Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-65624 Thu, 20 Jan 2022 16:07:42 GMT Puerto Rico's crypto scene is booming, but there is backlash among locals http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2022-01-20_PuertoRicoscryptosceneisboomingbutthereisbacklashamonglocals.html Real estate costs are rising in neighborhoods across San Juan, not just in touristy areas such as Condado, but also in hipster communities such as Ocean Park, where graffiti reading "Act 22 = Racismo" is painted across the street from a commune established by a San Francisco start-up founder. In a private Facebook group for sublets and housing, fights increasingly break out over expensive rentals. "Puerto ricans don't need your cash nor your bitcoins," one person wrote under a post about a one-bedroom apartment renting for $1,900.

Though repeal of Act 22 is unlikely, lawmakers are considering amendments to it, said Sen. Juan Zaragoza, a member of the centrist Popular Democrático party who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

Some people want to "kick them out of the island, and repeal the law retroactively," Zaragoza said. "There's a high level of hate against these people.

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iehi-feed-65617 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 14:29:00 GMT Evergrande debt: Collapse could have domino effect on China properties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-09-20_EvergrandedebtCollapsecouldhavedominoeffectonChinaproperties.html While the struggling developers are tiny individually, compared to Evergrande, they make up about 10%-15% of the total market on aggregate, Zeng said. She warned that a collapse could result in a "systemic" spillover to other parts of the economy.

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Some economists have warned that the collapse of Evergrande could become China's "Lehman moment" -- a reference to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis, which triggered the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, Capital Economics senior global economist Simon MacAdam described that narrative as "wide of the mark."

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iehi-feed-65616 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 13:34:38 GMT Dow futures skid nearly 2% Monday as fear of market contagion from China's Evergrande intensifies http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-09-20_Dowfuturesskidnearly2MondayasfearofmarketcontagionfromChinasEver.html iehi-feed-65550 Sat, 26 Dec 2020 21:35:42 GMT Brexit Deal Done, Britain Now Scrambles to See How It Will Work - The New York Times http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-12-26_BrexitDealDoneBritainNowScramblestoSeeHowItWillWorkTheNewYorkTim.html ``British distributors, spared the calamity of a no-deal separation, were nevertheless scrambling to prepare the first of hundreds of thousands of new export certifications to allow their meat, fish and dairy to be sold to the bloc. British food, once exempt from such burdensome checks, now faces the same inspections as European imports from countries like Chile or Australia.

Britain's services sector -- encompassing not only London's powerful financial industry, but also lawyers, architects, consultants and others -- was largely left out of the 1,246-page deal, despite the sector accounting for 80 percent of British economic activity.

The deal also did little to assuage European migrants, some of whom left Britain during the pandemic and are now struggling to determine whether they need to rush back to establish a right to settle in Britain before the split is finalized on Dec. 31.

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Negotiators have not formally published the voluminous trade deal, though both sides have offered summaries, leaving analysts and ordinary citizens uncertain about some details even as lawmakers in Britain and Europe prepare to vote on it in a matter of days.

But it had long been clear that the agreement would offer the City of London, a hub for international banks, asset managers, insurance firms and hedge funds, few assurances about future trade across the English Channel. Britain sells roughly 30 billion pounds, or $40 billion, of financial services to the European Union each year, profiting from an integrated market that makes it easier in some cases to sell services from one member country to another than it is to sell services from one American state to another.

The new trade deal does smooth the flow of goods across British borders. But it leaves financial firms without the biggest benefit of European Union membership: the ability to easily offer services to clients across the region from a single base. This has long allowed a bank in London to provide loans to a business in Venice, or trade bonds for a company in Madrid.

That loss is especially painful for Britain, which ran a surplus of £18 billion, or $24 billion, on trade in financial and other services with the European Union in 2019, but a deficit of £97 billion, or $129 billion, on trade in goods.

"The result of the deal is that the European Union retains all of its current advantages in trading, particularly with goods, and the U.K. loses all of its current advantages in the trade for services," said Tom Kibasi, the former director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, a research institute. "The outcome of this trade negotiation is precisely what happens with most trade deals: The larger party gets what it wants and the smaller party rolls over."

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After Jan. 1, the sale of services, once assured, will hang on patchwork decisions by European regulators about whether Britain's new financial regulations are close enough to their own to be trusted. While London's expertise is difficult to match, putting its financial and service firms in a strong position to weather the storm, some obstacles are inevitable. Already, Britons living in Europe who have bank accounts in Britain have been told their accounts will be closed.

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In announcing the trade deal this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain acknowledged it offered "not as much" access for financial firms "as we would have liked." But he was not as straightforward about the difficulties facing even British retailers under the deal, analysts said.

In promising that there were "no non-tariff barriers" to selling goods after Brexit, he ignored the tens of millions of customs declarations, health assessments and other checks that businesses will now be responsible for.

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Next to a no-deal split, involving enormous logjams at the borders and deep uncertainty for businesses, the agreement was a salve. But even with such a deal, the path forward is uncertain.

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iehi-feed-65510 Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:01:57 GMT Dow drops 800 points on mounting concerns over the coronavirus and the global economic recovery http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-10-28_Dowdrops800pointsonmountingconcernsoverthecoronavirusandthegloba.html iehi-feed-65491 Sun, 11 Oct 2020 23:35:30 GMT Trump's Swamp: Taxes Trace Payments to Properties by Those Who Got Ahead http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-10-11_TrumpsSwampTaxesTracePaymentstoPropertiesbyThoseWhoGotAhead.html iehi-feed-65480 Mon, 21 Sep 2020 18:26:36 GMT Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals and terrorists - ICIJ http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-09-21_GlobalbanksdefyUScrackdownsbyservingoligarchscriminalsandterrori.html In 2005, the year Jamie Dimon was named JPMorgan's chief executive, FinCEN warned that Latvian banks and their "sizable" non-Latvian customer base "continue to pose significant money laundering risks." FinCEN said: "Many of Latvia's institutions do not appear to serve the Latvian community, but instead serve suspect foreign private shell companies." FinCEN said Latvia's 23 banks then held about $5 billion in "nonresident" deposits, mainly from Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

This was JPMorgan's market.

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Two financial crime experts who reviewed NoviRex's transactions at ICIJ's request said the signs of money laundering were clear. NoviRex had behaved like no legitimate business ever would.

"If I was at JPMorgan and I saw this, I'd be thinking: ‘This is horrendous,' " one of the experts, former U.K. police detective Martin Woods, said. "What normal company buys computers, lingerie and buckets?"

By early 2014, as citizens were filling the streets to protest Yanukovych, Klyuyev and other government leaders, NoviRex had moved more than $188 million in transactions via JPMorgan.

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iehi-feed-65476 Sun, 13 Sep 2020 18:50:29 GMT Podcast: David Andelman of CNN and USA Today | Mandelman Matters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-09-13_PodcastDavidAndelmanofCNNandUSATodayMandelmanMatters.html ``"More red lines exist in the world today than at any other single moment in history. Whether it was the red line in Munich that led to the start of the Second World War, to the red lines in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, Syria and the Middle East.

As we traverse the globe, Andelman uses original documentary research, previously classified material, interviews with key players, and reportage from more than 80 countries across five decades to help us understand the growth, the successes and frequent failures that have shaped our world today."

He'll talk about that book on this podcast... among many other topics.  You really don't want to miss it.''

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iehi-feed-65435 Mon, 20 Jul 2020 13:53:27 GMT Global Real Estate Investment Plunges Amid Covid Pandemic http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-07-20_GlobalRealEstateInvestmentPlungesAmidCovidPandemic.html Global real estate investment fell by 33% in the first half as the coronavirus pandemic battered economies and disrupted deals.

The Asia-Pacific region took the biggest hit, with volumes down 45% from the year-earlier period, because it was the first struck by the outbreak, according to a report from broker Savills Plc. Investment dropped by 36% in the Americas and 19% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Investment is "expected to remain well below pre-pandemic levels for the rest of 2020 as investors wait for market clarity," Simon Hope, Savills head of global capital markets, said in a statement on Monday. "However, certain sectors are expected to outperform as investors focus on secure assets, namely logistics, residential and life sciences."

The global economy has been hammered by the pandemic, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting a 4.9% contraction this year. IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath has said the cumulative loss for the world economy this year and next as a result of the recession is expected to reach $12.5 trillion.

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iehi-feed-65400 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:19:42 GMT Wirecard goes bust as loss of 1.9bln EUR scandal puts focus on German oversight http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-06-25_Wirecardgoesbustaslossof19blnEURscandalputsfocusonGermanoversigh.html An accounting scandal at one of Germany's fastest-growing blue-chip companies has raised doubts about the national financial watchdog and, coming on top of other high-profile cases of fraud, led to questions about the country's ability to oversee its corporate titans.

Some 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) vanished from payment systems provider Wirecard, until recently heralded as Germany's emerging giant of the financial tech sector. Its CEO was arrested on suspicion of market manipulation and inflating financial numbers. And on Thursday the company said it was filing for insolvency, a form of bankruptcy protection.

Adding to the damage to Germany's corporate reputation was the reaction of the financial regulator, BaFin, when media reports last year questioned the company's accounting. Rather than investigate Wirecard, it targeted investors, banning them from betting on a drop in the share price, which plunged more than 40%.

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"WireCard was until now one of the few functioning tech companies that have come up with new ideas in the market place and now it turns out that that was to a great extent smoke and mirrors."

BaFin's head, Felix Hufeld, has conceded that Wirecard's implosion was "a disaster." But the agency is standing by its decisions throughout the scandal, details of which are still emerging.

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iehi-feed-65294 Wed, 08 Apr 2020 22:30:07 GMT Amid Divisions, European Finance Ministers Fail To Reach Coronavirus Support Deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-04-08_AmidDivisionsEuropeanFinanceMinistersFailToReachCoronavirusSuppo.html The France 24 news channel reported that the two camps sparred over the terms and conditions attached to eurozone credit for governments. At issue is the Italian demand that loans be free of any requirement for fiscal reform, and the Netherlands' refusal to countenance that.

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Much of the acrimony surrounding the EU's north-south divide dates from the European debt crisis, which began nearly a decade ago, when strict austerity measures were imposed on many of the continent's southern countries

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Closed borders, travel restrictions and the shutdown of restaurants and bars have been implemented across most of Europe in an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The impact of these measures is more severely felt in the southern countries, where tourism accounts for a higher share of nations' gross domestic product.

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iehi-feed-65278 Fri, 03 Apr 2020 15:29:11 GMT The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-04-03_ThemissingsixweekshowTrumpfailedthebiggesttestofhislife.html Disbanding the [pandemic response unit of the national security council] exacerbated a trend that was already prevalent after two years of Trump -- an exodus of skilled and experienced officials who knew what they were doing. "There's been an erosion of expertise, of competent leadership, at important levels of government," a former senior government official told the Guardian.

"Over time there was a lot of paranoia and people left and they had a hard time attracting good replacements," the official said. "Nobody wanted to work there."

It was hardly a morale-boosting gesture when Trump proposed a 16% cut in CDC funding on 10 February -- 11 days after the World Health Organization had declared a public health emergency over Covid-19.

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Konyndyk recalls attending a meeting in mid-February with top Trump administration officials present in which the only topic of conversation was the travel bans. That's when he began to despair about the federal handling of the crisis.

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So it has transpired. In the wake of the testing disaster has come the personal protective equipment (PPE) disaster, the hospital bed disaster, and now the ventilator disaster.

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Early on in the crisis, Griffeth said, it dawned on her and many of her peers that the federal government to which they would normally look to keep them safe was nowhere to be seen. They resigned themselves to a terrible new reality.

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But just in the last few days, Griffeth has started to see the emergence of something else. She has witnessed an explosion of Americans doing it for themselves, filling in the holes left by Trump's failed leadership.

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iehi-feed-65270 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:23:35 GMT Coronageddon: Job losses could total 47 million, unemployment rate of 32%, Fed says http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-31_CoronageddonJoblossescouldtotal47millionunemploymentrateof32Feds.html The projections are even worse than St. Louis Fed President James Bullard's much-publicized estimate of 30%. They reflect the high nature of at-risk jobs that ultimately could be lost to a government-induced economic freeze aimed at halting the coronavirus spread.

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A record 3.3 million Americans filed initial jobless claims for the week ended March 21. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect another 2.65 million to join them this week.

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The central part of Faria-e-Castro's compilations comes from previous Fed research showing 66.8 million workers in "occupations with high risk of layoff." They are sales, production, food preparation and services. Other research also identified 27.3 million people working in "high contact-intensive" jobs such as barbers and stylists, airline attendants, and food and beverage service.

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That would bring the U.S. unemployment rolls to 52.8 million, or more than three times worse than the peak of the Great Recession. The 30% unemployment rate would top the Great Depression peak of 24.9%.

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iehi-feed-65248 Sat, 21 Mar 2020 21:15:05 GMT Covid-19 Divides U.S. Society by Race, Class and Age http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-21_Covid19DividesUSSocietybyRaceClassandAge.html iehi-feed-65229 Mon, 16 Mar 2020 15:43:47 GMT Fed is ‘throwing money in the wrong place,' says Sheila Bair, former top banking regulator http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-16_FedisthrowingmoneyinthewrongplacesaysSheilaBairformertopbankingr.html ``"Lowering interest rates to zero doesn't help if businesses can't pay their loans back and they don't have cash flow," she said. "We need to get help out there, especially to small businesses and people already losing their jobs."

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While preventing the implosion of big banks and the American auto industry were an immediate focus of rescue programs more than a decade ago, relief was less comprehensive and slower to reach U.S. households, which the Brookings Institution estimates led to the loss of 8.7 million jobs, more than 8 million home foreclosures and the shuttering of more than 500 community banks.

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"Forget this 2008 financial crisis playbook," Bair said. "We never focused enough on the real problem in 2008, which was homeowners," she said, adding that she "loves the idea" of recent proposals that aim to get cash straight into the hands of households who are grappling with shuttered schools, businesses and more.

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Specifically, the Fed can invoke section 13-3 of the Federal Reserve Act, she said, which covers emergency lending programs, and was revised under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to make sure that the government targets relief toward industries, not individual companies, threatened by collapse.

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iehi-feed-65228 Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:38:48 GMT Federal reserve cuts target interest rate to zero to support economy during coronavirus pandemic http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-15_Federalreservecutstargetinterestratetozerotosupporteconomyduring.html In a bold, emergency action to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve on Sunday announced it would cut its target interest rate near zero.

The swifter-than-expected rate cut is designed to prevent the kind of credit crunch and financial market disruptions that occurred the last time the Fed had to cut rates all the way to the bottom: The Fed last cut rates to zero during the global financial crisis just over a decade ago.

In addition to rate cuts, the Fed also said it would purchase another $700 billion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. It also struck a deal with five other foreign central banks, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank, to lower their rates on currency swaps to keep the financial markets functioning normally.

The Fed last lowered currency swaps during the European debt crisis in 2011.

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iehi-feed-65226 Fri, 13 Mar 2020 19:34:25 GMT The Trump Presidency Is Over http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-13_TheTrumpPresidencyIsOver.html It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.

... in some respects, the avalanche of false information from the president has been most alarming of all. It's been one rock slide after another, the likes of which we have never seen. Day after day after day he brazenly denied reality, in an effort to blunt the economic and political harm he faced. But Trump is in the process of discovering that he can't spin or tweet his way out of a pandemic. There is no one who can do to the coronavirus what Attorney General William Barr did to the Mueller report: lie about it and get away with it.

The president's misinformation and mendacity about the coronavirus are head-snapping. He claimed that it was contained in America when it was actually spreading. He claimed that we had "shut it down" when we had not. He claimed that testing was available when it wasn't. He claimed that the coronavirus will one day disappear "like a miracle"; it won't. He claimed that a vaccine would be available in months; Fauci says it will not be available for a year or more.

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Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment. He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president's disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.

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iehi-feed-65225 Thu, 12 Mar 2020 19:59:32 GMT Trump has lost the majority of his stock market gains amid equity rout http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-12_Trumphaslostthemajorityofhisstockmarketgainsamidequityrout.html What was once a 61% Dow gain since the election on Feb. 12 has evaporated to far thinner 18.2% rally as the index fell from 29,568 to around 21,654.

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By one measure, the sell-off has erased all of U.S. market cap gains since Election Day 2016, wiping out more than $11 trillion in value in less than one month as measured by the Russell 3000 index, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

On Feb. 19, total U.S. market value was just over $35 trillion, but it's since fallen to $23.8 trillion -- the same as it was on Nov. 8, 2016, according to Bespoke.

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iehi-feed-65213 Sun, 08 Mar 2020 21:23:19 GMT Trump, His Eye on the Border, Overlooked the Coronavirus Threat http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-08_TrumpHisEyeontheBorderOverlookedtheCoronavirusThreat.html Pretending we could wall out the virus not only gave the public a false sense of security, it also left the United States unready for the threat it now faces. Robust overseas containment was a defensible first step -- travel restrictions can delay the arrival and spread of an outbreak by a few weeks. Paired with the draconian measures imposed by China, this might have extended the window for strengthening domestic preparedness. But buying time only matters if it is linked to a clear plan for enhancing readiness and a reliable surveillance strategy to signal whether containment is working. Neither of those things happened.

American hospital capacity is lean. The 46,500 beds in intensive care in the United States are mostly occupied. Covid-19, if uncontrolled, might lead to up to 1.9 million I.C.U. admissions, according to projections presented to the American Hospital Association.

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iehi-feed-65211 Thu, 05 Mar 2020 23:22:01 GMT Dow tumbles nearly 1,000 points again, because Wall Street can't figure out coronavirus http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-03-05_Dowtumblesnearly1000pointsagainbecauseWallStreetcantfigureoutcor.html