Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64823 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:59:20 GMT Dollar stores are everywhere. Cities call it a plague and fight back. As dollar stores sweep across America, they are facing growing scrutiny from opponents who argue that discount chains stifle local competition and limit poor communities' access to healthy food.

Dollar stores have never been more popular. Yet a wave of cities and towns have passed laws curbing the expansion of Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR), which bought Family Dollar in 2015. The companies are the two largest dollar store operators in the country, combining for more than 30,000 stores throughout the United States, up from under 20,000 a decade ago. By comparison, Walmart (WMT), America's largest retailer, has 4,700 US stores.


"The business model for these stores is built on saturation," said Julia McCarthy, senior policy associate at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and a critic of dollar stores. "When you have so many dollar stores in one neighborhood, there's no incentive for a full-service grocery store to come in."

Opponents also express concerns that dollar stores don't offer fresh produce. Dollar General and its dollar store rivals mostly sell snacks, drinks, canned foods and vegetables, household supplies and personal care products at rock-bottom prices.

However, Dollar General and Dollar Tree argue that they benefit communities by offering shoppers convenient places to grab food and essentials at low prices.


Last week, the city council in Birmingham, Alabama, unanimously approved legislation that would prohibit new dollar stores from opening within a mile of their existing locations. "While dollar stores proliferated across our community, healthy food options dried up," Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin told CNN Business. The new measure will help Birmingham attract and retain grocers in the city's food deserts, he said.

Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Mesquite, Texas, have also passed legislation limiting new dollar store openings. And officials in New Orleans, Cleveland and Fort Worth, Texas, are exploring plans to restrict dollar stores in their cities.

iehi-feed-64822 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:53:46 GMT This gold-related ETF is crushing the stock market's gains in 2019 -- and analysts say the metal has room to run The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX, -1.19% boasts a roughly 33% year-to-date gain, far surpassing gains of the underlying metal. Gold futures are up nearly 13% so far this year, by comparison, based on the most-active August contract trading on Comex GCQ19, -0.13% according to FactSet data. Prices of the yellow metal carved out a fresh six-year high at $1,428.10 an ounce, and gold miners have apparently been big beneficiaries.


o put the gains for the GDX, referring to the ETFs ticker symbol trading on the NYSE Arca, into perspective, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.25% is up nearly 17% in 2019 so far, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.02% has gained more than 19%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.06% boasts a rich 24% climb over the past seven months.

Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at, said that gold has more room to run: "The bulls' next target could be the underside of the rising trend capping the prior highs, which comes in around $1460, with the psychologically-important $1500 hurdle being the subsequent objective," he wrote in a Thursday report.

Gold has benefited from a number of factors but popped in electronic trading late Thursday after New York Fed President John Williams made comments that the market implied as raising the likelihood that the Federal Reserve may take more aggressive action at the end of this month to stave off a tariff-induced slowdown in the economy. "When you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress," Williams said at a research conference.

iehi-feed-64821 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:51:25 GMT Fed Vacillates As It Toys With Kind-of Promising A Rate Cut But Not Really On Thursday, investors got excited about the possibility of a bigger-than-expected interest rate cut. New York Fed President John Williams on Thursday said policy makers should take preventative measures at the first signs of economic slowdowns. The market took this to mean that a bigger interest rate cut was on the way.

Expectations of a half-percentage-point cut at the Fed's next meeting in two weeks more than doubled to 60% in response. Treasury yields and the US dollar slipped. But then a spokesperson clarified that Williams wasn't making any predictions about the Fed's monetary policy update due in two weeks. Expectations for a half-point cut retreated to 41% on Friday, although that was still more elevated than just two days ago.

In the latest attack on Fed policy, President Donald Trump tweeted that he preferred Williams first statement, calling it "100% correct that the Fed 'raised' far too fast and too early."

iehi-feed-64820 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:48:28 GMT BlackRock: CEOs pulling supply chains out of China "We're hearing from CEOs that more and more supply chains are moving out of China right now, " Fink said on "Squawk Box." "People are not waiting, companies are not waiting to see what the outcome is."


``More than 50 multinational companies are moving production out of China, including Apple, Nintendo and Dell, CNBC previously reported. Companies began announcing in May that they would move from China to Vietnam, as China and the U.S. stepped up tit-for-tat duties.

Brooks Running -- which is part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway -- said in May it would be "predominantly in Vietnam by the end of the year," adding that about 8,000 jobs will move there from China.

Vietnam! So much better.

iehi-feed-64818 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 03:00:32 GMT Court upholds 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli's conviction A federal appeals court upheld the securities fraud conviction against former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli, known as "Pharma Bro," on Thursday, along with a $7.3 million forfeiture of assets.


Before his arrest, Shkreli was best known for buying the rights to a lifesaving drug at another company in 2014 and promptly raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

iehi-feed-64816 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:41:34 GMT Lendlease scores $15 billion project to help Google build homes in Silicon Valley iehi-feed-64815 Wed, 17 Jul 2019 21:39:29 GMT Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee Challenging conditions in the U.S. housing market, along with tighter currency controls by the Chinese government, caused a stunning drop in foreign demand for American homes.


The decline was due to a drop in the number and average price of purchases. Foreigners bought 183,100 properties with a total value of about $77.9 billion, down from 266,800 valued at $121 billion in the previous period.


The Chinese were the leading buyers for the seventh consecutive year, purchasing an estimated $13.4 billion worth of residential property. Yet that was a 56% decline from the previous 12 months and comparatively the biggest percentage drop of all foreign buyers.

iehi-feed-64813 Tue, 16 Jul 2019 23:25:16 GMT NY Landlords Strike Back, Suing to Dismantle Rent Regulation System The first notable constitutional challenge to rent controls came after Washington, D.C., and New York City adopted them following World War I. Since then, numerous suits have challenged regulations across the country, but the Supreme Court has ultimately upheld rent regulations.

The plaintiffs, however, have their sights on taking the suit to the Supreme Court, where they hope a new conservative majority will rule in their favor and recent rulings will buttress their case.

The suit has also been fast-tracked because of a Supreme Court ruling last month that allows plaintiffs to sue in federal court as soon as state and local governments take property without just compensation. An earlier ruling had required plaintiffs to sue in state court.

Still, reaching the Supreme Court could take years and chances are slim: The court accepts 100 to 150 of the more than 7,000 cases it is asked to review each year.


Rent stabilization has been in effect for over half a century with the purpose of providing affordable housing and alleviating New York's housing crisis.

But the suit says the rent-stabilized system was unconstitutional even before the new laws were signed, calling it arbitrary and irrational, and a burden on the rights of property owners.

It says that rent regulations exacerbate the city's housing shortage and that, because there are no restrictions on the incomes of rent-regulated tenants, the system allows wealthy New Yorkers to benefit unfairly.

Economically, the landlords are absolutely correct (it's pretty obvious that rent regulation has just exacerbated the underlying problem over time), but there is a weak basis to roll back anything except the recent changes, unless the entire regulatory deference standard since the late 19th-century is to be overturned.

Also ironic that the only reason a suit like this even has a shot is because Trump and the repubs cheated and put an extra water-carrying justice on the Supreme Court -- doubly-ironic with Trump himself standing to benefit as a landlord.

iehi-feed-64811 Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:03:58 GMT Blackstone Pulls Plug On Renovations At Its Biggest New York Property After Rent Reform New York City's biggest owner of rent-stabilized apartments, private equity giant the Blackstone Group, says it is stopping improvements at the 11,000-unit housing complex it bought in 2015.

Blackstone said it is now re-evaluating what to do with the apartments at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan's Lower East Side new rent regulation laws, Crain's New York Business reports.

While Blackstone plans to proceed with improvements required under law -- such as fixing leaks and hot water improvements -- improvements to the vacant apartments won't continue and large-scale construction improvements may also be stopped, a source told Crain's.

The new rent regulations, signed into law last month, have been met with a barrage of criticism from the real estate industry. The new legislation significantly reduces landlords' ability to increase rents and remove apartments from regulation. 

The vacancy bonus -- a provision that had allowed landlords to increase rents by as much as 20% when a unit became vacant -- has been cut. Landlords who rented a unit for less than they could legally charge are no longer able to raise rents to the full price when leases are renewed.

What a pointless battle! NYC should just streamline the building of affordable-rent (not luxury, or luxury with subsidized units sprinkled-in) market-rate apartments. More welfare is not what is needed to fix the market.

iehi-feed-64808 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 15:28:42 GMT Trump Reveals Himself Banksters' Water-Carrier On Cryptos iehi-feed-64807 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:33:32 GMT Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project branded of ‘serious concern' by Federal Reserve The social networking giant wants to debut the coin in 2020 once financial partnerships are cemented in place and the proposed wallets used to store Libra are established with the same security measures as today's traditional bank accounts.

However, the US Federal Reserve wants Facebook to put its foot on the brake until a number of concerns have been addressed.


"Facebook has a couple billion-plus users, so I think you have for the first time the possibility of very broad adoption," Powell said. "It needs a careful look, so I strongly believe we all need to be taking our time with this."

Singapore, too, has concerns over the Libra project. Earlier this week, officials demanded that Facebook provide a more thorough explanation of Libra in order for the country to decide whether regulators need to investigate the proposal. 

However, Singapore's Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it is "open" to financial innovation, on the proviso that Facebook does not pose a threat to the local financial ecosystem.

iehi-feed-64802 Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:54:59 GMT NYC FiDi Supertall Condo Building Headed for Foreclosure Auction iehi-feed-64798 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 23:15:18 GMT Toll Brothers Finally Sells Luxury NYC Penthouse After Years On The Market And A 50% Price Cut iehi-feed-64794 Mon, 08 Jul 2019 19:35:40 GMT "Build-to-rent" housing market, driven by Millennials, explodes as investors rush in During the foreclosure crisis nearly a decade ago, investors plowed into the housing market, buying millions of distressed homes and turning some of them into lucrative rentals.

They transformed the once mom-and-pop market of single-family rentals into a large-scale, formally managed asset class -- and it is still growing, in fact faster than ever.

Foreclosures, however, are now few and far between. Distressed properties -- foreclosures and short sales ) -- make up just 2% of home sales today, down from a high of 49% in March 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. The regular existing home market is very pricey, so investors are now turning to a new strategy: Buy new. And suddenly, the so-called build-to-rent market is exploding.


"We've got clients, multiple, well over a couple billion dollars worth of capital looking to place in this space," said Michael Finch, executive vice president at SVN/SFRhub Advisors, a new Phoenix-based commercial brokerage firm focused on single family rental and build-to-rent investment portfolios. "They are looking to acquire 5-6,000 homes in the next two years."

Demand is growing, according to Finch, because while the huge millennial generation is aging into marriage and parenthood, not all of them want nor can they afford to buy a home.

iehi-feed-64793 Sun, 07 Jul 2019 00:44:51 GMT What You Need to Earn to Be in the Top 1% iehi-feed-64791 Sat, 06 Jul 2019 00:40:17 GMT Giant Hedge Fund Renaissance Has Been Pulling Money Out of Deutsche Bank for Months Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund giant that Deutsche Bank AG has counted as one of its largest clients, has been taking money out of its prime brokerage accounts with the German lender over the past few months, according to people familiar with the move.


Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is poised to present a sweeping overhaul of the troubled German lender, probably after a supervisory board meeting scheduled for Sunday. The restructuring plan may target the firm's struggling equities business for cuts, which houses the prime brokerage unit that caters specifically to hedge fund clients, people familiar with the matter have said.


The bank's hedge funds business has been shrinking for years. Through the end of last year, revenue from executing trades and lending securities to hedge funds was down by more than a third from 2015, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg in March. Before that, it was one of the top players in the business, stealing share from the likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. when they were reeling in the wake of the financial crisis.

iehi-feed-64785 Mon, 01 Jul 2019 21:29:11 GMT Why Wall Street Owes Every U.S. Taxpayer $35,460 ... the average U.S. household has lost an estimated $4,236 in interest income due to the Fed's low interest rates (as opposed to a "normal" rate environment). In total, this has funneled $51.8 billion from the pockets of American savers into the coffers of Wall Street banks.


According to a report from the People's Policy Project think tank, the wealth of the bottom 50% is down $900 billion over the past 30 years.

Meanwhile, the wealth of the top 1% has increased by $21 trillion. Digging deeper, we found that at least $5 trillion of this was taken away from average investors, like you and your fellow readers.

Without getting too deep into how this "theft" occurred, I can tell you that the financial elites created a private investment market. Then they restricted access to this massive market to only themselves... cutting the rest of America out of the deal.

iehi-feed-64781 Sun, 30 Jun 2019 17:27:25 GMT Central bank plans to create digital currencies receive BIS endorsement Global central banks may have to issue their own digital currencies sooner than expected, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements has said, after Facebook recently unveiled plans to create its own stablecoin.

Agustín Carstens, who heads the BIS, known as the central bankers' bank, told the Financial Times that the organisation supported the efforts of the world's central banks in creating digital versions of state currencies.

"Many central banks are working on it; we are working on it, supporting them," Mr Carstens told the Financial Times. "And it might be that it is sooner than we think that there is a market and we need to be able to provide central bank digital currencies."

A number of central banks, including Sweden's Riksbank, are working on their own versions of digital currencies, which would work by offering the public direct access to central bank money. At present, only private sector lenders can borrow directly from monetary authorities.


Facebook's plans to create Libra -- a stablecoin with its value pegged to a basket of as yet unspecified currencies backed by as yet unspecified assets -- have attracted attention from officials, including at the Basel-based BIS.

The BIS said in an extract on digital currencies, taken from its annual report, that coins backed by tech giants could "rapidly establish a dominant position" in global finance and pose a potential threat to competition, stability and social welfare.

"The issue is how will the currency be used? Will there be discovery of information, or data that can be used in credit provision and how will data privacy be protected?" Mr Carstens said. "A very simple way to regulate this is to start with anti-money laundering rules. That is a very immediate and very obvious concern."

iehi-feed-64780 Fri, 28 Jun 2019 19:02:01 GMT Zimbabwe Bans All Foreign Currency, De-Dollarizes, Returns To Dreaded Zim Zimbabwe's government has taken the controversial decision to ban local trading in foreign currencies, including the US dollar, with immediate effect.

It has also reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar, which was abandoned because of hyperinflation in 2009 when the country mainly adopted the US dollar and the South African rand.

The move has shocked Zimbabweans, who have little faith in a local currency - the exchange rate when the Zimbabwe dollar was scrapped was Z$35 quadrillion to $1.

iehi-feed-64778 Wed, 19 Jun 2019 22:40:51 GMT Fed Holds Rates, But Signals Readiness To Cut (UNDER RELENTLESS TRUMP INTERFERENCE) "My colleagues and I have one overarching goal, to sustain the economic expansion," Powell told a press conference following the decision. He noted that apparent progress on trade talks had "turned to greater uncertainty" and many Fed officials "now see that the case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened."

The shift followed attacks on the Fed by President Donald Trump for not doing more to bolster the economy and Tuesday's report by Bloomberg News that the president asked White House lawyers earlier this year to explore options for demoting Powell from the chairmanship.

Asked about the criticism, Powell said he thinks "the law is clear that I have a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it."