Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64642 Fri, 22 Mar 2019 20:28:14 GMT U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Inverts for First Time Since 2007 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-22_USTreasuryYieldCurveInvertsforFirstTimeSince2007.html The Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since the last crisis Friday, triggering the first reliable market signal of an impending recession and rate-cutting cycle.

The gap between the three-month and 10-year yields vanished as a surge of buying pushed the latter to a 14-month low of 2.416 percent. Inversion is considered a reliable harbinger of recession in the U.S., within roughly the next 18 months.

Demand for government bonds gained momentum Wednesday, when U.S. central bank policy makers lowered both their growth projections and their interest-rate outlook. The majority of officials now envisage no hikes this year, down from a median call of two at their December meeting. Traders took that dovish shift as their cue to dig into positions for a Fed easing cycle, pricing in a cut by the end of 2020 and a one-in-two chance of a reduction as soon as this year.

"It looks like the global slowdown worries have been confirmed and the market is beginning to price in Fed easing, potential recession down the road," said Kathy Jones, chief fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab & Co.

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iehi-feed-64641 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 19:20:56 GMT Jared and Ivanka: Cashing in on Power http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-21_JaredandIvankaCashinginonPower.html Ward's book ["Kushner, Inc."] suggests that the search for someone who would bail out 666 Fifth Avenue has played a significant role in American foreign policy during the Trump administration. And since the completion of her book, we've learned that Trump overrode intelligence officials, who were concerned about Kushner and his family's ties to foreign investors, to give Kushner a security clearance.

In the end, the Kushner family seems to have gotten what it wanted. Last year, Brookfield Asset Management, which has substantial investment from the government of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, came to the Kushners' rescue. (The Qataris have denied any advance knowledge of the deal.)

"You'll notice that the U.S. position toward Qatar changes when the Qataris bail out 666 Fifth Avenue," said Ward, adding, "We look like a banana republic." Maybe that's why Jared and Ivanka appear so blithely confident. As public servants, they're obviously way out of their depth. But as self-dealing scions of a gaudy autocracy? They're naturals.

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iehi-feed-64638 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 21:24:20 GMT The Fed has exacerbated America's new housing bubble: FT http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-18_TheFedhasexacerbatedAmericasnewhousingbubbleFT.html Hyman Minsky would have had a field day with last week's US inflation numbers. One of the key points in the late, great economist's Financial Instability Hypothesis was that there are two kinds of prices -- prices for goods and services, and asset prices. Inflation in the two areas should, as a result, differ. And indeed they have, quite markedly. The latest Consumer Price Index figures show that almost all core inflation, which was weaker than expected, was in rent or the owner's equivalent of rent (up 0.3 per cent). Core goods inflation, meanwhile, was down 0.2 per cent. Very simply, this means that the housing market is once again completely out of sync with the rest of the economy.

A decade on from the subprime bubble, housing, which is not only shelter but also the biggest financial asset for most Americans, is the only major component of the CPI with a national inflation rate that is consistently above the overall number. Why is this? Because, just as Minsky would have predicted, loose monetary policy over the past several years buoyed assets, but didn't create meaningful new supply or, consequently, enough demand in construction and other home-related areas. The point is illustrated in an academic paper, "What the Federal Reserve got totally wrong about inflation and interest rate policy" from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. As its author Daniel Alpert says: "What we have now is a form of inflation that's never been seen before -- it's all concentrated in housing."

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iehi-feed-64628 Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:10:38 GMT Colorado Joins Wyoming With New Securities-Exempt Digital Blockchain Token Law http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-09_ColoradoJoinsWyomingWithNewSecuritiesExemptDigitalBlockchainToke.html iehi-feed-64626 Sat, 09 Mar 2019 15:52:14 GMT Venezuela's Power Outage Draws Its Leaders Into Deeper Tensions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-09_VenezuelasPowerOutageDrawsItsLeadersIntoDeeperTensions.html iehi-feed-64624 Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:05:39 GMT Theresa May's Brexit vote is 'on a knife edge': Here's what experts predict http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-07_TheresaMaysBrexitvoteisonaknifeedgeHereswhatexpertspredict.html U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a crunch series of votes this week that will determine the immediate course of Brexit and the U.K.'s relationship with the EU.

On Tuesday, lawmakers will vote for a second time on May's Brexit deal after initially rejecting it in January. If a simple majority of them don't approve the deal, they will then vote on whether they want to leave the 28-member bloc without a deal.

If they vote against a "no-deal" Brexit, they'll then have a vote on whether to extend Article 50 (which sets out the departure process) and delay Britain's departure which is currently set to take place on March 29.

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iehi-feed-64612 Thu, 28 Feb 2019 03:02:29 GMT Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lays groundwork for Democrats to subpoena Trump's tax returns at Michael Cohen hearing http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-27_AlexandriaOcasioCortezlaysgroundworkforDemocratstosubpoenaTrumps.html iehi-feed-64610 Wed, 27 Feb 2019 23:18:21 GMT Cohen Confirms Trump Made Illegal Payments in Campaign; Continued to Control Trump Org As Prez http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-27_CohenConfirmsTrumpMadeIllegalPaymentsinCampaignContinuedtoContro.html Mr. Cohen's most damaging revelations related to Mr. Trump's personal involvement in a potential criminal conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and cover up those offenses. This possible conspiracy was the subject of a comprehensive report issued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the watchdog organization that I direct. In the report, we detail how Mr. Trump could be personally liable for unlawful campaign contributions in the form of payments involving Mr. Cohen to silence women who claimed that they had affairs with Mr. Trump. These potential violations are no small matter. Rather, they appear to have been committed for the purpose of suppressing negative stories about a central issue of the campaign: Mr. Trump's attitudes toward and alleged mistreatment of women.

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The most compelling evidence produced by Mr. Cohen on Wednesday was not anything he said but two documents he produced: copies of two $35,000 checks he received in 2017, one signed by Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and Donald Trump Jr., the other by President Trump. With these and nine other payments over the course of that year, Mr. Cohen was "reimbursed" by the Trump Organization and President Trump for the money that Mr. Cohen spent to pay Ms. Clifford for her silence. The payments also included a $60,000 bonus for Mr. Cohen -- presumably a reward for his loyalty.

These checks are key. They corroborate Mr. Cohen's testimony and provide hard evidence that Mr. Trump and senior executives at the Trump Organization knew of and committed overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy to violate campaign finance law and cover up those violations. Additionally, the checks are evidence that Mr. Trump knowingly made a false statement when he failed to report his liability to Mr. Cohen on his personal financial disclosure form in June 2017. This potential felony was committed while Mr. Trump was president.

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iehi-feed-64609 Wed, 27 Feb 2019 15:19:34 GMT AT&T Defeats Trump Admin. Attempt to Kill Time Warner Deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-27_ATTDefeatsTrumpAdminAttempttoKillTimeWarnerDeal.html AT&T Inc. beat back another effort by the U.S. to undo its purchase of Time Warner, cementing an $85 billion deal to help it compete with Netflix Inc.

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That ends the Trump administration's attempt to unravel a tie-up the U.S. said would lead to higher prices for pay-TV subscribers around the country -- though it could make the DOJ hungrier for a win on the next big merger up for review, T-Mobile US Inc.'s pending $26 billion takeover of Sprint Corp., according to one analyst.

"The government's objections that the district court misunderstood and misapplied economic principles and clearly erred in rejecting the quantitative model are unpersuasive," the court said in a 35-page ruling

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iehi-feed-64604 Sun, 24 Feb 2019 23:03:45 GMT Average tax refund down 17 percent, IRS reports http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-24_Averagetaxrefunddown17percentIRSreports.html ``This filing season is the first under Republicans' overhaul of the tax code, and lawmakers have already been under fire as some taxpayers find their expected refunds smaller or gone altogether. The payments are sacrosanct to many Americans who rely on them to fill holes in their budgets.

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[The administration's explanations are] unlikely to mollify Democrats who have accused Republicans of manipulating people's withholding in order to boost workers' paychecks last year, ahead of the midterm elections, though that would sap their refunds come tax time. The House Ways and Means committee is planning to hold a hearing soon on the issue.

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iehi-feed-64599 Fri, 22 Feb 2019 18:24:30 GMT Manafort Is Expected to Face Charges in New York, Even if Trump Pardons Him http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-22_ManafortIsExpectedtoFaceChargesinNewYorkEvenifTrumpPardonsHim.html The Manhattan district attorney's office is preparing state criminal charges against Paul J. Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, in an effort to ensure he will still face prison time even if the president pardons him for his federal crimes, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

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The office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., first began investigating Mr. Manafort in 2017 in connection with loans he received from two banks. Those loans were also the subject of some of the counts in the federal indictment that led to his conviction last year. But the state prosecutors deferred their inquiry in order not to interfere with Mr. Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

They resumed their investigation in recent months, and a state grand jury began hearing evidence in the case, several people with knowledge of the matter said. The panel is expected to wrap up its work in the coming weeks,

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In the Manhattan case, the evidence presented to a grand jury appears to be connected to loans issued by Citizens Bank in Rhode Island and Federal Savings Bank in Chicago.

The banks have received grand jury subpoenas for records relating to the loans they issued to Mr. Manafort, which were worth millions of dollars, people with knowledge of the matter said. The grand jury also has been hearing testimony about the loans. Citizens Bank has been cooperating with the investigation, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. A spokeswoman for Federal Savings Bank did not respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear precisely what charges Mr. Manafort would face, but they could include two state felonies: falsifying business records, if the evidence shows Mr. Manafort used the loan money for an unauthorized purpose, and grand larceny.

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iehi-feed-64596 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 21:13:05 GMT Fed loses last shreds of credibility as it throws in towel on balance sheet reduction http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-20_Fedloseslastshredsofcredibilityasitthrowsintowelonbalancesheetre.html Federal Reserve officials discussed at their meeting three weeks ago ending the reduction of bonds on the central bank's balance sheet before the end of 2019, according to minutes released Wednesday.

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The minutes showed extensive discussion of market conditions, particularly on the emphasis that Fed actions were having on prices of risky assets like stocks and corporate bonds.

"Bottom line, while the Fed I believe clearly had room for the current pause because of the economic slowdown going on overseas, it should also be clear to everyone that they are mostly beholden to asset prices, both the stock market and credit spreads with that driving policy," Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, said in a note.''

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iehi-feed-64595 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 20:54:34 GMT Supreme Court Puts Limits on Police Power to Seize Private Property http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-20_SupremeCourtPutsLimitsonPolicePowertoSeizePrivateProperty.html The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars "excessive fines," limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states.

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The case concerned Tyson Timbs, who pleaded guilty to selling $225 of heroin to undercover police officers. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation, and he was ordered to pay $1,200 in fees and fines.

State officials also seized Mr. Timbs's vehicle, which he had bought with the proceeds of his father's life insurance policy; authorities said he had used it to commit crimes. Justice Ginsburg wrote that the vehicle was worth "more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine assessable against him for his drug conviction."

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iehi-feed-64593 Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:16:40 GMT Worried about Costs & Slowdown? Amazon Scuttles HQ2 Altogether, Plunges NY City Real Estate Industry "Into Despair" | Wolf Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-19_WorriedaboutCostsSlowdownAmazonScuttlesHQ2AltogetherPlungesNYCit.html [Not renewing the HQ2 search] means that Amazon has decided it didn't really need this big facility. Is it worried about retail sales not holding up? Is it fretting about competition from the biggest retailers in the US and elsewhere as they catch the drift of e-commerce? Is it worried about a slowdown at AWS, its big data-center money maker, now that the exuberance about the "cloud" is waning? Is it worried that in the future, investors will once again hound it about ballooning expenses, and hammer its stock price to smithereens? This was a move designed to keep operating expenses and capital expenditures from ballooning further. Laying off people is one thing when push comes to shove, but getting rid of a monstrous multi-billion-dollar HQ2 is another.

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Forget soaring rents for apartments, forget higher home prices, and surging rents for office and industrial space, forget booming commissions. That whole dream went up in smoke today -- in a market that has already come under pressure.

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iehi-feed-64582 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:03:52 GMT Bill Gates: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wealth tax idea misses the point (+SICK MMT BURN) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_BillGatesAlexandriaOcasioCortezwealthtaxideamissesthepointSICKMM.html Instead, he said, lawmakers should focus on things like the estate tax, taxes on capital and Social Security. His view may be more closely aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax policy that focuses on taxing net worth on households worth more than $50 million.

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Gates.. also ripped the increasingly popular modern monetary theory... The theory, also known as MMT, dismisses concerns about sovereign debt since countries that print their own currency can't really run out of money. "That is some crazy talk," Gates told The Verge.

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iehi-feed-64581 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 23:54:29 GMT Trump made $5.7 billion synonymous with border security. That was a mistake. (NOW MUST TAKE 1/20th ORIG. OFFER) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_Trumpmade57billionsynonymouswithbordersecurityThatwasamistakeNOW.html He refused to support a bipartisan compromise in February 2018 that would have given him $25 billion over 10 years, including $2.5 billion that year. Trump then rejected a stopgap spending bill in December that would have prevented a shutdown and left more time for lawmakers to reach a deal.

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Now, with the deadline to fund the government coming up once again, lawmakers on Monday night worked out a compromise to avert another painful and wasteful shutdown.

That deal would keep the government open and give Trump a chunk of money, $1.375 billion to be precise, for his border wall. It's certainly not what the White House wanted, but it would prevent another costly shut down and get some of his wall built.

Trump should take it while he can. He should make a show of accepting the compromise, hold himself up as a leader, and then do a nice photo op as soon as construction starts at the border.

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iehi-feed-64579 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:28:22 GMT Reason #437 to own gold: The Fed wants Negative Interest Rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_Reason437toowngoldTheFedwantsNegativeInterestRates.html ... after a 20% drop in US stocks, the Fed has taken its foot off the pedal. But the people still want more... Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan were supposed to start tightening policy and raising rates... now, they are both considering cutting interest rates even deeper into negative territory.

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The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis thinks current interest rates are "too restrictive." He too wants lower rates.

The San Francisco Fed agrees -- they were singing the praises of negative interest rates in a recent research paper, saying they would have helped the economy recover even faster after 2008.

And SocGen economist Albert Edwards thinks the US will see negative interest rates and helicopter money (meaning central banks will print money and give it directly to the people) during the next recession.

Now that the public is once again being reminded that the Fed and its cohorts have no credibility, let's see if hard assets come back, as they should...

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iehi-feed-64577 Sun, 10 Feb 2019 13:52:35 GMT Zucked by Roger McNamee review -- Facebook's catastrophe http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-10_ZuckedbyRogerMcNameereviewFacebookscatastrophe.html iehi-feed-64573 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 04:59:14 GMT Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_FederalprosecutorsissuesweepingsubpoenafordocumentsfromTrumpinau.html ``Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday delivered a sweeping request for documents related to donations and spending by President Trump's inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal investigation into activities related to the nonprofit organization.

A wide-ranging subpoena served on the inaugural committee Monday seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors, bank accounts of the inaugural committee and any information related to foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can legally donate to a committee established to finance presidential inaugural festivities.

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The subpoena -- issued by the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District of New York -- indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering.

The subpoena also specifically seeks all communications with one donor, Los Angeles venture capitalist Imaad Zuberi, as well as the firm with which he is affiliated, Avenue Ventures. The company donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee, records show.

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The committee was chaired by real estate developer Tom Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of Trump's. Barrack, who is not mentioned by name in the subpoena, declined to comment.

The request for documents, first reported by ABC News, is a sign of another widening legal headache for Trump, whose business, personal charitable foundation and campaign are all under investigation by state and federal authorities.

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At Manafort's trial in Virginia in August, [Rick] Gates testified that it was "possible" that he stole money from the inaugural committee by submitting false expense reports for his work.

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iehi-feed-64571 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:49:44 GMT Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S. Targeting Chinese Giant http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_HuaweiStingOffersRareGlimpseofUSTargetingChineseGiant.html

The sample looked like an ordinary piece of glass, 4 inches square and transparent on both sides. It'd been packed like the precious specimen its inventor, Adam Khan, believed it to be--placed on wax paper, nestled in a tray lined with silicon gel, enclosed in a plastic case, surrounded by air bags, sealed in a cardboard box--and then sent for testing to a laboratory in San Diego owned by Huawei Technologies Co. But when the sample came back last August, months late and badly damaged, Khan knew something was terribly wrong. Was the Chinese company trying to steal his technology?

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This investigation, which hasn't previously been made public, is separate from the recently announced grand jury indictments against Huawei. On Jan. 28, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. In a separate case, prosecutors in Seattle charged Huawei with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, claiming that one of its employees stole a part from a robot, known as Tappy, at a T-Mobile US Inc. facility in Bellevue, Wash. "These charges lay bare Huawei's alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices," Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said in a press release accompanying the Jan. 28 indictments. "Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being." Huawei has denied the charges.

If the new investigation bears fruit, it could, along with the indictments, bolster the Trump administration's effort to block Huawei from selling equipment for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in the U.S. and allied nations. The U.S. believes Huawei poses a national security threat, in part, because it could build undetectable backdoors into 5G hardware and software, allowing the Chinese government to spy on American communications and wage cyberwarfare. Huawei has said this is political posturing aimed at harming a Chinese company, and skeptics have pointed out that the T-Mobile allegation has since been settled in civil court and concerns events that played out more than a half-decade ago. "If Tappy is as far as they've gotten on [intellectual property] theft, that seems to be pretty thin gruel," Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post recently.

... if the government does conclude that Akhan was attacked, that a Chinese multinational really did target a tiny Chicago company with no revenue and no customers (as of yet), it would show just how far and wide Huawei is willing to go to steal American trade secrets. "I think they're identifying technologies that are key to their road map and going after them no matter what the size or scale or status of the business," Khan says. "I wouldn't say they're discriminating."''

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