Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-56826 Thu, 28 May 2015 21:39:54 GMT Greek Bank Losses Show Predicament Amid Record Outflows iehi-feed-56825 Thu, 28 May 2015 20:57:53 GMT Borrowing to Replenish Depleted Pensions Interest in so-called pension obligation bonds is expected to intensify in the wake of a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that rejected the state's attempt to overhaul its severely depleted pension system. The court ruled unanimously that Illinois could not legally cut its public workers' retirement benefits to lower costs, forcing lawmakers to scramble for the billions of dollars it will take to keep the system intact.

While the Illinois ruling is not binding on other states, analysts think it may influence lawmakers elsewhere to look to alternatives to cutting public pensions. The Illinois justices offered a list of all the times since 1917 that state lawmakers had ignored expert warnings and diverted pension money to other projects. They said, in effect, that the lawmakers had to restore the money.

... the [pension obligation bond] deals are typically used to make troubled pension systems seem a little less troubled for a few years, allowing elected officials to celebrate a pension reform without having to make the system sustainable over the long term.

iehi-feed-56821 Thu, 28 May 2015 14:20:29 GMT Megan McArdle on the Coming Burst of the College Bubble A lot of ink has been spilled over the terrifying plight of students with $100,000 in loans and a job that will not cover their $900-a-month payment. Usually these stories treat this massive debt as an unfortunate side effect of spiraling college costs. But in another view, the spiraling college costs are themselves an unfortunate side effect of all that debt...

Effectively, we've treated the average wage premium as if it were a guarantee--and then we've encouraged college students to borrow against it... [But] those 18-year-olds often don't look quite so hard at the education they're getting. In Academically Adrift, their recent study of undergraduate learning, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa find that at least a third of students gain no measurable skills during their four years in college. For the remainder who do, the gains are usually minimal.


Between 1992 and 2008, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded rose almost 50 percent, from around 1.1 million to more than 1.6 million. According to Vedder, 60 percent of those additional students ended up in jobs that have not historically required a degree--waitress, electrician, secretary, mail carrier. That's one reason the past few decades have witnessed such an explosion in graduate and professional degrees, as kids who previously would have stopped at college look for ways to stand out in the job market... "Employers seeing a surplus of college graduates and looking to fill jobs are just tacking on that requirement," says Vedder. "De facto, a college degree becomes a job requirement for becoming a bartender."


What might be a lot cheaper [than subsidizing/forgiving education debt] is putting more kids to work: not necessarily as burger flippers but as part of an educational effort. Caplan notes that work also builds valuable skills--probably more valuable for kids who don't naturally love sitting in a classroom.

iehi-feed-56819 Wed, 27 May 2015 15:18:31 GMT Texas Senate Passes Bill to Establish Bullion Depository, Facilitate Transactions in Gold and Silver iehi-feed-56818 Wed, 27 May 2015 15:03:23 GMT IMF: China's currency 'no longer undervalued,' Snubbing U.S., clearing entry into SDR iehi-feed-56816 Wed, 27 May 2015 14:59:25 GMT Goldman: Demographics Mean Developed World Debt-Driven Model is Dead iehi-feed-56815 Wed, 27 May 2015 14:18:32 GMT Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday iehi-feed-56813 Tue, 26 May 2015 22:42:58 GMT Stocks tumble as Dow falls nearly 200 points, Rate Hike Fears Return Four Fed banks renewed call for discount rate hike -minutes.]]> iehi-feed-56811 Tue, 26 May 2015 20:09:59 GMT Bank of Greence "Printing its Own Euros" -- Source iehi-feed-56808 Tue, 26 May 2015 15:54:58 GMT Bond Traders Uncover Secret to Rates That Fed Doesn't Get iehi-feed-56806 Tue, 26 May 2015 14:58:47 GMT Yannis Varoufakis: Austerity Is the Only Deal-Breaker iehi-feed-56805 Tue, 26 May 2015 14:58:09 GMT With Money Drying Up, Greece Is All but Bankrupt Some 89 percent of Greece's €6.5 billion investment budget is majority financed by Europe, meaning the government is paid back shortly after each outlay. Through the worst days of austerity, Mr. Bakoyannis explains, these investments -- highways, bridges and ports, for example -- had continued, as the government always knew it would be paid back in weeks. Since April 30, he says, the liquidity crisis in Athens has forced the government to stop payment on these initiatives as well, the first time in his memory that that has happened.

"These projects are our lifeline," said Mr. Bakoyannis, who has seen his infrastructure budget cut to €12 million from €65 million in the past four years. "It's not about Keynesian politics anymore -- it's about finding enough money to repair a simple road."''

See also Greek PM convenes emergency meeting of his bailout negotiation team as default looms; Poll: only 1/3rd of Greeks support negotiating strategy.

iehi-feed-56804 Mon, 25 May 2015 18:15:33 GMT "War is just a Racket" - Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler iehi-feed-56803 Mon, 25 May 2015 15:17:07 GMT Stockman on Central Bank "Coup D'Etat" iehi-feed-56802 Mon, 25 May 2015 15:13:23 GMT Did China Just Launch World's Biggest Spending Plan? iehi-feed-56798 Mon, 25 May 2015 03:07:15 GMT America's disappointing economic recovery iehi-feed-56795 Sun, 24 May 2015 19:42:14 GMT Greece Hasn't Got The Money To Make June IMF Repayment, Interior Minister Says iehi-feed-56794 Sun, 24 May 2015 16:38:35 GMT Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal iehi-feed-56793 Sun, 24 May 2015 16:36:58 GMT Borders are closing and banks are in retreat. Is globalisation dead? Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, an Indian-born economist now at Columbia University in the US and an avowed free trader, says part of globalisation's image problem comes from the assumption that it has to mean unleashing capital flows, which he calls "the weak underbelly of globalisation".

"The freeing-up of capital flows is what led to the East Asian financial crisis [of the late 1990s], and we need to do something about that," he says. He argues that free capital flows are not a necessary part of globalisation. "Did you expect me also to be for free love?" he jokes. "Maybe I am, but not because I'm a free trader!"

Recent research by the International Monetary Fund, highlighted by its managing director Christine Lagarde, suggested that developing countries must be cautious about so-called "financial deepening" -- expanding their banking sectors and opening up their capital markets -- because without tough regulation it can be too risky.''

iehi-feed-56792 Sun, 24 May 2015 14:16:29 GMT China Sets Up $100B Gold Fund For Central Banks