Sunday, January 19, 2020


News Links, January 20, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
China Posts Slowest Growth in 29 Years But Still Overstated
Even without war, mass starvation, pandemics, and other causes of human depopulation, net energy decline is doing one heckuva job. Growth gurus are going to be shocked by these graphs. Now just wait for the next world war, global financial collapse, food shortages, and other causes that will exert crushing downward pressure on world population. -- RF
Capitalism 'will fundamentally be in jeopardy' if business does not act on climate change, Microsoft CEO says

## Airline death spiral ##
Libya summit in Berlin agrees on final communique: participant
UN's warning that Gaza will not be a "liveable place" by 2020 has been realised
The primary cause of this 'unliveable' environment is a highly restrictive Israeli blockade, now in its 13th year, which has reduced Gaza to the point of 'systemic collapse'.
Shocking. The military is grossly overstretched. -- RF

• Iran/Iraq

## Migrants/refugees ##
Migrant surge into Guatemala reaches 3,500, heads for Mexico

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
The experts foresee as many as 75 countries having to deal with soaring public rage over a variety of topics, including economic inequality and political roguery during the next six months.
Almost 40% of the world's countries will witness civil unrest in 2020, research claims

## Energy/resources ##
Big three oilfield services firms start year with asset sales -sources
Schlumberger, Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Co have kicked off the new year by putting units up for sale, as the three largest names in oilfield services seek to reshape their businesses and adjust to falling demand.

## Got food? ##
China's 2019 pork output plunges as African swine fever cuts herd
The outbreak is making the region's bad food security situation worse, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has warned. Hundreds of thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed.
How climate change influenced Australia's unprecedented fires
The climate factors contributing to Australia's bushfires are strikingly similar to those at play in California.
The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It
A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and "might lead to a dystopian future or something," a backer says.
This has been making the rounds, presumably for laughs and ridicule, but you can sight any number of grossly fat people like this on American streets. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
'A new world disorder': Global leaders head to Davos 2020 in search of stability
In the words of Davos attendee and the former Prime Minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, there's a "new world disorder" that needs to be addressed.
It takes a lot of energy to maintain order, especially internationally. Directly or indirectly, net energy decline is one of the major drivers of rising global disorder and chaos. -- RF

## Japan ##

## China ##
China posts weakest growth in 29 years as trade war bites, but ends year on firmer note
Tesla, Hit by Sagging US Sales, Goes Full-China with Design Center, Loans & Factory
This move to China makes sense for a niche automaker struggling mightily in the US. But headwinds in China are even stronger than in the US.
Brick-and-Mortar Melts Down in the UK, Worst Decline Since 2009, as Big Retailers Collapsed, 14,500 Stores Closed
But even red-hot online sales cooled off late in the year as consumers turned sour.
Manufacturing employment, shipping, industrial production, and the PPI are all screaming the same word. In case you missed the word, here it is: Recession.
Welcome to Gilead? President Trump issues guidance asserting students' right to pray in public schools
Why Manhattan's Skyscrapers Are Empty
In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.
With all three sides of the triangle of power inclined to favor him or neutralized, Trump seems to have a good chance to win the next election.

Thursday, January 16, 2020


News Links, January 17, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Germany Reports Its Slowest Economic Growth in Six Years
Global debt-to-GDP ratio has now hit an all-time high of 322%
Debt from all sectors — ranging from household to government to corporate bonds — has surged
Chinese giants thrive as European firms battle belt and road entry barriers, report says
European companies struggle to be more than niche players in grand infrastructure plan, according to leading business group
Nutty Bond Wonderland in Europe Just Reached New Heights of Madness
Not even the "bankruptcy" word hanging over super-troubled Italian infrastructure giants Atlantia and Autostrade, whose bridge collapsed last year, can get their bonds to reflect any  kind of serious risk.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
China Pilot Testing its Digital Currency: Will the Digital Renminbi Challenge the US Dollar in the Currency Wars ?

## Airline death spiral ##
Delta jet dumps fuel over Southern California, sickening dozens of schoolkids and adults
A Delta plane returning to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after pilots declared an engine emergency dumped thousands of gallons of fuel over land Tuesday afternoon.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##

• Iran/Iraq
U.S. threatened Europe with auto tariffs over Iran nuclear program - Washington Post
The Trump administration has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European automobile imports if Britain, France and Germany do not formally accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed European officials.
After repeated threats from President Trump to sanction Iraq, to seize its primary bank account, and cut all military aid, Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi has backed away from calls to expel US troops from Iraq.
17 years of war and we're back to square one.

## Migrants/refugees ##
Feds: Smugglers ferry Chinese migrants to Florida in yachts

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Lebanon in 'week of wrath' protests over political, economic crisis

## Energy/resources ##
[T]he growing of pot is so power-intensive that its ecological footprint is quickly becoming an environmental nightmare.
Number Of DUC Wells Plunges In Latest Sign Of Shale Distress
Is Iraq Too Risky For Oil Majors?
Million solar roofs might not be enough: Austrian environmentalists

## Got food? ##
Putin's movements since U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike on Soleimani have underscored one of the most consequential trends driving events in the Middle East: Russia's star is rising as U.S. standing in the region is falling.
Criminals are using 'Frankenstein identities' to steal from banks and credit unions
So-called synthetic identity fraud is the fastest-growing financial crime, according to the Federal Reserve, driven in part by lending moving online. It's also one of the hardest to detect.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
#CNNIsTrash Trends As Pushback Grows Against Oligarchic Election Meddling
Meet the Money Behind The Climate Denial Movement
Nearly a billion dollars a year is flowing into the organized climate change counter-movement

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## US ##
Year-over-year, the Cass shipping index turned in its worst performance since the Great Recession.
Cities in the Crosshairs Are Pushing Back Against Nuclear Weapons
These are certainly not the type of Christians who beat their swords into plowshares. -- RF
What a surprise. -- RF

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


News Links, January 15, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Bond data back to the Black Death shows lower and even negative rates could be here to stay
Data going back to the Black Death of the 14th century shows low rates have been the norm for ages.
China's Consumers Slam Automakers, Sales Drop Hard, 2nd Year. GM Sales Plunge. Ford Sales Collapse. But Luxury is Hot
"Challenging environment with weakened consumer demand": This nosedive in a vast industry, affecting consumers and manufacturing, is happening even as GDP officially booms at 6%?
12 Signs That The Economy Is Seriously Slowing Down As 2020 Begins
Former RBI governor says India needs 'significant reforms' to keep young job seekers employed
No matter what the government does, net energy decline will drag India down with everyone else. -- RF
The sheer number of humans on the planet is overwhelming available resources. -- RF
It's a dire predicament, and my heart goes out to the Iraqis. At the same time, we need to remember that the whole world financial system is teetering on the brink. Sooner or later, collapse is coming for us all. -- RF
Instability Rising: Why 2020 Will Be Different
In 2020, increasing monetary and fiscal stimulus will be the equivalent of spraying gasoline on a fire to extinguish it.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Nokia slashes 180 jobs in Finland but invests in 5G

## Airline death spiral ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
"This is another grim milestone for Mohammed Bin Salman's Saudi Arabia," Reprieve director Maya Foa said. "The Kingdom's rulers clearly believe they have total impunity to flout international law when it suits them."
Saudi energy minister on Trump's actions in the Middle East: 'He can do whatever he wishes'
Building Post-INF Missiles Would Be a Waste, or Worse
New U.S. intermediate-range ground-launched missiles would deliver more undesirable effects than tactical utility.
The United States wants to reduce the number of its troops deployed across Africa over the next few years to focus more on responding to the threats posed by Russia and China.
A key bit of underlying context is that the Navy's two major new surface warfare programs at the turn of the twenty-first century, the Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers and the littoral combat ship, have been expensive disasters.

• Iran/Iraq
Iran's Smart Strategy
The Iranians chose neither to fold nor to fight. It is not clear at this point who was more deterred by whom.
Trudeau cites US ratcheting up tensions with Iran in plane's downing
Victims of an Iran-downed jetliner would still be alive if not for a recent escalation of tensions partly triggered by the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

## Migrants/refugees ##
Police bust ring smuggling Moroccans to Spain via Gibraltar

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
French prime minister makes concession to pension protest
Edouard Philippe said he is ready to withdraw a proposal to raise the retirement age to 64 in a compromise with striking trade unions.
It's only a temporary reprieve. In every country, the retirement age must go up — or be scrapped entirely. -- RF
Net energy decline leads to the collapse of education! -- RF
Shale Pioneer Mark Papa: Expect M&A Wave In Shale

## Got food? ##
'Soylent yellow': Is artificial protein really a solution to food production?
There is one other problem that the author doesn't mention: What happens when food factory power supplies are interrupted? Everything comes to an end sooner or later, and that includes electricity. -- RF
Price of wheat leaps during solar minimums (graph)

## Environment/health ##
'Last mile' delivery push will worsen commutes, hurt the environment, World Economic Forum says
Emissions from delivery traffic will increase by nearly a third and congestion will rise by over 21%, according to the World Economic Forum.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Under US pressure, social media companies censor critical content and suspend Venezuelan, Iranian, and Syrian accounts
As the US escalates its hybrid wars, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are suspending accounts and censoring content that conflicts with Washington's pro-war narrative.
Ex-US intel officer: Pompeo 'lying through his teeth' on Iran
Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer, analyzes the increased White House coercion efforts and collapsing intelligence claims.
The British government secretly funded Reuters in the 1960s and 1970s at the direction of an anti-Soviet propaganda organization with links to MI-6, according to unclassified documents unveiled Monday.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Global Births & Population of Potential Mothers...Down, Down, Down (Econimica)
These grim charts certainly put the kibosh on the growth scenario. But it's going to be even worse as failure of the global financial system, increasing military conflict, social unrest, collapse of economies, climate change, disease, food shortages, and other factors chop away at the world population. -- RF
Cities around the world are shrinking. China is no exception. Net energy decline is inexorably downsizing industrial societies and will continue to do so. -- RF

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