Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-63884 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:09:09 GMT Manhattan Residential Property Listing Prices Plummet By 10.9% http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-19_ManhattanResidentialPropertyListingPricesPlummetBy109.html iehi-feed-63883 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:18:05 GMT Pharma bro Shkreli, denied minimum security camp, gets sent to federal prison in New Jersey http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-19_PharmabroShkrelideniedminimumsecuritycampgetssenttofederalprison.html Shkreli, 35, in March had asked to be sent to the minimum-security camp adjacent to another federal prison in Pennsylvania, FCI Canaan. His sentencing judge endorsed that request. But the Bureau of Prisons has the last word in determining where to place its inmates.

[Shkreli's lawyer] Brafman previously said that Judge Kiyo Matsumoto's ruling last September that Shkreli was a public danger would prevent him from being sent to a minimum-security camp because of BOP guidelines.

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Matsumoto had said Shkreli was a danger as she revoked his bail for, among other things, his bizarre offer toFacebook followers of $5,000 for each strand of hair they managed to pull off the head of Hillary Clinton, who at the time was in the midst of a book tour.''

So basically he got himself sent to federal prison instead of camping by being a dick (totally superfluously -- Hillary Clinton didn't even have anything to do with his case, as unsavory as she might be).

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iehi-feed-63882 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:09:45 GMT World debt hits record $164 trillion as crisis hangover lingers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_Worlddebthitsrecord164trillionascrisishangoverlingers.html The world's debt load has ballooned to a record $164 trillion, a trend that could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, the International Monetary Fund said.

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The global debt burden clouded the IMF's otherwise upbeat outlook of the world economy, which is in its strongest upswing since 2011. The fund on Tuesday forecast expansion of 3.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019, while saying in subsequent years the global economy could be impacted by tighter monetary policy and the fading effects of U.S. fiscal stimulus.

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The IMF figures bare the scale of the debt hangover from which the world is still recovering from a decade after the financial crisis pushed the global banking system to the brink, and tipped the world economy into recession. Governments increased spending to boost growth, while central banks resorted to unconventional methods to ease financing conditions, such as buying bonds.

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iehi-feed-63881 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 23:44:43 GMT UK government loses key Brexit Vote: Stuck with the Customs Union http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_UKgovernmentloseskeyBrexitVoteStuckwiththeCustomsUnion.html iehi-feed-63880 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:30:17 GMT U.S. Debt Load Seen Worse Than Italy's by 2023, IMF Predicts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_USDebtLoadSeenWorseThanItalysby2023IMFPredicts.html iehi-feed-63879 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:27:26 GMT Bon-Ton Stores closing: See list of Boston Store, Carson's, Younkers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_BonTonStoresclosingSeelistofBostonStoreCarsonsYounkers.html Bon-Ton Stores, the corporate parent of several department store chains, has agreed to sell its assets to a group of debtholders and liquidators, likely setting the stage for going-out-of-business sales to start imminently.

The York, Pa.-based company's brands include Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers.

Although it's not official yet, chances are high that all the locations will close. It's still possible the brands could live on in some fashion, such as online-only outlets under new ownership.

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Bon-Ton's approximately 250 locations are scattered throughout 23 states in the Midwest, Northeast and upper Great Plains.

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iehi-feed-63878 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:26:30 GMT US crude tops $68 for the first time in more than three years http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_UScrudetops68forthefirsttimeinmorethanthreeyears.html iehi-feed-63877 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:11:54 GMT Apparent Quicken Loans Fraud Costs Single Dad With 4 Kids His Home http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-18_ApparentQuickenLoansFraudCostsSingleDadWith4KidsHisHome.html iehi-feed-63876 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:05:21 GMT Tesla's Cash Crunch Will Intensify As Model 3 Production Shuts Down Again http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-17_TeslasCashCrunchWillIntensifyAsModel3ProductionShutsDownAgain.html Bizarrely, Tesla issued a statement regarding this shutdown of Model 3 production that echoed word-for-word a statement given in late-February when Tesla reportedly shut the Model 3 line for 5 days. Tesla's statement indicated that such a shutdown "is not unusual," but, Tom Jones references aside, it really is unusual for an automaker to post two lengthy shutdowns in such a short period...

When I followed major automakers like VW, Ford, GM and Daimler, a one-week shutdown on high-volume model would be enough to merit a mention on a quarterly earnings call.  At Tesla, where the Model 3 is being counted on to be both the next step in the future of automotive mobility and the model that gets Tesla over the hump from a cash flow perspective, this latest shutdown could be catastrophic.

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iehi-feed-63875 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 21:39:38 GMT Hannity-Cohen-Trump: Conflict of Interest in Pro-Trump Media, Much? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_HannityCohenTrumpConflictofInterestinProTrumpMediaMuch.html While his off-air relationships might be just a logical extension of Hannity's on-air cheerleading for Trump, it still came as a surprise, immediately raising questions about both Hannity and Fox.

By any standards of any normal newsroom, the Cohen-Hannity relationship is a glaring conflict of interest.

Fox is not a normal newsroom. And Hannity's viewers are not typical news viewers -- people who watch almost any other show would likely feel lied to when they learned something like this had not been disclosed to them, but Hannity's want him to have this kind of relationship with Trumpworld.

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"I never retained him in the traditional sense as retaining a lawyer; I never received an invoice from Michael; I never paid legal fees to Michael, but I have, occasionally, had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective," Hannity said on the radio.

But even according to Hannity's account, he was taking free legal advice from someone on the president's payroll.

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iehi-feed-63874 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:54:09 GMT Former Soup Nazi CFO Sentenced To 9 Months In Prison http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_FormerSoupNaziCFOSentencedTo9MonthsInPrison.html iehi-feed-63873 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:45:52 GMT Commerce Blocks China's ZTE From Exporting Sensitive Tech From U.S. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_CommerceBlocksChinasZTEFromExportingSensitiveTechFromUS.html The U.S. blocked Chinese telecommunications-gear maker ZTE Corp. from exporting sensitive technology from America, alleging the company made false statements to U.S. officials.

The Commerce Department has determined ZTE made false statements to the Bureau of Industry and Security in 2016 and 2017 related to "senior employee disciplinary actions the company said it was taking or had already taken," the department said in a statement Monday.

ZTE did not disclose the fact it paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in illegal conduct, and failed to issue letters of reprimand, the department said.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce. Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them. This egregious behavior cannot be ignored," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the statement.

The denial order against ZTE comes amid brewing tensions between the U.S. and China that have raised concerns of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies. President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged violations of intellectual property rights, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate on everything from American soybeans to planes.

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iehi-feed-63872 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:41:18 GMT Bertucci's files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, may close stores http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_BertuccisfilesChapter11bankruptcymayclosestores.html For now, the company said it has 59 remaining operating locations and they are still open. But the company warned that it faces a serious risk of going out of business without a speedy bankruptcy sale.

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The chain has already slashed more than $5 million in costs through job cuts, lease concessions and other measures since the start of 2017.

But the casual dining sector's ailments were too much to overcome. Sales are below 2011 levels, according to a court filing.

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The company currently employs more than 4,200 workers. It has about $119 million in debt.

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iehi-feed-63870 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:00:51 GMT Legal fees made up more than 20% of Trump's campaign spending so far this year http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-16_Legalfeesmadeupmorethan20ofTrumpscampaignspendingsofarthisyear.html More than one-fifth of the $3.9 million that President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has spent this year has gone to legal fees, the campaign's latest quarterly Federal Election Commission filing shows.

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The steep legal bills come amid a probe into whether the Trump campaign was involved in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as a legal battle with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

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Trump's campaign has also spent about $150,000 at Trump businesses, including the legal fees, per the FEC report. That includes about $68,000 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, to cover costs including event rental space, hotel stays and parking.

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iehi-feed-63866 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:56:35 GMT World May Hit 2 Degrees of Warming in 10-15 Years Thanks to Fracking, Says Cornell Scientist http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_WorldMayHit2DegreesofWarmingin1015YearsThankstoFrackingSaysCorne.html The most recent climate data suggests that the world is on track to cross the two degrees of warming threshold set in the Paris accord in just 10 to 15 years, says Ingraffea in a 13-minute lecture titled "Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken," which was posted online on April 4.

That's if American energy policy follows the track predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which expects 1 million natural gas wells will be producing gas in the U.S. in 2050, up from roughly 100,000 today.

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"Whereas the worst-case scenario brought us to 1.5 degrees Centigrade in 2040," he adds, "we're almost there today." ... It's an alarming message -- even though the shale rush has stumbled somewhat as gas prices collapsed and many drillers went bankrupt, the cumulative impact of American fracking appears to have set the entire world on a collision course with climate change's most extreme effects.

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iehi-feed-63865 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:37:27 GMT "Elon Knew": New Lawsuit Alleges Musk Knowingly Lied About Model 3 Production http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_ElonKnewNewLawsuitAllegesMuskKnowinglyLiedAboutModel3Production.html ...after claiming in May 2017 that the company was "on track" to meet its mass production goal, it's alleged the company hadn't even finished building its production lines, clearly meaning it wasn't "on track". The lawsuit alleges that Musk knew the line was "way behind"

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The suit alleges that the company's former CFO, Jason Wheeler - who is one of more than 50 key executives and VPs to have left the company over the last half decade or so - told Elon Musk personally that they wouldn't be able to mass produce by the end of 2017. The entire lawsuit is available at this link and some of the most interesting content was first shared by critics of the company on Twitter.

The drumbeat of accountability for Elon Musk continues to pound louder and louder as each day progresses, with some analysts calling for the SEC to investigate him if the company doesn't meet its stated cash flow positive and "no capital raise" guidance for the back end of 2018.

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iehi-feed-63864 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:27:46 GMT 247,977 stories in the Vacant City, priced out of reach for most http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_247977storiesintheVacantCitypricedoutofreachformost.html Early numbers from the Census Bureau's Housing and Vacancy Survey show the unoccupied city has ballooned by 65,406 apartments since 2014, an astonishing 35% jump in size in the three years since the last survey.

Today, 247,977 units -- equivalent to more than 11% of all rental apartments in New York City -- sit either empty or scarcely occupied, even as many New Yorkers struggle to find an apartment they can afford.

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But that still leaves more than 100,000 units -- 74,945 occupied temporarily or seasonally, and 27,009 held off the market for unexplained reasons.

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Additionally, many of the 75,000 temporary apartments are pied-à-terres, weekend or vacation crash pads for the rich, up from just 9,282 in 1987.

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Rewind again to 1987. The city, still recovering from decades of arson and abandonment, had 6,241 apartments that were vacant because they were too dilapidated to inhabit -- down from nearly 23,000 in 1975. The median asking rent for someone looking for an apartment to move into that year was $450 -- just 14% higher than median rent existing tenants paid.

Given the apparent benefits of bringing busted-up apartments back into use, it was possible to argue that encouraging more renovation and construction would be good for the city.

In 2017, the Census Bureau couldn't even locate enough dilapidated apartments to count -- but did find a median asking rent of $1,875, 30% higher than what a typical existing tenant pays. What's more, the vacancy rate for those expensive units is huge. Almost half the apartments available for rent in New York cost more than $2,000 a month -- and the vacancy rate for them is above 7%.

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More than 63,000 New Yorkers are living in homeless shelters (almost three times more than in 1987), and 30% of city households are shelling out more than half their income in rent. What they and all New Yorkers need is not simply the construction of more housing, but better means to keep rents within reach.

This is starting to be brought back in line by a price crash, now. Of course, that won't bring down the vacancy numbers for a while, as new supply is added even faster.

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iehi-feed-63863 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:22:27 GMT Subprime mortgages morph into 'non-prime' loans--and demand soars http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_Subprimemortgagesmorphintononprimeloansanddemandsoars.html Carrington is not alone in the space. Angel Oak began offering and securitizing nonprime mortgages two years ago and has done six nonprime securitizations so far. It recently finalized its biggest securitization yet -- $329 million, comprising 905 mortgages with an average amount of about $363,000. Just more than 80 percent of the loans are nonprime.

Investors in Angel Oak's nonprime securitizations are, "a who's who of Wall Street," according to company representatives, citing hedge funds and insurance companies. Angel Oak's securitizations now total $1.3 billion in mortgage debt.

Angel Oak, along with Caliber Home Loans, have been the main players in the space, securitizing relatively few loans. That is clearly about to change in a big way, as demand is rising.

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Big banks are also getting in the game, both investing in the securities and funding the lenders, according to Sharga.

"It's large financial institutions. A lot of people with private capital sitting on the sidelines, who are very interested in this market and believe that as long as the risks are managed well, and companies like ours are particularly good at managing credit risk, that it's a good investment opportunity," he said.

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Last summer, Fannie Mae announced it would relax its lending standards for prime loans, allowing borrowers with higher debt and lower credit scores to obtain loans without additional risk overlays, such as large down payments and a year's worth of cash reserves.

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As a result, demand from buyers with higher debt exceeded all expectations. The share of high DTI loans jumped from 6 percent in January 2017 to nearly 20 percent by the end of February 2018, according to a study by the Urban Institute.

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The mortgage industry expectation was that Fannie Mae would mitigate the additional risk with other factors, like a higher necessary credit score, but that was not added. The mortgage insurers balked, since they would be on the hook for the risk, so last month Fannie Mae "recalibrated" its risk assessment criteria again.

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iehi-feed-63862 Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:40:07 GMT A Sidelined Wall Street Legend Bets on Bitcoin (NOVOGRATZ) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-14_ASidelinedWallStreetLegendBetsonBitcoinNOVOGRATZ.html Novogratz has certainly been making the most of the speculative bubble to rebuild his fortune, but he claims to be invested in the utopian aspects of blockchain as well. He doesn't think that cryptocurrencies will replace the dollar or the yen, but he believes that they will be a boon to countries in the developing world, where people don't have trust in their fiat currencies, and that blockchain can revolutionize the way information is logged and shared and, in our age of data breaches, protected. "I'm good at selling the dream," he said. "I can get onstage and get people to start saying ‘Hallelujah! Hallelujah!' "

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By the fall [of 2017], Novogratz was a billionaire once more. The price of a single bitcoin had been close to three thousand dollars during the summer; now it was clawing at five thousand. I visited him one Wednesday in October, at his office, walking in past a large statue of Evel Knievel in the lobby--the base reads "Bones heal, pain is temporary and chicks dig scars." Plush sofas were occupied by representatives of the Brown University endowment, a member of the board of Tesla, and the heads of a major publicity firm, among others.

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Two weeks earlier, Novogratz had announced his decision to rejoin the hedge-fund world and launch a cryptocurrency fund with a hundred and fifty million dollars of the money he had personally made on crypto and three hundred and fifty million from outside investors.

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After bitcoin and other currencies soared over the summer and fall, Novogratz presented this stage of crypto as a "speculative mania phase" that would crash like the dot-com bust but then reëmerge with more mature players. Out with AltaVista, in with Google. In Novogratz's estimation, individual cryptocurrencies would fail--although he is bullish on bitcoin and ether retaining their value in the long term. "I don't know if the speculative phase ends in March, ends in a year from now, eighteen months from now," Novogratz told me, "but it will end." He suggested that it will end when "too many people have bought in." (At a dinner during the fall of 2017, one of my favorite Oberlin professors, a Marxist, told me that he had just bought some ether.)

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Novogratz's cryptocurrency hedge fund never launched. In December, after the price of a single bitcoin rocketed to more than nineteen thousand dollars, Novogratz told me that "it would be a different proposition raising a crypto hedge fund today than it was three months ago." He said he was not comfortable running other people's money when the currency was at its peak, and predicted that bitcoin would consolidate at between eight and sixteen thousand dollars. "I'd rather look stupid than be stupid," he added. Right after he told me of his plans to shelve his hedge fund, bitcoin experienced one of its habitual micro-crashes, falling to under fourteen thousand dollars a coin.

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Novogratz had described another idea to me, one several magnitudes more audacious--certainly more institutional, and potentially more durable--than a mere half-a-billion-dollar hedge fund. He wanted to launch a publicly traded merchant bank solely for cryptocurrencies, which, with characteristic immodesty, he described as "the Goldman Sachs of crypto," and was calling Galaxy Digital. "I'm either going to look like a genius or an idiot," he said.

Novogratz announced the bank's launch in early January, the same week that Dimon, of JPMorgan Chase, who is one of the most vocal critics of cryptocurrency, publicly regretted calling bitcoin a fraud ("The blockchain is real," he told Fox Business). Shortly afterward, I sat down with Novogratz in his Tribeca apartment's far-flung kitchen to discuss Galaxy Digital.

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The new entity's launch was not so much an I.P.O. as a complex R.T.O., or reverse takeover, involving a Canadian shell company called Bradmer Pharmaceuticals. Galaxy Digital would still be based in New York, but because Canada offered easier and faster access to the public market Novogratz had decided to launch on the Canadian TSX venture exchange, with plans to eventually transfer to Canada's main exchange. He would contribute around three hundred and fifty million dollars, while raising another two hundred and fifty million dollars.

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iehi-feed-63861 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 17:29:04 GMT Pervert Landlords Beware! HUD Is Coming For You! http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-13_PervertLandlordsBewareHUDIsComingForYou.html