Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-61778 Mon, 27 Feb 2017 23:06:22 GMT 1,000 Wendy's will get self-ordering kiosks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-27_1000Wendyswillgetselforderingkiosks.html A typical location would have three kiosks, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Higher-volume restaurants will be given priority for the kiosks. Wendy's Chief Information Officer David Trimm said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast-food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.

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Customers will still be able to order at the counter for now, although Tristano predicts that mobile ordering and payment via smartphones will one day overtake self-ordering kiosks and cash registers.

Wendy's is ready for that $15-an-hour minimum wage, for sure.

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iehi-feed-61775 Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:49:25 GMT Walmart Takes a Hatchet to Its Grocery Prices as It Declares War on Aldi and Kroger http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-27_WalmartTakesaHatchettoItsGroceryPricesasItDeclaresWaronAldiandKr.html Walmart, which used to dominate the low-price retail space, is slowly being encroached upon by new discount grocers like Aldi. To compare, a two-liter bottle of soda at an Aldi store costs $1.58 while a bottle at any Walmart store costs $1.56. A carton of 12 eggs at Aldi costs between 58 cents and 79 cents, versus Walmart where they cost between 78 cents and $1.08, according to research conducted by Reuters.

... according to Deutsche Bank's own price comparison study, Aldi is "the price leader" over Walmart. "Specifically, our Walmart basket was 13.5% more expensive on average," Deutsche analysts said in a recent research note. "Said another way, Walmart's average basket of $112.76 was $13.39 more expensive than Aldi's."

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iehi-feed-61773 Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:19:39 GMT Our Miserable 21st Century http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-26_OurMiserable21stCentury.html The very fact of Trump's election served as a truth broadcast about a reality that could no longer be denied: Things out there in America are a whole lot different from what you thought... In fact, things have been going badly wrong in America since the beginning of the 21st century.

It turns out that the year 2000 marks a grim historical milestone of sorts for our nation. For whatever reasons, the Great American Escalator, which had lifted successive generations of Americans to ever higher standards of living and levels of social well-being, broke down around then--and broke down very badly.

The warning lights have been flashing, and the klaxons sounding, for more than a decade and a half. But our pundits and prognosticators and professors and policymakers, ensconced as they generally are deep within the bubble, were for the most part too distant from the distress of the general population to see or hear it. (So much for the vaunted "information era" and "big-data revolution.") Now that those signals are no longer possible to ignore, it is high time for experts and intellectuals to reacquaint themselves with the country in which they live and to begin the task of describing what has befallen the country in which we have lived since the dawn of the new century.

... In some circles people still widely believe, as one recent New York Times business-section article cluelessly insisted before the inauguration, that "Mr. Trump will inherit an economy that is fundamentally solid." But this is patent nonsense. By now it should be painfully obvious that the U.S. economy has been in the grip of deep dysfunction since the dawn of the new century. And in retrospect, it should also be apparent that America's strange new economic maladies were almost perfectly designed to set the stage for a populist storm.

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iehi-feed-61771 Sun, 26 Feb 2017 16:53:46 GMT Netherlands holds probe into whether to ditch euro http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-26_Netherlandsholdsprobeintowhethertoditcheuro.html Politicians in the Netherlands have commissioned a report into whether or not the country should keep the euro, with a "comprehensive debate" on the country's future relationship with the currency expected to take place after the general election next month... calls for the report were prompted by concerns the European Central Bank's (ECB) ultra-low interest rates were hurting Dutch savers, especially pensioners, and doubts as to whether its bond purchasing programmes are legal.

Its findings will be presented in several months, by which time the make-up of parliament will have changed dramatically following the election... While most Dutch voters say they favour retaining the euro, the eurosceptic far-right party of Geert Wilders is expected to book large gains, though it is unlikely to win enough votes to form a government.''

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iehi-feed-61767 Sun, 26 Feb 2017 14:54:26 GMT President Trump Must Replace The Dollar With Gold As The Global Currency To Make America Great Again http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-26_PresidentTrumpMustReplaceTheDollarWithGoldAsTheGlobalCurrencyToM.html ... if President Trump wishes to address America's merchandise trade deficit he will find that allowing the dollar to be used as the global currency is the real snake in the economic woodpile.  The dollar's burden as the international reserve currency, not currency manipulation by our trading partners or bad treaties, is the true villain in the ongoing melodrama of crummy job creation.

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To turn the IMF into a world central bank would, of course, be anathema to Trump's economic nationalism. To subordinate the dollar to the IMF's SDR would be equivalent to lowering Old Glory and replacing the American flag with the flag of the United Nations on every flagpole in America. Unthinkable under a Trump administration.

That leaves the [final] option, to "adopt a modernized international gold standard, as proposed in the 1960s by Rueff and in 1984 by his protégé Lewis E. Lehrman ... and then-Rep. Jack Kemp" (whose eponymous foundation I advise). To this one should add, as Forbes.com contributor Nathan Lewis has shrewdly observed, the removal of tax and regulatory barriers to the use of gold as currency... We have the gold. Bringing back the gold standard would not be very hard to do.

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iehi-feed-61762 Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:11:36 GMT Odey: Trump Will Introduce a VAT; Spur 7% Inflation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-24_OdeyTrumpWillIntroduceaVATSpur7Inflation.html iehi-feed-61756 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:17:59 GMT Bitcoin is nearing its all-time high on ETF anticipation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-23_BitcoinisnearingitsalltimehighonETFanticipation.html Bitcoin came within $3 of its all-time high on Thursday as expectations mounted that the Securities and Exchange Commission could soon authorize the creation of the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

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The SEC is expected to deliver a decision on the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust by March 11. Two other bitcoin-focused ETFs are also under consideration.

Though some have speculated that the path to a bitcoin ETF may be easier under the administration of President Donald Trump, Spencer Bogart, a bitcoin analyst at Needham and Co., believes chances of approval are less than 1-in-4.

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iehi-feed-61753 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:12:14 GMT Einhorn Shorts Sovereigns, Affirms Gold on Trump Uncertainty http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-23_EinhornShortsSovereignsAffirmsGoldonTrumpUncertainty.html iehi-feed-61749 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:15:52 GMT Fed Officials Not "Losing Patience" Fast Enough to Hike in March http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-22_FedOfficialsNotLosingPatienceFastEnoughtoHikeinMarch.html iehi-feed-61742 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:46:40 GMT Fumbling Towards Collapse - KUNSTLER http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_FumblingTowardsCollapseKUNSTLER.html You ... have an American public, and a mass media, who do not question the premise of a massive "infrastructure" spending project to re-boot the foundering economy. If you ask what they mean by that, you will learn that they uniformly see rebuilding our highways, bridges, tunnels, and airports. Some rightly suspect that the money for that is not there -- or can only be summoned with more accounting fraud (borrowing from our future). But on the whole, most adults of all political stripes in this country think we can and should do this, that it would be a good thing.

And what is this infrastructure re-boot in the service of? A living arrangement with no future. A matrix of extreme car dependency that has zero chance of continuing another decade. More WalMarts, Target stores, Taco Bells, muffler shops, McHousing subdivisions, and other accoutrement of our fast-zombifying mode of existence? Isn't it obvious, even if you never heard of, or don't understand, the oil quandary, that we have shot our wad with all this? That we have to start down a different path if we intend to remain human?

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iehi-feed-61738 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:10:07 GMT OPEC's Pushing for Full Compliance With Oil Cuts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_OPECsPushingforFullComplianceWithOilCuts.html "We are going to go for much higher levels of compliance because of the very high level of stocks that we have brought over with us from 2016," Mohammad Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in a Bloomberg television interview in London. "Anything less than 100 percent is not satisfactory" and OPEC expects to achieve that level "in due course."

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Oil has held above $50 a barrel since OPEC and 11 other nations started trimming output. The exporters group implemented about 90 percent of the pledged cuts last month and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the market will shift into supply deficit in the first half, although U.S. crude stockpiles have kept increasing to the highest level in more than three decades.

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iehi-feed-61732 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:54:24 GMT The supermarket food gamble may be up http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_Thesupermarketfoodgamblemaybeup.html iehi-feed-61730 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:32:27 GMT Greenspan: Gold is "Primary Global Currency" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_GreenspanGoldisPrimaryGlobalCurrency.html iehi-feed-61728 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:29:25 GMT BlackRock: "We're on the precipice of a breakout in inflation" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-20_BlackRockWereontheprecipiceofabreakoutininflation.html iehi-feed-61727 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:42:10 GMT ‘From bad to worse': Greece hurtles towards a final reckoning http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_FrombadtoworseGreecehurtlestowardsafinalreckoning.html "We had an agreement," insisted Balaouras, looking despondently down at his desert boots. "We kept to our side of the deal, but the lenders haven't kept to their side because now they are asking for more. We want the review to end. We want to go forward. This situation is in the interests of no one. But to get there we have to have an honourable compromise. Without that there will be a clash."

It had been hoped that an agreement would be struck on Monday at what had been billed as a high-stakes meeting of euro area finance ministers. On Friday, EU officials announced that the deadline had been all but missed because there had been little convergence between the two sides.

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The country's epic struggle to avert bankruptcy should have been settled when Athens received €110bn in aid -- the biggest financial rescue programme in global history -- from the EU and International Monetary Fund in May 2010. Instead, three bailouts later, it is still wrangling over the terms of the latest €86bn emergency loan package, with lenders also at loggerheads and diplomats no longer talking of a can, but rather a bomb, being kicked down the road. Default looms if a €7.4bn debt repayment -- money owed mostly to the European Central Bank -- is not honoured in July.

Amid the uncertainty, volatility has returned to the markets. So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year. With talk of Greece's exit from the euro being heard again, farmers, trade unions and other sectors enraged by the eviscerating effects of austerity have once more come out in protest.

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"Grexit is the last thing we want, but we may arrive at a point of serious dilemmas," said Venizelos. "Whatever deal is reached will be very difficult to implement, but that notwithstanding, it is not the memoranda [the bailout accords] that caused the crisis. The crisis was born in Greece long before."

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iehi-feed-61721 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:34:46 GMT Norway Central Bank Chief Warns of ‘Sharp' Drop in Wealth Fund http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-18_NorwayCentralBankChiefWarnsofSharpDropinWealthFund.html Governor Oystein Olsen said that the continued rise in oil cash spending, which now accounts for about 20 percent of the budget and 8 percent of gross domestic product, must now be halted to protect the $900 billion fund, the world's largest sovereign pool of cash.

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Government withdrawals from the fund are estimated to jump about 25 percent this year after an historic first outflow last year. The Conservative-led government was last year forced to dip into the oil fund for the first time to cover budget needs and protect the economy amid a plunge in oil prices.

... [The central bank] sees a 1 percent chance of a 50 percent decline over 10 years if spending is kept at the current level of about 3 percent of the fund. If spending is raised to 4 percent that probability rises to about 5 percent. If the fund's allocation to stocks is boosted to 75 percent from 60 percent, which is currently being discussed, the probabilities rise even further to about 2 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

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iehi-feed-61715 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:59:55 GMT Why So Many Families Are Feeling Extreme Financial Stress http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_WhySoManyFamiliesAreFeelingExtremeFinancialStress.html ... our incomes have been incredibly stagnant.   In fact, we just learned that median household income did not go up at all during 2016. This is one of the reasons why we consistently see families fall out of the middle class month after month.  Even if you keep the same job year after year, your standard of living is going to steadily go down unless your pay goes up.

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And today we learned that the number of Americans refinancing their homes has fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009... If you will remember, we also saw a slowdown in mortgage refinancing just before the great financial crisis of 2008. For mortgage applications overall, they are now down almost 31 percent from where they were a year ago... And we also learned this week that FHA mortgage delinquencies increased during the fourth quarter "for the first time since 2006″... If this continues, it won't be too long before everyone is talking about a new housing crash.

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iehi-feed-61708 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:42:45 GMT Four Signs U.S-China Relations Destined for Conflict http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_FourSignsUSChinaRelationsDestinedforConflict.html iehi-feed-61706 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:43:55 GMT Gold, stocks and the dollar are doing something very unusual http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_Goldstocksandthedollararedoingsomethingveryunusual.html iehi-feed-61705 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:42:06 GMT Inflation Alarms Expose Vulnerability in Richly Priced S&P 500 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_InflationAlarmsExposeVulnerabilityinRichlyPricedSP500.html Lower valuations don't always cause trouble for the stock market as long as profits grow faster. But for now, the earnings picture is not promising. S&P 500 companies just returned to growth after five quarters of declines. While analysts see income jumping 12 percent this year, the rate appears to be too optimistic given the economy is forecast to grow only 2.3 percent.

After living through years of deflation fear amid the slowest economic recovery from a recession since the World War II, investors are now embracing the prospect of faster growth and higher inflation, underpinned by Trump's pro-growth agenda. Money has flown to banks and companies most geared to an economic upswing in a rally that has added more than $2 trillion to stock value since the election.

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