Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64626 Sat, 09 Mar 2019 15:52:14 GMT Venezuela's Power Outage Draws Its Leaders Into Deeper Tensions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-09_VenezuelasPowerOutageDrawsItsLeadersIntoDeeperTensions.html iehi-feed-64625 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 05:44:13 GMT Paul Manafort's 'Otherwise Blamess Life' of Crime http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-08_PaulManafortsOtherwiseBlamessLifeofCrime.html iehi-feed-64624 Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:05:39 GMT Theresa May's Brexit vote is 'on a knife edge': Here's what experts predict http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-07_TheresaMaysBrexitvoteisonaknifeedgeHereswhatexpertspredict.html U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a crunch series of votes this week that will determine the immediate course of Brexit and the U.K.'s relationship with the EU.

On Tuesday, lawmakers will vote for a second time on May's Brexit deal after initially rejecting it in January. If a simple majority of them don't approve the deal, they will then vote on whether they want to leave the 28-member bloc without a deal.

If they vote against a "no-deal" Brexit, they'll then have a vote on whether to extend Article 50 (which sets out the departure process) and delay Britain's departure which is currently set to take place on March 29.

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iehi-feed-64614 Thu, 28 Feb 2019 15:29:30 GMT Market dips as Trump-Kim summit dissolves; China economy slows http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-28_MarketdipsasTrumpKimsummitdissolvesChinaeconomyslows.html Official survey data published by China showed the country's manufacturing sector weakened again in February, raising concerns about the slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

The collapse of nuclear talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also contributed to the sour mood among investors, especially in South Korea.

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iehi-feed-64602 Sun, 24 Feb 2019 00:07:09 GMT American Workers -- Even Well-To-Do Ones -- Increasingly Miserable http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-23_AmericanWorkersEvenWellToDoOnesIncreasinglyMiserable.html even in a boom economy, a surprising portion of Americans are professionally miserable right now. In the mid-1980s, roughly 61 percent of workers told pollsters they were satisfied with their jobs. Since then, that number has declined substantially, hovering around half; the low point was in 2010, when only 43 percent of workers were satisfied, according to data collected by the Conference Board, a nonprofit research organization. The rest said they were unhappy, or at best neutral, about how they spent the bulk of their days. Even among professionals given to lofty self-images, like those in medicine and law, other studies have noted a rise in discontent. Why? Based on my own conversations with classmates and the research I began reviewing, the answer comes down to oppressive hours, political infighting, increased competition sparked by globalization, an "always-on culture" bred by the internet -- but also something that's hard for these professionals to put their finger on, an underlying sense that their work isn't worth the grueling effort they're putting into it.

This wave of dissatisfaction is especially perverse because corporations now have access to decades of scientific research about how to make jobs better. "We have so much evidence about what people need," says Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania (and a contributing opinion writer at The Times). Basic financial security, of course, is critical -- as is a sense that your job won't disappear unexpectedly. What's interesting, however, is that once you can provide financially for yourself and your family, according to studies, additional salary and benefits don't reliably contribute to worker satisfaction. Much more important are things like whether a job provides a sense of autonomy -- the ability to control your time and the authority to act on your unique expertise. People want to work alongside others whom they respect (and, optimally, enjoy spending time with) and who seem to respect them in return.

And finally, workers want to feel that their labors are meaningful. "You don't have to be curing cancer," says Barry Schwartz, a visiting professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley. We want to feel that we're making the world better, even if it's as small a matter as helping a shopper find the right product at the grocery store. "You can be a salesperson, or a toll collector, but if you see your goal as solving people's problems, then each day presents 100 opportunities to improve someone's life, and your satisfaction increases dramatically," Schwartz says.

This was a predictable consequence of an increasingly unstable, insecure economy. There is really no refuge from it; even the rich know they have to always be searching for the next "score" (the middle class and below obviously have it even worse -- but with the meso-rich feeling the pain, at least the problem is becoming impossible to ignore). At this site, this is the sort of thing we've expected as a consequence of the long-run gutting of the financial economy, with low interest rates and disincentives to save and invest in long-term, stable enterprises (VC money and credit cards are NOT a suitable substitute for traditional commercial and merchant banking).

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iehi-feed-64582 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:03:52 GMT Bill Gates: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wealth tax idea misses the point (+SICK MMT BURN) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_BillGatesAlexandriaOcasioCortezwealthtaxideamissesthepointSICKMM.html Instead, he said, lawmakers should focus on things like the estate tax, taxes on capital and Social Security. His view may be more closely aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax policy that focuses on taxing net worth on households worth more than $50 million.

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Gates.. also ripped the increasingly popular modern monetary theory... The theory, also known as MMT, dismisses concerns about sovereign debt since countries that print their own currency can't really run out of money. "That is some crazy talk," Gates told The Verge.

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iehi-feed-64579 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:28:22 GMT Reason #437 to own gold: The Fed wants Negative Interest Rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_Reason437toowngoldTheFedwantsNegativeInterestRates.html ... after a 20% drop in US stocks, the Fed has taken its foot off the pedal. But the people still want more... Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan were supposed to start tightening policy and raising rates... now, they are both considering cutting interest rates even deeper into negative territory.

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The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis thinks current interest rates are "too restrictive." He too wants lower rates.

The San Francisco Fed agrees -- they were singing the praises of negative interest rates in a recent research paper, saying they would have helped the economy recover even faster after 2008.

And SocGen economist Albert Edwards thinks the US will see negative interest rates and helicopter money (meaning central banks will print money and give it directly to the people) during the next recession.

Now that the public is once again being reminded that the Fed and its cohorts have no credibility, let's see if hard assets come back, as they should...

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iehi-feed-64573 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 04:59:14 GMT Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_FederalprosecutorsissuesweepingsubpoenafordocumentsfromTrumpinau.html ``Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday delivered a sweeping request for documents related to donations and spending by President Trump's inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal investigation into activities related to the nonprofit organization.

A wide-ranging subpoena served on the inaugural committee Monday seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors, bank accounts of the inaugural committee and any information related to foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can legally donate to a committee established to finance presidential inaugural festivities.

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The subpoena -- issued by the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District of New York -- indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering.

The subpoena also specifically seeks all communications with one donor, Los Angeles venture capitalist Imaad Zuberi, as well as the firm with which he is affiliated, Avenue Ventures. The company donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee, records show.

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The committee was chaired by real estate developer Tom Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of Trump's. Barrack, who is not mentioned by name in the subpoena, declined to comment.

The request for documents, first reported by ABC News, is a sign of another widening legal headache for Trump, whose business, personal charitable foundation and campaign are all under investigation by state and federal authorities.

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At Manafort's trial in Virginia in August, [Rick] Gates testified that it was "possible" that he stole money from the inaugural committee by submitting false expense reports for his work.

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iehi-feed-64571 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:49:44 GMT Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S. Targeting Chinese Giant http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_HuaweiStingOffersRareGlimpseofUSTargetingChineseGiant.html

The sample looked like an ordinary piece of glass, 4 inches square and transparent on both sides. It'd been packed like the precious specimen its inventor, Adam Khan, believed it to be--placed on wax paper, nestled in a tray lined with silicon gel, enclosed in a plastic case, surrounded by air bags, sealed in a cardboard box--and then sent for testing to a laboratory in San Diego owned by Huawei Technologies Co. But when the sample came back last August, months late and badly damaged, Khan knew something was terribly wrong. Was the Chinese company trying to steal his technology?

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This investigation, which hasn't previously been made public, is separate from the recently announced grand jury indictments against Huawei. On Jan. 28, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. In a separate case, prosecutors in Seattle charged Huawei with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, claiming that one of its employees stole a part from a robot, known as Tappy, at a T-Mobile US Inc. facility in Bellevue, Wash. "These charges lay bare Huawei's alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices," Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said in a press release accompanying the Jan. 28 indictments. "Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being." Huawei has denied the charges.

If the new investigation bears fruit, it could, along with the indictments, bolster the Trump administration's effort to block Huawei from selling equipment for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in the U.S. and allied nations. The U.S. believes Huawei poses a national security threat, in part, because it could build undetectable backdoors into 5G hardware and software, allowing the Chinese government to spy on American communications and wage cyberwarfare. Huawei has said this is political posturing aimed at harming a Chinese company, and skeptics have pointed out that the T-Mobile allegation has since been settled in civil court and concerns events that played out more than a half-decade ago. "If Tappy is as far as they've gotten on [intellectual property] theft, that seems to be pretty thin gruel," Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post recently.

... if the government does conclude that Akhan was attacked, that a Chinese multinational really did target a tiny Chicago company with no revenue and no customers (as of yet), it would show just how far and wide Huawei is willing to go to steal American trade secrets. "I think they're identifying technologies that are key to their road map and going after them no matter what the size or scale or status of the business," Khan says. "I wouldn't say they're discriminating."''

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iehi-feed-64569 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 00:03:47 GMT Delayed, not saved: Foxconn's Wisconsin http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-03_DelayednotsavedFoxconnsWisconsin.html The factory is not back on. LCDs are pure commodities, among the lowest-margin components, and about to be made obsolete by OLEDs. There is zero business-case for building these outside of Asia-Pacific. It was a stunt, it was always a stunt, just like it was a stunt all the other times they did it.

The reason for the announcement is that Donald Trump called them up and asked them to announce that the factory would be built. Donald Trump will be president for two or fewer years, during which time Foxconn can dither and dick around and do very little, and then they can announce that the factory is off. This news will be welcomed by Trump's successor, from either party, as a way to further discredit him.

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iehi-feed-64568 Sun, 03 Feb 2019 23:50:39 GMT McConnell, Rubio, and Graham Russian Benefactor Benefits as McConnell Rolls Back Sanctions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-03_McConnellRubioandGrahamRussianBenefactorBenefitsasMcConnellRolls.html Monday evening brought a new twist. It was discovered that one of Mitch McConnell's major donors, Len Blavatnik, who is tied to Vladimir Putin and other Russian oligarchs, benefited when Trump and McConnell lifted Russian sanctions on Sunday.

Along with McConnell, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham received hefty sums from Blavatnik as well.

... Mitch McConnell is benefiting from his direct and indirect ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs, which most likely guided McConnell's recent vote to lift Russian sanctions. And it would seem he clearly voted in the interest of himself, his king and his Russian ties, when McConnell should have been working in the best interest of the American people''

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iehi-feed-64564 Sun, 03 Feb 2019 01:09:31 GMT Trump sought a loan in 2016. Deutsche Bank reportedly turned him down http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-02_Trumpsoughtaloanin2016DeutscheBankreportedlyturnedhimdown.html iehi-feed-64560 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 23:26:18 GMT These billionaires are issuing terrifying warnings about debt levels http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-31_Thesebillionairesareissuingterrifyingwarningsaboutdebtlevels.html In 2018, the federal government's deficit hit $1 trillion. But these are "good times," with soaring asset prices, solid corporate profits and record-low unemployment. What happens when a recession inevitably occurs. Our friend Jim Grant of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, says the deficit will blow out to $2 trillion.

So, $22 trillion in the whole and a $1 trillion deficit in a good year. Not to mention, interest rates are rising, which means all of this debt is just getting more expensive. Eventually, people will simply refuse to lend Uncle Sam any more money... because they know there's no way they'll be repaid.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, in the first eight months of 2018, overseas buyers of US Treasurys only bought half the amount they did over the same period in 2017.

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We don't know when this monetary experiment will end. The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan both essentially reneged on their plans to start tightening monetary policy. And yesterday, the Federal Reserve has signaled it will stop hiking rates. Global central banks, it seems, have already given up on their weak attempts to tighten... fearing the economy wouldn't hold up.

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iehi-feed-64559 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 23:23:50 GMT Central Banks Are Buying Gold at the Fastest Clip Since 1971 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-31_CentralBanksAreBuyingGoldattheFastestClipSince1971.html Central banks bought more bullion last year than anytime since 1971, when the U.S. ended the gold standard.Governments added 651.5 tons of gold to their coffers in 2018, a 74 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from the World Gold Council.

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Central banks are expected to acquire an additional 600 tons this year, according to the consulting firm Metals Focus Ltd. The buys, which will help the banks diversify their foreign-exchange assets in a time of extraordinary political volatility, signal a growing confidence in the metal's value moving forward.

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The banks "were not net buyers even a decade ago," said Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the WGC, in a telephone interview. "As their foreign reserves expand, they are increasingly diversifying away from pure dollar exposure."

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iehi-feed-64557 Wed, 30 Jan 2019 23:35:57 GMT EU rejects Theresa May's plans to change Brexit deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-30_EUrejectsTheresaMaysplanstochangeBrexitdeal.html "The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation," said European Council President Donald Tusk. "Yesterday, we found out what the UK doesn't want. But we still don't know what the UK does want."

Other frustrated EU officials, including Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, insisted the remaining 27 EU members were united and determined not to abandon the backstop they believe is key to maintaining peace on the border.

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Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the whole of the UK will remain in a customs union in relation to trade in goods with the EU "unless and until" the bloc agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border, while Northern Ireland will also conform to some rules of the European single market.

UK legislators critical of the clause say it threatens the integrity of the the UK's borders and could even lead to the UK staying within the EU customs union permanently.

Critics have argued for the inclusion of a mechanism to allow either side to withdraw from the backstop or a limit to how long it can last.

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iehi-feed-64553 Tue, 29 Jan 2019 23:46:44 GMT Brexit: What just happened and what happens next? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-29_BrexitWhatjusthappenedandwhathappensnext.html iehi-feed-64550 Mon, 28 Jan 2019 00:52:33 GMT The Financial Secret Behind Germany's Green Energy Revolution http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-27_TheFinancialSecretBehindGermanysGreenEnergyRevolution.html iehi-feed-64540 Thu, 17 Jan 2019 21:02:50 GMT Brexit: France activates no-deal plan; Others likely follow http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-17_BrexitFranceactivatesnodealplanOtherslikelyfollow.html The Netherlands' foreign trade minister, Sigrid Kaag, said on Wednesday night that the Netherlands was launching a major information campaign on 28 January.

"After Ireland, the Dutch economy is most entwined with that of the UK," she said, citing fisheries, meat-processing and flower exports. She warned that many small and medium enterprises had failed to make sufficient preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

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Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said on Thursday that plans for a disorderly Brexit would have to be stepped up.

"In the coming days and weeks, we will do everything we can so that Britain exits with and not without an agreement," he told the Bundestag (German parliament).

Spain said on Thursday that staffing of immigration offices would be beefed up if the UK left the EU without a deal. Some 310,000 UK citizens live in Spain and they would have to confirm their residency under a no-deal Brexit, officials said.''

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iehi-feed-64532 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 01:34:49 GMT British pound strengthens after parliament rejects Brexit plan http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-15_BritishpoundstrengthensafterparliamentrejectsBrexitplan.html Parliament on Tuesday struck down the divorce deal that Prime Minister Theresa May had negotiated with the rest of the European Union by a record margin. The defeat was expected, but the size of the loss -- 432 votes to 202 -- was a surprise.

The pound, which had fallen below $1.27 earlier on Tuesday, erased its losses after the vote and strengthened to $1.28. Some analysts had predicted the pound would rally if May suffered a major defeat because that would raise the chance of Brexit being delayed.

The crushing loss means parliament may now wield greater control over the process. Capital Economics said lawmakers could move to delay Brexit while they work on alternatives.

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iehi-feed-64529 Fri, 11 Jan 2019 01:28:00 GMT Mnuchin becomes first Trump official called by Democratic House to answer questions about Russia http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-10_MnuchinbecomesfirstTrumpofficialcalledbyDemocraticHousetoanswerq.html