Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-61508 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:36:28 GMT Survey Says: Americans Already Hate Their Incoming "Populist" President http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_SurveySaysAmericansAlreadyHateTheirIncomingPopulistPresident.html The CNN/ORC poll shows 53 percent of Americans view Trump unfavorably, while only 44 percent have a favorable opinion of the incoming president. In the ABC News/Washington Post poll, Trump's favorable rating is just 40 percent, with 54 percent having an unfavorable opinion.

That, according to The Washington Post, makes Trump the least-popular incoming president of the past 40 years -- by a large margin. Eight years ago, ABC News/Washington Post polling showed Barack Obama with a 79 percent favorable rating. Even George W. Bush -- who lost the popular vote and was designated the next president only after a protracted recount in Florida -- had a 62 percent favorable rating on the eve of his inauguration. Bush's 36 percent unfavorable rating was the lowest of the modern era, until Trump's 54 percent score in the new poll.

This is only surprising to those that are in denial of the popular vote outcome (and let's not forget the vast pool of people who didn't vote at all or voted for neither major candidate, who are especially at liberty to start grousing); but we have to wonder if Trumps insular handling of staffing his administration and conducting his naescent policy (much more actively than for a typical president-elect) are already alienating additional people.

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iehi-feed-61505 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:06:39 GMT Crazy Housing Reality Shows Are Back http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_CrazyHousingRealityShowsAreBack.html [The shows don't want] too much to think about.  Real estate buying is simple!  It never goes down!  If this dingbat couple bought then surely "I" with my genius IQ and my spouse will live happily ever after so long as we buy.  No one lost buying real estate (aside from the 7,000,000+ recent foreclosures from the latest housing bust).

In the end, no one cares about your financial well being more than you.  In my view, managing your finances wisely is about financial independence, not being locked down as a house slave while having to forge into the toxic freeway wasteland of California.  That financial independence may very well include owning a home.  Heck, in most parts of the country buying is really a no brainer.  But in expensive regions and states, the math isn't so clear. 

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iehi-feed-61504 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:58:25 GMT Bombshell as Trump just signaled the death of Clinton-era strong "dollar policy" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_BombshellasTrumpjustsignaledthedeathofClintonerastrongdollarpoli.html Presidents in recent history have refrained from talking the currency up or down, and Chandler says going back to Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the policy has been for a strong dollar. Even when the dollar's strength created headwinds, administrations have stood by it, at least verbally.

Trump said the dollar was already "too strong," and he pointed a finger at the Chinese currency. "Our companies can't compete with them now because our currency is too strong. And it's killing us," he told the newspaper. Trump said the yuan has been "dropping like a rock," and that recent Chinese moves to support its currency were done "because they don't want us to get angry."

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"It raises questions. Are we back to Lloyd Benson? He talked the dollar down and the dollar collapsed. Is this a jettison of the Rubin strong dollar policy? We don't know," said Chandler.

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Woo said he does not expect Mnuchin to tout the strong dollar policy. Instead, he expects him to stop short of it as he did in a recent CNBC interview by more or less saying a strong "economy" is in the best interest of the U.S. That is very like the comment made by Lew on Tuesday.

This is one of the simplest, most effective things Trump can do (as it addresses the all-important monetary front of U.S. economic challenges, and apparently, is all Trump cares to do on that front) -- of course, there is a risk of it overshooting badly. The real bold move would be to re-back the dollar with gold when it is at its nadir, but that would take "work" to setup, not just gum-flapping/twitter tapping.

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iehi-feed-61503 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:54:55 GMT GM to invest $1 billion in U.S. [APPEASING, BUT PROBABLY NOT DUE TO] Trump http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_GMtoinvest1billioninUSAPPEASINGBUTPROBABLYNOTDUETOTrump.html The automaker also said it plans to bring thousands of information technology jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, creating a total of 7,000 new jobs in the U.S. when the IT jobs and new manufacturing jobs are combined.

The company simultaneously said the investments had been in the planning stages for some time -- denying it was in response to pressure from Trump -- while also saying "this was good timing" to make the announcement.

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GM said it has been shrinking its presence outside of the U.S. in recent years as it has strived to improve efficiency and has moved more efficient. On Tuesday, GM said it plans to insource more than 6,000 IT jobs that were formerly outside the U.S. -- a move that will create more than 5,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the next few years.

GM employs 56,000 hourly workers in the U.S., up from 51,000 at the end of 2009 after it emerged from bankruptcy.

As we have pointed out around here for a few years, the benefits of offshoring jobs from the US likely "peaked" a few years ago, because of rising costs overseas as well as other factors (e.g., with increased automation, the cost of each employee doesn't matter as much).

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iehi-feed-61502 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:58:36 GMT Theresa May Elaborates on Brexit: 4 Quotes and What They Mean http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_TheresaMayElaboratesonBrexit4QuotesandWhatTheyMean.html "I must be clear. Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbor to Europe. Yet, I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path. That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend. Britain would not -- indeed, we could not -- accept such an approach."

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Since the referendum, Britain's European partners have taken a hard line, warning that it cannot have an à la carte membership in which it cherry-picks the benefits it wants to retain. Some European leaders have also said that Britain should be punished in some way to deter other countries from trying to leave the European Union.

In her speech, Mrs. May emphasized Britain's friendship with Europe and said that the nation did not seek to unravel the union. But those comments were quickly followed by the threat that punitive measures against Britain could easily backfire. Case in point: This week, Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested that Britain could transform itself into a corporate tax haven if the European Union failed to strike a trade agreement with the country.

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iehi-feed-61501 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:38:36 GMT Life Without Money in Detroit's Survival Economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_LifeWithoutMoneyinDetroitsSurvivalEconomy.html Detroiters like Cassells, after years of privation, have turned to what experts call a gift economy to survive. Theirs is an alternative economy based on time banking, skill-sharing, and giveaways--home-grown vegetables, a roof repair, spare keys to a shared car--in which neighbors give as they can and take as they need.

It's a currency of community that has helped Detroit's poor survive without ready cash. And those who rely on it say it has helped strengthen communities throughout America's poorest big city, where nearly 40 percent of people live in poverty and about 11 percent officially are out of work.

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The city's much-touted renaissance is reviving just seven of its 139 square miles. In the rest, all that many people feel they have are community-based networks of their own making. 

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iehi-feed-61500 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:36:29 GMT China's Xi Jinping Seizes Role as http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-17_ChinasXiJinpingSeizesRoleas.html “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war,” Mr. Xi, the leader of the world’s second-biggest economy, said in hourlong speech on Tuesday to members of the world elite gathered for the annual World Economic Forum. “Pursuing protectionism is just like locking one’s self in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so are light and air.”

The Chinese leader’s message comes as the U.S. prepares to inaugurate President-elect Donald Trump, a vociferous skeptic of trade who has vowed to put America first.

Mr. Xi sought to portray Beijing as a benevolent power intent on upholding an international order that has boosted common prosperity. He exhorted world leaders to “join hands and rise to the challenge.”.... “There is a vacuum in global leadership. Xi sees it and he seizes it,” said Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden, who was in the audience. “If the U.S. does take a more mercantilist route, overall the Asians and Europeans will have to combine to preserve global free trade.”''

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In many ways, Mr. Xi—and his government—are deeply ambivalent about globalization. Mr. Xi is an unabashed nationalist, who resents the West’s lecturing on human rights and democracy. He has sought to bulk up state-run companies and kept China’s internet isolated behind its Great Fire Wall.

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Mr. Xi stressed that no power should attempt to dictate to other countries a specific path. Development, he said, is “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” borrowing a phrase from U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Some in the audience noted irony in the appeal from the leader of a country that has undermined competition.

Foreign companies and governments complain that China has moved to restrict foreign companies’ access to its markets, while buying up technology and assets from firms abroad. The U.S. and Europe also accuse China of selling goods from steel to solar panels at improperly low prices.

The article's thrust is right -- if Xi is really going to seize a role as "leader of globalization", beyond just rhetoric, Beijing's conduct will have to change meaningfully. China's participation in globalization in the past decade+ has been hugely lop-sided, and that's a major reason for the backlash now.

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iehi-feed-61499 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 02:05:56 GMT Peak Savings: Wall Street Faces 20 Years Of Retirement Withdrawals As Boomers Hit 70 1/2 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_PeakSavingsWallStreetFaces20YearsOfRetirementWithdrawalsAsBoomer.html America's aging population [will be] forced by IRS regulations to take retirement withdrawals once they hit 70 1/2 years of age... over the past 2 decades Americans have consistently contributed more than they've withdrawn from tax deferred accounts, excluding recessionary periods. But that all changed in 2013 and 2014 as the first wave of Boomers hit the magical age of 70.5 with a total of $25 billion of net withdrawals in 2014 alone.

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In aggregate, per the Wall Street Journal, Boomers have saved $10 trillion in various tax-deferred saving accounts. While that sounds like an impressive figure, with 75 million Boomers, it equates to an average of $133,000 per person which, needless to say, is insufficient to fund ~20 years of retirement.

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iehi-feed-61498 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:59:07 GMT Davos elite faces evaporating trust of populace http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_Davoselitefacesevaporatingtrustofpopulace.html Trust in governments, companies and the media plunged last year as ballots from the United States to Britain to the Philippines rocked political establishments and scandals hit business.

The majority of people now believe the economic and political system is failing them, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, released on Monday ahead of the Jan. 17-20 World Economic Forum (WEF).

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"The most shocking statistic of this whole study is that half the people who are high-income, college-educated and well-informed also believe the system doesn't work."

We're not sure what's "post-truth" about no longer having trust in elites; so we just went ahead and cropped that from the headline.

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iehi-feed-61497 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:57:30 GMT Despite Electoral Win, Trump Lacks Popular Mandate on Key Policy Planks, Including Health and Taxes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_DespiteElectoralWinTrumpLacksPopularMandateonKeyPolicyPlanksIncl.html On other issues, a similar story presents itself. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has found that the vast majority (88 percent) of voters in Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- four crucial swing states, three of which went to Trump this fall -- oppose cutting Social Security benefits, while a majority (68 percent) oppose privatizing Social Security. Similarly, 67 percent of Americans support requiring high-income earners to pay the payroll tax for all of their income (the cap is currently $118,500), according to a Gallup poll. America's two other major social programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are also widely supported by Americans, and the vast majority oppose any spending cuts to either. In fact, more Americans support cutting the national defense budget than Medicare or Medicaid.

It goes on and on. A majority of Americans, 61 percent, believe that upper-income earners pay too little in taxes. A majority of 64 percent believe that corporations don't pay their fair share in taxes. Significant majorities believe that wealth distribution is unfair in America, support raising the minimum wage (though perhaps not as high as Sanders would like), and say they are worried about climate change.

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iehi-feed-61495 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:28:56 GMT Tom Price doesn't want trial of his own Obamacare bill at confirmation hearing http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_TomPricedoesntwanttrialofhisownObamacarebillatconfirmationhearin.html The suggestion that Price does not want to lobby for his own Obamacare legislation is significant... The legislation Price previously put forth would give tax credits for people to buy insurance on the individual market, offer incentives to put money away in health savings accounts and limit the tax advantages of employer-sponsored plans. His proposal overlaps with House Speaker Paul Ryan's proposal, and also shares similarities with Trump's vision for health care reform.

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He has been criticized for investing in health companies while pursuing legislation that could influence those very firms. CNN reported Monday Price purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer last year, just days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company.

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iehi-feed-61494 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:25:36 GMT Trump Now Threatening Automakers in Canada and Germany (WHO ALREADY HAVE US PLANTS) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_TrumpNowThreateningAutomakersinCanadaandGermanyWHOALREADYHAVEUSP.html ``German auto industry officials are privately expressing frustration with the threats from Trump, noting that they have quadrupled their U.S. automotive production since the beginning of the decade. And about half of the 850,000 vehicles the Germans produced here last year were exported. The BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for example, is the sole source for the globally popular X5 model.

"It is surprising that Trump singles out the carmaker that exports more vehicles from the United States than any other manufacturer," said a report from Evercore ISI. BMW exports about 65 percent of the production from Spartanburg.''

Japanese manufacturers have expressed similar frustration, noting they have invested tens of billions of dollars in the U.S., broadly expanding their American operations since the country emerged from recession. Honda, for example, produces more than 90 percent of the vehicles it sells in the States in U.S. plants, but it does import a small number of products from the U.S. and Mexico.

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iehi-feed-61493 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:14:12 GMT Trump Slams NATO, Floats Russia Nuke Deal in European Interview http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-16_TrumpSlamsNATOFloatsRussiaNukeDealinEuropeanInterview.html Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc, and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to two European newspapers which conducted a joint interview with the president-elect.

Trump, in an hourlong discussion with Germany's Bild and the Times of London published on Sunday, signaled a major shift in trans-Atlantic relations, including an interest in lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia as part of a nuclear weapons reduction deal.

Quoted in German by Bild from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted that Britain's exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination designed with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he's fairly indifferent to whether the EU stays together, according to Bild.

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iehi-feed-61492 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:13:06 GMT Trump Gets Return-Flamed by Entire City After Bashing Atlanta To Get at John Lewis http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-15_TrumpGetsReturnFlamedbyEntireCityAfterBashingAtlantaToGetatJohnL.html iehi-feed-61491 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 17:57:43 GMT Trump/Congressional Proposed Tax Changes and How to Benefit from Them http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-15_TrumpCongressionalProposedTaxChangesandHowtoBenefitfromThem.html iehi-feed-61490 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:06:55 GMT The President Who Wasn't There: Barack Obama's Legacy of Impotence http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-15_ThePresidentWhoWasntThereBarackObamasLegacyofImpotence.html Obama assumed the presidency at a moment when much of the nation seemed ready to confront the unwelcome fact that the American project had derailed.... Corporate capitalism just wasn't delivering the goods anymore. Not for the bottom 80 percent, any way. The economy was in ruins, mired in what appeared to be a permanent recession. The manufacturing sector had been killed from the inside-out, with millions of well-paying jobs outsourced and nothing but dreary service-sector positions to take their place. Chronic long-term unemployment hovered at more than 10 percent, worse, much worse, in black America. Those who clung to their jobs had seen their wages stagnate, their home values shrivel and were suffocating under merciless mounds of debt. Meanwhile, capital moved in ever-tightening circles among a new odious breed of super-rich, making sweat-free billions from the facile movement of money.

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With his sunny disposition and Prospero-like aptitude for mystification, Obama should have been able to convert [the discontented] or, at least, to roll over them. Instead, they kicked his ass. How? ... Obama's most grievous political wounds were self-inflicted, starting even before his election when he rushed back to Washington to help rescue Bush's Wall Street bailout. This was perhaps the first real indication that the luminous campaign speeches about generational and systemic change masked the servile psyche of a man who was desperately yearning to be embraced by the nation's political and financial elites.

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iehi-feed-61488 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 02:36:53 GMT American Apparel Could Be A Puzzler For Trump: Can He Coerce a Bankrupt Company Bought And Moved Overseas By Foreigners? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-14_AmericanApparelCouldBeAPuzzlerForTrumpCanHeCoerceaBankruptCompan.html Gildan's purchase agreement covers American Apparel's assets, including most of its manufacturing and distribution equipment. Gildan bought American Apparel's existing inventory in a separate deal. But the company has declined the option to assume the leases of two Los Angeles manufacturing facilities that employ nearly 1,300 factory workers.

Gildan also declined the lease on American Apparel's headquarters, which employs nearly 2,200 people. The downtown offices will continue to manage the company's retail operations and website, but in December American Apparel warned all its Los Angeles-area employees that they may lose their jobs. Though the company might retain some operations in the United States, analysts expressed skepticism to the Los Angeles Times that any of American Apparel's current U.S. manufacturing workers would keep their jobs, speculating that Gildan would likely move factory work to its existing facilities in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

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iehi-feed-61487 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 00:42:05 GMT Why DeLong, Summers, Bernanke, Krugman, Keen, Pettis, Edwards et al. Can't Figure Out "Secular Stagnation" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-14_WhyDeLongSummersBernankeKrugmanKeenPettisEdwardsetalCantFigureOu.html iehi-feed-61485 Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:22:08 GMT GOP's Go Slow 'Rescue Mission' Plan To Replace Obamacare http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-14_GOPsGoSlowRescueMissionPlanToReplaceObamacare.html As their first major act of the new Congress, Republicans rushed approval of a budget resolution this week that sets up a framework for repealing Obamacare, but what exactly to replace it with is still a puzzle Republicans are piecing together. And it could take a while.

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Ryan says Republicans will use their annual GOP retreat for a "full, exhausting" conversation on how exactly to repeal and replace the law. The go-slow approach is at odds with the increasing urgency of the rhetoric on the state of the Affordable Care Act.

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The incoming president said they will not offer a plan until his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., is confirmed. Republicans expect a significant amount of the repeal effort to come through executive action by HHS since much of the implementation of Obamacare was done through the same agency.

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iehi-feed-61483 Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:03:20 GMT Addicted To Gov? Ben Carson And The 30 Year Mortgage Backstop http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-14_AddictedToGovBenCarsonAndThe30YearMortgageBackstop.html