consider that there is another band in sync these days and it includes the U. S., Germany, the eurozone, China, and Japan.
There’s little chance anyone will forget the names of those five band members when discussing the global economy, especially when that group is turning out regular hits these days with their manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reports.
That’s right. These countries are all in sync with manufacturing PMI readings that are trending higher.
That’s an encouraging consideration for a global economy that has been stuck in a low-growth rut and it could hold some important ramifications for monetary policy and global markets.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/30/2017.

Quebec Mosque Shooting: One Suspect Identified As French-Canadian, One Of Moroccan Heritage

Update: according to Canadian authorities, Mohamed Khadir has been cleared of suspicion and is now considered a witness. This leaves Bissonnette as the only suspect in the shooting.
Following last night’s deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque which killed six people and wounded eight, two suspects were under arrest and according to press reports have been identified: one is a French-Canadian and the other was of Moroccan heritage. One suspect was identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian, the other as Mohamed Khadir, who is of Moroccan heritage although his nationality was not immediately known.
Reuters adds that at least one of the suspects in the attack by two gunmen was a student at nearby Universit Laval. Universit Laval is the oldest French-language university in North America, with 42,500 students.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.

Year of the Rooster

Donald Trump is now the new President of the United States of America (USA), such as it is, where libertarians and conservatives should be rejoicing – right? Well, maybe if he’s able to repeal Rule 41 and is able to right off a lot of debt without imploding the financial system (not possible) – yes – one must agree. However this is all speculation at this point – as is all the optimism associated with Trump, where like Reaganomics, Trumponomics, is expected to ‘reignite’ the US economy after 30-years of an aggressive hollowing out. Yup – everything will be ‘wonderful’ with a ‘businessman’ at the helm of the world’s largest and most important economy. He can reverse all that damage in no time. Oh and by the way – the rest of the world – you’re on your own – because it’s America first with Trump -nationalism to the max.
What should be noticed by all however, and the other side of the coin to a sanguine view of the future for our collective political economy, is this sentiment, Trump’s ‘America first’ doctrine, has not been lost on both domestic businesses or America’s trading partners, with China’s undoubtedly most important from a macro perspective. Thing is, from an unintended consequences perspective, because Trump is like a ‘bull in a china shop’, aggressive protectionist policy could bring reprisals from the Dragon, from a dragon in the ‘Year of the Rooster’ – circling back to remind of Trump. In Chinese zodiac, it’s a year that looks to the color gold and metals for ‘good luck’, which ironically could end up being China’s trump card to teach The Donald a lesson in diplomacy.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 30 January 2017.

The New 10-Year Forecast for the Public Debt

Every January, the Congressional Budget Office releases its Budget and Economic Forecast for the next 10 years, which in January 2017 covers the period from 2017 through 2027.
The following chart shows what the CBO foresees for the portion of the U. S. government’s total public debt outstanding that is held by the public, which includes government-issued liabilities held by the Federal Reserve, U. S. banks, insurance companies, investment and pension funds, corporations, individuals and also foreign nations and other institutions. What it doesn’t include is the portion of the national debt that is held by U. S. government entities, which is dominated by federal liabilities issued to the trust funds for Social Security and the pension funds for U. S. military and civilian federal government employees.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/30/2017.

Trump Strikes Deal With Lockheed, Asks “Where Was The Outrage When Jobs Were Fleeing”

Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017

President Trump is not done with his morning tweet-storm…
Additionally, Trump is dropping headline bombs during a discussion with a press pool at a small business leaders’ meeting:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.

How to Protect Your IRA From Confiscation, Nationalization and Hyperinflation

The following video was published by The Dollar Vigilante on Jan 30, 2017
Jeff interviews returning guest Gus Demos of Perpetual Assets, topics include: offshoring self directed IRAs, capital controls and the war on cash is ramping up and spreading to other countries, the coming war on gold and Bitcoin, negative interest rates only possible with demonetization, a possible US debt default under Trump or else possible nationalization of IRAs, the desirability of holding tangible assets, making it difficult for governments to rob you, perilous times ahead for IRAs, a precious metals backed Visa/ATM card, a glowing testimonial for the TDV Summit and Anarchapulco 2017