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-64733 Fri, 24 May 2019 03:00:08 GMT Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War; Fails To Quell Their Anxieties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_TrumpGivesFarmers16BillioninAidAmidProlongedChinaTradeWarFailsTo.html Jim Costa, a congressman from California who heads the House agriculture subcommittee, criticized the plan as a "rushed and poorly-planned bailout" that might end up giving less aid to some farmers, like those who grow fruit and vegetable crops in central California.

"For more than a year now, producers of every commodity have said the same thing: they want long-term access to export markets, not hasty attempts by the federal government to clean up its own mess," Mr. Costa said. "I urge the White House to rescind the tariffs and sit down in a constructive manner with the Chinese to address issues that will actually improve the market for our farmers."

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The collateral damage to farmers from the trade clash with China now looms as a potential obstacle to the president's re-election. China's tariffs against products like soybeans and beef and a recent move to cancel a major pork order have hit swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, especially hard.

A survey of 400 American farmers by Purdue University and the CME Group, a global markets company, showed that sentiment plunged in April, stemming from concerns about worsening tensions with China. Only 28 percent of farmers surveyed said that they believed a soybean dispute with China would be resolved by July 1, down from 45 percent in March, while 74 percent of those surveyed said now was a "bad time" to make big farm investments.

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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-64682 Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:26:35 GMT Goldman Sachs slashes compensation for employees as revenue drops http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-15_GoldmanSachsslashescompensationforemployeesasrevenuedrops.html Goldman posted first-quarter revenue that missed analysts' expectations, dropping 13% to $8.81 billion amid a tougher market for trading and investing.

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The bank cut compensation and benefits set aside for employees in the first quarter by 20% to $3.26 billion, or about $90,780 for each of the bank's 35,900 workers. A year ago, that figure was $119,323 for each of the bank's 34,000 workers.

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Compensation has been sliding on Wall Street ever since post-financial crisis rules crimped risk taking and as automation and electronic trading take over more flows from clients. Under CEO David Solomon, who took over in October, the firm is reevaluating all of its businesses and has already started to pull back resources from parts of underperforming areas like commodities trading. ''

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iehi-feed-64681 Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:24:30 GMT German prosecutors charge former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn with fraud http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-15_GermanprosecutorschargeformerVolkswagenCEOMartinWinterkornwithfr.html Prosecutors in the German city of Braunschweig said on Monday they were pressing criminal charges against former Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn in connection with the carmaker's manipulation of diesel emissions testing.

Four other executives are being charged, the prosecutors office said in a statement, without giving their names.

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Prosecutors said Winterkorn was accused of a particularly serious case of fraud, breach of trust and breaching competition laws because he had not acted -- despite having a special responsibility to do so as the company's CEO -- after it became clear on May 25, 2014, that diesel engines had been manipulated.

He neglected to inform authorities in Europe and the United States as well as customers of the illegal software and he also did not prevent the continued installation of such software, the prosecutors said.

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In a related case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Winterkorn last month, saying U.S. investors were informed too late about the German automaker's diesel emissions scandal, alleging a "massive fraud".

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iehi-feed-64678 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 22:10:49 GMT Newmont shareholders back $10-billion Goldcorp takeover http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_Newmontshareholdersback10billionGoldcorptakeover.html Newmont Mining Corp. shareholders have voted resoundingly in favour of the company's US$10-billion acquisition of Vancouver's Goldcorp Inc., removing the last major obstacle to what will likely be the second-biggest deal ever in the gold sector.

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The deal is expected to close later this quarter and means Newmont will bypass Barrick Gold Corp. and take the triple crown as biggest gold company in the world by market value, production and reserves.

The deal announced in January was eventful from the start. About a month after it was announced, Barrick made a hostile takeover bid for Newmont and urged Newmont to drop its quest for Goldcorp. Even later, when Barrick dropped its effort to acquire Newmont, more uncertainty arose when Goldcorp announced it had agreed to almost triple the retirement package of Ian Telfer, its chairman, to US$12-million. The payout angered some shareholders at Goldcorp, especially considering Mr. Telfer agreed to sell the company with its stock near a historical low.

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Much of the drama evaporated when Newmont sweetened the pot by agreeing to pay a special dividend to its shareholders worth US$470-million if a yes vote was achieved. That dividend will now be paid out on May 1 to people who hold shares as of April 17.

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iehi-feed-64670 Mon, 08 Apr 2019 18:38:45 GMT The Tesla Model 3 News Is Bad -- the Model S and Model X News Is Worse http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-08_TheTeslaModel3NewsIsBadtheModelSandModelXNewsIsWorse.html The sequential decline in deliveries can mostly be attributed to higher in-transit inventory as Tesla abruptly shifted its delivery mix toward Europe and China rather than the U.S. But even adjusting for that headwind, it appears that Model 3 production and sales have peaked. The only hope for a return to meaningful growth is that Tesla's move to open a factory in China will allow it to significantly reduce prices in that key market.

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There are a number of possible causes of this sales plunge. The partial phase-out of federal tax credits in the U.S. may have pulled forward some demand into 2018. Better availability of the Model 3 is another factor that could be weighing on demand for pricier Teslas. Trade tensions may be impacting sales in China. Growing competition in the electric vehicle market certainly can't be overlooked. And the recent Model Y reveal could be causing some potential buyers to consider waiting for that model.

Yet one thing is certain. There aren't any meaningful production constraints to blame for the sales decline -- it's all about demand. The only question is how much Tesla is willing to cut prices (at the cost of lower gross margin) to prop up Model S and Model X sales volume going forward.

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iehi-feed-64667 Mon, 08 Apr 2019 04:53:11 GMT Gold Bullion Latest News: China Adds for 4th Month http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-08_GoldBullionLatestNewsChinaAddsfor4thMonth.html China, the world's top gold producer and consumer, is facing signs of a slowing economy, even as progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. The latest data from the PBOC indicate that the country has resumed adding gold to its reserves at a steady pace, much like the period from mid-2015 to October 2016, when the country boosted holdings almost every month. Should China continue to accumulate bullion at the current rate over 2019, it may end the year as the top buyer after Russia, which added 274 tons in 2018.

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Governments worldwide added 651.5 tons of bullion in 2018, the second-highest total on record, according to the World Gold Council. ... Spot gold fell for a second month in March even after the Federal Reserve signaled it would pause rate hikes, which led to a surge in equities instead.

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China has previously gone long periods without revealing increases in gold holdings. When the central bank announced a 57 percent jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces in mid-2015, it was the first update in six years. The latest pause was from October 2016 until December last year.

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iehi-feed-64664 Fri, 05 Apr 2019 22:32:58 GMT Donald Trump Is Trying to Kill You http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-05_DonaldTrumpIsTryingtoKillYou.html iehi-feed-64662 Wed, 03 Apr 2019 19:36:38 GMT Sources: Martin Shkreli Thrown In Solitary Confinement After Claims He Ran Company From Prison http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-03_SourcesMartinShkreliThrownInSolitaryConfinementAfterClaimsHeRanC.html iehi-feed-64658 Wed, 03 Apr 2019 00:20:05 GMT Amazon is struggling to convince Prime members to go to Whole Foods. So it's slashing prices. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-02_AmazonisstrugglingtoconvincePrimememberstogotoWholeFoodsSoitssla.html Amazon has trained its Prime members to expect low prices. So naturally those shoppers have been reluctant to dish out for expensive groceries at Whole Foods.

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Amazon has tried to make Whole Foods more attractive to Prime members since the acquisition. Amazon initially cut prices on products like salmon and avocados. Then it began offering an extra discount on sale items exclusively for Prime shoppers last year to sweeten the Whole Foods offer.

Despite those steps, most Prime members still avoid shopping at the organic grocery chain. Only about 18% of Prime members shop at Whole Foods at least once per month and 70% of Prime members say they rarely or never shop at Whole Foods, according to a recent survey by Wolfe Research.

Whole Foods' high prices have been a big reason why Prime members have stayed away. Although Amazon made splashy discounting moves at first, Whole Foods' prices have creeped back up in recent months and remain well above rival supermarkets.

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Bigger chains like Kroger, Albertsons and Aldi have taken note of Whole Foods' appeal and expanded their own exclusive lines of organic foods. Kroger's Simple Truth grew 15% last year and is now a $2.3 billion brand. Aldi plans to expand its fresh food selection by 40% at its more than 1,800 stores across the country.

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Whole Foods' prices have also been ticking back up as consumer goods' manufacturers such as Dr. Bronner's and Haagen-Dazs increase their costs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that in February, Whole Foods raised prices from 10 cents to several dollars on hundreds of products.

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iehi-feed-64652 Sun, 31 Mar 2019 23:24:02 GMT WeWork Wants to Build the ‘Future of Cities.' What Does That Mean? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-31_WeWorkWantstoBuildtheFutureofCitiesWhatDoesThatMean.html Di-Ann Eisnor, the former Google executive who helped grow Waze into a traffic-data juggernaut with 90 million monthly users, will lead the recently rebranded We Company's efforts to build data-driven products and partnerships with cities and community groups, aimed at tackling barriers to jobs, housing, education, and other problems related to urbanization.

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But the initiative is likely to include a survey of the firm's many data sources to see how they might be applied in the service of entire communities. Quartz reported that Eisnor is charged with taking "what We has already done inside the building, take it outside, and reimagine a sort of connective tissue for 21st-century cities."

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the We Company isn't a novice in the urban data department, so it may be useful to look at what it has tinkered with in the past. At one point, the company experimented with applying machine learning to information about neighborhood attributes and demographics, in order to inform its real-estate leasing decisions. Such tools could be useful to city builders in the public and private sectors. But they may also raise some eyebrows.

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What Anderson described, in other words, was a kind of automated taste-tracker for a specific set of affluent people. A city planner or housing developer could find such a tool handy, especially if it was more up-to-the-minute and detailed than, say, the census and business registration data that tends to show how wealth and amenities spread around cities. An automated neighborhood-profiling widget could very easily go awry, however, if it isn't attuned to who and what is being screened out. Imagine, for example, a local government basing planning and investment decisions on the ratio of check-cashing places to upscale cashless coffee shops in a certain neighborhood. One could see this particular "smart city" innovation leading to algorithmic redlining.

The We Company is no longer actively pursuing these types of applications for machine learning. According to a spokesperson, it still pays WalkScore for various data-points about the surroundings of its potential locations, including proximity to transit. The company has largely refocused its data-driven efforts toward assessing the attributes that give office interiors good "vibes"--think algorithmically optimized arrangements of desks, chairs, and lighting, and the like. And it hopes to distance itself from the "smart city" label, which has become fraught with suspicion as other tech companies have attempted to turn urban data into dollars (see: Sidewalk Labs' efforts to develop a Toronto neighborhood "from the internet up.")

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iehi-feed-64643 Sun, 24 Mar 2019 19:16:16 GMT "Is the world running out of gold?" - Mainstream Catching On http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-24_IstheworldrunningoutofgoldMainstreamCatchingOn.html The murmurs that the world is running out of gold deposits have grown louder in the past two years... Gold production reaching its peak levels is nothing new. The production of the yellow metal has reached its highest levels on at least four occasions in the past before witnessing sharp declines.

But many say there is something that makes the current gold peak stand out: There is simply no new major gold deposit left to be discovered.

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Gold has been hovering around the psychological level of $1,300 an ounce since the beginning of this year -- a far cry from the highs of $1,800 an ounce witnessed in 2011-12. Analysts estimate that a minimum price of $1,500 per ounce is needed to maintain current production levels.

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The prospective impact of a lack of "world class" discoveries on future gold production can be gauged from the fact that such mines account for nearly half of the global gold production today.

The average grade of the new gold deposits -- the amount of gold that can be extracted per ton -- has also been declining. The average mine grade has fallen from over 10 gram per ton in the early 1970s to around 1.4 grams per ton today, according to Metals Focus, a precious metals consultancy.

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Analysts expect gold prices to rise in the longer term as gold mine supply struggles to expand. High prices and technological advancements are expected to push miners to explore new frontiers for the precious metal, including the seabed and possibly even asteroids.

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"In future most of the gold supply will come from recycling and not mining," Miller said.

The World Gold Council expects the demand for gold in jewelry to increase over the next 30 years "in a richer, more middle-class, connected world."

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iehi-feed-64626 Sat, 09 Mar 2019 15:52:14 GMT Venezuela's Power Outage Draws Its Leaders Into Deeper Tensions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-09_VenezuelasPowerOutageDrawsItsLeadersIntoDeeperTensions.html iehi-feed-64579 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:28:22 GMT Reason #437 to own gold: The Fed wants Negative Interest Rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_Reason437toowngoldTheFedwantsNegativeInterestRates.html ... after a 20% drop in US stocks, the Fed has taken its foot off the pedal. But the people still want more... Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan were supposed to start tightening policy and raising rates... now, they are both considering cutting interest rates even deeper into negative territory.

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The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis thinks current interest rates are "too restrictive." He too wants lower rates.

The San Francisco Fed agrees -- they were singing the praises of negative interest rates in a recent research paper, saying they would have helped the economy recover even faster after 2008.

And SocGen economist Albert Edwards thinks the US will see negative interest rates and helicopter money (meaning central banks will print money and give it directly to the people) during the next recession.

Now that the public is once again being reminded that the Fed and its cohorts have no credibility, let's see if hard assets come back, as they should...

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iehi-feed-64571 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:49:44 GMT Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S. Targeting Chinese Giant http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_HuaweiStingOffersRareGlimpseofUSTargetingChineseGiant.html

The sample looked like an ordinary piece of glass, 4 inches square and transparent on both sides. It'd been packed like the precious specimen its inventor, Adam Khan, believed it to be--placed on wax paper, nestled in a tray lined with silicon gel, enclosed in a plastic case, surrounded by air bags, sealed in a cardboard box--and then sent for testing to a laboratory in San Diego owned by Huawei Technologies Co. But when the sample came back last August, months late and badly damaged, Khan knew something was terribly wrong. Was the Chinese company trying to steal his technology?

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This investigation, which hasn't previously been made public, is separate from the recently announced grand jury indictments against Huawei. On Jan. 28, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. In a separate case, prosecutors in Seattle charged Huawei with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, claiming that one of its employees stole a part from a robot, known as Tappy, at a T-Mobile US Inc. facility in Bellevue, Wash. "These charges lay bare Huawei's alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices," Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said in a press release accompanying the Jan. 28 indictments. "Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being." Huawei has denied the charges.

If the new investigation bears fruit, it could, along with the indictments, bolster the Trump administration's effort to block Huawei from selling equipment for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in the U.S. and allied nations. The U.S. believes Huawei poses a national security threat, in part, because it could build undetectable backdoors into 5G hardware and software, allowing the Chinese government to spy on American communications and wage cyberwarfare. Huawei has said this is political posturing aimed at harming a Chinese company, and skeptics have pointed out that the T-Mobile allegation has since been settled in civil court and concerns events that played out more than a half-decade ago. "If Tappy is as far as they've gotten on [intellectual property] theft, that seems to be pretty thin gruel," Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post recently.

... if the government does conclude that Akhan was attacked, that a Chinese multinational really did target a tiny Chicago company with no revenue and no customers (as of yet), it would show just how far and wide Huawei is willing to go to steal American trade secrets. "I think they're identifying technologies that are key to their road map and going after them no matter what the size or scale or status of the business," Khan says. "I wouldn't say they're discriminating."''

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iehi-feed-64569 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 00:03:47 GMT Delayed, not saved: Foxconn's Wisconsin http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-03_DelayednotsavedFoxconnsWisconsin.html The factory is not back on. LCDs are pure commodities, among the lowest-margin components, and about to be made obsolete by OLEDs. There is zero business-case for building these outside of Asia-Pacific. It was a stunt, it was always a stunt, just like it was a stunt all the other times they did it.

The reason for the announcement is that Donald Trump called them up and asked them to announce that the factory would be built. Donald Trump will be president for two or fewer years, during which time Foxconn can dither and dick around and do very little, and then they can announce that the factory is off. This news will be welcomed by Trump's successor, from either party, as a way to further discredit him.

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iehi-feed-64559 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 23:23:50 GMT Central Banks Are Buying Gold at the Fastest Clip Since 1971 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-31_CentralBanksAreBuyingGoldattheFastestClipSince1971.html Central banks bought more bullion last year than anytime since 1971, when the U.S. ended the gold standard.Governments added 651.5 tons of gold to their coffers in 2018, a 74 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from the World Gold Council.

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Central banks are expected to acquire an additional 600 tons this year, according to the consulting firm Metals Focus Ltd. The buys, which will help the banks diversify their foreign-exchange assets in a time of extraordinary political volatility, signal a growing confidence in the metal's value moving forward.

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The banks "were not net buyers even a decade ago," said Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the WGC, in a telephone interview. "As their foreign reserves expand, they are increasingly diversifying away from pure dollar exposure."

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iehi-feed-64557 Wed, 30 Jan 2019 23:35:57 GMT EU rejects Theresa May's plans to change Brexit deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-30_EUrejectsTheresaMaysplanstochangeBrexitdeal.html "The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation," said European Council President Donald Tusk. "Yesterday, we found out what the UK doesn't want. But we still don't know what the UK does want."

Other frustrated EU officials, including Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, insisted the remaining 27 EU members were united and determined not to abandon the backstop they believe is key to maintaining peace on the border.

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Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the whole of the UK will remain in a customs union in relation to trade in goods with the EU "unless and until" the bloc agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border, while Northern Ireland will also conform to some rules of the European single market.

UK legislators critical of the clause say it threatens the integrity of the the UK's borders and could even lead to the UK staying within the EU customs union permanently.

Critics have argued for the inclusion of a mechanism to allow either side to withdraw from the backstop or a limit to how long it can last.

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iehi-feed-64550 Mon, 28 Jan 2019 00:52:33 GMT The Financial Secret Behind Germany's Green Energy Revolution http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-27_TheFinancialSecretBehindGermanysGreenEnergyRevolution.html