IEHI Feed: The Bank Implode-o-Meter Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-63769 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:23:42 GMT Dow suffers more than 250-point stumble, as Facebook powers tech-sector selloff "Equities are lower and Treasury yields are higher and I think it may be signaling that there's some anxiety abut how hawkish the FOMC will be on Wednesday," said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Wells Fargo Asset Management.

As for the tech slide, Jacobsen declined to talk about specific companies but said trepidation around "what is going on with advertising as a source of revenue" for some companies is one reason why some social media names are facing selling.

"The market is pricing in a 97.9% likelihood of a rate hike at this meeting. The big question then will be the ‘dot plot' giving the FOMC members' estimates of where rates will be at the end of this year and next," said Marshall Gittler, chief strategist at ACLS Global, in a note.

iehi-feed-63768 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:19:35 GMT Bitcoin rallies $1,000 after FSB letter to G-20 officials saying "no systemic issues" On the eve of a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers in Buenos Aires, the Financial Stability Board, or FSB, issued a letter to the international finance ministers saying that cryptocurrencies do not pose any near-term systemic risk to the global financial system.

"The FSB's initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time," wrote Mark Carney, chairman of the FSB. The FSB is an international watchdog that makes recommendations about the global financial system.

"This is in part because they are small relative to the financial system. Even at their recent peak, their combined global market value was less than 1% of global GDP," wrote Carney, who is also governor of the Bank of England.

iehi-feed-63767 Sun, 18 Mar 2018 19:10:18 GMT Exclusive: Slumlord Kushner filed false NYC housing paperwork, Will be Investigated Now a clue has emerged as to how President Donald Trump's son-in-law's firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.

While none of the documents during a three-year period when Kushner was CEO bore his personal signature, they provide a window into the ethics of the business empire he ran before he went on to become one of the most trusted advisers to the president of the United States.

"It's bare-faced greed," said Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants' rights watchdog that compiled the work permit application documents and shared them with The Associated Press. "The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment."


In all, Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 false applications for construction permits in 34 buildings across New York City from 2013 to 2016, all of them indicating there were no rent-regulated tenants. Instead, tax documents show there were more than 300 rent-regulated units. Nearly all the permit applications were signed by a Kushner employee, including sometimes the chief operating officer.

Had the Kushner Cos. disclosed those rent-regulated tenants, it could have triggered stricter oversight of construction crews by the city, including possibly unscheduled "sweeps" on site by inspectors to keep the company from harassing tenants and getting them to leave.

Instead, current and former tenants of the Queens buildings told the AP that they were subjected to extensive construction, with banging, drilling, dust and leaking water that they believe were part of targeted harassment to get them to leave and clear the way for higher-paying renters.


At a six-story walk-up in Manhattan's East Village that was once home to the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, the Kushner Cos. filed an application to begin construction in late 2013 that, again, listed zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records a few months later showed seven rent-regulated units.


New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who plans to launch an investigation into permit applications, said: "The Kushners appear to be engaging in what I call the weaponization of construction."


Submitting false documents to the city's Department of Buildings for construction permits is a misdemeanor, which can carry fines of up to $25,000. But real estate experts say it is often flouted with little to no consequences. Landlords who do so get off with no more than a demand from the city, sometimes a year or more later, to file an "amended" form with the correct numbers.

iehi-feed-63765 Sat, 17 Mar 2018 17:12:50 GMT Dan Gilbert Owned Amrock Title Hit With $706 Million Judgment iehi-feed-63764 Sat, 17 Mar 2018 00:35:23 GMT The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes and the Black Turtleneck With her blond hair and lipstick, her uniform set her apart from the hoodie pack as well as the suits, and made that Jobsian connection, giving her an aura of cool in the way that he was cool (and Apple is cool) but that most digi-geeks are not, when viewed by the non-digi world.

But such an individual uniform has a risk if you don't live up to the promise. In the end, it's the substance behind the style that makes the difference; what you wear becomes its expression. So already, what was once the symbol of her dedication has become the symbol of the backlash, as the revisionism has begun, with various columnists berating themselves for not "looking behind the black turtleneck."

Even on social media, it has not gone unnoticed.


In the same way that Gordon Gekko's suspenders and Michael Milken's toupee became symbols of their greed, Ms. Holmes's black turtleneck is starting to seem less a brilliant frame than a false front; a carefully calculated costume that fooled everyone into assuming she was more brilliant than she was; a symbol of hubris rather than success.

Those who live by the turtleneck, die by the turtleneck. It's enough to make the otherwise derided pantsuit look like the ... well, smart choice.

iehi-feed-63761 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:45:41 GMT iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy to restructure $20 bln debt load IHeartMedia Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to restructure its overwhelming debt load.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy along with some of its units, said it reached the agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt for a balance sheet restructuring, which would reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.

IHeartMedia, which has struggled with $20 billion of debt and falling revenue at its 858 radio stations, said cash on hand and cash generated from ongoing operations will be sufficient to fund the business during the bankruptcy process.


IHeartMedia skipped a $106 million interest payment on Feb. 1, triggering a 30-day grace period during which the company has tried to hammer out a deal with it bondholders.


Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners control 68 percent of the voting stock of iHeartMedia, according to the company's most recent annual report.

iehi-feed-63760 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:43:44 GMT Toys R Us submits plan to close or sell all US stores Toys R Us made official its liquidation on Thursday morning, filing documents with the bankruptcy court that will lead to the sale or closing of its roughly 800 U.S. stores.


It is a blow to the toy industry, which has relied on the retailer for supplying row after row of toys and premium pricing, and who now must look to big box stores and Amazon.


It is a black-eye for its its three owners, KKR, Bain Capital Partners and real estate investment trust Vornado Realty Trust, who took the retailer private in 2005 for $6.6 billion, leaving it with $4.9 billion in debt. That debt would become an anathema for the business, keeping it from making the investments it needed as the retail landscape rapidly transformed around it.

The debt, of course, was what ultimately did the company in. Under its onerous weight and with little hope of refinancing it, Toys R Us hired restructuring advisers in 2017. The plan was to put together pre-packaged bankruptcy for after the holiday season in advance of upcoming payments due, sources tell CNBC.

But when CNBC broke news that it may file, it caused a run on the bank. Vendors froze their shipments to Toys R Us, only accepting cash on delivery. In weeks, it was forced to file for bankruptcy before its crucial holiday season and without a plan to emerge. A miserable holiday season would be the nail in its coffin.


Years of being the most important toy store in town left it cavalier, according to those former employees and industry insiders. They said it didn't take care of its store base -- whether that meant pruning stores that weren't making money, or putting resources toward those that were. It also under-invested in its digital business even as e-commerce skyrocketed, those sources told CNBC.

iehi-feed-63759 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:02:02 GMT Chase QuickPay With Zelle Takes Longer Than Elephant Mating iehi-feed-63758 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:45:17 GMT Mattis-associated Theranos charged with 'massive fraud' by SEC Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of the embattled blood testing startup company Theranos, has been charged with "massive fraud," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday.

The SEC alleged that Holmes and the company's former President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani raised more than $700 million from investors through an "elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company's technology, business, and financial performance."

The agency said Theranos and Holmes have agreed to settle the fraud charges. Holmes agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty and relinquish control of the company. She will be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for 10 years.

See, "traditional" companies are totally safe! That's why Google needs to go to the extent of banning ICO and cryptocurrency financial product ads, but the stock market is OK!

iehi-feed-63757 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 21:37:22 GMT Trump Taps Kudlow To Replace Cohn President Donald Trump will name Larry Kudlow, the conservative media analyst who served as his informal economic adviser during the 2016 campaign, as the next head of the White House National Economic Council, two sources familiar with the decision tell CNN.

Trump offered Kudlow the job Tuesday night over the phone and he accepted, the source said.


Kudlow's ascension, however, does not solve the disagreement inside the administration over Trump's tariff decision. The cable news personality has been outspoken in opposition to the tariff plan and wrote an op-ed for CNBC earlier this month that detailed his disagreements.

"In other words, steel and aluminum may win in the short term, but steel and aluminum users and consumers will lose," Kudlow wrote. "In fact, tariff hikes are really tax hikes."

Trump acknowledged his disagreement on tariffs with Kudlow in a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, but said he welcomed the difference of opinion.

"I'm looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly. I've known him a long time. We don't agree on everything but in this case I think that's good. I want to have a divergent opinion -- we agree on most," Trump said.

He added that Kudlow has "come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point."

Peter Navarro, Trump's top trade adviser and a fervent proponent of the President's tariffs, was seen as the force behind Cohn's eventual departure. The two butted heads over the decision and internally Trump's decision was seen as a win for Navarro and a damaging loss for Cohn.

Wary of the narrative that Navarro and Kudlow will clash in the same way that Navarro and Cohn did, a source close to Navarro said the President's trade adviser is "very happy" with Kudlow's selection.

iehi-feed-63756 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 17:28:48 GMT David Rockefeller Estate In NY Sells For $33 Million -50% More than Sales Price iehi-feed-63753 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 03:17:56 GMT DeVos Family Members Busted In Tax Scam Dragnet iehi-feed-63752 Sun, 11 Mar 2018 16:44:06 GMT Is Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein About To Sing So Long Farewell? iehi-feed-63750 Sun, 11 Mar 2018 01:30:14 GMT Follow The Money To Trump (And Jared's) "End Times" Even up to the moment Trump surprised everybody (including himself) by winning the 2016 election, major American banks would have sooner flushed their money down the toilet than lend any of it to him. Deutsche Bank and other foreign-based financial titans would work with the Trump Organization from time to time, but American bankers, having been burned too many times in the past, wanted nothing to do with him.

When the dust finally settles from the several on-going "Russiagate" investigations, it should become clear how Trump was able to bounce back from seemingly irreversible financial ruin as often as he has; the kindness of German bankers only explains so much.

... It is looking more likely than not that Russian oligarchs and similarly unsavory characters from distant lands with lax financial regulations figure in the explanation, and that person connected to criminal organizations or to Russian intelligence services played a role as well.

The way to find out is clear: follow the money. In this instance, there is a via regia, a royal road, a (comparatively) easy way to do that: look where the son-in-law has gone begging. What are Kushner's problems, after all, but Russiagate writ small?


Whether of not Trump's Teflon armor keeps on protecting him, the fact remains: the gods are closing in.  "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad," wrote Longfellow.  We can see it happening before our very eyes.

iehi-feed-63749 Sun, 11 Mar 2018 01:17:13 GMT Trump Even Does Trade Protectionism Wrong - Michael Hudson The idea of industrial protectionism, from British free trade in the 19th century to U.S. trade strategy in the 20th century, was to obtain raw materials in the cheapest places -- by making other countries compete to supply them -- and protect your high-technology manufactures where the major capital investment, profits and monopoly rents are.

Trump is doing the reverse: He's increasing the cost of steel and aluminum raw materials inputs. This will squeeze the profits of industrial companies using steel and aluminum -- without protecting their markets.

In fact, other countries are now able to legally raise their tariffs to protect their highest-technology sectors that might be most threatened by U.S. exports. Harley Davidson motorcycles have been singled out. They also can block U.S. monopoly exports, such as bourbon and Levi blue jeans, or pharmaceuticals. Or, China can block whatever U.S. technology it decides it wants to compete with.

iehi-feed-63748 Sat, 10 Mar 2018 16:04:01 GMT Why ‘Full Employment' Doesn't Mean Everyone Has a Job iehi-feed-63745 Sat, 10 Mar 2018 01:46:50 GMT Lots of new jobs, but workers will be upset with lack of wage gains (FED EXCUSE FOR SLOWING DOWN?) ... while on the surface, employers may be moderately more willing to take on new employees, the incentives offered to potential hires appear to be muted with wages fizzling after a pop at the turn of the calendar. 


With the February wage report posting a clear loss of momentum, it appears the skeptics at the Fed -- and in the market -- may be more accurately assessing domestic inflation, gaining support for a slower pace of rate hikes, and undermining the expectation for three interest rate increases over the remaining 10 months of the year.

That being said, according to Bloomberg, the probability of a March rate hike remains near 100 percent.

However, going forward, with the Fed setting the bar relatively high amid expectations for inflation to "move up" this year, without clear indications of rising inflation, let alone amid a further decline in price pressures, the Fed will have a very difficult time justifying any additional removal of accommodation.

iehi-feed-63744 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:10:28 GMT Martin Shkreli's arrogance may cost 'Pharma Bro' 10+ years behind bars ...Prosecutors have asked for Shkreli -- dubbed the "Pharma Bro" -- to be given 15 years in prison... Legal experts say he could easily get 10.Deciding Shkreli is responsible for $10.5m in losses means Matsumoto "can be as tough as she might want to be", said John Coffee of Columbia law school.

It would be a long sentence considering the crime. Coffee said Shkreli's crimes were similar to insider trading, and the longest sentence handed out in such a case is the 11 years given to the hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam was convicted of trading on illegal tips in the biggest such case brought in decades. It was a case that was "longer-term, more egregious and absolutely predatory", said Coffee.

So why might Shkreli get nearly as long? Basically, because he acted like a jerk. "His behavior during the trial was arrogant, and he treated the judge as an irrelevancy. Every defense counsel I know, and I know a lot of them, instructs his client to be respectful and modest because ultimately the judge is going to sentence you. Your arrogance can cost you a very high price," Coffee said.

iehi-feed-63742 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:04:23 GMT Stockman - Whistling Past The Graveyard ... last year China produced 800 million tons of steel, which is more than the next 40 worldwide suppliers combined; and even then this tsunami of steel came from a partially idled industry that actually has 1.2 billion tons of capacity.

Stated differently, the world is drowning in China's excess steel capacity.But since it has now diverted most of the exports it was previously dumping on the US market to other customers, the Donald's tariff won't amount to even a pinprick.

To wit, in 2017 China was only the #12  steel importer at 800,000 tons into the 107 million ton US end market. Its shipments compared to 36 million tons of total steel imports. Accordingly, we'd be surprised if the Donald's tariff would add even $100 million to the landed cost of China's current exports to the US.

That's right. the Donald is hitting the steel users of the US with a notional $7.5 billion tariff cost in order to smack the real target----the Red Ponzi---with what amounts to just 1.4% of the total upcharge.

iehi-feed-63741 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 04:41:20 GMT Corporate Bond Market Unprepared For "Big Reset" CVS Health Corp. sold $40 billion of bonds on Tuesday to help fund its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which is still pending regulatory review that may conclude later this year... Yet there was strong demand: $120 billion in orders for $40 billion in bonds. The deal was offered in seven tranches. According to investors, the 30-year portion sold with a yield of 1.96 percentage points above the equivalent Treasury yield.


In addition, the US Treasury Department will issue large amounts of debt to cover the ballooning federal deficits.

And in addition, the Fed has raised rates four times since December 2016 and will likely raise rates three or four times this year, and more next year.

So CVS tried to get its bonds sold before all this hits the fan. Because bond buyers -- mostly institutional investors, such as bond funds and pension funds -- are still in denial. They're still chasing yield, especially those speculating on the riskiest corporate bonds.


The Fed will succeed in tightening financial conditions. It always does. And when this starts to click, the adjustment will be sharp and possibly harsh for those companies that have relied on cheap and easy money to fund their operations. But for now, investors are still blithely oblivious to the coming reckoning in the corporate bond market.