Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62451 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:23:18 GMT China Bad Debt Prices Up 30% as New Gold Rush Gets Under Way http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-22_ChinaBadDebtPricesUp30asNewGoldRushGetsUnderWay.html Bad loans are rapidly becoming the latest hot commodity in China as more domestic and foreign investors rush into the market and bid up prices.

Non-performing loan prices have risen more than 30 percent this year, according to distressed investor Belos Capital Asia Ltd. The average selling price of NPLs has climbed to around 50 cents on the dollar in the past two years, from 30 cents, said Victor Jong, a partner in the deals and business recovery services unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Shanghai. Such a high level is "very rare" in international markets, Jong said.

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Distressed investors are increasing as Chinese authorities encourage market-oriented ways to resolve lenders' mounting piles of non-performing debt amid slowing economic growth. A jump in valuations of real estate, which often act as underlying assets for secured loans, has boosted the debt's recovery prospects. Combined with a surge in money supply, this has lifted bad-loan prices even in some less-developed regions of China, according to domestic distressed debt investor Bald Eagle Asset Management.

What could possib-lie go wrong?

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iehi-feed-62450 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:41:49 GMT The Little Putsch That Could Beget a Great Big Coup - David Stockman http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-22_TheLittlePutschThatCouldBegetaGreatBigCoupDavidStockman.html iehi-feed-62448 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:36:03 GMT The Wheels Come Off Uber http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-22_TheWheelsComeOffUber.html Not surprisingly, the financial press has been all agog about the drama of Travis Kalanick's forced departure from Uber's CEO position yesterday, fixated on salacious insider details.

That means journalists largely have ignored what ought to be the real story, which is whether Uber has any future. I anticipate that Hubert Horan will offer a longer-form treatment of this topic. Hubert had already documented, in considerable detail in his ten-part series, how Uber has no conceivable path to profitability.

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Uber's managerial upheaval of the last few months mean its decay path is sure to accelerate. I've been following the business press for over 30 years. I can't think of a single case where even an established, profitable business with an solid franchise has had so many top level positions vacant, and for such bad reasons. As reader vidimi quipped, "With no CEO, CFO, COO, and CIO, uber is coming very close to becoming a self-driving company." And that's not even a full list.

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And in a scandal that will have a much longer tail, Uber's former head of its Waymo driverless car unit, Anthony Levandowski, has had his case involving alleged theft of intellectual property from Google referred to the Department of Justice. Kalanick was deeply involved in Levandowski's sudden exodus from Google. It seems implausible that Kalanick didn't know Levandowski was making off with boatloads of files. If the case does lead to a criminal prosecution, it is hard to see how Kalanick could escape scrutiny as a potential criminal co-conspirator.

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Some of the top executive departures, such as of its recently hired COO, brought it to help the company grow up, its CFO and its head of communications, were voluntary. That's not what you see in Silicon Valley stars on a winning path. Confirming that picture are rumors of insiders being cashed out at valuations well below that of recent fundraisings.

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And particularly worrisome is the resignation of Uber's chief financial officer, Gautam Gupta, at the end of May, when Uber announced $708 million in quarterly losses... A CFO departure is often a red flag, particularly when it is abrupt and mysterious.

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The wee problem is it will prove impossible to effect anything resembling a turnaround at Uber. As Hubert Horan pointed out, the very culture that made Uber a success is now its biggest liability. And as a result, investors don't appear to have a plan for how to straighten out Uber.

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iehi-feed-62447 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 03:35:08 GMT America Is Now a ‘Second Tier' Country: Report http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_AmericaIsNowaSecondTierCountryReport.html The results of the group's annual survey, which ranks nations based on 50 metrics, call to mind other reviews of national well-being... The Social Progress Index released this week is compiled from social and environmental data that come as close as possible to revealing how people live. "We want to measure a country's health and wellness achieved, not how much effort is expended, nor how much the country spends on healthcare," the report states. Scandinavia walked away with the top four of 128 slots. Denmark scored the highest. America came in at 18...

Of course it's easy enough to dismiss or belittle these occasional reports, each with their unique methodologies and almost identical conclusions. Another approach, however, would be to look at them all together and conclude that they represent "mounting evidence." In that case, Houston (and Dallas, New Orleans, Tulsa, St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York), we have a problem.''

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iehi-feed-62445 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:35:13 GMT After Georgia Loss, Dems Take Heat on Economic Message (OR LACK THEREOF) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_AfterGeorgiaLossDemsTakeHeatonEconomicMessageORLACKTHEREOF.html Democrats scrambled to regroup on Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with lawmakers, activists and labor leaders speaking out in public and private to demand a more forceful economic message heading into the 2018 elections.

Among Democrats in Washington, the setback in Georgia revived or deepened a host of existing grievances about the party, accentuating tensions between moderate lawmakers and liberal activists and prompting some Democrats to question the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader.

A small group of Democrats who have been critical of Ms. Pelosi in the past again pressed her to step down on Wednesday. And in a private meeting of Democratic lawmakers, Representative Tony Cárdenas of California, Ms. Pelosi's home state, suggested the party should have a more open conversation about her effect on its political fortunes.

But the most acute and widely expressed concerns were economic. Speaking after a meeting of the Democratic caucus on Wednesday morning, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York said the party was preparing to be "aggressively focused on job creation and economic growth." And Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, who represents an affluent district near New York City, said Democrats must do more to compete with what he described as expansive and unrealistic promises by President Trump.

"It's not enough to say, ‘I want jobs,'" Mr. Himes said. "You need more than that, particularly when you're competing with a guy who is telling fantasies."

Amazing that the Dems still don't see fit to abandon the "the economy was GREAT under Obama" message -- even as it's still killing them.

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iehi-feed-62444 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:10:51 GMT High-Yield Carnage Stays Contained for Now - Bloomberg http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_HighYieldCarnageStaysContainedforNowBloomberg.html Oil's latest foray into a bear market has left the world's biggest junk bond ETF mostly unscathed, with the damage so far contained to the energy sector.

Investors still aren't demanding higher overall premiums for the riskiest corporate debt and the $18.4 billion iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF has gained 3.9 percent this year, even as credit spreads for energy companies widened to the highest since September after crude slid below $43 a barrel. 

"There may be more pain on the way" for the energy patch, warns Bloomberg Intelligence senior credit analyst Spencer Cutter.

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In 2015, "there was a significant lag between oil really cratering and credit catching up," writes Peter Tchir, head of macro strategy at Brean Capital LLC. "While I think the energy related credit selling was overdone by late 2015, it seems to me that we have hit a point yet again where the lag effect has to start kicking in -- credit can't ignore ongoing weakness for so long."

Yeah, everything bad is "contained" and will remain so, and everything bullish will continue forever... don't you just love it when we reach the point in market/crisis cycles that the word "contained" has to be trotted out? We're certainly reassured...

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iehi-feed-62443 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:16:01 GMT Trump Still Making Millions As De Facto-Slumlord of Massive Brooklyn Housing Complex; But Will It Lose HUD Status With Carson As Boss? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_TrumpStillMakingMillionsAsDeFactoSlumlordofMassiveBrooklynHousin.html Starrett City, a sprawling complex of 46 buildings and 5,881 apartments that sits far out in Brooklyn on the edge of the Belt Parkway, is the nation's biggest federally subsidized apartment development.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development officials say Starrett City has received $491.7 million in federal subsidies since May 2013, including $76.8 million last year and $38.3 million so far this year.

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The [HUD inspection score] drop from 89 to 70 put Starrett City closer to the score of 60 HUD deems unacceptable. HUD can terminate a contract with a landlord with two scores of 60.

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The difference from past inspections is that HUD is now run by Trump's appointee, Ben Carson.

The drop from 89 to 70 put Starrett City closer to the score of 60 HUD deems unacceptable. HUD can terminate a contract with a landlord with two scores of 60.

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Complex spokesman Bob Liff emphasized that Trump plays no role in managing the complex. Trump's father, Fred, was a limited partner when it was built in 1974 and Trump and his siblings inherited that interest when his father died.

The 4% stake Trump holds was placed in a trust shortly before he became President Jan. 20.

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Trump's receipt of income from Starrett City creates a potential conflict for Carson, who will have ultimate say over HUD's next score of the complex.

During his confirmation hearing, Carson wouldn't answer directly when asked if he would make sure Trump and his family didn't make any money via his agency.

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iehi-feed-62441 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:05:36 GMT Ford To Move Focus Production From Michigan To China, After All (TARIFFS BE DAMNED) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_FordToMoveFocusProductionFromMichiganToChinaAfterAllTARIFFSBEDAM.html On Tuesday, Ford announced it will shift its Michigan production of the Focus to China. According to Bloomberg, the automaker plans to then sell those made-in-China vehicles to the U.S. market. Once this transition is completed, the Focus will reportedly be the biggest automotive export ever from China to the U.S.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's head of global operations, cited lower costs as the reason to outsource production to China. The company will save $1 billion by building the Focus in China instead of Mexico, he said.

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He said the savings would be so significant that even if Congress slapped tariffs on foreign-made imports, the change would still make financial sense.

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Ford stressed that no American jobs would be lost in the China move. Starting in late 2018, its Michigan plant will simply focus on making bigger, more profitable vehicles, including the Ranger midsize pickup truck. The automaker also announced on Tuesday that it will invest $900 million in a Kentucky factory to build big SUVs, like the Lincoln Navigator, which would secure 1,000 jobs at the plant.

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iehi-feed-62440 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:48:47 GMT The Data Says: 100% Chance of Recession Within 7 Months http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_TheDataSays100ChanceofRecessionWithin7Months.html iehi-feed-62439 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:39:30 GMT Britain charges Barclays, ex-bosses over 2008 Qatari deal http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-21_BritainchargesBarclaysexbossesover2008Qatarideal.html Barclays and four former top executives were charged with fraud on Tuesday over undisclosed payments to Qatari investors as part of a 12 billion pound ($15 billion) emergency fundraising during the financial crisis in 2008.

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The case centers on agreements between Barclays and Qatari investors during two fundraisings in June and October 2008.

Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, invested around 5.3 billion pounds in Barclays.

Authorities have examined whether payments from Barclays to Qatar at the same time, such as around 322 million pounds in "advisory services agreements" (ASA), alongside the $3 billion loan, were honest and properly disclosed.

Wonder why this is being brought now... perhaps because Qatar "funds terrorism" (while Saudi Arabia doesn't)?

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iehi-feed-62437 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:13:55 GMT Charles Hugh Smith: We're in a Boiling-Point Crisis of Exploitive Elites http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-20_CharlesHughSmithWereinaBoilingPointCrisisofExploitiveElites.html Which brings us to the present-day Crisis of Exploitive Elites. The "fixes" to the stagnation of postwar Elite/state-dominated Capitalism in the 1970s were financialization, globalism, and the sustained expansion of debt in all sectors--state, corporate and household.

Now all three engines of "growth" have run out of steam. All three greatly exacerbated wealth and income inequality... The Exploitive Elites cannot turn back the tides of history, but they can immiserate millions. That seems to be "solution" enough for them, but you cannot destroy rising moral revulsion to soaring inequality and the abject failure of debt-based global capitalism with mere media propaganda.

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iehi-feed-62436 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:11:47 GMT Fed is Careening Into Housing and Stock Bubble... Look Out Below! - Ben Hunt http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-20_FedisCareeningIntoHousingandStockBubbleLookOutBelowBenHunt.html What has happened (and apologies for the ten dollar words) is that the Fed's reaction function has flipped 180 degrees since the Trump election. Today the Fed is looking for excuses to tighten monetary policy, not excuses to weaken. So long as the unemployment rate is on the cusp of "instability", that's the only thing that really matters to the Fed (for reasons discussed below). Every other data point, including a market sell-off or a flat yield curve or a bad CPI number -- data points that used to be front and center in Fed thinking -- is now in the backseat.

I'm not the only one saying this about the Fed's reaction function. Far more influential Missionaries than me, people like Jeff Gundlach and Mohamed El-Erian, are saying the same thing. If you think that this Fed still has your back, Mr. Investor, the way they had your back in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and 2016 ... well, I think you are mistaken. I think Janet Yellen broke up with you this week.

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iehi-feed-62435 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:49:33 GMT San Francisco and tech driven housing mania: The median home in San Francisco reaches a new high of $1.5M http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-20_SanFranciscoandtechdrivenhousingmaniaThemedianhomeinSanFrancisco.html iehi-feed-62434 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:21:14 GMT Carrington Mortgage To Throw Korean War Hero To The Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-20_CarringtonMortgageToThrowKoreanWarHeroToTheStreet.html iehi-feed-62432 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:23:43 GMT China's "Ghost Collateral" Arrives In Canada, "Heralding A Crisis" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-20_ChinasGhostCollateralArrivesInCanadaHeraldingACrisis.html ... the stunner: "Postmedia confirmed that Canadian banks are allowed by the federal regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, to accept collateral from China to secure real estate mortgages in B.C."

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The Vancouver Sun adds that as a result of tighter federal lending rules, borrowers trying to buy million-dollar-plus properties in Vancouver's market "are increasingly taking out dangerous loans from shadow bankers in a fast-growing and poorly regulated financial market."

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"These properties in Vancouver are so expensive that you need people either laundering money or loan fraud or people borrowing such large amounts of money that should never be allowed, in order to keep it going," MacBeth said. "If everyone is reporting their incomes honestly in Vancouver, there is no way that housing prices can stay where they are.

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iehi-feed-62431 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:34:26 GMT Amazon Is Now Cash-Poor -- Big Contrast From Tech Giant Peers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-19_AmazonIsNowCashPoorBigContrastFromTechGiantPeers.html The purchase price knocks the net cash balance down to virtually zero. This doesn't even account for Whole Foods trading above the offer price with expectations that a bidding war might ensue causing Barclays to place a $48 price target on the stock.

For Amazon, another billion in cash doesn't really alter the equation for owning the organic food retailer. What it does though is highlight the vast differences between the retail giant and tech giants that are so commonly lumped into the same investment discussions.

On a related note, see Amazon Just Created A Huge Risk And Opportunity By Acquiring Whole Foods.

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iehi-feed-62430 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:48:32 GMT Americans are really optimistic about the economy, but it's not helping Trump http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-19_AmericansarereallyoptimisticabouttheeconomybutitsnothelpingTrump.html Some of Trump's signature economic policies remain popular, but they have taken a hit from the prior poll. The majority still approves of Trump's plans to cut individual taxes, 59 percent to 30 percent, but that 29 point gap is 13 points smaller than in April. The president has majority support for his plans to cut business taxes, renegotiate trade deals and rebuild the nation's infrastructure, but the margin of support has slimmed in each case.

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The president's decision to leave the Paris climate accord is opposed by 57 percent in the poll. And 80 percent think it's appropriate for U.S. companies to continue to try to meet the accord's goals despite the U.S. plans to pull out. And 72 percent say it will be effective for companies to do it alone without the Federal government.

The optimism seems excessively peaky to us. We're 10 years on from the last financial crisis and overdue for a recession, with the market at insane inflated highs, so one would expect sentiment to be lagging like this.

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iehi-feed-62428 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:29:06 GMT Less Stressful Tests Seen Boosting U.S. Bank Payouts $30 Billion http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-19_LessStressfulTestsSeenBoostingUSBankPayouts30Billion.html After seven annual exercises in which at least one U.S. bank failed, all of the nation's 34 largest lenders will probably pass this year's Federal Reserve exam when results are revealed this week and next. That's because the toughest component of the analysis of how firms would fare during a hypothetical crisis, the so-called qualitative review, no longer applies to the majority of those being tested.

The easing pressure will allow banks including Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., which struggled with the tests in early years, to put about $30 billion more cash in shareholders' pockets, according to analysts' estimates.

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Wells Fargo & Co. is the wild card, the one U.S. bank that might fail the qualitative section, analysts at Morgan Stanley and UBS said in reports this month. The Fed could find the bank's control mechanisms insufficient in light of revelations last year that employees may have opened millions of accounts without customer authorization

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iehi-feed-62427 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:31:43 GMT Ten years since the global financial crisis, world still suffers 'debt overhang' http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-19_Tenyearssincetheglobalfinancialcrisisworldstillsuffersdebtoverha.html Today, the scars of the global financial crisis remain. There have been trillions of dollars in losses. And in a world of subpar economic growth, even optimists are downbeat about whether the economic medicine has been taken...

Firstly, excessive debt. In the aftermath of the world market crash, rather than pushing for debt destruction, world leaders used fiscal and monetary policy to fan demand. Global debt now stands at a staggering US$215 trillion.

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iehi-feed-62425 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:11:22 GMT Fed Losing Control: 100% Proof That A Massive Economic Meltdown Is Closer Than You Think http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-06-19_FedLosingControl100ProofThatAMassiveEconomicMeltdownIsCloserThan.html This past Wednesday we heard from the Federal Reserve with regard to monetary policy, and as I predicted they did raise the federal funds rate 25 basis points however, instead of yields rising, they are dropping.

More than a year and a half ago I had said publicly that the Federal Reserve's attempt at trying to normalize bond yields would backfire-and this is exactly what is happening. It is clear to me that the Federal Reserve has absolutely lost control of what is occurring in the bond market.

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The yield curve as seen in the picture above continues to flatten out, and this trend will continue until the curve inverts. The last time the yield curve inverted, the 2008 economic meltdown occurred, and the time before that we suffered the.com bubble meltdown.

The fact is we are existing in a multiple bubble economy at this time, worse, and unlike anything which has ever been seen before. The reason why these bubbles exist is simple: the Federal Reserve has not allowed the market to do its one and only job, and that is to determine fair value.

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