Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64739 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:21:56 GMT Dow heads for fifth straight negative week, longest losing streak since 2011 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_Dowheadsforfifthstraightnegativeweeklongestlosingstreaksince2011.html Stocks were headed for weekly losses on Friday as investors worry the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.

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U.S. durable goods orders dropped 2.1% last month amid a slowdown in exports and a buildup in inventories. This is the latest economic data set showing cracks in the economy while the world's largest economies engage in a trade war. IHS Markit said Thursday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low.

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"The growing worries around a US/China elongated trade battle and its implications on the tech space are heavily weighing on the minds of both investors and the companies themselves caught in the cross hairs," Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients. "The ‘poster child' for the US/China trade wars continue to be Apple with the stock under heavy pressure as many competitors are yelling fire in a crowded theater around the potential China impact to Cupertino if this situation worsens.

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iehi-feed-64738 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:04:52 GMT The Economy is Stagnant, Not "Booming" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_TheEconomyisStagnantNotBooming.html President Trump likes to brag about the supposedly booming economy. So do other Republican politicians. Some journalists have gotten into the habit too, exaggerating the strength of the economic expansion, because it makes for a good story. Here's the truth: There is no boom. The economy has been mired in an extended funk since the financial crisis ended in 2010. G.D.P. growth still has not reached 3 percent in any year, and 3 percent isn't a very high bar.

Last week, while attending an economics conference in Washington, I discovered one particularly clear sign of the economy's struggles -- namely, that it keeps performing worse than the experts have predicted.

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Over time, the differences between the experts' predictions and the economy's performance have added up. The American economy would be about 6 percent larger today -- producing $1.3 trillion more in goods and services this year -- if the forecasts had come true. And for most families, real-life experience has been more disappointing than the G.D.P. numbers, because much of the bounty of the economy's growth has flowed to the affluent.

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The 2017 Trump tax [was] is a dreadful piece of economic policy -- essentially a giant effort to aggravate income inequality. Tax cuts that benefit the wealthy most are huge and permanent. Tax cuts focused on everyone else are smaller and temporary... A better policy response would start with a tax cut focused on the majority of Americans, not the wealthy. And there are many other ways to take on secular stagnation... Infrastructure projects, to jump-start investment. The retirement of coal-fired power plants, which would also lead to new investment. Stronger safety-net programs, including Social Security, to reduce the savings glut. More aggressive antitrust policies, to combat monopolies. And a Federal Reserve that, at long last, stopped making the same mistake -- of overestimating both growth and inflation.

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iehi-feed-64735 Fri, 24 May 2019 13:45:54 GMT Theresa May Meets Her Lonely End http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_TheresaMayMeetsHerLonelyEnd.html Mrs. May, as the first prime minister after the 2016 Brexit referendum, could have minimized those difficulties by exposing that lie, and by seeking a Brexit that kept Britain's economy close to Europe's while honoring the decision to leave. She had the power to define what Brexit meant. From the start she could have sought a consensus across Parliament.

Tragically she chose instead to pander to the her party's right wing and its backers in the news media, promising to quit both the European Union's single market and its customs union, and ceaselessly repeating the disastrous idea that "no deal is better than a bad deal." Her decisions in those first months were calamitous; they framed Brexit as a sharp break from Europe and turned it from a problem to a disaster.

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iehi-feed-64733 Fri, 24 May 2019 03:00:08 GMT Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War; Fails To Quell Their Anxieties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_TrumpGivesFarmers16BillioninAidAmidProlongedChinaTradeWarFailsTo.html Jim Costa, a congressman from California who heads the House agriculture subcommittee, criticized the plan as a "rushed and poorly-planned bailout" that might end up giving less aid to some farmers, like those who grow fruit and vegetable crops in central California.

"For more than a year now, producers of every commodity have said the same thing: they want long-term access to export markets, not hasty attempts by the federal government to clean up its own mess," Mr. Costa said. "I urge the White House to rescind the tariffs and sit down in a constructive manner with the Chinese to address issues that will actually improve the market for our farmers."

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The collateral damage to farmers from the trade clash with China now looms as a potential obstacle to the president's re-election. China's tariffs against products like soybeans and beef and a recent move to cancel a major pork order have hit swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, especially hard.

A survey of 400 American farmers by Purdue University and the CME Group, a global markets company, showed that sentiment plunged in April, stemming from concerns about worsening tensions with China. Only 28 percent of farmers surveyed said that they believed a soybean dispute with China would be resolved by July 1, down from 45 percent in March, while 74 percent of those surveyed said now was a "bad time" to make big farm investments.

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iehi-feed-64732 Thu, 23 May 2019 22:23:51 GMT New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump's State Tax Returns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_NewYorkPassesBillGivingCongressaWaytoGetTrumpsStateTaxReturns.html New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump's state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president's refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump's policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president's state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns -- filed in New York, the president's home state and business headquarters -- would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature's actions put the state in a bit of uncharted legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York's maneuver.

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Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.

"Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump's current refusals," Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the "bill of attainder" accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that "bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts," and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms.

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iehi-feed-64730 Thu, 23 May 2019 04:07:45 GMT Judge Rejects Trump Effort to Block Deutsche Bank Subpoena http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_JudgeRejectsTrumpEfforttoBlockDeutscheBankSubpoena.html A federal judge in New York rejected President Donald Trump's request to keep his banks from producing financial records to lawmakers, handing House Democrats a second convincing courtroom win this week in their efforts to delve into the president's finances.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, ruling from the bench on Wednesday, denied Trump's request for a preliminary injunction, saying that while the president, his family and his business would suffer irreparable harm from disclosure of the records, they were "unlikely to succeed on the merits" with their argument that the congressional subpoenas are improper.

The decision comes two days after U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington ruled that Congress has the authority to demand records from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP.

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Trump is appealing the Washington ruling and both sides have asked for a quick hearing. Trump is also likely to appeal Wednesday's decision.

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iehi-feed-64719 Fri, 17 May 2019 18:38:48 GMT Trump in His Own Private Slump (EXCEPT FOR EMOLUMENTS!!) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-17_TrumpinHisOwnPrivateSlumpEXCEPTFOREMOLUMENTS.html President Trump's family business saw its overall revenues decline modestly in 2018, according to his annual financial report released Thursday, suggesting a disconnect between the Trump brand and the still-growing national economy.

The revenue declines were most pronounced at some of Mr. Trump's best-known properties, including the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which experienced a nearly 10 percent drop. Hotels in Chicago and Hawaii, as well as golf courses in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the Bronx, also saw declines, suggesting that sales are being affected by consumers deciding to turn away from the Trump brand, industry analysts said.

The results were somewhat better for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has become a favored spot for Republicans, lobbyists and some foreign governments and accounts for nearly 10 percent of the Trump Organization's revenues.

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That retrenchment appears driven mostly by political factors, given that the economy has been relatively strong for the past several years. Mr. Trump's polarizing policies and increasingly intense clashes with Democrats have turned off some potential customers and clients, particularly in heavily Democratic cities like Chicago.''

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iehi-feed-64710 Wed, 08 May 2019 22:57:51 GMT Cost of living between 2000 and 2019: Inflation has played a big part in shrinking the American middle class http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-08_Costoflivingbetween2000and2019Inflationhasplayedabigpartinshrink.html iehi-feed-64708 Wed, 08 May 2019 03:52:34 GMT Fraud Prince: Leaked Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses Thru '94 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_FraudPrinceLeakedTrumpTaxFiguresShowOver1BillioninBusinessLosses.html By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir "Trump: The Art of the Deal" hit bookstores in 1987, Donald J. Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data -- printouts from Mr. Trump's official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 -- represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president's taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career -- an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses -- largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found...

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Mr. Trump was able to lose all that money without facing the usual consequences -- such as a steep drop in his standard of living -- in part because most of it belonged to others, to the banks and bond investors who had supplied the cash to fuel his acquisitions. And as The Times's earlier investigation showed, Mr. Trump secretly leaned on his father's wealth to continue living like a winner and to stage a comeback.

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The new information also suggests that Mr. Trump's 1990 collapse might have struck several years earlier if not for his brief side career posing as a corporate raider. From 1986 through 1988, while his core businesses languished under increasingly unsupportable debt, Mr. Trump made millions of dollars in the stock market by suggesting that he was about to take over companies. But the figures show that he lost most, if not all, of those gains after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously.

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the president has filed lawsuits against his banks and accounting firm to prevent them from turning over tax returns and other financial records.

In New York, the attorney general's office is investigating the financing of several major Trump Organization projects; Deutsche Bank has already begun turning over documents. The state attorney general is also examining issues raised last year by The Times's investigation, which revealed that much of the money Mr. Trump had received from his father came from his participation in dubious tax schemes, including instances of outright fraud.

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At his nadir, in the post-recession autumn of 1991, Mr. Trump testified before a congressional task force, calling for changes in the tax code to benefit his industry.

"The real estate business -- we're in an absolute depression," Mr. Trump told the lawmakers, adding: "I see no sign of any kind of upturn at all. There is no incentive to invest. Everyone is doing badly, everyone."

... [But] While Donald Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 1990 and 1991, Fred Trump's returns showed a positive income of $53.9 million, with only one major loss: $15 million invested in his son's latest apartment project.

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iehi-feed-64707 Wed, 08 May 2019 00:38:09 GMT Reform capitalism or face revolution, billionaires are told at Milken Conference http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_ReformcapitalismorfacerevolutionbillionairesaretoldatMilkenConfe.html If the barricades have not been erected in the streets, they were told several times over, they could soon be unless there is reform of the American economic system.

"It's not whether we should be capitalist or socialist. It's how do we make sure that capitalism is working the way it has in the past," said Alan Schwartz, a managing partner at global investment firm Guggenheim Partners, who warned of "class warfare."

He noted that salaries and wages as a percentage of the economic pie are at a postwar low of 40%, prompting a "throw out the rich" mentality that would require some form of income redistribution to head off.

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Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said that when young people say they favor socialism what they really mean is simply a bigger role for government.

"There's evidence they really don't know what socialism is," he said, pointing out how his students seem to admire European social democracies, which are nonetheless capitalist.

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... it was telling that Milken hosted the conference's last discussion, titled "Keeping the American Dream Alive" and featuring Ray Dalio, who built his Bridgewater Associates into one of the world's largest hedge funds with some $150 billion under management.

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He returned to that theme in his talk, asserting that lack of income growth among the bottom 60% of the population had led to a loss of hope reflected in rising death rates linked to suicides and opiate abuse.

Dalio contrasted that with the New Frontier years of the Kennedy administration, when the nation thought it could eliminate poverty and set a goal to reach the moon. "I think that is the magic of the United States and we are losing that," he said.

It was hard to say that any comprehensive concrete solutions emerged out of the discussion, though there was much talk about the need to improve educational opportunities in lower-income neighborhoods.

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iehi-feed-64702 Sun, 05 May 2019 00:47:04 GMT Sullivan & Cromwell's Rodge Cohen: The Untold Story of the Fed's $29 Trillion (NOT $17T) Bailout http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-04_SullivanCromwellsRodgeCohenTheUntoldStoryoftheFeds29TrillionNOT1.html "The enacted 1991 amendment to Section 13(3) authorized the Fed to make emergency loans to nonbanking firms as long as those loans are ‘secured to the satisfaction of the [Fed],' and the amendment also gave the Fed broad discretion to accept almost any type of collateral from the borrowing firms."

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During Cohen's interview with the FCIC, he is asked if the Fed's financial assistance with Bear was the first time the Fed had used its 13(3) authority to help a nonbank. Cohen states that "To my knowledge it is the first time and the initial but fleeting reaction was we've never done it before, what sort of precedent are we creating for ourselves."

It was not the first time the Fed had used 13(3) to assist a nonbank. It was simply the first time the Fed had showered money like a drunken sailor with an unlimited ATM card to the Fed's discount window. According to a history provided by David Fettig, a Senior Advisor to the Minneapolis Fed, Section 13(3) "was used sparingly, and just 123 loans were made" from 1932 to 1936. The loans totaled $1.5 million -- that's $27.3 million in today's dollars. The 1936 loans were the last time 13(3) was invoked until 2007.

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iehi-feed-64699 Fri, 03 May 2019 18:42:57 GMT Developers struggling to sell 'Billionaires' Row' apartments http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-03_DevelopersstrugglingtosellBillionairesRowapartments.html Swank apartments are begging for buyers on Manhattan's "Billionaires' Row" -- with more than 40% sitting unsold in towers that top out at 100 stories, The Post has learned.

Five years after the iconic One57 building became the city's first "supertall" residential skyscraper, only 84 of its 132 pricey condos have been bought -- leaving more than a third of them still on the market and none under contract, according to data compiled by leading appraiser and researcher Jonathan Miller.

Six other nearby buildings have as much as 80% of their units available, the figures show, with the total value of all the unsold inventory estimated by one analyst at between $5 billion and $7 billion.

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Lenz said the high prices were caused by a combination of factors, including the costs of property, construction, financing and high-end marketing -- and savvy developers who have clauses in their contracts that keep lenders from forcing them to drop prices, thereby cutting into their profits.

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iehi-feed-64689 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 21:17:45 GMT Seth Meyers Rants At Elites and Political Dysfunction (4/17/19) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-18_SethMeyersRantsAtElitesandPoliticalDysfunction41719.html iehi-feed-64685 Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:58:52 GMT Trump tax cuts: Most people didn't even notice http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-17_TrumptaxcutsMostpeopledidntevennotice.html ``As Americans rush Monday to finish with their own tax filings, their judgment on Trump's beloved tax cut bill is pretty clear: Most really don't like it. Multiple polls show a majority of Americans don't think they got a tax cut at all -- even though independent analyses show they did. And only about a third of the country approves of the legislation itself, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress at the end of 2017.''

This is 100% what we expected; if you don't make tax cuts economically significant for most people, duh, they won't notice. It never mattered if peanuts were being thrown to the proles while large cuts were being given to the wealthy and major corporations. Why would it? You can stoke fake hysteria about immigrants and muslim terrorists all you want, and certain people will buy into that -- precisely because it's imaginary -- but you can't fake what's in people's wallets. Trump told his fans he'd make them "so rich", and that clearly didn't happen. Of course, one could only have believed that if one fell for the con of a seasoned con artist...

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iehi-feed-64679 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 22:18:31 GMT Fed minutes show re-starting QE purchases already on the table http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_FedminutesshowrestartingQEpurchasesalreadyonthetable.html The minutes revealed a debate inside the Fed about when the bank should resume purchases of Treasurys after it ends it balance-sheet runoff... Several wanted to resume purchases "relatively soon," the minutes showed, but "some" preferred to let the average level of reserves decline naturally for awhile in the hopes that it would give the Fed a sense of underlying demand by banks.

The outcome of such a debate, though arcane, is important. Some outside critics contend the Fed balance-sheet process contributed to the stock-market meltdown in December. Senior Fed officials want to make sure whatever they do reduces instability in the U.S. financial system.

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iehi-feed-64677 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 14:52:53 GMT Trump Says U.S. Is Full, but Demographic Decline Is Real Threat http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_TrumpSaysUSIsFullbutDemographicDeclineIsRealThreat.html iehi-feed-64675 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 04:28:12 GMT Retiring as a Judge, Trump's Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Clan's Tax Dodges http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_RetiringasaJudgeTrumpsSisterEndsCourtInquiryIntoHerRoleinClansTa.html President Trump's older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.

The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

Judge Barry, now 82, has not heard cases in more than two years but was still listed as an inactive senior judge, one step short of full retirement. In a letter dated Feb. 1, a court official notified the four individuals who had filed the complaints that the investigation was "receiving the full attention" of a judicial conduct council. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

Nothing to see here...

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iehi-feed-64673 Wed, 10 Apr 2019 22:20:49 GMT Vice President Mike Pence backs Trump's call to lower interest rates (DESPITE "BULLISH" ECONOMY) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-10_VicePresidentMikePencebacksTrumpscalltolowerinterestratesDESPITE.html iehi-feed-64669 Mon, 08 Apr 2019 14:35:28 GMT Ray Dalio: Capitalism's Income Inequality Is (The Real) National Emergency http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-08_RayDalioCapitalismsIncomeInequalityIsTheRealNationalEmergency.html While President Donald Trump is focused on the national emergency he's declared to secure the southern U.S. border, the billionaire founder of the world's biggest hedge fund is more worried about losing the American dream.

Capitalism must be reformed because it's not producing enough opportunities for most Americans, creating an income gap that threatens to spark conflict, Ray Dalio, the Bridgewater Associates co-chairman, said in an interview airing Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes."

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Dalio, expressed similar sentiments in an essay posted April 4 on LinkedIn. He pointed to statistics including that the bottom 60 percent of income-earners in the U.S. keep falling further behind the top 40 percent -- and that the percentage of children who grow up to earn more than their parents has fallen to 50 percent today from 90 percent in 1970.

The income gap is about as high as ever, and the wealth gap is the highest since the late 1930s because the wealth of the top 1 percent of the population is more than that of the bottom 90 percent combined, Dalio said.

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iehi-feed-64667 Mon, 08 Apr 2019 04:53:11 GMT Gold Bullion Latest News: China Adds for 4th Month http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-08_GoldBullionLatestNewsChinaAddsfor4thMonth.html China, the world's top gold producer and consumer, is facing signs of a slowing economy, even as progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. The latest data from the PBOC indicate that the country has resumed adding gold to its reserves at a steady pace, much like the period from mid-2015 to October 2016, when the country boosted holdings almost every month. Should China continue to accumulate bullion at the current rate over 2019, it may end the year as the top buyer after Russia, which added 274 tons in 2018.

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Governments worldwide added 651.5 tons of bullion in 2018, the second-highest total on record, according to the World Gold Council. ... Spot gold fell for a second month in March even after the Federal Reserve signaled it would pause rate hikes, which led to a surge in equities instead.

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China has previously gone long periods without revealing increases in gold holdings. When the central bank announced a 57 percent jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces in mid-2015, it was the first update in six years. The latest pause was from October 2016 until December last year.

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