Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62843 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:37:26 GMT Trump Not Totally Successful In Getting Machinery of Gov To Toss His Wealthy Buddies Favors http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-23_TrumpNotTotallySuccessfulInGettingMachineryofGovToTossHisWealthy.html Coal magnate Robert Murray has just joined Wall Street billionaire Carl Icahn in an exclusive club -- wealthy backers of President Donald Trump who tried and failed to get lucrative concessions from his administration.

Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, one of the nation's biggest and most politically active coal miners, complained in an Aug. 4 letter made public Tuesday that the Energy Department had dragged its feet on his request that it use its emergency powers to force some Rust Belt coal-fired power plants to stay open. Trump was so taken by the idea that he immediately turned to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and ordered him to do it, wrote Murray, who said he had witnessed the conversation

Despite his best efforts, the "swamp" saves the day...

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iehi-feed-62828 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:45:41 GMT NAFTA Negotiations Start in Secrecy; Corporate Lobbying Heats Up http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-20_NAFTANegotiationsStartinSecrecyCorporateLobbyingHeatsUp.html iehi-feed-62827 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:39:37 GMT China moves to curb overseas debt-fueled acquisitions (+ENCOURAGE "NEW SILK ROAD" INVESTMENTS) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-20_ChinamovestocurboverseasdebtfueledacquisitionsENCOURAGENEWSILKRO.html The curbs were announced in a document released on Friday by the state council, China's cabinet, in the latest move to halt a string of foreign acquisitions. This week the International Monetary Fund described China's credit-fuelled economic strategy as dangerous, in a strongly worded statement warning that the country's approach risks financial turmoil.

Raising concerns that some of the companies involved may be taking on too much debt, the council said: "There are great opportunities for our nation's companies to embark on foreign investment, but they also face numerous risks and challenges."

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The document limits overseas investments in areas such as hotels, cinemas, the entertainment industry, real estate and sports clubs. It also bans outright investments in enterprises related to gambling and the sex industry. The Chinese government had already flagged hotels as an area of concern, having reportedly asked the insurance group Anbang to sell the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

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At the same time, the document encourages companies to plough money into projects related to the "Belt and Road" project, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative that seeks to link China with other parts of Asia and eastern Europe through multibillion-dollar investments in ports, highways, railways, power plants and other infrastructure.

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iehi-feed-62806 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:25:22 GMT Trump signs order to speed infrastructure construction http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-17_Trumpsignsordertospeedinfrastructureconstruction.html Trump's order includes revoking an earlier executive order signed by President Barack Obama concerning projects built in flood plains, White House officials said. The Obama order required that such projects built with federal aid take rising sea levels into account. Trump has suggested the predicted risks from sea level rise driven by climate change are overblown.

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Building trade groups had urged Trump to revoke the flood plain order, saying it was overly bureaucratic and increased the cost of projects. The Obama order was especially unwieldy because it didn't standardize across the government how sea level rise was to be taken into account, which left each federal agency to come up with its own standards, said Jimmy Christianson, an attorney with the Associated General Contractors.

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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has said that regulations, not a lack of funding, are a primary holdup faced by transportation infrastructure projects. But a Treasury Department report released earlier this year found that "a lack of public funding is by far the most common factor hindering completion" of major transportation and water infrastructure projects.

More mostly-bluster from Trump (that might sound good initially at 100,000 feet). Now let's see him craft an infrastructure plan with Congress that would actually fund something (or facilitate funding on a large scale)...

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iehi-feed-62799 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:52:30 GMT NAFTA talks are a major test for Trump -- and they won't be easy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-16_NAFTAtalksareamajortestforTrumpandtheywontbeeasy.html At stake is the legitimacy of President Trump, who criticized NAFTA as "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere" and campaigned on a pledge to renegotiate it. But also on the line are trillions of dollars of trade that flow through the North American economy. As talks have approached, American farmers, ranchers, retailers and representatives of other industries have warned the administration against disrupting the pact, fearful of losing the trading advantages that NAFTA gives them.

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"There's considerable political risk in reopening these negotiations," said Cécile Shea, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a former diplomat. "I'm not sure that the White House, which is not filled with a lot of people with international negotiating experience, is focused on that fact that Canada and Mexico will have demands."

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In remarks Monday, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland appeared to take a tough stance as she briefly outlined Canada's main goals -- including adding new provisions to protect the environment and the rights of workers, women and indigenous people, as well as preserving a mechanism for settling disputes that some U.S. industries have opposed.

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Negotiators will also face a particularly ambitious timeline. U.S. and Mexican officials have said they would like to conclude talks before the end of the year, well before Mexico's next presidential election on July 1, 2018 -- when NAFTA could become a contentious political issue.

Chip Roh, the former deputy U.S. chief negotiator of NAFTA, said the timeline will be hard to follow, given the size of the trade agreement. "It's hard for me to see how you have a resolution that everyone can call a win-win in that time frame," Roh said.

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iehi-feed-62790 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:37:40 GMT China Imposes Ban on Imports From North Korea, Heeding Trump's Calls http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-15_ChinaImposesBanonImportsFromNorthKoreaHeedingTrumpsCalls.html iehi-feed-62780 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:32:11 GMT Taibbi: Is LIBOR, Crucial Financial Benchmark, a Complete Fabrication? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-15_TaibbiIsLIBORCrucialFinancialBenchmarkaCompleteFabrication.html It... makes sense in theory to use LIBOR as a benchmark for borrowing rates on car loans or mortgages or even credit cards. But that's only true if LIBOR is actually measuring something... Theoretically, a fine system. Measuring how scared banks are to lend to each other should be a good way to gauge market stability. Except for one thing: banks haven't been lending to each other for decades.

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For decades now, the world's biggest banks have been dutifully reporting a whole range of numbers every morning at 11 a.m. London time -- the six-month Swiss franc rate, the three-month yen, the one-month dollar, etc. And none of it seems to have been real.

These numbers, even when sociopathic lunatics weren't fixing them, were arbitrary calculations based on previous, similarly arbitrary calculations -- a rolling fantasy that has been gathering speed for decades.

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Since we now know those rates are not based on reality -- there isn't a funding market -- that means hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions have been based upon a fraud. Some canny law firm somewhere is going to figure this out, sooner rather than later, and devise the world's largest and most lucrative class-action lawsuit: Earth v. Banks.

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iehi-feed-62777 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:02:20 GMT Worst Restaurant Recession since 2009 Digs Inflation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-14_WorstRestaurantRecessionsince2009DigsInflation.html iehi-feed-62776 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:54:16 GMT Analysts: Gold to Hit $1,400 in Next 6-9 Mos. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-14_AnalystsGoldtoHit1400inNext69Mos.html Prices have climbed 12 percent this year, driven by worries over a potential nuclear conflict between the U.S. and North Korea, and subdued inflation in the U.S., which is cooling chances of a further increase in interest rates. President Donald Trump has intensified warnings to North Korea, promising a massive response to any strike against the U.S. or its allies. Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio recommends investors place 5 to 10 percent of their assets in gold.

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"Fundamentally, we have been very bullish on the market," said Chirag Sheth, an analyst at Metals Focus Ltd., an independent precious-metals research firm based in London. "What North Korea has done is given gold the legs to go above the $1,300 level and sustain above that level," he said in an interview.

Sheth expects prices to advance to $1,400 in six to nine months as the situation in North Korea sees investors coming back to the market in search of a haven. The U.S. Federal Reserve, which was hawkish on interest rates, has now softened its stance, providing further support to bullion, he said.

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iehi-feed-62767 Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:53:46 GMT Trump opens door to investigating China's ‘theft' of US intellectual property http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-13_TrumpopensdoortoinvestigatingChinastheftofUSintellectualproperty.html Trump advisers said the president on Monday plans to sign an executive memorandum, which is a step below an executive order, directing trade officials to investigate China's "acts, policies or practices" that violate international protections for American intellectual property, innovations and technology.

In related matters, Chinese leader Xi Jinping urged restraint in a phone call with Trump on Saturday, warning that "concerned parties" should avoid "remarks and actions" that could escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Maybe if China just calms Trump down, that will constitute "help on North Korea" ...

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iehi-feed-62765 Sun, 13 Aug 2017 04:37:52 GMT The Fed Has 6,200 Tons of Gold in a Manhattan Basement -- Or Does it? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-13_TheFedHas6200TonsofGoldinaManhattanBasementOrDoesit.html iehi-feed-62764 Sun, 13 Aug 2017 04:35:47 GMT Battle of the Behemoths - Kunstler http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-13_BattleoftheBehemothsKunstler.html iehi-feed-62759 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 21:02:04 GMT What Went Wrong With the 21st Century? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-11_WhatWentWrongWiththe21stCentury.html ...U.S. GDP growth rates are only half of those of the last century. And household incomes, after you factor in inflation, are flat. In fact, by some calculations -- using non-fiddled measures of inflation -- growth has been negative for the whole 21st century. Meanwhile, there are more people tending bar or waiting tables... and fewer people with full-time breadwinner jobs. And productivity and personal savings rates have collapsed... What went wrong?

... First, we no longer have real money. We have been operating with the feds' fake dollars since 1971, when President Nixon finally took the U.S. off the gold standard. These fake dollars have no connection to time. They are unlimited in supply, unrestrained by available resources, and unhinged from the real world.

... The federal government is now looking at average deficits of $1 trillion a year over the next 10 years -- which would have been impossible to fund with real money.

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iehi-feed-62752 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:27:33 GMT As many as 160 Applebee's and IHOP locations to close http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-10_Asmanyas160ApplebeesandIHOPlocationstoclose.html The parent company of Applebee's and IHOP plans to close up to 160 restaurants, vastly boosting the number of eateries from the two comfort-food chains that it plans to shutter.

Some 105 to 135 Applebee's restaurants will close, up from the 40 to 60 that parent DineEquity said would close in the first quarter. Also on the chopping block are an estimated 20 to 25 IHOP sites, up from about 18. 

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The casual-dining segment, where both chains are positioned, is experiencing increased troubles as more customers have gravitated to the quick-service restaurants like Panera Bread or Chipotle Mexican Grill, many of which market themselves as offering healthier and more upscale food.

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iehi-feed-62751 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:17:01 GMT Dalio: Geopolitical Risks Rising; Make Sure You've Got Gold http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-10_DalioGeopoliticalRisksRisingMakeSureYouveGotGold.html

That's according to a Bridgewater Associates note to clients released Wednesday August 9, penned by founder Ray Dalio and staffers Bob Elliott, Steven Kryger and Neil Hannan. A copy of the note was reviewed by Business Insider... Here's an excerpt (emphasis added):

Most immediately, during the calm of the August vacation season, we are seeing 1) two confrontational, nationalistic and militaristic leaders playing chicken with each other, while the world is watching to see which one will be caught bluffing, or if there will be a hellacious war, and 2) the odds of Congress failing to raise the debt ceiling (leading to a technical default, a temporary government shutdown, and increased loss of faith in the effectiveness of our political system) rising. It's hard to bet on such things one way or another, so the best that one can do is be neutral to such possibilities.

When it comes to assessing political matters (especially global geopolitics like the North Korea matter), we are very humble. We know that we don't have a unique insight that we'd choose to bet on ...We can also say that if the above things go badly, it would seem that gold (more than other safe haven assets like the dollar, yen and treasuries) would benefit, so if you don't have 5-10% of your assets in gold as a hedge, we'd suggest you relook at this. Don't let traditional biases, rather than an excellent analysis, stand in the way of you doing this (and if you do have an excellent analysis of why you shouldn't have such an allocation to gold, we'd appreciate you sharing it with us.)

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iehi-feed-62747 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 18:43:51 GMT U.S. edges closer to a trade war with China, thanks to aluminum foil http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-09_USedgesclosertoatradewarwithChinathankstoaluminumfoil.html A preliminary decision issued by the Commerce Department on Tuesday evening found that the products were receiving financial assistance from the Chinese government. It specifically levied "countervailing duties" on four Chinese companies, ranging from an 81 percent import tax on imports from two firms to a 17 percent tax on another. Chinese companies not specifically named face a duty of 22 percent on products they export to the U.S. market... The measure will cover the kind of aluminum foil commonly used in kitchens, as well as in product packaging, cookware and automobiles.

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The decision is a routine one, as the United States frequently sets duties on imports it believes are unfairly subsidized. But it takes on more importance now that the Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on Chinese trade practices, said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute.

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Trump spoke often on the campaign trail about cracking down on China's trade abuses. But in the initial months of his presidency, he appeared to be willing to cut the Chinese more slack on trade in exchange for help with diplomacy goals, such as pressuring North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

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In more recent months, however, the president appeared to abandon that strategy, while simultaneously ratcheting up trade pressure on Beijing. The Chinese "do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk," Trump tweeted July 30.

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The United States is also considering a separate trade measure against China under Section 301 of the 1974 trade law. This measure, which could come as soon as next week, would penalize the Chinese for theft of American intellectual property... . "If they can't reach a deal and the United States decides to move toward penalties, China would likely respond with retaliatory penalties as well as bring a case to the WTO."

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iehi-feed-62744 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:18:08 GMT Trump challenging China on trade would spark 'very aggressive' response, expert predicts | World news | The Guardian http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-08_TrumpchallengingChinaontradewouldsparkveryaggressiveresponseexpe.html iehi-feed-62735 Sat, 05 Aug 2017 00:20:26 GMT "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli Is Found Guilty of Fraud http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-04_PharmaBroMartinShkreliIsFoundGuiltyofFraud.html Martin Shkreli, accused of defrauding his hedge fund investors and a pharmaceutical company, was convicted on three of eight counts on Friday, after a five-week trial in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Mr. Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud in connection with his hedge fund MSMB Capital; of securities fraud in connection with another hedge fund he ran, MSMB Healthcare; and of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, related to a scheme in which he tried to secretly control a huge portion of shares of Retrophin, a drug company he started.

He faces up to 20 years on each of the first two counts, and up to five years on the final count.

The conviction, even as a mixed verdict, was a major defeat for the divisive Mr. Shkreli, who said before the trial that he was "so innocent" that the judge, jury and prosecutors would apologize to him afterward.

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The jury, which was outwardly quiet during its five-day deliberation -- it sent only one substantive note -- was never deadlocked, said one juror, who spoke after the verdict on condition of anonymity, because he did not want his name immediately associated with the case.

He described the deliberation method as methodical and logical and said the jurors had focused on whether Mr. Shkreli had intended to harm investors who gave him money.

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He showed outward relief when Judge Matsumoto said he was found not guilty on count seven, mouthing "Yes" and patting his lawyer Benjamin Brafman on the back. When she said he was guilty of count eight, the Retrophin securities-fraud conspiracy, he hung his head. After the verdict was read, he gathered in a circle with his lawyers, looking a little shaken, then pulled on a hoodie. By the time he got outside court, where he gave his statements, he was smiling and speaking smoothly.

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The prosecution brought forth an "avalanche" of evidence, as the prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis put it in her rebuttal argument, that included a threatening letter he sent to the wife of a former employee, statements he sent to MSMB investors showing great returns at the same time he had no money in fund accounts, three versions of a backdated agreement to make it look as if MSMB Capital had invested in Retrophin when it had not, as well as claims about assets under management that were wildly out of line with his actual fund size.

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iehi-feed-62724 Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:21:07 GMT Real-life "Hyper Loop" Shaping Up To Be Neither http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-03_ReallifeHyperLoopShapingUpToBeNeither.html iehi-feed-62723 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:04:56 GMT Foxconn steers clear of Trump's $30 billion investment claim http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-02_FoxconnsteersclearofTrumps30billioninvestmentclaim.html