Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64739 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:21:56 GMT Dow heads for fifth straight negative week, longest losing streak since 2011 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_Dowheadsforfifthstraightnegativeweeklongestlosingstreaksince2011.html Stocks were headed for weekly losses on Friday as investors worry the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.

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U.S. durable goods orders dropped 2.1% last month amid a slowdown in exports and a buildup in inventories. This is the latest economic data set showing cracks in the economy while the world's largest economies engage in a trade war. IHS Markit said Thursday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low.

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"The growing worries around a US/China elongated trade battle and its implications on the tech space are heavily weighing on the minds of both investors and the companies themselves caught in the cross hairs," Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients. "The ‘poster child' for the US/China trade wars continue to be Apple with the stock under heavy pressure as many competitors are yelling fire in a crowded theater around the potential China impact to Cupertino if this situation worsens.

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iehi-feed-64733 Fri, 24 May 2019 03:00:08 GMT Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War; Fails To Quell Their Anxieties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_TrumpGivesFarmers16BillioninAidAmidProlongedChinaTradeWarFailsTo.html Jim Costa, a congressman from California who heads the House agriculture subcommittee, criticized the plan as a "rushed and poorly-planned bailout" that might end up giving less aid to some farmers, like those who grow fruit and vegetable crops in central California.

"For more than a year now, producers of every commodity have said the same thing: they want long-term access to export markets, not hasty attempts by the federal government to clean up its own mess," Mr. Costa said. "I urge the White House to rescind the tariffs and sit down in a constructive manner with the Chinese to address issues that will actually improve the market for our farmers."

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The collateral damage to farmers from the trade clash with China now looms as a potential obstacle to the president's re-election. China's tariffs against products like soybeans and beef and a recent move to cancel a major pork order have hit swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, especially hard.

A survey of 400 American farmers by Purdue University and the CME Group, a global markets company, showed that sentiment plunged in April, stemming from concerns about worsening tensions with China. Only 28 percent of farmers surveyed said that they believed a soybean dispute with China would be resolved by July 1, down from 45 percent in March, while 74 percent of those surveyed said now was a "bad time" to make big farm investments.

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iehi-feed-64732 Thu, 23 May 2019 22:23:51 GMT New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump's State Tax Returns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_NewYorkPassesBillGivingCongressaWaytoGetTrumpsStateTaxReturns.html New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump's state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president's refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump's policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president's state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns -- filed in New York, the president's home state and business headquarters -- would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature's actions put the state in a bit of uncharted legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York's maneuver.

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Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.

"Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump's current refusals," Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the "bill of attainder" accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that "bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts," and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms.

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iehi-feed-64730 Thu, 23 May 2019 04:07:45 GMT Judge Rejects Trump Effort to Block Deutsche Bank Subpoena http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_JudgeRejectsTrumpEfforttoBlockDeutscheBankSubpoena.html A federal judge in New York rejected President Donald Trump's request to keep his banks from producing financial records to lawmakers, handing House Democrats a second convincing courtroom win this week in their efforts to delve into the president's finances.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, ruling from the bench on Wednesday, denied Trump's request for a preliminary injunction, saying that while the president, his family and his business would suffer irreparable harm from disclosure of the records, they were "unlikely to succeed on the merits" with their argument that the congressional subpoenas are improper.

The decision comes two days after U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington ruled that Congress has the authority to demand records from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP.

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Trump is appealing the Washington ruling and both sides have asked for a quick hearing. Trump is also likely to appeal Wednesday's decision.

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iehi-feed-64727 Wed, 22 May 2019 12:58:08 GMT Iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel is part of China's US property fire sale - but don't expect a bargain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_IconicWaldorfAstoriahotelispartofChinasUSpropertyfiresalebutdont.html iehi-feed-64723 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:16:51 GMT De Blasio admin. moves to strip equity from hundreds of homes in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in "third-party transfer" foreclosures http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_DeBlasioadminmovestostripequityfromhundredsofhomesinblackandHisp.html In the Council districts that include Williamsburg, Bushwick, Brownsville and East New York, the city has initiated third-party proceedings on at least 107 homes and foreclosed on 20. In three South Bronx districts, 83 third-party proceedings have been launched since 2015, records show. Of those, 18 properties have changed hands.

The city has foreclosed on 62 properties citywide through the program overall since 2015, officials said. Critics from homeowners to elected officials and lawyer-advocates claim the city has failed to notify property owners who are losing long-term investments.

"A lot of these homeowners had no idea these properties were being taken out from under them," said Scott Kohanowski, an attorney and the director of the Homeowner Stability Project. "And the city takes all that equity. That's the most appalling part."

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City officials contend they notify both landlords and tenants through mailed notices, robocalls, flyers and forums. But some say tenants don't find out about what's happening until it's too late.

A lawyer for tenants at a foreclosure in the Bronx, Serge Joseph, said their co-op board did not receive notice.

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"[The city] told people there would be no more shareholding, but they didn't explain anything. They didn't say why," Jones said. "This whole group is just taking away people's housing. That's their purpose."

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iehi-feed-64722 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:11:35 GMT Deutsche Bank Suppressed Trump, Kushner Money Laundering Alarms; Fired Whistleblower http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_DeutscheBankSuppressedTrumpKushnerMoneyLaunderingAlarmsFiredWhis.html Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump's now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

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Ms. McFadden [a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank's Jacksonville office] said she was terminated last year after she raised concerns about the bank's practices. Since then, she has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators about the bank's anti-money-laundering enforcement.

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Ms. McFadden said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government -- in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.

... Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated -- in this case, the private-banking division -- according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.

That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden's concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.

Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division's strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.

After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.

Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump's limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.

Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.

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iehi-feed-64719 Fri, 17 May 2019 18:38:48 GMT Trump in His Own Private Slump (EXCEPT FOR EMOLUMENTS!!) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-17_TrumpinHisOwnPrivateSlumpEXCEPTFOREMOLUMENTS.html President Trump's family business saw its overall revenues decline modestly in 2018, according to his annual financial report released Thursday, suggesting a disconnect between the Trump brand and the still-growing national economy.

The revenue declines were most pronounced at some of Mr. Trump's best-known properties, including the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which experienced a nearly 10 percent drop. Hotels in Chicago and Hawaii, as well as golf courses in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the Bronx, also saw declines, suggesting that sales are being affected by consumers deciding to turn away from the Trump brand, industry analysts said.

The results were somewhat better for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has become a favored spot for Republicans, lobbyists and some foreign governments and accounts for nearly 10 percent of the Trump Organization's revenues.

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That retrenchment appears driven mostly by political factors, given that the economy has been relatively strong for the past several years. Mr. Trump's polarizing policies and increasingly intense clashes with Democrats have turned off some potential customers and clients, particularly in heavily Democratic cities like Chicago.''

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iehi-feed-64717 Wed, 15 May 2019 23:44:39 GMT The Real Motivation for FacebookCoin http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-15_TheRealMotivationforFacebookCoin.html what better way to pacify government bureaucrats than to "share" profits with users... And the easiest way for Facebook to do that is with its own currency.

That's what FacebookCoin is all about... Simply put, Facebook is trying to save its own skin... by getting VC firms involved with FacebookCoin, it will claim that the project is decentralized and not solely controlled by Facebook. It's just a clever front to deflect scrutiny.

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Facebook has been lobbying for additional government regulations on social media. That way, Facebook doesn't have to self-police -- it can simply follow orders. That also allows it to deflect public backlash.

If that doesn't work, Facebook has [its FacebookCoin play]...

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iehi-feed-64708 Wed, 08 May 2019 03:52:34 GMT Fraud Prince: Leaked Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses Thru '94 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_FraudPrinceLeakedTrumpTaxFiguresShowOver1BillioninBusinessLosses.html By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir "Trump: The Art of the Deal" hit bookstores in 1987, Donald J. Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data -- printouts from Mr. Trump's official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 -- represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president's taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career -- an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses -- largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found...

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Mr. Trump was able to lose all that money without facing the usual consequences -- such as a steep drop in his standard of living -- in part because most of it belonged to others, to the banks and bond investors who had supplied the cash to fuel his acquisitions. And as The Times's earlier investigation showed, Mr. Trump secretly leaned on his father's wealth to continue living like a winner and to stage a comeback.

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The new information also suggests that Mr. Trump's 1990 collapse might have struck several years earlier if not for his brief side career posing as a corporate raider. From 1986 through 1988, while his core businesses languished under increasingly unsupportable debt, Mr. Trump made millions of dollars in the stock market by suggesting that he was about to take over companies. But the figures show that he lost most, if not all, of those gains after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously.

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the president has filed lawsuits against his banks and accounting firm to prevent them from turning over tax returns and other financial records.

In New York, the attorney general's office is investigating the financing of several major Trump Organization projects; Deutsche Bank has already begun turning over documents. The state attorney general is also examining issues raised last year by The Times's investigation, which revealed that much of the money Mr. Trump had received from his father came from his participation in dubious tax schemes, including instances of outright fraud.

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At his nadir, in the post-recession autumn of 1991, Mr. Trump testified before a congressional task force, calling for changes in the tax code to benefit his industry.

"The real estate business -- we're in an absolute depression," Mr. Trump told the lawmakers, adding: "I see no sign of any kind of upturn at all. There is no incentive to invest. Everyone is doing badly, everyone."

... [But] While Donald Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 1990 and 1991, Fred Trump's returns showed a positive income of $53.9 million, with only one major loss: $15 million invested in his son's latest apartment project.

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iehi-feed-64707 Wed, 08 May 2019 00:38:09 GMT Reform capitalism or face revolution, billionaires are told at Milken Conference http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_ReformcapitalismorfacerevolutionbillionairesaretoldatMilkenConfe.html If the barricades have not been erected in the streets, they were told several times over, they could soon be unless there is reform of the American economic system.

"It's not whether we should be capitalist or socialist. It's how do we make sure that capitalism is working the way it has in the past," said Alan Schwartz, a managing partner at global investment firm Guggenheim Partners, who warned of "class warfare."

He noted that salaries and wages as a percentage of the economic pie are at a postwar low of 40%, prompting a "throw out the rich" mentality that would require some form of income redistribution to head off.

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Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said that when young people say they favor socialism what they really mean is simply a bigger role for government.

"There's evidence they really don't know what socialism is," he said, pointing out how his students seem to admire European social democracies, which are nonetheless capitalist.

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... it was telling that Milken hosted the conference's last discussion, titled "Keeping the American Dream Alive" and featuring Ray Dalio, who built his Bridgewater Associates into one of the world's largest hedge funds with some $150 billion under management.

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He returned to that theme in his talk, asserting that lack of income growth among the bottom 60% of the population had led to a loss of hope reflected in rising death rates linked to suicides and opiate abuse.

Dalio contrasted that with the New Frontier years of the Kennedy administration, when the nation thought it could eliminate poverty and set a goal to reach the moon. "I think that is the magic of the United States and we are losing that," he said.

It was hard to say that any comprehensive concrete solutions emerged out of the discussion, though there was much talk about the need to improve educational opportunities in lower-income neighborhoods.

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iehi-feed-64705 Mon, 06 May 2019 00:50:54 GMT Trump vows new tariff hike on Chinese goods, escalating tension in trade talks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_TrumpvowsnewtariffhikeonChinesegoodsescalatingtensionintradetalk.html ``President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by announcing on Sunday he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

The move marked a major escalation in trade tensions between the world's two largest economies and a shift in tone from Trump, who cited progress in talks as recently as Friday.

But a less than rosy update from United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, including details that China was pulling back from some commitments it made previously, prompted Trump's decision and jab on Twitter at Beijing.

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Financial markets reacted negatively. S&P 500 e-minis fell 1.6%, while Dow futures were down 420 points or 1.6%.

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New fines will now hang over those talks, assuming they take place as planned. Trump said tariffs on $200 billion of goods would increase to 25 percent on Friday from 10 percent, reversing a decision he made in February to keep them at the 10 percent rate after progress between the two sides.

The president also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 percent tariffs "shortly," essentially targeting all products imported to the United States from China.

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iehi-feed-64704 Sun, 05 May 2019 21:39:01 GMT Facebook Building Cryptocurrency-Based Payments System http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_FacebookBuildingCryptocurrencyBasedPaymentsSystem.html One idea under discussion is Facebook paying users fractions of a coin when they view ads, interact with other content or shop on its platform--not unlike loyalty points accrued at retailers, some of the people said.

This would reward the kind of genuine interaction that Facebook, beset by bots and hate speech, has been trying to encourage. It could also blunt criticism that the company makes billions of dollars on the backs of its users, sometimes in troubling or invasive ways.

Creating a so-called stablecoin backed by government currency better positions it as a legitimate payment method rather than a speculative bet. The volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that aren't backed by hard assets has hampered their usefulness in payments.

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Now Facebook must bend a variety of stakeholders to its vision. Most immediately are Visa and Mastercard Inc., whose networks handle the vast majority of credit and debit card payments in the U.S.

If it succeeds, the project threatens the card networks' dominance over global payments. Facebook comes armed with more than 1.5 billion daily users, many of them in developing countries where social-media sites provide the backbone of internet commerce.

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iehi-feed-64702 Sun, 05 May 2019 00:47:04 GMT Sullivan & Cromwell's Rodge Cohen: The Untold Story of the Fed's $29 Trillion (NOT $17T) Bailout http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-04_SullivanCromwellsRodgeCohenTheUntoldStoryoftheFeds29TrillionNOT1.html "The enacted 1991 amendment to Section 13(3) authorized the Fed to make emergency loans to nonbanking firms as long as those loans are ‘secured to the satisfaction of the [Fed],' and the amendment also gave the Fed broad discretion to accept almost any type of collateral from the borrowing firms."

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During Cohen's interview with the FCIC, he is asked if the Fed's financial assistance with Bear was the first time the Fed had used its 13(3) authority to help a nonbank. Cohen states that "To my knowledge it is the first time and the initial but fleeting reaction was we've never done it before, what sort of precedent are we creating for ourselves."

It was not the first time the Fed had used 13(3) to assist a nonbank. It was simply the first time the Fed had showered money like a drunken sailor with an unlimited ATM card to the Fed's discount window. According to a history provided by David Fettig, a Senior Advisor to the Minneapolis Fed, Section 13(3) "was used sparingly, and just 123 loans were made" from 1932 to 1936. The loans totaled $1.5 million -- that's $27.3 million in today's dollars. The 1936 loans were the last time 13(3) was invoked until 2007.

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iehi-feed-64697 Thu, 02 May 2019 19:10:45 GMT How a Little Money Laundering Can Have a Big Impact on Real Estate Prices | Wolf Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-02_HowaLittleMoneyLaunderingCanHaveaBigImpactonRealEstatePricesWolf.html iehi-feed-64689 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 21:17:45 GMT Seth Meyers Rants At Elites and Political Dysfunction (4/17/19) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-18_SethMeyersRantsAtElitesandPoliticalDysfunction41719.html iehi-feed-64688 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:23:19 GMT Turkey's economy is spiraling as Erdogan's AKP requests new election http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-18_TurkeyseconomyisspiralingasErdogansAKPrequestsnewelection.html Erdogan has espoused keeping interest rates down despite rising inflation, currently at more than 19 percent. Investors fear he will continue to pursue populist monetary policy after his party's unprecedented defeat in the local elections.

But more than the election results themselves, it is the substance of an economic reform package that is needed to calm markets, experts say. That effort has so far not gone well.

Of note, an investor discussion with Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak during the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC last week received decidedly negative reviews.

Investors described Turkish officials as unprepared and lacking details, and a J.P. Morgan survey carried out during the event revealed that more than 80% of investors did not have confidence in Ankara's ability to turn things around.

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iehi-feed-64686 Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:06:14 GMT Donald Trump is 'Fighting us on Everything,' Will Resist Congressional Subpoenas for Financial Information: Report http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-17_DonaldTrumpisFightingusonEverythingWillResistCongressionalSubpoe.html President Donald Trump is reportedly doing all he can to resist efforts by House Democrats to obtain documents and information relating to their multiple ongoing investigations into his administration and business dealings.

According to The Washington Post, both Trump's personal attorneys and White House counsel Pat Cipollone are preparing the ground for a legal fight to block any subpoenas from the various House committees running investigations and will not turn anything over to Congress.

Trump is already not complying with information requests related to security clearances, meeting with foreign leaders, and other topics his team says are covered by executive privilege, the Post reported, citing aides familiar with White House discussions.

"They are fighting us on everything now, Representative Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, told the publication. "It's an assault on the separation of powers and specifically the congressional oversight function."

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The House Financial Services Committee is exploring the Trump family finances and his relationship in particular with Deutsche Bank, which, despite his checkered history with debt continued to lend him and his company money over the years.

The House Ways and Means Committee is trying to draw out Trump's tax returns from the IRS amid suspicions of fraud, denied by the president. And the House Foreign Affairs Committee is looking into Trump's business relationships abroad to see if they have had any influence on his presidency.

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For example, the oversight committee has requested from Mazars, Trump's personal accountant, 10 years of his financial documents. The judiciary committee recently hit 81 people with information requests related to Trump.

It's obvious now (if it wasn't before) that Trump is hiding something big.

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iehi-feed-64679 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 22:18:31 GMT Fed minutes show re-starting QE purchases already on the table http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_FedminutesshowrestartingQEpurchasesalreadyonthetable.html The minutes revealed a debate inside the Fed about when the bank should resume purchases of Treasurys after it ends it balance-sheet runoff... Several wanted to resume purchases "relatively soon," the minutes showed, but "some" preferred to let the average level of reserves decline naturally for awhile in the hopes that it would give the Fed a sense of underlying demand by banks.

The outcome of such a debate, though arcane, is important. Some outside critics contend the Fed balance-sheet process contributed to the stock-market meltdown in December. Senior Fed officials want to make sure whatever they do reduces instability in the U.S. financial system.

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iehi-feed-64677 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 14:52:53 GMT Trump Says U.S. Is Full, but Demographic Decline Is Real Threat http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_TrumpSaysUSIsFullbutDemographicDeclineIsRealThreat.html