Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64540 Thu, 17 Jan 2019 21:02:50 GMT Brexit: France activates no-deal plan; Others likely follow The Netherlands' foreign trade minister, Sigrid Kaag, said on Wednesday night that the Netherlands was launching a major information campaign on 28 January.

"After Ireland, the Dutch economy is most entwined with that of the UK," she said, citing fisheries, meat-processing and flower exports. She warned that many small and medium enterprises had failed to make sufficient preparation for a no-deal Brexit.


Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said on Thursday that plans for a disorderly Brexit would have to be stepped up.

"In the coming days and weeks, we will do everything we can so that Britain exits with and not without an agreement," he told the Bundestag (German parliament).

Spain said on Thursday that staffing of immigration offices would be beefed up if the UK left the EU without a deal. Some 310,000 UK citizens live in Spain and they would have to confirm their residency under a no-deal Brexit, officials said.''

iehi-feed-64533 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 02:40:29 GMT A-La Its Marijuana Stance, Justice Department Unilaterally Decides To Block Virtually All Online Wagering The U.S. now says the U.S. Wire Act bars all internet gambling that involves interstate transactions, reversing its position from 2011 that only sports betting was prohibited under the law passed 50 years earlier.

While the federal law specifically prohibits transmission of wagers and related information across state lines, the Justice Department's new interpretation will impact all online gambling because as a practical matter it's difficult to guarantee that no payments are routed through other states, said Aaron Swerdlow, an attorney with Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP in Los Angeles.


The businesses that will be most directly affected are interstate lotteries that have become well established after 2011, said Dennis Gutwald, an attorney with McDonald Carano LLP in Las Vegas. The Justice Department's new reading of the law won't affect intrastate online wagering, where patrons bet only from within a single state.


Online poker and blackjack operations are much less developed than the lotteries, but they will have to examine how they can continue to be run in light of the Justice Department's opinion, according to Gutwald.

iehi-feed-64532 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 01:34:49 GMT British pound strengthens after parliament rejects Brexit plan Parliament on Tuesday struck down the divorce deal that Prime Minister Theresa May had negotiated with the rest of the European Union by a record margin. The defeat was expected, but the size of the loss -- 432 votes to 202 -- was a surprise.

The pound, which had fallen below $1.27 earlier on Tuesday, erased its losses after the vote and strengthened to $1.28. Some analysts had predicted the pound would rally if May suffered a major defeat because that would raise the chance of Brexit being delayed.

The crushing loss means parliament may now wield greater control over the process. Capital Economics said lawmakers could move to delay Brexit while they work on alternatives.

iehi-feed-64531 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 01:32:35 GMT Why mortgage lending at Wells Fargo, Chase and Citi plunged With earnings from three of the four biggest banks in, one metric stands in sharp relief. Mortgage lending just keeps plunging. In the fourth quarter, mortgage originations at Citi C, +4.16%   were down 23% compared to a year ago. At Wells Fargo WFC, -1.55%  , they were 28% lower, and at JPMorgan Chase JPM, +0.73%  , they were down 30%.


What's going on? Here's how JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake described it in her prepared remarks to analysts Wednesday: "Home Lending revenue was down 8%, driven by lower net reduction revenue in a low volume highly competitive environment."


Mortgage lending is down, mostly because there aren't enough houses for people to buy to sustain a healthy housing market -- although rising rates aren't helping either. Also thanks to those higher rates, the long refinance boom is over

iehi-feed-64529 Fri, 11 Jan 2019 01:28:00 GMT Mnuchin becomes first Trump official called by Democratic House to answer questions about Russia iehi-feed-64519 Sat, 05 Jan 2019 02:46:10 GMT A Trump County Confronts the Administration Amid a Rash of Child Cancers There are conflicting views in Johnson County of the administration's environmental rollbacks. There is talk that the federal government should get out of people's lives, even as local officials have called on the E.P.A. to take over the response to the contamination.

"When it comes to public health, we can go against party lines. And I don't agree with trying to roll back the E.P.A.'s role," said Steve Barnett, Franklin's mayor and a Republican. "Back in the day, there weren't any rules. That's why there was so much contamination," he said.

Many members of If It Was Your Child in the Franklin area play down the politics, noting that both parties have let the cleanup fall by the wayside. Nevertheless, their demands come at a time when the Trump administration has weakened the very rules that could prevent another Franklin.

"We should not have to fight Republicans or Democrats to save our children. It's not a political fight for us," said Stacie Davidson, a Trump voter who co-founded the parents' group with Mrs. Rhinehart (who didn't vote for Mr. Trump).

Mrs. Davidson said, "His loosening of E.P.A. regulations, it's infuriating." She added, "We're ruining the environment for money."

Mrs. Davidson learned in 2014 that her stepson, Zane, who was 10 at the time, had a rare form of leukemia. He is now in remission. She has traveled to Washington to speak in favor of stronger TCE regulations. "What we're fighting for is seemingly being undone right now," she said.

Still, she said, she did not regret her vote. "Trump's a businessman. There are great things he can do for our country. But he's used to building high rises for money," she said. "He's not as environmentally savvy. Our hope is that he surrounds himself with people who are more knowledgeable."


Despite the emergence of alternatives to TCE, the Trump administration has stalled action on restricting its use. "There have been greener alternatives to TCE for years," said Tom Forsythe, an executive vice president at Kyzen, a Tennessee cleaning-materials company, who joined E.P.A. officials in a conference call in August 2017 to lay out other options.


"I see good things that Trump has done," said Mr. Barnett, the mayor, emphasizing his town's future. "The economy's good. There's been a lot of investment into our city."

So sad to see kids literally poisoned to death because Trump panders to support from business and industry, meanwhile, the effected communities make excuses for Trump based on fictions of all the good he's doing. (Were these same people praising Obama for "surrounding himself with knowledgeable people", or the "economy doing well" on his watch? Our money's on "probably not"...)

iehi-feed-64518 Sat, 05 Jan 2019 01:36:24 GMT Trump administration officials set to receive $10,000 raises during government shutdown. iehi-feed-64517 Fri, 04 Jan 2019 22:12:52 GMT The Rise of Gold-Backed Cryptos iehi-feed-64516 Fri, 04 Jan 2019 18:40:07 GMT Dow surges 700 points after Powell says the Fed will be patient with rate hikes "As always, there is no preset path for policy, " Powell said. "And particularly with muted inflation readings that we've seen coming in, we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves."

Powell also said the central bank would not "hesitate" to change its balance-sheet reduction plan if it was causing problems. Fears that the Fed may be making a policy error by tightening too fast have contributed to the recent skittishness in financial markets, according to several market experts.

"I think he did what the market hoped he would do," said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. "What he did with these comments is he acknowledged that they need to be more flexible."

"This is worth a bounce, but at the same time, the major issues facing the market are not resolved. We have a potential earnings problem in this market; we have a potential economic growth problem in this market," Essaye added. "Today's rally is more a result of the overextended downside from yesterday."

"Coincidentally," this is all exactly what Trump wants.

iehi-feed-64507 Tue, 01 Jan 2019 16:19:22 GMT What 46 Populist Leaders Did to Democracy - The Atlantic Populists aren't just more likely to win reelection once or twice; they are also much more likely to remain in power for well over a decade. Six years after they are first elected, populist leaders are twice as likely as non-populist leaders to still be in power; twelve years after they are first elected, they are more than five times as likely.

... only 17 percent of populists stepped down after they lost free and fair elections. Another 17 percent vacated high office after they reached their term limits. But 23 percent left office under more dramatic circumstances--they were impeached or forced to resign. Another 30 percent of all populist leaders in our database remain in power to this day. This is partially a function of the recent rise of populism: Thirty-six percent of those populist rulers who still remain in power were elected over the past five years. But even more of them have been in office long enough to raise serious concerns: About half have led their country for at least nine years.


In many countries, populists rewrote the rules of the game to permanently tilt the electoral playing field in their favor. Indeed, an astounding 50 percent of populists either rewrote or amended their country's constitution when they gained power, frequently with the aim of eliminating presidential term limits and reducing checks and balances on executive power.


Since 1990, 13 right-wing populist governments have been elected; of these, five brought about significant democratic backsliding. Over the same time period, 15 left-wing populist governments were elected; of these, the same number, five, brought about significant democratic backsliding. This suggests that left-wing populists are not likely to be a cure for right-wing populism; they are, on the contrary, likely to accelerate the speed with which democracy burns out.''

iehi-feed-64504 Mon, 31 Dec 2018 21:28:36 GMT House Democrats to pass plan to reopen government Thursday The Democrats plan to vote on a bipartisan package of six Senate spending bills and a stopgap measure to re-open the Department of Homeland Security at its current funding levels until February 8, the aide said. The temporary measure would maintain the current $1.3 billion in border security money, which can be used for fencing and repairs of current barriers.

Yet as the shutdown moves through its 10th day, it is clear that the House Democrats' plan to take the first legislative action since the start of the shuttering of roughly a quarter of the federal government remains a nonstarter for Republicans, who still control the chamber on the other side of the US Capitol.


Democrats believe it's smart to separate Department of Homeland Security funding -- and the wall fight -- from the other six bills because they think it puts Trump and the Republicans in the position of holding the other agencies and furloughed workers hostage for the wall, the aide said. Democrats believe pressure will mount on Republicans as the shutdown drags on, the aide said.

The negotiations on a deal to open the government have sat frozen for days, according to people involved, as lawmakers in the House and Senate have deserted the Capitol for the holidays and, with no votes scheduled, likely won't return until the start of the next Congress. That, according to several aides involved in the process, has been viewed as the unofficial moment talks may begin, but there still remains no clear pathway forward for an agreement.

iehi-feed-64503 Sun, 30 Dec 2018 21:00:00 GMT This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal' Just Might Work Abenomics has been declared a success even by the once-critical International Monetary Fund. After Abe crushed his opponents in 2017, Noah Smith wrote in Bloomberg, "Japan's long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party has figured out a novel and interesting way to stay in power--govern pragmatically, focus on the economy and give people what they want." Smith said everyone who wanted a job had one, small and midsize businesses were doing well; and the Bank of Japan's unprecedented program of monetary easing had provided easy credit for corporate restructuring without generating inflation. Abe had also vowed to make both preschool and college free.

Not that all is idyllic in Japan. Forty percent of Japanese workers lack secure full-time employment and adequate pensions. But the point underscored here is that large-scale digital money-printing by the central bank to buy back the government's debt, combined with fiscal stimulus by the government (spending on "what the people want"), has not inflated Japanese prices, the alleged concern preventing other countries from doing the same.

There seem to be some good ideas about public banking/national-treasury-based lending in here. However, it's not at all clear the non-inflationary result can be separated from general conditions of austerity present in the same economies (of course, if general depressionary conditions are a prerequisite for public banking recovery programmes to work en masse, that might both explain this result and motivate for its use under particular conditions).

iehi-feed-64501 Sun, 30 Dec 2018 19:16:22 GMT Trump on the Fed: 2015 and 2016 vs. Now "We have a big, fat bubble coming up, you watch. We have artificially induced low interest rates," Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" two days after announcing his candidacy in 2015. "I borrow money . . . you pay like nothing; they give you free money. Now that's bad, that's not good."

This month, Trump asked advisers about firing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell over rate increases, even after he baselessly accused President Barack Obama of forcing the Fed to keep rates low two years prior (Trump "now realizes he does not have the authority" to fire Powell, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday).

"The interest rates are kept down by President Obama; I have no doubt that that's the reason they are being kept down," Trump told CNBC on Sept. 12, 2016. "I used to hope that the Fed was independent, and the Fed is obviously not independent. It's obviously not even close to being independent."

iehi-feed-64498 Sun, 30 Dec 2018 03:08:53 GMT CNBC: Trump Sought Advice on Market Rout From Hedge Fund Investor The unidentified investor was said to tell the official to tell the president to end his criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Twitter, stop administration turnover and reach a trade deal with China in order to help markets, sources told CNBC.

The administration, which has judged Trump's success in part on stock market performance, is "determined" to boost equities, the sources said.

The call took place after a selloff on Christmas Eve, the worst day of Dec. 24 trading ever.

iehi-feed-64496 Mon, 24 Dec 2018 16:55:29 GMT Markets plunge following Mnuchin outreach to banks Mnuchin said Sunday that he spoke with the heads of six major banks -- Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo -- and reported that they had "ample liquidity."

He also said he would convene a call with the president's working group on financial markets and a group of key regulators.

But the unusual message may have backfired, with analysts noting that the group Mnuchin was calling together was the same as the "Plunge Protection Team" that met at the height of the 2009 financial crisis.

iehi-feed-64491 Fri, 21 Dec 2018 21:50:14 GMT For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain iehi-feed-64490 Fri, 21 Dec 2018 19:34:36 GMT U.S. stocks fall amid escalating worries about a government shutdown The developments in Washington are unsettling investors, not so much because they believe a partial shutdown would itself hurt equity values, but for what the gridlock and unpredictability of the Trump White House could presage for more consequential fights, like the need to raise the debt ceiling early next year.

Looks like we're on track for this.

iehi-feed-64488 Fri, 21 Dec 2018 00:36:03 GMT Dow sinks below 23,000; Nasdaq flirts with a bear market; Oil in free fall The latest wave of selling shows how worried investors have become about the eventual demise of the economic expansion. Those jitters were exacerbated by concerns that the Federal Reserve is making a mistake by continuing to raise interest rates.

"Equity markets are quickly approaching the capitulation phase after having broken below critical support," Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, told CNN Business.

Market sentiment wasn't helped by a surprise deepening in the budget fight in Washington either. House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Donald Trump won't sign the spending bill needed to prevent a government shutdown. Although a short-term shutdown would not have a large impact on the national economy, it would serve as a reminder of government dysfunction.

iehi-feed-64487 Thu, 20 Dec 2018 18:54:26 GMT Trump won't sign current funding bill, Ryan says President Donald Trump will not sign the current Senate-passed funding measure that would avert a government shutdown, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

What was once a deal to avoid a holiday government shutdown got torpedoed Thursday after conservatives and Trump unleashed fury that the agreement doesn't fully fund a long-promised border wall.

It was a closing burst of wrath in the final days of the Republican-majority House. If Trump cannot secure the $5 billion he is demanding for the wall now, it's unlikely he will see a spending bill that meets his requirement for at least two years as Democrats assume control.

iehi-feed-64485 Thu, 20 Dec 2018 15:19:05 GMT World stocks suffer as Fed heightens recession fears The Fed on Wednesday stuck by a plan to keep withdrawing support from an economy it views as strong, hiking key overnight lending rates, as expected, by 0.25 percent points.

It said "some further gradual" rate hikes would be needed in the year ahead, with policymakers projecting two rises on average next year instead of the three predicted in September.

Although largely in line with expectations, that tweak failed to soothe a cocktail of market fears over slowing world growth, U.S. trade tensions with China, and tightening monetary conditions for companies in the world's biggest economy.