Sunday, December 26, 2010


News Links, December 27, 2010

-- Global economic meltdown --
ECB Set to Become World's Largest Junk Bond Fund (WSJ)
Margin Debt Soars to Highest Levels Since September 2008
Vietnamese small businesses forced to seek capital on black market
Japan's 10-Year Bonds Rise Most Since October Before Consumer Prices Data
Vietnam's bad debt hits 2.5 pct in 2010 -report
Vinashin's Default a Symptom of Vietnam's Growth Mania
Frugality and Excess to Mark 2011
Irish government takes control of Allied Irish

-- Fault lines/flashpoints/military --
South Korean and Chinese defence chiefs to meet in Feb
South Korea predicts North Korea will ramp up attacks in 2011
Turkey's apology demand is "chutzpah": Israeli Finance Minister
Pakistan suicide bomber was woman covered in burqa
This will be great ammunition for those advocating burqa bans. Will they advocate bikinis? -- RF

-- Energy/resources --
Huge Amount of Oil Available, But…
Excellent presentation, especially because it deals with the relationship between expensive oil and loan defaults. Here is one of the key factors behind the rising tide of bad debt around the world. -- RF
U.S. uranium mill needs Asian funds: Exec
Iraq invites foreign firms to build 3 power plants
"More than seven years after the US-led invasion, Iraq's national grid still only supplies a few hours of power each day. Intermittent electricity is one of the public's top complaints."
Nigeria LNG Plant on Bonny Island Shut Down Over Power Outage
Power outages stop everything else. Duncan was right. -- RF
Anglo American fights Rio Tinto in global race for coal reserves
Rare earth metals mine is key to US control over hi-tech future
While rare earths are important, the decisive factor in developing and maintaining advanced technologies is cheap and abundant energy. -- RF

-- Got food? --
India finmin: No country can feed 1.15-billion people
Foreclosures wreaking havoc on citrus farming
Corn, Soy May Rise as Dryness Threatens South American Crops

-- Environment/health --
Small Beetles Massacre The Rockies' Whitebark Pines

-- Intelligence/security/internet --
2010: The Year in Downtime

-- China --
Life in Beijing's Cellars
Wow! They literally are "ant tribes"! -- RF
China's Wen: confident on inflation after rate rise
China Rate Increases in 2011 May Be Front-Loaded as Inflation Accelerates
China 2011 Inflation Growth Likely At 4%-5% - Report
China's Land Sales May Top $302 Billion This Year, People's Daily Reports

-- UK --
Britain's inflation is supposed to fall, but...
NHS faces more cuts to avoid £10bn shortfall, report warns

-- US --
16 Shocking Facts About Student Debt And The Great College Education Scam
16 US Cities Facing Bankruptcy If They Don't Make Deep Cuts In 2011
Small Alaska towns fear coal strip-mining
Health system challenges mount as boomers turn 65
US home-grown terrorists 'a global threat', warns congresswoman
U.S. tackles rising veteran homelessness
Pensions Eat 70% of Decatur, Illinois' Budget; New York City's $76 Billion Shortfall; Houston Mayor Wants Pension Benefit Cuts
'Homeland' security coming to hotels, malls

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