Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64138 Sun, 22 Jul 2018 15:33:59 GMT New York City Will Force Airbnb to Disclose Information on Hosts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-22_NewYorkCityWillForceAirbnbtoDiscloseInformationonHosts.html The law, which passed 45-to-0 in a city council vote Wednesday, is designed to help enforce existing rules banning short-term rentals. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he supports the bill. Earlier in the day an Airbnb host backed financially by the company filed a lawsuit against New York City, accusing officials of retaliating against him for speaking out in support of home rentals.

Chris Lehane, head of global policy at Airbnb, said the policy will subject innocent hosts to over-policing and violates their privacy. Lehane, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, lashed out at the council in a conference call with reporters and accused the bill's supporters of putting the interests of hotel owners and unions above regular New Yorkers. "This is a bill that really is designed to benefit the hotel industry," he said.

The debate over Airbnb's role in New York has raged for years, with housing advocates saying short-term rentals contribute to rising rents and gentrification, while the company argues it helps homeowners afford their mortgages. Regulation hasn't stopped the rise of the San Francisco-based company, which is valued at about $31 billion and has faced resistance from local governments practically since it started a decade ago.

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iehi-feed-64137 Sat, 21 Jul 2018 18:47:36 GMT Richard Branson And Joe Montana Jump Into The Mortgage Business http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-21_RichardBransonAndJoeMontanaJumpIntoTheMortgageBusiness.html iehi-feed-64136 Fri, 20 Jul 2018 21:26:46 GMT U.S. Gov's Budget Deficit Overshoots by 100%; Trillion-Dollar Deficits Expected Indefinitely http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-20_USGovsBudgetDeficitOvershootsby100TrillionDollarDeficitsExpected.html ... when they first unveiled the FY2018 budget in March of last year, they projected the annual deficit to be ‘only' $440 billion.

So between their initial projections in March 2017, and their current projections in July 2018, this year's budget deficit increased by more than 100%.

...

Last March, they projected a total budget deficit of $526 billion for Fiscal Year 2019.

But according to the revised projections they published yesterday, the budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2019 will now be $1.085 TRILLION... 106% worse than projected.

And, whereas last year the government was forecasting DECLINING deficits in Fiscal Years 2020, 2021, etc., until miraculously reaching a positive budget SURPLUS of +16 billion in 2026, their updated projections now show TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. Etc.

It's Trumponomics! What did we expect from a guy who's been bankrupt a gazillion times?

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iehi-feed-64135 Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:20:13 GMT Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It's Thriving in the Age of Amazon http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-20_BestBuyShouldBeDeadButItsThrivingintheAgeofAmazon.html Best Buy, the last national electronics chain, is counting on these advisors to distinguish it from Amazon.com Inc., the company's competitor, partner, and would-be vanquisher. With more than 1,000 big-box stores in North America and about 125,000 employees, Best Buy was supposed to have succumbed to the inevitable. "Everyone thought we were going to die," says Hubert Joly, who was hired as chief executive officer in August 2012 after profits shrunk about 90 percent in one quarter and his predecessor resigned amid an investigation into his relationship with an employee.

Instead, Best Buy has become an improbable survivor led by an unlikely boss. Joly was raised and educated in France, trained at McKinsey & Co., and previously employed by hospitality company Carlson, based outside Minneapolis, and media conglomerate Vivendi SA, where he greenlighted a little game called World of Warcraft. He's the first outside CEO in the chain's 52-year history. He had no retail experience--Best Buy's stock fell 10 percent the day he was named CEO--but Joly understands how to value, and capture, customers' time. Comparable sales rose 5.6 percent last year and 9 percent during the Christmas season, the biggest holiday gain since 2003. The stock price has quadrupled. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is impressed. "The last five years, since Hubert came to Best Buy, have been remarkable," he said at an appearance in April.

Those years were about getting people into Best Buy stores and onto its website; Best Buy's future will be about getting its people into homes.

...

There is, of course, one thing Best Buy has that Amazon doesn't: more than 1,000 big-box stores. Joly saw the benefit of using them as showrooms--a word so fraught in retail that the company calls them showcases--for the big tech brands, Amazon included. Best Buy was among the first chains to feature Apple boutiques. In April 2013, Joly said there would be Samsung mini-shops in its 1,400 U.S. locations by June. That same month, Best Buy began adding 600 Microsoft stores-within-stores. Sony arrived in 2014. Last year, Best Buy turned over more space to Amazon and Google to better display their smart home technologies. The two are bitter rivals: Amazon doesn't sell Google Home and offers a limited selection of Google's Nest products. Best Buy is neutral ground.

The brands essentially pay rent to Best Buy (it's cheaper than building stores) and either send in their own salespeople or train the blue shirts. No one at Best Buy would offer details about these partnerships. But even analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities Inc., who in almost 10 years has never recommended buying Best Buy's stock, describes the partnerships as a phenomenal success because they ease the financial burden of operating stores while enhancing profit margins. "Best Buy is like an arms dealer," he says. "They're indifferent to what brand you buy as long as you buy it from them."

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iehi-feed-64134 Fri, 20 Jul 2018 04:25:22 GMT FHFA Ruled Unconstitutional (With CFPB Implications), but Raids on GSE Profits Upheld http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-20_FHFARuledUnconstitutionalWithCFPBImplicationsbutRaidsonGSEProfit.html iehi-feed-64133 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 22:40:10 GMT Trump Blasts Powell's Rate Hikes (WANTS EASY MONEY NOW THAT IN POWER) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-19_TrumpBlastsPowellsRateHikesWANTSEASYMONEYNOWTHATINPOWER.html President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve's interest-rate increases, breaking with more than two decades of White House tradition of avoiding comments on monetary policy out of respect for the independence of the U.S. central bank.

"I'm not thrilled" the Fed is raising borrowing costs and potentially slowing the economy, he said in an interview with CNBC broadcast Thursday. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really -- I am not happy about it. But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best."

So much for "sound money Trump" (which was only ever a tiny bit of misdirection, frankly)...

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iehi-feed-64132 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 18:29:25 GMT Mortgage Lenders Must Prove Homeowners Received Acceleration Letters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-19_MortgageLendersMustProveHomeownersReceivedAccelerationLetters.html iehi-feed-64131 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:24:05 GMT Housing Permits Soften, Starts Plummet http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-19_HousingPermitsSoftenStartsPlummet.html iehi-feed-64130 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:18:34 GMT PA Payday Lending King Gets 14 Years; Used Sham Bank and Indian Tribe Partnerships http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-19_PAPaydayLendingKingGets14YearsUsedShamBankandIndianTribePartners.html As more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, effectively outlawed payday lending with laws attempting to cap the exorbitant fee rates that are standard across the industry, Hallinan continued to target low-income borrowers over the internet.

He tried to hide his involvement by instituting sham partnerships with licensed banks and American Indian tribes so he could take advantage of looser restrictions on their abilities to lend. But in practice he limited the involvement of those partners and continued to service all the loans from his offices in Bala Cynwyd.

Guess sham Indian tribe partnerships are officially illegal now... hmmmm...

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iehi-feed-64129 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 22:49:09 GMT Millennial Homeownership Headwinds Worrisome for Future http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_MillennialHomeownershipHeadwindsWorrisomeforFuture.html UI put some numbers to the demographic and social differences displayed by the generation. First, being married increases the probability of owning a home by 18 percentage points after accounting for other factors. If the marriage rate among that age group in 2015 had bbeen the same as in 1990, Millennial homeownership would be about 5 points higher.

...

Yet the researchers also found that even among white households that are married, with children, and even with substantial income, the homeownership rate is 2 to 3 percentage points lower than earlier generations.  Obviously other factors are at play, some of them defined as attitudinal.

The preference of educated Millennials to move to more expensive urban centers has contributed to their lower homeownership rate.  In high-cost cities the housing supply is inelastic and within large metro areas, Young adults additionally migrate to the counties with a more urban environment where prices have increased more than in surrounding areas.  This shift in preference was mostly observed among those who are higher educated. The supply of affordable housing has declined overall during the last decade, but this is especially true in areas where Millennials prefer to live.

...

Obtaining a mortgage has become more challenging over the last ten years. The process is unwieldy, and underwriting has not adapted to the unstable and non-traditional labor market and tightening credit standards.

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iehi-feed-64128 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:28:14 GMT Google's $5 billion fine: What you need to know http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_Googles5billionfineWhatyouneedtoknow.html ``EU antitrust regulators ruled that the company, whose Android software powers more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones, pushed consumers to its search engine, further weakening rival search providers and app makers.

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Although Google offers the open source mobile software for free, the EU takes issue with the requirements placed on manufacturers to pre-install Google's search and Chrome browser apps if they want to license the Play app store. Google actually ties Play to a suite of 11 different apps, including Maps, Gmail and Docs, but the only ones that the EU has called for it to separate from Play are Chrome and Search.

The EU also says that it's illegal for Google to pay manufacturers and carriers to exclusively pre-install Google's search app on phones, which it says it did between 2011 and 2014, and to use so-called anti-fragmentation agreements to prevent phone makers from selling modified versions of Android.

...

"So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven't had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model," Pichai wrote.

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iehi-feed-64127 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:25:17 GMT Billionaire Druckenmiller: "Can we try capitalism? Real capitalism. Give it a chance" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_BillionaireDruckenmillerCanwetrycapitalismRealcapitalismGiveitac.html ... [with the recent tax reform bill] we missed the golden opportunity to offset some revenue loss and address generational equity when Congress passed tax reform. Instead, government debt, which has doubled over the last decade, is set to increase to levels only reached during World War II over the next decade. So we will have sacrificed our future during a relatively peaceful economic period . . . simply because politicians can't say no.

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Bond-buying by central bankers, commonly referred to as Quantitative Easing (QE), has become so ingrained in current thinking that it is now in the Fed's conventional toolkit-- a tool once reserved for a depression or financial crisis is now to be used at the first inkling of the next recession.

... it is most surprising that forty years after wage and price controls were sadly rejected by every economic textbook and policymakers, today we have settled to allowing the most important price of all, long-term interest rates, to be regularly distorted by [the central bank.]

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iehi-feed-64126 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:57:59 GMT Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_Powellbacksmoreratehikesaseconomygrowingconsiderablystronger.html ... remarks he provided ahead of a question-and-answer session, Powell painted a largely positive picture of the economy, which he said is expanding at an increasing pace and is being boosted by aggressive fiscal policy on Capitol Hill.

"Overall, we see the risk of the economy unexpectedly weakening as roughly balanced with the possibility of the economy growing faster than we currently anticipate," Powell said.

"The unemployment rate is low and expected to fall further. Americans who want jobs have a good chance of finding them," he added.

...

However, the "upbeat tone" from the testimony likely means the trade issues won't keep the Fed from hiking rates, said Andrew Hunter, U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

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iehi-feed-64125 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:54:06 GMT Sea-Level Rise Could Knock Out Miami, NYC, Seattle Internet, Study Warns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_SeaLevelRiseCouldKnockOutMiamiNYCSeattleInternetStudyWarns.html iehi-feed-64124 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:28:41 GMT Federal Housing Finance Agency Structure Ruled Unconstitutional http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-18_FederalHousingFinanceAgencyStructureRuledUnconstitutional.html iehi-feed-64123 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 00:18:56 GMT States sue U.S. to void state and local tax deduction cap http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-17_StatessueUStovoidstateandlocaltaxdeductioncap.html Four U.S. states sued the federal government on Tuesday to void the new $10,000 cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes included in President Donald Trump's 2017 tax overhaul.

...

David Gamage, an Indiana University tax law professor, said the lawsuit faces an uphill battle, despite suggesting that keeping the SALT deduction was a factor when states in 1913 gave Congress power to levy income taxes through the 16th Amendment.

"I think it's very unlikely that it succeeds," he said. "The Supreme Court has generally given Congress wide latitude in carrying out its taxing power, especially in setting deductions. It would be a pretty dramatic change of direction to allow this lawsuit."

In the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the four states said a $10,000 cap "effectively eviscerates" a deduction that has been on the books since 1861.

Guess liberals are no longer cheering about the Supreme Court upholding the Obamacare individual mandate as a valid "tax" a few years ago, eh? (That decision expanded the federal government's taxing power in an unprecedented way; it appears effectively unlimited now.)

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iehi-feed-64122 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 22:33:13 GMT International Finance Watchdog Declares Cryptos Not A "Stability Risk" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-17_InternationalFinanceWatchdogDeclaresCryptosNotAStabilityRisk.html iehi-feed-64121 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:08:38 GMT Mortgage Fraudster Family Sentenced To 45 Years In Prison http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-17_MortgageFraudsterFamilySentencedTo45YearsInPrison.html iehi-feed-64120 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:42:01 GMT NYC "Billionaire's Row" Hotel Sells At Massive Loss After 5 Years http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-16_NYCBillionairesRowHotelSellsAtMassiveLossAfter5Years.html Arden Group entered contract to acquire the 29-story, 240-key hotel at 120 West 57th Street for $41 million. When the deal closes in the third quarter, New York REIT will have liquidated its entire portfolio, except for a 50.1 percent stake in One Worldwide Plaza. Ark Partners developed the Viceroy in 2013, and that same year, sold the leasehold for $148.5 million to New York REIT. The deal marked the first hotel purchase for the real estate investment trust, then known as New York Recovery REIT.

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In addition to Vicecroy's mounting expenses, the Manhattan hotel market is in a radically different place. The borough saw a slump in RevPAR -- or revenue per available room -- and pricing power, but there appears to be turning around in recent months.

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iehi-feed-64119 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:03:43 GMT Connecticut Foreclosures Still Some Of The Highest In The USA http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-16_ConnecticutForeclosuresStillSomeOfTheHighestInTheUSA.html