Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64401 Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:18:13 GMT After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-17_AftertheRetailApocalypsePrepareforthePropertyTaxMeltdown.html iehi-feed-64398 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 14:43:17 GMT Sore Loser Dan Gilbert And His Lawyers Go Full Blown Joan Crawford http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-15_SoreLoserDanGilbertAndHisLawyersGoFullBlownJoanCrawford.html iehi-feed-64397 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 02:37:37 GMT Why Amazon Chose New York and Northern Virginia for New Headquarters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-14_WhyAmazonChoseNewYorkandNorthernVirginiaforNewHeadquarters.html To recap: a company whose profits soared 27 percent to $3.03 billion last year just received an additional $2 billion or more in tax breaks, and may also be in line for $10 billion more in tax money through the JEDI deal.

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No population genuinely worried about abuses of power would even countenance placing a single private company in control of securing the data of both the intelligence community and the armed services. Add putting a major media organ or two under the same umbrella and you're beginning to enter oligarchy territory.

Moving Amazon closer to America's political and financial capitals isn't just about creating a few jobs. It's also a symbolic move that speaks to the unsettling co-mingling of state and corporate power. We might wake up soon and wish we hadn't put so many eggs in one basket.

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iehi-feed-64396 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 02:35:59 GMT So Goes Apple, So Goes The U.S. Market http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-14_SoGoesAppleSoGoesTheUSMarket.html There are those who are focused so intently on the recent strength of the domestic economy that they are unable to see the forest for the trees. For example, oil prices do not lose 25% in value in a matter of weeks when global demand is strong. Not ever. Nor is this merely a case of excess supply.

In truth, the world's economy has been slowing to a crawl. The German economy contracted in the third quarter. Meanwhile, China is dealing with a massive debt bubble and a trade war. (Note: China is the world's largest importer of oil.)

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A diversified investor with a helping of large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, foreign stocks, commodities, bonds, preferreds and/or other income producers had been relying on the influence of mega-caps like Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Bearish price depreciation in one or two of them might have been tolerable. Not all three.

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iehi-feed-64395 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:10:58 GMT Seminole Hard Rock Casino Robber Faces Life In Prison Thanks To Family  http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-14_SeminoleHardRockCasinoRobberFacesLifeInPrisonThanksToFamily.html iehi-feed-64394 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:56:07 GMT WeWork raises $3bn from SoftBank as losses balloon http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-14_WeWorkraises3bnfromSoftBankaslossesballoon.html WeWork has secured an additional $3bn of funding from SoftBank at a $42bn valuation even as the flexible office provider's losses ballooned to $2bn on an annual basis.*SoftBank will inject the funding next year in exchange for a warrant enabling it to buy new WeWork shares by the end of September 2019, at a price that will lift the group's valuation from the $20bn figure reached in its last equity funding round.The fresh multibillion dollar commitment from SoftBank increases WeWork's cash pile and cash commitments to a total of $6.4bn, according to an investor presentation seen by the Financial Times on Tuesday.Artie Minson, chief financial officer, said the funding was "opportunistic". "The way we work with SoftBank emphasises speed and getting it done quickly . . . that speaks to the overall momentum in the business," he said.The fresh funding came as privately owned WeWork said its losses in the nine months to September had nearly quadrupled from a year earlier to $1.2bn.

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"Our view is that there is tremendous wind at our back -- we are the only serious global player out there," he said."Our growth is actually accelerating as our product offering continues to go deeper and reach not just small-sized companies but Fortune 500 companies and everything in between.

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iehi-feed-64393 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 02:30:31 GMT The chances of seeing Donald Trump's tax returns just went WAY up http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-13_ThechancesofseeingDonaldTrumpstaxreturnsjustwentWAYup.html The real issue here is a 1924 provision in the Internal Revenue Service tax code that allows the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and the chair of the Senate Finance Committee can ask for anyone's tax returns -- including the president's! -- from the Internal Revenue Service -- as long as they can demonstrate that the returns are necessary for an ongoing investigation.

That clause, according to this great piece by CNN's Jeanne Sahadi, could well lead to the eventual public disclosure of Trump's returns:

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What seems certain now: House Democrats will make a move to see Trump's taxes. Trump, who, I believe, thinks the release of the returns could do him real political harm, will fight like hell to keep them from doing so.

Who wins? No clue. But there's no question that we are closer to seeing Trump's tax returns today than we have been at any point since he began to run for president in 2015.

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iehi-feed-64392 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 01:39:11 GMT Britain and E.U. Agree on a draft Plan for Brexit http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-13_BritainandEUAgreeonadraftPlanforBrexit.html Britain is scheduled to quit the European Union on March 29. The draft agreement, if approved, would at least avert the prospect of a disorderly and chaotic departure without any deal -- something that could clog ports and lead to shortages of food and some medicines.

If Mrs. May's cabinet signs off on the draft agreement, the next step is for European Union leaders to give it their blessing at a meeting at the end of the month.

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iehi-feed-64391 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 01:37:42 GMT Sears Didn't 'Die.' Vulture Capitalists Killed It. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-13_SearsDidntDieVultureCapitalistsKilledIt.html ... most of the coverage has failed to stress the deeper story. Namely, Sears is a prime example of how hedge funds and private equity companies take over retailers, encumber them with debt in order to pay themselves massive windfall profits, and then leave the retailer without adequate operating capital to compete.

Part of the strategy is to sell off valuable real estate, the better to enrich the hedge fund, and stick the retail company with costly rental payments to occupy the space that it once owned.

In the case of Sears, the culprit is a hedge-fund operator named Edward Lampert, once a senior merger guy at Goldman Sachs. In 2005, Lampert merged Sears with Kmart, loaded both up with debt, and used some of the debt on stock buybacks to pump up the share price and enrich shareholders, notably himself and his hedge fund.

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iehi-feed-64388 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:31:49 GMT Anatomy of the Housing Downturn in Vancouver http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-13_AnatomyoftheHousingDownturninVancouver.html iehi-feed-64387 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 18:26:46 GMT Manhattan Rabbi Sued For $21 Million For Turning Temple Into Disco http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-12_ManhattanRabbiSuedFor21MillionForTurningTempleIntoDisco.html iehi-feed-64386 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:28:58 GMT Were GOP's House losses dramatically smaller than historical pattern? (A: NO) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-11_WereGOPsHouselossesdramaticallysmallerthanhistoricalpatternANO.html The Republicans did have to cope with many retirements, which in 2018 reached a high for Republicans going back at least as far as 1930. But Trump is wrong that the Republicans outperformed historical precedents. The losses were fairly average or worse than average.

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Indeed, if you look just at losses suffered under Republican presidents, the total for 2018 exceeds all but two midterms going back to the Great Depression. The 2018 total even edged out the losses under George W. Bush in 2006, which was the last time the Democrats re-took the House in a midterm election.

"This one was clearly pretty bad," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

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iehi-feed-64385 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 21:08:50 GMT Doug Noland: Back to Fundamentals http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-11_DougNolandBacktoFundamentals.html For me, Back to Fundamentals means a return of "Periphery to Core Crisis Dynamics" - rising yields, widening Credit spreads, de-risking/deleveraging, faltering global liquidity and, to be sure, China... Odds are mounting that de-risking/deleveraging dynamics attain destabilizing momentum. Many hedge funds now have losses for the year, which forces managers to take down both risk and leverage in anticipation of year-end outflows. I believe deleveraging is having a growing impact on marketplace liquidity around the world - and across asset classes. Yields are rising and spreads are widening throughout global fixed-income. Unstable equities markets around the globe are indicating a fragile liquidity backdrop. And this week's $2.68 (4.3%) drop in WTI has all the appearances of a major leveraged speculating community panic liquidation (portending challenges for the - to this point - resilient junk bond market).

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At this point, I seriously doubt the Fed has a solid grasp of the (direct and indirect) sources of the Trillions of global liquidity that have flooded into U.S. securities and asset markets over the past decade. I take them at their word that they don't discern the degree of leverage that would typically indicate a Bubble. Yet this has been the most atypical of global Bubbles. I am not convinced the Fed knows where to look for the leverage most germane to today's global Bubble. And, I'm compelled to add, the whole world seems oblivious. Speculative deleveraging is not on the Fed's radar, and this is a problem for the markets.

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iehi-feed-64383 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 20:18:46 GMT New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-11_NewYorkCityRaidsCondoBuildinginCrackdownonAirbnbRentals.html A team of New York City law-enforcement officers swarmed a Manhattan condominium last month, issuing 27 notices of violations for illegal hotel use in one of the largest crackdowns on short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb.

The raid at the Atelier, a 46-story Midtown luxury tower, may be a sign of what's to come. New York and other cities are seeking to limit short-term rentals that can run afoul of local laws designed to limit hotel-style stays in residential buildings.

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iehi-feed-64382 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 20:02:41 GMT Ocwen Stock Plummets Faster Than Contestants On A Japanese Game Show. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-11_OcwenStockPlummetsFasterThanContestantsOnAJapaneseGameShow.html iehi-feed-64378 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 22:27:43 GMT Minister Jo Johnson quits over Brexit and calls for new vote http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-09_MinisterJoJohnsonquitsoverBrexitandcallsfornewvote.html A well-respected and liked member of the government, he has decided that what was promised to people during the referendum campaign is now so different to what is on the table that he has quit the government instead.

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He added: "This would not be about re-running the 2016 referendum, but about asking people whether they want to go ahead with Brexit now that we know the deal that is actually available to us, whether we should leave without any deal at all or whether people on balance would rather stick with the deal we already have inside the European Union.

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Mr Johnson is the sixth minister in Theresa May's government to resign specifically over Brexit, following David Davis, Boris Johnson, Philip Lee, Steve Baker and Guto Bebb.

For Labour, Shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said Mrs May had "lost all authority and is incapable of negotiating a Brexit deal within her own party, let alone with the EU".

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iehi-feed-64377 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 18:13:28 GMT Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-09_TrumpAdministrationSparesCorporateWrongdoersBillionsinPenalties.html In the final months of the Obama administration, Walmart was under pressure from federal officials to pay nearly $1 billion and accept a guilty plea to resolve a foreign bribery investigation. Barclays faced demands that it pay nearly $7 billion to settle civil claims that it had sold toxic mortgage investments that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland was ensnared in a criminal investigation over its role in the crisis.

The three corporate giants complained that the Obama administration was being unreasonable and stood their ground, according to people briefed on the investigations. After President Trump took office, they looked to his administration for a more sympathetic ear -- and got one.

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have yet to charge Walmart, and the Justice Department reached a much lower settlement agreement with Barclays in March, for $2 billion. R.B.S. paid a civil penalty, but escaped criminal charges altogether.

Across the corporate landscape, the Trump administration has presided over a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, according to analyses of government data and interviews with more than 60 former and current federal officials. The approach mirrors the administration's aggressive deregulatory agenda throughout the federal government.

The New York Times and outside experts tallied enforcement activity at the S.E.C. and the Justice Department, the two most powerful agencies policing the corporate and financial sectors. Comparing cases filed during the first 20 months of the Trump presidency with the final 20 months of the Obama administration, the review found:

- A 62 percent drop in penalties imposed and illicit profits ordered returned by the S.E.C., to $1.9 billion under the Trump administration from $5 billion under the Obama administration;

- A 72 percent decline in corporate penalties from the Justice Department's criminal prosecutions, to $3.93 billion from $14.15 billion, and a similar percent drop in civil penalties against financial institutions, to $7.4 billion;

-A lighter touch toward the banking industry, with the S.E.C. ordering banks to pay $1.7 billion during the Obama period, nearly four times as much as in the Trump era, and Mr. Trump's Justice Department bringing 17 such cases, compared with 71.

Cool! This is all obviously helping the middle class and working poor (Trump's base, of course) -- not at all lining the pockets of the already mega-rich and powerful, no doubt.

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iehi-feed-64376 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:20:42 GMT The tragedy of Amazon's HQ2 selections, explained http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-09_ThetragedyofAmazonsHQ2selectionsexplained.html America needs to find a way to do better than this. Being the home to a very large share of the world's most dynamic high tech companies is an incredible source of national strength, but in practical terms it does not benefit most Americans. With better policy it could.

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Over a decade ago, housing economists Janna Matlack and Jacob Vigdor investigated the economic impact of unequal economic development and found that "in tight housing markets, the poor do worse when the rich get richer."

A "tight" housing market, in this case, is a market like greater New York or greater Washington, where the cost of buying a house greatly exceeds the actual construction costs of new buildings. The problem in markets like this is that when the rich get richer -- say because a new office complex opens and hires 20,000 to 30,000 people for six-figure salaries -- the price of scarce housing rises.

If you actually get a job at Amazon or have the kind of job skills that you plausibly could get a job at Amazon, this will pay off for you because you'll end up with higher wages that more than equal the higher rent. But if you work in a restaurant or cut hair or clean houses or a drive cab, you'll probably end up worse off.

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iehi-feed-64375 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 04:23:14 GMT Sears store closing list: Another 40 Sears, Kmart stores to shut down http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-08_SearsstoreclosinglistAnother40SearsKmartstorestoshutdown.html iehi-feed-64374 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 21:26:58 GMT Report: Google Planning Major Expansion in NYC http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-08_ReportGooglePlanningMajorExpansioninNYC.html ``Google is planning a major expansion in New York City that would make room for more than 12,000 new workers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources cited by the Journal late Wednesday said the company is close to finalizing a deal to buy or lease a 1.3 million-square-foot building in the West Village set for completion in 2022, with additional plans to expand its existing property at Chelsea Market. All together, the expansions would make room for 20,000 staff--potentially pitting the company against Amazon, which could bring approximately 25,000 jobs to the city if it settles on New York for its second headquarters. A year after announcing plans to expand, the Seattle-based retail giant is said to be considering dividing its second headquarters between New York's Long Island City and Northern Virginia's Crystal City.''

This is pretty surprising given how bad public transit has gotten in NYC.

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