Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us 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.

]]>
iehi-feed-64856 Thu, 01 Aug 2019 19:37:14 GMT US Will Impose 10% Tariff On Chinese Goods Worth $300 Billion Sept. 1st http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-08-01_USWillImpose10TariffOnChineseGoodsWorth300BillionSept1st.html iehi-feed-64838 Thu, 25 Jul 2019 20:39:51 GMT Major automakers strike climate deal with California, rebuffing Trump on proposed mileage freeze http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-07-25_MajorautomakersstrikeclimatedealwithCaliforniarebuffingTrumponpr.html ``The deal comes as the Trump administration is working to finalize a huge regulatory rollback that would freeze mileage requirements for cars and light trucks next fall at about 37 miles per gallon on average, rather than raising them over time to about 51 mpg for 2025 models -- the level the industry and government agreed to during the Obama administration. The proposal would also revoke California's long-standing authority to set its own rules under the Clean Air Act, a practice the federal government has backed for decades.

...

Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is co-writing federal tailpipe standards, noted in a statement that the administration's proposal does not prevent manufacturers from building more-efficient vehicles if they so choose.

Under the new accord, the four companies, which represent about 30 percent of the U.S. auto market, have agreed to produce fleets averaging nearly 50 mpg by model year 2026.

...

The share of the U.S. auto market affected by the new terms could grow significantly if other automakers join the deal. Last month, the Canadian government also pledged to align mileage requirements for its auto market with California rather than the Trump administration.

...

As part of the new agreement, California has pledged to certify vehicles from the four automakers and provide the companies additional flexibility in how they meet each year's emissions goal: They will improve their fleet's average efficiency by 3.7 percent a year, as opposed to 4.7 percent dictated under the Obama-era rules.

]]>
iehi-feed-64780 Fri, 28 Jun 2019 19:02:01 GMT Zimbabwe Bans All Foreign Currency, De-Dollarizes, Returns To Dreaded Zim http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-28_ZimbabweBansAllForeignCurrencyDeDollarizesReturnsToDreadedZim.html Zimbabwe's government has taken the controversial decision to ban local trading in foreign currencies, including the US dollar, with immediate effect.

It has also reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar, which was abandoned because of hyperinflation in 2009 when the country mainly adopted the US dollar and the South African rand.

The move has shocked Zimbabweans, who have little faith in a local currency - the exchange rate when the Zimbabwe dollar was scrapped was Z$35 quadrillion to $1.

]]>
iehi-feed-64769 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:11:29 GMT Japan Un-Publishes Government Report That Admitted Demographic and Pension Disaster http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-13_JapanUnPublishesGovernmentReportThatAdmittedDemographicandPensio.html This year's ‘Annual Report on Ageing Society' plainly stated this reality; it was a brutally honest assessment of Japan's underfunded pension program.

The report went on to tell people that they needed to save their own money for retirement because the pension fund wouldn't be able to make ends meet.

This terrified a lot of Japanese workers and pensioners.

...

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized for the report, calling it "inaccurate and misleading."

And Finance Minister Taro Aso-- himself a pensioner at age 78 (though in typical Japanese form he looks like he's 45)-- simply un-published the report.

]]>
iehi-feed-64766 Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:06:45 GMT Shale Fail: A ‘'Gusher Of Red Ink'' for Whole US Industry, Stoking Recession Fears http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-10_ShaleFailAGusherOfRedInkforWholeUSIndustryStokingRecessionFears.html iehi-feed-64761 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:30:13 GMT GOP lawmakers discuss vote to block Trump's new tariffs on Mexico, in what would be its first real act of defiance http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-04_GOPlawmakersdiscussvotetoblockTrumpsnewtariffsonMexicoinwhatwoul.html ``Congressional Republicans have begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump's planned new tariffs on Mexico, potentially igniting a second standoff this year over Trump's use of executive powers to circumvent Congress, people familiar with the talks said.

The vote, which would be the GOP's most dramatic act of defiance since Trump took office, could also have the effect of blocking billions of dollars in border wall funding that the president had announced in February when he declared a national emergency at the southern border, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

...

Trump's plans to impose tariffs on Mexico -- with which the United States has a free-trade agreement -- rely on the president's declaration of a national emergency at the border... Congress passed [a blocking] resolution in March after Trump reallocated the border wall funds, but he vetoed it. Now, as frustration on Capitol Hill grows over Trump's latest tariff threat, a second vote could potentially command a veto-proof majority to nullify the national emergency, which in turn could undercut both the border-wall effort and the new tariffs.

]]>
iehi-feed-64756 Sun, 02 Jun 2019 20:39:47 GMT Why the tariffs are bad news for America and for Donald Trump http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-02_WhythetariffsarebadnewsforAmericaandforDonaldTrump.html iehi-feed-64749 Thu, 30 May 2019 17:26:08 GMT The Department of Energy is calling fossil fuels "molecules of freedom" and "freedom gas" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-30_TheDepartmentofEnergyiscallingfossilfuelsmoleculesoffreedomandfr.html