Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-61739 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:14:21 GMT Goldman Sachs: Market investors have a letdown coming http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_GoldmanSachsMarketinvestorshavealetdowncoming.html iehi-feed-61738 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:10:07 GMT OPEC's Pushing for Full Compliance With Oil Cuts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_OPECsPushingforFullComplianceWithOilCuts.html "We are going to go for much higher levels of compliance because of the very high level of stocks that we have brought over with us from 2016," Mohammad Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in a Bloomberg television interview in London. "Anything less than 100 percent is not satisfactory" and OPEC expects to achieve that level "in due course."

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Oil has held above $50 a barrel since OPEC and 11 other nations started trimming output. The exporters group implemented about 90 percent of the pledged cuts last month and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the market will shift into supply deficit in the first half, although U.S. crude stockpiles have kept increasing to the highest level in more than three decades.

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iehi-feed-61735 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:23:51 GMT Bailout Negotiators Get Go-ahead to Return to Greece; IMF Role Still In Question http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_BailoutNegotiatorsGetGoaheadtoReturntoGreeceIMFRoleStillInQuesti.html Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what economic reforms the country must make next in order to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy and a potential exit from the euro this summer.

The creditors also hinted that they would temper their demands for budget cuts -- a welcome thought for austerity-weary Greeks who have seen poverty and unemployment spike as their economy shrank by a quarter over the recent crisis-ridden years.

"There will be a change in the policy mix, if you will, moving perhaps away from austerity and putting more emphasis on deep reforms," said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official.

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Still, there are other potential hurdles to be cleared before the IMF does get involved. One key issue relates to Greece's debt profile over the coming decades. The IMF forecasts Greece's debt will, as things stand, swell to a staggering 275 percent by 2060 from around 180 percent now.

As a result, it's urging the Europeans to come up with a substantive package of debt relief measures. The eurozone countries, notably Germany, have ruled out an outright debt reduction but are open to other kinds of debt relief, such as extending Greece's repayment periods or capping the interest rates at relatively low levels. Debt relief discussions will recommence once agreement on the next batch of Greek reforms is concluded.

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iehi-feed-61734 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:16:51 GMT (Renewed) Eastern Ukraine ceasefire begins http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_RenewedEasternUkraineceasefirebegins.html A ceasefire aimed at ending the bloody fight between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists started Monday -- but is already on shaky ground... Russian President Vladimir Putin effectively withdrew from the Minsk agreement last week by signing an executive order recognizing travel documents issued by the separatist authorities in the region.

The Russians paint this move as humanitarian -- which is probably at least half true. But the article doesn't bother to mention that Kiev has not implemented its half of the Minsk deal: delegating power to the Eastern Ukraine region, so that provisions like local travel documents wouldn't even be necessary in the first place.

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iehi-feed-61733 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:47:00 GMT Chinese Banks' Off-Book Lending Vehicles Exceed $3.8 Trillion, Up 30% Y-O-Y http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_ChineseBanksOffBookLendingVehiclesExceed38TrillionUp30YOY.html Chinese banks had more than 26 trillion yuan ($3.8 trillion) of wealth-management products held off their balance sheets at the end of December, a 30 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the central bank.

The expansion of this form of shadow banking, with money eventually being diverted to quasi-loans and bonds, outpaced the 10 percent growth for normal lending during the same period, raising risks for the broader economy and undermining the country's "deleveraging" efforts, the People's Bank of China said Friday in its quarterly monetary policy report.

Remind anyone of another three-letter-acronym... like "SIV" perhaps?

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iehi-feed-61731 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:50:13 GMT Spain's Senior Central Bankers Called To Testify on Bankia Debacle http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_SpainsSeniorCentralBankersCalledToTestifyonBankiaDebacle.html As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain's frankenbank Bankia -- which had been assembled from the festering corpses of seven already defunct saving banks -- Spain's national court called to testify six current and former directors of the Bank of Spain, including its former governor, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and its former deputy governor (and current head of the Bank of International Settlements' Financial Stability Institute), Fernando Restoy. It also summoned for questioning Julio Segura, the former president of Spain's financial markets regulator, the CNMV (the Spanish equivalent of the SEC in the US).

The six central bankers and one financial regulator stand accused of authorizing the public launch of Bankia in 2011 despite repeated warnings from the Bank of Spain's own team of inspectors that the banking group was "unviable."

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iehi-feed-61730 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:32:27 GMT Greenspan: Gold is "Primary Global Currency" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_GreenspanGoldisPrimaryGlobalCurrency.html iehi-feed-61729 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:30:38 GMT Continuing Global Dollar "Shortage" Implies High Systemic Stress http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_ContinuingGlobalDollarShortageImpliesHighSystemicStress.html iehi-feed-61728 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:29:25 GMT BlackRock: "We're on the precipice of a breakout in inflation" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_BlackRockWereontheprecipiceofabreakoutininflation.html iehi-feed-61727 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:42:10 GMT ‘From bad to worse': Greece hurtles towards a final reckoning http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_FrombadtoworseGreecehurtlestowardsafinalreckoning.html "We had an agreement," insisted Balaouras, looking despondently down at his desert boots. "We kept to our side of the deal, but the lenders haven't kept to their side because now they are asking for more. We want the review to end. We want to go forward. This situation is in the interests of no one. But to get there we have to have an honourable compromise. Without that there will be a clash."

It had been hoped that an agreement would be struck on Monday at what had been billed as a high-stakes meeting of euro area finance ministers. On Friday, EU officials announced that the deadline had been all but missed because there had been little convergence between the two sides.

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The country's epic struggle to avert bankruptcy should have been settled when Athens received €110bn in aid -- the biggest financial rescue programme in global history -- from the EU and International Monetary Fund in May 2010. Instead, three bailouts later, it is still wrangling over the terms of the latest €86bn emergency loan package, with lenders also at loggerheads and diplomats no longer talking of a can, but rather a bomb, being kicked down the road. Default looms if a €7.4bn debt repayment -- money owed mostly to the European Central Bank -- is not honoured in July.

Amid the uncertainty, volatility has returned to the markets. So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year. With talk of Greece's exit from the euro being heard again, farmers, trade unions and other sectors enraged by the eviscerating effects of austerity have once more come out in protest.

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"Grexit is the last thing we want, but we may arrive at a point of serious dilemmas," said Venizelos. "Whatever deal is reached will be very difficult to implement, but that notwithstanding, it is not the memoranda [the bailout accords] that caused the crisis. The crisis was born in Greece long before."

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iehi-feed-61726 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:37:52 GMT Greek Banks worry over sudden bad loan spike in January http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreekBanksworryoversuddenbadloanspikeinJanuary.html Bank sources say that after several months of stabilization and of a negative growth rate in new nonperforming exposure,the picture deteriorated rapidly in January, as new bad loans estimated at 800 million euros in total were created.

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Bank officials attribute the phenomenon to uncertainty from the government's inability to complete the second bailout review, fears for a rekindling of the crisis and mainly the expectations of borrowers for extrajudicial settlements of bad loans.

Senior bank officials note that a large number of borrowers will not cooperate with their lenders in reaching an agreement for the restructuring of their debts, in the hope that the introduction by the government of the extrajudicial compromise could lead to better terms and possibly even to a debt haircut

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iehi-feed-61725 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:35:57 GMT Greeks Turn to the Black Market as Another Bailout Showdown Looms http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreeksTurntotheBlackMarketasAnotherBailoutShowdownLooms.html Few problems are more ingrained, or harder to combat, than the shadow economy, which appears to be growing again as new austerity measures compel once law-abiding Greeks to go off the books. Greece's black market is estimated at 20 to 25 percent of the gross domestic product, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, by some estimates, have risen to 70 percent of an individual's gross income.

As of last month, unpaid taxes in Greece had soared to 95 billion euros, up from €76 billion two years ago. Most of that is considered uncollectable.

"The heart of the matter for an ever-rising number of citizens and businesses is that they simply do not have the financial resources anymore to meet their rising tax obligations," said Jens Bastian, an economist and a member of a team of European Union specialists that helped supervise the country's earlier bailouts.''

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Yiannis [a media consultant] said he had also registered a company in Bulgaria, where the business tax rate is 10 percent, so that he could keep issuing receipts for freelance work. Tens of thousands of Greeks have been registering companies in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Luxembourg and other low-tax countries to avoid paying the higher tax bills at home -- which means less revenue for Greece's coffers and creates unfair competition for tax-paying entrepreneurs who could potentially play a bigger role in the revival of Greece's economy.

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The revenue that [Mr. Ladas, who runs a fire safety equipment company] does earn is steadily being eaten away. When he opened, he kept around 60 percent of his profit, after taxes. Today, his take is about 30 percent, after tax increases approved by the Greek government to meet budget-cutting and revenue targets imposed by creditors.

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iehi-feed-61724 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:59:15 GMT Expert: Australia headed for ‘economic armageddon' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_ExpertAustraliaheadedforeconomicarmageddon.html iehi-feed-61723 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:57:44 GMT Greek Taxes Increases Strangle Its People http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreekTaxesIncreasesStrangleItsPeople.html iehi-feed-61722 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:29:23 GMT Jim Rickards: China Disaster to Trigger Gold Run, Trump to Appoint 5 of 7 Fed Governors http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_JimRickardsChinaDisastertoTriggerGoldRunTrumptoAppoint5of7FedGov.html When you look at the Chinese banking system, private estimates are that the bad debts are 25% of total assets. Banks usually run with 5, maybe 7-8% capital. Even if you said 10% capital, well, if 25% of your assets are bad, that completely wipes out your capital, so the Chinese banking system is technically insolvent, even though they don't admit that. I mean, they cook the books, they take these bad loans.

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So, if you just say, "Well, I've got 900 billion in the kitty, it's going out the door at 50 to 100 billion a month," I'm going to be broke by the end of 2017. That's what I mean by going broke. You say, "Well, wait a second. Where did the 1.1 trillion, the first part we talked about that the reserve position went down, where did the money go? It didn't disappear." Well, no, it didn't disappear. What's happening is that everybody in China is getting their money out. They're scared to death that the yuan's going to devalue, so what are the Chinese doing? By hook or by crook, some of it's legitimate, some of it's corrupt, some of it involves bribery, some of it involves false invoicing.

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iehi-feed-61721 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:34:46 GMT Norway Central Bank Chief Warns of ‘Sharp' Drop in Wealth Fund http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-18_NorwayCentralBankChiefWarnsofSharpDropinWealthFund.html Governor Oystein Olsen said that the continued rise in oil cash spending, which now accounts for about 20 percent of the budget and 8 percent of gross domestic product, must now be halted to protect the $900 billion fund, the world's largest sovereign pool of cash.

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Government withdrawals from the fund are estimated to jump about 25 percent this year after an historic first outflow last year. The Conservative-led government was last year forced to dip into the oil fund for the first time to cover budget needs and protect the economy amid a plunge in oil prices.

... [The central bank] sees a 1 percent chance of a 50 percent decline over 10 years if spending is kept at the current level of about 3 percent of the fund. If spending is raised to 4 percent that probability rises to about 5 percent. If the fund's allocation to stocks is boosted to 75 percent from 60 percent, which is currently being discussed, the probabilities rise even further to about 2 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

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iehi-feed-61720 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:49:36 GMT Bill Gates' Latest Odd (And Hypocritical) Idea - Let's Tax The Robots Stealing Our Jobs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-18_BillGatesLatestOddAndHypocriticalIdeaLetsTaxTheRobotsStealingOur.html iehi-feed-61718 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:57:54 GMT "Bank run" under Capital Controls: Greeks withdraw €2.5bn in 45 days http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_BankrununderCapitalControlsGreekswithdraw25bnin45days.html iehi-feed-61717 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:51:32 GMT Mary Jo White, the SEC's Revolving Door with Wall Street, and "Draining the Swamp" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_MaryJoWhitetheSECsRevolvingDoorwithWallStreetandDrainingtheSwamp.html In February 2015, the New York Times reported that the conflicts of White and her husband had resulted in her recusing herself "from more than four dozen enforcement investigations." Instead of an SEC Chair, that sounds like a part-time worker.

Given this demoralizing experience with the gold-plated Washington-Wall Street revolving door, one would have expected that President Trump, the man promising to drain the swamp in Washington, to have come up with a better plan for stewardship of the SEC. Instead, Trump's doubling down. His nominee for SEC Chair is Jay Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, which has represented Goldman Sachs since the late 1800s. On top of that, Clayton's wife is a Vice President of (wait for it) Goldman Sachs.

Until there is meaningful legislative reform of political campaign financing and revolving door appointments, Americans will continue to be relegated to the status of dumb tourist in their own country

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iehi-feed-61716 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:04:55 GMT Student Debt in America Has Hit a New Record http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_StudentDebtinAmericaHasHitaNewRecord.html