Tuesday, February 18, 2020


News Links, February 19, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
It Starts: Apple Throws Revenue Guidance Out the Window, on Supply Chain Woes & Sales Collapse in China
This will become an often-played tune over the next few months, delineating how dependent Corporate America has become on China.
The World Is Awash in Oil, False Assurances, Magical Thinking and Complacency as Global Demand Careens Toward a Cliff
This collapse of price will manifest in all sorts of markets that are based on debt-funded purchases of desires rather than a warily prudent priority on needs.
• Carmageddon

## Cut, baby, cut! ##

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
UK digital bank Monzo plans to hire 500 and relaunch paid accounts

The report did not indicate whether weapons intended for vetted groups may have found their ways into the wrong hands.

India in talks with Russia for long-term import of crude oil
Petrobras Keeps Contingency Plan As Oil Strike Set To Enter Third Week
Here's another person who thinks he could become an instant farmer because, supposedly, growing food is so easy that any idiot can do it. We can hope that, post-SHTF, Bloomberg will be thrust into a situation where he has to grow his own. Then he'll find out how easy it is to farm. -- RF
Locust swarms: South Sudan latest to be hit by invasion

## Solutions ##
Breakdown or breakthrough? Degrowth and the Great Transition
We have already surpassed the known limits to growth, so degrowth is our only option.
Degrowth: Coming right up! -- RF
What survivalists say you'll need in case of a coronavirus outbreak

## Environment/health ##
Climate change could make premiums unaffordable: QBE Insurance
Australia's QBE Insurance Group (QBE.AX) said on Monday climate change could make some premiums unaffordable, especially for customers exposed to extreme weather events, and was a "material risk" for its operations across the globe.
"In many people's eyes, animals are living for man, not sharing the earth with man," said Wang Song, a retired researcher of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Before jumping on the criticize-China bandwagon, it's useful to recall that there is an analog in the belief, held by many Christians in the West, that humans have "dominion" over other creatures. Few modern humans believe they are "sharing" the planet with non-humans. -- RF
Smog veils Central Asia cities as smoky stoves choke locals
Half-a-million mussels cooked to death in waters off New Zealand
The climate crisis has given us another casualty. Nearly 500,000 dead green-lipped mussels washed up on a beach in New Zealand after being cooked alive by rising ocean temperatures.
Bee-killing pesticides could be banned in Minnesota under new bill

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Assange's Extradition Case: Critical Moment for the Antiwar Movement
Julian Assange Must Be Freed, Not Betrayed
When Julian Assange steps into Woolwich Crown Court on Feb. 24, true journalism will be the only crime on trial
What A Shame: Legacy Newspapers Want To Take Away Free Speech On The Internet

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Return of the Black Death? Can the Coronavirus Cause a Population Crash?
Indeed, the world population is already stressed by heavy pollution, low-intensity wars, net energy decline, and a rapidly failing global economy. At the least, the virus is aggravating these existing problems, which will likely lead to many secondary deaths. -- RF
Would We Still Have Power and Water If We Had a Massive Coronavirus Quarantine in the US?

## Japan ##
Japan's economy shrinks at fastest pace in 6 years, virus clouds outlook
Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production
Workers at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday.

## China ##

## US ##
The Cass Freight Shipping Index is down 9.4% year-over-year, the largest decline since 2009. And this is for January, before the Coronavirus disruption.
Illinoisans Are Overwhelmed By "Shadow Mortgage" Of Pension Debts
Since 2010, 121 rural hospitals have closed. The National Rural Health Association says more than one-third of all rural U.S. hospitals are at serious risk of shutting down.
Real Earnings Have Gone Nowhere For a Full Year
Real hourly wages have risen but average hours worked fell. The combination leaves the average worker no better off.

Sunday, February 16, 2020


News Links, February 17, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
IBM withdraws from RSA conference over coronavirus fears

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US-China strategic rivalry and new technology propel global surge in military spending, IISS report says
It's time to reclaim Syria's road to recovery
Erdogan de facto supports al-Qaeda remnants while facing either humiliating retreat from or total war against Syria
'The West is winning,' U.S. tells China; France wary
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended on Saturday his nation's global role despite misgivings in Europe, vowing that Western values would prevail over Russian and Chinese desires for "empire".
"Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on the conference's first day. "'Great again' but at the expense of neighbors and partners."
Germany's president took an indirect swipe at U.S. President Trump on Friday in accusing Washington, China and Russia of stoking global mistrust and insecurity with a "great powers" competition" that could threaten a new nuclear arms race.
Russia's and China's Interest in Cold Svalbard Heats Up
'This Is an Apocalyptic Future That We're Facing'
CounterSpin interview with Karl Grossman on the weaponization of space
• Iran/Iraq

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Sadr's Supporters Hold Iraq Counter-Protests, Fault Criticism of Cleric

## Energy/resources ##
This just plays into the hype surrounding hydrogen by suggesting that the yacht would be "powered" by hydrogen, which is absurd because — as I have pointed out time and again — hydrogen is not an energy source. It's just a means of storing energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere else. -- RF
Keep in mind that we still need to expend lots of energy to gather up dilute energy from a large area. Fossil fuels provided us with the closest thing to a free lunch as we'll ever get. -- RF
It looks like a solution, but it's just one of the reasons why renewables can't be a stand-in for fossil fuels. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
• Coronavirus
• War on Huawei
The Bloomberg Startup Barometer, a measure of business environment health, is in a steep plunge.

Friday, February 14, 2020


News Links, February 15, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The number of very rich people surged in 2019—here's why
German economy records zero growth in fourth quarter
Coronavirus impact spreads to European auto plant and could hit GM truck production
Royal Caribbean cancels 18 cruises, warns coronavirus hit to yearly profit

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Shelterless Syrians burn refuse for warmth in bitter Idlib winter
The US Should Accept Russia's Proposed Moratorium on Post-INF Missiles
The temporary measure has no near-term downside — and may jumpstart important arms-control talks.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Portuguese communities lock horns with lithium miners to save their land

## Environment/health ##
Oregon landfill took 2M pounds of radioactive fracking waste
Authorities say a chemical waste landfill in Oregon near the Columbia River has been accepting hundreds of tons of radioactive fracking waste from North Dakota in violation of Oregon regulations
New antibiotics have a unique way of killing bacteria
We have to make room for more humans! -- RF
• Coronavirus
Is The Coronavirus Now Unstoppable? New Data Suggests So (video)

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets, assisting Iran
Huawei fires back, points to US' history of spying on phone networks
This "do as we say, not as we do" logic only has the effect of making it harder to take the US seriously when it suddenly expresses concern about rampant surveillance.
I can't say with 100% certainty that Huawei isn't facilitating espionage, but there's still a curious lack of specifics on what exactly Huawei is supposedly doing wrong. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Decline of the West: More Evidence From Australia

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