Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62123 Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:37:38 GMT Doug Noland: Liquidity Supernova and the Big Ugly Flaw http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-23_DougNolandLiquiditySupernovaandtheBigUglyFlaw.html iehi-feed-62115 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:54:27 GMT Only China Can "Fix" Venezuela http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-21_OnlyChinaCanFixVenezuela.html iehi-feed-62110 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:09:17 GMT Venezuela explodes into anti-government protests http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-20_Venezuelaexplodesintoantigovernmentprotests.html Venezuela has been rocked by intermittent but violent protests since the Supreme Court dissolved an opposition-led parliament last month. The move was reversed days later, but demonstrations had already erupted.

Further fueling the protests: The government banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from all political activity for 15 years on April 7.

The turmoil is set against an economic crisis in which unemployment is set to surpass 25%, and people have struggled for years with food and medical shortages and skyrocketing prices.

The economic crunch took another turn this week as the government seized a General Motors plant, prompting the auto giant to say it was halting operations in Venezuela.

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iehi-feed-62102 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:37:34 GMT Gold's found a new pocket of opportunity http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-19_Goldsfoundanewpocketofopportunity.html iehi-feed-62095 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:58:11 GMT Will Trump Flip-flop on the TPP Too? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-18_WillTrumpFlipflopontheTPPToo.html Trade is expected to top the agenda when Vice President Mike Pence holds talks with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo on Tuesday as part of a 10-day Asia tour. Pence is expected to focus on the prospect of a U.S.-Japan free trade agreement (FTA), but Tokyo may not be interested.

"We [the U.S.] are trying to offer them a poor man's TPP with this FTA idea, but I don't think Japan has any interest in pursuing that. They want to stick with ideas and principles that were hammered out in TPP," said King, specifically referring to intellectual property rights as well as market access.

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iehi-feed-62090 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 22:01:12 GMT World's Biggest Aluminum Producer Faces Default, Warns Of "Dramatic Social Unrest" Without A Beijing Bailout http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-17_WorldsBiggestAluminumProducerFacesDefaultWarnsOfDramaticSocialUn.html iehi-feed-62085 Sun, 16 Apr 2017 18:42:52 GMT While Claiming to "Drain Swamp", Trump Eliminates Ethics, Transparency Rules, Enabling A Cronyist Free-For-All http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-16_WhileClaimingtoDrainSwampTrumpEliminatesEthicsTransparencyRulesE.html President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck... In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administration's own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules.

One such case involves Michael Catanzaro, who serves as the top White House energy adviser. Until late last year, he was working as a lobbyist for major industry clients such as Devon Energy of Oklahoma, an oil and gas company, and Talen Energy of Pennsylvania, a coal-burning electric utility, as they fought Obama-era environmental regulations, including the landmark Clean Power Plan. Now, he is handling some of the same matters on behalf of the federal government.

... the Trump administration is more vulnerable to conflicts than the prior administration, particularly after the president eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years. The White House also announced on Friday that it would keep its visitors' logs secret, discontinuing the release of information on corporate executives, lobbyists and others who enter the complex, often to try to influence federal policy. The changes have drawn intense criticism from government ethics advocates across the city.

Mr. Trump's appointees are also far wealthier and have more complex financial holdings and private-sector ties than officials hired at the start of the Obama administration, according to an Office of Government Ethics analysis that the White House has made public. This creates a greater chance that they might have conflicts related to investments or former clients, which could force them to sell off assets, recuse themselves or seek a waiver.

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Mr. Trump's own ethics executive order in late January eliminated a requirement, first adopted by President Barack Obama, that executive branch appointees not accept jobs in agencies they recently lobbied. That weakened standards applying to approximately 4,000 executive branch hires. Mr. Trump also made it easier for former lobbyists in the government to get waivers that would let them take up matters that could benefit former clients.

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iehi-feed-62077 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:57:20 GMT Gold just hit a five month high--and 'has the chance to go further' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_Goldjusthitafivemonthhighandhasthechancetogofurther.html iehi-feed-62075 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:36:32 GMT Falling Inflation, Retail Sales Bolster Fed's Go-Slow Approach http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_FallingInflationRetailSalesBolsterFedsGoSlowApproach.html iehi-feed-62070 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:45:15 GMT American energy use, in one diagram http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_Americanenergyuseinonediagram.html iehi-feed-62068 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:37:03 GMT Albert Edwards: Central Bank Hubris Bubbles To The Surface http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_AlbertEdwardsCentralBankHubrisBubblesToTheSurface.html iehi-feed-62055 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:29:28 GMT Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-12_MillennialsAreAbandoningthePostwarEnginesofGrowthSuburbsandAutos.html iehi-feed-62053 Tue, 11 Apr 2017 22:10:43 GMT Gold price edges up as geopolitical worries spur safe-haven buying http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-11_Goldpriceedgesupasgeopoliticalworriesspursafehavenbuying.html iehi-feed-62035 Fri, 07 Apr 2017 18:18:20 GMT Greece's dark age: how austerity turned off the lights http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-07_Greecesdarkagehowausterityturnedoffthelights.html People in poor neighborhoods are also increasingly turning to energy fraud, meaning that the problem for PPC is much higher than the mountain of unpaid bills suggests.

Power theft is costing PPC around 500-600 million euros a year in lost income, an industry official said...

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PPC, which has a 90 percent share of the retail market and 60 percent of the wholesale market, is supposed to reduce this dominance to less than 50 percent by 2020 under Greece's third, 86 billion euro bailout deal.

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The lenders also want PPC to sell some of its assets, but the company is toiling under the debt of unpaid bills, a problem opposition lawmakers say will force a fire-sale.

In little over a year from June 2015, overdue bills to the 51-percent state-owned firm grew by nearly a billion euros to 2.6 billion, Chief Executive Manolis Panagiotakis told lawmakers in March.

Analysts estimate PPC's cash reserves have shrunk to about300 million euros, forcing it to secure a 200 million euro bank loan to repay a bond due in May.

The tangle has left it with little leeway for new investments or to fund a switch to cleaner forms of energy from coal to improve environmental standards.

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iehi-feed-62017 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:10:00 GMT Bombshell: EU Drops Opposition to Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-04_BombshellEUDropsOppositiontoRussiasNordStream2Pipeline.html iehi-feed-62011 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:28:17 GMT Greek Pensions Hot Potato Puts Tsipras in Bailout Tight Spot http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-04_GreekPensionsHotPotatoPutsTsiprasinBailoutTightSpot.html ``The 82-year-old is one of about 2.7 million pensioners likely to face a cut in monthly payments for the 12th time since the debt crisis in 2010, as part of the measures required for the disbursement of the next tranche of emergency loans. The government of Alexis Tsipras wants any new cuts in pensions to be phased in gradually and not be put in place from 2019 -- an election year -- as creditors demand. It says it wants to protect pensioners like Spiros, who account for more than a quarter of the country's 10 million population and are already bracing for higher health insurance costs and a lower income-tax-free threshold.

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The International Monetary Fund, backed by Greece's euro-area creditors, is pushing Athens to save 1.8 billion euros, or 1 percent of gross domestic product, from pension cuts. Greece spends more than 13.3 percent of its GDP on old-age pensions, the highest proportion in the European Union, Eurostat figures show.

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Greece, which crossed what it once characterized as a red line and accepted the need for pension cuts, is asking creditors to give the country more time to see how measures agreed to last year work before embarking on anything new.

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The country hasn't yet put in place a proper social welfare system, making pensions the de facto safety net for many families, supporting several generations. A survey in January showed that 49 percent of households relied on pensions as a primary source of income. Further cuts in pensions has become a thorny issue to sell at home as pensioners use their ever-shrinking income to support jobless children at time when youth unemployment stands at more than 40 percent.

See also Austerity-Crushed Greek Households Keep Cutting Food Purchases.

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iehi-feed-61998 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 23:07:54 GMT New Trump orders target trade abuses, import duty evasion http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-31_NewTrumporderstargettradeabusesimportdutyevasion.html iehi-feed-61991 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 19:01:04 GMT Crimea Pays a High Price Three Years After Russian Takeover http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-31_CrimeaPaysaHighPriceThreeYearsAfterRussianTakeover.html A few Crimean products, such as wine, saw a temporary renaissance thanks to Russians who went out of their way to buy it. Now the euphoria is gone. "In 2014 we had a booming business, it was very easy to sell in the Russian market," says Marianna Klassova of Satera Winery. "Now it's a struggle." Russian consumers have a wide range of wines to choose from, and Crimean wine is simply too expensive, she explains. Some winemakers are even trying to shed the region's reputation for sweet wines by investing in more desirable, sophisticated varietals.

But the problem isn't just exports. Crucial imports, including gasoline and food, must come from Russia via the same expensive ferry, pushing prices higher.

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Large multinational corporations aren't doing business on the peninsula, so McDonald's Corp., Radisson Hotel, and Mobile Telesystems PJSC (MTC) have shuttered. Still, burgers that look like Big Macs are served as "Big Foods" in the AvtoFood fast-food chain, along with other items that resemble choices on a McDonald's menu, including the "Filet-O-Fish." A Radisson Hotel is now called "Riviera Sunrise," its signage in the same typeface. Although the credit card companies have officially ceased doing business there, Crimeans can still use a Visa or a MasterCard as long as it's issued by a Russian bank.

There are also retailers that look vaguely like Apple stores and Starbucks coffee shops, right down to similar branding. Owners of the Starmaks coffee shop in Alushta say they think sanctions make it unlikely Starbucks Corp. will come after them for copyright infringement. IPhones, Apple computers, and PCs are sold as well--brought in from Russia. A quick search online reveals pages of instructions on how to outsmart sanctions and even register an iTunes account. (Starbucks, McDonald's and Apple didn't respond to email requests for comment.)

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iehi-feed-61986 Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:44:47 GMT How Many Jobs Do Robots Destroy? Answers Emerge http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-30_HowManyJobsDoRobotsDestroyAnswersEmerge.html ... soothsayers have been steadfastly claiming that for each destroyed job, the Great American Economy will generate more and better jobs, because, well, that's how it worked during, you guessed it, the Industrial Revolution.

But two economists have changed their mind (more on that in a moment) and published a gloomy working paper.

Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo studied how the increase of industrial robots between 1990 through 2007 has impacted US jobs and wages. They found "large and robust negative effects of robots on employment and wages across commuting zones."

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iehi-feed-61981 Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:38:41 GMT By the numbers, Trump's big environmental regulation rollback is all kinds of unpopular http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-29_BythenumbersTrumpsbigenvironmentalregulationrollbackisallkindsof.html