Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-62140 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:05:10 GMT The oil market has one big problem: People aren't buying enough gas http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-25_TheoilmarkethasonebigproblemPeoplearentbuyingenoughgas.html iehi-feed-62115 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:54:27 GMT Only China Can "Fix" Venezuela http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-21_OnlyChinaCanFixVenezuela.html iehi-feed-62085 Sun, 16 Apr 2017 18:42:52 GMT While Claiming to "Drain Swamp", Trump Eliminates Ethics, Transparency Rules, Enabling A Cronyist Free-For-All http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-16_WhileClaimingtoDrainSwampTrumpEliminatesEthicsTransparencyRulesE.html President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck... In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administration's own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules.

One such case involves Michael Catanzaro, who serves as the top White House energy adviser. Until late last year, he was working as a lobbyist for major industry clients such as Devon Energy of Oklahoma, an oil and gas company, and Talen Energy of Pennsylvania, a coal-burning electric utility, as they fought Obama-era environmental regulations, including the landmark Clean Power Plan. Now, he is handling some of the same matters on behalf of the federal government.

... the Trump administration is more vulnerable to conflicts than the prior administration, particularly after the president eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years. The White House also announced on Friday that it would keep its visitors' logs secret, discontinuing the release of information on corporate executives, lobbyists and others who enter the complex, often to try to influence federal policy. The changes have drawn intense criticism from government ethics advocates across the city.

Mr. Trump's appointees are also far wealthier and have more complex financial holdings and private-sector ties than officials hired at the start of the Obama administration, according to an Office of Government Ethics analysis that the White House has made public. This creates a greater chance that they might have conflicts related to investments or former clients, which could force them to sell off assets, recuse themselves or seek a waiver.

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Mr. Trump's own ethics executive order in late January eliminated a requirement, first adopted by President Barack Obama, that executive branch appointees not accept jobs in agencies they recently lobbied. That weakened standards applying to approximately 4,000 executive branch hires. Mr. Trump also made it easier for former lobbyists in the government to get waivers that would let them take up matters that could benefit former clients.

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iehi-feed-62070 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:45:15 GMT American energy use, in one diagram http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_Americanenergyuseinonediagram.html iehi-feed-62068 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:37:03 GMT Albert Edwards: Central Bank Hubris Bubbles To The Surface http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-14_AlbertEdwardsCentralBankHubrisBubblesToTheSurface.html iehi-feed-62055 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:29:28 GMT Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-12_MillennialsAreAbandoningthePostwarEnginesofGrowthSuburbsandAutos.html iehi-feed-62035 Fri, 07 Apr 2017 18:18:20 GMT Greece's dark age: how austerity turned off the lights http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-07_Greecesdarkagehowausterityturnedoffthelights.html People in poor neighborhoods are also increasingly turning to energy fraud, meaning that the problem for PPC is much higher than the mountain of unpaid bills suggests.

Power theft is costing PPC around 500-600 million euros a year in lost income, an industry official said...

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PPC, which has a 90 percent share of the retail market and 60 percent of the wholesale market, is supposed to reduce this dominance to less than 50 percent by 2020 under Greece's third, 86 billion euro bailout deal.

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The lenders also want PPC to sell some of its assets, but the company is toiling under the debt of unpaid bills, a problem opposition lawmakers say will force a fire-sale.

In little over a year from June 2015, overdue bills to the 51-percent state-owned firm grew by nearly a billion euros to 2.6 billion, Chief Executive Manolis Panagiotakis told lawmakers in March.

Analysts estimate PPC's cash reserves have shrunk to about300 million euros, forcing it to secure a 200 million euro bank loan to repay a bond due in May.

The tangle has left it with little leeway for new investments or to fund a switch to cleaner forms of energy from coal to improve environmental standards.

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iehi-feed-62017 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:10:00 GMT Bombshell: EU Drops Opposition to Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-04-04_BombshellEUDropsOppositiontoRussiasNordStream2Pipeline.html iehi-feed-61981 Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:38:41 GMT By the numbers, Trump's big environmental regulation rollback is all kinds of unpopular http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-29_BythenumbersTrumpsbigenvironmentalregulationrollbackisallkindsof.html iehi-feed-61969 Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:43:30 GMT Merkel's party wins German state vote by large margin (PRESAGING CONTINUED DOMINANCE?) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-28_MerkelspartywinsGermanstatevotebylargemarginPRESAGINGCONTINUEDDO.html The vote in the tiny state on the French border, which has a population of only one million, was seen as a bellwether ahead of the September 24th general election in which Merkel, the veteran leader often dubbed "the Queen of Europe", will seek a fourth term.

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The CDU's popular state premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was cheered by jubilant supporters, admitted she was "floored" by the strong result, about five points up from the last election amid strong turnout of around 70 percent.

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iehi-feed-61878 Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:51:40 GMT US interest rate rise to deepen debt crisis in developing world http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-03-13_USinterestraterisetodeependebtcrisisindevelopingworld.html Developing countries are struggling with steep rises in their debt payments after being hit by a double whammy of lower commodity prices and a stronger dollar, with more pain to come once the US central bank raises interest rates this week, campaigners warn.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign said that some of the world's poorest countries have seen the cost of repaying their debts -- as a proportion of government revenue -- hit the highest level for a decade. Government coffers have been depleted by lower revenues from commodity exports and the size of dollar-denominated debts has risen as the US currency has strengthened.

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Analysis by the Jubilee Debt Campaign showed that average government external debt payments across the 122 developing countries for which data is available have increased from 6.7% of government revenue in 2014 to 9.7% in 2016. That is the highest level since 2007.

It used IMF and World Bank databases to calculate how a fall in commodity prices since mid-2014 had depleted government revenues and how the strengthening dollar had raised payments on external debts, which tend to be owed in dollars.

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iehi-feed-61742 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:46:40 GMT Fumbling Towards Collapse - KUNSTLER http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_FumblingTowardsCollapseKUNSTLER.html You ... have an American public, and a mass media, who do not question the premise of a massive "infrastructure" spending project to re-boot the foundering economy. If you ask what they mean by that, you will learn that they uniformly see rebuilding our highways, bridges, tunnels, and airports. Some rightly suspect that the money for that is not there -- or can only be summoned with more accounting fraud (borrowing from our future). But on the whole, most adults of all political stripes in this country think we can and should do this, that it would be a good thing.

And what is this infrastructure re-boot in the service of? A living arrangement with no future. A matrix of extreme car dependency that has zero chance of continuing another decade. More WalMarts, Target stores, Taco Bells, muffler shops, McHousing subdivisions, and other accoutrement of our fast-zombifying mode of existence? Isn't it obvious, even if you never heard of, or don't understand, the oil quandary, that we have shot our wad with all this? That we have to start down a different path if we intend to remain human?

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iehi-feed-61738 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:10:07 GMT OPEC's Pushing for Full Compliance With Oil Cuts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-21_OPECsPushingforFullComplianceWithOilCuts.html "We are going to go for much higher levels of compliance because of the very high level of stocks that we have brought over with us from 2016," Mohammad Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in a Bloomberg television interview in London. "Anything less than 100 percent is not satisfactory" and OPEC expects to achieve that level "in due course."

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Oil has held above $50 a barrel since OPEC and 11 other nations started trimming output. The exporters group implemented about 90 percent of the pledged cuts last month and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the market will shift into supply deficit in the first half, although U.S. crude stockpiles have kept increasing to the highest level in more than three decades.

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iehi-feed-61704 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:39:45 GMT Trump's Repeal of Anti-Corruption Measure Proves He's a Fake http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-16_TrumpsRepealofAntiCorruptionMeasureProvesHesaFake.html The election of a billionaire president who killed the anti-corruption measure off is only the brutal coup de grace. The rule was stalled for the better part of six years by a relentless and exhausting parade of lobbyists, lawyers and other assorted Beltway malingerers. It then lived out of the womb for a few sad months before Trump smothered it this week.

Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act was created by Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin and then Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. Passed in 2010, the rule was simple: It required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose any payments above $100,000 made to foreign governments.

The law was designed to prevent energy companies from bribing foreign dictators. The simple goal was to ensure that the wealth of resource-rich countries would be enjoyed by their citizens, and not converted into obscene personal collections of yachts, mansions, sports cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia -- as, for instance, it was when oil was discovered in Equatorial Guinea, and the brutal dictator Teodoro Obiang started doing business with Rex Tillerson's ExxonMobil.

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Ask Trump supporters about this episode, and many would say they won't weep for the loss of any government regulation.

But they should ask themselves if, when they were whooping and hollering for the man who promised to end special interest and lobbyist rules in Washington, they imagined the ExxonMobil chief in charge of the State Department cheering as the new president wiped out anti-bribery laws. The "establishment" sure is on the run, isn't it?

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iehi-feed-61687 Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:32:57 GMT Made For Each Other - KUNSTLER http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-14_MadeForEachOtherKUNSTLER.html iehi-feed-61630 Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:24:25 GMT Senate votes to repeal transparency rule for oil companies http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-02-03_Senatevotestorepealtransparencyruleforoilcompanies.html The Senate voted strictly along party lines Friday morning to repeal a regulation requiring disclosures for the payments that energy companies make to foreign governments. The measure passed 52-47 in a pre-dawn vote.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) foreign payments rule was mandated by a key provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and was meant to reduce corruption in resource-rich countries by detailing the royalties and other payments that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies make to governments.''

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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-61554 Tue, 24 Jan 2017 19:19:04 GMT Trump to Sign Orders Advancing Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-24_TrumptoSignOrdersAdvancingKeystoneDakotaAccessPipelines.html In a statement, Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard pledged that the same group of environmentalists, Native American activists and farmers that successfully stalled the projects in the past will continue to fight their advancement.

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During a meeting with auto executives earlier Tuesday, Trump described himself as "an environmentalist" but argued that federal regulatory and permitting processes are too drawn out.

"I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist," he said. "I believe in it, but it's out of control and we're going to make a very short process and we're going to either give you your permits or we're not going to give you your permits, but you're going to know very quickly."

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iehi-feed-61547 Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:11:48 GMT Resurgent Inflation To Collide With Trump Stimulus Plans http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-23_ResurgentInflationToCollideWithTrumpStimulusPlans.html ... inflation started picking up last summer... It's now rising at the fastest rate in five years. MarketWatch reported last week... A string of sharp gains since late summer helped drive up inflation by 2.1% for the full year, marking the biggest increase since a 3% gain in 2011. Americans are pay[ing] more for fuel, housing and doctor visits, countering the biggest decline in grocery prices since the tail end of the Great Recession.

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It won't take much inflation for bondholders to take heavy losses, either... Take the U.S. 10-year Treasury, which is supposedly one of the "safest" bonds you can own. It currently yields about 2.4%. That's about half its historical average. Corporate and municipal bonds are also yielding near-record lows. This makes them incredibly vulnerable to inflation.

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iehi-feed-61533 Sun, 22 Jan 2017 15:11:04 GMT Utopian ideas on climate change will get us precisely nowhere http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2017-01-22_Utopianideasonclimatechangewillgetuspreciselynowhere.html Does anyone believe that when Anglesey's aluminium smelter closed in 2009, and Lynemouth's in 2011, that the UK stopped using aluminium? Did it help reduce global warming for these operations to be transferred to less- regulated countries outside Europe, and for aluminium to join the long list of imported items?

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Electric cars can look the same as today's models -- or they can be much more futuristic. They can also continue to be an object of conspicuous consumption, which campaigners will have to accept, aiming to encourage the use of eco-transport and not enforce some form of back-to-nature socialism via the back door. Electric vehicles, powered by solar generators, could reduce transport emissions to zero in tropical countries, which currently account for 40% of the world's population and will account for 55% by 2050.

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