Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64739 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:21:56 GMT Dow heads for fifth straight negative week, longest losing streak since 2011 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_Dowheadsforfifthstraightnegativeweeklongestlosingstreaksince2011.html Stocks were headed for weekly losses on Friday as investors worry the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.

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U.S. durable goods orders dropped 2.1% last month amid a slowdown in exports and a buildup in inventories. This is the latest economic data set showing cracks in the economy while the world's largest economies engage in a trade war. IHS Markit said Thursday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low.

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"The growing worries around a US/China elongated trade battle and its implications on the tech space are heavily weighing on the minds of both investors and the companies themselves caught in the cross hairs," Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients. "The ‘poster child' for the US/China trade wars continue to be Apple with the stock under heavy pressure as many competitors are yelling fire in a crowded theater around the potential China impact to Cupertino if this situation worsens.

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iehi-feed-64738 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:04:52 GMT The Economy is Stagnant, Not "Booming" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_TheEconomyisStagnantNotBooming.html President Trump likes to brag about the supposedly booming economy. So do other Republican politicians. Some journalists have gotten into the habit too, exaggerating the strength of the economic expansion, because it makes for a good story. Here's the truth: There is no boom. The economy has been mired in an extended funk since the financial crisis ended in 2010. G.D.P. growth still has not reached 3 percent in any year, and 3 percent isn't a very high bar.

Last week, while attending an economics conference in Washington, I discovered one particularly clear sign of the economy's struggles -- namely, that it keeps performing worse than the experts have predicted.

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Over time, the differences between the experts' predictions and the economy's performance have added up. The American economy would be about 6 percent larger today -- producing $1.3 trillion more in goods and services this year -- if the forecasts had come true. And for most families, real-life experience has been more disappointing than the G.D.P. numbers, because much of the bounty of the economy's growth has flowed to the affluent.

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The 2017 Trump tax [was] is a dreadful piece of economic policy -- essentially a giant effort to aggravate income inequality. Tax cuts that benefit the wealthy most are huge and permanent. Tax cuts focused on everyone else are smaller and temporary... A better policy response would start with a tax cut focused on the majority of Americans, not the wealthy. And there are many other ways to take on secular stagnation... Infrastructure projects, to jump-start investment. The retirement of coal-fired power plants, which would also lead to new investment. Stronger safety-net programs, including Social Security, to reduce the savings glut. More aggressive antitrust policies, to combat monopolies. And a Federal Reserve that, at long last, stopped making the same mistake -- of overestimating both growth and inflation.

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iehi-feed-64736 Fri, 24 May 2019 13:51:14 GMT Google to buy New York building for $600m; 100 times 1996 price http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_GoogletobuyNewYorkbuildingfor600m100times1996price.html

Google has agreed to pay $600m to acquire a historic building in Manhattan's Meatpacking District -- a hundred times what it was sold for in 1996 -- in a deal that reflects the tech company's growing footprint in New York City.

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The first time he sold the building, in 1996, the cobbledstoned neighbourhood was a gritty outpost with a reliable supply of transgender prostitutes and illicit drugs. It went for $6m to Moishe Mana, an Israeli immigrant who grew wealthy after founding a local moving company, Moishe's Moving, and his partner, Erez Shternlicht.

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https://www.ft.com/content/e46c1558-7ccf-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560

n 2004 Mr Harmon helped them sell the building to investment firm Angelo Gordon for $55m, and then flipped it four years later to Stellar Management for $161m, who then shifted it -- with his assistance -- to Jamestown, a developer, in 2013 for $284m.

Now comes Google, whose $2.4bn purchase of the nearby Chelsea Market last year reinforced the neighbourhood's status as New York City's technology capital. It also helped to cement Mr Harmon's standing as one of two uber brokers in a real estate-obsessed city.

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For Mr Harmon, a born talker with a touch of showbiz panache, the Milk sale is evidence that there is still juice in the city's real-estate market -- even after a prolonged run whose sheer duration has set many executives on edge, with a sharp retreat of Chinese buyers and a fall in prices for luxury condominiums.

In one sign of the market's fragility, brokers have taken to selling some buildings privately, approaching potential buyers without making a formal listing to avoid the risk of disappointing headlines.

Rising US interest rates would cause some dislocation, Mr Harmon said. But overall, he argued that New York's property market was stronger than many sceptics realised -- particularly for those who understood how to navigate it.

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iehi-feed-64732 Thu, 23 May 2019 22:23:51 GMT New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump's State Tax Returns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_NewYorkPassesBillGivingCongressaWaytoGetTrumpsStateTaxReturns.html New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump's state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president's refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump's policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president's state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns -- filed in New York, the president's home state and business headquarters -- would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature's actions put the state in a bit of uncharted legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York's maneuver.

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Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.

"Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump's current refusals," Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the "bill of attainder" accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that "bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts," and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms.

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iehi-feed-64731 Thu, 23 May 2019 22:18:40 GMT Living In A Van in Google's Backyard? Strapped Tech Co. Employees About To Be Hit With Ban http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_LivingInAVaninGooglesBackyardStrappedTechCoEmployeesAboutToBeHit.html Some Silicon Valley towns have cracked down in recent months, creating an even more uncertain future for RV residents. At a March city council meeting, Mountain View voted to ban RVs from parking overnight on public streets. The ban hasn't taken effect yet, but soon, the town's van dwellers will need to go elsewhere. The city council also declared a shelter crisis and passed a new ordinance to ticket vehicles that "discharge domestic sewage on the public right of way." At the meeting, some people opposing the ban blamed Google for the housing crisis.

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She applied online to be a Google security guard and when the contracting firm gave her the job, she moved to Mountain View in April. She initially considered renting a small apartment, but realized she couldn't save any money that way. "An apartment out here would cost at least $2,500 a month," she said. "The money I make here is great, but I would be pretty much spending the majority of that on rent and I just don't want to do that." So she decided to rent the RV for $800 a month.

"There's less space. That's the main thing. It's confined," she said. Her day starts on Google's campus where she can grab a quick breakfast, usually a banana. Lunch is also available at headquarters, while dinner is prepared on the RVs two stove tops. There's no oven.

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Another RV resident in Mountain View is a 41-year-old IT professional who now drives for Lyft Inc. He moved from Sacramento about two years ago after his wife got a job at a big drug-development company in Silicon Valley. (He asked not to be identified because he worries his wife might lose her job if her employer learns about her living situation.) Once they arrived, they realized they couldn't afford to rent an apartment and build their savings, despite a combined income of roughly $100,000 a year.

"We just did the math when we were, you know, renting a room, and we could kind of stay afloat but there's no way to save any money for retirement or the future at all," he said.

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The Lyft driver, and other van dwellers around him, said they aren't sure what they'll do when the parking ban kicks in, rendering their situation illegal. Many hope to just muddle through somehow. "I'm aware of the ban," said Brandon, another Mountain View RV resident who didn't want to share his last name. "I'll cross that particular bridge when I get to it."

Tech companies should be doing more to fix the housing crisis, the Lyft driver said. "There was a time when corporations were allowed to operate because they were also providing for the communities around them in some way," he said. "And for some reason that responsibility has shifted to profits only."

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iehi-feed-64728 Wed, 22 May 2019 13:30:00 GMT Home sales unexpectedly fell in April despite a big drop in mortgage rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_HomesalesunexpectedlyfellinAprildespiteabigdropinmortgagerates.html iehi-feed-64727 Wed, 22 May 2019 12:58:08 GMT Iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel is part of China's US property fire sale - but don't expect a bargain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_IconicWaldorfAstoriahotelispartofChinasUSpropertyfiresalebutdont.html iehi-feed-64725 Sun, 19 May 2019 20:37:01 GMT WeWork Wants to Become Its Own Landlord With Latest Spending Spree http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_WeWorkWantstoBecomeItsOwnLandlordWithLatestSpendingSpree.html Neumann says only two things are holding his company back: "Cash," he says, pausing for a beat of suspense, "and space." In addition to SoftBank tightening its spigot, some buildings with WeWork as a major tenant have had trouble getting bank loans. And some landlords have grown leery of leasing much more space to Neumann, afraid of what terms he might be able to negotiate. He says alternative sources of funding and real estate can pick up the slack.

Now, after more than a year of planning, WeWork is creating an investment fund that aims to raise billions of dollars to buy stakes in buildings where it will be a major tenant. If all goes according to plan, the fund, called ARK, will start with $2.9 billion, including $1 billion from Canadian real estate investor Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc. WeWork has long said it mostly stuck to leasing space because it believed in being "asset-light." Now it's wagering that buildings become more valuable with WeWorks in them, in which case ARK will put more of that added value back in the company's own pocket.

The fund's pitch to investors revolves around the relative safety of a real estate play with a large tenant in hand. It also depends on a gut-level faith in WeWork's vibes. Sylvain Fortier, Ivanhoé Cambridge's chief investment and innovation officer, says the company's strength is what he calls a "recipe." "People actually want to be in the office, actually want to be together. They feel a little bit like home," Fortier says. "I bet you that sooner rather than later, a WeWork-branded building will be attracting other tenants the same way you will never have a vacant space next to an Apple Store."

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ARK won't exactly put to rest concerns about conflicts of interest. "The question will be, what happens when the interests of the limited partners diverge from the interest of WeWork?" says Charles Elson, a corporate governance professor at the University of Delaware. "The more complicated structures someone comes up with, the more difficult it is to explain."

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iehi-feed-64724 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:22:14 GMT A Generation of Taxi Drivers Conned in "Subprime Medallion Loan" Schemes Across The Country http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_AGenerationofTaxiDriversConnedinSubprimeMedallionLoanSchemesAcro.html The call came from a prominent businessman who was selling a medallion, the coveted city permit that allows a driver to own a yellow cab instead of working for someone else. If Mr. Hoque gave him $50,000 that day, he promised to arrange a loan for the purchase... Mr. Hoque made about $30,000 that year. He had no idea, he said later, that he had just signed a contract that required him to pay $1.7 million.

Over the past year, a spate of suicides by taxi drivers in New York City has highlighted in brutal terms the overwhelming debt and financial plight of medallion owners. All along, officials have blamed the crisis on competition from ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

But a New York Times investigation found much of the devastation can be traced to a handful of powerful industry leaders who steadily and artificially drove up the price of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst. Over more than a decade, they channeled thousands of drivers into reckless loans and extracted hundreds of millions of dollars before the market collapsed.

These business practices generated huge profits for bankers, brokers, lawyers, investors, fleet owners and debt collectors. The leaders of nonprofit credit unions became multimillionaires. Medallion brokers grew rich enough to buy yachts and waterfront properties...

But the methods stripped immigrant families of their life savings, crushed drivers under debt they could not repay and engulfed an industry that has long defined New York. More than 950 medallion owners have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records. Thousands more are barely hanging on.

The practices were strikingly similar to those behind the housing market crash that led to the 2008 global economic meltdown: Banks and loosely regulated private lenders wrote risky loans and encouraged frequent refinancing; drivers took on debt they could not afford, under terms they often did not understand.

Some big banks even entered the taxi industry in the aftermath of the housing crash, seeking a new market, with new borrowers.

The combination of easy money, eager borrowers and the lure of a rare asset helped prices soar far above what medallions were really worth. Some industry leaders fed the frenzy by purposefully overpaying for medallions in order to inflate prices, The Times found.

Between 2002 and 2014, the price of a medallion rose to more than $1 million from $200,000, even though city records showed that driver incomes barely changed.

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As in the housing crash, government officials ignored warning signs and exempted lenders from regulations. The city Taxi and Limousine Commission went the furthest of all, turning into a cheerleader for medallion sales. It was tasked with regulating the industry, but as prices skyrocketed, it sold new medallions and began declaring they were "better than the stock market."

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The investigation found example after example of drivers trapped in exploitative loans, including hundreds who signed interest-only loans that required them to pay exorbitant fees, forfeit their legal rights and give up almost all their monthly income, indefinitely.

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Lenders developed their techniques in New York but spread them to Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere, transforming taxi industries across the United States.

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iehi-feed-64722 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:11:35 GMT Deutsche Bank Suppressed Trump, Kushner Money Laundering Alarms; Fired Whistleblower http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_DeutscheBankSuppressedTrumpKushnerMoneyLaunderingAlarmsFiredWhis.html Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump's now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

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Ms. McFadden [a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank's Jacksonville office] said she was terminated last year after she raised concerns about the bank's practices. Since then, she has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators about the bank's anti-money-laundering enforcement.

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Ms. McFadden said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government -- in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.

... Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated -- in this case, the private-banking division -- according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.

That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden's concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.

Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division's strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.

After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.

Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump's limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.

Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.

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iehi-feed-64721 Sun, 19 May 2019 16:59:20 GMT The suburban lifestyle: coming to a city near you (FOR $2M+ OF COURSE) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_ThesuburbanlifestylecomingtoacitynearyouFOR2MOFCOURSE.html the idea of a city itself is changing. In some ways, living in a dense urban area has become much more pleasant for certain types of people -- namely the affluent and those who prize proximity to the action above all else. You can now live within easy walking distance of your favorite restaurants, go see a play and shop at Target nearby. But what does it mean when urban living becomes a luxury good and a lifestyle brand?

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At the Dahlia, a 38-unit building under construction on Manhattan's Upper West Side, developers say the idea is to set up condos large enough that they could reasonably replicate the feeling of a house in suburbia. The building has no studios or one-bedrooms. The largest units, with four bedrooms, are around 2,100 square feet with prices starting just over $4 million.

One of the Dahlia's biggest selling points? It has its own parking garage. "You can pull in with your S.U.V., unload and take your things in a private manner," said Shlomi Reuveni, the president of the company that is handling sales for the building. "That's very appealing." And very suburban.

In some high-end buildings, architects are giving apartments the feel of single-family homes by replicating the layouts of suburban houses. At the Quay Tower, which overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park, there are just five condos on each floor, two of which have private elevator access. Inside, the larger units have something you see a lot of on HGTV suburban house renovation shows: large mudrooms off the back door with locker-like cubbies and sturdy ceramic-tile floors.

In Seattle, there's a new luxury apartment building with a rooftop lounge with hammocks and a chicken coop you might see in a more permissive (or at least chicken-friendly) suburb. In New York, the developer Extell is wrapping up construction on the Kent, a building on the Upper East Side that has, in addition to a stroller valet and a swimming pool where kids can take lessons, an area called "Camp Kent." It's a play space that looks like a woodsy country scene with a treehouse and a carpeted "river" leading to a private outdoor playground.

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iehi-feed-64711 Fri, 10 May 2019 21:10:38 GMT Uber Drives Into a Ditch for its IPO http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-10_UberDrivesIntoaDitchforitsIPO.html ``Shares of Uber fell more than 7% on its first day of trading Friday, marking a rocky Wall Street debut for a company that endured plenty of bumps on its long road to going public. Uber opened at $42 a share, below its IPO price of $45, and ended the day even lower at $41.57.

That disappointing first day performance sets Uber apart from the vast majority of its tech peers. In the past five years, only 10% of venture capital-backed US technology IPOs finished the first day in the red, according to data provided to CNN Business from Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange-traded funds.

Uber did succeed in raising $8.1 billion in one of the largest public offerings ever, a substantial war chest that should fund the company's expansion into new cities and service categories. But that amount was still at the low end of what Uber originally set out to raise.

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shares in Lyft fell below their IPO price on their second day of trading and have continued to tumble since. The stock is now down about 25% from the IPO price... tech companies that have come to market in recent years with massive losses -- including Lyft and Snap -- are currently "not trading above their IPO price."

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iehi-feed-64710 Wed, 08 May 2019 22:57:51 GMT Cost of living between 2000 and 2019: Inflation has played a big part in shrinking the American middle class http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-08_Costoflivingbetween2000and2019Inflationhasplayedabigpartinshrink.html iehi-feed-64709 Wed, 08 May 2019 19:56:58 GMT Donald Trump's emperor-has-no-clothes moment on his wealth is here http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-08_DonaldTrumpsemperorhasnoclothesmomentonhiswealthishere.html Put plainly: The story that Donald Trump has been telling himself and the American public for much of his life -- and especially since becoming a presidential candidate in 2015 -- isn't true. And it's more than an exaggeration. It's the opposite of what happened. Trump was gifted huge amounts of money by his father. He lost it at eye-popping rates.

Will any of this matter to Trump's supporters or, more broadly, to the 2020 electorate? Probably not. Minds have been made up -- on both sides -- about Trump for a very long time. Facts and reality don't seem to puncture those opinions about the President.

But whether voters vote on this issue next November is, really, beside the point. And the point is this: Donald Trump is not the person he sold himself to be to the American public in 2016. Period.

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iehi-feed-64708 Wed, 08 May 2019 03:52:34 GMT Fraud Prince: Leaked Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses Thru '94 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_FraudPrinceLeakedTrumpTaxFiguresShowOver1BillioninBusinessLosses.html By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir "Trump: The Art of the Deal" hit bookstores in 1987, Donald J. Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data -- printouts from Mr. Trump's official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 -- represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president's taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career -- an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses -- largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found...

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Mr. Trump was able to lose all that money without facing the usual consequences -- such as a steep drop in his standard of living -- in part because most of it belonged to others, to the banks and bond investors who had supplied the cash to fuel his acquisitions. And as The Times's earlier investigation showed, Mr. Trump secretly leaned on his father's wealth to continue living like a winner and to stage a comeback.

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The new information also suggests that Mr. Trump's 1990 collapse might have struck several years earlier if not for his brief side career posing as a corporate raider. From 1986 through 1988, while his core businesses languished under increasingly unsupportable debt, Mr. Trump made millions of dollars in the stock market by suggesting that he was about to take over companies. But the figures show that he lost most, if not all, of those gains after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously.

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the president has filed lawsuits against his banks and accounting firm to prevent them from turning over tax returns and other financial records.

In New York, the attorney general's office is investigating the financing of several major Trump Organization projects; Deutsche Bank has already begun turning over documents. The state attorney general is also examining issues raised last year by The Times's investigation, which revealed that much of the money Mr. Trump had received from his father came from his participation in dubious tax schemes, including instances of outright fraud.

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At his nadir, in the post-recession autumn of 1991, Mr. Trump testified before a congressional task force, calling for changes in the tax code to benefit his industry.

"The real estate business -- we're in an absolute depression," Mr. Trump told the lawmakers, adding: "I see no sign of any kind of upturn at all. There is no incentive to invest. Everyone is doing badly, everyone."

... [But] While Donald Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 1990 and 1991, Fred Trump's returns showed a positive income of $53.9 million, with only one major loss: $15 million invested in his son's latest apartment project.

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iehi-feed-64707 Wed, 08 May 2019 00:38:09 GMT Reform capitalism or face revolution, billionaires are told at Milken Conference http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_ReformcapitalismorfacerevolutionbillionairesaretoldatMilkenConfe.html If the barricades have not been erected in the streets, they were told several times over, they could soon be unless there is reform of the American economic system.

"It's not whether we should be capitalist or socialist. It's how do we make sure that capitalism is working the way it has in the past," said Alan Schwartz, a managing partner at global investment firm Guggenheim Partners, who warned of "class warfare."

He noted that salaries and wages as a percentage of the economic pie are at a postwar low of 40%, prompting a "throw out the rich" mentality that would require some form of income redistribution to head off.

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Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said that when young people say they favor socialism what they really mean is simply a bigger role for government.

"There's evidence they really don't know what socialism is," he said, pointing out how his students seem to admire European social democracies, which are nonetheless capitalist.

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... it was telling that Milken hosted the conference's last discussion, titled "Keeping the American Dream Alive" and featuring Ray Dalio, who built his Bridgewater Associates into one of the world's largest hedge funds with some $150 billion under management.

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He returned to that theme in his talk, asserting that lack of income growth among the bottom 60% of the population had led to a loss of hope reflected in rising death rates linked to suicides and opiate abuse.

Dalio contrasted that with the New Frontier years of the Kennedy administration, when the nation thought it could eliminate poverty and set a goal to reach the moon. "I think that is the magic of the United States and we are losing that," he said.

It was hard to say that any comprehensive concrete solutions emerged out of the discussion, though there was much talk about the need to improve educational opportunities in lower-income neighborhoods.

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iehi-feed-64706 Mon, 06 May 2019 00:53:08 GMT Is WeWork really worth nearly $50bn? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_IsWeWorkreallyworthnearly50bn.html As it prepares for a stockmarket listing, the parent company of WeWork, provider of trendy shared office space, looks set to be valued at around $47bn (£36bn).

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Underneath the beautiful decor though, some argue We Company is really just a real estate company, prompting the question: should it have such a high market value?

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Mr Neumann told Forbes magazine the firm's valuation has more to do with its size, its "energy and spirituality" than its revenues. While revenues are growing, it hasn't met its most recent targets and it is loss-making.

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While WeWork, WeLive and WeGrow may have the look and feel of a disruptive tech company with their light, airy designs, colourful squishy sofas and beer taps, analysts like Calum Battersby, at Berenberg argue it is not so very different from rivals IWG, which used to be known as Regus, and Australia's ServCorp which also offer serviced office space.

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the firm hasn't hit projected financial targets. Instead of expected revenue of $2.8bn last year sales were $1.8bn. It had hoped for a profit of $941.6m. It made a loss $1.9bn.

We has surpassed its target for 260,000 WeWork members. But it wanted 34,000 WeLive members and the residential business was supposed to make up a third of total revenue, neither of which has happened.

So far, the furnished apartment business WeLive only has two sites, in New York and Washington DC, though it is planning to open in Seattle in 2020.

But Artie Minson, We's president and chief financial officer, is upbeat, recently telling investors it ended 2018 with $6.6bn in cash and is still "in the early stages of disrupting real estate, the largest asset class in the world."

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iehi-feed-64705 Mon, 06 May 2019 00:50:54 GMT Trump vows new tariff hike on Chinese goods, escalating tension in trade talks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_TrumpvowsnewtariffhikeonChinesegoodsescalatingtensionintradetalk.html ``President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by announcing on Sunday he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

The move marked a major escalation in trade tensions between the world's two largest economies and a shift in tone from Trump, who cited progress in talks as recently as Friday.

But a less than rosy update from United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, including details that China was pulling back from some commitments it made previously, prompted Trump's decision and jab on Twitter at Beijing.

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Financial markets reacted negatively. S&P 500 e-minis fell 1.6%, while Dow futures were down 420 points or 1.6%.

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New fines will now hang over those talks, assuming they take place as planned. Trump said tariffs on $200 billion of goods would increase to 25 percent on Friday from 10 percent, reversing a decision he made in February to keep them at the 10 percent rate after progress between the two sides.

The president also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 percent tariffs "shortly," essentially targeting all products imported to the United States from China.

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iehi-feed-64702 Sun, 05 May 2019 00:47:04 GMT Sullivan & Cromwell's Rodge Cohen: The Untold Story of the Fed's $29 Trillion (NOT $17T) Bailout http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-04_SullivanCromwellsRodgeCohenTheUntoldStoryoftheFeds29TrillionNOT1.html "The enacted 1991 amendment to Section 13(3) authorized the Fed to make emergency loans to nonbanking firms as long as those loans are ‘secured to the satisfaction of the [Fed],' and the amendment also gave the Fed broad discretion to accept almost any type of collateral from the borrowing firms."

...

During Cohen's interview with the FCIC, he is asked if the Fed's financial assistance with Bear was the first time the Fed had used its 13(3) authority to help a nonbank. Cohen states that "To my knowledge it is the first time and the initial but fleeting reaction was we've never done it before, what sort of precedent are we creating for ourselves."

It was not the first time the Fed had used 13(3) to assist a nonbank. It was simply the first time the Fed had showered money like a drunken sailor with an unlimited ATM card to the Fed's discount window. According to a history provided by David Fettig, a Senior Advisor to the Minneapolis Fed, Section 13(3) "was used sparingly, and just 123 loans were made" from 1932 to 1936. The loans totaled $1.5 million -- that's $27.3 million in today's dollars. The 1936 loans were the last time 13(3) was invoked until 2007.

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iehi-feed-64700 Fri, 03 May 2019 21:25:10 GMT April jobs: Unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 1969, But not-in-workforce surge to fresh high http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-03_ApriljobsUnemploymentratefallstothelowestsince1969Butnotinworkfo.html While last month's slump in the jobless rate came with strong increase in hiring, it also was helped along by a sharp decline in the labor force of 490,000. That brought the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, exactly where it was a year ago.

A broader unemployment gauge that includes those who have quit looking for jobs as well as the underemployed held at 7.3%, where it has been since February.

Those counted as not in the labor force surged by 646,000 to a fresh high of 96.2 million.

"Leaving aside month-to-month fluctuations, the labor market is still very strong, adding almost double the number of workers needed to keep pace with new entrants to the labor force in any given month," said Eric Winograd, AllianceBernstein's senior economist. "Wages may have been slightly tepid this month relative to expectations but are still growing at just about the highest rate this cycle, and the unemployment rate is at multi-generational lows."

The level of unemployed people plunged by 387,000 in April, bringing the total level to 5.8 million. However, the ranks of the employed also declined by 103,000, according to the Labor Department's household survey.

This is what counts as an extremely bullish report these days... amazing.

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