Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62319 Sun, 28 May 2017 17:42:46 GMT The Fed Will Blink http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-28_TheFedWillBlink.html iehi-feed-62317 Sun, 28 May 2017 17:29:09 GMT Lack of Workers, Not Work, Weighs on the Nation's Economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-28_LackofWorkersNotWorkWeighsontheNationsEconomy.html `` labor shortages are weighing on overall economic growth, slowing the pace of expansion in northern Utah and other fast-growing regions even as unemployment remains stubbornly high in Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and in regions still recovering from the 2008 recession, like inland California.

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Companies in Utah, as in the rest of the country, were slow to raise wages in recent years. At first there were plenty of available workers. But by the end of 2015, a report by Utah's Department of Workforce Services concluded that inadequate wages had become a key reason companies were struggling to find employees.

"It was as if employers hadn't adjusted their approach to the labor market" as the economy recovered, said Carrie Mayne, the department's chief economist.

Now there are signs the logjam is breaking. Adam Himoff, the president of Xemplar Skilled Workforce Solutions, a recruiting firm hired by Roofers Supply to find drivers, said he had seen an increase this year in the willingness of clients to raise wages.

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But the share of Utah adults who have withdrawn from the labor force remains higher than before the recession. Last year, 31.7 percent of adults in Utah were neither working nor looking for work, up from 28.2 percent in 2006. That is part of a broad national trend.

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even in a red-hot market, some of the people who are looking for work struggle to find the right fit. Noel Nampijja, 42, left her job as a nurse's aide two months ago because the work of moving patients was hurting her back. She just completed training as a phlebotomist, a medical assistant who draws blood.

Looks like pay increases outside of a few hot, tech-centric areas (which have been floated on cheap capital thanks to the Fed) are still sluggish. So this is yet another aspect of a bifurcated economy. Sadly, we're probably at or close to a peak in wages, with the Fed set on a rate-hike path. That means the plug will get pulled from these "hot" sectors...

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iehi-feed-62315 Sun, 28 May 2017 17:13:11 GMT Low Volatility Is Market's Most Significant Danger http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-28_LowVolatilityIsMarketsMostSignificantDanger.html iehi-feed-62314 Sat, 27 May 2017 15:10:01 GMT Global Pension Underfunding Will Grow To $400 Trillion Over Next 30 Years: World Economic Forum http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-27_GlobalPensionUnderfundingWillGrowTo400TrillionOverNext30YearsWor.html iehi-feed-62313 Sat, 27 May 2017 15:00:24 GMT UK retirement age could hit 80 as pensions deficit sets off time bomb http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-27_UKretirementagecouldhit80aspensionsdeficitsetsofftimebomb.html The UK has been told to prepare for a workforce of 80-year-olds as the world's leading economies struggle to deal with a £54 trillion pensions time bomb. The amount could balloon to an astonishing £334 trillion by 2050 unless policymakers take urgent action, the World Economic Forum has warned.

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"Policymakers do need to be thinking now about how to integrate 75- and even 80-year-olds in the workplace," Michael Drexler, head of financial and infrastructure systems for the WEF told The Financial Times.

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iehi-feed-62311 Fri, 26 May 2017 16:24:18 GMT Donald Trump and NATO: Why His Silence on Article 5 Is a Big Deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_DonaldTrumpandNATOWhyHisSilenceonArticle5IsaBigDeal.html iehi-feed-62310 Fri, 26 May 2017 16:18:24 GMT It's time to plan an escape route, for you and your money, from Trumpland http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_ItstimetoplananescaperouteforyouandyourmoneyfromTrumpland.html iehi-feed-62309 Fri, 26 May 2017 16:12:51 GMT Japan, South Korea drive global bitcoin prices as retail investor pile in http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_JapanSouthKoreadriveglobalbitcoinpricesasretailinvestorpilein.html Japanese and South Korean buying helped drive the price of bitcoin to an all-time high this week, with the digital currency more than doubling its value since the start of the year, analysts and market practitioners said on Friday.

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In Japan and South Korea, among the largest markets for bitcoin globally, bitcoin traded at a premium of more than $300 higher above the global average, according to CryptoCompare.com.

The rally appeared to have been driven by new buying from smaller retail investors, suggesting bitcoins are increasingly viewed among the general investing public as an alternative asset class much like gold, analysts said.

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iehi-feed-62308 Fri, 26 May 2017 16:09:55 GMT Fed faces a 'surprise' problem on U.S. inflation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_FedfacesasurpriseproblemonUSinflation.html iehi-feed-62306 Fri, 26 May 2017 14:51:30 GMT Not a little list: EU draws up Brexit bill http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_NotalittlelistEUdrawsupBrexitbill.html iehi-feed-62304 Fri, 26 May 2017 14:18:50 GMT The investigation of Jared Kushner fits a very troubling pattern http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-26_TheinvestigationofJaredKushnerfitsaverytroublingpattern.html iehi-feed-62303 Fri, 26 May 2017 00:34:13 GMT Trump's Budget Is a Waste of Everybody's Time http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_TrumpsBudgetIsaWasteofEverybodysTime.html The Trump administration has until now said its planned tax cuts would pay for themselves by pushing economic growth to 3 percent a year -- a claim already seen as outlandish by every serious analyst, liberal and conservative alike. The budget appears to go one better: It says this boost in growth will be sufficient not just to maintain revenue (despite the cut in rates) but will actually raise revenue by $2 trillion over 10 years compared with current policy. Perhaps somebody just made a dumb mistake, counting the revenue from faster growth twice over. With this administration, it's wise not to rule it out.

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Trump's budget has been almost universally called dead on arrival. That may be an understatement. This plan, if you can call it that, was never capable of life. White House budgets are often set aside, yet still can guide deliberations in Congress, where tax and spending decisions actually get made. This budget serves no such purpose. It is simply an extended tweet, and a waste of everybody's time.

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iehi-feed-62302 Thu, 25 May 2017 22:53:51 GMT Paul Manafort's Lucrative Ukraine Years Are Central to the Russia Probe http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_PaulManafortsLucrativeUkraineYearsAreCentraltotheRussiaProbe.html Until recently, Manafort had receded into the background as the uproar over Trump's firing of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and then the FBI director, James Comey, began to shake the White House.

But the Manafort story--a tale of pro-Russia players, political tradecraft and cunning financial maneuvers--has never gone away. The reason, in a word, is money. Manafort, who less than a year ago was playing a central role in the Trump campaign, made millions of dollars over a decade promoting Kremlin-friendly interests in Ukraine and beyond. No other Trump associate has profited as handsomely from ties to Russia-linked businessmen and politicians.

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Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating what they call a "criminal organization" set up by Yanukovych via bribes and theft of state assets before he fled to Moscow after the killing of more than 100 protesters in 2014, and they are looking at what role Manafort may have played in the suspected scheme. They've repeatedly asked the FBI for help to question Manafort as part of their inquiry into a New York law firm in connection to a report that largely defended the Tymoshenko prosecution.

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In the five-year period from 2007 to 2012, Manafort was paid at least $12.7 million, according to a handwritten Party of Regions ledger found later in its head office. Ukraine's anti-corruption bureau and the FBI are investigating whether the ledger reflected any illegal payments to Manafort and to others. Manafort's spokesman says that after being paid he had many expenses and so the payment figure does not represent profit. One payment to Manafort on the ledger matches an invoice he signed in 2009 to sell $750,000 of computers to a Belize-registered company called Neocom Systems Ltd., according to documents obtained by Leshchenko from Manafort's Kiev office.

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Even after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and Yanukovych fled to Russia, Manafort returned to Ukraine 17 times, earning at least $1 million to help reelect pro-Russia politicians, according to a party official who worked with him. Manafort's spokesman declined to comment on that payment.

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While working in Ukraine, Manafort earned millions from a side private equity fund with Deripaska, according to a lawsuit by Deripaska, who is suing Manafort in the Cayman Islands over the soured business partnership. Deripaska declined to comment.

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"He was going for visceral issues and an emotional reaction," says Kateryna Yushchenko, the American-born wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko and a onetime State Department and White House official. "When I confronted his people about it, they said, ‘That's politics.' I said this isn't like gun rights or abortion. Here it could lead to war."

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Within months of his victory, Yanukovych ordered criminal investigations into Tymoshenko, culminating in a sentence of seven years in jail. Condemned around the world, her prosecution would become a flashpoint in negotiations between Ukraine and the European Union on an association agreement.

Manafort was closely involved in recruiting the firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLC on behalf of the Ukrainian Justice Ministry to write a lengthy report on Tymoshenko's prosecution. He met with Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych to go over the contract with Skadden and emailed with Skadden partner Greg Craig, according to documents uncovered by Ukrainian prosecutors. The ministry agreed to pay Skadden a mere $12,000, just below the threshold requiring it to go to a public tender. But much more money was to come to Skadden.

Prosecutors believe Manafort drew up a six-page media strategy plan with FTI Consulting on how to use the Skadden report, based on documents they have examined. The report, released at the end of 2012, criticized some aspects of the case but concluded that the evidence supported her conviction and that her due process rights hadn't been violated. After the document's release, Skadden signed a new contract with the ministry in 2013 that envisaged "additional work" and paid the firm $1 million, the prosecutors say, noting that no additional work was done. FTI declined to comment.

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iehi-feed-62301 Thu, 25 May 2017 22:21:11 GMT For China Now, the Only Question Is the Size of the Bill http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_ForChinaNowtheOnlyQuestionIstheSizeoftheBill.html iehi-feed-62299 Thu, 25 May 2017 17:08:38 GMT Fed Minutes Hint at Rate Hike in June, Slow Balance Sheet Unwind http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_FedMinutesHintatRateHikeinJuneSlowBalanceSheetUnwind.html Minutes from the Federal Reserve's May 2-3 meeting showed that policymakers anticipate a rate hike soon, possibly in the central bank meeting next month. At the same time, by agreeing to shrink the balance sheet gradually over a number of years, the Federal Open Market Committee has minimized possibilities of market gyrations and its impact on economic growth.

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The Fed also moved toward a consensus on a proposal to gradually unwind the massive balance sheet built up over the course of the asset buying program that was the core of Fed's quantitative strategy... But the Fed does not want to reduce the massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet at one go. Rather, it plans to let it shrink as the securities mature. The Fed officials did agree to end the reinvestment of principal of maturing securities in slow but increasing stages. Such an approach will stay on auto-pilot, until and unless there is major deterioration in the domestic economic front.

Even a maturation-based unwind is going to be a lot for the market to swallow... it has become dependent upon the Fed soaking up a huge amount of issuance in the last 9 years...

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iehi-feed-62298 Thu, 25 May 2017 17:01:10 GMT OPEC, non-OPEC extend oil output cut by nine months to fight glut http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_OPECnonOPECextendoiloutputcutbyninemonthstofightglut.html OPEC and non-members led by Russia decided on Thursday to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 as they battle a global glut of crude after seeing prices halve and revenues drop sharply in the past three years.

OPEC's cuts have helped to push oil back above $50 a barrel this year, giving a fiscal boost to producers, many of which rely heavily on energy revenues and have had to burn through foreign-currency reserves to plug holes in their budgets...

The price rise this year has spurred growth in the U.S. shale industry, which is not participating in the output deal, thus slowing the market's rebalancing with global crude stocks still near record highs.

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iehi-feed-62297 Thu, 25 May 2017 14:46:33 GMT The great London property squeeze sees spillover into substandard housing http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_ThegreatLondonpropertysqueezeseesspilloverintosubstandardhousing.html There is a direct link between the wealth of those at the top and the capital's housing crisis -- which affects not just those at the bottom but the majority of Londoners who struggle to buy properties, or pay extortionate rents. The 2008 financial crash created a new politics of space, in which people on low incomes are forced out of their homes by rising rent and the wealthy are encouraged to use property for profit. These trends are not limited to London. The same currents of global capital are also transforming San Francisco, New York and Vancouver, European cities from Berlin to Barcelona and towns and cities in the UK from Bristol and Manchester to Margate and Hastings. This isn't gentrification, it's another phenomenon entirely. Global capital is being allowed to reconfigure the country.

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The shortage of affordable housing has given rise to a range of problems in private rented accommodation, from slum landlords and "beds in sheds" to middle-class Londoners under the age of 45 who can no longer afford to live in the city. A generation is being affected and our essential services, such as hospitals and schools, and the majority of our small and medium-sized businesses, are being undermined.

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Although it is notoriously difficult to get accurate figures, a 2013 report by the Migrants' Rights Network concluded that Ealing may have as many as 60,000 occupants in illegal structures, and Slough borough council, which deployed planes equipped with thermal imaging equipment in an effort to spot them, may have as many as 6,000 beds in sheds. In 2013 a BBC investigation found estate agents renting out beds in sheds in Willesden Green and Harrow.

Newham's licensing scheme has been widely praised, and many councils have expressed wishes to emulate it. But in 2015, to the delight of landlords, the government made it clear it did not want to extend the scheme's use, with then housing minister Brandon Lewis describing licensing as a "tenants' tax".

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iehi-feed-62296 Thu, 25 May 2017 14:36:15 GMT Rickards: Signs of Bubble Capitulation Pile Up; Extent Exceeds 1929 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_RickardsSignsofBubbleCapitulationPileUpExtentExceeds1929.html iehi-feed-62292 Thu, 25 May 2017 14:19:17 GMT China's Rating Cut Exposes Firms Hooked on Dollar Borrowing http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-25_ChinasRatingCutExposesFirmsHookedonDollarBorrowing.html While Chinese companies' foreign-currency debt is only a fraction of the $9 trillion local bond market, China Inc. is on pace for record dollar bond sales this year after the authorities' crackdown on financial leverage drove up borrowing costs at home. Overseas borrowing has also been part of the government's strategy to encourage capital inflows in a bid to ease the depreciation pressure on the yuan.

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Moody's lowered China's rating to A1 from Aa3 on Wednesday, citing a worsening debt outlook. Moody's also downgraded the ratings of 26 non-financial corporate and infrastructure government-related issuers by one level. China's Finance Ministry blasted the move as "absolutely groundless," saying the ratings company has underestimated the capability of the government to deepen reform and boost demand.

"The economy is dependent on policy stimulus and with that comes higher leverage," Marie Diron, associate managing director, Moody's Sovereign Risk Group, said on Bloomberg Television after the announcement. "Corporate debt is really the big part."

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iehi-feed-62291 Wed, 24 May 2017 15:19:40 GMT Real Median Household Income Highest Since 2002 (But M2 Money Velocity Continues To Tank) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-05-24_RealMedianHouseholdIncomeHighestSince2002ButM2MoneyVelocityConti.html