Thursday, March 31, 2011


News Links, April 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Swaziland on brink of total economic collapse
China's coming collapse (Canadian Business Magazine)
"The Middle Kingdom's prosperity is an illusion. And when China finally falls, we'll all feel the pain."
China's ghost cities and the biggest property bubble of all time
Includes must-see gobsmacking video report. Watch this if you want to see the roots of China's next revolution. -- RF
Spanish caja merger collapses
Greece May Need to Break Taboo on Selling Land to Slash Debt
Stricken Portugal 'lacks the cash to meet debt payments'
Brazil's Lula to Portugal: Don't take bailout
"Silva, who left office in January, said: 'The IMF won't resolve Portugal's problem, like it didn't solve Brazil's.'"
The Return of the Class System
Part of the polarization of the population into the super-rich elites and the dirt-poor serfs. Are you a member of the peerage or the peonage? -- RF
Zurich Financial Expects $500 Million of First-Quarter Catastrophe Claims
U.S., France Signal Openness to Greater Role for China's Yuan
India census: population goes up to 1.21bn
Japan's Manufacturing Plummets Post-Quake
Irish Bank Stress Tests May Not Reveal All
Ireland's Black Thursday: Bank of Ireland faces nationalisation
€70bn to bail out Irish banks
Bondholder Haircut From Ireland May Shut Italy, Spain Funding
Gold Heads for Longest Quarterly Winning Streak Since 1979 on Haven Demand
Gold will become money again
Chinese and Indian gold and silver demand skyrocketing
Effects of Japan Disaster on Global Supply Chain Still Unknown
Vietnam Looks to Slash Public Spending
Harry Dent: "Major Crash" Coming for Stocks, Commodities Already Topping Out
European Inflation Unexpectedly Accelerates to Fastest Since October 2008
South Korean Inflation Accelerates to 29-Month High, Adding Rate Pressure
Daily Austerity Watch (3/31/11) — Potugal, US Budget

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Piracy In The South China Sea: Lessons From Gulf Of Aden – Analysis
US set to give arms to Libyans
Gates: Somebody else should arm Libyan rebels
U.S. Gunships Will Be 'on Standby' in NATO's Libya War
Revealed: Gaddafi envoy in Britain for secret talks
More Gaddafi aides leave Libya, says Al Jazeera
U.S. Military Deploys Drones Above Fukushima, Libya
China Hedges Over Whether South China Sea Is a 'Core Interest' Worth War
Philippines steps up presence in South China Sea
Russia Detains 150 Anti-Government Protesters In Moscow, St. Petersburg
Bahrain steps up arrests of activists: opposition
Kuwait cabinet quits to avoid ministers' grilling
Thousands demonstrate in Yemeni capital

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi struggles to maintain daily crude output quota
Saudi Government's Break-Even Oil Price Rises $20 In A Year
Saudi Arabia's 'Special Brew' Oil Gives Traders Headache
World helium reserves are running out, Nobel laureate claims
Loss of 5,000 technical staff seen by 2014
"The loss of 5,000 experienced petrotechnical professionals (PTPs) from the global upstream industry can be expected by 2014, a survey by Schlumberger Business Consulting, the management consultancy arm of Schlumberger, indicates."
Still more vital skills lost to industrial/technological society. -- RF
Gas rationing and industrialisation (Bangladesh)
Crude oil climbs toward $107 per barrel
Nuclear Industry Will 'Double Down' On Safety, Energy Secretary Chu Says
Technocrat babble. -- RF
Mexico's proven oil and gas reserves fall in 2010
Hundreds protest Russia-backed nuclear project in Bulgaria

## Got food? ##
Food Commodities Surge Seen Swamping Consumers With Inflation
Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Will
The title says it all. Start your garden now, if you haven't already. -- RF
Japan's Post-Tsunami Wheat Demand Sustained as Grain Sought for East Coast
Japan will likely have to buy much food to compensate for domestic production losses due to the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation, thereby further pressuring international markets. And did I mention that you should take up gardening? -- RF
Exports, Ethanol, Expectations to Keep Corn Prices High: Trader
15 Food Stocks Hit by Commodity Inflation

## Environment/health ##
Volunteers work to repair wetlands damaged by Gulf oil spill
Japan nuclear crisis: Fukushima 50 'expect to die'
Wind turbines 'hit' bat populations (UK)
Wind turbines are killing many thousands of bats contributing to a population decline that may be costing farmers millions of pounds, say researchers.
New wave of superbugs: When the drugs don't work

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Samsung laptops shipping with secret spyware: report
Government mulls UK net controls
South Africa has crippling shortage of skilled toolmakers
Many Data Centers Unprepared for Disasters: Industry Group
Kuwait: Iran involved in spy ring

## Japan ##
Woes Could Linger for Japan's Jobless
Tepco: worries grow over cost and nuclear future
TEPCO claims could top $132 bln on Japan nuclear crisis -analyst
Fukushima clean-up will take decades and cost billions
Tokyo Electric Investors May Be Wiped Out After Nuclear Crisis
Moody's slashes ratings on Tepco
Financial woes escalate for embattled TEPCO
Pressure mounts on Japan to widen nuclear exclusion zone
High radiation found outside evacuation zone, but no plans to widen it
The logic of mega-economics. What are you going to do with all those people and all the contaminated land? Tell them everything is OK, keep them working and consuming and paying taxes. -- RF
Video: Dr. Michio Kaku says three raging meltdowns under way at Fukushima
Radiation in Ocean waters rises
Japan Reviewing Water Tests Showing Iodine at 10,000 Times Limit
Japan nuclear crisis: evacuees turned away from shelters
Victims of Minamata disease were treated the same way, despite the non-contagious nature of the affliction. It's an irrational response, but unfortunately human nature to reject the "unclean." -- RF
Entomb? Cement pumps flown in to nuke plant
"Same company that helped seal in Chernobyl is sending equipment"
Dispatches From Japan (Forbes)

## China ##
China military policy paper lays out worries about U.S.
Dark clouds loom for airlines

## UK ##
Universities in Wales hit by 5% budget cuts
Digital radio switchover in 2015 'dead in the water'
New Yemen warning to Britons by Foreign Office
"The UK has urged Britons to leave Yemen while commercial airlines are still flying as it warned of a possible 'rapid deterioration in security'."

## US ##
1.8 million 'distressed' homes in shadow inventory
Nevada's boom and bust leaves 167,000 empty houses
"Housing Is Dead": Bubble Still Bursting Here and Abroad, Says Harry Dent
Muni bonds headed for worst quarter in 10 years
UPDATE 1-JPMorgan's Dimon sees a hundred municipal defaults
"JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon predicted on Wednesday that a hundred municipalities could default, echoing a warning from bank analyst Meredith Whitney that rocked the tax-exempt bond market."
Bill Gross Says Treasuries Have Little Value, Echoing Buffett
Gross calls U.S. budget a Greek tragedy
States Hit the Gas for Road Funding
Ohio poised to limit collective bargaining. Will such moves save money?
Fukushima warning: US has 'utterly failed' to address risk of spent fuel
"Nuclear utilities in the US have over decades accumulated some 71,862 tons of spent fuel in more than 30 states – the vast majority of it sitting today in pools that are mostly full."
I hope it's not just journalists who are learning from Fukushima. Hot nuke wastes — not to mention operating reactors — are a mega-disaster is the making. -- RF
Missouri Drops Extended Unemployment Benefits
Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet Hits Record High As Bank Buys More Bonds
$5 Fees May Be Coming to an ATM Near You
Debt, Deleveraging and Demographics Mean Great Depression Ahead, Dent Says
Market Ignores Festering Problems, Reality Looms
New York Cabbies Fare Badly as Gas Prices Soar

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