Monday, February 28, 2011


News Links, March 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Economists list U.S. budget deficit as No. 1 worry
'Global Credit Warfare': China Preparing for a Treasury Bond Sell-Off?
Currency Wars Lose to Inflation, Emerging Markets to Win
Madoff: 'Whole government is a Ponzi scheme'
Election no quick cure for Ireland's ills: more debt, fewer jobs
High Oil Prices and Recessions
Another Bailout Looms, But This Time It's For Kabul
Global Recovery Is 'Here to Stay': Citi M&A Head
Social Mood Turns Negative: Markets Will Soon Follow, Robert Prechter Says
Timing the China Property Crash
Social Unrest Setting the Stage for Sovereign Defaults!
Vietnam eyes ban on unofficial gold bullion trade
Simon Black: "The Market Is Telling Us That The Dollar Is Finished"
Japan Passes Record Budget, But Major Challenges Remain
"The government of beleaguered Prime Minister Naoto Kan could face a fiscal crunch in July or later if opposition parties continue to block measures such as a bond issuance to cover the budget deficit."
China's holdings of US debt jump 30 percent

## Libya ##
U.S. Engaging Libyan Opposition, Moving Military Assets Nearby
Libya, NATO's fresh prey (Tehran Times)
US prepares for military intervention in Libya (Dong-A Ilbo)
U.S. says in talks with NATO about options for Libya (Reuters)
Turkish premier rules out NATO intervention in Libya
Rebels in Libya's east say they're not ready to take Tripoli
Gaddafi unflinching as rebel city fears counter-attack
Libya: RAF special forces come under fire during rescue of stranded civilians
World's message to Libyan leader Gaddafi: time to end your regime
"Muammar Gaddafi is running out of options and friends as international action to pressure him into surrendering gathers momentum, withRussia and China joining the west in backing calls to prosecute him for war crimes."
East Libya could face food shortages soon: source
Libya protests: Gaddafi says 'all my people love me'
Gaddafi's sons tried to get Saudi cleric help: TV
Libya crisis: neighbors brace as tide of refugees rises
Pro-Gadhafi Forces Attempt Raids on East
Pro-Gadhafi forces fight rebels in 2 cities
Rebels down Libyan aircraft as world leaders discuss next move

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
The Extraordinary Events in the Middle East and the Coming Global Tsunami
Police: 52 remain in custody after anti-government clashes in Croatia
Oil price rises again on Saudi Arabia unrest fears, Brent hits $114
"Meanwhile a Facebook site calling for a "day of rage" in Saudi Arabia on 11 March has seen its number of subscribers increase from 400 to 12,000 in recent days."
Saudi activists eye protests, wait for new cabinet
"Activists have set up Facebook pages calling for protests on March 11 and 20, with over 17,000 supporters combined, but police managed to stymie two attempts to stage protests in the Red Sea city of Jeddah last month."
Saudi king chairs cabinet, no sign of reshuffle
"Saudi King Abdullah chaired the first cabinet meeting on Monday after returning home from three months abroad for health treatment, with no signs of any government reshuffle or reforms demanded by activists."
South Korea-US drills begin despite North Korean threat
Omani protesters block road to port after 6 die
"Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrance to the industrial area of the northern coastal town of Sohar, which includes a port, refinery and aluminum factory. They pushed back four army vehicles that had been observing the scene."
The Middle East in crisis: Looters take control of Oman's streets
Omanis loot half-burnt supermarket, police stay away
Sultan of Oman: Hire 50,000 citizens
Thousands of Yemenis protest as unrest high in south
The Middle East in crisis: Tens of thousands protest in Yemen
Yemen 'to declare unity government' within 24 hours
Arab protesters blockade Bahrain parliament
Demonstrations turn violent as riot police fire tear gas (Panama)
Iran arrests two opposition leaders: opposition website
Sadr says Iraq PM Maliki must address mass demands
Report: U.S. shuns Pakistan prisoner swap
With Russia's $650 billion rearmament plan, the bear sharpens its teeth
Russia proceeds with missile sale to Syria
Middle East in Crisis: a Worst-Case Scenario

## Energy/resources ##
S.Korea orders lights off as oil price soars, stiff fines for offenders
Instead of the North developing and catching up to the South, the decline of industrial civilization will bring the South down to the North's level. -- RF
Aramco Says Ready to Make Up for Shortfall in Libyan Crude
Jim Rogers: "Saudi Arabia Is Lying About Being Able To Increase Its Oil Production"
A dirty little oil market secret -- Have the Saudis really boosted oil output?
Did Saudi Arabia really raise its oil production? (Foreign Policy)
Saudi Aramco to use CO2 to boost Ghawar oil field output by 2013
Iron ore prices weigh on steelmakers
Oil Will Go Down to as Little as $70 a Barrel: CEO (CNBC)
"The only thing that would change McCaughan's opinion is if Saudi Arabia has unrest. 'I think that is very unlikely. The king is popular in Saudi Arabia. He's just unveiled a stimulus package of social measures of $36 billion.'"
Solar 'Gold Rush' in U.K. May Die With Incentive Roll-Back

## Got food? ##
The price of food is at the heart of this wave of revolutions
No Inflation? That's Not What Food Prices Are Saying

## Environment/health ##
Amur tigers in population crisis
More tiny dolphins wash ashore in Mississippi and Alabama
Arctic sea ice extent lowest in recorded history

## China ##
Jasmine revolutions throw China's Africa strategy into limbo
Insight into China's overseas investments
China uses whistles, water, police on protests
Is The China Auto Boom Headed For A Bust?

## UK ##
North Wales heating fuel thefts on the rise
Britain may scrap Tornadoes to save $1.6B
House prices: All property types 'dip in value'

## US ##
Police Won't Boot Protesters From Wis. Capitol
Rioting anarchists attack Seattle police, destroy property
Drones Set to Invade U.S. National Parks
Luxury makes a comeback for the well-heeled
U.S. Consumer Spending Cools as Food, Fuel Costs Climb
Walker Gives Ultimatum to Wisconsin Democrats Stalling Vote
Insider Report: US Government Will Confiscate Gold When It Touches $2000
Ethanol Soars to 31-Month High on More Expensive Corn, Mideast
Oil Prices Pose Challenge to Airline Traffic

Sunday, February 27, 2011


News Links, February 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Saudi Stocks Drop to Nine-Month Low, Leading Mideast, on Region's Unrest
Mexico Could End Up as a Failed State
"Money transfers from expats now represent Mexico's no. 2 source of revenue after proceeds from oil exports. Many Mexican households depend on remittances to meet normal living expenses. Unfortunately for Mexico, however, there has been no U.S. economic recovery that has shown up in the external dinero import numbers."
Egypt Bans Export Of Gold "In Any Form"

## Libya ##
US neo-cons urge Libya intervention
Libyan rebels say they don't want foreign intervention
Libya rescue: UK forces to continue mission
We must stand ready to intervene in Libya
"Britain and its allies must explore how armed humanitarian intervention could take place in Libya, says Sir Richard Dalton, former British ambassador to Libya."
UK businesses fear collapse of £1.5bn trade links with Libya
Libyan rebels take control of city close to capital
Lebanese protest against sectarian political system
Gaddafi forces abandon Tripoli neighborhoods

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
North Korea threatens to fire at South Korea
Decapitated bodies displayed in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state
Saudi king orders more state jobs and faces reforms calls
Saudi King Orders Permanent State Jobs for Citizens

## Energy/resources ##
South Korea Raises Energy Alert Level as Crude Prices Jump
"Under the 'yellow' level, the government will limit power use in public buildings, apartments and shops, while turning off unnecessary lights in streets, according to the statement."
South Korea has become a bellwether showing how the power crisis will unfold as industrial civilization declines. -- RF
Oil price set to double if production is cut off (David Strahan at The Independent)
Dar on brink of darkness as power crisis deepens (Tanzania)
Power crisis in Mindanao looms
"Members of the Mindanao bloc in the House of Representatives expressed alarm over the looming power crisis in Mindanao due to the breakdown of some power plant facilities."
Massachusetts company makes diesel simply with sun, water, carbon dioxide; skeptics leery
'Sanctions-Hit' Iran Sells More Oil As Libyan Exports Dwindle
When the believers stop believing: Chesapeake dumps shale gas assets
Egypt may not resume gas deliveries to Israel - report
Cotton Prices Hit Record Levels

## Got food? ##
Tips to attract bees to your yard
"First, learn to live with dandelions."
America's Future Farmers Already Dropping Away
Soon, many people will become instant farmers. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
30 people freeze to death in Poland

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
12km Traffic Jam Highlights Woes in Infrastructure (Indonesia)
"For several days, hundreds of frustrated truck drivers have had to eat and sleep on the road to the port city of Merak, Banten... The damage has been done, though. Perishable goods like fruit and vegetables have rotted. Reports say the prices of chili and tofu in some markets in Lampung have already increased as a result. Some of the drivers reportedly resorted to selling some of their cargo to buy food and drink."

## China ##
China's Wen Vows to Contain Food, Home Prices Amid `Jasmine' Protest Calls
China Police Blanket Planned `Jasmine' Protest Sites in Beijing, Shanghai
China's jasmine revolution: police but no protesters line streets of Beijing
Freezing weather returns to Central, East China
Wen Says China to Lower Growth Target
"'We'll never seek economic growth rate and big size at the price of environment,' Mr. Wen told Chinese Internet users in an online chat Sunday in which he disclosed the new target. 'That would result in unsustainable growth featuring industrial overcapacity and intensive resource consumption.'"
They've already got "unsustainable growth featuring industrial overcapacity and intensive resource consumption"! -- RF

## UK ##
Liam Fox: Libya will send strategic shock waves through Arab world
"Dr Liam Fox has pledged to strengthen Britain's Special Forces in response to the turmoil sweeping through the Arab world."
Fears for UK infrastructure as copper thefts reach all-time high
"The epidemic, fuelled by the soaring cost of copper, is only expected to get worse, affecting gas supplies, electricity companies and telecoms cables."

## US ##
Wisconsin National Guard has toured multiple prisons
Governors To Feds: Help Us Avoid Financial Disaster
Wisconsin governor says won't back down in union battle
Downtown LA Rally Brings Out Thousands In Support Of Wisconsin Protesters
Around the US, rallies lend moral support to Wisconsin public workers
When Government Debt Gets in the Way of the American Dream
Even if protesters win the battle, they have already lost the war. -- RF
Medicare wipes out Social Security COLA
On Wall Street, Nobody Goes To Jail
Governors Meet As Pro-Union Protests Spread
Risk of Widespread Municipal Bond Defaults Near `Zero,' Moody's Zandi Says
Keep on dreaming! -- RF
Prices are rising with the money supply (on food inflation)
Marc Faber: "I Think We Are All Doomed"
Budget 'Catastrophe' Means DoD Cuts

Saturday, February 26, 2011


News Links, February 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Ireland's new government on a collision course with EU
Brazil Economy Flickers as Bottlenecks Drive Up Prices
Brazil's problems are presented here as the result of a lack of timely investment, but rising costs for energy and commodities, too many consumers, and accumulating debt are engendering the kind of systemic difficulties cropping up everywhere. -- RF
The end of China's cheap denim dream
"'We are still getting orders from abroad - all the factories are,' she said. 'But no one is taking them because we would make a loss. The foreigners do not want to pay a reasonable price. We have not made any profits for two years.'
India Says Economy May Grow as Much as 9.25% Next Year Amid Inflation Risk
Policy Makers Pledge to Halt Any Inflation From Oil Price Surge
German inflation holds at multi-year high in Feb
Colombia Unexpectedly Raises Rate to Tackle Inflation
Argentina Said To Be Threatening Economists Who Question Data
"According to Indec, consumer prices rose 10.6% in January from a year earlier. But economists say the real inflation rate is likely closer to 25%, or even higher, and that prices may rise even faster this year."
Vietnam Bonds Have Worst Week in 3 Months as Inflation Quickens

## Libya ##
Nation's food chain at risk of collapse, aid agencies warn
Libya evacuation: China evacuates 12,000 nationals via naval frigate
"'China has suffered large-scale direct economic losses in Libya, including looted work sites, burned and destroyed vehicles and tools, smashed office equipment and stolen cash,' the ministry said in a statement on Thursday."
'Rebels hold Libyan oilfields'
Rebels are in control of nearly all oilfields east of the Libyan town of Ras Lanuf, with fields and oil terminals still working at 25% capacity, a petroleum engineer who is a member of Benghazi's interim leadership was reported as saying today.
Libyan rebel stronghold to send force to aid Tripoli uprising, general says
Pro-Rebel Officers Vow Defense of Eastern Libya
Obama: Qaddafi Needs to Leave Now
Two German military planes evacuate foreigners from Libya
Gadhafi 'opens the arms depot' to supporters
Gaddafi's empire crumbles as his inner circle abandon him
New 'Caretaker' Government Established in Benghazi
Fleeing Workers May Cripple Libyan Economy
'Corpses Everywhere In Libya' Say Diplomats
Libya May Become `Like Somalia' If Protests Don't End, Qaddafi's Son Says
Libyan envoy urges international intervention
Loyalists Dance Down 'Last' Gasp As Libya Revolt Swells
"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said "thousands" may have been killed or injured by Gaddafi's forces in the uprising, and called for international intervention to protect civilians."
Terror in Tripoli as Kadhafi set for battle
Libya's Gaddafi no longer in control-Berlusconi
Gadhafi's Nurse Says She's Going Home
This will no doubt be the last straw. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Attack shuts Iraq's largest oil refinery, kills 1
UN: Ivory Coast on brink of civil war (video)
Russia vows to sell missiles to Syria
"Russia vowed Saturday to fulfil its contract to supply Syria with cruise missiles despite the turmoil shaking the Arab world and Israel's furious condemnation of the deal."
Hundreds of thousands take to the streets in 8 Arab countries
Three killed in Tunisian anti-government protests
Iran nuclear plans: Bushehr fuel to be unloaded
"Al-Qaida" Calls For Revolt Against Arab Rulers
Major Yemen tribes join protesters
"Powerful tribal leaders, including those of the Hashid and Baqil, pledge to join protesters against the government."
Gates's warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa
"Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it."
Oman reshuffles cabinet as protesters block mall
Iraq: Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urges reform after protests
Suddenly, a Rise in Piracy's Price (NYT)
Young and restless: Africa at risk for upheaval
Saudi king's largesse may not be enough: analysts

## Energy/resources ##
Angola, Nigeria Can't Immediately Replace Libya Oil - Sources
Mexico to slash oil and gas drilling by 42 pct
Oil's next danger zones
"'Oil increasingly comes from unstable parts of the world,' pointed out geopolitical risk expert Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group. 'It's the Persian Gulf, it's West Africa. It's the Caspian. Those are not places we vacation. Those are places over time that are more and more unstable.'"
Oil rises despite Saudi Arabia raising output
T. Boone Pickens doubts Saudi Arabia can stabilize oil prices
"On Thursday, Saudi Arabia calmed oil markets by stating that it would increase production to cover shortfalls from unrest in the Middle East. But today, Texas oil magnate T. Boone Pickens told GlobalPost that Saudi Arabia may not have enough capacity to do so... 'I don't think they have the capacity to do 12 million,' Pickens told GlobalPost. 'I'd be surprised if they have the capacity to do 10 million.'"
Iran Revolutionary Guards firm gets big pipeline deals
Brazil Vale Says 2Q Iron Ore Contract Prices To Rise 20%
Coal shortage: Power, cement companies to be affected (India)

## Got food? ##
The Oil-Fired, Grain-Fed Global Food Crisis
UK 'could slash UN food aid funding'

## Environment/health ##
Infant and stillborn dolphins still washing up along Gulf Coast
Nurse shortage plagues hospitals, home care (Canada)

## China ##
Could this be the year of the angry rabbit for China?

## UK ##
Searchlight poll finds huge support for far right 'if they gave up violence'
Thousands of soldiers to be trained to run prisons as the Government prepares for strikes

## US ##
A U.S. recovery built on low-paying jobs
Yergin Warns Against Tapping Oil Reserves
More drilling won't help
Study reveals gloom for Colorado budget
Labor rights protesters rally across United States
US Protesters Counter Austerity, Anti-Union Proposals
Largest crowds since Vietnam War march in Wisconsin
Wisconsin police association urges members to join sleep-in at Capitol
The Governor Who Cut His State Down to Size
"Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels believes he faces a taller challenge as he ponders a White House run: Could voters warm to his message that the country is doomed unless it slashes its debt and radically revamps the popular Social Security and Medicare programs?"

Friday, February 25, 2011


News Links, February 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Russia Unexpectedly Raises Main Rates, Reserve Requirements
US Will Be the World's Third Largest Economy: Citi
IMF says weaker dollar would help global growth
BA-Iberia may raise fuel surcharges
China's Stealth Investments in Japan (WSJ)
Royal Canadian Mint Now Saying It's Difficult Securing Silver
World's Largest Pension Fund Needs to Sell Japanese Bonds; Japan's Demographic Time Bomb Officially Goes Off
2011 Tipping Points
A very good read that charts the rapidly approaching global systemic collapse. -- RF

## Libya ##
US Seeks Backing for Libya Intervention
Former Libyan Diplomat: Killing Gadhafi Only Way to End Violence
Libya unrest: Gaddafi strikes back as rebels close in on Tripoli
Gadhafi's isolation grows as rebels hold key Libyan cities
Gaddafi defiant as protesters killed
Libya: Tripoli turning against Gaddafi
Libya: Col Gaddafi not 'interested' in ruling country anymore
U.N. Security Council to meet, Libya hands out cash
Libya: Col Gaddafi's son 'in hiding on Venezuelan island'
"One of the sons of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, is in hiding on an island off the coast of Venezuela, a politician in the South American country has claimed."
China Vows to Protect Chinese in Libya
"Xinhua said numerous Chinese corporate facilities were damaged in the violence in Libya, with 'armed gangsters' robbing some of them of grain and other materials."
Chinese Missile Ship Races to Libya for Rescue Duty
Protesters torch Gaddafi family palace

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
How will America handle the fall of its Middle East empire?
Saudi Arabia king accused of misjudged bribery in attempt to avoid unrest
Pakistani court adjourns US murder trial to March 3
"Jasmine" protests greet Chinese envoy in Taiwan
South Korea leaflets tell North of Egypt, but change unlikely
Protesters gather for Baghdad's 'Day of Rage'
At least 5 killed in clashes during demonstrations in Iraq
Day of rage: thousand demonstrate in Sana'a
U.S. Military Keeps Close Eye On Egypt, Bahrain
Four dead as militants blow up 11 NATO tankers
Will China be the next Libya?
Pakistan arrests US security contractor as rift with CIA deepens
IAEA says gets info on possible Iran military work
India wants fighter jets – but without American baggage

## Energy/resources ##
Latin American Oil to China and not to the United States
China's Sinopec wants to take part in oil exploration in Brazil
Spain to lower speed limit as oil prices rise
German Central Bank to Help India Pay for Iranian Oil
Saudis have a plan for high oil prices
IEA Says Saudis Boosted Oil Shipments After Libyan Shut-Ins
"More Saudi oil is 'reportedly' flowing through the kingdom's 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) East-West pipeline from the 7 million-barrel-a-day Abqaiq processing facility in the eastern part of the kingdom to the Red Sea port of Yanbu for shipment to the Mediterranean, the agency said."
How much actual increased production is there, and how long can it be sustained? These are vital questions. The wolf is already at the door of the global economy. -- RF
Saudi Aramco said to sell crude oil cargo from Okinawa
JPMorgan Boosts 2011 Brent Oil Forecast by $9 to $104
Visual Atlas Of Distressed Oil Production
Germany to cut solar subsidies by up to 15 pct
Russia ready to meet Europe's gas demand, boost supplies
Japan: 10 electric, gas utilities to raise charges in April

## Got food? ##
New Pathogen Found in Roundup Ready GM Crops Causes Spontaneous Abortions and Infertility in Livestock?
44 Million People Driven Into Poverty by Rising Food Prices
MAP OF THE DAY: Where Potash In The Soil Is At Critically Low Levels (US Midwest)

## Environment/health ##
Canadian bald eagles dining at dumps
Study predicts aged-care bed shortage (Australia)
"A new report has found Australia faces a shortage of 280,000 aged-care places by 2050, if there are no changes to current policy."
Flies and cockroaches carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria from factory farms, study finds
Japan Population Sees Slowest Growth Since 1920
Although this demographic factor is no help for the pension system, it is a good thing in the face of peak food. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Al Jazeera Enrages Dictators, Wins Global Viewers With Coverage of Unrest

## China ##
Online activists calling for Jasmine revolution arrested in China

## UK ##
U.K. Economy Shrank More Than Estimated in Fourth Quarter
Military chiefs urge David Cameron to rethink cuts
British forces would struggle to mount small military intervention, claim officers
"British forces would struggle to mount even a small scale military intervention as the cupboard for resources was 'threadbare', senior officers have said."

## US ##
Governor: Florida could see Wisconsin-style protests
Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Stripping Union Rights From Public Workers
Could Wisconsin trigger bond doom?
"Some [analysts] say a union victory could put the nation's municipal bond market at risk – a market many analysts already fear is heading for a crash."
'King of Bonds' sees municipal bonds collapse, plans to buy after carnage
"Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital, dubbed 'King of Bonds' by Barron's, sees a 'major collapse' in the municipal-bond market. After the carnage happens, he plans to scoop up the bargains left behind."
Pennies on the dollar. -- RF
Durable Goods Report: Not Good
Some Texas City homes evacuated after gasoline pipe leak
Drug Shortages Plague Connecticut Hospitals
Vegetable Shortage Straining Local Restaurants
Washington trims Pell Grants: How will students pay fall tuition?
How gas spikes 6 cents in one day
Nevada's Budget Problems Are A Disaster For Las Vegas Schools
Austerity, Oil Prices Helping Put the 'Stag' in 'Stagflation'
BOB PRECHTER: We're Still In A Massive Bear Market And Stocks Will Crash To New Lows
Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Update: Excess Reserves Surge, Fed Owns 37% More Treasurys Than China
Oil shock threatens airline recovery
"U.S. airlines had their best year in a decade in 2010, but with a mere 2% profit margin."
Oil Prices And The Future Of Airline Employees
Downsize, downsize, downsize. -- RF

Thursday, February 24, 2011


News Links, February 25, 2011

-- Global economic meltdown --
Surging Prices From Singapore to Vietnam Herald Higher Rates, Currencies
Vietnam Raises Fuel Prices
"Vietnam's government raised prices of gasoline and other fuel products by as much as 24%, an industry official said, likely complicating the task of taming what may be Asia's most difficult inflationary problem."
Oil Spike Clouding the Sky for Latin Airlines
FMX Connect Sees Gold Hitting $1,550 Within 8 Weeks
The True Cost of High Oil
Economic growth stagnates, debt can't be repaid, collapse ensues. -- RF
Middle East Mirrors Great Inflation Revolutions Since 1200 AD (CNBC)
"Inflation has led to political revolutions since Medieval times and we may be witnessing the fifth such great revolution in history unfolding in the Middle East and in our own country right now... During the past four price revolutions, food and fuel led the upward movement in prices, followed by manufactured goods and services... The relevance of the history of previous inflation waves to the present situation is downright eerie."
Banks warn of oil shortage, growth impact
Moody's Could Review US Ratings Over Debt Impasse
S&P To Withdraw All US Rating On May 24, Convert Everything To "Unsolicited"
Portugal likely to see further ratings cut by June
Market Falling Because of Math, Not Middle East
Public debt: unsustainable and simply unpayable
Deflation still rules Japan: Jan Core CPI Falls 0.2% On Year

-- Libya --
Germany sending three warships to Libya: ministry
Gaddafi blames uprising on al-Qaeda
He has learned well from the US. -- RF
Tanks, mercenaries, militia patrol Tripoli
Libya: Italy fears 300,000 refugees
NATO has no plans to intervene in Libya - NATO chief
Report: NATO might send aircraft to Libya (Jerusalem Post)
Official: U.S. military options for Libya being planned (CNN)
Among rumors that Gaddafi has been shot, Swiss freeze his assets
US Cannot Confirm Rumors Gaddafi Shot; Oil Tumbles
Gaddafi's Private Plane, Reportedly Loaded With Gold, Ready To Leave For Zimbabwe As Early As Tomorrow
BofA Expects Libya Oil Production To Shut Down Completely
Libya stashed billions of dollars in US banks
Opposition forces close in around Libyan capital
'Gaddafi's son joins Libyan protesters'

-- Fault lines/flashpoints/military --
It's Not an Arab Revolution ... It's a GLOBAL Revolution
Disappearing dictatorships - could North Korea follow?
Iran warships dock in Syria, Israeli fears dismissed
Russia to purchase 600 warplanes, 100 ships
Mexico army: U.S. agent's killing was cartel error
Iraqis rally through social media in "day of rage"
High costs could ground aerial reconnaissance activities (Japan)
Mullen: US to continue anti-piracy efforts

-- Energy/resources --
Oil surges nears $120 a barrel on Libya and Middle East fears
Massive blackout hits Macao
A Simple Rule Of Thumb Regarding Oil And How It Impacts The Economy
Australian Mining Boom Still Growing
Nomura $220 call is absurd without Saudi black swan
Why Saudi Arabia can no longer temper oil prices (Jeff Rubin)
Why you really can't swap Libyan oil for Saudi
Saudis hold talks with refiners amid warnings of oil crisis and rationing
"Opec oil producers look at pumping more to European refineries as Libyan rebels claim to have seized oilfields and terminals."
CHART: See Where Libya's Oil Exports Are Headed
Asia expected to burn 2/3 of global LNG in 2015 -Credit Suisse
China Pays 13% More for January LNG Imports, Customs Data Show

-- Got food? --
Charities warn of food shortages in North Korea
"Officials from five aid agencies who have just returned from a trip to North Korea say they saw evidence of looming food shortages and alarming malnutrition, including people picking wild grasses to eat."
Indian trade unions rally over food prices
Rising alarm over global scarcities
Data Diving and the Federal Reserve: The Politics of Food and Energy Inflation (Gregor Macdonald)
"The unwavering position here at however is that while global monetary policy can amplify price moves in many commodities, when it comes to oil—the master commodity—flat to declining global oil production over the past five years is the most important factor in price."
Iraq rushes to address food-security problems as price of flour trebles
Bill Clinton: Too much ethanol could lead to food riots
Duh! -- RF
South Korean farmers assess fallout of major outbreak of foot and mouth disease
China May Become World's Top Corn Buyer, Grains Council Says
Saudi Arabia tenders for 275,000 T wheat

-- Environment/health --
Dirty air triggers more heart attacks than cocaine
Humans stink more than other animals

-- Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown --
Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators
Middle East turmoil forces shippers to address supply chain vulnerabilities
CHART OF THE DAY: The Government Money That Built The Internet Is Going Away

-- China --
Chinese official dismisses "Jasmine" protest calls
Chinese play with words to get around Great Firewall
As protests spread across the Middle East, China keeps a firm hand on protests at home
New wind and solar sectors won't solve China's water scarcity

-- UK --
Farm costs now rising faster than inflation
Record number of young people not in education, work or training

-- US --
Thursday Look Ahead: Stock Market's Bull Is Hostage to Oil Prices
Liquidations Coming: Hedge Fund Margin Debt Surges
Internet outage hits General Assembly (Virginia)
Immigration fight: Bill to end 'birthright citizenship' advances in Arizona
Emanuel faces big money woes as next Chicago mayor
"Not since the Great Depression have the finances of the city been this precarious."
New Home Sales Plummet 13% To 284,000 Annualized Rate, 19K Actual Homes Sold Lowest Monthly Ever
Brown Says California Faces $25 Billion Cut Without Vote
FTMDaily News Update – Oil Price Shock + Food Price Shock= End of America's "Recovery"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


News Links, February 24, 2011

-- Global economic meltdown --
Korean Bank Run Spreading: Eighth Bank Closes Following "Massive Withdrawals"
Vietnam Raises Rates for Second Time in a Week as Dung Battles Inflation
Dubai Can't Kick Its Building Habit as Glut Lowers Prices
"In the next two years, tens of thousands of new properties will come onto a market where about 40 percent of homes and offices are empty."
Pumping up a real estate bubble that is already higher than the Burj Khalifa. -- RF
Commodities Bloodbath Except Gold, Silver, Crude
Singapore CPI Rises at Faster Pace
Japan posts first trade deficit in almost two years
Eric Sprott: "There Is No More Silver Left"

-- Libya --
Gadhafi defiant as defectors call for regime's overthrow
Gaddafi loses more Libyan cities
Why a Stable Libya is So Important to OPEC and World Oil Production
Clampdown in Tripoli as protests close in
Libya: Middle East airports turn away Gaddafi planes
"Airports around the Middle East were on Wednesday night turning away planes carrying members of Col. Muammar Gaddafi's family."

-- Fault lines/flashpoints/military --
Hundreds back Facebook call for Saudi protest
Nearby Uprisings Stoke Saudis' Political Passions
Saudi king back home, orders $37 billion in handouts
The fuse has been lit; handouts won't stop the explosion. -- RF
Libya and Oil Part II – Don't watch Libya. Watch Saudi.
Greek police in fresh clashes with protesters
Watching Bahrain, Saudi Shi'ites demand reforms
Bahrain frees political prisoners
Roughly 1/5 of Bahrain's Population Out in Protests
Thousands protest against high food prices in Delhi
'I won't pay' movement spreads across Greece
"In light of austerity measures, citizens ignore tolls, transit ticket costs, even bills for healthcare"
Behind Libya: rising food prices and US debt (Bill Bonner, Daily Reckoning)
"Behind the popular discontent in the Arab world is food. And behind soaring food prices is Ben Bernanke."
Special Report: In Africa, can Brazil be the anti-China? (Reuters)
Anti-China or whatever, everyone is just aiming to plunder Africa's resources and energy in a futile effort to maintain the infinite-growth ponzi-scheme economy. -- RF
Pirates up the ante, beef up defenses and threaten to kill more hostages
Don't Expect The World's Navies to Save You from Pirates (Danger Room)
Fresh gun battles erupt in Ivory Coast's main city
BULLETIN: Libyan judge says Gadhafi ordered Lockerbie bombing
US Army wants rapid-fire rubber bullets for crowd control
The sinking US empire: Israel must prepare for continued global decline of its greatest ally, the United States (YNET)
DPJ members at 'Takeshima Day' (Japan; another simmering territorial dispute)

-- Energy/resources --
Rise in electricity demand spells trouble in summer (India)
Power cuts fuelling crisis (India)
"We are making it official. There will be an additional one hour of load shedding every day till the power situation improves."
293 delayed projects led to cost overrun of Rs 68K cr (India)
India just keeps falling farther and farther behind. -- RF
Libyan Unrest Causes Commodity Prices to Skyrocket
Russian 'nuclear renaissance' postponed as government cuts Rosatom investment program
Nuclear renaissance: Dead on arrival. -- RF
China Plans Overseas Iron Ore Asset Spree
North African gas supplies to the European gas market
Floating Crude and Shipping Rates Could Trigger $4 Gas
Saudis Said to Be Willing to Pump More Oil Without OPEC Meet
Saudi minister: OPEC nations has capacity to produce surplus oil
If the world calls, will Saudi be there? (Foreign Policy)
Nomura Predicts $220 Oil If Just Libya, Algeria Cut Output
Ecuador rings up billion-dollar oil sale to China

-- Got food? --
Control over your food: Why Monsanto's GM seeds are undemocratic (CSM)
Gov't to hike wheat price by 18% in April (Japan)

-- Environment/health --
Last Year's Whooping Cough Rate Among The Worst In Half A Century (US)
Coral reefs heading for fishing and climate crisis

-- Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown --
Iranian Cyber Army takes credit for VOA hack
Quality of life will rise as more people flock to cities
I include this as an example of how people who believe in endless energy and infinite growth can get it so wrong. Big cities will crumble -- indeed they already are crumbling -- and will become absolute hellholes ruled by armed gangs and packs of dogs. -- RF
Internet 'kill switch' bill gets a makeover (US)
"But the revised wording continues to alarm civil liberties groups and other critics of the bill, who say the language would allow the government to shut down portions of the Internet or restrict access to certain Web sites or types of content."

-- China --
Natural gas stockpiles crucial to energy security
China's weather forecasters reluctant to confirm rumours of rain
HK's inflation rises 3.6%
Wow! US Ambassador To China Caught On Video At "Jasmine Revolution" Protest
Chinese Push for 'Jasmine' Protests Continues

-- UK --
NHS to lose 50,000 jobs, including doctors and nurses
About 1.6m children in the UK are living in severe poverty, Save the Children says
Save the Children: Severe child poverty Wales highest

-- US --
Indiana Official: "Use Live Ammunition" Against Wisconsin Protesters
Airline Credit Swaps Climb for Second Day as Oil Reaches $100
Airlines hike fares - again
Social Security Works to Avert Data Center Failure
New Report: 'Higher Hate Group Count Than Ever'
In Pa., Low-Income Adults Soon May Be Uninsured
Bank Closings Tilt Toward Poor Areas
This is America: A Visual Reminder Of US Social Stratification
Neofeudalism advances quickly as wealth concentrates within the new aristocracy and the rest of us are relegated to serfdom. -- RF
Credit cards: Fees, fees, and more fees
Wisconsin Situation (and Others Like It) Driving Investors From Munis to Stocks
The Bulls and Bears Agree: Muni Default Risk Is Greater Than Ever
Indiana lawmakers pass immigration curbs like Arizona
Mexican army arrest in US agent Jaime Zapata killing
Providence to teachers: All jobs up for cuts
Vacant homes plague Washington Park; census shows one in three empty
Providence, R.I., to pink slip all teachers
Gasoline, Heating Oil Surge as Libya Revolt Threatens Supplies
Very Weak 5 Year Auction Raises Speculation That Neither US Dollar Nor Treasurys Are Flight To Safety Any Longer
Geithner Says Not To Worry About Surging Oil Prices: "Central Banks Have A Lot Of Experience In Managing These Things"
"You really can't make this sh*t up: 'The economy is in a much stronger position to handle' rising oil prices, Tim Geithner said today during a Bloomberg Breakfast in Washington. 'Central banks have a lot of experience in managing these things.' We are, all of us, now doomed."
Seattle restaurant puts TSA workers on no-eat list
Problem bank ratio at 23-year high

And finally...
Don't let this happen to you! Texting driver crashes into river

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


News Links, February 23, 2011

-- Global economic meltdown --
ECB Doesn't Exclude Possibility of Euro-Zone Inflation Risk, Trichet Says
Japan's credit outlook is cut to negative by Moody's
Gold, silver, crude oil sharply higher as violence in Libya climbs
Buy Oil, Not US Stocks: Marc Faber
Economists Warn Greece May Have to Quit Euro
"Greece's debts are rising rapidly despite radical austerity measures. Now a group of leading European economists has warned that creditors might have to write off more than 30 percent of their loans. Greece might even have to reintroduce the drachma to overcome its debt crisis, they argue."
One more savings bank shut down (SKorea)
Mohamed El-Erian Says We Can Not Assume The Dollar Will Retain Its Reserve Currency Status
Central Economic Planning at Its Worst (Ron Paul and Financial Sense)

-- Libya --
Libyan pilots and diplomats defect
"Group of army officers have also issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to "join the people" and help remove Gaddafi."
Moammar Gadhafi's Bizarre State TV Appearance ... With An Umbrella
Qaddafi Vows New Crackdown as Violence Spreads
Regime's collapse could create 'tidal wave' of refugees
Libyan diplomats defect en masse
"Envoys at key embassies across the world disown Gaddafi's regime in protest over violent crackdown against protesters."
Fidel Castro: US ready to order Libya invasion
Gaddafi's Next Move: Sabotage Oil and Sow Chaos? (Time)
Gadhafi Defiant as Key Ally Defects, Oil Ports Shut (WSJ)
Eni's Libyan Oil Drilling at Risk as Violence Threatens Italy's Interests

-- Fault lines/flashpoints/military --
Huge Bahraini counter-protest reflects rising sectarian strife
Iranian warships cross Suez canal
Global arms exporters unfazed by recession, says SIPRI
Russia makes clear to US that it owns islands disputed with Japan
Protests turn Iraqi Kurd city into military zone
Iraqi officials bend to protesters' demands
"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would personally oversee food rationing for the poor, while Baghdad's provincial chief promised to fire corrupt officials. A major rally is planned for Friday."
In Saudi Arabia, reformers intensify calls for change
Mullen Meets Saudi Military Officials
"The top U.S. uniformed military officer met with Saudi military officials Sunday to discuss the pro-democracy protests roiling the Middle East and whether Iran was seeking to take advantage of the unrest."
US-Saudi $60bn arms deal to be completed in six months
US military to boost naval fleet in Asia
Demonstrations resume in Yemen
Exuberance, song and cucumbers at Yemen rally
As protests crackdowns continue, West lines up to sell arms
Gun battles erupt in Ivory Coast's main city
Saudis will react calmly to Middle East unrest, Japan official says

-- Energy/resources --
Helsinki runs out of arctic-grade diesel
Australia Industry Wants CO2 Price To Fight Rising Power Costs
Praying for an Energy Miracle
"Every clean-tech startup these days claims to have a breakthrough that will finally make renewable and clean energy sources cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels. But are we really on the brink of a clean-energy economy?"
The Stealth Return of $100 Oil
IEA Chief: $100 Oil 'Very, Very Bad' for Economy
IEA sees oil price danger, ready to use stockpiles
Rejected: Saudi Oil Minister Saying OPEC Is Not Considering An Extraordinary Meeting
Record Glut of Oil Refineries Selling at 80% Discount: Real M&A
Won't be needing all those refineries in the future. -- RF
Oil industry worries Libya unrest could spread
Libya: Italian oil giant suspends supply from Libya
"Italy's largest oil and gas company announced that natural gas supplies from Libya had been cut off, with the government in Rome warning that it has just 30 days' worth of gas reserves and enough oil to last 90 days."
Saudi Arabia Uprising Could Mean $140-Plus Oil (CNBC)
Goldman Estimates Lost Libyan Production Would Require Over Half Of Spare OPEC Capacity To Replace Yet Lowers WTI Target To $97.50
EU, Russia meet for top-level energy talks
Burrowing Through the Hype: A Guide to Evaluating Renewable Energy Technology

-- Got food? --
Food-Price Fall Seen as Plantings Rise
"A rush by farmers to expand plantings in many parts of the world is raising expectations that food prices may retreat as early as the second half of this year if weather conditions remain favorable."
We had better hope so, but let's not count on it. -- RF
Farmers Fail to Meet Demand as Corn Stockpiles Drop to 1974 Low
Industry ministry to help farmers develop more 'business sense' (Japan)
As usual, the Japanese government is way behind the curve. The ground is already shifting under their feet, yet they cling to the notion that copious food imports will continue. Mass starvation awaits. -- RF
The Ten Nations Which Suffer Most From The Global Food Crisis

-- Environment/health --
Fewer big fish in the sea

-- Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown --
Web Wiretaps Raise Security, Privacy Concerns
Pro-Union Website 'Defend Wisconsin' Blocked In Capitol
Internet censorship comes to the US. What would Hillary Clinton say about this? -- RF
Journalist Returning to US from Abroad Has Notes, Computer and Cameras Searched and Copied by US Authorities at Airport
US military's 'persona' software cost millions, used for 'classified social media activities'

-- China --
China official warns of domestic unrest and "hostile" West
Airlines may raise surcharge to offset rising fuel costs
Ministry of Railways to face debt peak in 2014: Report

-- UK --
Interest in Chinese language explodes in Britain
Camilla 'alarmed' by student riots
She ain't seen nothin' yet. -- RF

-- US --
Federal, state and local debt hits post-WWII levels
"The daunting tower of national, state and local debt in the United States will reach a level this year unmatched just after World War II and already exceeds the size of the entire economy, according to government estimates."
Market Crash 2011: It will hit by Christmas (Paul Farrell)
Unfathomable Debt: The U.S. Budget Calculated in Gold
"Paying off the entire U.S. national debt in gold would take nearly double the entire amount of gold ever found in the world."
Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes
If Libyan unrest spreads, gas could reach $5
Housing data may have understated extend of collapse: report
Home prices hit post-crash lows in most U.S. cities
Danger Pent Up Behind Aging Dams
"Of the nation's 85,000 dams, more than 4,400 are considered susceptible to failure."
Wisconsin Governor Refuses Unions' Offer
Wisconsin Governor Warns Of Layoff Notices
Wisconsin Budget Fight May Tilt Politics In Other States
Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray
Indiana's Democratic Lawmakers Imitate Wisconsin, Flee State
Wisconsin Labor Fight Spreads to Ohio, Oklahoma and Indiana
Protesters locked out of Ohio Statehouse
Montanans protest GOP assault on environmental and labor programs
Rally in Texas backs Wisconsin workers
Beyond Wisconsin, This Could Be the End of Labor Unions
Teachers say they often feed students who come to school hungry
California's uninsured's numbers surge during recession
Want the best credit card terms? Be rich
For Air Passengers, Future Doesn't Look Rosy
The airline industry will collapse, and in the future only the rich will fly. -- RF
Teachers under attack
"Hundreds of thousands of school employees -- teachers, as well as aides, school nurses, librarians, administrators and bus drivers -- could lose their jobs in coming months."

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