Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64174 Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:41:23 GMT New Wells Fargo Investigation Focuses On Bank Defrauding Taxpayers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-14_NewWellsFargoInvestigationFocusesOnBankDefraudingTaxpayers.html iehi-feed-64173 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:58:22 GMT JPMorgan Chase Private Banker Busted Selling Client Information http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-13_JPMorganChasePrivateBankerBustedSellingClientInformation.html iehi-feed-64172 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:38:03 GMT Losing Faith Fast, Istanbul Merchants Throw in Towel on the Lira http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-13_LosingFaithFastIstanbulMerchantsThrowinTowelontheLira.html iehi-feed-64171 Sun, 12 Aug 2018 19:30:05 GMT Fannie Mae CEO Is Busted Again For Not Keeping His Pants Zipped! http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-12_FannieMaeCEOIsBustedAgainForNotKeepingHisPantsZipped.html iehi-feed-64170 Sat, 11 Aug 2018 20:52:53 GMT America, 10 Years After the Financial Crisis http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-11_America10YearsAftertheFinancialCrisis.html It's not hard to pinpoint the dawn of this deep gloom: It arrived in September 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers kicked off the Great Recession that proved to be a more lasting existential threat to America than the terrorist attack of seven Septembers earlier. The shadow it would cast is so dark that a decade later, even our current run of ostensible prosperity and peace does not mitigate the one conviction that still unites all Americans: Everything in the country is broken. Not just Washington, which failed to prevent the financial catastrophe and has done little to protect us from the next, but also race relations, health care, education, institutional religion, law enforcement, the physical infrastructure, the news media, the bedrock virtues of civility and community. Nearly everything has turned to crap, it seems, except Peak TV (for those who can afford it).

That loose civic concept known as the American Dream -- initially popularized during the Great Depression by the historian James Truslow Adams in his Epic of America -- has been shattered. No longer is lip service paid to the credo, however sentimental, that a vast country, for all its racial and sectarian divides, might somewhere in its DNA have a shared core of values that could pull it out of any mess. Dead and buried as well is the companion assumption that over the long term a rising economic tide would lift all Americans in equal measure. When that tide pulled back in 2008 to reveal the ruins underneath, the country got an indelible picture of just how much inequality had been banked by the top one percent over decades, how many false promises to the other 99 percent had been broken, and how many central American institutions, whether governmental, financial, or corporate, had betrayed the trust the public had placed in them. And when we went down, we took much of the West with us. The American Kool-Aid we'd exported since the Marshall Plan, that limitless faith in progress and profits, had been exposed as a cruel illusion.

]]>
iehi-feed-64169 Sat, 11 Aug 2018 18:06:13 GMT Citigroup Slapped with $8.6 Million Fine From Federal Reserve http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-11_CitigroupSlappedwith86MillionFineFromFederalReserve.html iehi-feed-64168 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 21:09:57 GMT Turkish crisis littered with lessons for Trump, US economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-10_TurkishcrisislitteredwithlessonsforTrumpUSeconomy.html Had global liquidity conditions not been as ample as they had been over the past several years, Turkey would not have been able to run the outsized external imbalances that it has managed to run, nor would its corporate sector have been able to incur as large a U.S. dollar denominated debt as its corporate sector has built up.

...

Closer to home, Turkey's present economic debacle might remind us that there comes a day of reckoning for reckless macroeconomic policies. This would seem particularly pertinent in the current U.S. context where a massive unfunded tax cut together with public spending increases are expected to give rise to budget deficits in excess of 5 percent of GDP for as far as the eye can see.

It would be fanciful to think, as the Trump administration seems to do, that these budget deficits will not lead to a widening in the U.S. external current account deficit or that these deficits can be financed indefinitely without a dollar crisis at some point.''

]]>
iehi-feed-64167 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:23:12 GMT Wilbur Ross Accused Of Pilfering Packets Of Sweet 'N Low From Restaurants http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-10_WilburRossAccusedOfPilferingPacketsOfSweetNLowFromRestaurants.html iehi-feed-64166 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:52:43 GMT Investors really aren't buying Musk's "plan" for Tesla http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-10_InvestorsreallyarentbuyingMusksplanforTesla.html In two days, the stock has erased the 8.6% gain that followed Musk's surprise announcement on Twitter that he had secured funding to take the electric car maker off the public market. That includes a 4.8% drop on Thursday.

"The number one issue is simply that the investment community is uncertain about where this funding" is coming from, said Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

...

Investors also may have been spooked by reports that the SEC is looking into Tesla.

]]>
iehi-feed-64165 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:54:05 GMT Homeowners With Wells Fargo Mortgages Can Sue Wells Fargo http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-10_HomeownersWithWellsFargoMortgagesCanSueWellsFargo.html iehi-feed-64164 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 02:05:42 GMT Trump's In-Laws Get "Chain Migration" Citizenship http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-09_TrumpsInLawsGetChainMigrationCitizenship.html iehi-feed-64163 Wed, 08 Aug 2018 17:57:48 GMT TV maker laying off most workers, blaming Trump tariffs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-08_TVmakerlayingoffmostworkersblamingTrumptariffs.html President Donald Trump's tariffs against China are causing a South Carolina television maker to lay off nearly all of its employees because of the sudden increase in the price of components for its products.

Element TV Company will let 126 workers go, most of them on Oct. 5, leaving behind a skeleton crew of eight employees to watch the Fairfield County plant in hopes it can reopen in three to six months, the company said in a letter to state employment officials Monday.

...

The Element plant opened to huge fanfare about five years ago. Trump's current U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, was South Carolina governor at the time. In August 2014, she did a live video feed from the plant beamed to a Walmart manufacturing summit, where she spoke about how to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. by selling her state.

...

Tariffs could lead to more job losses in the state, especially in the auto industry. Swedish carmaker Volvo has said tariffs could prevent it from reaching its goal of 4,000 workers by 2021 at its just opened plant near Charleston. BMW has warned Trump administration officials that some if not many of its 10,000 workers at its plant near Spartanburg could have their jobs at risk if tariffs continue.

]]>
iehi-feed-64162 Tue, 07 Aug 2018 21:35:18 GMT Commerce secretary Ross reportedly stole $120 million (LIKE TRUMP, APPARENTLY ANOTHER PETTY GRIFTER) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-07_CommercesecretaryRossreportedlystole120millionLIKETRUMPAPPARENTL.html An investigation by Forbes' Dan Alexander found that Ross stole and siphoned millions of dollars in assets from his business associates. Alexander's conclusion: "all told, these allegations -- which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine -- come to more than $120 million."

...

He has admitted to shorting stocks months after attaining office. Ross has owned stakes in Chinese government-owned companies, a shipping company called Navigator with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and banks that are under federal government investigation. The New York Times reported last month: "Three business days after Mr. Ross was contacted by The New York Times for a forthcoming article about those ties, he took out a short position valued at between $100,000 and $250,000 on Navigator's stock -- essentially a bet that the stock's value would decrease -- putting him in a position to potentially profit from negative news about the company." These are not just ethical red flags, but potentially huge conflicts of interest.

...

Ross, who Forbes had listed in previous years as being worth $2.9 billion, actually revealed a comparatively smaller net worth of $700 million last year when he had to cough up paperwork required to work for the federal government. Ross initially said that he had transferred $2 billion to a family account before submitting the filings, but Alexander concluded in a November 2017 report something which may not be entirely shocking: "That money never existed."

Lying about one's own material wealth is not a unique sin, but doing it on such an outrageous and public scale can mean business opportunities and more valuable branding for people like Ross, and his boss, Donald Trump.

]]>
iehi-feed-64161 Mon, 06 Aug 2018 20:29:47 GMT Wells Fargo apologizes after hundreds of customers lose their homes due to ‘computer glitch' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-06_WellsFargoapologizesafterhundredsofcustomerslosetheirhomesduetoc.html Wells Fargo's actual banking practices continue to be at odds with the increasingly cheerful and apologetic tone of their advertising copy. This week, a new regulatory filing revealed that hundreds of customers -- 625 in total -- were denied loans and, in many cases, foreclosed upon because a company computer glitch marked "certain accounts" between April 2010 and October 2015 as undergoing the foreclosure process. The company said in the filing that it set aside $8 million to pay off those affected. It later issued a statement saying it was "very sorry," according to CNN.  

...

Since 2000, the federal government has slapped Wells Fargo with a grand total of $12.5 billion in fines, for a range of unlawful practices including mortgage abuses, banking violations, toxic securities abuses, and False Claims Act violations, according to the corporate watchdog group Good Jobs First. But, Republicans, through the passage of its corporate tax cuts over the winter, have ensured that the fines will not be damaging to the bank's bottom line.

Wells Fargo was estimated to save $3.7 billion from that corporate tax rate reduction. In an interview, CEO Tim Sloan made it clear that the bank planned to return that money to its shareholders. The company, nevertheless, did not disabuse anyone of the notion that its tax reform windfall made it back to its average-Joe American employees when the bank implemented a previously-planned minimum wage hike, which really only cost the bank $80 million.

...

In February, the Federal Reserve told the bank it could not grow beyond $2 trillion in assets until it was determined that they can function without scamming people. The bank agreed to remove four people from their board of directors by the end of the year, with Sloan insisting that the bank was "focused on addressing all of the Federal Reserve's concerns."

]]>
iehi-feed-64160 Mon, 06 Aug 2018 13:11:02 GMT Vornado's Roth Rings Bell of Distress In Retail Sector; Punts on Ultra-Lux NYC Condo Sales Progress http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-06_VornadosRothRingsBellofDistressInRetailSectorPuntsonUltraLuxNYCC.html During Tuesday's call, Roth stuck to other topics, namely signs of distress in the retail sector, as assets bought at the top and loaded with debt have started to struggle. He said if he could buy retail today at a 10 percent discount to peak values from three or four years ago, he "wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole."

"This game plays out very slowly," Roth added, noting that the first cracks are appearing. "We're beginning to see lenders who are out of the money," he said. "We're beginning to see mezz lenders and debt funds and private lenders beginning to become aware of the fact that they are impaired."

]]>
iehi-feed-64159 Mon, 06 Aug 2018 00:01:02 GMT The Stock Market Is: Smaller, With Fewer, Bigger Winners, Mostly Losers, And Fewer Upstarts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-05_TheStockMarketIsSmallerWithFewerBiggerWinnersMostlyLosersAndFewe.html The American stock market has been shrinking. It's been happening in slow motion -- so slow you may not even have noticed. But by now the change is unmistakable: The market is half the size of its mid-1990s peak, and 25 percent smaller than it was in 1976.

...

Because the population of the United States has grown nearly 50 percent since 1976, the drop is even starker on a per-capita basis: There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016, according to Professor Stulz.

This puts the United States "in bad company in terms of the percentage decrease in listings -- just ahead of Venezuela," he said. "Given the size of the United States, its economic development, financial development and its respect for shareholder rights," he added, one might expect that tally to be climbing, not falling.

...

"The headline is that the number of public firms is shrinking, but it's not just that," [said René Stulz, an Ohio State finance professor]. Profits in the overall market are now divided among fewer winners. And as capital-intensive companies have been supplanted by those whose value is largely found in their intellectual property, the marketplace is less transparent -- with troubling consequences.

...

The companies on the market today are, on average, much larger than the public corporations of decades ago. Fast-rising upstarts are harder to find.

In 1975, 61.5 percent of publicly traded firms had assets worth less than $100 million, using inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars. But by 2015, that proportion had dropped to only 22.6 percent.

...

Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants -- with Apple at the forefront -- that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.

...

Without deep knowledge of a company's critical research -- which businesses may be reluctant to share, for competitive reasons -- it's difficult for outsiders to evaluate a start-up's worth. That makes it harder to obtain funding, and it may be partly responsible for certain trends: why there are fewer initial public offerings these days, why smaller companies are being swallowed by the giants, and why so many companies remain private for longer.

Yet another area where we see the cancer of a greater concentration of wealth, and a losing proposition for the "median" (or worse).

It's also interesting to note that the trend of blockchain ICOs (initial coin offerings) may be in part a response to the last-mentioned aspect of this trend: the "main" of the stock market (and its VC on-ramp) isn't properly providing capital to innovative, hard-to-value new companies, so an alternative market has developed where the investor "net" is cast much wider and people can place bets based on their understanding of the "intangibles" (the downside being a much higher risk of loss).

]]>
iehi-feed-64158 Sat, 04 Aug 2018 21:26:53 GMT Kushners Unload 666 Fifth Ave. to Brookfield in 99-Year Lease http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-04_KushnersUnload666FifthAvetoBrookfieldin99YearLease.html Rather than pay the rent on an annual basis for the so-called leasehold, Brookfield will give Kushner Cos. an upfront sum that will allow the company to pay off outstanding debt on the building, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

The Toronto-based investor is prepared to inject up to $700 million in equity and will essentially take control of the building unencumbered with a 100 percent leasehold, the people said. A Brookfield representative declined to comment.

...

The building lost $25 million last year and has almost always been unprofitable. As a first step in its latest restructuring plan, Kushner Cos. said in June it would buy out Vornado. Vornado continues to own the retail portion of the property.

The cash infusion from Brookfield comes just in time, with a $1.2 billion mortgage on the property coming due in February.

...

The company intends to update the aging property with lighter and airier offices that would command higher rents, the people familiar with the matter said. The update would be similar to those Brookfield has made to properties including Manhattan's old Daily News Building, they said, adding that the Kushner Cos. would not participate in gains from the work until Brookfield earns a return on its investment.

Wonder if this results in a softening of the administrations recent "anti-Canadian" stance...

]]>
iehi-feed-64157 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 05:54:13 GMT Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged, calls economic activity 'strong' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-02_FederalReservekeepsinterestratesunchangedcallseconomicactivityst.html Markets still expect the Fed to raise interest rates in September and again in December, bringing the total number of rate hikes this year to four and likely raising the Fed's benchmark interest rate target range to a corridor of 2.25%-2.5%. The Fed said Wednesday that the, "stance of monetary policy remains accommodative." 

The Fed's latest policy statement was the central bank's first since President Donald Trump voiced his displeasure with Fed policy, saying in an interview that he isn't happy with the Fed's recent decisions to raise interest rates while also airing his frustrations on Twitter.

Looks like Trump's easy-money bullying worked.

]]>
iehi-feed-64156 Wed, 01 Aug 2018 12:36:29 GMT Foreclosure Defense Attorney Mark Stopa's Suspension Is Effective Immediately http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-08-01_ForeclosureDefenseAttorneyMarkStopasSuspensionIsEffectiveImmedia.html iehi-feed-64155 Sun, 29 Jul 2018 15:19:09 GMT Delaware Lawyer Accused Of Stealing From Harlem Church http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-29_DelawareLawyerAccusedOfStealingFromHarlemChurch.html