Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-63325 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 15:08:20 GMT The Black Friday frenzy officially begins today. But many say the thrill is gone. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-23_TheBlackFridayfrenzyofficiallybeginstodayButmanysaythethrillisgo.html Shoppers, it seems, are over the frenzied, harried, wait-all-night-in-the-cold madness of Black Friday. Consumers are increasingly shunning the shopping holiday, opting instead to spread out purchases over a course of weeks or months. For the first time, more Americans are preparing to shop online this holiday season than in department stores, according to data from the National Retail Federation.

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"Frankly, Black Friday has become meaningless," said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. "Retailers are desperate -- they're offering discounts weeks in advance, so what more is there to do? There's no urgency anymore."

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iehi-feed-63324 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:12:13 GMT Trump's name is coming off his SoHo hotel as politics weigh on president's brand http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-22_TrumpsnameiscomingoffhisSoHohotelaspoliticsweighonpresidentsbran.html The decision, announced by the company Wednesday afternoon, follows signs that business has flagged for months at Trump SoHo, beginning during his polarizing campaign last year.

The hotel's sushi restaurant closed. Professional sports teams, once reliable customers, began to shun the property. The hotel struggled to attract business for its meeting rooms and banquet halls, according to reporting by radio station WNYC.

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The deal to remove the Trump name was made with the Trump SoHo condominium board and the property's majority owner, CIM Group, a California-based real estate investment firm. The hotel is divided into condominiums whose owners allowed them to be rented out as hotel rooms

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The Trump Organization does have plans to expand its hotel business, targeting areas where Trump's political brand is more popular.

Those plans include two new, less-expensive brands of hotels called Scion and American Idea. But since those brands were announced in June, progress has been slow. The three discount hotels that were supposed to start the American Idea brand are still operating under their old names

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iehi-feed-63322 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:07:58 GMT Gallup: Americans' Non-Concern With Economy Reaches Typical Pre-Crash/Recession Lows http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-22_GallupAmericansNonConcernWithEconomyReachesTypicalPreCrashRecess.html iehi-feed-63320 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:52:17 GMT Fed Signals December Hike Even as Debate on Prices Persists http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-22_FedSignalsDecemberHikeEvenasDebateonPricesPersists.html "Many participants thought that another increase in the target range for the federal funds rate was likely to be warranted in the near term if incoming information left the medium-term outlook broadly unchanged," according to minutes from their Oct. 31-Nov. 1 gathering, released in Washington on Wednesday.

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Stocks stayed lower, the dollar declined and yields on two-year Treasury notes dipped after the minutes were released. With a December Fed rate hike almost fully priced in, market-implied odds of another rate increase by March held around 55 percent, based on trading in federal funds futures.

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Even as inflation baffles policy makers, they are on the lookout for asset bubbles after a long period of low interest rates. Several participants "expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances," adding that a sharp reversal in asset prices could hurt the economy, according to the minutes.

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iehi-feed-63319 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:20:41 GMT Flat-pack home costs $32K and can be built in six hours http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-22_Flatpackhomecosts32Kandcanbebuiltinsixhours.html It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from a 290-square-foot tiny home for $32,800 to a 904-square-foot family home which will set you back $72,650. It also has the eco-friendly capacity to become completely off-grid with solar panels and LED lighting.

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It will cost you between $2,000 to $2,600 per unit to get it delivered to London.

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iehi-feed-63318 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:07:54 GMT Oops - Trump Can't Stick His Chosen Crony In Charge of the CFPB http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-21_OopsTrumpCantStickHisChosenCronyInChargeoftheCFPB.html Practically every media outlet has carried this report about Mulvaney to CFPB. There's only one problem: it's not Trump's pick to make.

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Adam Levitin, Georgetown Law professor and former CFPB adviser, was the first to point this out. The statute that created the CFPB is pretty clear: In the event of the absence of a director for the agency, the deputy director serves that role. The director appoints the deputy director; it doesn't require Senate confirmation.

This would mean David Silberman, acting deputy director of CFPB, would get the reins when Cordray leaves office. Silberman is a former AFL-CIO deputy general counsel and a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall who has worked at the CFPB since 2011.''

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iehi-feed-63317 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:54:03 GMT China's $15 Trillion Problem: Investors Don't Believe in Losses http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-21_Chinas15TrillionProblemInvestorsDontBelieveinLosses.html When China unveiled plans on Friday to end the implicit guarantees underpinning asset-management products worth trillions of dollars, it should have been a bombshell for the nation's savers.

But for Yolanda Yuan and other individual investors who've piled into AMPs issued by banks, insurers and securities firms, the government's announcement was largely a non-event. The reason: they didn't believe it.

"I don't think any big banks will dare to take the risk of allowing defaults on AMPs, as that will lead to a flood of fund redemptions," said Yuan, a 29-year-old sales manager at a state-run financial company in Shanghai. She has about 100,000 yuan ($15,069) of personal savings in products covered by the new regulations.

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It may ultimately require an AMP blowup for Chinese regulators to convince investors that they're serious about the new rules, which are set to take effect in mid-2019. But a major product failure is risky: In a worst-case scenario, it could spark a destabilizing stampede out of AMPs, which have become a key source of funding for banks and other financial institutions. It's not clear that's a chance Beijing is willing to take, despite last week's rhetoric.

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iehi-feed-63314 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:39:30 GMT Room rates at Trump's hotels have fallen by up to 63 per cent since he became president http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-21_RoomratesatTrumpshotelshavefallenbyupto63percentsincehebecamepre.html At Trump Turnberry, his Ayrshire golf hotel, the average cost of a two-night stay has fallen by 57 per cent, from £498 to £215, while steep drops have also been found for stays at Trump Doral in Miami (down 53 per cent), Trump Washington DC (down 52 per cent), Trump Vancouver (down 48 per cent), and Trump New York (down 32 per cent). Only the president's Irish hotel, Trump Doonbeg, has seen a rise in rates, from £334 to £357.

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Rates for the premium rooms at his portfolio of properties have also fallen. A two-night stay in the executive suite at Trump Panama, for example, was priced at £3,129 during January 2017, but during January 2018 it could be yours for only £814.

While it conceded that there were other factors at play, FairFX suggested the falling prices were also indicative of a widespread fall in demand -- with travellers apparently put off by Trump's policies.

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iehi-feed-63313 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:16:24 GMT Its Time To Say Sayonara To Federally Funded CRA Housing Agencies http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-20_ItsTimeToSaySayonaraToFederallyFundedCRAHousingAgencies.html iehi-feed-63310 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 03:38:00 GMT NYCHA Hasn't Performed Lead Paint Inspections In Over A Year http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_NYCHAHasntPerformedLeadPaintInspectionsInOverAYear.html iehi-feed-63309 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:48:41 GMT Wells Fargo Consumer Lending Chief Fired For Being A Big Mouth http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_WellsFargoConsumerLendingChiefFiredForBeingABigMouth.html iehi-feed-63308 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:28:33 GMT House GOP tax plan: I'm a conservative and I see three major flaws http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_HouseGOPtaxplanImaconservativeandIseethreemajorflaws.html iehi-feed-63307 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:23:42 GMT Paradise Papers Show How Misguided the G.O.P. Is on Taxes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_ParadisePapersShowHowMisguidedtheGOPIsonTaxes.html The economist Gabriel Zucman and his colleagues have spent years estimating how much wealth is stashed in low-tax havens and what that means for government coffers. He's found that 63 percent of foreign profits made by American multinational corporations are stuffed in these subsidiaries and accounts, depriving the country of about $70 billion in tax revenue each year.

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We worry a lot about the cost of social programs in this country, saying we simply can't afford many things that we know could bring big rewards. But that missing $70 billion from corporate offshore tax avoidance would go a long way... Senator Bernie Sanders's College for All Act doesn't even require the federal government to cover the entire $70 billion cost of public college tuition, but it could if this money were available to the government

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None of these provisions go after wealthy individuals who keep their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. Instead, the House package hands these same people a variety of giveaways: an enormous loophole via a lower tax rate on pass-through businesses; the elimination of the alternative minimum tax that ensures they have to pay at least something; and the eradication of the tax on the wealthiest estates.

The groups that are already dodging taxes through offshore accounting are the ones that make out with the biggest benefits. According to an analysis by the conservative Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, $1 trillion of the overall $1.5 trillion cost is from cuts for businesses. According to the Tax Policy Center, the highest-income families can expect the biggest reward. The richest 0.1 percent of Americans will get an average $278,370 reduction in their tax bill by 2027, while the poorest two-fifths of the country get around $25.

In isolation, there are some good ideas in the reforms -- but the way they are being put together, the overall result is truly horrid.

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iehi-feed-63306 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:16:55 GMT Super-Weak Consumer Landscape Portends Poor Retail Earnings Soon To Come http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_SuperWeakConsumerLandscapePortendsPoorRetailEarningsSoonToCome.html The "retail sales" report came in at just a 0.1% increase for the month. After a large jump in retail sales last month, as was expected following the hurricanes, there should have been some subsequent follow through last month. There simply wasn't.

More importantly, despite annual hopes by the National Retail Federation of surging holiday spending which is consistently over-estimated, the recent surge in consumer debt without a subsequent increase in consumer spending shows the financial distress faced by a vast majority of consumers.

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With a current shortfall of $18,176 between the standard of living and real disposable incomes, debt is only able to cover about 2/3rds of the difference with a net shortfall of $6,605.

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iehi-feed-63305 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:37:48 GMT Now Is Not The Time To Be Talking Shit About Regulators At Wells Fargo http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_NowIsNotTheTimeToBeTalkingShitAboutRegulatorsAtWellsFargo.html iehi-feed-63304 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:52:50 GMT The Questionable Math Behind Manafort's Extravagant Home Renovations http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_TheQuestionableMathBehindManafortsExtravagantHomeRenovations.html There were the Oriental rugs worth $934,000, the four Range Rovers, the antiques--even $1.37 million in clothes. The federal indictment of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, accuses him of laundering millions in foreign payments to pursue a "lavish lifestyle" in the U.S., especially in the Hamptons, where he has a house.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his indictment, says that a Hamptons firm got $5.4 million in wire transfers from Cyprus over 71 payments. But building permits over the same period examined by Bloomberg show that renovations by Manafort's Hamptons' contractor were estimated to cost $1.2 million. That's less than a quarter of what was ultimately sent--an apparent discrepancy that could draw scrutiny from investigators.

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iehi-feed-63303 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:41:13 GMT How Corporate Zombies Are Threatening The Eurozone Economy http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-17_HowCorporateZombiesAreThreateningTheEurozoneEconomy.html ``The Bank for International Settlements, the Basel-based central bank for central banks, defines a zombie as any firm which is at least 10 years old, publicly traded and has interest expenses that exceed the company's earnings before interest and taxes. Other organizations use different criteria. About 10% of the companies in six eurozone countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are zombies, according to the central bank's latest data. The percentage is up sharply from 5.5% in 2007. In Italy and Spain, the percentage of zombie companies has tripled since 2007, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated in January. Italy's zombies employed about 10% of all workers and gobbled up nearly 20% of all the capital invested in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available.''

The WSJ explains how the ECB's negative interest rate policy and corporate bond buying are keeping a chunk of the corporate sector, especially in southern Europe on life support. In some cases, even the life support of low rates and debt restructuring is not preventing further deterioration in their metrics. These are the true "Zombie" companies who will probably never come back from being "undead"...

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iehi-feed-63302 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:09:40 GMT How racist official housing policies supercharged today's US wealth gap http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-17_HowracistofficialhousingpoliciessuperchargedtodaysUSwealthgap.html In the postwar period, white Americans were given attractive, government-subsidized mortgages to move to all-white suburbs, the best known of which was New York's Levittown, that were not accessible to blacks and other minority groups. That helped white families that benefited from those mortgages to build housing wealth.

The Federal Housing Administration at the time not only "refused to insure mortgages in predominantly African American neighborhoods" but also actively subsidized "the movement of white families out of cities into single-family homes in the suburbs," Rothstein said.

Racial segregation was built into public-housing policy. Contracts in suburban subdivisions were made with an FHA subsidy that explicitly required that no blacks be allowed to move in, either initially or through future sales.

All those policy decisions led directly to the race gaps we see now. "Without federal government policy of this kind we would not have the kind of segregation in any metropolitan area today," Rothstein said.

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iehi-feed-63301 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:04:43 GMT Fed Hints During Next Recession It Will Roll Out Income Targeting, NIRP http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-17_FedHintsDuringNextRecessionItWillRollOutIncomeTargetingNIRP.html On Thursday afternoon, in a stark warning of what's to come, San Francisco Fed President John Williams confirmed our suspicions when he said that to fight the next recession, global central bankers will be forced to come up with a whole new toolkit of "solutions", as simply cutting interest rates won't well, cut it anymore, and in addition to more QE and forward guidance - both of which were used widely in the last recession - the Fed may have to use negative interest rates, as well as untried tools including so-called price-level targeting or nominal-income targeting.

[This] is a tacit admission that as a result of the aging workforce and the dramatic slack which still remains in the labor force, the US central bank will have to take drastic steps to preserve social order and cohesion.

According to Williams', Reuters reports, central bankers should take this moment of "relative economic calm" to rethink their approach to monetary policy. Others have echoed Williams' implicit admission that as a result of 9 years of Fed attempts to stimulate the economy - yet merely ending up with the biggest asset bubble in history - the US finds itself in a dead economic end, such as Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans, who recently urged a strategy review at the Fed, but Williams' call for a worldwide review is considerably more ambitious.

...Meanwhile, the idea of Fed targeting, or funding, "income" is hardly new: back in July, Deutsche Bank was the first institution to admit that the Fed has created "universal basic income for the rich"...

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iehi-feed-63300 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:01:17 GMT Wall St. traders secretly used chat rooms to rig Treasury bond prices: suit http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-17_WallSttraderssecretlyusedchatroomstorigTreasurybondpricessuit.html The new accusations, leveled by several pension funds and wealthy individual investors, are contained in an expanded class-action suit originally filed in July 2015 -- and include an unusual twist: Some of the evidence came from confidential informants and one of the banks sued in the earlier action.

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The funds, representing retirees and public workers, also claim the banks conspired to rig the secondary Treasury markets beginning in the 1990s through tightly controlled electronic platforms that inhibited more competitive trading -- a new allegation that wasn't in the original suit but mirrors similar complaints filed against banks in other markets, like stock loans.

The amended suit tightens its focus on a select number of banks, naming Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, and UBS, among others, as the firms behind the rigging, which they allege occurred from Jan. 1, 2007, to mid-2015.

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