Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-65060 Tue, 05 Nov 2019 18:15:37 GMT Study: Income Inequality Is Masking Inflation At The Bottom http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-11-05_StudyIncomeInequalityIsMaskingInflationAtTheBottom.html ``In an era of wild inequality, sputtering wages, and rising rents and health-care costs, the American working class has had one consistent financial respite: "stuff," broadly defined, is cheap. Sure, workers might not be able to afford a decent apartment, a college education, or sufficient elder care for an infirm relative, or to ever, ever get sick. But burgers, leggings, yard tools, bicycles, dishes, smartphones, soda--these items have become less expensive, thanks to big-box stores and internet retailers and imports from abroad.

Or perhaps not. A new analysis from a prominent group of economic researchers suggests not only that rising prices have been quietly taxing low-income families more heavily than rich ones, but also that, after accounting for that trend, the American poverty rate is significantly higher than the official measures suggest. Call it "inflation inequality," a subtle, pernicious way that the fortunes of the rich and the poor have diverged.

... the London School of Economics found that from 2004 to 2015, the prices of the products purchased by the bottom income quintile increased faster than the prices of the products purchased by the top income quintile. As a result, low-income families experienced an annual rate of inflation conservatively estimated at 0.44 percentage points higher than that of high-income families... such changes compound over time, wedging apart the welfare of struggling households and flourishing ones. Rich families get competitive prices on organic groceries and athleisure and better-and-better electronics; poor families end up paying more for worse-quality alternatives.

Jaravel suggested a mechanism behind the finding: Rising wealth and income inequality mean that richer people have ever more disposable income, creating a market incentive for retailers to cater to the needs of lawyers in Chicago and tech analysts in Boston over child-care workers in the Mississippi Delta and part-time retail workers in California's Central Valley.

...

Accounting for differential changes in prices would bump up the 2018 poverty rate by 8 percent--adding 3.2 million people to the ranks of the officially poor, and 836,000 people to the ranks of those in deep poverty. According to standard government measures, the real household income of the bottom quintile fell 1 percent from 2004 to 2018; using the new, inflation-sensitive accounting, it fell more than 7 percent... "It's not just that inflation is not uniform across income groups," says Michael Linden of the Groundwork Collaborative ... "It's that it's not uniform across income groups because of inequality itself."

]]>
iehi-feed-65043 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 20:30:06 GMT With 1.5 Million Packages a Day, The Internet Brings Chaos to NYC Streets http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-28_With15MillionPackagesaDayTheInternetBringsChaostoNYCStreets.html The total number of trucks on tolled crossings into New York City and within the five boroughs rose about 9.4 percent in 2018, to an estimated 35.7 million, from 32.6 million in 2013, according to transit data.

That increase in traffic has made the interchange of Interstate 95 and New Jersey Route 4, about a half-mile from the George Washington Bridge, the country's most gridlocked stretch of highway for trucks, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.

...

As the internet economy grows, so, too, does the importance of what is known as last-mile package delivery -- the final step in the increasingly competitive and costly process of moving items to customers' homes as quickly as possible.

In New York, at least five warehouses, are in the works. Over the summer, Amazon opened a last-mile warehouse in the Bronx and another in Queens. It has also looked at leasing additional facilities for last-mile deliveries in Brooklyn.

...

Another multistory warehouse, planned on 18 acres in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is expected to be the country's largest last-mile warehouse, Mr. Hertz said.

Their warehouses in Red Hook, as well as a multistory warehouse to be built in the South Bronx, are going up in Opportunity Zones, which were created as part of the 2017 tax law and offer significant tax benefits to projects in economically distressed areas.

The program has been criticized for giving tax breaks to wealthy people who invest in the zones, while not significantly helping struggling neighborhoods.

...

Rafael Salamanca Jr., a City Council member whose district includes the South Bronx, said he had mixed feelings about the area becoming a warehouse hub. While warehouses have provided jobs, and pledges from Amazon to hire local residents, they have also increased the number of diesel-spewing trucks on the roads.

...

Andrew Chung, the chief executive of Innovo Property Group, which is building the multistory warehouse in the South Bronx, said the distribution center would have electric charging stations with the goal of eventually shifting to a mostly electric delivery fleet.

]]>
iehi-feed-65019 Sun, 20 Oct 2019 15:34:34 GMT Brexit vote postponed: Here's what could happen now http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-20_BrexitvotepostponedHereswhatcouldhappennow.html U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was thwarted by a cross-party group of politicians who voted to postpone the "meaningful vote" on his new divorce deal and force him to ask Brussels for an extension to the current Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. The developments in Parliament set up a complicated week with just 11 days left until the U.K. is still due to leave the world's largest trading bloc.

...

Johnson grudgingly asked for an extension to the deadline late on Saturday night, but EU leaders don't necessarily have to accept it. Some have ruled out giving Britain more time, piling pressure on U.K. lawmakers to accept the current deal. But it's unlikely they would want a no-deal scenario and the potential economic hit it could mean for both sides of the English Channel.

]]>
iehi-feed-65007 Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:15:39 GMT CoinShares, Blockchain Launch Gold Token Network on a Bitcoin Sidechain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-16_CoinSharesBlockchainLaunchGoldTokenNetworkonaBitcoinSidechain.html Working with wallet provider Blockchain and precious medal trader MKS (Switzerland) SA, the U.K.-based firm announced Tuesday a gold-backed network for trading tokens representing digitized physical gold, a project two years in the making.

According to CoinShares, the network launches today with more than $20 million in gold held in a Swiss vault to back up its tokens. Each DGLD token is backed by 1/10th troy ounce.

CoinShares chairman Danny Masters said the product's network security is based on the bitcoin state, with DGLD operating as a sidechain of the bitcoin network.

]]>
iehi-feed-64987 Tue, 08 Oct 2019 14:33:28 GMT These Trade Claims Made by Trump? They're All Wrong http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-08_TheseTradeClaimsMadebyTrumpTheyreAllWrong.html Claim 1: Let's start with an easy one. On March 2, 2018, when Fox Business Network's "Mornings With Maria" asked whether China would retaliate against the metal tariffs, Mr. Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro replied, "I don't believe any country in the world is going to retaliate for the simple reason that we are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world."

He was wrong: Everyone has retaliated against us. A recent study by the economists Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve, Stephen J. Redding of Princeton and David Weinstein of Columbia shows that our trading partners, "especially China, have retaliated with tariffs averaging 16 percent on approximately $121 billion of U.S. exports."

...

The bottom line is that pretty much everything Mr. Trump has promised on the trade front by imposing tariffs hasn't panned out, even if the president persists in saying the opposite.

]]>
iehi-feed-64983 Sun, 06 Oct 2019 18:37:04 GMT IKEA in 'World First' Trade Transaction Using Smart Contracts and Licensed E-Money http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-10-06_IKEAinWorldFirstTradeTransactionUsingSmartContractsandLicensedEM.html IKEA Iceland has taken part in a commercial transaction on ethereum, using smart contracts and licensed e-money to facilitate the settlement of an order from local retailer Nordic Store.

The transaction was carried out on a platform provided by supply chain management firm Tradeshift and used "programmable digital cash" from ConsenSys-backed Monerium, according to an announcement from Tradeshift on Tuesday. Specifically, Nordic Store bought goods from IKEA and settled an e-invoice using Monerium's tokenised Icelandic krona.

Monerium and Tradeshift suggested the "world's first" transaction shows that "government-regulated, programmable e-money is ready for mainstream markets."

As reported in June, Reykjavik-based Monerium was licensed by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland (FME) as its first Electronic Money Institution, making the startup the first to have regulatory approval to provide fiat payment services over blockchain systems across the European Economic Area.

]]>
iehi-feed-64966 Thu, 26 Sep 2019 20:04:08 GMT Vacant Retail Space In NYC Has Doubled Since 2007 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-26_VacantRetailSpaceInNYCHasDoubledSince2007.html iehi-feed-64963 Wed, 25 Sep 2019 16:00:03 GMT Gold Busts Out of 6-Year Trading Range On Fed Capitulation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-25_GoldBustsOutof6YearTradingRangeOnFedCapitulation.html iehi-feed-64948 Tue, 17 Sep 2019 22:42:42 GMT Trump to revoke California's authority over car emissions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-17_TrumptorevokeCaliforniasauthorityovercaremissions.html President Trump is expected Wednesday to revoke a decades-old rule that empowers California to set tougher car emissions standards than those required by the federal government -- putting the state and the administration on a path to years of fighting in court.Hanging in the balance is whether California will continue to serve as a laboratory for tough new auto pollution rules and whether its regulations requiring automakers to sell more zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrids will survive. The state's goal is to have more than 1 million of these vehicles on the road by 2025.

...

California's special authority to go further than the federal government in regulating auto pollution dates back to the 1960s, when Los Angeles was enveloped in a thick layer of smog that state officials came to see as a public health crisis. By the time the 1970 federal Clean Air Act took effect, the state had already enacted its own tailpipe emission controls.

Concerned that each state would pass different regulations, Congress decided that the EPA would set vehicle pollution standards for the nation. But it carved out an exception for California, saying that the EPA would be required to grant the state a waiver to set its own rules, provided they were at least as stringent as the federal ones. Other states could choose to follow either California's regulations or those set by the EPA.

The rule change to try to end that authority comes a few months after California spurned the White House by secretly negotiating a deal with four major automakers. As part of the pact, the car manufacturers -- Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW -- agreed to voluntarily abide by California's rules and increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, essentially ignoring the Trump administration's plans to roll back tailpipe pollution standards.

...

Dan Becker, director of the Washington-based Safe Climate Campaign, said, "Trump has married his administration-wide hostility to the environment to his personal vendetta against California."

Let's see if everyone rejoices that a state cannot set more ambitious pollution controls than the federal government. This issue pits states' rights and the "laboratories of democracy" principles against the supremacy clause and the commerce clause. (Ironic, though, how in most other contexts, the federal government and the Supreme Court no longer care much about the commerce clause, or its inverse).

]]>
iehi-feed-64946 Tue, 17 Sep 2019 03:02:12 GMT U.S. charges JPMorgan metals traders over alleged precious metals market manipulation http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-16_USchargesJPMorganmetalstradersoverallegedpreciousmetalsmarketman.html The Department of Justice charged two current and one former JPMorgan Chase & Co executives on Monday with alleged racketeering and manipulating prices of metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium between 2008 and 2016

...

In a statement and in the indictment, prosecutors described how the trio executed "thousands" of unlawful trading sequences that included "layering" deceptive orders at different prices in rapid succession. Prosecutors also described attempts to influence market prices toward specific price points to trigger or avoid triggering options.

]]>
iehi-feed-64944 Mon, 16 Sep 2019 22:24:18 GMT Donald Trump is a deeply stupid man who routinely gets his ass kicked on the world stage http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-16_DonaldTrumpisadeeplystupidmanwhoroutinelygetshisasskickedonthewo.html Trump wanted a trade war with China. Because he thought he could bluster and bully and get his way. But like the rest of the world, China is laughing at Trump, when they're not scratching their heads because Trump is so deeply stupid, and his administration so profoundly incompetent that China doesn't even know with whom to negotiate. But Trump got his trade war. Which he is losing. Because he is a deeply stupid man.

Trump's trade war already has cost 300,000 American jobs. And every time he opens his mouth about China, the American stock markets get spooked. And then after threatening to escalate his trade war, Trump backed down, and now desperately wants to find a way out of yet another crisis that is entirely of his own making. Because he has no idea what he's doing. Because he is a deeply stupid man who routinely gets his ass kicked on the world stage.

]]>
iehi-feed-64914 Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:58:28 GMT Does CBD Work? Health Benefits Unproven But Sales Climb http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-04_DoesCBDWorkHealthBenefitsUnprovenButSalesClimb.html Researchers haven't been able to pinpoint the exact physiological mechanism that makes CBD "work" so well for so many issues, explains Flávio Kapczinski, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton McMaster University. In simplest terms, it's thought that CBD acts by modulating the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network that's responsible for maintaining bodily homeostasis and modulating pain and inflammation. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, can bind to specific endocannabinoid receptors and make you feel different ways. "There are a lot of expectations about the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids," Dr. Kapczinski says. "These expectations are probably inflated right now."

...

These sales are climbing mainly due to millennials and Gen Z, who are buying and using CBD with great fervor and reporting even greater success. In the end, in today's hectic and manic world, it simply makes them feel better. That there's little scientific proof to back up their own experiences is irrelevant. These demos will only get older and develop more ailments that'll need some sort of treatment. For now, CBD seems to fit that bill.

]]>
iehi-feed-64913 Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:36:16 GMT Panic Sweeps Argentine Pampas as Farmers' Old Nemesis Returns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-04_PanicSweepsArgentinePampasasFarmersOldNemesisReturns.html Mauricio Macri, the man who championed the cause of the Argentine farmer, is almost certain to lose his re-election bid in October and will hand back the presidency to the leftist party that tormented the region for years. A primary vote held a few weeks ago made that clear...

Times were tough for growers and ranchers under Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Fernandez's running mate who was president between 2007 and 2015, when Macri took over.

She curbed exports, capped domestic prices and demonized farmers, grouping them with what she depicted as a greedy clique of businessmen who imperiled her leftist reforms. Her first term was marred by huge protests over taxes on crop shipments.

...

Reumann has taken other steps to safeguard his finances. One is conventional enough. He's trying to lock in prices now with buyers for wheat he put in the ground this past winter.

The other appears more unusual, almost desperate. He's only applying a small dose of fertilizer to the wheat. Whatever grows will grow, he figures, but he's not going to spend more money on a crop that Alberto Fernandez, Macri's rival in the Oct. 27 vote, could force him to sell at deeply discounted prices.

"If Fernandez the populist governs, farmers will produce just to subsist," said Juan Ouwerkerk, president of Alfa, a farmers' cooperative in southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina's bread basket. "It could be a train wreck."''

]]>
iehi-feed-64911 Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:26:14 GMT US manufacturing contracts for the first time in three years amid China trade war http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-09-04_USmanufacturingcontractsforthefirsttimeinthreeyearsamidChinatrad.html iehi-feed-64903 Thu, 29 Aug 2019 22:07:01 GMT E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-29_EPAtoRollBackRegulationsonMethaneaPotentGreenhouseGas.html The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in its proposed rule, aims to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. It will also reopen the question of whether the E.P.A. even has the legal authority to regulate methane as a pollutant.

The rollback is particularly notable because major energy companies have, in fact, spoken out against it -- joining the ranks of automakers, electric utilities and other industrial giants that have opposed other administration initiatives to dismantle climate-change and environmental rules. Several of the world's largest auto companies are pushing back against President Trump's plans to let vehicles pollute more, saying those rollbacks stand to split the United States auto market in two, while utilities have opposed the relaxation of restrictions on toxic mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants.

This move could even be self-defeating on the part of the Trump administration in its sheer pointlessness and malice.

]]>
iehi-feed-64882 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:20:39 GMT Climate change could rain on Saudi Aramco's IPO parade http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-20_ClimatechangecouldrainonSaudiAramcosIPOparade.html "The longer that (the IPO) gets delayed, the less willing the market will be to price it favorably because gradually investors are going to need to ask questions about how valuable those reserves are in a world that is trying to get down to net zero emissions by 2050."

Reuters reported on Aug. 8 that Prince Mohammed was insisting on a $2 trillion valuation even though some bankers and company insiders say the kingdom should trim its target to around $1.5 trillion.

A valuation gap could hinder any share sale. The IPO was previously slated for 2017 or 2018 and, when that deadline slipped, to 2020-2021.

Aramco told Reuters it was ready for a listing and the timing would be decided by the government.

]]>
iehi-feed-64877 Sun, 11 Aug 2019 23:03:03 GMT Buffett's Blunder: Berkshire Hathaway Has Lost $5B on Kraft Heinz in 2019 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-11_BuffettsBlunderBerkshireHathawayHasLost5BonKraftHeinzin2019.html The company that makes Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Kool-Aid, Heinz ketchup and Velveeta took charges in excess of $1 billion in the first half due in part to the "perceived risk" to the value of the company during a very rough year in which its stock has been cut in half.

Kraft earned 37 cents per share generating $6.4 billion in revenue during the fiscal second quarter, but analysts were expecting earnings to be around 75 cents and $6.58 billion revenue, according to Refinitiv.

...

Its 325 million shares represent 26.7% of Kraft Heinz, and the value of those stocks has dropped from just over $14 billion to around $8.7 billion in 2019 alone. That's roughly 37% in losses on one investment.

It doesn't help, either, that Kraft Heinz has such a prominent place in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio where it is currently the sixth-largest holding, according to CNBC. Buffett admits that he made a mistake when Berkshire teamed up with 3G to purchase Heinz for $23 billion back in 2013.

"I made a mistake in the Kraft purchase in terms of paying too much," Buffett said.

Warren, we coulda' told you in 2013 that Kraft/Heinz/et al were turkeys for being past their prime, food-culture-wise...

]]>
iehi-feed-64867 Mon, 05 Aug 2019 16:36:13 GMT Dow plunges 600 points after China devalues its currency http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-05_Dowplunges600pointsafterChinadevaluesitscurrency.html iehi-feed-64860 Thu, 01 Aug 2019 21:28:52 GMT Dow plunges 300 points as Trump slaps China with fresh tariffs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-01_Dowplunges300pointsasTrumpslapsChinawithfreshtariffs.html iehi-feed-64857 Thu, 01 Aug 2019 20:32:17 GMT Who's Winning Trump's Trade War? No One So Far http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-01_WhosWinningTrumpsTradeWarNoOneSoFar.html ``Trump's tariffs on China have brought in very little revenue -- a little less than $20 billion since the start of 2018. Chinese retaliation has hit U.S. farmers hard, prompting Trump and Congress to bail them out. These payments so far have totaled more than $25 billion. In fiscal terms, therefore, the trade war with China has been a net loss.

Meanwhile, the bailouts aren't nullifying all the pain from Chinese retaliation. U.S. farm bankruptcies have been rising

...

The trade war's purpose, of course, wasn't to help farmers, but to aid domestic manufacturers. But Chinese retaliation has hurt manufacturers such as Boeing Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. And Trump's tariffs on inputs such as steel and aluminum have been of dubious value to companies in those sectors, while hurting U.S. manufacturers of higher-value products by raising their costs.

...

Manufacturing output also has risen more slowly than in past expansions, and actually fell in the first quarter of 2019

...

One thing the tariffs have done is to raise prices for U.S. consumers. Multiple economic studies have concluded that essentially all of the increased revenue from the tariffs, such as it is, has come out of Americans' pockets.

...

Though U.S. consumers have borne the monetary cost of the tariffs, they may have hurt China even more. China's growth, which had already slowed since the early 2010s, shows recent signs of further slowing. Manufacturing investment in that country is down sharply since the trade war started in mid-2018...

In the long term, the trade war's most important impact may be ideological. A psychological dam has broken, and what used to be a comfortable elite consensus in favor of free trade is swinging strongly in the opposite direction. On the left, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren now champions a weaker dollar and expanded government assistance to U.S. exporters, as well as a much cagier attitude toward future trade deals. On the right, intellectuals are warming to the idea of government intervention on behalf of key industries.

]]>