Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-63898 Wed, 25 Apr 2018 19:16:56 GMT Macron turns on Trump in speech to Congress. We must ban the French! http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-25_MacronturnsonTrumpinspeechtoCongressWemustbantheFrench.html iehi-feed-63888 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:07:52 GMT The Pension Time Bomb, $400 Trillion by 2050 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-22_ThePensionTimeBomb400Trillionby2050.html According to an analysis by the World Economic Forum (WEF), there was a combined retirement savings gap in excess of $70 trillion in 2015, spread between eight major economies..

The WEF says the deficit is growing by $28 billion every 24 hours -- and if nothing is done to slow the growth rate, the deficit will reach $400 trillion by 2050, or about five times the size of the global economy today.

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This problem is amplified by the size of generations and fertility rates. The population of retirees globally is expected to grow from 1.5 billion to 2.1 billion between 2017-2050, while the number of workers for each retiree is expected to halve from eight to four over the same timeframe.

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iehi-feed-63882 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:09:45 GMT World debt hits record $164 trillion as crisis hangover lingers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_Worlddebthitsrecord164trillionascrisishangoverlingers.html The world's debt load has ballooned to a record $164 trillion, a trend that could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, the International Monetary Fund said.

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The global debt burden clouded the IMF's otherwise upbeat outlook of the world economy, which is in its strongest upswing since 2011. The fund on Tuesday forecast expansion of 3.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019, while saying in subsequent years the global economy could be impacted by tighter monetary policy and the fading effects of U.S. fiscal stimulus.

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The IMF figures bare the scale of the debt hangover from which the world is still recovering from a decade after the financial crisis pushed the global banking system to the brink, and tipped the world economy into recession. Governments increased spending to boost growth, while central banks resorted to unconventional methods to ease financing conditions, such as buying bonds.

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iehi-feed-63881 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 23:44:43 GMT UK government loses key Brexit Vote: Stuck with the Customs Union http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_UKgovernmentloseskeyBrexitVoteStuckwiththeCustomsUnion.html iehi-feed-63880 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:30:17 GMT U.S. Debt Load Seen Worse Than Italy's by 2023, IMF Predicts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_USDebtLoadSeenWorseThanItalysby2023IMFPredicts.html iehi-feed-63873 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:45:52 GMT Commerce Blocks China's ZTE From Exporting Sensitive Tech From U.S. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_CommerceBlocksChinasZTEFromExportingSensitiveTechFromUS.html The U.S. blocked Chinese telecommunications-gear maker ZTE Corp. from exporting sensitive technology from America, alleging the company made false statements to U.S. officials.

The Commerce Department has determined ZTE made false statements to the Bureau of Industry and Security in 2016 and 2017 related to "senior employee disciplinary actions the company said it was taking or had already taken," the department said in a statement Monday.

ZTE did not disclose the fact it paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in illegal conduct, and failed to issue letters of reprimand, the department said.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce. Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them. This egregious behavior cannot be ignored," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the statement.

The denial order against ZTE comes amid brewing tensions between the U.S. and China that have raised concerns of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies. President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged violations of intellectual property rights, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate on everything from American soybeans to planes.

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iehi-feed-63871 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:14:50 GMT Japan PM Abe's woes deepen as ratings drop amidst scandals, Koizumi predicts resignation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_JapanPMAbeswoesdeepenasratingsdropamidstscandalsKoizumipredictsr.html Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political crisis deepened on Monday after polls showed that suspected cronyism scandals have pushed his support to record lows and a popular predecessor said Abe would probably resign in June....

Abe has denied that he had intervened to ensure preferential treatment for the educational institution Kake Gakuen, run by his friend Kotaro Kake, to set up a veterinary school.

He has also repeatedly denied that he or his wife intervened in a heavily discounted sale of state-owned land to another school operator, Moritomo Gakuen, which has ties to his wife.

The Moritomo affair has ensnared the finance ministry, which has admitted officials doctored documents related to the land-sale.

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iehi-feed-63858 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 21:13:26 GMT Trump directs top economic advisers to look at re-entering TPP http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-12_TrumpdirectstopeconomicadviserstolookatreenteringTPP.html President Trump has directed his top economic and trade advisers to look into re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership, nearly a year after he withdrew the U.S. from the multilateral trade agreement in of his first acts as president.

Trump told a group of Republican senators during a meeting Thursday that he had assigned National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer "the task of taking another look at TPP," Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, told reporters at the White House.

"We're very excited about seeing those trade opportunities reaffirmed," said Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., who was also present for the meeting. Fischer said Trump also mentioned "the importance" of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, which his administration is currently renegotiating with Canada and Mexico.

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iehi-feed-63849 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:38:09 GMT Trump attorney Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations - The Washington Post http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-10_TrumpattorneyCohenisbeinginvestigatedforpossiblebankfraudcampaig.html Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of President Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to three people with knowledge of the case.

FBI agents on Monday raided Cohen's Manhattan office, home and hotel room as part of the investigation, seizing records about Cohen's clients and personal finances. Among the records taken were those related to a 2016 payment Cohen made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump, according to a fourth person familiar with the investigation.

Investigators took Cohen's computer, phone and personal financial records, including tax returns, as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, that person said.

In a dramatic and broad seizure, federal prosecutors collected communications between Cohen and his clients -- including those between the lawyer and Trump, according to both people.

The raids -- part of an investigation referred by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to federal prosecutors in New York -- point to escalating legal jeopardy for a longtime Trump confidant who is deeply intertwined in the president's business and personal matters.

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Two of the potential crimes being investigated -- bank fraud and wire fraud -- suggest prosecutors have some reason to think Cohen may have misled bankers about why he was using particular funds or may have improperly used banks in the transfer of funds.

Cohen has acknowledged facilitating a $130,000 payment in October 2016 to Daniels, who claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.

Trump made his first comments about the payment last week, saying he did not know about the transaction.

Cohen has said he used a home-equity line of credit to finance the payment to Daniels and said that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign reimbursed him for the payment.

Banks don't usually require much explanation from customers about how they use such credit lines. However, Cohen may have been asked to provide explanation for the large-dollar transfers he made when he moved the money to a shell company and then to a lawyer for Daniels.

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To serve a search warrant on a practicing attorney, federal prosecutors are required to obtain approval from top Justice Department officials. That means the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman [A Trump supporter], who was appointed to his role by Sessions in January, as well as Justice Department officials in Washington, probably signed off.

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To pursue criminal charges against Cohen for breaking federal election law, prosecutors would have to prove that he made the payment to Daniels to influence the election, rather than for personal reasons -- to protect Trump's reputation, for example, or his marriage.

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At some point, Cohen's New York bank, First Republic, flagged the transaction to the Treasury Department as a suspicious payment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Cohen used his Trump Organization email in negotiating the agreement with Davidson and in communicating with his bank about the funds.

In February, after a watchdog group filed a complaint about the payment with the Federal Election Commission, Cohen released a statement saying he "used my own personal funds to facilitate" the payment. He rejected the idea that the payment should have counted as a campaign contribution.

This article has very comprehensive background with all you need to understand the possible basis for RICO-type charges against Trump, Cohen, and associates.

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iehi-feed-63844 Sun, 08 Apr 2018 16:26:03 GMT Kushner Partner in 666 Fifth Ave. Says It Has Deal to Sell http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-08_KushnerPartnerin666FifthAveSaysItHasDealtoSell.html The Kushner family appeared on Friday to have struck a deal to buy out its partner in the troubled Fifth Avenue skyscraper at the center of its real estate empire, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Kushners' partner, the publicly traded Vornado Realty Trust, has indicated for months that it was interested in selling its stake in the building, and on Friday, Steven Roth, Vornado's chairman, said in the filing that it had reached a handshake deal "to sell our interest to our partner."

The Kushners have attracted enormous public attention because of their connection to President Trump. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, was chief executive of the company until he joined the White House last year as one of Mr. Trump's key advisers.

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It is unclear if the announcement from Vornado means the Kushners have found a new partner, or who might be providing the financing for such a deal.

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In 2011, the Kushners sought to restructure their debt. Vornado bought a 49.5 percent interest in the building's office space and agreed to invest up to $80 million and take responsibility for a portion of the mortgage. The mortgage was divided into a $1.1 billion note and a $115 million secondary loan.

But Vornado imposed stiff terms. It was getting 11 percent interest on money it actually invested in the building, and a 3 percent return on the remaining money, if any, according to a financial report from Trepp, a company that tracks real estate debt.

The mortgage has swelled to $1.4 billion with accrued interest. The partners have been forced to cover shortfalls on the mortgage payments. And Vornado subsequently bought much of the retail space along Fifth Avenue from Crown and Carlyle for $707 million, except for a portion owned by Zara, the Spanish clothing chain. Vornado is expected to hang onto the retail space.

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iehi-feed-63840 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 19:16:32 GMT German court says Carles Puigdemont can be released on bail; extradition for "rebellion" barred http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-06_GermancourtsaysCarlesPuigdemontcanbereleasedonbailextraditionfor.html iehi-feed-63839 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:14:07 GMT Stocks Tank on Jobs Data and Trade Worries http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-06_StocksTankonJobsDataandTradeWorries.html Wall Street is under pressure Friday, April 6, after the U.S. added less jobs than expected in March. The U.S. added 103,000 jobs in March. Analysts polled by FactSet expect the U.S. economy added 185,000 nonfarm jobs to the payroll in March, which would be a slowdown from the 313,000 jobs added in February. February's nonfarm payroll additions was the fastest in a month since July 2016.

The unemployment rate came in at 4.1%, steady from February's rate, a 17-year low. FactSet economists expect the U.S. unemployment rate for March to come in at 4%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1%, or 242 points, to 24,263 while the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.78%.

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Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Bloomberg that some advertisers have, in fact, reduced their spending. "We've seen a few advertisers pause with us and they're asking the same questions that other people are asking," Sandberg was reported as saying. "They want to make sure they can use the data and use it safely." Sandberg added that Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook is engaging in "reassuring conversations with advertisers, just as [it is] with people."

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iehi-feed-63835 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 21:04:59 GMT NASA's quiet X-plane could revive supersonic air travel http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-04_NASAsquietXplanecouldrevivesupersonicairtravel.html NASA hopes the piloted plane, designed to produce sonic booms barely audible from the ground, will provide crucial data that could benefit commercial supersonic passenger air travel.

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NASA isn't alone in its quest to revive supersonic air travel. Japan Airlines recently invested $10 million into Boom Technologies, a Denver-based start-up that also hopes to revive supersonic air travel in the next decade. Meanwhile Spike Aerospace is hoping to test its S-512 Supersonic Jet by the close of this year.''

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iehi-feed-63834 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:04:18 GMT Wall St. plunges, but mostly recovers from sharp losses sparked by China tariffs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-04_WallStplungesbutmostlyrecoversfromsharplossessparkedbyChinatarif.html iehi-feed-63829 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:48:10 GMT Stunned Investors See 95% Gains on Defaulted Puerto Rico Bonds http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-03_StunnedInvestorsSee95GainsonDefaultedPuertoRicoBonds.html Of all the wild, head-scratching moves in financial markets this year, there are few that have surprised investors quite as much as the rally in defaulted Puerto Rico bonds. "It just blows my mind," says Matt Dalton, chief executive officer of Belle Haven Investments.

Since sinking to a mere 20.8 cents on the dollar in December, prices on the island's most frequently traded securities have climbed steadily and reached a high of 45 cents last week before paring gains during the past few days. Not only are Puerto Rico's bonds the top performer in the $3.9 trillion municipal market, they've gained more than any other dollar-denominated debt in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The rally started inconspicuously enough back in late December, with a penny gain here and there that analysts chalked up to bottom fishing after prices collapsed in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

But then the increases started coming in bigger chunks as word spread that the island may emerge from the devastation with more money on hand than anticipated, a development that creditors bet would translate into better debt-restructuring terms.

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"I'm surprised by the amount that the bonds have rallied because there's still a lot of questions to be asked," said Mark Paris, senior portfolio manager atInvesco Advisers Inc. which oversees $27.2 billion in municipal assets. "They need to do a lot for the people on the island before they start really worrying about bondholders. So I don't know how you calculate the recovery."

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Even with federal funds for rebuilding after the storm, Puerto Rico faces challenges. More than 45 percent of residents live in poverty, workforce participation is about 40 percent and the fiscal plan projects the population will still shrink.

"The numbers are still pretty ugly," said Joe Rosenblum, director of municipal credit at AllianceBernstein LP, which oversees $41 billion of municipal debt. "For now, I think the optimism has played out."

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iehi-feed-63824 Mon, 02 Apr 2018 18:27:52 GMT Dow drops 700 points as Amazon tumbles, trade war fears rise http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-02_Dowdrops700pointsasAmazontumblestradewarfearsrise.html The Dow dropped more than 700 points and the Nasdaq plunged 3% on Monday. All three major indexes are now in the red for the year.

The sell-off on the first day of the second quarter came after President Trump once again attacked Amazon on Twitter. Amazon, one of the biggest drivers of the 2017 market rally, tumbled 5%, wiping out more than $37 billion of its market value.

Trump once again accused Amazon of taking advantage of the US Postal Service, and he suggested that Amazon does not pay its fair share of tax.

In fact, Amazon pays the same lower rate that the post office charges other bulk shippers, and it collects sales tax in every state that charges it. Amazon does not collect sales tax on purchases made from third-party vendors.

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iehi-feed-63823 Mon, 02 Apr 2018 14:25:50 GMT China announces new tariffs on US meat and fruit, 128 products total, amid trade war fears http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-02_ChinaannouncesnewtariffsonUSmeatandfruit128productstotalamidtrad.html

All told, the extra tariffs will hit 128 kinds of U.S. products, multiple outlets reported. The list of new duties matches the proposed list released by the government on March 23, according to Reuters.

At that time, China said the affected U.S. goods had an import value of $3 billion in 2017 and included wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, steel pipes, modified ethanol and ginseng.

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The decision to target $3 billion in U.S. imports is significant, but it's widely seen as a drop in the ocean given the size of the bilateral trading relationship. U.S. goods exported to China in 2016 totaled $115.6 billion, according to official data.

China's retaliation is "a statement of intent ... but it's not an escalation in our opinion," Steve Brice, chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered Private Bank, told CNBC on Monday.

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Of note, China's trade retaliation is not against Trump's announcement in March that he is planning new tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports... Observers have suggested that Beijing may be saving stronger retaliatory measures for a response to that White House plan.

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iehi-feed-63820 Sun, 01 Apr 2018 15:32:19 GMT Was Robert Mercer's Vast Operation to Put Trump in the White House Just About Tax Avoidance? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-01_WasRobertMercersVastOperationtoPutTrumpintheWhiteHouseJustAboutT.html In 2015 the Internal Revenue Service released a memo indicating that the basket option was an improper maneuver to convert short term capital gains into long term gains. To date, there has been no public announcement of any Federal regulatory action taken against Renaissance or Mercer over the $6 billion tax avoidance scheme.

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Hedge funds already receive a perverse form of taxation known as "carried interest" that allows their winnings to be taxed at rates lower than those paid by some plumbers and nurses. This cozy tax scheme allows managers of hedge funds and private equity funds to have much of their income taxed as long term capital gains rather than the almost double tax rate that would be applied if it were treated as wage income.

It's time for the American public to find out just what happened to the $6.8 billion tax problem that Robert Mercer's Renaissance Technologies had with the IRS before Trump's election.

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iehi-feed-63816 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 16:44:25 GMT Sydney real estate: Home sellers drop listed prices by up to 30 per cent http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-03-30_SydneyrealestateHomesellersdroplistedpricesbyupto30percent.html Homeowners in pockets of Sydney have been selling properties for up to 30 per cent below their advertised price after a steep fall in buyer demand.

Property experts claim sellers have been forced to accept GFC-level price declines due to a weakening market which makes it difficult to achieve the inflated sums properties were fetching six months or even a year ago.

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Sydney's median home price fell 1.3 per cent over the three months to December and by another 2.5 per cent in the following three months to March, according to property research group CoreLogic.

The latest three-month decline was the largest since August 2008, near the height of the GFC, and helped push the typical price of a home back down to $880,743.

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iehi-feed-63808 Wed, 28 Mar 2018 20:50:23 GMT Google, JPMorgan Chase and the new age of spectacularly rich corporate real estate buyers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-03-28_GoogleJPMorganChaseandthenewageofspectacularlyrichcorporatereale.html In the early 20th century, New York's tallest skyscrapers were built by big companies for their own use -- think of the old MetLife Building and the Woolworth Building. But in the second half of the 20th century, more and more firms ditched their real estate holdings and began leasing office space instead. They were looking to simplify their balance sheets and focus investment on their core business in a bid to appeal to stock market investors. Owning real estate usually meant taking out mortgages, which increased liabilities, Brodwin said. It also carried risk.

Now the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. One reason: the sheer accumulation of wealth in the hands of corporate behemoths. Cash and liquid investments held by U.S. non-financial firms rose by 5 percent in 2017 to $1.9 trillion, according to a November report by ratings agency Moody's. The report projected Google's parent company Alphabet would hold $103 billion in cash by the end of last year. Apple's cash reserves were projected at a staggering $265 billion.

Companies need to store all that wealth somewhere, and low interest rates make bank accounts and bonds somewhat less appealing. Real estate offers an alternative. Meanwhile, the recently passed federal tax reform allows firms to repatriate their offshore wealth at a lower tax rate for a limited time, adding an incentive to move funds from overseas into the New York property market.

Another big change concerns accounting rules. In the past, companies weren't required to list leases as liabilities on their balance sheets, even though that's exactly what they are. But starting in 2019, that will change. Public companies that sign leases will have to include their present value as liabilities, making them look worse on paper. Companies that buy buildings may add liabilities in the form of a mortgage, but they also add a valuable property to their balance sheet.

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