Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64373 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 21:25:25 GMT Volkswagen reportedly planning to sell electric Tesla rival for under $23k http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-08_VolkswagenreportedlyplanningtosellelectricTeslarivalforunder23k.html Volkswagen intends to sell electric cars for less than 20,000 euros ($22,836) and protect German jobs by converting three factories to make the Tesla rival, a source familiar with the plans said.

VW and other carmakers are struggling to adapt quickly enough to stringent rules introduced after the carmaker was found to have cheated diesel emissions tests, with its chief executive Herbert Diess warning last month that Germany's auto industry faces extinction.

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VW's strategy shift comes as cities start to ban diesel engine vehicles, forcing carmakers to think of new ways to safeguard 600,000 German industrial jobs, of which 436,000 are at car companies and their suppliers.

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iehi-feed-64355 Fri, 02 Nov 2018 22:49:12 GMT Trump administration to reinstate all Iran sanctions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-02_TrumpadministrationtoreinstateallIransanctions.html iehi-feed-64326 Wed, 24 Oct 2018 21:08:11 GMT Tesla rides Model 3's popularity to its first profit in two years http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-10-24_TeslaridesModel3spopularitytoitsfirstprofitintwoyears.html In total, Tesla wound up delivering 56,065 Model 3s in North America in the third quarter, which is 225 more than it said when it announced initial delivery counts for the quarter in early October. The company also sounds ready to cash in on demand in other markets, with Musk and Ahuja saying Tesla will start taking orders in Europe and China for the Model 3 "before the end of this year." After finally turning a profit on the Model 3 earlier this year, Tesla now says it is now pulling in more than a 20 percent margin on the car.

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Despite the boost in production's effect on Tesla's bottom line, the company is still running into problems related to that explosion in scale. Tesla has had problems with customer service, with Musk recently admitting that the company has "major gaps" in its nationwide coverage. And while the company's cars consistently earn some of the highest safety ratings in the industry, its widely documented quality control issues continue to plague customers new and old. Before the earnings letter dropped on Wednesday, Consumer Reports said that Tesla ranked the third worst for reliability among major automakers.

Musk, despite his foibles, may have bamboozled investors into funding Tesla long enough to pull off viability... but will Tesla be able to grow into the market at hoped-for scale with the majors also now producing electric cars?

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iehi-feed-64325 Wed, 24 Oct 2018 16:25:59 GMT Saudi PR Implosion Threatens Silicon Valley's "Funding Secured" Nonchalance http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-10-24_SaudiPRImplosionThreatensSiliconValleysFundingSecuredNonchalance.html Softbank's Vision Fund is the largest single private equity fund in the world, with about $100 billion in capital commitments, of which about half comes from Saudi Arabia... The Vision Fund, and more generally the Saudi money behind it, is a classic fin de siecle undertaking. It is The Greatest Fool in a private equity world that must find greater and greater fools for their investment funds to work here at the tail end of a very long and very profitable business cycle. The Vision Fund and its Saudi money isn't just a lucky break for both the financiers and the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. It is an answered prayer.

And here's the crazy thing ... the Khashoggi murder could blow this all up. Not just the WeWork deal. Not just the next mega-fund that SoftBank puts together. But this fund. The Vision Fund. And if the Vision Fund is no longer viable as a player in Silicon Valley, then I don't think the unicorn valuations are viable, either.

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iehi-feed-64240 Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:13:36 GMT Kavanaugh Is A Creature Of Dark-Money Backing | Wall St. On Parade http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-09-27_KavanaughIsACreatureOfDarkMoneyBackingWallStOnParade.html The Kavanaugh Nomination's Money Trail Leads Back to Clarence Thomas, from the same writers.]]> iehi-feed-64208 Fri, 14 Sep 2018 19:10:23 GMT Trader blows €100m hole in Nasdaq's Nordic power market http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-09-15_Traderblows100mholeinNasdaqsNordicpowermarket.html One of Norway's richest men has blown a hole of more than €100m in a stability fund that ensures the safety of derivatives-trading in European electricity markets.Coming in the same week as the 10th anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse, the trading losses will focus attention on the robustness of standards promoted by policymakers globally after the financial crisis.Einar Aas, a private trader who has been among Norway's highest earners in recent years thanks to aggressive bets in European power markets, saw his positions collapse on Monday after extreme market moves in German and Nordic energy markets.Nasdaq, the principal trading exchange where futures contracts tied to physical energy markets in the Nordic region are transacted, said Mr Aas had defaulted on Tuesday after he was unable to meet margin calls at its clearing house on lossmaking trades.

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Nasdaq cut the entire trade on Wednesday and the exchange confirmed that the loss accounted for all of the exchange's own default fund of €7m and swallowed €107m, or two-thirds, of its €166m mutual default fund that clearing house members must contribute to.

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With Nasdaq and members of its clearing house repairing the damage, questions as to how a single trader could come close to wiping out the clearing house's layers of protection will merit the attention of regulators, including the European Central Bank.Members of the clearing house include some of the biggest banks and energy traders such as Morgan Stanley, UBS and Equinor, Norway's state oil company... .The catalyst for the trading loss was a series of backfiring bets on the price difference between German and Nordic power markets, according to multiple sources in the industry.

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iehi-feed-64104 Wed, 11 Jul 2018 21:08:33 GMT Billionaires Have Already Written-Off The Rest of the Human Race http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-11_BillionairesHaveAlreadyWrittenOffTheRestoftheHumanRace.html When the hedge funders asked me the best way to maintain authority over their security forces after "the event," I suggested that their best bet would be to treat those people really well, right now. They should be engaging with their security staffs as if they were members of their own family. And the more they can expand this ethos of inclusivity to the rest of their business practices, supply chain management, sustainability efforts, and wealth distribution, the less chance there will be of an "event" in the first place. All this technological wizardry could be applied toward less romantic but entirely more collective interests right now.

They were amused by my optimism, but they didn't really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they're convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don't believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves -- especially if they can't get a seat on the rocket to Mars.

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iehi-feed-64084 Wed, 04 Jul 2018 18:47:23 GMT 4th of July Gas Prices are Set to be the Highest Since 2014 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-07-04_4thofJulyGasPricesareSettobetheHighestSince2014.html iehi-feed-64034 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 18:30:57 GMT Venezuela Orders Government Services to Accept Any Cryptocurrency http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-06-17_VenezuelaOrdersGovernmentServicestoAcceptAnyCryptocurrency.html iehi-feed-63985 Sat, 02 Jun 2018 11:50:40 GMT Trump May Have Brokered Massive, Sanctions-Violating Oil Deal In Russian Quid-Pro-Quo http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-06-02_TrumpMayHaveBrokeredMassiveSanctionsViolatingOilDealInRussianQui.html Evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his Organization facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar... The end result allowed Russia to trade stolen emails to help to Donald Trump's election campaign (as well as that of many Republican Congressmen), in exchange for help circumventing American sanctions to transact the sale of Rosneft, which Putin desperately needed to finance his budget deficit.

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Carter Page met with Rosneft in December to assist with the deal, and he's on the record admitting it but claims he didn't meet Igor Sechin," said Dworkin incredulously... mighty brokerage fee to one of the Trump campaign advisors, Moscow-based investment banker Carter Page, is highlighted in the former MI-6 operative's report.

Theoretically, the former Merrill Lynch investment banker, Page, may have only been the "bag man" or go-between and someone else is the recipient of the cash premium in the dossier. Five hundred million dollars is a lot of money, and conceivably, many members of the Trump Organization, or family, could be involved in a deal of that scope.

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Nineteen and a half percent of Rosneft's stock was agreed to be transferred on December 7th, before the board was informed of the transaction's terms only after it took place.

The "matryoshka" (named after the famous nesting dolls) or complex deal structure is most likely designed to avoid American sanctions imposed over the Ukraine invasion against Rosneft, its CEO Igor Sechin, and its parent company Gazprom.

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iehi-feed-63977 Tue, 29 May 2018 16:06:04 GMT U.S. Futures Fall as Italy's Political Turmoil Hits Markets http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-29_USFuturesFallasItalysPoliticalTurmoilHitsMarkets.html U.S. equity futures tumbled, following global shares lower, as Italy's political turmoil deepened. U.S. 10-year Treasuries and the dollar advanced as the euro touched its lowest level since July. Oil extended losses after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they are mulling a boost to production later this year.

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"There was a lot of complacency in the market recently, so this is a brutal wake-up call for investors who had forgotten about political risks in Europe and especially in Italy... The risk is that the populist parties gain ground in the next Italian election, which would be really bad news for the euro zone. Clearly, investors are moving to the sidelines for now."

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iehi-feed-63866 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:56:35 GMT World May Hit 2 Degrees of Warming in 10-15 Years Thanks to Fracking, Says Cornell Scientist http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_WorldMayHit2DegreesofWarmingin1015YearsThankstoFrackingSaysCorne.html The most recent climate data suggests that the world is on track to cross the two degrees of warming threshold set in the Paris accord in just 10 to 15 years, says Ingraffea in a 13-minute lecture titled "Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken," which was posted online on April 4.

That's if American energy policy follows the track predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which expects 1 million natural gas wells will be producing gas in the U.S. in 2050, up from roughly 100,000 today.

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"Whereas the worst-case scenario brought us to 1.5 degrees Centigrade in 2040," he adds, "we're almost there today." ... It's an alarming message -- even though the shale rush has stumbled somewhat as gas prices collapsed and many drillers went bankrupt, the cumulative impact of American fracking appears to have set the entire world on a collision course with climate change's most extreme effects.

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iehi-feed-63852 Wed, 11 Apr 2018 21:54:48 GMT Venezuela in apparent "Stealth Default"; stopped bond payments in September http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-11_VenezuelainapparentStealthDefaultstoppedbondpaymentsinSeptember.html Venezuela stopped paying bondholders in September, according to central bank data, contradicting statements by President Nicolás Maduro that the country would continue to honour its debts while negotiating a resettlement with its creditors.The data show that regular foreign debt payments of hundreds of millions of dollars a month, in line with the country's sovereign obligations, fell to a few tens of millions from last October for fees and the legacy of a 1980s-era restructuring."This proves that Venezuela is deliberately hoodwinking bondholders and engaging in a stealth default," said Russ Dallen of boutique bank Caracas Capital, who follows Venezuelan debt closely.The data were posted in an Excel file as part of a recent revamp of the central bank's website and include monthly expenditures in US dollars on public foreign debt payments going back to 1996. Previously, data on foreign debt payments were published in the form of a ratio that revealed little information, Mr Dallen said. "This must have been posted by an intern," he added.

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The central bank data, which cover payments of sovereign debt only and exclude obligations by PDVSA and other state entities, show that just $83m was paid in October, compared with sovereign obligations amounting to $465m, according to data from Caracas Capital.Payments in November fell to $28m, compared with obligations of $183m, and in December declined to $23m, compared with obligations of $242m.

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"They have been doing it [defaulting] strategically to sow confusion. They have said they have begun the process of paying things they clearly did not pay, and blamed it all on sanctions."The US has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan individuals and institutions. Adding to pressures last August, it also banned any involvement in new bonds or shares issued by the government or PDVSA. Last month it prohibited involvement in the country's proposed digital currency, the petro, as well

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iehi-feed-63717 Sun, 04 Mar 2018 04:27:26 GMT German Court Rules That Cities Can Limit Diesels to Cut Pollution http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-03-03_GermanCourtRulesThatCitiesCanLimitDieselstoCutPollution.html A court in Germany has ruled that the cities of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf can ban older diesel vehicles as a means of reducing pollution. The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig paves the way for other German cities to ban oil burners. The case was brought by the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe.

The BBC pointed out that about 70 German cities exceeded nitrogen oxide limits set by the European Union last year. "The likelihood now is that the German government will rush to introduce some sort of national policy, to ensure at least some level of consistency across the country," the news organization opined.

The ruling affects diesels sold through 2009, though Car and Driver notes that restrictions on oil-burning vehicles sold up until 2014 could follow. If that happens, most of the more than 15 million diesel vehicles registered in Germany would be effected, the magazine reports. About one third of all vehicles in Western Europe's most populous nation are diesel.

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iehi-feed-63655 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 01:55:38 GMT Dow closes 166 points lower after 10-year yield hits 4-year high on Fed minutes http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-02-21_Dowcloses166pointslowerafter10yearyieldhits4yearhighonFedminutes.html iehi-feed-63311 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 04:42:13 GMT Trump's Saudi Scheme Unravels http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-18_TrumpsSaudiSchemeUnravels.html Why did Trump gamble so heavily on the inexperienced Kushner and the impulsive MbS? Well, of course, if such a "grand plan" had indeed worked out, it would have been a major foreign policy coup -- and one done over the heads of the professional foreign policy and defense echelon who were excluded from it. Trump then would have felt himself freer to ascend above the Establishment tentacles: to attain a certain elevated independence and freedom from his "minders." He would have achieved his coup through family channels, rather than be officially advised.

But, if it sinks into farce, and MbS becomes regarded in the U.S. as a maverick, rather than a Machiavelli, the (slighted) "system" will exact its revenge: presidential judgments will stand devalued -- and ever more in need of justification and "minding."

MbS (and Kushner) may have hurt President Trump in a much wider way therefore: the failed bet on the untried MbS may leach into other spheres -- such as, in consequence, U.S. allies' openly questioning the soundness of Trump's North Korea judgments. In short, the U.S. President's credibility will bear the consequences for his falling for MbS' spin.

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iehi-feed-63299 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:58:30 GMT Saudi Arabia Offers Arrested Royals A Deal: Your Freedom For Lots Of Cash http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-17_SaudiArabiaOffersArrestedRoyalsADealYourFreedomForLotsOfCash.html Saudi authorities are negotiating settlements with princes and businessmen held over allegations of corruption, offering deals for the detainees to pay for their freedom, people briefed on the discussions say.

 

In some cases the government is seeking to appropriate as much as 70 per cent of suspects' wealth, two of the people said, in a bid to channel hundreds of billions of dollars into depleted state coffers.

 

The arrangements, which have already seen some assets and funds handed over to the state, provide an insight into the strategy behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's dramatic corruption purge.

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Regular Saudis, who've seen their benefits cut and some of their jobs taken away, support MbS's decision. "Why should the poor take all the pain of austerity," said one Saudi academic. "The rich need to pay their way too."

In Saudi Arabia, they are about to do just that.

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iehi-feed-63285 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:54:24 GMT Venezuela's Bondholder Meeting Is a Bust as S&P Declares Default http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-14_VenezuelasBondholderMeetingIsaBustasSPDeclaresDefault.html Venezuela's grand gathering with creditors Monday lasted all of 30 minutes and didn't produce anything of substance. To make matters worse, S&P Global Ratings declared the country in default while Fitch Ratings cited missed payments by the state oil company prompting a fresh selloff in the nation's bonds.

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Very little was announced and nothing was resolved, according to attendees who said they left just as confused about the government's intentions as they were going in. Vice President Tareck El Aissami was the only official to speak, and devoted most of his prepared remarks to railing against Donald Trump and global financiers who he said have conspired to keep the country from making debt payments on time. He pledged the nation would continue to honor its obligations and work with bondholders to find new ways to get them their money, but offered no concrete proposals for restructuring.

President Nicolas Maduro had summoned holders of some $60 billion of bonds issued by the government and state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to begin a renegotiation as the nation's cash crunch worsens, sanctions make it difficult to transfer money and delayed payments pile up.

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The nation, home to the world's largest oil reserves, owed investors about $200 million and failed to make those payments by the end of a 30-day grace period, S&P said in the statement in which it lowered the country's rating to SD. Plagued with payment delays and running low on cash -- and with most of its debt trading near 30 cents on the dollar -- it's the first time in recent years the government has exceeded the buffer period on its bonds.

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Investors in Venezuela's $5 billion of bonds maturing in 2019 and 2024 can organize to demand that the nation immediately pay back all they're owed, and down the line, holders of the nation's other debt, which have cross-default provisions, could choose to do the same... they risk setting off what could be the start of one of the messiest debt restructurings ever. S&P said there was a 50 percent chance Venezuela will default again within the next three months.

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iehi-feed-63264 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:51:31 GMT Dissecting the "$250 Billion" China Deals Trump Got for U.S. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-09_Dissectingthe250BillionChinaDealsTrumpGotforUS.html The White House has unveiled a slew of agreements with China as President Donald Trump seeks to address an imbalance in trade. While Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross boasted a total of $250 billion in business deals, getting to that figure may require some fuzzy math. 

Many of the deals weren't broken out into separate valuations, while a large number were in the form of non-binding memoranda of understanding or involved agreements with existing Chinese partners.

Boeing Co.'s $37 billion aircraft order consists mostly of previously agreed deals, according to officials with knowledge of the matter. An agreement involving Cheniere Energy Inc. was presented at the signing ceremony as worth $11 billion, though neither company involved announced the value. Other pacts are stretched over lengthy periods, such as a 20-year shale gas and chemical project in West Virginia.

Still, the wave of deals signals the potential for an easing of tensions between the two countries, in addition to an increase in trade for products ranging from helicopters to beef...

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iehi-feed-63251 Sun, 05 Nov 2017 17:12:48 GMT What Happened in Saudi Arabia Last Night -- And How Washington Corruption Enabled It http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-11-05_WhatHappenedinSaudiArabiaLastNightAndHowWashingtonCorruptionEnab.html The move marks a moment of reckoning for Washington's foreign policy establishment, which struck a bargain of sorts with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S. who has been MBS's leading advocate in Washington. The unspoken arrangement was clear: The UAE and Saudi Arabia would pump millions into Washington's political ecosystem while mouthing a belief in "reform," and Washington would pretend to believe that they meant it. MBS has won praise for some policies, like an openness to reconsidering Saudi Arabia's ban on women drivers.

Meanwhile, however, the 32-year-old MBS has been pursuing a dangerously impulsive and aggressive regional policy, which has included a heightening of tensions with Iran, a catastrophic war on Yemen, and a blockade of ostensible ally Qatar. Those regional policies have been disasters for the millions who have suffered the consequences, including the starving people of Yemen, as well as for Saudi Arabia, but MBS has dug in harder and harder. And his supporters in Washington have not blinked.

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