Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-61727 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:42:10 GMT ‘From bad to worse': Greece hurtles towards a final reckoning http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_FrombadtoworseGreecehurtlestowardsafinalreckoning.html "We had an agreement," insisted Balaouras, looking despondently down at his desert boots. "We kept to our side of the deal, but the lenders haven't kept to their side because now they are asking for more. We want the review to end. We want to go forward. This situation is in the interests of no one. But to get there we have to have an honourable compromise. Without that there will be a clash."

It had been hoped that an agreement would be struck on Monday at what had been billed as a high-stakes meeting of euro area finance ministers. On Friday, EU officials announced that the deadline had been all but missed because there had been little convergence between the two sides.

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The country's epic struggle to avert bankruptcy should have been settled when Athens received €110bn in aid -- the biggest financial rescue programme in global history -- from the EU and International Monetary Fund in May 2010. Instead, three bailouts later, it is still wrangling over the terms of the latest €86bn emergency loan package, with lenders also at loggerheads and diplomats no longer talking of a can, but rather a bomb, being kicked down the road. Default looms if a €7.4bn debt repayment -- money owed mostly to the European Central Bank -- is not honoured in July.

Amid the uncertainty, volatility has returned to the markets. So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year. With talk of Greece's exit from the euro being heard again, farmers, trade unions and other sectors enraged by the eviscerating effects of austerity have once more come out in protest.

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"Grexit is the last thing we want, but we may arrive at a point of serious dilemmas," said Venizelos. "Whatever deal is reached will be very difficult to implement, but that notwithstanding, it is not the memoranda [the bailout accords] that caused the crisis. The crisis was born in Greece long before."

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iehi-feed-61726 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:37:52 GMT Greek Banks worry over sudden bad loan spike in January http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreekBanksworryoversuddenbadloanspikeinJanuary.html Bank sources say that after several months of stabilization and of a negative growth rate in new nonperforming exposure,the picture deteriorated rapidly in January, as new bad loans estimated at 800 million euros in total were created.

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Bank officials attribute the phenomenon to uncertainty from the government's inability to complete the second bailout review, fears for a rekindling of the crisis and mainly the expectations of borrowers for extrajudicial settlements of bad loans.

Senior bank officials note that a large number of borrowers will not cooperate with their lenders in reaching an agreement for the restructuring of their debts, in the hope that the introduction by the government of the extrajudicial compromise could lead to better terms and possibly even to a debt haircut

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iehi-feed-61725 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:35:57 GMT Greeks Turn to the Black Market as Another Bailout Showdown Looms http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreeksTurntotheBlackMarketasAnotherBailoutShowdownLooms.html Few problems are more ingrained, or harder to combat, than the shadow economy, which appears to be growing again as new austerity measures compel once law-abiding Greeks to go off the books. Greece's black market is estimated at 20 to 25 percent of the gross domestic product, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, by some estimates, have risen to 70 percent of an individual's gross income.

As of last month, unpaid taxes in Greece had soared to 95 billion euros, up from €76 billion two years ago. Most of that is considered uncollectable.

"The heart of the matter for an ever-rising number of citizens and businesses is that they simply do not have the financial resources anymore to meet their rising tax obligations," said Jens Bastian, an economist and a member of a team of European Union specialists that helped supervise the country's earlier bailouts.''

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Yiannis [a media consultant] said he had also registered a company in Bulgaria, where the business tax rate is 10 percent, so that he could keep issuing receipts for freelance work. Tens of thousands of Greeks have been registering companies in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Luxembourg and other low-tax countries to avoid paying the higher tax bills at home -- which means less revenue for Greece's coffers and creates unfair competition for tax-paying entrepreneurs who could potentially play a bigger role in the revival of Greece's economy.

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The revenue that [Mr. Ladas, who runs a fire safety equipment company] does earn is steadily being eaten away. When he opened, he kept around 60 percent of his profit, after taxes. Today, his take is about 30 percent, after tax increases approved by the Greek government to meet budget-cutting and revenue targets imposed by creditors.

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iehi-feed-61724 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:59:15 GMT Expert: Australia headed for ‘economic armageddon' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_ExpertAustraliaheadedforeconomicarmageddon.html iehi-feed-61723 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:57:44 GMT Greek Taxes Increases Strangle Its People http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_GreekTaxesIncreasesStrangleItsPeople.html iehi-feed-61722 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:29:23 GMT Jim Rickards: China Disaster to Trigger Gold Run, Trump to Appoint 5 of 7 Fed Governors http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_JimRickardsChinaDisastertoTriggerGoldRunTrumptoAppoint5of7FedGov.html When you look at the Chinese banking system, private estimates are that the bad debts are 25% of total assets. Banks usually run with 5, maybe 7-8% capital. Even if you said 10% capital, well, if 25% of your assets are bad, that completely wipes out your capital, so the Chinese banking system is technically insolvent, even though they don't admit that. I mean, they cook the books, they take these bad loans.

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So, if you just say, "Well, I've got 900 billion in the kitty, it's going out the door at 50 to 100 billion a month," I'm going to be broke by the end of 2017. That's what I mean by going broke. You say, "Well, wait a second. Where did the 1.1 trillion, the first part we talked about that the reserve position went down, where did the money go? It didn't disappear." Well, no, it didn't disappear. What's happening is that everybody in China is getting their money out. They're scared to death that the yuan's going to devalue, so what are the Chinese doing? By hook or by crook, some of it's legitimate, some of it's corrupt, some of it involves bribery, some of it involves false invoicing.

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iehi-feed-61720 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:49:36 GMT Bill Gates' Latest Odd (And Hypocritical) Idea - Let's Tax The Robots Stealing Our Jobs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-18_BillGatesLatestOddAndHypocriticalIdeaLetsTaxTheRobotsStealingOur.html iehi-feed-61719 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 02:08:10 GMT "Seriously Delinquent" Auto Loans Surge http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_SeriouslyDelinquentAutoLoansSurge.html iehi-feed-61718 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:57:54 GMT "Bank run" under Capital Controls: Greeks withdraw €2.5bn in 45 days http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_BankrununderCapitalControlsGreekswithdraw25bnin45days.html iehi-feed-61717 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:51:32 GMT Mary Jo White, the SEC's Revolving Door with Wall Street, and "Draining the Swamp" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_MaryJoWhitetheSECsRevolvingDoorwithWallStreetandDrainingtheSwamp.html In February 2015, the New York Times reported that the conflicts of White and her husband had resulted in her recusing herself "from more than four dozen enforcement investigations." Instead of an SEC Chair, that sounds like a part-time worker.

Given this demoralizing experience with the gold-plated Washington-Wall Street revolving door, one would have expected that President Trump, the man promising to drain the swamp in Washington, to have come up with a better plan for stewardship of the SEC. Instead, Trump's doubling down. His nominee for SEC Chair is Jay Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, which has represented Goldman Sachs since the late 1800s. On top of that, Clayton's wife is a Vice President of (wait for it) Goldman Sachs.

Until there is meaningful legislative reform of political campaign financing and revolving door appointments, Americans will continue to be relegated to the status of dumb tourist in their own country

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iehi-feed-61716 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:04:55 GMT Student Debt in America Has Hit a New Record http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_StudentDebtinAmericaHasHitaNewRecord.html iehi-feed-61715 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:59:55 GMT Why So Many Families Are Feeling Extreme Financial Stress http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_WhySoManyFamiliesAreFeelingExtremeFinancialStress.html ... our incomes have been incredibly stagnant.   In fact, we just learned that median household income did not go up at all during 2016. This is one of the reasons why we consistently see families fall out of the middle class month after month.  Even if you keep the same job year after year, your standard of living is going to steadily go down unless your pay goes up.

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And today we learned that the number of Americans refinancing their homes has fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009... If you will remember, we also saw a slowdown in mortgage refinancing just before the great financial crisis of 2008. For mortgage applications overall, they are now down almost 31 percent from where they were a year ago... And we also learned this week that FHA mortgage delinquencies increased during the fourth quarter "for the first time since 2006″... If this continues, it won't be too long before everyone is talking about a new housing crash.

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iehi-feed-61713 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:52:51 GMT US Delinquent Car Loans At 8 Year Peak - This Will Not Cause Another Crash http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_USDelinquentCarLoansAt8YearPeakThisWillNotCauseAnotherCrash.html iehi-feed-61711 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:41:06 GMT Warren Buffett's Dealmaking Ketchup Giant Kraft Heinz Heads Abroad In The Age Of Donald Trump http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_WarrenBuffettsDealmakingKetchupGiantKraftHeinzHeadsAbroadInTheAg.html It is a surprise that Kraft Heinz has set its sights on Unilever, one of Europe's largest conglomerates, with brands ranging from Axe deodorant to Hellmann's mayonnaise, Dove soap, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, SunSilk razor blades and Sun dishwasher fluid. But this may be a savvy maneuver. Not only would a deal avoid the wrath of Trump, it also takes advantage of the sharply tumbling euro and British pound in the wake of Brexit, and a strengthening U.S. dollar.

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Friday's fireworks sets the stage for a takeover process that may unfold over a matter of months. Kraft Heinz has until mid-March to make a formal bid for Unilever. Its backers 3G Capital is familiar with large and hostile cross-border deals. In October, 3G-backed Anheuser Busch completed a takeover of SAB Miller in what was one of Europe's biggest-ever corporate mergers.

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iehi-feed-61710 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:32:08 GMT More than 55,000 bridges in the US need repair http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_Morethan55000bridgesintheUSneedrepair.html iehi-feed-61709 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:49:44 GMT Explaining Foreclosure To Your Kids http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_ExplainingForeclosureToYourKids.html iehi-feed-61705 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:42:06 GMT Inflation Alarms Expose Vulnerability in Richly Priced S&P 500 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_InflationAlarmsExposeVulnerabilityinRichlyPricedSP500.html Lower valuations don't always cause trouble for the stock market as long as profits grow faster. But for now, the earnings picture is not promising. S&P 500 companies just returned to growth after five quarters of declines. While analysts see income jumping 12 percent this year, the rate appears to be too optimistic given the economy is forecast to grow only 2.3 percent.

After living through years of deflation fear amid the slowest economic recovery from a recession since the World War II, investors are now embracing the prospect of faster growth and higher inflation, underpinned by Trump's pro-growth agenda. Money has flown to banks and companies most geared to an economic upswing in a rally that has added more than $2 trillion to stock value since the election.

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iehi-feed-61704 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:39:45 GMT Trump's Repeal of Anti-Corruption Measure Proves He's a Fake http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_TrumpsRepealofAntiCorruptionMeasureProvesHesaFake.html The election of a billionaire president who killed the anti-corruption measure off is only the brutal coup de grace. The rule was stalled for the better part of six years by a relentless and exhausting parade of lobbyists, lawyers and other assorted Beltway malingerers. It then lived out of the womb for a few sad months before Trump smothered it this week.

Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act was created by Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin and then Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. Passed in 2010, the rule was simple: It required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose any payments above $100,000 made to foreign governments.

The law was designed to prevent energy companies from bribing foreign dictators. The simple goal was to ensure that the wealth of resource-rich countries would be enjoyed by their citizens, and not converted into obscene personal collections of yachts, mansions, sports cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia -- as, for instance, it was when oil was discovered in Equatorial Guinea, and the brutal dictator Teodoro Obiang started doing business with Rex Tillerson's ExxonMobil.

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Ask Trump supporters about this episode, and many would say they won't weep for the loss of any government regulation.

But they should ask themselves if, when they were whooping and hollering for the man who promised to end special interest and lobbyist rules in Washington, they imagined the ExxonMobil chief in charge of the State Department cheering as the new president wiped out anti-bribery laws. The "establishment" sure is on the run, isn't it?

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iehi-feed-61703 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:02:03 GMT 'A Day Without Immigrants' Promises A National Strike Thursday http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_ADayWithoutImmigrantsPromisesANationalStrikeThursday.html Some businesses are closing for the day; others are staying open and pledging to contribute a share of the day's proceeds to non-profits that aid Latino communities. In a number of cases, business owners are abiding by their staffs' wishes, after holding votes to decide whether to open.

Several closures are high-profile: chef and entrepreneur José Andrés told NPR this week, "It was a very easy decision" to close his restaurants in Washington, D.C., saying he wants to support his employees who had planned not to work Thursday.

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iehi-feed-61702 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:31:01 GMT Doubts grow that GOP can repeal Obamacare http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-15_DoubtsgrowthatGOPcanrepealObamacare.html At first, Trump's call to repeal and replace simultaneously disrupted the party -- which at the time was intent on repealing now and figuring out the rest later. But eventually, they came around to Trump's apparent position and stopped sniping for a few weeks. Now that the party is back in disarray, no one is quite sure what Trump wants. They're straining to read the tea leaves from a president whose latest statements about Obamacare have confused the timeline and offered no clear direction.

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Now the Freedom Caucus -- in tandem with Paul, who's been meeting with the rowdy band of conservatives regularly -- are pushing for another vote on a 2015 repeal bill vetoed by President Barack Obama. That was originally the starting point for Republicans after the election. But now, some Republican senators are wary, because there's no guarantee it would be replaced with something satisfactory to millions of their constituents... The party has little room to maneuver, with a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate and a bloc of Freedom Caucus members in the House that could, in theory, block the GOP's repeal efforts.

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