Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-65027 Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:35:37 GMT WeWork Considers Rescue Plans From SoftBank and JPMorgan As Val Cut To $8bln http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-22_WeWorkConsidersRescuePlansFromSoftBankandJPMorganAsValCutTo8bln.html The board of WeWork, the cash-starved purveyor of shared office space, could choose between two competing financial rescue packages as early as Tuesday, according to people with knowledge of the matter. One is being offered by SoftBank, and another from a financial consortium led by JPMorgan Chase.

SoftBank, a Japanese technology giant that is already the largest outside shareholder in WeWork, is offering to take a controlling stake by accelerating a $1.5 billion investment it had planned to make next year and by buying up to $3 billion in shares held by other investors, two people said. SoftBank is also offering to put together loans totaling $5 billion from a consortium of financial institutions, including itself.

JPMorgan's proposal consists of several parts, including new bonds, some of which would carry high interest rates, according to a person with knowledge of its plans. That package could add up to roughly $5 billion.

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iehi-feed-65021 Sun, 20 Oct 2019 18:20:53 GMT Trump's (Now-Cancelled) Doral G7 Move, Even if Gratis, Would Have Likely Boosted Ailing Property http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-20_TrumpsNowCancelledDoralG7MoveEvenifGratisWouldHaveLikelyBoostedA.html iehi-feed-65015 Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:11:47 GMT Ray Dalio says the world is in a 'great sag' and echoes the 1930s http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-18_RayDaliosaystheworldisinagreatsagandechoesthe1930s.html "This cycle is fading, we are now in the world in what I would call a ‘great sag'," said Dalio, adding that monetary policy, and especially interest rate reductions, were unlikely to offer much stimulus.

"Europe is at the limitation of that, Japan is (too) and the U.S. doesn't have much to go on for that," he told CNBC's Geoff Cutmore.

Dalio said the world was also experiencing the biggest wealth gap since the 1930s and that was creating political stress.

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iehi-feed-65012 Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:19:09 GMT Holding G-7 at Trump's Doral resort is shameless - The Washington Examiner http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-17_HoldingG7atTrumpsDoralresortisshamelessTheWashingtonExaminer.html iehi-feed-65006 Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:04:56 GMT Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies (MANAFORT-ESQUE BANK FRAUD BY TRUMPIE) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-16_NeverBeforeSeenTrumpTaxDocumentsShowMajorInconsistenciesMANAFORT.html Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump's businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender -- and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings' property tax.

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A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are "versions of fraud," said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. "This kind of stuff is not OK."

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iehi-feed-65004 Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:03:39 GMT One look at this and you'll get why Warren Buffett sits on a record cash pile http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-16_OnelookatthisandyoullgetwhyWarrenBuffettsitsonarecordcashpile.html ... the ratio [of the Wiltshire 5000 to the GDP] suggests valuations are at a level not seen since the internet bubble two decades ago, prompting Evans to warn that there's "very little to the upside" and "very much to the downside" in the current climate.

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Can the market keep chugging along in the face of historic valuations? Evans says it's possible but investors "will need a theme to fuel the delusion."

Those themes could come in the form of "QE Forever," though he says that's not likely. "That jig is almost up and any further rise in inflation will put a stake through its heart," Evans wrote in his post.

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iehi-feed-65002 Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:45:56 GMT Articles on the Fed's Secret Trillions in Loans to Wall Street During '08 Crisis Have Fallen Into Bloomberg's "Memory Hole" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-15_ArticlesontheFedsSecretTrillionsinLoanstoWallStreetDuring08Crisi.html At the time of Pittman's death, the Fed was still refusing to release the details of its secret loans, despite losing its court battle at the Federal District Court. The appellate court decision against the Fed would not come until March 19, 2010, four months after Pittman's death. Even then, the Fed did not release the data. First it asked for a rehearing by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. When that was rejected, a Wall Street consortium of banks, that were the recipients of the trillions of dollars in secret loans, appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. That appeal failed as well and the Fed was forced to release its data in 2011. When all of its bailout programs were tallied up, the tab came to a staggering, cumulative $29 trillion -- all transacted without the involvement or awareness of anyone elected to office by the American people. Congress remained in the dark throughout this period as trillions of dollars were sluiced to Wall Street, foreign banks, insolvent banks, even hedge funds that were shorting (betting against) the market.

Now the Fed has turned on its unaccountable money spigot to Wall Street once again and is attempting to pass it off as part of its normal open market operations --  keeping Congress and the American people in the dark. To date, the Fed has refused to name which Wall Street firms are taking the hundreds of billions of dollars in revolving loans and how much each is receiving.

... To our shock and dismay, many of Pittman's articles that we found referenced in academic journals about the Fed have been purged from Bloomberg News. (We asked Bloomberg via email to explain its removal of these articles but have yet to hear back. We'll update this article should we receive a response.)

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iehi-feed-65001 Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:28:27 GMT WeWork set to sack 2,000 staff as anger towards founder Adam Neumann grows http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-15_WeWorksettosack2000staffasangertowardsfounderAdamNeumanngrows.html Some WeWork executives were in line for million-dollar payouts if the sale had gone ahead and are now likely to get nothing and could even lose their jobs.

One worker said: "I left crypto to join an even more ludicrous ‘parody, IRL [in real life]' enterprise. Didn't even think that was possible."

Neumann, 40, cashed in around $700m of his own shares in WeWork before a share sale that at one point valued WeWork at $47bn. The company has begun attracting larger tenants, including IBM and Microsoft. The Guardian uses a WeWork space in California.

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iehi-feed-64997 Fri, 11 Oct 2019 20:42:09 GMT Treasury will again borrow $1 trillion to pay for tax cuts, spending http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-11_Treasurywillagainborrow1trilliontopayfortaxcutsspending.html For the second straight year, the Treasury Department will have to borrow $1 trillion to pay for the government's growing budget deficit, a consequence of juiced government spending and smaller revenues as a result of the late 2017 tax cuts, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: Treasury borrowing surpassed $1 trillion during President Obama's first term as government spending soared amid the stimulus to combat the 2008 financial crisis, but it has steadily declined in the years since, settling down to $519 billion in 2017 before nearly doubling last year.

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iehi-feed-64992 Wed, 09 Oct 2019 14:33:35 GMT Did we betray the Kurds for Trump Towers? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-09_DidwebetraytheKurdsforTrumpTowers.html "I have a little conflict of interest 'cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul," Trump told Breitbart radio during his campaign. "It's a tremendously successful job. It's called Trump Towers--two towers, instead of one, not the usual one, it's two."

We withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from Ukraine, potentially because Trump wanted the country to dig up some dirt on his 2020 rival. Are we now allowing Turkey to come in and massacre the Kurds, because of his business interests?

We don't know, and that's the point. We even can't trust our own president to put America's interests first. It's like Trump's telling take on Saudi Arabia: "They buy apartments from me," he said. "They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."

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this doesn't mean we're quitting Syria altogether, where we still have about 1,000 troops, and bringing Americans home, as Trump has suggested. Right now, we are simply getting out of the way of any Turkish attack.

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iehi-feed-64988 Tue, 08 Oct 2019 14:51:51 GMT Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A. (But Stayed Pending Appeal) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-08_TrumpTaxesPresidentOrderedtoTurnOverReturnstoManhattanDAButStaye.html A federal judge on Monday rejected President Trump's effort to shield his tax returns from Manhattan state prosecutors, calling the president's argument that he was immune from criminal investigation "repugnant to the nation's governmental structure and constitutional values."

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The judge dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed by Mr. Trump, who was seeking to block a subpoena for eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. The Manhattan district attorney demanded the records in late August as part of an investigation into hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Trump's tax returns, however, remain protected for now. His lawyers quickly appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which agreed to temporarily delay enforcement of the subpoena while it considers arguments in the case.

Trump's strategy is to simply run out the clock. He's using cynical strategic litigation tactics adopted from his business practices.

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iehi-feed-64987 Tue, 08 Oct 2019 14:33:28 GMT These Trade Claims Made by Trump? They're All Wrong http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-08_TheseTradeClaimsMadebyTrumpTheyreAllWrong.html Claim 1: Let's start with an easy one. On March 2, 2018, when Fox Business Network's "Mornings With Maria" asked whether China would retaliate against the metal tariffs, Mr. Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro replied, "I don't believe any country in the world is going to retaliate for the simple reason that we are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world."

He was wrong: Everyone has retaliated against us. A recent study by the economists Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve, Stephen J. Redding of Princeton and David Weinstein of Columbia shows that our trading partners, "especially China, have retaliated with tariffs averaging 16 percent on approximately $121 billion of U.S. exports."

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The bottom line is that pretty much everything Mr. Trump has promised on the trade front by imposing tariffs hasn't panned out, even if the president persists in saying the opposite.

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iehi-feed-64969 Mon, 30 Sep 2019 15:55:49 GMT The Truth of Every Trump Claim on Ukraine and the Bidens is Nearly The Opposite http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-30_TheTruthofEveryTrumpClaimonUkraineandtheBidensisNearlyTheOpposit.html Trump has falsely claimed that Biden in 2015 pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, the top Ukrainian prosecutor, because he was investigating Ukraine's largest private gas company, Burisma, which had added Biden's son, Hunter, to its board in 2014.

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There are two big problems with this claim: One, Shokin was not investigating Burisma or Hunter Biden, and two, Shokin's ouster was considered a diplomatic victory.

Biden was among the many Western officials who pressed for the removal of Shokin because he actually was not investigating the corruption endemic to the country. Indeed, he was not investigating Burisma at the time. In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly criticized Shokin's office for thwarting a British money-laundering probe into Burisma's owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.

"Shokin was not investigating. He didn't want to investigate Burisma," Daria Kaleniuk, of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, told The Washington Post in July. "And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation."

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At various times Trump has claimed Hunter Biden "made millions of dollars from China" or "walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund" after hitching a ride with his father on Air Force Two. But there is no evidence to support those statements.

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But while Joe Biden was vice president, Hunter Biden was only on the board of the advisory firm that did not directly invest, but instead advised those who did. George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, said he only took an equity stake in 2017, after Joe Biden was no longer vice president.

Mesires told The Fact Checker that the investment management company "was capitalized from various sources with a total of 30 million RMB [Chinese Renminbi], or about $4.2 million, not $1.5 billion." Because Biden acquired a 10 percent minority interest, his "capital commitment is approximately $420,000," Mesires said.

"To date, Mr. Biden has not received any return or compensation on account of this investment or his position on the board of directors," Mesires added.

Every claim Trump makes against his political opponents is like he looked at the source material so quickly and sloppily that he would be sure not to see that the actual facts stand in precise opposition to the outcome he wants to see...

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iehi-feed-64945 Tue, 17 Sep 2019 02:59:47 GMT The We Company reportedly will put its public offering on hold http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-16_TheWeCompanyreportedlywillputitspublicofferingonhold.html iehi-feed-64944 Mon, 16 Sep 2019 22:24:18 GMT Donald Trump is a deeply stupid man who routinely gets his ass kicked on the world stage http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-16_DonaldTrumpisadeeplystupidmanwhoroutinelygetshisasskickedonthewo.html Trump wanted a trade war with China. Because he thought he could bluster and bully and get his way. But like the rest of the world, China is laughing at Trump, when they're not scratching their heads because Trump is so deeply stupid, and his administration so profoundly incompetent that China doesn't even know with whom to negotiate. But Trump got his trade war. Which he is losing. Because he is a deeply stupid man.

Trump's trade war already has cost 300,000 American jobs. And every time he opens his mouth about China, the American stock markets get spooked. And then after threatening to escalate his trade war, Trump backed down, and now desperately wants to find a way out of yet another crisis that is entirely of his own making. Because he has no idea what he's doing. Because he is a deeply stupid man who routinely gets his ass kicked on the world stage.

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iehi-feed-64943 Mon, 16 Sep 2019 20:29:04 GMT Maryanne Trump-Barry: Elizabeth Warren Goes After President Trump's Sister as Part of Anti-Corruption Plan http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-16_MaryanneTrumpBarryElizabethWarrenGoesAfterPresidentTrumpsSistera.html In a Medium post published Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat proposes closing the loophole that "allows federal judges to escape investigations for misconduct by stepping down from their post.

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In outlining the idea, Warren specifically references a case involving Trump's sister Maryanne Trump-Barry, whose retirement brought an abrupt end to an investigation into her role in various tax schemes of the family and potential fraud therein.

"Under my plan, investigations will remain open until their findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued," Warren writes in the post.

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iehi-feed-64939 Fri, 13 Sep 2019 22:58:40 GMT In Our Insane System, It Harms The Working Poor When They Save For Retirement http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-13_InOurInsaneSystemItHarmsTheWorkingPoorWhenTheySaveForRetirement.html ... most low-income workers receive benefits from one or more government transfer programs. Because many government programs have means tests, low earners who build even modest savings could disqualify themselves for thousands of dollars in government benefits.

An Urban Institute analysis found that for a married couple with two children, increasing the household's liquid assets from below $1,000 to between $1,000 and $2,000 would reduce annual benefits from means-tested transfer programs by almost $3,000. IRAs generally count as liquid assets because they can be readily converted into cash (with a penalty), though states have some leeway on how to apply means testing.

There's another risk: once low earners see their take-home pay reduced via automatic enrollment, they may borrow to maintain their standard of living. Recent research found that when federal employees automatically enrolled in their 401(k)-type retirement plan, employee contributions indeed rose. But four years following auto-enrollment, there wasn't any statistically significant increase in those employees' net worth. While the researchers' data were incomplete, the results hinted that less-educated workers may have borrowed more via higher credit cards, auto or mortgage loans. State auto-IRA plans will enroll many more low-wage workers than the federal government plans, so states should investigate how these employees' total household finances react, not simply laud increases in retirement plan balances.

Does this mean states should abandon their auto-IRA plans? No. But they need to rethink the idea that everyone should be saving for retirement at all times of their lives, regardless of income. It just doesn't work that way.

So glad to see this coverage, finally. One of many examples of how the "conventional" financial advice and assumptions do not apply to the large and growing segment of the population that has fallen out of, or cannot attain "middle class" or better status.

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iehi-feed-64934 Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:25:57 GMT Trump Is Pushing the U.S. Toward Negative Interest Rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-13_TrumpIsPushingtheUSTowardNegativeInterestRates.html ... what Trump is saying is, "Boneheads, lower the interest rates down to zero so that we can refinance the United States' debt and feel wealthier. In fact, lower the rate down to negative." So that's his whole purpose first of all. Treasury debt under Trump has grown by around $2.6 trillion already.

You might know that I have an opinion that under every eight-year president in the United States, the national debt doubles. It's been that way roughly back to Reagan. So we'll see if that holds true with Trump. He's well on his way

... the interest rate should compensate you for the risk of loaning to the nation. And now those rewards for loaning money have gone down so low that they've actually gone negative where it's a privilege to loan money to a country.

I'm not so sure that in the long run that holds up. But it is the case right now. And I think the U.S. is going to be the next one to follow.''

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iehi-feed-64933 Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:54:48 GMT 'Stop the WeWork deal' -- Cramer says embattled IPO could wreck rally http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-13_StoptheWeWorkdealCramersaysembattledIPOcouldwreckrally.html CNBC's Jim Cramer said on Friday that WeWork should pull its embattled initial public offering because the negative sentiment around slashing its valuation could be contagious in the overall stock market.

"Stop the WeWork deal," Cramer said on "Squawk Box." "We don't want that deal. I just wish they would go away."

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"I don't want WeWork at any price," Cramer said. "There are certain deals that can come and they can just really take the air out of any market."

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WeWork's plans to move forward despite the reported advice from its major investor SoftBank, which will likely face a multibillion dollar write down if the company debuts at a valuation between $15 billion and $20 billion. SoftBank invested $2 billion in WeWork in January at a valuation of $47 billion. On Friday, CNBC's David Faber was hearing the valuation could be $15 billion or lower.

It's fascinating and telling that Cramer is mostly interested in the effect on the wider market -- the level of anxiety about keeping the market propped up at all costs has reached a fever pitch.

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iehi-feed-64903 Thu, 29 Aug 2019 22:07:01 GMT E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-29_EPAtoRollBackRegulationsonMethaneaPotentGreenhouseGas.html The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in its proposed rule, aims to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. It will also reopen the question of whether the E.P.A. even has the legal authority to regulate methane as a pollutant.

The rollback is particularly notable because major energy companies have, in fact, spoken out against it -- joining the ranks of automakers, electric utilities and other industrial giants that have opposed other administration initiatives to dismantle climate-change and environmental rules. Several of the world's largest auto companies are pushing back against President Trump's plans to let vehicles pollute more, saying those rollbacks stand to split the United States auto market in two, while utilities have opposed the relaxation of restrictions on toxic mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants.

This move could even be self-defeating on the part of the Trump administration in its sheer pointlessness and malice.

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