Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64531 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 01:32:35 GMT Why mortgage lending at Wells Fargo, Chase and Citi plunged http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-15_WhymortgagelendingatWellsFargoChaseandCitiplunged.html With earnings from three of the four biggest banks in, one metric stands in sharp relief. Mortgage lending just keeps plunging. In the fourth quarter, mortgage originations at Citi C, +4.16%   were down 23% compared to a year ago. At Wells Fargo WFC, -1.55%  , they were 28% lower, and at JPMorgan Chase JPM, +0.73%  , they were down 30%.

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What's going on? Here's how JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake described it in her prepared remarks to analysts Wednesday: "Home Lending revenue was down 8%, driven by lower net reduction revenue in a low volume highly competitive environment."

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Mortgage lending is down, mostly because there aren't enough houses for people to buy to sustain a healthy housing market -- although rising rates aren't helping either. Also thanks to those higher rates, the long refinance boom is over

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iehi-feed-64530 Sat, 12 Jan 2019 00:10:28 GMT The story behind the biggest price chop in NYC trophy-property history (TAG: ALSO NOT STEVE COHEN'S SHINING MOMENT) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-11_ThestorybehindthebiggestpricechopinNYCtrophypropertyhistoryTAGAL.html After reducing the price a painful eight times, the unit at 151 East 58th Street has now been relisted at $45 million. That's a whopping $70 million discount from its original 2013 listing price of $115 million.

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Cohen's troubles started in November 2013, when he pleaded guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay a penalty of $1.2 billion.

It was that April that he first listed the apartment for sale at $115 million, but by the end of 2013 he had dropped the price to $98 million.

In 2014, he went down to $82 million, then $79 million in 2015, and $72 million in 2016. By January 2017, the price was at $67.5 million, according to StreetEasy, and by the fall of that year it was $57.5 million, or $6,389 per square foot.

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iehi-feed-64527 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 20:34:36 GMT For SoftBank, no majority stake in WeWork as it scales down talks from a new $16 billion investment to $2 billion http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-10_ForSoftBanknomajoritystakeinWeWorkasitscalesdowntalksfromanew16b.html Several weeks after it was reported by the WSJ that two of the biggest investors in SoftBank's massive Vision Fund vehicle were cool on its planned $16 billion investment in the coworking company WeWork, those plans have changed radically, says the Financial Times.

According to its sources -- and confirmed by our own -- SoftBank is now in "detailed negotiations" to invest a comparatively modest $2 billion more into WeWork, plans that could be firmed up as soon as the end of this week.

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As it stands, including the $2 billion that WeWork looks to receive from SoftBank imminently, SoftBank will have sunk $10 billion into the company. Perhaps it's no wonder that the newest $2 billion is not coming from the Vision Fund but from SoftBank directly. (Son sometimes invests off SoftBank's balance sheet directly, for expediency's sake and, presumably, in a case such as this one, when there may be pushback from Vision Fund investors.)

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iehi-feed-64513 Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:15 GMT One Of America's Most Expensive Mansions Sells For 73% Below Ask http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-03_OneOfAmericasMostExpensiveMansionsSellsFor73BelowAsk.html After four years on the market, an overpriced 60,000-square-foot Hillsboro Beach estate known as "Le Palais Royal" was recently auctioned off. First listed for a then record-setting national price of $139 million in 2014, the mansion was quickly bumped up to $159 million the following year. The listing was withdrawn in 2016/17 after no buyers came forward. It went to auction via Concierge Auctions, in conjunction with Ralph Arias of ONE Sotheby's International Realty, on November 12.

... Price cuts tend to be a great leading indicator and give a forward-looking view into the real estate market. So, when one of America's most expensive homes experiences 73% collapse in asking price from 2015, it probably signals that a luxury real estate market crash could be ahead.

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The seller, Robert Pereira, founder of the Massachusetts-based construction company Middlesex Corp., possibly lost tens of millions of dollars on the transaction; Pereira told The Wall Street Journal in 2015 that the build costs exceeded $100 million.

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iehi-feed-64510 Thu, 03 Jan 2019 01:18:00 GMT Real Estate inventory is piling up - Dr. Housing Bubble http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-01-02_RealEstateinventoryispilingupDrHousingBubble.html iehi-feed-64505 Tue, 01 Jan 2019 00:38:06 GMT Happy New Year! May Your City Never Become San Francisco, New York or Seattle http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-31_HappyNewYearMayYourCityNeverBecomeSanFranciscoNewYorkorSeattle.html In truth, most of these cities have qualities other cities would reasonably desire. Denver has one of the country's fastest-growing tech labor forces, with minorities and women relatively well represented in those jobs. Seattle and Portland have among the fastest all-around job growth. New York has some of the fastest-growing wages. San Francisco has unemployment well below the national average and household incomes among the highest in the country.

But San Francisco-ization and the other -izations don't refer to the process of acquiring any of these good things. Rather, those terms capture the deepening suspicion of many communities that the costs of urban prosperity outweigh the benefits. The tech jobs and the high wages aren't worth having if they come with worsening congestion, more crowded development or soaring housing costs.

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Embedded in these fears is something slippery, seemingly inevitable. Once you let tech giants in the door, you have a homeless crisis. Once you allow more density, you're surrounded by skyscrapers. Once housing costs begin to rise, the logical conclusion is San Francisco.

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It's much harder to point to cities that have gotten all of this right -- the growth without the congestion, the tech jobs without the homeless crisis, the affordable housing without the sprawl.

We could use a word for the condition of becoming such a place. Maybe Minneapolisization?

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iehi-feed-64502 Sun, 30 Dec 2018 20:31:46 GMT Versace joins slew of retailers leaving Fifth Avenue http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-30_VersacejoinsslewofretailersleavingFifthAvenue.html iehi-feed-64494 Sun, 23 Dec 2018 20:28:16 GMT The exodus of New York City's endangered middle class http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-23_TheexodusofNewYorkCitysendangeredmiddleclass.html New York City's middle class comprises 48 percent of city residents, with median annual incomes between $30,000 and $60,000. Thirty-one percent make lower incomes, and the ranks of the rich account for 21 percent of New York City residents. By contrast, in the early 1970s, about 61 percent of New Yorkers were ensconced in the middle class; today, fewer than half are.

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For example, of the estimated 175,000 net new private-sector jobs that have been created in New York City since 2017, fewer than 20 percent are paying middle- class salaries, Earle notes.

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iehi-feed-64489 Fri, 21 Dec 2018 00:54:53 GMT SoftBank's Biggest Backers Balk at Planned $16 Billion Acquisition of WeWork http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-20_SoftBanksBiggestBackersBalkatPlanned16BillionAcquisitionofWeWork.html Key investors in SoftBank Group Corp.'s giant tech fund have balked at a planned $16 billion investment in co-working startup WeWork Cos., leaving SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son to find an alternative as his ambitions hit up against the limits of his financial firepower. Government-backed funds in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, according to people familiar with the matter, have told SoftBank executives they have concerns about SoftBank's negotiations to buy a majority of money-losing WeWork, whose industrial-chic workspaces workspaces and short-term leases have made it one of the world's hottest startups.

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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, or PIF, and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Co. contributed the bulk of the nearly $100 billion raised by the SoftBank Vision Fund. Their size gives them an effective veto over certain investments and a loud voice in validating Mr. Son's moves.

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Some of the people said that PIF and Mubadala have questioned the wisdom of doubling down on WeWork, and have cast doubt on its rich valuation. The company is on track to lose around $2 billion this year, and the funds have expressed concern that WeWork's model could leave it exposed if the economy turns down, some of the people said.

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Mr. Son still hopes the sovereign funds will let the Vision Fund pay for some of the deal, one of the people said. SoftBank is considering other ways to fund the deal, including using its own cash, raising debt and bringing in outside investors, the person said. It may use the proceeds from the initial public offering of its Japanese telecom business. SoftBank already carries heavy debt: nearly ¥18 trillion, or roughly $158 billion, as of Sept. 30

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iehi-feed-64486 Thu, 20 Dec 2018 15:21:55 GMT In sign of real-estate slowdown, Orlando home sales are down and listings are up http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-20_InsignofrealestateslowdownOrlandohomesalesaredownandlistingsareu.html Home sales fell 6.9 percent during the month to 2,575 while the number of homes for sale grew to a 3.3-month supply, the biggest inventory since September 2017.

Real estate agents and analysts say increasing interest rates are giving buyers pause. The average interest rate for area homebuyers in November increased to 4.97 percent, up from 3.97 percent during the same month last year.

"There has been a shock in how quickly interest rates have gone up," said Eric Soto, a real estate agent and co-owner of TC Orlando Homes based in Altamonte Springs.

It mirrors trends nationally, where both sales and price growth is slowing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of U.S. homes sold in October dropped 8.9 percent compared with a year ago, the agency's most recent report said.

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iehi-feed-64481 Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:16:51 GMT White House suggests it will back down on $5 billion border wall demand http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-18_WhiteHousesuggestsitwillbackdownon5billionborderwalldemand.html The White House suggested Tuesday that President Donald Trump could back down from his demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall in a year-end spending bill...

[Huckabee-Sanders] added that "at the end of the day, we don't want to shut down the government. We want to shut down the border." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have cast the potential lapse in funding as the "Trump shutdown." When Pelosi goaded Trump into an Oval Office fracas last week, the characterization appeared to irritate the president.

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In proposing $1.6 billion in border security funding, Schumer has said it would go to building new or repairing existing fences, rather than the wall as Trump has proposed it. The White House appears to want to claim that funding as "wall" money to promote a victory.

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iehi-feed-64480 Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:21:17 GMT Trump Foundation agrees to dissolve under court supervision http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-18_TrumpFoundationagreestodissolveundercourtsupervision.html The Donald J. Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision amid an ongoing lawsuit concerning its finances, according to a document filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court by the New York state Attorney General's office.

The dissolution of President Donald Trump's charity resolves one element of the attorney general's civil lawsuit against the foundation, which includes claims that the President and his children violated campaign finance laws and abused its tax-exempt status.

The lawsuit will continue in court because it also seeks two other outcomes: $2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his three eldest children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit.

What an upstanding bunch! Much better than the Clintons.

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iehi-feed-64471 Sat, 15 Dec 2018 04:32:24 GMT Trump's Inauguration Paid Trump's Company -- With Ivanka in the Middle http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-12-14_TrumpsInaugurationPaidTrumpsCompanyWithIvankaintheMiddle.html iehi-feed-64434 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 20:01:56 GMT US New Home Sales Fall 12% YoY In October, Down 9% MoM http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-29_USNewHomeSalesFall12YoYInOctoberDown9MoM.html iehi-feed-64432 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 18:31:19 GMT Michael Cohen Admits Talks for Trump Over Moscow Tower Occurred Well Into Campaign http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-29_MichaelCohenAdmitsTalksforTrumpOverMoscowTowerOccurredWellIntoCa.html At a surprise federal court hearing in Manhattan, Mr. Cohen admitted that he had minimized Mr. Trump's role in efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and gave the false impression to Congress that the negotiations had ended in January 2016, just before the Iowa caucuses.

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In fact, Mr. Cohen admitted, the negotiations continued for at least another five months, until June. He also admitted he agreed in early May to travel to Russia for meetings on the project.

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iehi-feed-64431 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 18:28:22 GMT 'The One Financial Institution That Stuck with Trump': Deutsche Bank Headquarters Raided in Germany http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-29_TheOneFinancialInstitutionThatStuckwithTrumpDeutscheBankHeadquar.html "Trump's long and winding history with Deutsche Bank could now be at the center of Robert Mueller's investigation."

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In addition to its ongoing legal troubles, having been fined $600 million just last year for laundering $10 billion in Russian currency, Deutsche Bank has been known in recent years as "the one financial institution that stuck with Donald Trump when virtually all other banks wouldn't touch him," as John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy in Focus, wrote in Common Dreams in July.

As Trump's former top aide Steve Bannon said in early 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign will largely deal with the president's finances with the bank.

The probe, he said "goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. They're going to go right through that."

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The bank continued to extend credit to Trump after he failed to pay back $330 million on a loan. Deutsche Bank also counts other members of the Trump family, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, among its clients. The bank opened its own investigation into Trump shortly after he entered office to determine whether its loans to the president had any links to Moscow.

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iehi-feed-64430 Wed, 28 Nov 2018 23:58:58 GMT New Home Sales Defy Expectations and Retreat in October http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-28_NewHomeSalesDefyExpectationsandRetreatinOctober.html iehi-feed-64429 Wed, 28 Nov 2018 19:43:39 GMT Co-working goes corporate http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-28_Coworkinggoescorporate.html While shared office space for freelancers still exists of course, industry leaders say it's a shrinking portion of the business.

"Co-working doesn't work," said Marcus Moufarrige, COO of the Australian company Servcorp, which has offered flexible space services since the late 1970s. "The latest iteration of it is not that new; it was around pretty extensively during the dot-com boom. And it didn't work then, either."

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iehi-feed-64418 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 18:40:23 GMT In Los Angeles, Elon Musk Tunnels Under a Neighborhood http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-22_InLosAngelesElonMuskTunnelsUnderaNeighborhood.html Even the City seemed taken aback by the speed with which the Boring Company was moving. "Why does this seem so rushed?" the council member Angie Reyes English asked at the September hearing. Brett Horton, who was representing the Boring Company at the hearing, answered that the company had had two public hearings about the project, when the law didn't require it to have any, and that it is trying to show proof of concept to others. "We are trying to revolutionize transportation," he said. "We don't want to get bogged down, and we want to show potential investors, other cities, the city of Hawthorne, our employees, that we can succeed, we will succeed, and we won't slow down, and we won't take any approach that doesn't get us to our goal as quickly as possible."

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But even Musk skeptics admit that there's something refreshing about a company that can circumvent all the red tape that comes with building a transit project. "This is one of those areas in which the planning world is ripe for disruption," said Tumlin, the transit consultant. "Public consultation is really important and valuable, super well intended, and rarely delivered effectively."

Usually, only the most privileged and angry people show up to public meetings, he said, and then delay most things that are proposed. This is why nimbys can so easily stop affordable-housing projects in their backyard; planned transit extensions take years to build, and even projects like California's high-speed rail end up being loathed by many people. They are all projects solved by committee.

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iehi-feed-64413 Wed, 21 Nov 2018 04:22:53 GMT Some Amazon employees bought NYC condos before news of HQ2 location emerged: report http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-11-20_SomeAmazonemployeesboughtNYCcondosbeforenewsofHQ2locationemerged.html At least two Amazon employees reportedly purchased condos in a New York City neighborhood before news emerged that the area had been picked to host the company's second headquarters.

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While employees of companies are barred from buying or selling stocks based on information that has not yet been made public, lawyers told the Journal that they were unaware of any such ban affecting real estate transactions.

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There are no exact numbers on how many units have gone into contract in the Long Island City area since the announcement, but the Journal reports that one brokerage firm sold nearly 150 units just last week, 15 times its normal volume.

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