Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64051 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 22:34:53 GMT China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem By 2030, an estimated 111 million metric tons of used plastic will need to be buried or recycled somewhere else--or not manufactured at all. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of UN global trade data by University of Georgia researchers.

Everyone's bottles, bags and food packages add up. Factories have churned out a cumulative 8.3 billion metric tons of new plastic as of 2017


The world's plastic problem has been building for decades. Since mass production began in the early 1950s, annual output has grown from about 2 million tons to 322 million produced in 2015, the authors said. Current production rates are exceeding our ability to dispose of the stuff effectively--and supply is expected only to grow. "Without bold new ideas and management strategies, current recycling rates will no longer be met, and ambitious goals and timelines for future recycling growth will be insurmountable," they wrote.


As the industry matured and the negative effects on public health and the environment became clear, China got more selective about the materials it was willing to buy. A "Green Fence" law enacted in 2013 kept out materials mixed with food, metals or other contaminants. Exports consequently dropped off from 2012 to 2013, a trend that continued until last year, when the world's biggest buyer warned that its scrap plastic purchases would stop altogether.

iehi-feed-64050 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 22:29:06 GMT Federal judge rules that CFPB's structure is unconstitutional, but question remains clouded The immediate effect of the ruling appears to be limited. It means the CFPB can't be party to a lawsuit about a company accused of scamming 9/11 first responders. The New York attorney general, who was also a plaintiff, can move forward with the case.

But the judge's decision adds fodder to the political fight over the independence of the CFPB, which was established after the financial crisis to safeguard Americans against predatory financial institutions.

The CFPB declined to comment.

The American Bankers Association, which has advocated for reining in the CFPB, said the implications of the decision "remain unclear," because other federal courts have ruled differently.

iehi-feed-64049 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 20:46:49 GMT In Major Privacy Win, Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Track Your Cellphone The chief justice said that this sort of tracking information is akin to wearing an electronic ankle-bracelet monitoring device and that the citizens of the country are protected from that kind of monitoring unless police can show a judge that there is probable cause of a crime that justifies it.

He stressed, however, that this is a narrowly focused opinion that leaves intact other precedents when it comes to dealing with financial information, banking and office records.

Roberts noted that the decision also allows for warrantless cell-tower location information searches in emergencies and for national security purposes.


At oral arguments in November, the justices seemed torn about whether to break with the so-called third party doctrine. Adopted decades ago, that doctrine says that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when an individual shares information with a third party -- for example, the phone company, which knows what telephone numbers the individual calls and receives. Therefore, police do not have to get a search warrant to gain access to those numbers.

But in recent years, the justices have expressed discomfort with that rule of law as applied to the modern digital age, when cellphones carried in a person's pocket can track locations day and night, and when email and text addresses tell a huge amount about an individual's contacts and lifestyle.

iehi-feed-64048 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:19:11 GMT Fed Rate Cuts and QE Will Resume Soon Those who have openly subscribed in recent months to the robust-growth and higher-rates view include JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon[] and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, and investors Paul Tudor Jones and Jeffrey Gundlach. There are many others.

In my view, this widely held wisdom is based on a profound misreading of economic and political reality and trends in the U.S. and around the world. I believe that a looming global recession and fear of deflation will lead the Fed to cut rates instead and reinstate quantitative easing, or QE, causing U.S. bond yields to fall.

First, it is important to understand that the 2008 financial crisis was never resolved. Aggressive fiscal- and monetary-policy tools--extremely low rates and multitrillion-dollar bond-buying programs--helped contain the crisis. But they didn't fix the problem. The global economy has been stabilized, but fundamental weaknesses remain.

An economic reckoning may surface as soon as the next few months.

In the U.S., second-quarter economic data look strong. But that is misleading. There are plenty of indications of weakness, including slowing sales of cars and houses, and a decline in mortgage refinancing. The cumulative effect of interest-rate hikes, frozen levels of real income, and rising oil prices will also weigh on the public's buying power.

In the corporate sphere, the boom in stock buybacks, which in May reached an astounding $174 billion, comes directly at the expense of capital investment that would boost economic growth. A potential global trade war is also detrimental; the U.S. dollar's weakness in 2017, combined with reinvigorated economies throughout the world, contributed immensely to U.S. exports...

June's interest-rate hike was most likely the last in the current cycle. The next major move by the Fed could be to lower rates, followed by more QE. The realization that this is happening will bring about a dramatic change in investors' views and will return U.S. bond yields to the 1.5%-2% level. The development, I believe, will be rapid and surprise a financial system dramatically underweight long-term bonds.

As we say, "happy times are here again" -- almost nonstop since 2009. So this editorial is bold call -- but it has really been a "bipolar" economy since the 2008 crisis; with every person able to see whatever they want to see in the mixed data... at some point, a clear trend will likely manifest...

iehi-feed-64046 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 04:37:37 GMT Supreme Court decision to allow more online sales tax worries Main Street The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states now have the power to force online retailers to collect sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence, reversing a ruling from 1992 in a 5-4 decision. The move also revives a 2016 South Dakota law that required large, out-of-state e-commerce companies to collect sales tax, one that big e-commerce players fought. Some online retailers, such as, currently collect state sales tax on products they directly sell but do not collect taxes from many of the independent sellers on the site.

The decision removes the sales-tax savings that consumers could reap by making purchases online instead of buying from local brick-and-mortar shops. Although the move does help to level the playing field for physical small businesses, it also places new burdens on small online retailers.

Some small business groups argue the decision will be burdensome and add to an already confusing tax structure. The nonpartisan Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council said the ruling will add stress for small businesses, the marketplace and internet entrepreneurs.


"The fact that small businesses must now act as tax collectors for thousands of separate state and local [jurisdictions] is outrageous."... "Unfortunately, this ruling makes sweeping changes to sales tax law, but provides nothing in the form of easing complexity and/or streamlining each states' processes."

The Supreme Court should have required some mitigating factor (such as the tax-collecting ability being based on having a certain amount of business in the state) to mitigate the Dormant Commerce Clause concerns. Now they've gone completely in the other direction purely out of apparent concerns for the big guys "getting away with it".

iehi-feed-64044 Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:48:06 GMT Combined wealth of the world's millionaires tops $70 trillion The world's millionaires saw their wealth grow 10.6 percent to a record $70.2 trillion, the global consulting firm Capgemini reports in its annual World Wealth Report 2018.

The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) -- which Capgemini defines as those having investable assets of $1 million or more (excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables) --  grew almost 10 percent, or 1.6 million, to 18.1 million in 2017.  

"High net worth individuals around the world enjoyed investment returns above 20 percent for the second year in a row," Anirban Bose, head of Capgemini's financial services global strategic business unit, said in a statement. The report's analysis confirms that "global HNWI wealth would exceed $100 trillion by 2025," Bose wrote

Sounds reaaaal sustainable...

iehi-feed-64043 Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:43:37 GMT Beijing has tactics besides just tariffs to hurt the U.S. in a trade war "It's true that the base on which they can put on additional tariffs is much narrow than the U.S.," said Ludovic Subran, global head of macroeconomic research at Allianz and chief economist at Euler Hermes.

But Subran and other international trade experts warn not to count China out too quickly.

"The first thing to observe here is that China is not a country of laws -- it's an authoritarian dictatorship... so from that opening point, China is potentially able to play much, much dirtier than the United States," said Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who warned that American businesses could take the punishment for Trump's antagonism.

"He will essentially force the Chinese government to retaliate in other ways -- and those other ways can be much more costly to American firms," he said. "That belief is premised on a fundamentally erroneous assumption about how the modern economy works... and a lack of concern with how engaged American businesses are involved already in China."

iehi-feed-64042 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:58:52 GMT Warren Threatens Hold on CFPB Director Nomination iehi-feed-64041 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:37:38 GMT Queens Rabbi Busted In 7 Million Dollar Extortion Plot iehi-feed-64040 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:58:56 GMT Paul Tudor Jones warns the next recession will be 'really frightening' iehi-feed-64039 Mon, 18 Jun 2018 23:16:55 GMT Senate rejects Trump's rescue of Chinese firm ZTE The Senate voted Monday to reimpose the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his efforts to keep the company in business.

The provision targeting ZTE was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense spending bill that cleared the Senate by a vote of 85-10. It must now be reconciled with the House version of the measure, which takes a narrower approach to ZTE.

The vote raises the stakes in Congress' brewing confrontation with Trump over the Chinese company, which lawmakers of both parties consider a national security threat to U.S. networks.

In a sign of the broad backing for the effort, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Marco Rubio of Florida as well as Democrats like Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts pushed for the ZTE ban to be included in the defense bill.


The Senate's ZTE provision would force Trump to certify that Chinese telecoms have not violated U.S. law for a full year and are cooperating with U.S. investigators before any lifting of civil penalties. It would also prevent the U.S. government from purchasing or subsidizing equipment from ZTE and Huawei.

Despite Monday's overwhelming Senate passage, the ZTE ban could still be stripped from the defense bill or modified during the conference process between the Senate and House, which did not push back as aggressively in its own version of the legislation. House lawmakers did include a provision that would bar ZTE and Huawei from entering into U.S. government contracts.

iehi-feed-64038 Mon, 18 Jun 2018 19:00:38 GMT Debt Clock Ticking | Mauldin Moody's has issued a statement that CMBS loans are now almost as risky as in 2007 because 75% of them are interest only, and the interest only period is now 6 years, up from 2.2 years just a few years ago. In addition, they are becoming much more covenant light, and are at higher leverage. All of this is a red flag since these things create much more risk of serious problems when the recession hits. There is also a bigger concentration of single tenant properties, which, as we have seen in retail, can be deadly in a recession. Asset and sponsor quality is also deteriorating. There is now so much competition to put out loans by so many non-bank sources, that borrowers can get lenders to compete, which always means lower quality underwriting. Far too much capital chasing too few good deals.

Underwriting is not nearly as bad as in 2006--2007 yet, but it appears the trend is what it always has been, when the economy is strong and there is too much capital, underwriting standards fall down, and then the stage is set for a bad outcome when the economy goes bad. It is typically 10--12 years between collapse of the last crash and then credit quality deterioration and the next credit collapse. We are at 10 years. Dodd Frank had rules to try to avoid a replay of 2008 in CMBS, but a lot of loans now are made by private equity funds that are not subject to these regulations.

One thing that is immutable is that as each generation comes into Wall Street, they think they know better how to do it, and they eventually do the same dumb loans in pursuit of profits and bonuses. It has never been different. We are not about to have a major crash again, but CMBS loan quality is deteriorating now, and one day in the next 2--3 years, it will be a bad problem. When they start doing a lot of CDOs and virtual CMBS pools with derivatives, then that is a sure sign the end is near.

iehi-feed-64037 Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:23:07 GMT Over 800 Clueless New York Lawyers Become Victims In Toner Cartridge Scam iehi-feed-64036 Mon, 18 Jun 2018 14:13:20 GMT Mulvaney Minion Kathy Kraninger Nominated As New Head Of CFPB iehi-feed-64035 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 18:34:06 GMT Trade Acrimony With Canada -- Yes, It Can Flare Up Into Full-Scale Trade War iehi-feed-64034 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 18:30:57 GMT Venezuela Orders Government Services to Accept Any Cryptocurrency iehi-feed-64033 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 13:18:56 GMT Catty Wells Fargo Retaliation Against Critics Has A Long History iehi-feed-64029 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 23:05:55 GMT The court's decision to let AT&T and Time Warner merge is ridiculously bad The decision surprised almost everyone -- not necessarily that AT&T and Time Warner had won, but that Judge Leon allowed the merger to go through with no conditions or prohibitions on their behavior at all. In fact, Judge Leon's opinion seems downright excited for the two companies, while systematically discounting the government's case at every turn. Honestly, it's a little strange.

... from the jump, it's pretty clear Judge Leon thinks AT&T's ideas about the future of content are pretty good, while the DOJ's complaints about antitrust are pretty boring...

In a country where net neutrality has just been repealed, owning the internet connection is a huge advantage, just like owning the cable network would be. All of this is, of course, extremely obvious to anyone who has used a phone to watch anything in the past decade. It's not clear how Judge Leon thinks any of this actually works, or if he realizes AT&T is the country's largest wireless internet provider...

iehi-feed-64028 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 22:56:54 GMT Cryptocurrency Manipulation Study Is Underwhelming iehi-feed-64027 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 22:50:24 GMT Citibank fined $100 million for LIBOR manipulation The bank settled with attorneys general in 42 states for $100 million. Following an investigation, the states said Citibank manipulated Libor, a benchmark interest rate that helps set lending rates across the world.


This is the third bank that settled with state attorneys general for illegally influencing the Libor. Barclays, Deutsche Bank and now Citibank have been fined $420 million collectively.

Citibank agreed to comply with ongoing investigations into other banks' Libor cases.