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

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

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

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 So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year.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

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

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iehi-feed-61724 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:59:15 GMT Expert: Australia headed for ‘economic armageddon' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-19_ExpertAustraliaheadedforeconomicarmageddon.html iehi-feed-61717 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:51:32 GMT Mary Jo White, the SEC's Revolving Door with Wall Street, and "Draining the Swamp" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_MaryJoWhitetheSECsRevolvingDoorwithWallStreetandDrainingtheSwamp.html In February 2015, the New York Times reported that the conflicts of White and her husband had resulted in her recusing herself "from more than four dozen enforcement investigations." Instead of an SEC Chair, that sounds like a part-time worker.

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

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

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

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

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iehi-feed-61712 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:48:29 GMT Freddie Mac's Tough Spot: Turn Down a Loan to Trump's In-Laws? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-17_FreddieMacsToughSpotTurnDownaLoantoTrumpsInLaws.html Kushner Cos. has apartment buildings from New Jersey to Maryland with more than $500 million in government-backed mortgages financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That could put officials at those agencies in an awkward spot: If Kushner Cos. applies for a new loan, or wants to refinance, would Freddie turn them down? If Kushner Cos. fails to comply with the terms of a loan, will Fannie seek to foreclose on a property owned by the president's in-laws?

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The FHFA is run by Mel Watt, appointed by former President Barack Obama. Watt's term ends in 2019, at which point Trump will pick a successor, though it's possible the president could try to remove Watt from office before then. FHFA spokesman Peter Garuccio declined to comment on potential conflicts, as did spokesmen for Fannie and Freddie.

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Before loans are issued for large or unusual deals, representatives of Fannie set interest rates and review borrowers' applications that are submitted to the lenders. They don't do that for smaller, routine loans.

Freddie, however, examines all applications submitted to the lender, including scrutinizing the appraisal and applicant's history of payments on other loans. Depending on the review, Freddie representatives could adjust the interest rate quoted by the lender.

If Kushner Cos. fails to make Fannie-backed loan payments on time or violate other terms, Fannie employees would determine whether to foreclose. Fannie backs about $142.3 million of the outstanding loans.

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iehi-feed-61709 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:49:44 GMT Explaining Foreclosure To Your Kids http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_ExplainingForeclosureToYourKids.html iehi-feed-61684 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 21:26:37 GMT Senate expected to confirm Mnuchin for Treasury secretary -- then he'll have a lot of work to do http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-13_SenateexpectedtoconfirmMnuchinforTreasurysecretarythenhellhaveal.html Once confirmed, he would face a packed agenda. A wealthy hedge fund manager and Hollywood movie producer, Mnuchin would be a key administration player on boosting economic growth. He would take office with some key looming deadlines, including a need to increase the debt limit next month and to decide by April 15 whether to label China a currency manipulator and possibly trigger a trade war.

"Under any objective standard, Mr. Mnuchin has ample experience, credentials and qualifications for this important position," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Monday, decrying what he called "continual and pointless delays" of his confirmation by Democrats.

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By March 17, Mnuchin would need to persuade Congress to increase the nation's debt limit. If he can't, he would have to start using a series of so-called extraordinary measures to extend the deadline for several weeks to avoid a U.S. default on its debt.

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On the same day, he'd be scheduled to begin two days of meetings in Germany with finance ministers of the world's advanced economies at a G20 summit, amid a rocky start for Trump on international relations.

By April 15, Mnuchin would face a statutory deadline to inform Congress if the Treasury Department will label China a currency manipulator.

Trump promised during his campaign to direct his Treasury secretary to take that step, which would trigger negotiations to resolve the matter. If those talks fail, the U.S. could levy sanctions that might lead to a trade war.

Keeping currency exchange rates artificially low makes a country's products cheaper to buy abroad, boosting exports. China has faced allegations of manipulations in the past, but since 2014, financial markets have been pushing down the value of its currency and China has been trying to intervene to keep the value up.

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And by the first week of June, Mnuchin would have to report to the White House about changes needed to financial regulations under an executive order Trump signed Feb. 3. The order directed the Treasury secretary to consult with regulators and review the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Trump has pledged to dismantle.

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iehi-feed-61657 Tue, 07 Feb 2017 20:06:05 GMT 'Real' financial advisors do not fear the retirement-savings rule http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-07_Realfinancialadvisorsdonotfeartheretirementsavingsrule.html Real financial advisors do not fear the fiduciary rule. "Real" financial advisors -- for instance, those tested, licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission as Registered Investment Advisors -- are already held to a fiduciary standard, for starters. It is only brokers and other advisors, who sell financial products for a commission, that are clinging to a lesser bar.

Real financial advisors overwhelmingly support the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which at present only applies to Americans' retirement accounts. While the rule isn't perfect and contains some loopholes, real financial advisors embrace the wider application of the fiduciary standard and remain hopeful that the rule will expand further to ensure anyone who receives financial advice on any account or in any capacity is also protected by it.

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iehi-feed-61651 Tue, 07 Feb 2017 02:34:24 GMT Is America in a Bubble & Will America Ever Return to "Normal"? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-06_IsAmericainaBubbleWillAmericaEverReturntoNormal.html iehi-feed-61646 Sun, 05 Feb 2017 21:55:39 GMT House flipping is back, with all its opportunities and risks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-05_Houseflippingisbackwithallitsopportunitiesandrisks.html More than 6 percent of home sales last year were "flips", according to a new report from Trulia. The real estate data website defines a flip as the selling of a home at least twice within a year.

That's the highest number in a decade, before the real estate bubble burst and the financial crisis of 2008. So could the housing market flip out again?

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Other flipping hot spots [besides Las Vegas] include three Florida cities, three Tennessee cities, plus Atlanta, GA. On the west coast, Fresno, CA and Tacoma, WA also made the top 10.

McLaughlin tells CNBC most of the flipping activity is among luxury properties, or "upper tier, this premium tier as we call it."

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iehi-feed-61642 Sun, 05 Feb 2017 15:29:32 GMT Theresa May abandons "homeownership democracy"; to offer more security for renters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-05_TheresaMayabandonshomeownershipdemocracytooffermoresecurityforre.html A major shift in Tory housing policy in favour of people who rent will be announced by ministers this week as Theresa May's government admits that home ownership is now out of reach for millions of families.

In a departure from her predecessor David Cameron, who focused on advancing Margaret Thatcher's ambition for a "home-owning democracy", a white paper will aim to deliver more affordable and secure rental deals, and threaten tougher action against rogue landlords, for the millions of families unable to buy because of sky-high property prices. Ministers will say they want to change planning and other rules to ensure developers provide a proportion of new homes for "affordable rent" instead of just insisting that they provide a quota of "affordable homes for sale".

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The proportion of people living in private rented accommodation has doubled since 2000 and ministers will accept that housing costs "are hurting ordinary, working people the most". The average couple in the private rented sector now hands over roughly half their salary to their landlord each month and 2.2 million working households with below-average incomes spend more than a third of their incomes on housing.

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iehi-feed-61637 Sat, 04 Feb 2017 03:43:12 GMT Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin Faces Heat In Attack Ad http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-03_TreasurySecretaryNomineeSteveMnuchinFacesHeatInAttackAd.html iehi-feed-61636 Sat, 04 Feb 2017 00:22:45 GMT J. Crew sues lenders over capital restructuring plans (VULTURE CAPITAL STRIKES AGAIN) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-03_JCrewsueslendersovercapitalrestructuringplansVULTURECAPITALSTRIK.html iehi-feed-61618 Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:36:52 GMT GOP-Led U.S. Senate Confirms Unqualified Ben Carson As Secretary Of HUD http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-02_GOPLedUSSenateConfirmsUnqualifiedBenCarsonAsSecretaryOfHUD.html iehi-feed-61590 Sun, 29 Jan 2017 01:10:43 GMT Greece: The Game Is On Again - Frances Coppola http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-28_GreeceTheGameIsOnAgainFrancesCoppola.html iehi-feed-61589 Sun, 29 Jan 2017 01:06:47 GMT Tell the Senate: Oppose "foreclosure king" Steve Mnuchin http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-28_TelltheSenateOpposeforeclosurekingSteveMnuchin.html iehi-feed-61588 Sun, 29 Jan 2017 01:03:51 GMT Want to know how society's doing? Forget GDP -- try these alternatives http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-28_WanttoknowhowsocietysdoingForgetGDPtrythesealternatives.html ``As for GDP, has there ever been an acronym as spellbindingly dismal as this? GDP goes up if you sit in traffic for an hour with the engine ticking over. It doesn't if you stay at home, caring for a sick child. GDP has soared in China over the past 20 years. Now its people wear masks in the street to filter the smog.

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Dependency ratio - Admittedly, this is not a thrilling one to monitor as it doesn't move much. But it is moving -- and in the wrong direction for lots of developed countries. The dependency ratio is the number of working-age people compared with the number of children and those over retirement age. According to the Resolution foundation, there are currently seven dependants for every 10 working-age Britons, but this will increase to eight in the 2020s and nine by 2050.

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iehi-feed-61579 Fri, 27 Jan 2017 21:49:23 GMT What Trump Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin Isn't Saying http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-27_WhatTrumpTreasurySecretaryNomineeSteveMnuchinIsntSaying.html iehi-feed-61571 Thu, 26 Jan 2017 23:01:08 GMT Uh-oh! Americans Are Flipping Houses Like It's 2006 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-26_UhohAmericansAreFlippingHousesLikeIts2006.html