Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62708 Tue, 01 Aug 2017 14:22:35 GMT Venezuela's crisis-stricken economy is sliding into oblivion http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-08-01_Venezuelascrisisstrickeneconomyisslidingintooblivion.html In Venezuela, runaway inflation, a collapsing currency, and chronic shortages have battered the South American nation's economy for years. Over the past five years, Venezuela's economy has shrank by a quarter, according to the IMF. Now, as president Nicolás Maduro moves to tighten his grip on power, things are about to get even worse. This anxiety is reflected in the country's increasingly worthless currency. On July 29, the unofficial rate that most ordinary Venezuelans use to exchange money was 10,389 bolivars to the US dollar, according to DolarToday.

... While he accused his opponents of waging economic warfare against the country, Maduro has been running Venezuela's economy into the ground with haphazard economic and political policies, including price controls and convoluted currency interventions inherited from his predecessor, Hugo Chávez. Hyperinflation has made even basic food and medicine completely unaffordable for millions. People are fleeing the country in droves.

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iehi-feed-62110 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:09:17 GMT Venezuela explodes into anti-government protests http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-20_Venezuelaexplodesintoantigovernmentprotests.html Venezuela has been rocked by intermittent but violent protests since the Supreme Court dissolved an opposition-led parliament last month. The move was reversed days later, but demonstrations had already erupted.

Further fueling the protests: The government banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from all political activity for 15 years on April 7.

The turmoil is set against an economic crisis in which unemployment is set to surpass 25%, and people have struggled for years with food and medical shortages and skyrocketing prices.

The economic crunch took another turn this week as the government seized a General Motors plant, prompting the auto giant to say it was halting operations in Venezuela.

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iehi-feed-61385 Mon, 02 Jan 2017 13:52:40 GMT Forecast 2017: The Wheels Finally Come Off - KUNSTLER http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-02_Forecast2017TheWheelsFinallyComeOffKUNSTLER.html The American people have been punked by their own government and their central bank, the Federal Reserve, for years and the jig is now up. In 2017 both will lose their authority and legitimacy, a very grave matter for the survival of this republic.

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Get this: the Fed is completely full of shit. It is terrified of the conditions it has set up and it has no idea what to do next. The "data" that it claims to be so dependent on is arrantly fake. The government's official unemployment number at Christmas 2016 was 4.6 percent. It's a compound lie....

In 2015 they didn't do anything until the very last Fed meeting of the year when they raised the Fed Funds rate 25 basis point (that's a measly one-quarter of a percent). They raised, they said, because they were "confident" about the economy. No, that's not why. They did it because they talked about it all year without doing anything and their credibility was on the line. They also promised four rate hikes altogether in 2016, which they then failed to carry out...

The Fed Funds rate is one thing. As it happens, the Fed does not directly control the interest rates on US treasury bonds, and they have been rising shockingly through the second half of 2016. The crucial ten-year treasury rate has gone up a hundred percent since the summer. Because bond values move inversely to bond rates, the price of ten-year treasuries has tanked, inducing trillions of dollars in losses to bond-holders around the world. The bond market is many times larger than the stock markets. Bonds have been in a bull market since the early 1980s and that bull rolled over in mid-2016...

A sharply rising interest rate on the ten-year Treasury bond will thunder through the system. A lot of other basic interest costs are keyed to the ten-year bond rate, especially home mortgages, apartment rentals (landlords hold mortgages), and car payments. When the ten year bond rate goes up, so do mortgage payments. When mortgage rates go up, house prices go down, because fewer people are in a position to buy a house at higher mortgage rates, and rents go up (more competition among people who can't buy a house). Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), in force for ten years, has driven house prices back to stratospheric levels. They are now primed to fall, perhaps severely, leaving many homeowners "underwater," with houses worth way less on the market than the amount of mortgage left to pay off. The re-financing market is dead. Housing starts were already down by a stunning 19 percent in November. Automobile sales are rolling over. Manufacturing and retail sales numbers are down at year end. What's up: stocks, stocks, stocks.

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iehi-feed-61339 Fri, 16 Dec 2016 22:53:17 GMT Protests, looting break out in Venezuela after 100-Bolivar note eliminated http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-12-16_ProtestslootingbreakoutinVenezuelaafter100Bolivarnoteeliminated.html Protests and looting broke out in parts of Venezuela on Friday due to a lack of cash after the socialist government suddenly pulled the nation's largest banknote from circulation in the midst of a brutal economic crisis.

Waving the now-worthless 100-bolivar bills, pockets of demonstrators blocked roads, demanded that stores accept the cash and cursed President Nicolas Maduro, witnesses said.

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With new bills - originally due on Thursday - still nowhere to be seen, many Venezuelans were unable to fill their vehicles' fuel tanks to get to work, buy food or purchase Christmas gifts.

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Maduro held up the new bills during a televised broadcast on Thursday night and said they would come into circulation soon. But that did not calm nervousness on the streets.

The arrival of the new notes "is a mystery to us too," said a source at the central bank, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Looks like they were encouraged by India's esteemed de-cashification experiment...

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iehi-feed-61120 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:15:20 GMT Venezuela's Nemesis Is a Hardware Salesman at a Home Depot in Alabama http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-11-21_VenezuelasNemesisIsaHardwareSalesmanataHomeDepotinAlabama.html On his lunch breaks from the hardware section, Mr. Díaz, 60 years old, does more than anyone else to set the price of everything from rice to aspirin to cars in his native Venezuela, influencing the inflation rate and swaying millions of dollars of daily currency transactions.

How? He is president of one of Venezuela's most popular and insurgent websites, DolarToday.com, which provides a benchmark exchange rate used by his compatriots to buy and sell black-market dollars. That allows them to bypass some of the world's most rigid currency controls.

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Mr. Díaz is a U.S.-trained retired colonel, and he indeed tried to overthrow Mr. Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chávez, by participating in a short-lived coup in 2002. Mr. Díaz, who had been deputy security chief to the businessman who briefly took power in the ill-fated overthrow, said his conspiring days are over.

Now, he said, he is fighting for economic freedom and for Venezuelans' access to information in a country that makes financial and other data secret. Venezuela is undergoing a brutal recession that has made it hard for most of the country's 30 million people to find enough food and medicine.

"It's ironic that with DolarToday in Alabama, I do more damage to the government than I did as a military man in Venezuela," said Mr. Díaz, a short, soft-spoken man with a gray mane.

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iehi-feed-60605 Sun, 04 Sep 2016 22:09:29 GMT Furious Venezuelans Chase Away President Maduro With Pots And Pans http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-09-04_FuriousVenezuelansChaseAwayPresidentMaduroWithPotsAndPans.html It is extremely unusual to see Maduro openly booed. His public appearances are normally carefully choreographed to show only cheering red-shirted supporters, Reuters adds. "The people loathe him and last night they made that very clear with the pots-and-pans protest," exulted opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who published three videos of the incident on his Twitter feed.

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Meanwhile, buoyed by Thursday's self-styled "Takeover of Caracas" grand protest, the opposition are planning further street actions to demand a recall referendum against Maduro this year. But with the election board dragging out the process and Maduro vowing there will be no such vote in 2016, it is hard to see how the opposition can force it. Which likely means that any upcoming regime change will be violent, as Maduro - and the army to whom he has effectively all but handed over power - have left the millions of angry, starving Venezuelans no peaceful alternative.

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iehi-feed-60203 Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:51:16 GMT Did Citi Just Confiscate $1 Billion In Venezuela Gold? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-07-13_DidCitiJustConfiscate1BillionInVenezuelaGold.html iehi-feed-59829 Thu, 19 May 2016 23:06:42 GMT Why Venezuela Could Be on the Brink of Collapse http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-05-19_WhyVenezuelaCouldBeontheBrinkofCollapse.html iehi-feed-59759 Fri, 13 May 2016 01:10:46 GMT Venezuela Boils Over With Shortages, Desperation Crimes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-05-12_VenezuelaBoilsOverWithShortagesDesperationCrimes.html iehi-feed-59679 Mon, 02 May 2016 14:42:00 GMT Venezuela is Collapsing http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-05-02_VenezuelaisCollapsing.html Venezuela, a country of 30 million that despite holding the world's largest oil reserves has descended into a dystopia where food, medicine, water and electric power are critically scarce. Riots and looting broke out in several blacked-out cities last week, forcing the deployment of troops. A nation that 35 years ago was the richest in Latin America is now appealing to its neighbors for humanitarian deliveries to prevent epidemics and hunger.

The regime that fostered this nightmare, headed by Hugo Chávez until his death in 2013, is on the way out: It cannot survive the economic crisis and mass discontent it has created. The question is whether the change will come relatively peacefully or through an upheaval that could turn Venezuela into a failed state and destabilize much of the region around it.

Remarkably, most of the Western hemisphere is studiously ignoring this meltdown. The Obama administration and Washington's Latin America watchers are obsessed with the president's pet project, the opening to Cuba. As it happens, the Castros turned Venezuela into a satellite state, seeding its security forces and intelligence services with agents. Yet now that it is decreasingly able to supply discounted oil to its revolutionary mentor, Venezuela appears to have become an afterthought even in Havana.

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Most of all, however, Venezuelans hope for U.S. leadership in pushing Maduro to accept an election. Said Vecchio: "The moment has arrived when you can no longer ignore this. Because what happens in Venezuela is going to affect the whole region.''

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iehi-feed-59565 Sat, 16 Apr 2016 13:32:12 GMT How Plutocrats Cripple the IRS http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2016-04-16_HowPlutocratsCrippletheIRS.html iehi-feed-56260 Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:34:46 GMT Monthly Salary of $20 Shows Why Venezuelans Wait in Food Lines (AND WHY YOUR MONETARY SYSTEM IS EVERYTHING!) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2015-03-10_MonthlySalaryof20ShowsWhyVenezuelansWaitinFoodLinesANDWHYYOURMON.html iehi-feed-56257 Mon, 09 Mar 2015 20:37:09 GMT U.S. declares Venezuela a threat, sanctions top officials http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2015-03-09_USdeclaresVenezuelaathreatsanctionstopofficials.html iehi-feed-55813 Tue, 06 Jan 2015 17:35:23 GMT Stocks Resume Slide after Monday rout on Oil; Economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2015-01-06_StocksResumeSlideafterMondayroutonOilEconomy.html iehi-feed-54455 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:05:11 GMT Venezuela admits its ever growing dependency with China http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2014-07-23_VenezuelaadmitsitsevergrowingdependencywithChina.html iehi-feed-53723 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:22:16 GMT Why Crony Capitalist Brats Make Me ILL - David Stockman http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2014-04-16_WhyCronyCapitalistBratsMakeMeILLDavidStockman.html During 2012 Levin's 14-person team of speculators apparently made a $2.0 billion profit on a short-term bet on about $7.5 billion of busted loans and bonds-- mainly the smoking remnants of sub-prime CDOs and private labor MBS. As head of the trading group, Leven's share was apparently the aforesaid $119 million, and this swell outcome was truly a gigs-to-riches story.

... in an honest two-way market, no one in their right mind would bet $7.5 billion on financial drek using high leverage and minimal hedges. And no 30-year old would be given leave to close his eyes and bet the ranch, as apparently Levin did, based on merely the "housing recovery" word clouds being emitted by the monetary politburo and its echo-boxes in the financial press.''

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iehi-feed-53418 Fri, 28 Feb 2014 15:32:19 GMT 'A Perfect Storm': The Failure of Venezuela's New President http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2014-02-28_APerfectStormTheFailureofVenezuelasNewPresident.html iehi-feed-53386 Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:36:37 GMT The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night -- and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2014-02-21_TheGameChangedinVenezuelaLastNightandtheInternationalMediaIsAsle.html iehi-feed-53066 Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:32:26 GMT Forecast 2014 -- Burning Down the House by James Howard Kunstler http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2014-01-09_Forecast2014BurningDowntheHousebyJamesHowardKunstler.html iehi-feed-52793 Sat, 23 Nov 2013 14:59:38 GMT Venezuela reported planning to pawn its gold through Goldman Sachs http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2013-11-23_VenezuelareportedplanningtopawnitsgoldthroughGoldmanSachs.html