Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-63641 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:25:37 GMT Wall Street's Regulators Move Deeper Into Darkness Under Trump http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-18_WallStreetsRegulatorsMoveDeeperIntoDarknessUnderTrump.html ... All of the above [failures of transparency in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis] occurred under the Obama administration. It's getting worse under President Trump. Yesterday Bloomberg News reported that the SEC is now settling cases against banks and hedge funds without issuing press releases as it has historically done, ostensibly to save the firms embarrassment and deny the public the ability to see that wrongdoing continues unabated on Wall Street despite the huge fines following the financial crash. Last month, Susan Antilla and Gary Rivlin wrote an in-depth report for The Intercept showing how Trump's SEC is allowing more secrecy in what Wall Street itself has to report to the public.

Now the U.S. Treasury, headed by the former foreclosure king, Steve Mnuchin, has announced it plans to hold a secret meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) next Wednesday, February 21. F-SOC was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 to make sure the financial collapse of 2008 would never happen again. That collapse was the worst economic event for the United States since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Given the financial devastation to citizens from that collapse, the public has every right to know about any new financial stability threats facing the nation.

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[Meanwhile,] the 24/7 cable news programs are consumed with investigating Russia. We're not saying that's not important but it's happening while nothing is being reported about the growing dangers on Wall Street. The Republican-led Congress is consumed with funding wars against foreign terrorists. But it was neither Russia nor foreign terrorists that dealt America the two worst financial and economic crises in its history: the 1929-1932 and 2008-2010 Wall Street collapses and ensuing economic calamities. These occurred from well-documented illegal acts by Wall Street firms as their Federal regulators wore blindfolds.

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iehi-feed-63636 Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:48:58 GMT FL Judicial Candidate Faces Ethical Concerns Over Ties To Loan Mod Scam http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-16_FLJudicialCandidateFacesEthicalConcernsOverTiesToLoanModScam.html iehi-feed-63635 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:18:17 GMT Second Federal Appeals Court, Ruling Against Travel Ban 3.0, Just Said Trump's Tweets Show He's An Anti-Muslim Bigot http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-15_SecondFederalAppealsCourtRulingAgainstTravelBan30JustSaidTrumpsT.html In a 9-4 ruling, the [4th circuit] federal appeals court held that the third version of Trump's travel ban ― which limited visitors from six majority-Muslim countries as well as two other nations ― was likely unconstitutional. It was the second federal appeals court to find that Trump's third travel ban was likely unconstitutional, but both rulings have been put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the matter this spring.

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While Trump could have "removed the taint of his prior troubling statements," he hasn't, the court said. "In fact, instead of taking any actions to cure the ‘taint' that we found infected [the second executive order laying out a travel ban], President Trump continued to disparage Muslims and the Islamic faith," it said.

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iehi-feed-63631 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:06:57 GMT The 'winning' continues as Walmart announces another massive round of layoffs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-14_ThewinningcontinuesasWalmartannouncesanothermassiveroundoflayoff.html iehi-feed-63617 Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:19:13 GMT How Much of Trump's "Saved" Government Bloat Money Will He Now Waste On a Military Parade? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-07_HowMuchofTrumpsSavedGovernmentBloatMoneyWillHeNowWasteOnaMilitar.html "The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military."

Shows of military strength are not typical in the United States -- and they don't come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it.

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iehi-feed-63611 Tue, 06 Feb 2018 01:00:11 GMT Trump often takes credit for stock market rise; Will he own the falls too? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-05_TrumpoftentakescreditforstockmarketriseWillheownthefallstoo.html iehi-feed-63610 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:57:20 GMT Early Facebook and Google employees form coalition to fight what they built http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-05_EarlyFacebookandGoogleemployeesformcoalitiontofightwhattheybuilt.html A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build.

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The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech... will be aimed at educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media.

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"We were on the inside," said Tristan Harris, a former in-house ethicist at Google who is heading the new group. "We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works."

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iehi-feed-63607 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:47:19 GMT These Charts Show Just How Bad the Selloff in Risk Assets Is http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-05_TheseChartsShowJustHowBadtheSelloffinRiskAssetsIs.html iehi-feed-63606 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 21:46:13 GMT Dow's nearly 1,600-point plunge marks its biggest one-day point drop ever http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-05_Dowsnearly1600pointplungemarksitsbiggestonedaypointdropever.html The Dow Jones industrial average marked its biggest single-day point drop on Monday afternoon, plunging nearly 1,600 points during trading hours before recovering to close down 1,175.

Officially the Dow fell 1,597, a 6.26 percent drop. But the index of 30 large U.S. companies was recovering some of that decline as the day headed toward the closing bell at 4 p.m. in New York

But we thought "risk" only existed in those zany "crypto-coin" thingies...

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iehi-feed-63601 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:52:58 GMT Inflation warning: The US stock market meltdown is spreading across Asia and Europe as bond yields climb http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-05_InflationwarningTheUSstockmarketmeltdownisspreadingacrossAsiaand.html iehi-feed-63598 Sun, 04 Feb 2018 18:56:54 GMT Paul Ryan celebrated the tax cut with a tweet about a secretary saving $1.50 a week http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-04_PaulRyancelebratedthetaxcutwithatweetaboutasecretarysaving150awe.html The tweet was deleted within hours, probably guaranteeing it will never be forgotten, and leaving people baffled as to why Ryan ever thought it would make a good advertisement for the tax plan's supposed middle-class benefit.

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It's true that the bill is stingy to people at the bottom of the pay scale. In fact, the average tax break for someone making $25,400 a year or less happens to be $60 -- the exact price of a Gold Star Costco membership.

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@LOLGOP [tweeted]: Charles, a Koch brother in Wichita, said he was pleasantly surprised that his pay went up $26,923,076 a week... he said [that] will more than cover the cost of buying several more Paul Ryans.

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iehi-feed-63597 Sun, 04 Feb 2018 18:54:24 GMT Republican lawmakers distance themselves from Trump on memo http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-04_RepublicanlawmakersdistancethemselvesfromTrumponmemo.html Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee dissented Sunday from President Trump's view that corruption has poisoned the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In a sign of a growing rift within the House GOP, four members of the panel dismissed the idea pushed by Trump and other Republicans that a controversial memo criticizing how the FBI handled elements of its Russia probe undermines the investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III into possible coordination between Trump associates and the Kremlin. The memo's release Friday by the Intelligence Committee has raised fears Trump will fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the probe.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who helped draft the memo, said Trump should not fire Rosenstein and rejected the idea that the document has bearing on the investigation.

"I actually don't think it has any impact on the Russia probe," Gowdy, who also chairs the House Oversight Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The four Republicans walked a careful line on the four-page document, which alleges that the Justice Department abused its powers by obtaining a warrant for surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page using information from a source who was biased against Trump. Their comments echoed those of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who supported the memo's release on the argument that it lays out a "specific, legitimate" concern related to secret surveillance orders, but has insisted the findings do not impugn Mueller or Rosenstein.

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iehi-feed-63595 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 21:54:43 GMT How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-02_HowHedgeFundsSecretlyGetTheirWayinWashington.html Over the past two decades, hedge funds have grown explosively, with a collective $3.4 trillion under management. Not content to make bets and watch from the sidelines, the largest funds increasingly are trying to steer government outcomes--such as negotiations over sovereign debt--so that their investments are likelier to pay out. When billions are at stake on a given wager, a lobbying campaign looks cheap. But hedge funds know that they're politically toxic--portrayed by both parties as overpaid plutocrats--and prefer that much of these offensives be conducted in secret. That's where DCI comes in, providing credible-seeming voices to speak up for the funds' interests--voices like Glassman's. It's not illegal, but it undermines basic principles of transparency and trust.

Since the work is concealed, there's no way to know for sure how many hedge funds are leveraging Washington to benefit their portfolios. But interviewing insiders and scouring public records, Bloomberg Businessweek identified six major influence campaigns waged on behalf of investors in a particular stock or bond since 2006. DCI, it turns out, coordinated all six.

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ostensibly independent intellectuals blanketed panels, hearings, and press conferences with the same storyline, without ever mentioning their connection to DCI or the hedge funds. If all went well, the targets of these campaigns--administration officials, media "thought leaders," and lawmakers--didn't know they were being lobbied, much less who paid for it.

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iehi-feed-63591 Thu, 01 Feb 2018 23:58:40 GMT Davos Elites Still Don't Get Blockchain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-01_DavosElitesStillDontGetBlockchain.html Krugman and his cohort are trapped by a rigid worldview, one that remains entrenched within the economics fraternity, despite the crisis of 2008, which painfully revealed the deep flaws of the profession's quasi-scientific models of "rational" human behavior.

When it comes to understanding the value proposition of blockchain technology and drawing conclusions that "it's not useful for anything," the biggest problem of this blinkered mindset is that it fails to recognize the cost of trust.

Krugman is right to say that expensive mining and the need to retain multiple copies of the same transaction record across distributed networks are "clunky" and "costly" aspects of blockchain technology... the [best] rejoinder is: "Compared to what?"

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iehi-feed-63586 Thu, 01 Feb 2018 05:45:40 GMT Facebook forecasts rising ad sales despite dip in usage http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-01_Facebookforecastsrisingadsalesdespitedipinusage.html Facebook added to jitters after the bell on Wednesday when, in its earnings report, it said that at the end of last year time spent by users had fallen by about 50 million hours a day. Shares fell more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Shortly afterward, though, Facebook executives expressed optimism on the call with analysts, saying the changes they were making in response to criticism would be healthy for the business in the long term and might not even hurt much in the short term.

"I want to be clear: The most important driver of our business has never been time spent by itself. It's the quality of the conversations and connections," Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on the call.

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iehi-feed-63583 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 02:23:54 GMT Little-Noticed Morgan Stanley Is Markets Alarm Bell http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-01-30_LittleNoticedMorganStanleyIsMarketsAlarmBell.html Morgan Stanley's wealth management division announced right after New Year's that it was taking its recommended portfolio allocation in junk bonds down to zero. The rationale was that, while tax cut euphoria might inject fresh momentum into "high-flying stocks, the boost may be short-lived and will mask balance sheet weaknesses" -- i.e. developing credit problems. The Morgan Stanley report further explained that "credit markets figure this out before equities" and that they are preparing "for a deterioration in lower-quality earnings in the U.S. led by lower operating margins."

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this commentary from Morgan Stanley. In my 32 years of active participation in the financial markets I can not recall any brokerage firm ever issuing a stark warning like this about any sector of the financial markets.

At some point the fundamental problems will become too obvious for stocks to ignore and there will be abrupt sell-offs. The 360 point drop from top to bottom last Tuesday was a hint of what's to come. Eventually the Central Banks will be unable to intervene and manipulate the type of bounce that was engineered at Tuesday's bottom and that followed-through on Wednesday and beyond.

Also see Cracks surface in the bull trend, S&P 500 pulls in from uncharted territory, from a technical perspective.

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iehi-feed-63581 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 02:10:52 GMT You have been lied to about inflation and here is the proof http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-01-30_Youhavebeenliedtoaboutinflationandhereistheproof.html iehi-feed-63567 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 22:03:18 GMT In Davos Speech, Trump Mixes Facts With Fiction http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-01-26_InDavosSpeechTrumpMixesFactsWithFiction.html iehi-feed-63564 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 02:20:37 GMT Mnuchin's Weak Dollar Remarks Are Still Causing a Stir at Davos http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-01-25_MnuchinsWeakDollarRemarksAreStillCausingaStiratDavos.html iehi-feed-63561 Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:48:22 GMT ‘My biggest concern is how little concern there is' about stocks and the economy, billionaire Jim Coulter says http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-01-25_Mybiggestconcernishowlittleconcernthereisaboutstocksandtheeconom.html Jim Coulter, the billionaire co-founder of private investment powerhouse TPG, told CNBC on Thursday he's troubled by the lack of worry among the financial heavyweights at the World Economic Forum about the stock market and the economy. "My biggest concern is how little concern there is," said Coulter, also co-chief executive of TPG.

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"As an investor, I'm concerned as we move from monetary policy to fiscal policy," Coulter said in a CNBC interview from the annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland. "I'm not commenting on the near term. I'm commenting on our view, which is three years out. If the party goes on longer, the next day may feel worse."

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"I was clearly not as bullish as the markets turned out," Coulter acknowledged, but said he's worried the Trump bump in the market and the economy is only setting up a bigger fall down the road.

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