Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. You can pull sub-categories from this feed by adding a ?tags=a,b,c,... style parameter. The category tags (which can be given as numbers or handles) are : id handle category description 1 housing_finance "Housing Finance News/ML-Implode Main" 2 hedge_funds "Hedge Funds News" 3 fed "The Fed, Central Banking and fin. reg." 4 foreclosures "Foreclosures (News)" 5 chavez "Hugo Chavez Watch (News)" 6 builders "Home Builders News" 7 banks "Banks News" 8 credit_bubble "Credit Bubble and Crash (News)" 9 peak_oil "Peak Oil and Energy Security (News)" 10 BRIC_v_us "BRIC countries vs. U.S. (News)" 11 gov_bk "Government Bankruptcy (News)" 12 mediawatch "Mainstream Media Watch" 13 Our commentary "IEHI Original Commentary" 14 rebalancing "Economic Rebalancing (News)" 15 pm "Precious Metals News" 16 inflation "Inflation and Deflation News" 17 nr "Natural Resources News" 18 consumer "Consumer Capitulation/Issues and Populism" 20 pe "Private Equity Implosion (News)" 21 recession "Recession/depression News" 22 ML_implosion "Mortgage Lender IMPLOSIONS" 23 HF_implosion "Hedge Fund IMPLOSIONS" 24 HB_implosion "Home Builder IMPLOSIONS" 25 Bank_implosion "Bank IMPLOSIONS" 26 ML_update "Mortgage Lender UPDATES" 27 HF_update "Hedge Fund UPDATES" 28 HB_update "Home Builder UPDATES" 29 Bank_update "Bank UPDATES" 30 RFWS "Radio Free Wall Street" 31 FHA "FHA and Mtg Regulation (News)" 32 martial_law "Martial Law/Big Brother/NWO Watch" 33 pension "Retirement Implosion (News)" 34 mtgindustry "Mortgage Industry (News)" 35 econlists "Econ insider lists" 36 iehi_fb "IEHI facebook feed" 37 robin_fb "robin facebook" 38 IEHItwitter "IEHI Twitter Feed" 39 ak_linkedin "akrowne LinkedIn (mtg industry)" en-us iehi-feed-63392 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:09:44 GMT Automatic Job Storm Coming | Mauldin http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-12_AutomaticJobStormComingMauldin.html In one day, starting from nothing at all ("tabula rasa"), AlphaGo Zero learned to play chess, shogi, and Go at a superhuman level, beating the same systems that had beaten the best humans in the world... Systems like that are coming for your job. So if you think you're safe because you aren't an assembly-line worker or a retail cashier and don't work at the level of rote repetition, you could be wrong. These systems will only get better and take on ever more complex jobs.

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Now add in tax policy. I explained early this year in my open letters to the new US president that we would all be better off with a consumption tax like a VAT rather than we are currently with the income tax. Alas, I did not get my wish. Congress is right now "improving" the tax code in ways that may actually accelerate the automation trend.

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iehi-feed-63391 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:48:23 GMT Bitcoin: Will The Arrival Of Institutional Money Cause A New Price Surge? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-12_BitcoinWillTheArrivalOfInstitutionalMoneyCauseANewPriceSurge.html Oehman tells me "It's really about timing -- if you look back 12 months, the market cap of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was $25 billion.

"Now we are close to $400 billion and we are talking about a completely different picture. It's really been a market where the products available haven't been geared towards institutional investors, but now we are starting to move towards that.

"They want to get involved with this somehow. The question I get all the time is ‘we are fine with allocating funds to this, but how do we do it?'

Oehman says that for a year or two now there has been a growing demand from institutional investors such as family offices representing high net worth individuals, for ways to invest in crypto currencies while still being covered by the same protections offered by more traditional markets.

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iehi-feed-63390 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:55:36 GMT Bitcoin Futures Deliver Wild Ride as Debut Brings Rally, Halts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-11_BitcoinFuturesDeliverWildRideasDebutBringsRallyHalts.html ``Futures on the world's most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.'s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers' expectations, while traffic on Cboe's website was so heavy that it caused delays and temporary outages. The website's problems had no impact on trading systems, Cboe said. Bitcoin's spot price rose.

"It is rare that you see something more volatile than bitcoin, but we found it: bitcoin futures," said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia.

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"It was smooth, and bitcoin traders don't seem to be put off by futures," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst in London at online trading firm Oanda. "There was a fear that short selling would have an adverse impact on price, but we haven't seen that yet."

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The roughly $1,300 difference reflects not only the novelty of the asset but also the difficulty of using the cash-settled futures to trade against the spot, strategists said.

"In a normal, functioning market, good old arbitrage would settle this," Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark, said by email. "If they were deliverable you could arbitrage the life out of it."

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iehi-feed-63389 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:52:50 GMT The Retail Apocalypse Is Fueled by No-Name Clothes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-11_TheRetailApocalypseIsFueledbyNoNameClothes.html iehi-feed-63388 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:20:00 GMT NYC Townhouse in Contract for a Record $80 Million (DOWN FROM $114M!) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-11_NYCTownhouseinContractforaRecord80MillionDOWNFROM114M.html A roughly 20,000-square-foot mansion with its own red velvet movie theater and panic room is in contract for about $80 million, according to people with knowledge of the deal.

If it closes for that price, the property would become the most expensive townhouse ever sold in New York City, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. The current record was set in 2006, when financier J. Christopher Flowers paid $53 million for the Harkness mansion on East 75th Street, Mr. Miller said.

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The townhouse at 12 East 69th St. is owned by Vincent Viola, the billionaire owner of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers who was briefly President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the army, and his wife Teresa Viola. They paid $20 million for the property in 2005, according to public records.

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The house came on the market in 2013 for about $114 million but was delisted after a price cut to $98 million in 2014, according to listings website StreetEasy.com

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iehi-feed-63387 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:54:26 GMT Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures debut in sedate fashion http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_Hotlyanticipatedbitcoinfuturesdebutinsedatefashion.html ``The eagerly anticipated launch of futures trading of the world's largest cryptocurrency bitcoin got off to a positive start on Sunday, with the price nearly 9 percent ahead after briefly slipping below its opening level.

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The price action was unlike the wild swings seen in past weeks. The first bitcoin future trades kicked off at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) on CBOE Global Markets Inc's CBOE Futures Exchange, with January futures opening at $15,460, briefly dipping to a low of $15,420, and were last at $16,800, with 1,006 contracts traded.

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Heightened excitement ahead of the launch of the futures has given an extra kick to the cryptocurrency's scorching run this year.

The launch may indeed have caused an outage of the CBOE's website. The exchange said that due to heavy traffic on the CBOE Global Markets website on Sunday, the site "may be temporarily unavailable."

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Bitcoin fans appear excited about the prospect of an exchange-listed and regulated product and the ability to bet on its price swings without having to sign up for a digital wallet.

Others, however, caution that risks remain for investors and possibly even the clearing organizations underpinning the trades.

"You are going to open up the market to a whole lot of people who aren't currently in bitcoin," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

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iehi-feed-63386 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:51:33 GMT Plutocrat-flattering Tax Bill Places Paul Ryan At Risk in 2018 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_PlutocratflatteringTaxBillPlacesPaulRyanAtRiskin2018.html A new internal poll from Randy Bryce, the ironworker who blasted onto the national political scene in June with a viral video, claims he trails by just 6 points in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, 46 percent to 40 percent.

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Bryce has raised the most money of any Democratic candidate in the country, and Democrats think they could at least force Ryan to spend time and money on defense at home rather than campaigning for others. But Ryan is likely to have practically unlimited resources at his disposal.

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iehi-feed-63385 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:13:29 GMT Pentagon To Undergo First Ever Audit After Decades Of Sloppy Accounting And Missing Trillions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_PentagonToUndergoFirstEverAuditAfterDecadesOfSloppyAccountingAnd.html After decades of waste, overpayments, trillions of missing or improperly accounted for dollars, and most recently losing track of 44,000 US soldiers, the Pentagon is about to undergo its first audit in history conducted by 2,400 auditors from independent public accounting firms to conduct reviews across the Army, Navy, Air Force and more - followed by annual audits going forward.

The Pentagon is no stranger to criticism over serious waste and purposefully sloppy accounting.  A DoD Inspector General's report from 2016 - which appears to be unavailable on the DoD website (but fortunately WAS archived)- found that in 2015 alone a staggering $6.5 trillion in funds was unaccounted for out of the Army's budget, with $2.8 trillion in "wrongful adjustments" occurring in just one quarter.

In 2015, the Pentagon denied trying to shelve a study detailing $125 billion in waste created by a bloated employee counts for noncombat related work such as human resources, finance, health care management and property management. The report concluded that $125 billion could be saved by making those operations more efficient. ''

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iehi-feed-63384 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:12:02 GMT US Gov. Now Only Funded Till Dec. 22 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_USGovNowOnlyFundedTillDec22.html

The decision on a stopgap bill with a Dec. 22 end-date came after Ryan and his leadership team held discussions on overall budget strategy with the leaders of the restive House Freedom Caucus. A formal check of how members would vote came back showing widespread support, said Representative Dennis Ross, a member of the vote-whipping team.

As we pointed out yesterday, the continuing resolution that's been funding the government for the last two months, and yet many battles over a host of intractable issues are still being fought. At this point, passing something by midnight Friday - when the continuing resolution expires -is looking increasingly problematic.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, GOP lawmakers are also divided over when to tackle the Dreamers issue.

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iehi-feed-63383 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:07:23 GMT How the GOP tax cut could take money away from most Americans http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_HowtheGOPtaxcutcouldtakemoneyawayfrommostAmericans.html If President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans end up paying for their proposed $1.4 trillion tax cut by reducing spending or raising taxes later on, most Americans making less than $86,000 would be worse off, according to a new report by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

Republicans have yet to say how they intend to pay for the tax cut. Originally, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin argued the tax cut would completely pay for itself because the economy would grow substantially faster, a claim that has not been backed up by independent research. Congress' official scorekeepers estimate that the tax cut would add $1 trillion to the federal deficit, even after taking into account some additional economic growth.

At some point, that will have to be paid for, and top Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have indicated they plan to take a hard look at welfare spending and other safety net programs for potential trimming.

The Tax Policy Center warns in its "Winners and Losers" report released Friday that paying for the tax cut by reducing programs that help the poor and lower middle class would leave many Americans in the bottom 60 percent in a worse spot than they would have been without the GOP tax bill.

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The House bill would cut taxes for 76 percent of Americans next year and raise taxes on just 7 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center. But those numbers look substantially different once the think tank factored in how to pay for the bill. If every household were required to pay the same amount to fund the tax cuts - roughly $1,200 - in 2018, then only 27 percent of Americans would get a cut and 73 percent of Americans would essentially be getting a tax hike. The vast majority of the families that would be worse off would be in the low and middle class.

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Critics of the report say the Tax Policy Center is running hypothetical scenarios. There are no proposals on the table to make draconian cuts or to make every American pay a fee or tax... But the Tax Policy Center says this is actually a pretty similar scenario to what the Trump budget proposed earlier this year with its cuts to various welfare and safety net programs that mostly impact moderate-income households. The Tax Policy Center is also assuming a modest increase on higher-income households.

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iehi-feed-63382 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:02:57 GMT How states that carried Trump to victory avoid one sticky part of the tax bill http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_HowstatesthatcarriedTrumptovictoryavoidonestickypartofthetaxbill.html iehi-feed-63381 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:42:51 GMT Ditech Financial Attorneys Facing Criminal Arraignment http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_DitechFinancialAttorneysFacingCriminalArraignment.html iehi-feed-63380 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:30:34 GMT Stockman - Peak Fantasy Time http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_StockmanPeakFantasyTime.html ... when goods-producing jobs peaked at 25 million back in 1980, there were only 6.7 million jobs in leisure and hospitality. Today that sector employs 16.0 million part-time, low-pay workers or 2.4X the four decade ago level.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with these jobs or the workers who hold them, but the fact that they constitute a rapidly increasing share of the mix is powerful proof that the job market is not nearly as awesome as it is cracked up to be; and that the monthly BLS report is surely no measure at all of a rising standard of living in Flyover America.

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As it happens, [the number of breadwinner jobs] is virtually the same number posted by the BLS back in January 2001 when Bill Clinton was packing his bags to vacate the Oval office. In short, three presidents later---all of whom have claimed undying devotion to good jobs and rising living standards---and there is hardly a single new breadwinner job.

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What does our latest Oval Office occupant plan to do about this? Why nothing less than borrow $1.8 trillion from future taxpayers in order to enable corporations and other business to crank-out even bigger financial engineering distributions to shareholders in the form of dividends, stock buybacks and M&A deals.

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iehi-feed-63379 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:18:05 GMT Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-10_LivingincarsworkingforAmazonmeetAmericasnewnomads.html Despite a lack of hard numbers, anecdotal evidence suggests the ranks of American itinerants started to boom after the housing collapse and have kept growing.

The cause of the unmanageable household math that drives some people to become nomads is no secret.

Federal minimum wage is stalled at $7.25 an hour. The cost of shelter continues to climb. There are now only a dozen counties and one metro area where a full-time minimum-wage worker can afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.

At the same time, the top 1% now makes 81 times more than those in the bottom half do, when you compare average earnings. For American adults on the lower half of the income ladder -- some 117 million of them -- earnings haven't changed since the 1970s. This is not a wage gap -- it's a chasm.

The most widely accepted measure for calculating income inequality is a century-old formula called the Gini coefficient. What it reveals is startling. Today the United States has the most unequal society of all developed nations. America's level of inequality is comparable to that of Russia, China, Argentina and the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.''

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iehi-feed-63378 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:59:08 GMT Trump promises heavy penalties for Wells Fargo http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-08_TrumppromisesheavypenaltiesforWellsFargo.html President Trump on Friday tweeted that the he'd ensure stiff penalties against Wells Fargo over allegations of financial impropriety the day after a report emerged that federal fines are being reconsidered.

"Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased," Trump tweeted.

"I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!"

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iehi-feed-63377 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:57:50 GMT Dollar stores are booming because people are getting poorer http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-08_Dollarstoresareboomingbecausepeoplearegettingpoorer.html As more and more US department stores close and malls are mothballed, Amazon is being blamed for the "retail apocalypse". But there's another dynamic crippling American retailers--a shrinking middle class exacerbated by a widening inequality gap. Between 1971 and 2015, the share of US income held by America's middle earners has contracted from 61% to 50%, according to Pew Research. Wealthy families had three times as much wealth as middle-income families in 1983; by 2013, they had seven times as much.

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In response to their own economic woes, middle-class consumers have shifted away towards discount retailers. The fastest-expanding retailers in the US are cheap, "fast-fashion" brands like Zara and H&M--and dollar stores. While the revenue of department stores in those malls is declining, Dollar General and Dollar Tree are growing at 6.4% and 7.5%, respectively. And investors have noticed, sending Dollar General's and Dollar Tree's stock up 23% and 36%, respectively, this year while the S&P Retail Index has been flat.

[The typical Dollar General customer profile is:] [The Customer] lives in a two-income household, making $40,000 per year before taxes; Employment has been stable but wage growth has been choppy. This year, her disposable income is around 2%, so $800 per year; This is well below her 20-year average of 3.5-3.8% and she is sensitive to price changes, by as little as a dime...

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iehi-feed-63376 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:07:20 GMT Americans keep waiting for bigger paychecks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-08_Americanskeepwaitingforbiggerpaychecks.html Average hourly earnings rose 2.5% over the past 12 months. That's a slight improvement from the 2.4% increase the government reported for October. Still, it remains below the 3% increase that most economists (not to mention workers) would like to see.

People are finding jobs. That's not the problem. The economy added 228,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% -- its lowest level since December 2000.

But for whatever reason, employers aren't showering workers with big pay raises.

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Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist with job search site Glassdoor, wrote in a report Friday morning that based on inflation trends and productivity growth, wages should be rising between 3% and 4%.

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iehi-feed-63375 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:26:06 GMT NAMBLA Is Going To Love Mr. Cooper Mortgage http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-08_NAMBLAIsGoingToLoveMrCooperMortgage.html iehi-feed-63374 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:41:52 GMT Donald Trump Is Just the Front Man for a Massive Heist http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-08_DonaldTrumpIsJusttheFrontManforaMassiveHeist.html Virtually unified Republican caucuses in both the House and Senate are on the verge of passing a truly grotesque tax bill that would give more than 60 percent of its benefits to the richest 1 percent of Americans, while those making $75,000 or less will end up paying more in taxes. The GOP is ready to hand global corporations a $500 billion tax bonus for booking profits in foreign tax havens. They're happy to protect the obscene "carried interest" tax deduction that gives billionaire hedge-fund managers a lower tax rate than their secretaries, even as they eliminate deductions for student-loan interest, and add taxes on to graduate students for tuition waivers.

Republicans are also poised to tax Americans on the income used to pay for state and local taxes, while allowing corporations to deduct those same taxes. Trump's major contribution has been to push for measures--elimination of the estate tax, elimination of the alternative minimum tax, lower taxes on "pass through" income--that will fill his own pockets.

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Trump has also turned his economic policy over to Goldman Sachs bankers who are propelling deregulation of finance and rollback of environmental and consumer protections. Trump's cabinet isn't a bunch of outsiders but made up for the most part 0f Republican politicians and donors eager for the assignment. Now they're plundering the executive branch. Mick Mulvaney, the head of the Office of Management and Budget, is about to disembowel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Scott Pruitt has neutered the Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff Sessions is leading a rollback of civil rights and criminal justice reform.

Beyond the economy, Republicans are busy rigging the system in other critical ways. Young, right-wing, pro-corporate ideologues are packing federal courts at alarming rates. Trump makes the appointments, but he mainly draws from lists prepared by the right-wing Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation. After obstructing a record number of Obama nominees to the federal bench, Senate Republicans are now trampling over longstanding legislative procedures to get as many judges on the bench as quickly as possible.

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What we face in Washington and in statehouses across the country is a right wing that's ideologically committed to laying waste to the public sphere--the sinews of our economy, the comity of our politics, and the quality of our most basic public services. Trump isn't the exception; he's simply the sideshow. Right-wing populism was just the garb he donned for the campaign. What's left of it is largely limited to his incoherent trade posturing and the wall.

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iehi-feed-63373 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:27:14 GMT EU to sue Poland, Hungary and Czechs for refusing refugee quotas http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-12-07_EUtosuePolandHungaryandCzechsforrefusingrefugeequotas.html