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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