Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-65168 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 23:42:58 GMT Why the coronavirus outbreak could trigger a stock-market pullback http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-24_Whythecoronavirusoutbreakcouldtriggerastockmarketpullback.html The percentage of respondents with a bullish view in the survey rose to 59.4%, while the American Association of Individual Investors' survey saw its bullish percentage rise to 45.6%. Those are the highest bullish readings for both measures since October 2018, said Tony Dwyer, analyst at brokerage Canaccord Genuity, in a Friday note.

Dwyer, a long-term market bull who earlier this week said it was time to take the "offense temporarily off the field" and tactically move to a neutral position on stocks, highlighted a breakdown in the three-month correlation between individual S&P 500 components and the index, which fell to its lowest level since the first week of October 2018.

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iehi-feed-65166 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 20:23:57 GMT Someone Made A Killing on Futures Contracts In Advance of Solemani's (Actual) Killing (A KIND OF "LEAK" TRUMP LIKES??) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-24_SomeoneMadeAKillingonFuturesContractsInAdvanceofSolemanisActualK.html iehi-feed-65163 Thu, 23 Jan 2020 18:35:30 GMT Did Donald and Ivanka Trump plunder inauguration funds? Suit filed by D.C. AG says 'yes' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-23_DidDonaldandIvankaTrumpplunderinaugurationfundsSuitfiledbyDCAGsa.html The civil complaint, filed on behalf of the District of Columbia by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, details the objections of staffers to exorbitant pricing for the use of Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel ballroom space

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Trump's inaugural committee agreed to a contract that would enrich the Trumps at a rate of $175,000 per day--more than twice the amount per day that Wolkoff told Ivanka and Rick Gates, the deputy to the inaugural chairman, should be paid--for the use of their own space. According to the lawsuit, the charges included rental fees for days when the Trumps weren't throwing any events.

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The stories of financial fraud carried out by Trump and his inaugural committee have slowly dribbled out over the past couple of years. Big-ticket items are being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York, with subpoenas getting sent out as investigators try to figure out how all of this money, around $107 million from private "donors," was being spent, and who was pocketing it.

The complaint asks that at least one million dollars be put into a trust and "be restored to a proper public purpose by directing the funds to another nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting civic engagement of the citizens of the United States of America."

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iehi-feed-65159 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 18:12:28 GMT Almost All of the New Apartment Inventory Nationwide is "Ultra-Luxury" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-22_AlmostAlloftheNewApartmentInventoryNationwideisUltraLuxury.html There's a rampant homelessness crisis in large cities across the country, stoked by a lack of affordable housing units. But fear not -- developers are constructing new apartments at a rapid clip this year.

The catch: Up to 80% of those rental units to be completed this year will be in luxury buildings the average person likely can't afford, according to data obtained by the Wall Street Journal from the real estate analytics firm RealPage.

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A sizable portion of this year's expected 371,000 new rental units will also come online in cities with deep poverty and inequality crises, like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., according to the data released Wednesday. In Dallas, nearly 21% of the city's population lives below the poverty line, compared to a national average near 12%. In Los Angeles, where the homelessness population has swelled to 36,300 people, the poverty rate is 19%. In D.C., nearly 17% of the population is impoverished. Collectively, those cities will get nearly 60,000 new units.

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Developers often argue that building a new apartment is prohibitively expensive, making luxury units the only real profitable option for them, according to the Journal. And ideally, developers say, building more units for wealthy tenants means they'll move out of their smaller apartments, leaving them available to lower-income renters. An analysis out of the Joint Center For Housing Studies of Harvard University found this isn't happening.

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iehi-feed-65157 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 01:47:36 GMT US-China deal is a disaster, former White House economist says http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-21_USChinadealisadisasterformerWhiteHouseeconomistsays.html "While this deal is great in the sense that it has calmed things, additional tariffs aren't going on, aside from that the deal is essentially a disaster. It doesn't address any of the systemic issues," Chad Bown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said.

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200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years, as part of the deal. President Donald Trump, who addressed the Davos forum earlier on Tuesday, said the number of purchases could end up closer to $300 billion.

"These are unrealistic numbers, which puts the whole viability of the deal into question," Bown said, adding that the only way to reach these figures is by diverting trade away from other countries, such as soy beans away from Brazil and fish away from Canada.

Among the additional purchases of U.S. goods, China has committed to buy at least $40 billion worth of American farming products. However, a leading commodities expert at Goldman Sachs casted doubts over whether China will manage to do that. Speaking to CNBC earlier this month Jeff Currie said "there is still a lot of uncertainty about how you would achieve $40 (billion) or potentially even $50 billion of agricultural purchases."

Note that in almost every previous, when Trump announced a big "investment" in the US, it either (a) didn't materialize in anywhere near the scale touted, or (b) was simply re-counting some other investment that was already planned or in-process. Thus, this critique is worrying.

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iehi-feed-65154 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:37:44 GMT Why Luxury Units in Manhattan Are Vacant And The Rest of the Country Isn't Much Better http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-17_WhyLuxuryUnitsinManhattanAreVacantAndTheRestoftheCountryIsntMuch.html From any rational perspective, what New York needs isn't glistening three-bedroom units, but more simple one- and two-bedroom apartments for New York's many singles, roommates, and small families. Mayor Bill De Blasio made affordable housing a centerpiece of his administration. But progress here has been stalled by onerous zoning regulations, limited federal subsidies, construction delays, and blocked pro-tenant bills.

... as the new houses have become more luxurious, homeownership itself has become a luxury. Young adults today are one-third less likely to own a home at this point in their lives than previous generations. Among young black Americans, homeownership has fallen to its lowest rate in more than 60 years.

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the most expensive housing markets, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, haven't built nearly enough homes for the middle class. As urban living has become too expensive for workers, many of them have either stayed away from the richest, densest cities or moved to the south and west, where land is cheaper. This is a huge loss, not only for individual workers, but also for these metros, because denser cities offer better matches between companies and workers, and thus are richer and more productive overall. Instead of growing as they grow richer, New York City, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area are all shrinking.

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iehi-feed-65148 Mon, 13 Jan 2020 00:02:05 GMT US job creation slowed under Trump in 2019 to the lowest growth in 8 years http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-12_USjobcreationslowedunderTrumpin2019tothelowestgrowthin8years.html iehi-feed-65139 Fri, 03 Jan 2020 00:23:02 GMT Merry Griftmas, Mr. Trump! http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-02_MerryGriftmasMrTrump.html President Trump is already rich and famous and inclined to treat the federal government like his own personal toy chest. What on earth can you get a guy like this?

Attorney General Bill Barr seems to have hit upon the perfect solution. On Sunday, Mr. Barr is hosting a "Family Holiday Party" for 200 of his closest friends at the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. The annual soiree, which Mr. Barr is paying for himself, is expected to deliver the president's business around $30,000. According to the Justice Department, the attorney general went with the Trump property only after other venues fell through, and he is not -- repeat, not -- looking to curry favor with his boss.

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Whatever your price point, nothing says, "Thanks for being such a swell leader!" quite like shoveling gold into the Trump family vault.

Admittedly, Mr. Barr is not the first Trump courtier to discover the charms of the president's properties. Congress members, lobbyists, foreign officials, Republican political candidates and party organizations -- the parade of people making pilgrimages is long and distinguished. Since 2017, watchdog groups and social media accounts have tracked visits to Trump properties by at least 90 members of Congress, 250 Trump administration officials (including 24 cabinet members) and more than 110 foreign officials from around 60 countries.

These visitors have done their part to help shore up the Trump Organization's bottom line. As The Times noted in September, Federal Election Commission records show that "since January 2017, at least $5.6 million has been spent at Trump properties by political candidates or party organizations, including by Mr. Trump's own political operation, according to an analysis by Public Citizen." By contrast, "In the four years before Mr. Trump's bid for president, these same hotels and other venues collected a total of only $119,000 in federally regulated payments from political groups."

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iehi-feed-65135 Wed, 01 Jan 2020 15:54:18 GMT I, Who Vowed to Never-Ever Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market | Wolf Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2020-01-01_IWhoVowedtoNeverEverShortStocksAgainJustShortedtheEntireMarketWo.html

In my decades of looking at the stock market, there has never been a better setup. Exuberance is pandemic and sky-high. And even after today's dip, the S&P 500 is up nearly 29% for the year, and the Nasdaq 35%, despite lackluster growth in the global economy, where many of the S&P 500 companies are getting the majority of their revenues.

Mega-weight in the indices, Apple, is a good example: shares soared 84% in the year, though its revenues ticked up only 2%. This is not a growth story. This is an exuberance story where nothing that happens in reality -- such as lacking revenue growth -- matters, as we're now told by enthusiastic crowds everywhere... The unanimity of it all was astounding. I've seen this before, but not in this magnitude.

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iehi-feed-65119 Fri, 20 Dec 2019 16:41:55 GMT Real Estate Mega-Donors Abandoning Trump In Droves http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-20_RealEstateMegaDonorsAbandoningTrumpInDroves.html iehi-feed-65116 Wed, 18 Dec 2019 22:40:33 GMT Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-18_UnmaskingthesecretlandlordsbuyingupAmerica.html Since 2016, FinCEN has issued geographic targeting orders requiring that the "beneficial owners" of residential real estate bought with cash be disclosed. The Treasury police started with six metro areas, then expanded to nine -- running from Los Angeles to New York, Miami to Seattle. Yet FinCEN insists on keeping that information secret.

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Reveal is going to court. In a complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California by our general counsel, D. Victoria Baranetsky, Reveal argues that the government has "no lawful basis for declining to release the records" under FOIA. 

"The public and the press have a clear and abiding interest in knowing who owns property in their communities," the complaint states, "and keeping public officials accountable in their handling of this matter."''

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iehi-feed-65115 Wed, 18 Dec 2019 15:35:19 GMT Mortgage Recovery Tax Schemes Are Illegal As One NJ Man Found Out http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-18_MortgageRecoveryTaxSchemesAreIllegalAsOneNJManFoundOut.html iehi-feed-65113 Tue, 17 Dec 2019 16:04:02 GMT Real Estate Alert: Home Flippers Getting Burned In Key Markets http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-17_RealEstateAlertHomeFlippersGettingBurnedInKeyMarkets.html iehi-feed-65108 Sat, 14 Dec 2019 03:52:09 GMT Lofgren: This Is the Third Impeachment I've Worked On. It's by Far the Most Serious http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-13_LofgrenThisIstheThirdImpeachmentIveWorkedOnItsbyFartheMostSeriou.html I'll never forget the impact on Representative Chuck Wiggins--one of the most vigorous defenders of President Richard Nixon--when he confronted the fact that Nixon had lied to him. And I'll never forget when my boss at the time explained impeachment to his colleagues by saying how "[our founders] recognized the frightening power that the president has, that we give the president, and the grave danger to the republic should he abuse it."

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I can say with certainty that if a Democratic president did what Trump very clearly appears to have done, I would be over at the White House saying, "You should resign."

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iehi-feed-65106 Thu, 12 Dec 2019 18:01:34 GMT Despite No-Love From Trump, Jerome Powell is (still) propping up Trump's economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-12_DespiteNoLoveFromTrumpJeromePowellisstillproppingupTrumpseconomy.html Powell, addressing reporters after the Fed's final meeting of a turbulent decade, predicted smoother sailing next year as Trump gears up to face voters. He said monetary policymakers "expect moderate growth to continue," at a slowed but still healthy 2% pace. Indeed, the Fed's official statement - accompanying the announcement it is holding the benchmark interest rate steady between 1.5 and 1.75% - dropped its mention of "uncertainties" facing the economic outlook.

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Powell's presentation marked a heel turn from earlier this year. Stocks tanked in July after Powell described the Fed's first interest rate cut in a decade as a "mid-cycle adjustment," because investors interpreted the remark as a signal the relief monetary policymakers were providing was only temporary. Now, however, "the cuts look much more permanent," Grant Thornton chief economist Diane Swonk wrote in a note. "The vote to hold rates unchanged was unanimous, the first time that all agreed on what the Fed should be doing since May 2019."

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"Markets liked Mr. Powell's assertion that he would want to see a 'significant' and 'persistent' increase in inflation before he would want to raise rates, and he again drew attention to the undershoot to the target in recent years," Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Sheperdson wrote in a note. "Mr. Powell's view is not shared by all his colleagues, given that most of them expect rates to rise slightly over the next three years while core inflation is expected to be little changed. But markets put much more weight on the views of the Chair; that's probably the right approach."

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iehi-feed-65103 Thu, 12 Dec 2019 04:55:17 GMT Broke billionaires (and other ridiculous signs of the top) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-11_Brokebillionairesandotherridiculoussignsofthetop.html iehi-feed-65099 Sat, 07 Dec 2019 22:52:07 GMT Jury Rules You Can Call Elon Musk a "Pedo" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-07_JuryRulesYouCanCallElonMuskaPedo.html doesn't rape underage boys? For sure? This seems like the true and just outcome.]]> iehi-feed-65096 Thu, 05 Dec 2019 17:54:11 GMT The repo market is `broken' and Fed injections are not a lasting solution, market pros warn http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-05_TherepomarketisbrokenandFedinjectionsarenotalastingsolutionmarke.html "The big picture answer is that the repo market is broken," said James Bianco, founder of Bianco Research in Chicago, in an interview with MarketWatch. "They are essentially medicating the market into submission," he said. "But this is not a long-term solution."

This chart shows the more than $320 billion of total repo market support from the Fed since Sept. 17, when for the central bank began pumping in daily liquidity after overnight lending rates jumped to almost 10% from nearly 2%.

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The goal was to keep banks flush as they deal with month-end funding issues, corporate tax payments, and the deluge of Treasury debt being sold by the federal government to fund its deficit.

Shortly thereafter, former New York Fed markets group head Brian Sack, now director of global economics at hedge fund D.E. Shaw Group, coauthored an article saying that the Fed could get a better control of overnight rates if it were to boost banking system reserves by purchasing $250 billion of Treasury debt.

But the Fed's total support already has eclipsed that threshold with the expansion of daily operations, the introduction of longer-term loans, and its balance sheet expansion through monthly T-bill purchases.

"This is now far bigger than anyone thought this was going to be," Bianco said. "I think they're hoping the market will magically fix itself. I don't see why it would.

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"The Fed really hasn't figured out the problem," said Bryce Doty, a senior portfolio manager at Sit Fixed Income in Minneapolis. "But they kind of have created their own problem."

By that, Doty meant the Fed's rescue operations have worked in terms of supplying banks with quick and cheap funding, but less so when it comes to luring them back to funding each other.

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iehi-feed-65095 Thu, 05 Dec 2019 01:24:49 GMT Musk Tells Libel Jury He's Worth $20 Billion, But Lacks Cash, Despite Paying $50k To Dig Dirt On Thai Rescuer http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-12-04_MuskTellsLibelJuryHesWorth20BillionButLacksCashDespitePaying50kT.html Musk's wealth came up in the second day of his testimony before a federal jury in Los Angeles where the Tesla Inc. and SpaceX chief executive is on trial over a tweet in which he referred to a British cave expert as a "pedo guy."

After an unsuccessful objection from his lawyer, Musk told the jury he has Tesla stock, and SpaceX stock, with debt against those holdings, and his net worth is about $20 billion. But contrary to public opinion, he said, he didn't have much cash. Musk finished testifying after a total of about six hours on the stand over two days.

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In September, Musk revealed in court documents that one of his trusted

aides, Jared Birchall, paid $50,000 to hire a private investigator who looked into Unsworth. Attorneys for Unsworth said the investigator was offered a $10,000 bonus if he was able to confirm nefarious behavior -- which was never paid.

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Birchall testified he hired James Howard, who later turned out to be a conman.

After Howard came up with what later turned out to be fake dirt on Unsworth, such as that he had been visiting Thailand since the 1980s and that he met his wife when she was a teenager, Birchall, using the name James Brickhouse, told Howard to leak the information to media in the U.K.

"I believed him to be a credible investigator," Birchall told the jury. "I understood these things to be facts. I asked him to share facts."

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iehi-feed-65079 Tue, 19 Nov 2019 01:38:51 GMT Inside the doomed relationship of Masa Son and Adam Neumann http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-11-18_InsidethedoomedrelationshipofMasaSonandAdamNeumann.html ``... there was a third man in the mix, Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Bin Salman was Son's biggest investor. Two years earlier, he'd put in nearly half the capital, $45 billion, to launch Son's $100 billion Vision Fund, a brash and controversial investment vehicle fueling the world's biggest startups, including WeWork, Uber, DoorDash, and ByteDance. In October, the prince would say publicly that he intended to put up another $45 billion. He was also expecting Son in Riyadh later in the month, at a Saudi financial conference known as Davos in the Desert. Neumann was invited, too, even though, as an Israeli citizen, he wasn't officially allowed in the Islamic country.

Then news broke on October 3 that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had vanished inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Almost immediately, bin Salman was implicated. As gruesome details emerged--a bone saw, body parts removed in suitcases--it didn't take long for investors or the general public to take issue with SoftBank's connection to the Saudi money. The company's stock plummeted 20%, losing some $20 billion in value.

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It was during this time, as pressures on SoftBank's stock price and Son's biggest backer mounted, that Son began to rethink his offer to Neumann. The pair had been arguing over who would ultimately control WeWork when the deal was done. On Christmas Eve, Son called Neumann to break the news that the deal they'd planned was off. Neumann was stunned and upset, and still desperate for cash. He managed to negotiate a revised $2 billion deal. Still feeling pressure for more capital, Neumann made another fateful move. On December 28, 2018, he filed confidential documents registering WeWork for an initial public offering.

Neither man knew it at that moment, but the move started a death clock ticking.

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