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-60544 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 03:45:58 GMT Cloud Computing Brings Sprawling Centers, but Few Jobs, to Small Towns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-28_CloudComputingBringsSprawlingCentersbutFewJobstoSmallTowns.html The companies come to places like Boydton for basics like land, water and electricity. Even with low local wages, people are a high-cost item. As small as the staffs at these mammoth facilities are, companies say, perhaps a third of the company jobs will eventually be filled by robots.

Google started building in eastern Oregon to be near cheap hydroelectric power on the Columbia River, and most recently it has focused on Iowa, Alabama and Tennessee. Microsoft has a center in Wyoming, and it bought a nine-hole golf course as part of a complex near West Des Moines, Iowa. Amazon recently built similar giant facilities on the outer reaches of Columbus, Ohio, and Dulles, Va.

"A lot of this stuff is put in rural parts of the country that used to be part of a manufacturing economy" that has gone overseas, said Bill Coughran, a partner at the venture investment firm Sequoia Capital who ran much of Google's big engineering for eight years. "Textiles and furniture created a big power grid in the south. Then those jobs went away."

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Microsoft did not dispute reports that it would spend $1.1 billion on the Boydton data center, and said that "on average, data centers employ tens to several dozen people," in a mixture of corporate and contracted positions. It declined to let a reporter tour the site.

"They talked about 100 jobs, but it's a slow process," said Thomas C. Coleman III, the mayor of Boydton. So far, he says, the biggest impact "has been a couple of lunch tables at the Triangle gas station."... Microsoft initially came to a couple of town meetings, and it seemed to offer a way Boydton could come back. "Now they're off by themselves," she said. "We hear they have a really nice Starbucks machine."

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iehi-feed-60543 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 03:19:54 GMT Mishandled Brexit may send EU 'down the drain' - German vice chancellor http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-28_MishandledBrexitmaysendEUdownthedrainGermanvicechancellor.html iehi-feed-60542 Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:32:07 GMT German Economy Minister: "TTIP Talks Have Failed" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-28_GermanEconomyMinisterTTIPTalksHaveFailed.html He added that in 14 rounds of talks, the two sides haven't agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed... But more than just disagreement on general principles, Gabriel singled out the US as the party making strong demands with no concessions: "We mustn't submit to the American proposals," said Gabriel, who is also the head of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party.

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The European public has been unhappy with TTIP as the contents of the deal remain largely secret. However, recent leaks suggest that it will affect food safety laws, environmental legislation, banking regulations and open the EU for GM crops. Opponents of the deal have been staging protests in a number of European cities. The most recent one took place in Berlin last weekend, with activists calling for a nationwide demonstration on September 17.

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iehi-feed-60541 Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:28:57 GMT New York's Storefronts Disappear Amidst Rent Hikes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-28_NewYorksStorefrontsDisappearAmidstRentHikes.html Suddenly, I saw another downside to the city's real estate boom. It's driving away the unique, friendly places that make living in the city worth the effort.

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It's not a new problem... but it seems to be picking up speed. In the last few weeks, by my count, about a dozen institutions have disappeared. Some of them sold things you simply cannot get anywhere else.

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The wave is lapping beyond Manhattan, too -- deep into Brooklyn, patrons mourned when Rocco's Calamari, an Italian cafeteria that, despite its name, served much more than fried squid, closed its doors.

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It's not just a matter of my personal convenience or quirky shopping habits. The usually well-paying, stable jobs lost when family-owned shops close will not be replaced if chain stores with fast-changing work forces come in. And since many chains are already here, a lot of shop fronts will remain empty, producing no revenue -- and no street life -- at all.

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"The tax and regulatory climate for a small business is nothing short of punishing. At some point, why bother?" [says the investment adviser Frazer Rice].

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iehi-feed-60540 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 16:58:04 GMT Former Fed Governor Warsh Blasts Central Bank For "Manipulation"; Broken Policy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-27_FormerFedGovernorWarshBlastsCentralBankForManipulationBrokenPoli.html iehi-feed-60539 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 16:57:03 GMT Has the US Quietly Emptied the Denver Mint of Over 1,300 Tonnes of Gold? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-27_HastheUSQuietlyEmptiedtheDenverMintofOver1300TonnesofGold.html iehi-feed-60538 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 03:50:30 GMT The Global Real Estate Bubble Is OFFICIALY Bursting http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_TheGlobalRealEstateBubbleIsOFFICIALYBursting.html iehi-feed-60537 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:58:03 GMT Drug companies spend millions to keep charging high prices http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_Drugcompaniesspendmillionstokeepcharginghighprices.html The Drug Price Relief Act would make prescription drugs more affordable for people in Medi-Cal and other state programs by requiring that California pay no more than what's paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It would, in other words, protect state taxpayers from being ripped off.

Industry donations to crush the Drug Price Relief Act "will top $100 million by the election, I'm quite certain of it," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and a leading backer of the state measure, also known as Proposition 61. "They see this as the apocalypse for their business model."

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It probably would make more sense if Medicare, with more than 55 million beneficiaries, served in that federal capacity rather than the VA. But Big Pharma, abetted by the industry's Republican cronies, has consistently blocked efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The VA has no such constraint.

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iehi-feed-60536 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:14:24 GMT Today's Federal Deficit Report Hints at Looming Financial Crisis in the U.S. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_TodaysFederalDeficitReportHintsatLoomingFinancialCrisisintheUS.html exiting what little "recovery" we had since the 2008 crash...]]> iehi-feed-60535 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:08:42 GMT U.S. Stocks Slip as Investors Ramp Bets for Rate Hike This Year http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_USStocksSlipasInvestorsRampBetsforRateHikeThisYear.html U.S. stocks slipped in a volatile session, as remarks from Federal Reserve officials lifted optimism on the economy while also bolstering speculation interest rates could rise as soon as next month.

A speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen sparked an early surge in equities amid a bullish economic assessment, which included a lack of clear guidance on when a rate boost may come. Equities then tumbled after Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Yellen's comments were consistent with a possible September increase, only to recover most of their losses in a final-hour rebound...

Expectations for a rate increase climbed after Fischer spoke, with traders pricing in a 42 percent probability of a move next month, from 32 percent after Yellen's remarks. Odds are now nearly 63 percent the central bank will act by December, up from 42 percent two weeks ago, based on fed fund futures data compiled by Bloomberg.

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iehi-feed-60534 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:03:49 GMT China Has Returned to Reform Mode; Next Up: State-Backed Dinosaurs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_ChinaHasReturnedtoReformModeNextUpStateBackedDinosaurs.html This week, plans have been unveiled to quicken the clean-up of excess capacity in state-backed companies, level the playing field for private and foreign investors with new access to previously off-limit sectors, and take the next step in a long-awaited fiscal shake up.

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Chinese leaders in 2013 charted an ambitious plan to add market forces in the economy, with reform measures aimed at doubling the size of the economy by 2020 from 2010's level. Progress has been made in some areas, such as the scrapping of the one-child policy and interest-rate liberalization, and slower in others, with bloated state-owned enterprises still having advantages over private players in many sectors.

Almost three years since the Third Plenum overhaul was laid out, the government has to quicken the pace of change or reforms won't be wrapped up in time, said Mizuho's Shen.

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iehi-feed-60533 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:13:38 GMT "QE-Infinity" Is Grinding the Global Economy to a Halt http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_QEInfinityIsGrindingtheGlobalEconomytoaHalt.html Alberto Gallo, head of macro strategies and manager of the Algebris Macro Credit Fund, describes this paradox as "QE infinity," whereby low rates and seemingly endless rounds of bond-buying programs encourage cheap borrowing, and investment in financial markets -- but not in the real economy.'

"The problem is rising debt and monetary easing comes with many collateral effects. One is the distortion of asset prices, leading to asset bubbles," Gallo explained on his website.

"Asset price distortion also has a ripple effect on wealth distribution, increasing inequality by benefitting the already-wealthy who are more likely to hold financial assets. Over time, low rates and QE can also encourage misallocation of resources to leverage-sensitive sectors, including real estate and construction."

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iehi-feed-60532 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:04:35 GMT Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_BrokenChessboardBrzezinskiGivesUponEmpire.html The main architect of Washington's plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski's article in The American Interest titled "Towards a Global Realignment" has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski, who was the main proponent of this idea and who drew up the blueprint for imperial expansion in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy.

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Naturally, in a short 1,500-word article, Brzezniski can't cover all the challenges (or threats) the US might face in the future. But it's clear that what he's most worried about is the strengthening of economic, political and military ties between Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and the other Central Asian states.

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iehi-feed-60531 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:02:03 GMT Portugal Gets EU Approval to Inject $5 bln Into Ailing Bank http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_PortugalGetsEUApprovaltoInject5blnIntoAilingBank.html Portugal's plan to pump nearly 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) into its biggest bank by assets is "another big step towards the stabilization of the Portuguese financial system," the country's financial minister told CNBC on Thursday.

The European Commission (the executive wing of the EU, of which Portugal is a member) and Portugal have agreed in principle to the recapitalization of state-owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

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The plan was agreed late on Tuesday afternoon. It would see Portugal pump up to 2.7 billion euros of state funds into Caixa, transfer 500 million euros of its ParCaixa shares to Caixa and convert 960 million euros of contingent convertible bonds into equity.

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Meanwhile, Caixa will issue highly subordinated debt worth around 1.0 billion euros that will be compliant with regulatory capital ratios designed to bolster banks' ability to withstand financial shocks.

This follows negotiations with Brussels officials, aimed at ensuring the plan is not viewed as state-aid to the bank, which would add to Portugal's problematically high budget deficit.

Although the government would put money into the bank, the hope is that the returns for the state would outweigh the cash injection.

Uh-huh. Since now we're obviously about to go into an economic boom period, we're sure the Portugese government will make money on this definitely-not-a-bailout cash injection...

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iehi-feed-60530 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:56:01 GMT Why are America's suburbs getting poorer? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_WhyareAmericassuburbsgettingpoorer.html Atlanta has seen a big rise in suburban poverty. Between 2000 and 2012 the rate increased by 159% in Atlanta's suburbs. But the region is not alone. For instance, in Denver the rate rose by 131% and in Portland by 98%.

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Rents, even in the suburbs, are rising and many of the best rental homes in suburban Atlanta are owned by private equity firms. Many of these firms swooped into the market during the recession, buying up foreclosed homes and fixing them up for renters. These houses are typically well-maintained, but come with higher monthly rents and higher credit requirements.

These are standards many in the region are struggling to meet. It's forced some to take up long-term residence in local motels that don't check credit and others to move several generations of a family into one home.

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iehi-feed-60529 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:50:26 GMT Yellen Says Rate-Hike Case ‘Has Strengthened in Recent Months' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_YellenSaysRateHikeCaseHasStrengthenedinRecentMonths.html "In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months," she said in the text of a speech Friday to central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

She also said the economy is "nearing" the Fed's goals of full employment and stable prices. The Fed chair didn't discuss the specific timing of a rate move in her first public comments since June.

It's pretty clear that Yellen wants to re-claim some of the Fed's "ammunition" to be able to respond to the next (coming soon) crisis. However, the Fed has rewired the central banking system so that the Fed funds market is now almost completely bypassed, rendering any such "aid" the Fed could offer by lowering rates (or, "tightening" due to raising them) nearly meaningless -- more a matter of "perception management". The only real constraint or impact is the exchange rate impact of nominally higher or lower dollar rates. And ultimately, the Fed is constrained not to step too far out of line of the global pack, or risk too much dollar appreciation.

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iehi-feed-60528 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:44:22 GMT "Things Are Worse" - Dollar Stores' Startling Admission: Half Of US Consumers Are In Dire Straits http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_ThingsAreWorseDollarStoresStartlingAdmissionHalfOfUSConsumersAre.html ``Discount retailer Dollar General said it was cutting prices on its most popular items such as bread, eggs and milk, intensifying a price war among already commoditized products with retail giant Wal-Mart Stores to win back falling market share. It shares fell the most on record, plunging by 18% after the company missed on revenue, blaming aggressive competition, lower food prices and reduction in SNAP, or food stamp, coverage in 20 key states.

... the biggest factor by far impacting the performance of both dollar stores was the sharp, adverse turn in the purchasing power of the lower half of US consumers.

Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree said pressures on their core lower-income shoppers contributed to the same-store sales misses that both retailers reported. On today's conference call, Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said that he was surprised to admit that while on the surface things are supposed to be getting better, the reality is vastly different for low-income US consumers...

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iehi-feed-60527 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:41:06 GMT Japan July consumer prices post biggest annual fall in three yrs (TIME FOR A NIRP DOUBLE-DOWN?) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-26_JapanJulyconsumerpricespostbiggestannualfallinthreeyrsTIMEFORANI.html Japan's consumer prices fell in July by the most in more than three years as more firms delayed price hikes due to weak consumption, keeping the central bank under pressure to expand an already massive stimulus program.

The gloomy data reinforces a dominant market view that premier Shinzo Abe's stimulus program have failed to dislodge the deflationary mindset prevailing among businesses and consumers.

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"Given how prices are behaving and how the BOJ is asked to cooperate with Abe to beat deflation, it's very hard to think the BOJ will unwind stimulus any time soon," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

"Instead, the September analysis will probably lay the grounds for a deepening of negative interest rates."

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iehi-feed-60526 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:34:51 GMT Why Fintech Startups Are Flocking to a 124-Year-Old Bank in Kansas http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-25_WhyFintechStartupsAreFlockingtoa124YearOldBankinKansas.html That's largely due to the efforts of Suresh Ramamurthi, an ex-Google engineer, and his wife Suchitra Padmanabhan, a former Wall Street banker turned fund manager in Topeka. Three years after moving to Kansas, the pair used their own savings to purchase the 124-year-old CBW Bank, Weir's sole financial institution. It was 2008, the height of the financial crisis, and CBW -- then called Citizens Bank of Weir -- was under orders from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to cease operations due to inadequate capital reserves, ballooning levels of bad loans, and internal fraud.

Not only did the couple get the bank back in operation by the following year, they transformed it into a place of real innovation. Over the last few years, the bank has become a secret weapon for other fintech companies, which rely on both its technology and status as a state-chartered bank to build their own businesses.

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"What Suresh has done is taken a bank with legacy technology and systematically rebuilt the technology stack to something that elevates modern technology concepts," says Julie Conroy, research director for Aite Group, a bank technology consulting company. Those concepts include faster processing capabilities, machine learning, and other capabilities more typical of a Google than the traditional consumer banking world.

Omney is one of the first fintech payments companies that worked with CBW and Yantra to develop an instant payment solution in 2012. The companies collaborated to create a system that essentially reverses the debit card process, whereby money is typically deducted from consumer accounts in near-real time, to make real-time payments instead.

So basically, this guy is fixing banking -- actually making modern tech concepts and standards (like instant payments) work despite the old, crufty legacy systems and crippling make-work compliance regulations... we hope it succeeds and spreads like wildfire!

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iehi-feed-60525 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:27:16 GMT French support for the EU project is crumbling on the Left and Right http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-08-25_FrenchsupportfortheEUprojectiscrumblingontheLeftandRight.html The former economy minister says France voted for a left-wing French manifesto four years ago and ended up with a "right-wing German policy regime". This is objectively true. The vote was meaningless.

"I believe that we have reached the end of road for the European Union, and that France no longer has any interest in it. The EU has left us mired in crisis long after the rest of the world has moved on," he said. Mr Montebourg stops short of 'Frexit' but calls for the unilateral suspension of EU labour laws. "As far as I am concerned, the current treaties have elapsed.''

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The only practical way France can claw back competitiveness is through deeper deflation than in the rest of the eurozone, but this would prolong the slump and play havoc with nominal GDP and debt dynamics. It would be self-defeating.

There is no realistic possibility of genuine fiscal reflation in the eurozone, let alone a Keynesian New Deal. Mr Montebourg is right is concluding that France will remain paralyzed until it takes back its sovereign instruments.

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Marine Le Pen is ahead of [Sarkozy] in the polls, drawing steady support near 30pc with a heady brew of Leftwing economics and Rightwing nationalism - straight out of the 1930s. She promised to "end the nightmare of the European Union" and this too tells as much about the populist calculus.

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A Pew survey of Europe in June found that 61pc of French voters have an "unfavourable" view of the EU, higher than in Britain. These sorts of polls keep cropping up in France. They are invariably dismissed as rogue findings.

Professor Thomas Guénolé from 'Sciences Po' in Paris warns against wishful thinking. "Incredible as it may seem, a referendum on 'Frexit' would probably be lost by the European side. As in the UK, 'leave' would win," he said.

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