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Lazy Sunday Afternoon… How The Corporataucracy is Losing Its Grip

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It’s late Sunday, 26th February, and the oligarchy is fuming…

The large Corporate behemoths are concerned, because the Free Media – that’s the media, that doesn’t have corporate sponsorship, or control by the legacy media channels, are winning, and the legacy media are losing their power to control us, and that’s really pissing them off..

The old News media channels, the main-stream media, such as here in the UK – BBC, and ITN, and the 6 major U.S. news channels, are pissed off, because the so-called FAKE News channels, are in reality more in tune with what is really going on in the world, than the mainstream media channels would have you think.

For example:

Did you know that last year, President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry, BOTH visited Antarctica? Now why is is that news? And if not, WHY not?

So, what was the Presidential interest in Antarctica all of a sudden? Is it because back in 1512, Turkish Admiral Piri-Reis, produced a map of Antarctica, which accurately showed the land-mass including rivers and lakes under the 1 mile deep sheet of ice? Did, President Obama, want to check it out for himself – just to be sure?

Or was it because back in 1946/7 the U.S. had Operation High-jump, which was organised by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., and led by Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, USN, Commanding Officer, Task Force 68.

Operation High-jump commenced 26 August 1946 and ended in late February 1947. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships, and 33 aircraft. Operation High-jump’s primary mission was allegedly, to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.

High-jump’s objectives, according to the U.S. Navy report of the operation, were:

Training personnel and testing equipment in frigid conditions;
Consolidating and extending the United States’ sovereignty over the largest practicable area of the Antarctic continent (even though this was publicly denied as a goal even before the expedition ended);
Determining the feasibility of establishing, maintaining, and utilizing bases in the Antarctic and investigating possible base sites;
Developing techniques for establishing, maintaining, and utilizing air bases on ice, with particular attention to later applicability of such techniques to operations in interior Greenland, where conditions are comparable to those in the Antarctic;
Amplifying existing stores of knowledge of electromagnetic, geological, geographic, hydrographic, and meteorological propagation conditions in the area;
Supplementary objectives of the Nanook expedition (a smaller equivalent conducted off eastern Greenland). {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Highjump}

However, what was the real intention of this task force? According to some reports, and at least one guarded comment by Admiral Byrd, the U.S. Task Force, was involved in a military expedition, and ultimately involved in a battle… exactly 70 years ago today.

This particular operation returned early after only two months, allegedly after having a battle with Unidentified Flying and Submersible Objects, which cost this particular task force several ships, men and aircraft.

Was this the first interstellar battle? Or where these flying machines a legacy of work done by German Researchers, who had also allegedly had contact with extra-terrestrials and fled to the Antarctic region to continue their research? This Russian video (with English sub-titles) suggests the former…

So, if the President of the U.S.A goes to Antarctica, via a stop-over in Argentina, why did this not make the evening news? And for the Secretary of State?

It has been stated by some in the Financial elite, that they fear what is coming, and that if they could, they would get “Off Planet”. In fact so many have sought hiding places in far away places such as in New Zealand, or in the Argentinian Andes. That it has driven up land and farm prices. They also have been buying gold, silver and bitcoin, in ever larger quantities, pushing prices up, and stashing large sums in currency in an attempt to minimize the worst affects of what is to come.  Some of these “preppers” have even bought space in what used to be nuclear facilities in what are known as DUMB bases (Deep Underground Military Bases) The Russians, have also allegedly provided sufficient space underground for their whole population, but the U.S. has rather selfishly, only provided sufficient space for approximately 200,000, of its population – those senior military, political and financial elites and their families. In towns near these bases, demand for essentials has sky-rocketed.

But what if any of the above is the reality, and we have been fed a lie, for 70 years, that we are alone in the Galaxy, and that the July 1947 incident in Roswell New Mexico, which was reported originally as a UFO, before it was retracted, was in fact a real inter-stellar craft (or two) that crashed and this was retrieved, along with several alien bodies?

 

We have been told it never happened? Yet the officer involved in the cover-up confided in retirement, to his son, that it really was a cover up and that it really was an extra-terrestrial craft that crashed, and elements of it were taken to PhD students in several universities to examine, in attempts to reverse engineer the technology…

What if the post WWII technological revolution that brought about the Integrated Circuit, the Ceramic silicon wafer that made the PC and smart-phone revolutions that took place 50 or so years later possible, but were in reality reverse engineered technology from alien space-craft?

What would widespread acceptance of this fact mean for established religions when their whole edifice is placed on the crucible of scientific research and found wanting? What will happen to people if the Vatican, or the Mullahs in the middle-east have to re-design their religious texts to explain the unexplainable?

We can but imagine.

But in this WooWoo world, where the previously unscientific paradigms, are over-turned as the implications of this sink in…we could see this world turned upside down, and its finances along with it

Nikola Tesla, dreamed of a world where free energy could be distributed via high-towers such as the Wardencliffe Tower, that was unintentionally funded by J.P Morgan, until he realised what Tesla was upto and had it torn down.  And extra-terrestrial space-craft, will obviously require another paradigm shift, as our oil based economy suffers its own implosion, and the financiers that funded the industry along with it…  After all… if these beings are travelling distances measured in light-years, they aren’t using rockets or burning fossil fuels…  So the oil coal and nuclear industries have much to lose from this paradigm shift…

So… get with the program…

Prepare for the change – Disclosure.

I Will Survive – but will you?

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Apologies to Gloria Gaynor, for the title and the introduction…It has been some months since my last piece, and there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

There’s a number of reasons for this, not least because I had a heart attack, followed by triple heart by-pass surgery leaving me away from a keyboard, and more interested in my own health, rather than the health of the world economy which was the main one.

But as my health improves, my interest in matters economic, political and financial return.

While the political seismic shift of the U.S.  election, and the inauguration of President Trump has left many foaming at the mouth, because of the media attention and focus on his shortcomings, rather than on their balanced interpretation of what he might bring to the presidency. There are many who see him as a racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobe, and they have little doubt that he will be one step away from being the devil incarnate.

For those away from California, the University Campuses and the metropolitan areas with their somewhat extremist liberal views, that is where jobs and dwindling incomes are the main topic of political discourse as the financialisation of the economy has meant that jobs in Fin-Tech, or Software have done rather well, while mass immigration has pegged workers incomes as a result of Mexicans and other migrants working in the grey economy, and competing for the entry level jobs that historically went to students, before they went onto the middle-management positions in well run corporations, but whereas changes in corporate management structure has meant that many of those well-paid middle-management and engineering jobs, the “high value-added” jobs, have gone with the industry outsourced to the Far-East, and the corporate profits earned overseas, held off-shore as corporation tax is now amongst the highest in the world at 35%. Apple reputedly holds over $1Billion overseas, yet borrows huge sums in the U.S. to reduce earnings and thus taxes at home.

I’ve also been researching Trump’s plans to reform the U.S. through major reformation of the U.S. tax code, which depending on his spending plans, and the revenue neutral elements of the tax code, he may or may not struggle to get through both houses.

What Trump’s victory changes most is the timing of economic collapse because his economic plan is bound to bring a temporary lift, even as it worsens some of the structural flaws. The effect of the flaws that have been written about elsewhere, will take more time to develop than the improvements, but probably not much more time.

So, let’s start with the positives:

Positive Economic Changes That Are Certain To Result From The Trump Triumph

Here is a list of economic changes, which I think are certain to bring a little boost to the US economy in 2017 and will likely delay the apocalyptic predictions:

It is certain that Trump’s tax plan will happen. While it may not happen entirely, something very close to it will certainly happen because Republicans have never seen a tax-reduction plan they didn’t like.

Republicans hold certain economic truisms as tightly as Biblical dogma: they believe tax cuts will pay for themselves and so will not create a huge worsening of the national debt. Every time they make tax cuts, they claim the cuts will stimulate investment, which will stimulate the economy, which means more businesses will produce more revenue, which means there will actually be more tax revenue, not less.

Whilst this may have been true at the end of the second world war, but before the Vietnam war, it hasn’t been true since.

They have never made tax cuts without increasing the federal deficit under any president since. This fact, however, never kills this dogmatic belief. Republicans also believe with religious fervour that targeting tax cuts to the rich in the form of corporate tax breaks and particularly capital gains cuts, will create new jobs and trickle down wealth to the middle class and the poor. The fact that real middle class wealth has stagnated or even shrunk since the mid-eighties, doesn’t seem to have registered.

Belief trumps truth. Since Reagan, when Republicans have control of the entire legislature and the executive branch [and will be changing the balance of the Supreme Court,] it is absolutely certain the world will see major tax reductions that will come as their third and greatest round of trickle-down economics. The plan coauthored by Larry Kudlow has all of his support with conservatives and Republicans, too. Even if Trump were removed from office, most of that plan would be introduced.

The stock market will rise…for a little while, at least. What we DO know from trickle-down economics is that it certainly does stimulate the stock market. The money that is saved on capital gains and corporate taxes and that is repatriated in corporate income from overseas largely goes into speculative gambling in stocks. Very little of it goes into capital formation, investment in new equipment, corporate construction or business expansion.

Even before any of Trump’s proposed changes have happened, we are witnessing how the mere hope of such changes has caused a huge jump of circa 15% in stock-market speculation (both volume and prices) as investors try to reposition themselves for this new reality. There was a brief stock market slump, once people started to question whether Trump’s plans would be enacted, but it didn’t last long because, as soon as Trump got into office, he moved rapidly via serial executive orders to start implementing many of his promises, quickly building faith that he will carry out most of them rapidly and with great determination.

It is unlikely though, that Trump’s infrastructure stimulus plan will make it off the ground in 2017. While Republicans are certain to approve tax breaks, they are not big on massive government spending increases. Trump will find some strong resistance among Republicans to his increased spending; at the same time, Democrats remember well how Republicans battled against Obama’s plans to increase infrastructure spending in order to stimulate the economy. According to junior Republicans who eventually came out against Speaker of the House John Boehner, this was partly because Boehner and the Republican old guard didn’t want Obama to get the credit for economic improvement. They put the good of their party over their nation’s good. So, Trump will likely find a lot of resistance there, too, as Democrats return this tactic.

Spending will certainly increase in one area — the military. Republicans have proven for decades that no deficit is too big if it is going toward building a stronger military especially as the media’s latest bogey-man – Vladimir Putin – receives the public ire, as they are fired up with their false agenda stories of interference in Western democratic independence.

They’ll also find support among Democrats for this, who have just as many wealthy donors in the military-industrial complex as Republicans do. They’ll also find a lot of support among the religious conservatives — because conservatives like for America to be the strongest nation on earth. Besides being macho, defense and security have a strong argument behind them in a world full of terrorists. While Trump might wish to improve relations with Russia, he will be restricted by a aggressive media. He is also antagonizing relations with China.

The US, under Obama, was already acting more aggressively in the South China Sea in order to keep China from controlling secondary trade routes. Trump will build on Obama’s lead there, and his trade battles with China may intensify conflict with China overall. Trump has stated loud and clear that the US military will be ready to look out for Japan’s national interests. At the same time, North Korea is picking a fight in order to beat its chest, which presses Trump to take some action against them. That may come about just as sanctions, but could involve some military sabre rattling or counter-measures from the US that could escalate matters. Trump will take a greater lead than Obama did against terrorists in the Middle East, as he was critical of Obama’s restrained and somewhat ineffective efforts. Expect a more aggressive anti-terrorist policy therefore. That means, as under Reagan, increased military spending will be more important than increased infrastructure spending, but military spending also stimulates the economy by creating jobs and boosting a number of major stocks. Making something to use once – such as a missile, bomb or bullet, is always though, a waste of money.

Economically, those are all strong short-term positives, regardless of what they bring further down the road. BUT… the U.S. is already in what Austrian Economists call a “crack-up boom” according to the data being collected by one commentator – Cliff High – suggesting that the economic collapse WILL happen on Trump’s watch, probably later this year. (See this:)

In spite of these certain positive economic changes for 2017, there remains a countervailing globalist force that has already presided over numerous economic failures of its own making. These people will relentlessly attack Trump, and they will seek to pin their own failing recovery on him. Such an entrenched counterforce makes it impossible to say how much temporary good Trump’s economic policies can bring. Trump starts in a world where globalists have long ruled the nation’s central bank, which they have positioned to create US economic hegemony. Trump can change that over time, but probably doesn’t have enough time before the collapse is triggered. Also, his lineup of Goldman Sachs executives in all financial offices of the US says that he won’t. Globalists are also deeply entrenched in US intelligence agencies and the military leadership, where they have engaged in relentless nation building as they seek to shape the world toward the interests of their own corporate, political and financial establishment while also working in alliance with the interests of the UK and the rest of Europe.

They will do anything they can to restrain Trump’s plans to drain the swamp in Washington as well as his plans to align with Russia on terrorism in the middle-east, and his plans to diminish nation-building efforts. How far and how quickly he can push against their resistance depends entirely on his and his followers’ ability to overcome deeply entrenched globalist powers that have steered the nations of “the West” for decades. All globalists in the world will oppose Trump.

Globalist are first trying to groom and massage Trump into their ways. They are also trying to thwart him through fake news in the media, slanted stories, political attacks, and by stirring up chaos and counter-revolution wherever possible. Even Obama has formed a foundation to try to muster as many protests against Trump as possible. And the Clinton Foundation has been behind many international wars and humanitarian crises that have been used to the ends of the U.S. (See this piece:)

To the extent those efforts fail to stop or change Trump, the financial establishment will, in the very least, try to make him the scapegoat for the failure of their past eight years of badly misguided recovery efforts.

If they cannot impeach him, as some are already working toward, the ultimate risk for Trump and his supporters is that the establishment will assassinate him. This risk is real enough. For the first time in the history of the US (that I am aware of), we witnessed the nation’s largest mainstream news source (CNN) actually releasing one of the most important non-news stories it could trump up during the inauguration, which was a “what-if” story about how US leadership roles would be assigned if Trump was assassinated on the day Obama’s leadership expired but just before Trump got inaugurated.

That such a concern made it as a main CNN story shows there are many mainstream thinkers who see assassination as a realistic possibility, not as some hysterical conspiracy theory. CNN saw it as enough of a likelihood already in the public mind to make it useful fake news (fake in the sense that it filled news time but is not news at all, but (for the moment) pure fiction that teases liberal minds with a kind of “final solution” hope). Trump is Hitler, according to liberal mass hysteria (just as much as Hillary Clinton was Hitlery to conservatives). Both sides routinely demonize their opposition. As the flagship of the liberal media, CNN planted deep the implied seed of hope that Trump might be taken care of with a final solution aimed just at him. Of course, they would deny that they were raising incendiary hopes among liberal Trump haters.

Now that the revolution and counter-revolution have begun, there is no way I can say which force will dominate by the end of 2017, given the immensity of the forces, the entrenchment of the old guard, the resolution of the Trump revolutionaries, the huge flaws existing in the US and global economies, and the economic headwinds that will hit the U.S. down the road. What I can point out is that the globalists clearly begin with the upper hand by far, and they are certainly not going to give up. In fact, they are only beginning to implement their strategies to overcome Trump because they did not believe they would lose the election.

One of the things I learned about in early 2016 was how the Federal Reserve board held two back-to-back “emergency, closed-door meetings” (as described on the Fed’s own published calendar) followed by an immediate “emergency meeting” between Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, and the President and Vice President of the United States. After those meetings, the stock crash that had begun in January and somewhat recovered in February evaporated, and stocks moved continuously toward recovering all lost ground. We were never told what any of those meetings were about, but meetings between the Fed chair and the president rarely happen, and meetings including the V.P. almost never happen. That indicates some level of emergency that the vice president also needed to be fully informed on.

It has also been my belief all along that, if Trump did win (which I believed a better likelihood than Hillary), the Federal Reserve would capitalize on it. I have no doubt that globalists have plans for every contingency. With their recovery failing again (as we saw GDP cascade in the final quarter of 2016), the establishment would be more than happy to let it crash after the election, but most likely not until after Obama was out of office and it was likely they could blame it on Trump.

I have said for years that the Fed’s “recovery” during the Obama administration can only live as long as artificial life support continues. That support still continues intensely through the Fed holding indefinitely the huge expansion of its balance sheet (which leverages out to an historically enormous pool of new money continuing to float the economy) and through the Fed’s continuance of extremely low interest rates. (While raising interest rates now, still remain the lowest they have been in modern history, outside of the Great Recession.)

I’ve believed that, if globalists got a Trump victory, they would even collapse the economy deliberately, if it were not already failing, because they would love to decapitate their newly risen opposition by making people believe that the entire global economy collapsed because of Trump’s interruption to their plans. They would hope that would slam a lid on revolutionaries against globalism, teaching them once and for all that their individualism and nationalistic, anti-socialist ways bring only rapid calamity.

I think they recognize that, if a global collapse happens on Trump’s watch, many people will look desperately for a global solution from those who appeared to be having success with restoring the economy before he came into office. Many people do not see that the Fed’s recovery was only kept alive by endless and massive administrations of artificial life support. Many people also do not see or believe that the economic flaws of the US and many other nations are fatal or even important — such as the size of national debts, the vanity of fiat currencies, the dangers of financing national debts with massive infusions of such currency. They don’t believe that expanding personal debt to individual limits leads to enslavement as does national debt — enslavement to bankers. They even believe that banks and government have done the right things to reduce the risks of another economic crisis like we had from 2007 to 2009 in the Great Recession.

In fact, the opening title to this piece was carefully chosen, because there are many like me, who have been expecting and preparing for this forthcoming collapse even as jobs have been harder to come by and incomes were reduced by mass immigration. Even my wife has had to apply for her own job, as the corporation she works for wanted to reduce the numbers in her department, all in this ever increasing effort to reduce costs, grow revenue and grow shareholder value.

But despite my best efforts to interest her in this subject matter, she continues to bury her head in the sand, just (if I can be politically incorrect for a moment) because like most women, she is more interested in personality, rather than policy, and she believes the politicians will figure it out, and she won’t have to worry about it because she can’t do anything about it anyway (so she says).

So, it will not be hard to find a majority of the populace that will join the mainstream media and the establishment politicians in blaming Trump when the entire global economy goes down the toilet. Trump’s provocative mouth, his brazen plans, his sometimes brash execution of those plans, along with his narcissism and often clownish behavior, make him a ripe target as a grand scapegoat. (I think even most conservatives would have to admit to themselves here that, if Trump were carrying out a totally liberal agenda, they would find plentiful stock for ridicule in Trump’s showy, boastful, and brash behavior. It won’t be hard for his opponents to do the same.)

So, if the establishment doesn’t assassinate him (now a mainstream idea), they will likely make him a scapegoat to carry away their own sins. All of that places the likelihood of the start of an economic collapse sometime later in 2017 as a racing certainty.

Bloomberg: Russia’s Only Escape From More Deficit Pain Is Economic Growth

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Bloomberg – Russia’s Only Escape From More Deficit Pain Is Economic Growth http://bloom.bg/2aWh4Tf

Of course, to grow any economy, and  improve the living standards of an economy’s citizens, the economy must grow over and above the growth in population.

When an economy stagnates, but the population does not, the citizens are essentially sharing a cake amongst more people, so all other things being equal, everybody gets a smaller slice – which means they get poorer.

When people invest in businesses, and raise the output of goods and services, the economy grows, and people are richer, but ONLY, if the rate of growth in output is more than the population growth.

This conundrum, is at the heart of economists problems. The rate of growth of the economy.

During the early Industrial Revolution, the increase in automation added lots more goods and freed up people who were moving from agriculture, to industry. These individuals were released from agriculture because it too was mechanising..

In a service based economy, it is difficult to grow the output, because it is more difficult to automate.

A restaurant frees up people from the drudgery of cooking,  setting and laying the table, and washing dishes, but it produces not much additional value, because those citizens, cannot improve their own output by not doing these tasks because they are involved in waiting for food, between courses etc..

However, if we replace these waiters and waitresses with automatons, (Artificial Intelligence servers) and an experienced waiter to resolve difficulties, then those staff are released to produce more goods, and services elsewhere. THIS is the way to improve productivity in the economy.

However, when people are released from one industry to work in another, they have to be able to move their skills easily, and in an increasingly technological world, the time to retrain may take years. It is simply not cost-effective to retrain a 55+ year old, if he or she is going to retire perhaps two years after gaining the skills, but has (or would have) taken 4 or more years to gain the necessary expertise.

This is the problem, for economists, and politicians, because money can flow like water from one part of the economy to another, but people don’t move quite so easily.

That is at the heart of the European Union’s (EU) freedom of movement dictum. As one economy expands, people moving in, will dampen wages, and lower output per person. That’s the theory anyway,.

However, large corporations, when they use cheap money to merge with, or to take over in a hostile fashion, other corporations, do not add much value, if the people displaced do not have capital to build businesses, because their savings have been depleted by poor wages, poor interest rates, high taxation or other methods of losing value.

But, in the near future, we are about to see a positive explosion in technological advances, that will likely revolutionize the world economy. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Spintronics, Thorium Energy production,  and Solar Energy production coupled with storage technologies to move the energy that hits the Earth during the day, to those parts of the energy demand curve usually later at night,  to heat or cool homes, or to drive factories such as Tesla’s Giga-Factory in Nevada.

This factory, which Elon Musk, has committed to producing 500,000 vehicles per annum in, by late 2017, will catapult demand for Lithium Carbonate, critical in building the batteries for his car for everyman.  Warren Buffet, who made a major investment in China’s BYD a similar automotive corporation with aspirations to produce huge numbers of electric powered vehicles using Li-ion cells, will also require huge amounts of Lithium Carbonate.

By the end of the year, according to Reuters, BYD should have 10 GWh of battery production capacity, which it expects to increase to 34 GWh by 2020 with a new factory in Brazil—about the same capacity as Tesla’s.

Other Tesla rivals rushing to the battery production scene will be iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and LG Chem, which is already one of the top three battery makers.
Samsung is also hot on the trail, having just acquired Magna’s battery production division.

According to Credit-Suisse, the lithium industry is “poised for significant volume growth,” which could lead to shortages of supply.  As a result producers of lithium are set to enjoy significant earnings throughout the decade.

Elon Musk’s aspirations, if met, will require as much Lithium as is currently produced world-wide, and such demand will also be required by BYD, and the other major manufacturers working to catch up, such as: BMW, Mercedes, General Motors, Ford et-al.

“The key drivers of the continued growth in the market are electric vehicles (“EV”), which have been pioneered in Nevada in recent years, but the larger catalyst for global mass market uptakes is EV technology in China.

Deutsche Bank has forecasted that global sales of EVs in 2025 to be 16 million vehicles per annum (current sales are just 2 million).

This increase should lift lithium consumption in EV’s 8-fold from 25-kilo tonnes (Kt) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”) in 2015 to 205Kt in 2025.

This along with the other increases in global lithium demand is expected to increase LCE demand to around 535Kt of LCE by 2025.

This new demand is being driven by the improved economics of electric vehicles and energy storage products.

In particular in the last five years lithium-ion costs have dropped from US$900/kWh to US$225/kWh.”

In the world, there are essentially 4 major producers of Lithium. Albemarle being the biggest in Nevada, but right next to it, is a junior Lithium explorer,  with capital from major investors, who see this as a huge financial opportunity to grow output to meet this expected demand. And at a mere $1.66-1.70 range on the day I was writing this, it values the business at $114.27m (Source: Bloomberg)

Some Lithium miners, are lying about their resources, and others, simply lack the expertise to bring the Lithium salts to production.

From this small company’s web site they have this to say:

[Our Company] has an option to become the largest claims holder with over 15,020 acres (6,078 hectares) in Nevada’s Clayton Valley and land positions both north and south of Albemarle’s Silver Peak mine, North America’s only lithium producer.

Clayton Valley North covering approximately 5,480 acres (2,217 hectares) in northern Clayton Valley, Nevada. The claims are contiguous to private lands and placer claims belonging to the lithium production facility of Albemarle Corporation. Historic drill information and a geophysical survey show the Property covers basin-fill sediments which are similar to the sediments currently producing lithium brines. Two Albemarle production wells lie along the boundary. Two holes are proposed within the Clayton Valley North claims as offsets to the production wells to test the complete stratigraphic section. Drilling and exploration are active in the basin and the permitting process is well established.

[Our Company] has also acquired the Clayton Valley South Expansion, totalling approximately 9,540 acres (3,861 hectares). The property is strategically located between and contiguous with the Silver Peak lithium mine operated by Albemarle Corp. on the northern boundary, the Clayton Valley South project operated by Pure Energy Minerals Ltd to the east and the Neptune property owned by Nevada Sunrise Gold Corporation to the west.

But Eric Anderson, CEO of the lithium engineering consultancy TRU, was bearish on lithium investment as early as 2009, when a flood of new projects were being planned.

“I made this statement that people snickered at—that plants would be built and closed . . . because of the hype surrounding the industry,” says Anderson.

Anderson’s lithium predictions have been largely vindicated. Demand rose more slowly than some expected—still currently between 5 and 10% per year—and new operations have been plagued by problems.

In 2012, Galaxy Resources suspended production at its Mt. Cattlin mine in western Australia. In 2013, RB Energy Inc. opened a new lithium carbonate plant in Quebec, only to suspend operations in 2014.

Nevada-based Western Lithium, which has been repeatedly floated as a potentially convenient supplier for Tesla, has taken shareholders on a very bumpy ride, and is not yet online.

According to Anderson, Western Lithium, like many new lithium operations, simply aren’t working with the right raw materials.  Though lithium isn’t rare in the environment, the cost of extraction varies greatly with its concentration and form.

With existing technology and present prices, truly profitable lithium comes only from the evaporation of highly concentrated brine.  Those sorts of brine deposits are nearly all in southwest South America, and controlled by established players.

The three biggest lithium producers are Sociedad Quimica y Minera, based in Chile, American FMC Lithium, which controls the ominously-named Hombre Muerte mine (Dead Man Mine)  in Argentina, and the U.S. based  Albemarle, which recently acquired competitor Rockwood Holdings.  Albemarle is developing lithium brine holdings around Magnolia, Arkansas too—the only American deposits that Anderson thinks might make economic sense in the near future.

Together, these three companies provide more than 90% of the world’s lithium, and have absorbed much of the rising demand simply by bringing untapped capacity online.

A dearth of technical talent seems to be another widespread problem. The Bolivian state has faced serious management and technical hurdles in extracting the massive, high-density lithium deposits in the other-worldly salt flat Salar de Uyuni.

Similarly, Chinese producers Quinghai Lithium and Citic Guoan MGL, hoping to exploit sources near Tibet, have experienced major hurdles, and plans to expand Chinese capacity to 60,000 tons a year by the end of  this year have been revised downward by half.

Elon Musk however, is eyeing a “complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world to completely sustainable zero carbon,” and what he’s talking about here is lithium-battery production on a mind-blowing scale.

Tesla is planning to produce more lithium-ion batteries in this factory than in the entire global marketplace combined.

Lithium—the lightest and most versatile of the metals—is the backbone of this exploding battery market.

Lithium is already a key part of our everyday lives, but as batteries become the rule of the day in a new global energy picture, demand for lithium is soaring—and we are only at the beginning of this curve.

Battery manufacturers across the board are moving to lithium because it has the highest electric output per unit weight.

And nowhere will this demand soar more than with the production of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles used by everyone from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi to Ford, Chevrolet and GM.

By the end of the year, according to Reuters, China’s BYD should have 10 GWh of battery production capacity, which it expects to increase to 34 GWh by 2020 with a new factory in Brazil—about the same capacity as Tesla’s.

Other Tesla rivals rushing to the battery production scene will be iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and LG Chem, which is already one of the top three battery makers.
Samsung is also hot on the trail, having just acquired Magna’s battery production division.

According to Credit Suisse, the lithium industry is “poised for significant volume growth,” which could lead to shortages of supply.

As a result producers of lithium are set to enjoy significant earnings throughout the decade.

Therefore, this little company, stands to be able to produce Lithium Carbonate, even quite possibly at the Albemarle facility which we know meets Tesla’s Standards, and it has even  been suggested, Musk might be interested in buying the whole company to guarantee Lithium for his Nevada Giga-Factory, and his future plans.

And, the name of this Lithium junior placed to take advantage of this rapid surge in demand is: Lithium X (TSXv.LIX) and LIXXF in the U.S.) .

And remember, we’re not Investment Advisors, so nothing in this piece should be considered a recommendation. Prices of shares can go down as well as up. We do not hold, and have no short-term intentions to do so.

 

 

The Changing World, and investments to watch.

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As the old world of manufacturing, I.T, Services and financial markets evolve, the internet has been quietly (and not so quietly) changing the way things get done, to make improvements in output, and capability possible, and this coupled with demographics, is at the root of the world’s current economic woes.

This is 1928 in market cycle terms, when the abundant supply, and low oil price justified Henry Ford in building his Model T, and the same technology was used to build his tractors, which allowed farmers to buy a tool, that freed up thousands of labourers used to manage farms and produce crops. Back then, the explosion of the tractor, led the typical farmer to lots of debt, and the bumper crops of those years led ultimately to lower agricultural prices and thus food costs, which helped cause deflation, but also made thousands of farm hands unemployed. It also allowed large crop outputs to be transported to cities nationwide, on the new trucks that were just emerging, opening up new markets.

Just as in the early millennium, the ubiquitous smart-phone changed the PC and I.T. infrastructure market, when it put essentially a PC in our pockets, with the processing power, and storage capacity of an office PC of fifteen to twenty years ago, all in a form factor that sits nicely in the palm of the hand. Yes, the screen size wasn’t as big, but the pixel size was certainly an improvement, allowing the clarity of contrast, line width, colour rendition, resolution, saturation and hue all improved to the point that watching a video on our portable handset was possible, and now a major step forward over the 640 x 480 screen images of the early PC days (so-called VGA – Video Graphics Array) of circa 1990.

The next major standard after VGA, gave us 800px by 600px, – XGA and Super VGA. Then came improvements in rapid succession, and then CDs, and DVDs, taking resolutions up to 1920 x 1200. These standards and Blue-Ray with up to 1920px by 1080px, got the viewing public used to step-wise improvements, for larger screens viewed at several metres distance across a typical front room, drawing room or Family room, depending on your social milieu. And now since TV has followed, and surpassed the PC resolution with 3840 x 2160pixels – so called 4K systems.

But every improvement gets us closer to the limits of what most people’s eyes can resolve. So now Graphics Processor Companies, such as nVidia are using the mathematical capabilities of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for Quantum Computing.

A few years ago, Google purchased a company called DeepMind out of London, and DeepMind is an artificial intelligence (AI) Corporation. Now if you think back to 2011, IBM was able to beat the world champion of chess with its super-computer – Deep Blue. Steps forward in certain areas of computing have now gone exponential, and as a former software engineer, I know about the already fast pace of change in the industry.

So Deep Blue knew every possible outcome of every move. But what happened just a few weeks ago in South Korea is light-years beyond that.

DeepMind used an algorithm it developed called AlphaGo to play the Chinese game Go in South Korea with the world champion.

DeepMind’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence (A.I.) already beat the European champion last year. He was ranked 275th worldwide. The score was 5 to 0.

Now, what’s really interesting about this, is that A.I. experts did not think this was possible. They estimated that AI could not beat a human Go master for another 10 years.

These are the experts. These are the people in the industry who focus on nothing but AI. And even they did not think this could happen.

The main reason is that there are 361 opening moves in Go, compared to chess, which has 20. That puts the number of possible patterns and possible outcomes of the game into the hundreds of billions. In fact, it’s such a large number, we don’t even have the computer processing power to count all the possible outcomes, but this system beat the world champion 4-1. Everybody is completely shocked that AI basically destroyed the world champion in the most complex game on Earth… more than a decade sooner than any expert thought possible.

Cars and Trucks using these technologies are in development to make driverless vehicles a reality within 5 years for cars, and within 10 years for most heavy goods vehicles. The technology already has been tested, but like super-computers, we all haven’t got one in our pockets or homes – YET…

The vast Internet, with fibre-optics enabling communication at light-speed is changing everything. Think of all the industries being affected… TV is now almost entirely digital, Netflix is destroying the business model of cable companies. Uber, is likely going to destroy TAXI companies, Air BnB, will impact the small hotel business, Tesla is changing the automotive industry and in the process changing the energy market too. Solar, Wind, Wave and Geo-Thermal are all pressuring carbon-based energy.

So, when you couple AI, Robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and all the supporting industries, the next depression will happen any time soon, as we stop buying the old, and begin buying the new.  However, we will emerge in five or so year’s time into the sunlight of a brave new world. But those without high-tech skills, able to add value to these industries, will suffer, will not be employed, as AI replaces almost every menial job, and many that are currently professional level including middle-management positions, accountants and lawyers. BUT, we will also need a stable economy, with price discovery, and a world without wars and unrest.

Modern Tech – causing unrest?

Is this emerging trend part of the reason for the surge in IS membership in the middle-east?

Infographic: Why Young Arabs Think People Join The Islamic State | Statista

Robotics, Military and Civilian Drones, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Quantum Computing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and IoT Companies, will all require hardware engineers, software engineers, chip designers, and scene designers able to transform a series of images, or video into data in computer memories. These skills will not be widely available for a few years yet, as Universities develop the knowledge and skills to pass on and develop courses in these new industries.

So, anyone acquiring these skills now, is set for a high salary, and steady work outlook, but those in the jobs that these industries will revolutionize faces an uphill battle, and loss of income. And the people most affected? The young under 25, and those who don’t have any saleable skill except in the service sector. Even mining corporations are now introducing remote sensing capital equipment, which lowers mining costs, improves output, but will unseat many in the developing world, who previously worked in mines, perhaps leading to further unrest as large numbers of unemployed miners are let loose on their nation’s streets.

Companies to watch:

Boston Dynamics
Honeywell
3M
General Dynamics Corp.
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Northrop Grumman Corp.
Thales Group
BAE Systems (Part of ESA and producer of parts for the Airbus)
Elbit Systems
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
Saab
Turkish Aerospace Industries
IBM
NVidia
HP
D-Wave
Samsung
Facebook and Microsoft, who are getting more involved with hardware.
Google who bought – Oculus Rift
HTC and Sony

These are the hardware companies, but there are also software corporations, who will produce Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality experiences – Hollywood Studios for example… That will produce Millionaires, and Billionaires.

And the experience of users in these VR worlds, is going to be enhanced as long as those users can touch and feel their environment.

Imagine climbing to the top of a virtual Everest, and picking up a handful of soft powdery snow, pressing it into a ball, using the VR gloves you’re wearing, that allows you to feel the snow, to make a VR snowball…and looking down from 28,000 feet to the valley below, launching that snowball to some climbers coming up behind you, 1,000 feet below…

Or visiting a virtual, Val d’Isere, France, in January, and skiing down slopes you wouldn’t normally dare risk, so that you can hone your technique – in August… Or going back in time to a virtual Bastille Day, to take part in a virtual peasants revolt, and watching Robespierre take his revenge on those who had gone before in power or who threatened the new republic. But I suspect, also, as before, the new tech hardware and software, will allow the porn industry to once again flourish as the new VR systems permit almost any dream to be met.

That will be VR content, or Augmented Reality, where you’re on your sofa, but using your augmented reality set, you’re at the controls in an aeroplane at 4,000 feet, feeling the plane bouncing around, in 1917, in an old Sopwith Camel, or the Fokker Tri-plane, holding a joy-stick, and flying these ancient machines, in a WWI aerial battle. And when you land, you lift the VR hood, and go inside the engine bay to fix that subtle misfire that scared the hell out of you as you were coming into land…
Sports, Training, Exercise and Games will be quantum leaps ahead of the Nintendo Wii, that got us off the sofa in our front rooms ten years ago, to play tennis against our other half.

These experiences, will be driven by the hidden technologies that will go into the devices that Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Google, will supply.

Those sensors and chipsets, will make other millionaires too… Mobile sensors, (MEMS – Micro-Electronic Mechanical Systems) which know which way up they are in any of 10 different directions, and 3D stacked sensors will be part of them.
ST Microelectronics NV
Invensense Inc
Photronics Inc
AVX Corp
Oclaro Inc
Coherent Inc
IPG Photonics Corp
Vishay Intertechnology Inc
II-VI Inc
Universal Display Corp
and others of these will supply the sensors or manufacturing machinery fabrication technology and fibre-optics and laser equipment to produce elements of these new technologies.

But Blockchain technology will also change the world. In the financial world, crypto-currencies may replace fiat currencies, this will likely eliminate the need for Central Banks and the control that they exert over the rest of us. But you can bet your bottom dollar, that they will fight it tooth and nail to maintain that control, or influence what comes afterwards to ensure they’re still in charge. In fact they may have already started the fight back.

I recently learned of the Open-Ledger Project, set up by the Linux foundation, which attracted, financial institutions, technology firms, as well as two blockchain startups based in New York, Digital Asset Holdings and R3CEV, the consortium that has attracted 40 major banks, including: JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others. The name given to this project is the name Hyperledger.

And as I’m sure you know, Crypto-currencies use the blockchain to ensure that any currency transferred between nodes is valid. Peer reviewed. Even Law Firms might use blockchain technology to ensure contract performance, and enforce agreements. Already, Ethereum Foundation has a two year head-start almost, in building a platform for such infrastructure.

But at this juncture, BitCoin, and the other crypto-currencies perhaps offer the best opportunities… (See my previous piece -Why we could see  Bitcoin = $1,000,000)

But here are also a couple of companies to watch.

Cuvva is a startup that is using the blockchain, to buy insurance to allow someone to buy insurance on an as needed basis, rather then an annual agreement.

Helm is a financial technology firm using a database of legal compliance requirements, that allows small firms to do away with an army of lawyers.

As I learn of other companies involved, I will bring them to your attention.

Note: Any mention of the above companies is not a solicitation to buy nor financial advice. I am not an investment or financial adviser, and any mention of such companies is for general information and education purposes only.

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