Friday, May 29, 2020


News Links, May 30, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
First the Deflationary Deluge of Assets Crashing, Then the Tsunami of Inflation
US Gold Confiscation Would Be Folly (Egon von Greyerz)
Global Ad Spending Plunges As Hopes For V-shaped Recovery Fade

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
ViacomCBS slashes up to 400 jobs as part of merger restructuring: source

## Airline death spiral ##
Airlines increase job cuts as pandemic crushes air travel
Ryanair's Lauda airline shuts down Vienna base
United Airlines cutting 13 top jobs under fresh restructuring

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
EU not in mood to follow Donald Trump into China conflict over Hong Kong national security law
US Destroyer Sails Near China-Claimed Islands, Adding to Mounting Tensions

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests, violence continue in Minneapolis, New York City, other US cities following George Floyd's death
• Coronavirus
Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans
A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Ex-Green Beret flew on Venezuelan businessman's plane before failed Maduro coup
West claims that only China will "twist" technology for malign purposes. -- RF

## Japan ##

## UK ##
UK manufacturers planning tens of thousands of redundancies
Orders in the manufacturing sector have declined sharply in recent weeks. Photograph: Alamy
Britain's manufacturers are poised to make tens of thousands of workers redundant after a worse-than-expected slump in orders, prompted by the pandemic that has left many firms struggling to survive.

UK seeks alliance to avoid reliance on Chinese tech: The Times
The Price of Boris Johnson – Britain's Covid-19 Debacle
Alexander Mercouris takes us through the blow-by-blow of the first four months of the crisis in Britain, and it's not a pretty picture.
If a politician tells you to "move on" from a subject, it is a gigantic red flag that you should do precisely the opposite.
Why the Lesser-Evil Argument for Biden Sounds Hollow
Lesser evilism focuses on the candidates' relative merits and depravities. But younger voters increasingly see that as misdirection. The two evil candidates reflect the depravities of the same evil plutocratic system.
• Coronavirus

Thursday, May 28, 2020


News Links, May 29, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
S&P cuts Rolls-Royce credit rating to junk on COVID-19 hit
U.S. core capital goods orders, shipments tumble in April
Rabobank: Free Speech And Free Markets Go Hand In Hand; We Have Neither
Bank of Korea trims key rate to record low amid grim growth outlook
Week 10 of the U.S. Labor Market Collapse: Still Getting Worse at Gut-Wrenching Pace, But Signs of Bottom Appear

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Chevron Plans Massive Workforce Reduction
German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen to cut up to 15,000 jobs: memo
Renault poised to announce 15,000 layoffs worldwide: union

## Airline death spiral ##
American Airlines says to cut management and support staff by 30%
In truth, filling as many seats as possible is the only way for the airlines to make money. -- RF
LATAM's bankruptcy filing to delay its Brazil bailout to at least July: sources

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump seeking new arms deal with Saudi Arabia, says key senator
Inhofe, Reed back new military fund to confront China
As the U.S. Congress hardens against Beijing, two key lawmakers publicly added their support for a new military fund to boost deterrence against China in the Pacific, virtually assuring a Pacific Deterrence Initiative of some kind will be in the next defense policy bill.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests, looting erupt in Minneapolis over racially charged killing by police
Pandemic worsening existing food crises across the Middle East, UN agencies warn
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, nearly 110 million people across the Middle East and North Africa were undernourished.
COVID-19 infects more than 3,000 U.S. meatpacking workers: union

## Environment/health ##
The new rule, remarkable in its cruelty, will allow hunters to shoot bears, wolves, along with their cubs and pups while the animals are in their dens in the popular Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Stop the Wildlife Trade: Worker contracted coronavirus from mink at breeding farm, say Dutch authorities
Britain says U.N. climate summit to begin on November 1 2021
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods, and not under exclusive patent rights.
China, Vietnam and other countries that the U.S. likes to call dictatorships have handled the crisis much better than the so called leading democracies. In total all Asian nations seem to have had a better grip on the epidemic than many other countries. The most likely reason for this is that those cultures care far more for the collective good than for the benefit of individuals.
South Korea re-imposes some coronavirus restrictions after spike in new cases
Museums, parks, and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, with authorities struggling to identify transmission routes

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Trump directs AG to boost enforcement of state laws on social media companies
'Absolutely no legal authority': Trump's threats to shut down Twitter are 'totally asinine' and reek of censorship, according to legal experts
US Military Using New Data Collection System Designed For War in Pandemic Response
Pentagon sees new JADC2 system as vital for beating China, Russia in military confrontations

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Social Media's Plantation of the Mind
The Company Store is open, buy whatever you want on easy credit, and don't forget to take an approved narrative with you.
Long-time readers will recall that I have said tall buildings will be useless in the future. -- RF

## Japan ##
As Japan reopens, coronavirus testing slowed by bureaucracy and staff shortages

## UK ##
EasyJet plans to cut up to 30% of staff as Covid-19 hits demand
Up to 4,500 of its 15,000-member workforce could lose their jobs and the airline will start a consultation process with employees in the coming days.

## US ##
The Blue Plague and Black Death
George Floyd's death by Blue Plague in Minneapolis was widely condemned by the same parties that have encouraged and funded the spread of the fatal contagion.
• Coronavirus
According to experts, 83% of the US deaths could have been avoided if the country had locked down on March 1.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


News Links, May 28, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
World economic prospects darken, rebound delayed: Reuters poll
Asian century began in May 2020
Region has emerged as an economic zone as closely integrated as the European Union
Coronavirus pushes global credit rating downgrade threat to record high
Euro-Area Economy Closer to ECB's Worst-Case Estimates, Lagarde Says
U.S. imports record amount of gold from Switzerland as virus upends trade

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Boeing set to announce significant U.S. job cuts this week: union
Tuesday Morning is about to close 130 stores.
IBM's Announces Company-Wide Job Cuts As New CEO Attempts Restructuring

## Airline death spiral ##
Five ways the pandemic may change airports for the better
But remember that each of these "solutions" adds its own new cost. -- RF
Boeing cutting more than 12,000 U.S. jobs, thousands more planned
American Airlines CEO quells U.S. bankruptcy talk, says demand improving
Italy-bound flight returns to Germany due to closed airport
American Airlines to allow travelers to switch from crowded flights as coronavirus fears linger

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
EU Foreign Policy Chief Calls for Rapprochement with Russia and End of "American-led System"
A recent address by the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borell, hints at a new pro-Asian political order on the continent as Germany gets ready to lead the 27-nation bloc. But, is it just a ploy to check Chinese hegemony?
Israel, Pressed By US, Blocks First Big Chinese Deal

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets as protests flare in financial heart
COVID-19 is Laying Bare How Big Ag is Taking America's Small Farmers to Slaughter
As the door for greater consolidation across industries opens wider, entrenched transnational food interests are feeling the heat from American farmers and ranchers to curb their monopolistic dreams.

## Environment/health ##
'The human fingerprint is everywhere': Met Office's alarming warning on climate
Exclusively compiled data from centre's supercomputer shows alarming climate trajectory
Car tyres polluting huge swathes of seas and rivers, contaminating more than previously thought, say scientists
Microplastics from vehicle wheels could be damaging untold miles of waterways, experts find
Corals Turn Bright Neon in Last-Ditch Effort to Survive
• Coronavirus
Game changer: British regulator says 'COPCOV' hydroxychloroquine trial paused
An international hydroxychloroquine trial led by the University of Oxford has been paused, Britain's pharmaceutical regulator said on Wednesday, less than a week after the trial started, amid fresh  safety concerns over the drug.
Game changer: Fauci: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective as COVID-19 treatment

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time
All that criticism of other governments for restricting internet content... -- RF
Hell Hath No Fury Like A Federal Law Enforcement Agency That Keeps Finding Some Way To Break Into IPhones

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
COVID-19: China Rises in Ranks of US-Accused Hackers
As America's new Enemy No. 1, China is now the frontrunner in the "bad guy" sweepstakes.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Re-Opening the Economy Won't Fix What's Broken
Re-opening a fragile, brittle, bankrupt, hopelessly perverse and corrupt "normal" won't fix what's broken.
It will be net energy decline, not the coronavirus, that will deliver the coup de grâce to the current system. It will also kill many more people than the virus. -- RF
China's Cash-Strapped Millennials Embrace a New Trend: Thrift
Many young Chinese developed lavish spending habits during an era of rapid economic growth. Now, they're learning to cut back.

## US ##
"Germ-Ridden Masses" – How America's Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us
Increasingly, journalists at establishment publications come from and represent the one percent that they claim to be holding to account.
Texas Economy Could Lose $24B If Oil Prices Stay In The $30s
The Trump administration is trying to isolate China and cut it out of global trade to the maximum extent possible. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. -- RF
• Coronavirus

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


News Links, May 27, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Singapore cuts 2020 economic forecasts for the third time on coronavirus concerns
It Starts: The Corporate Mega-Bailout Bonanza in Europe, Germany on Top
Nokia shuts plant in south India after 42 test positive for coronavirus
ECB prepares for the worst: life without the Bundesbank - sources
Australian Perth Mint Silver & Gold Bullion Sales Surge In April

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Uber cuts 600 jobs in India as lockdown hits business
French carmaker Renault to cut 5,000 jobs by 2024: Le Figaro
McLaren Group is laying off 25% of its workforce as coronavirus halts races, manufacturing and sales

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Prison for buying bitcoin? Proposed law could see Russians serving time for using cryptocurrencies
As I've said, governments will either ban cryptocurrencies or take control of them. Keep watching. -- RF

## Airline death spiral ##
US Air Passenger Traffic over Memorial Day Weekend Down 87%, Amid Signs of Slow Recovery
Airlines don't expect a quick recovery back to "normal" either. Based on their decisions about aircraft in their fleets, they expect this to drag out for years.
Chile's Latam Airlines Group hires PJT Partners to restructure debt: report
LATAM becomes largest airline yet driven to bankruptcy by coronavirus

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. B-1 Lancers Continue Their "World Tour" With First Ever Mission Over Sweden
All things considered, the Indians have spiffier hats. -- RF
Outgoing US Envoy Underscores Split Between US, German Interests
German MP: US envoy issues threats like he's representing a hostile power
Shale drillers were collectively unprofitable even when oil prices were twice today's levels, and are drowning in red ink with WTI at $30 per barrel.
U.S. drilling industry says offshore ban would crush jobs, government revenues

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Behind Trump's push to blame China
Trump administration mounts global campaign against China that harks to false WMD claims made before US invasion of Iraq
NYT Writeup Of U.S. War On Afghanistan Ignores U.S. Atrocities

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
An Economy That Cannot Allow Stocks to Decline Is Too Fragile To Survive

## China ##
Hong Kong demand for VPNs surges on heels of China's plan for national security laws
Yes, it's awful. But it's also the model society secretly wanted by the West. The IoT and the cashless society will be tools to monitor and control the populace. -- RF
China shuts down WeChat social media account claiming 'US making dead bodies into hamburgers'
China has shut a virulent anti-US WeChat account for spreading fake news and stoking xenophobia, as Beijing moves to rein in misinformation on social media

## UK ##
Congress will 'probably' have to pass another coronavirus stimulus bill, Mitch McConnell says
Banks Get Payout From Equifax Hack While Consumers Still Wait For Compensation
• Coronavirus
The bleak milestone the U.S. is about to hit — 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 — is far above the number of deaths seen from the pandemic in any other country.

Monday, May 25, 2020


News Links, May 26, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Why Isn't the Dollar Collapsing Given Trillions in Printing?
Meanwhile given all this competitive currency debasement, I have a question: Got Gold?
China has been accumulating gold for decades. Their official holdings are 2,000 tonnes. But it is widely assumed that their real holding is over 10x that. Insiders who have been working with the Chinese confirm that they are likely to hold over 20,000 tonnes.

## Airline death spiral ##
ANA to require all passengers to wear face masks aboard aircraft from June

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Military Holds Live-Fire Drills in Persian Gulf

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear hanged in effigy as Second Amendment supporters protest coronavirus restrictions

## Got food? ##
Northwest cherry crops facing disease and decreased harvest
Cherry industry officials in Oregon and Washington state estimate a tree infection has substantially depleted the fruit for this year's harvest

• Coronavirus
Brazil just passed Russia in total cases. Population adjusted, Brazil is a disaster.
Five burn-in' questions on 'the real robotic revolution'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
TINA's Orgy: Anything Goes, Winners Take All
What nobody dares whisper is 'there is no alternative to collapse' because the system is now too fragile and brittle to survive.
The Race to Replace a Dying Neoliberalism
The world's prevailing socio-political models aren't going to survive this pandemic. What's going to replace them?

## Japan ##
Japan to end Tokyo's state of emergency, eyes fresh $930 billion stimulus

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