Saturday, April 30, 2011


News Links, May 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
U.S. Treasury: China Has Decreased Its Holdings of U.S. Debt
Brazil to 'Play Tough' on Inflation, Rousseff Says in Speech
Warren Buffett: There's "No Question" The Dollar Will Keep Falling
Rising fuel costs drive Dubai inflation rate in Q1
ENOC sees cost of fuel subsidies at $735m in 2011
House prices slump as the bubble shows definite signs of deflating (Australia)
India's Boom Bypasses Rural Poor
Ireland slashes growth projections, revision may impact Ireland's ability to reduce deficit

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Gadhafi Offers Truce as NATO Bombs Tripoli
Nato strike 'kills Gaddafi's youngest son'
Libyan rebels: Gadhafi must go
NATO Powers Reject Gadhafi's Truce Offer
Violence flares across Iraq
Syrian Troops Take Mosque In Besieged City
Saudi Arabia tightens hold on the media
"Saudi Arabia tightened its control of the media on Friday, threatening fines and closure of publications that jeopardised its stability or offended clerics, state media reported."
Russian Navy will stay in Sevastopol forever – admiral

## Energy/resources ##
ABC Catalyst Peak Oil Report 28-04-2011 (Video)
Good overview of the current situation in 12 minutes. IEA says that crude production peaked in 2006. -- RF
New Brazil Policies May Not Prevent Rising Ethanol Prices, Analyst Says
More on the Saudi's slash of oil output (an interesting read)
Deep oil from diamonds? Maybe, says a new report
Just skip down to the last paragraph. In other words, abiotic oil — even if it exists — won't make one iota of difference. And did I mention that Saudi Arabia has peaked? -- RF
Kuwait pledges to avoid summer blackouts
It's either that or riots. -- RF
Nuclear waste: Keep out – for 100,000 years
Just imagine the cost of building such facilities! If these costs were also included in the rates for electricity generated by nuclear power, it would be astronomically expensive. And in the beginning we were told that nuclear would be "too cheap to meter!" -- RF
Peak oil highlights need for a unified policy (Australia)
Pakistan's nuclear reactors are just white elephants
"Top physicists say the plants, providing only three per cent of the country's energy, are nothing more than toys."

## Got food? ##
Sandstorms hit northwest China, damage crops
Why Canada needs a national food strategy (Canada)

## Environment/health ##
New EU regulations on herbal medicines come into force

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Who Else Is Tracking Your Location?
Verizon to put location-tracking warning sticker on phones

## Japan ##
BOJ Shirakawa Warns Japan Economic Outlook 'Very Severe'
Economy took bigger hit than estimated
Industry minister calls on power companies to tighten belts
Japan LNG Imports to Increase as Energy Future Remains Unsure
Supply chain disruption expected to be resolved around autumn: METI
Three years eyed to remove disaster debris
Fukushima Exclusion Zone Update: 5-hr. Visits Allowed, Euthanizing Begins
Government Adviser Quits Post to Protest Japan's Policy on Radiation Exposure for Fukushima Schools
Civil servants could face 10% pay cut / Money saved to help fund quake recovery

## China ##
CEC warns 30m-kW power shortage
"The China Electricity Council (CEC) issued a report Thursday forecasting the nation may face an electricity shortage of 30 million kW in the summer, according to a report."
Higher incomes lead to surging home prices
"Rising household incomes in China are contributing to the surge in housing prices, in addition to loose credit policies and the practice of local governments' fund raising through selling land, People's Daily reported Friday, quoting scholars."
Chinese companies invest $10 billion in Indonesia

## UK ##
Almost every school to shut as heads join strike
"Head teachers are set to join an unprecedented wave of strikes that will bring almost every school in England and Wales to a standstill."

## US ##
Wisconsin-Style Union Battle Moves To Massachusetts
What costs more in 2011?
Persistent drug shortages across the U.S. lead to medical errors
"Last year, more than 240 drugs were either in short supply or completely unavailable anywhere in the United States, and shortages continue for many of the products."
Medicare's Math Problem: Taxes - Benefits = Trouble
Scope of Alabama's tornado-spawned humanitarian crisis grows
Excessive Leverage Helped Cause the Great Depression and the Current Crisis ... And Government Responds by Encouraging MORE Leverage
Americans Increased Spending in March as Gasoline, Grocery Prices Climbed
A Frightening Satellite Tour Of America's Foreclosure Wastelands
Wal-Mart to return firearms to some U.S. stores

And finally... Man Dressed as Cow Steals 26 Gallons of Milk

Friday, April 29, 2011


News Links, April 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Vietnam Raises Key Rates
South Korea Industrial Output Weaker Than Expected in March
Samsung Electronics Q1 profit falls 30%
Spanish Unemployment Surges to 21.3%; Inflation 3.5%
Spain's Economy Disintegrates
Russia Unexpectedly Raises Benchmark Interest Rate Quarter Point to 8.25%
China's yuan rises past 6.50 against the US dollar
Euro-Zone Inflation Hits 30-Month High
Gold soars to $1,556 an ounce
Gold-Buying Central Bankers May Extend Record Rally
"Central banks that were net sellers of gold a decade ago are buying the precious metal to reduce their reliance on the dollar as a reserve currency, signaling demand that may extend a record rally in prices."
Import drought hits Belarus
"Belarus is facing a severe shortage of imported goods due to the acceleration of its currency devaluation."
Adjusted For Inflation, Dollar Hits Fiat-Era Low
Quake costs cast shadow over Japan's bond rating
Analysis: Cheap dollar fuels one-way bets in everything else

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Central Asian Governments Preparing for their Own "Arab Spring"
Power shortages and crumbling Soviet-era infrastructure are aggravating the problem. -- RF
Massive rally in Yemen urges Saleh to go
Syria: 'Day of rage' planned in face of crackdown
Syrians continue to protest as unrest spreads to Damascus
Muslim Brotherhood backs Syria protests
Thai-Cambodian border clashes continue
Uganda unrest gathers pace despite bloody government crackdown
Grim outlook for S. America war on drugs as submersibles multiply
Libyan War Creates Far-Reaching Refugee Crisis
Japan: Airspace border tensions soar / ASDF scrambled 386 times to ward off foreign aircraft in FY10

## Energy/resources ##
Power shortage expected to reach 8,000 MW (Pakistan)
European Electricity Prices May Rise 50% in Two Years, Hospodarske Reports
"The shutdown of Japanese and German nuclear power stations will also increase usage of gas power plants, which will result in an increase of natural gas prices."
Oman's oil price rises to highest since Sept 2008
Oil companies are making more money and less fuel
Russia to hike petrol export duty to 44% from May

## Got food? ##
N.Korea to run out of food in June: aid group
UN: Libya faces major food shortage within two months
Food Inflation Quickens to Three-Week High, Increasing Pressure on Rates (India)
Coffee May Rise 40% on Frost After Kraft, Smucker Raised Prices

## Japan ##
Industrial zone still rebuilding
"Despite progress in repairing industrial infrastructure damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Kashima coastal industrial zone in Ibaraki Prefecture has a long way to go before it will be completely back to normal."
One Big Obstacle To Japan's Recovery? Trash
Oil is four times as expensive as it was when rebuilding after the Kobe earthquake. Much of the money going to reconstruction will have to be spent on fuel for heavy machinery and trucks, leaving less for everything else. -- RF
TEPCO Releases Video Of Spent Fuel Rod Pool At Reactor 4
Tepco Slows Water Injection at Reactor to Curb Risk of Explosion
Japan Post to cut employees' annual bonus by Y500,000 on average
Norinchukin Bank sets up Y1 tril quake aid package
"Norinchukin Bank has finalized an aid package totaling 1 trillion yen for farmers, fishermen and forestry workers in regions hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing nuclear disaster."
Sounds great. But how many of the loans will be repaid? -- RF
Severe job shortages in Miyagi after tsunami disaster
Joblessness adding to woes / Companies dismissing workers, but most have nowhere to turn
Japanese manufacturers fear loss of Chinese workers

## China ##
Zhejiang Province faces power shortage
"Some factories have been forced to halt production on certain days of the week. Although summer, the peak season for energy use, has not arrived, Zhejiang is facing its worst power shortage since 2004."
Struggling to cool inflation, Beijing turns to last-ditch tool of allowing stronger yuan
Daimler profits roar up on China's passion for Mercedes
"Daimler follows trend for growing confidence in car industry and doubles first-quarter profits as Chinese sales rise 82%."
Will China's peak herald the "peak human"?
Is People's Bank of China secretly buying silver?

## UK ##
Police and protesters hurt in new Tesco protest
"Police officers and protesters were injured today after further demonstrations against a Tesco store in a city centre turned violent."
Activists claim purge of Facebook pages

## US ##
Death of the summer road trip
The States Where People Can't Afford Gas
Ten States Where Pensions Are Running Out Of Money
Caterpillar Earnings: A Huge Warning Sign?
Scrap-Metal Recycling Turns to Gold
FDA Acts to Stop Interstate Raw Milk Seller
In the future, people will be drinking raw milk, if they have any milk to drink at all. -- RF
Dollar extends slide on views of low US rates
Cracks in the Pyramid Are Beginning to Show
"The divide between America's 'haves' and 'have-nots' is threatening to become a yawning gulf -- with great danger to society on the whole."
Nation of renters and hoarders
Five bank failures bring year's total to 39
Storm insurance losses estimated at $2 billion to $5 billion
Electric Car Boom Could Deliver a Surge in Grid Power
"Here's the bad news about electric vehicles: They're going to be hell on the grid. The Utilities Telecom Council trade group reports that electric vehicles will require a 16-fold increase in power usage in the next decade, putting pressure on utilities to find out how to handle car charging as quickly as possible."

And finally... Superman considers giving up US citizenship


News Links, April 29, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
U.S. gets C credit rating, lower than Mexico
Asia's rapid growth poses risk of overheating, IMF says
Short-term handouts no answer to Arab crisis, says IMF
World's Rich Just Keep Buying Luxury Goods
Mideast unrest may wipe out 40% of projected orders, Airbus says
Bernanke Is Lying; Bet Against the Fed and the Dollar: Peter Schiff
Includes video with outspoken Schiff.
US dollar heading for waterfall decline
Soaring silver set to hit India imports
Debt Saturation & Money Illusion
"You are going to have to work harder and harder, for less and less to survive at a lower and lower standard of living. This will all be required to support the annual $9T debt bondage we have assumed as our politicos add additional 'stimulus' to a suffocating and debt saturated global economy."
Central banks pump £3 trillion into world economy
"The world's central banks have pumped £3 trillion into the global financial system since the crisis, the equivalent of 8pc of the world economy, according to new analysis by Fathom Consulting."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Is the anti-Qaddafi uprising spreading in Libya's west again?
Tripoli witness: Rioting, fighting and dying for fuel
As conflict drags on, food supplies run low in Benghazi
Activists report clashes between Syrian army units
Syria: Baath party officials 'quit in protest'
Sudan: Bashir threatens south over Abyei
Bomb attack in Morocco tourist cafe kills 15
Saudi Arabia detains bloggers over protest: activists

## Energy/resources ##
Russia to ban gasoline exports amid shortages
India Explores New Path to Iran Oil
Nuclear chief questions emergency power at plants
"Dozens of U.S. nuclear plants rely on batteries for emergency power. The NRC assumes those facilities will be able to access reliable power--either by reconnecting to the grid or jump-starting diesel generators--within four hours of losing power."
SA's coal supply for energy put at risk
S. Korea earns right to receive crude oil from Iraq in emergency
Power restored to Sydney
"POWER has been restored to 10,000 homes in Sydney's inner west after a major power fault this morning, and traffic delays into the CBD are starting to clear."
Jordan rationing electricity after Egypt blast

## Got food? ##
Corn Rises as U.S. Midwest May Face 'Severe' Floods; Wheat, Soybeans Gain
Kenya's rising food prices hurt both buyers and sellers
"Food price increases that have caused riots elsewhere in Africa have reached Kenya, and Nairobi residents don't know what to do."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Amazon's cloud crash destroyed many customers' data
Verizon Experiences 3G, 4G LTE Network Outage
Yahoo Mail Still Experiencing Problems – No Explanations

## Japan ##
Panasonic to axe another 17,000 jobs in cost-cutting drive
Honda's Profit Plunges 38% on Earthquake, Lower Demand
Japan: March industrial output plunges 15.3%
Japan factory output, consumer spending plummets
As offices heat up, clothing retailers expect spike in summer sales
"Expected cuts in air conditioning at companies this summer are expected to heighten the humiliation of ugly sweat stains as well as damp clothing clinging to uncomfortable spots on the body."
Many schools near nuclear plant remain closed, 12,000 children affected
Tepco to Start Decontaminating Water at Fukushima Nuclear Plant in June
Tepco Postpones Latest Plan to Tame Nuclear Plant
"Officials postponed a plan to ramp up efforts to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex amid concerns that the use of thousands of additional metric tons of water could result in dangerous leaks."

## China ##
China Real Estate: Government Moves To Curb Profits Of Developers
China Economic Growth Faces Risks From Property 'Shocks,' World Bank Says
China's South-to-North Water Diversion roll-out in full swing
Power Shortages Strikes Cities ahead of Peak Time
"The power shortages happening ahead of peak usage time has hit many cities in south China since March, which highlights the contradiction between the supply and requirements for electricity resources, the China News Service reports."

## UK ##
School heads warn of more than 12,000 job losses
British troops could be deployed to Tunisia

## US ##
Thefts rise as price of gas goes up
"Increasingly, consumers are pumping gas and driving off without paying, stealing from other motorists and ripping off large quantities from municipalities and businesses."
As Price of Crude Rises, Thieves Target Fryer Grease
US economy slows sharply
"Growth for the first quarter stood at 1.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the last three months of 2010."
Barack Obama's defence overhaul 'risks blurring line between military and spying'
NRC: 'Bama nuke plant shut down safely
Student Loan Debt Hell: 21 Statistics That Will Make You Think Twice About Going To College
There Goes the Data: Major Cuts at EIA Washington
The 9 Places Where Inflation is Crushing Us
Soap is crusting up sewers, but it's not the clean kind
US Economic Confidence Sinks to 2011 Low; 55% Say Economy Still in Recession or Depression
As One Million Exhaust Jobless Benefits, A Look At What Recent Deteriorating Layoff Trends Means
Bank of America's New Credit Card Penalty Interest Rate Is Nearly 30%
Japan shortages hit car, gadget buyers
Earnings aren't as good as they seem
"Companies are reporting stellar results. But drill down in the numbers and you find those companies benefiting from temporary tax breaks and facing climbing costs."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


News Links, April 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
US Debt Downgrade Likelier Than Not (Barron's)
US Banks Warn Obama on Soaring Debt
"A group of the largest US banks and fund managers stepped up the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to reach a deal to increase the country's debt limit, saying that even a short default could be devastating for the financial markets and economy."
Euro-Area Governments' Debt Reaches Record 85.1% of GDP as Crisis Festers (Bloomberg)
Australian consumer prices rise sharply in Q1
South Korean Economy Grew 4.2% in First Quarter
"As in other countries, inflation is the biggest danger South Korea faces. Its consumer price index jumped nearly 5% in March, the fastest rate since late 2008. Consumer confidence sagged this month for the second month in a row on perceptions of the effects that higher prices are having on household budgets."
Growth sounds great, but now economic growth fuels deadly inflation, which governments must then tamp down aggressively. SKorea also has an acute power shortage which will very likely cause problems with the coming of hot weather. -- RF
Yield on 2-year Greek debt is now close to 25%
Economic hardship drives Greeks into the ground
"The Greeks who years ago fled to cities for economic opportunity are now returning to the countryside for the same reason."
Call made to privatize Canadian mail
Gold Surges to Record on Outlook for Sagging Dollar, U.S. Rates
Chrysler Said to Plan to Borrow $6 Billion to Refinance Debt
Silver Rush Spreads to Stock Market
If You Missed Silver, Corn Could Be Next

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Pakistan Pushes Karzai to Drop U.S. as Ally, Turn to China
Yemen unrest: Protesters 'shot dead' in Sanaa
Secret police detain more than 500 as Syria defies Western threats
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez meets Libyan delegation
Egypt gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan explodes
"A pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has exploded after an attack by an armed gang in the north Sinai area of Egypt."
Iran steps up rate of public executions: Amnesty
Body count from Mexican mass graves nears 300
Mexican Narco-Trafficker's Revelation Exposes Drug War's Duplicity
Energy Planning Rises as Pentagon Priority: Lynn

## Energy/resources ##
The Peak Oil Crisis: Dimming of the Globe (Tom Whipple)
Russia running out of easy oil: state study
Is Peak Coal Coming? (Jeff Rubin at Financial Sense)
National coal expert: 'Mining is a loser' in practically every way (US)
Russia: Gasoline shortages provoke furor
No Easy Solutions to the Coming Energy Crisis (Gail Tverberg)
"Everyone would like to fix the US energy policy, but doing so is almost impossible, in my view, primarily because we need to be planning for a much bigger change than most people can even imagine."
Tverberg's low-key delivery might not satisfy some. But the implications of her writing are huge. -- RF
US extends life span of nuclear plants
Because it's just too expensive to build new ones. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Australia Pistachio Disaster Hints at Agricultural Breakdown
Hail modern industrialized monoculture large-scale agriculture! -- RF
Urban Farming Now Even More Legal: Here's What to Grow to Make a Buck (San Francisco)
U.S. Farm Subsidies Face The Budget Axe — Seriously

## Environment/health ##
In nuclear accident, risks extend beyond evacuation zone
'Neglected' current could keep Europe warm even if Gulf Stream stops
Failing Health for BP Cleanup Crew
"Those who assisted in Gulf cleanup efforts are now suffering from memory loss, respiratory problems and other issues."

## Japan ##
Japan Rating Threat May Force Higher Taxes to Fund Rebuilding
Japan debt outlook cut to negative on rebuilding costs
"Japan's sovereign rating outlook has been cut to negative by Standard & Poor's (S&P) in the wake of the devastation caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami."
Tsunami Towns Face 'Empty Monument' Risk as Japan Rebuilds
Japan: Standard & Poor's predicts rebuild could cost more than $600bn
Mitsubishi Motors Posts 42% Profit Fall In 4Q, No Outlook For This Fiscal Year
Shiseido quarterly profit plunges 62 per cent on falling Japan sales after tsunami
Radiation Readings in Fukushima Reactor Rise to Highest Since Crisis Began
Japan disaster's other hidden danger: Asbestos
"Activists have found the cancer-causing, fibrous material in the air and debris collected from the devastated northeastern coast."
Firms ready to save power / 80% of Keidanren members plan to cut electricity usage by 25%
Auto output plunges up to 65% in March

## China ##
Sinopec's Fu calls for fuel price hike to avoid shortages-report
China to build its own space station
Makes great press. But do you think it'll actually happen? -- RF
China's super rich show doubt about country's economic future
"Some 60 percent of China's wealthiest are thinking of leaving - and many have already put money away offshore."

## UK ##
Street lights to be switched off in North Somerset
Growth figure fuels recovery fears
Libya: Liam Fox under pressure over deploying troops to Libya

## US ##
Must read: Wal-Mart: Our shoppers are 'running out of money'
Physical Silver Shortage Worsens Due To Mint Rationing and Surging Investment Demand
Public pensions, once off limits, face the axe
"Cities and state governments attempt to undo protections to balance budgets."
Illinois leading states facing a pension crisis
Obama urges oil producers to increase output
Why more people are rejecting their credit cards
"Financial experts say people who live a cash-only life usually spend less."
High radiation at Ohio nuclear plant prompts inspection
Michigan's "Emergency" Financial Regime: What Fascism Looks Like
Commercial Debt Foreclosure Wave Likely, Covendium Warns
U.S. employers shift to temp workers

And finally... Poll: Most unsure where Trump was born

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


News Links, April 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
2008 crash deja vu: We'll relive it, and soon: New bubble is hotter, bigger than the last one (Paul Farrell)
Soaring food prices to dent Asia's growth, ADB warns
Germany's Feld Says Greece Can't Avoid Debt Restructuring
Greece and Portugal debts worse than expected
Greece under pressure as eurozone debt hits record
China creeps toward a crisis
"By taking a weak stance on inflation, China is inviting political unrest. That sets it on a dangerous course of greater political repression and even less action on inflation."
Construction in Spain Down 31% Compared to Same Month in 2010, Germany Up 56%
Christchurch Faces 20-Year Post-Quake Rebuild, Fletcher CEO Says
As in Japan, it will be impossible to rebuild everything. -- RF
South Korea's Growth Accelerates, Adding Price Pressure
Gross World Product Will Not Grow at 4%+ for Five Years
Indebted Nakheel halts property sales in Dubai
Buy gold (MarketWatch)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Thai-Cambodia clashes spread east to Preah Vihear
Thai police close down dissident radio stations
U.S. Embassy staff evacuate from Syria
US urges Americans to leave Syria
Rise of Populist Parties Pushes Europe to the Right
France and Italy in call to close EU borders in wake of Arab protests
Firms plan private war against pirates
Iraq cabinet okays $37 billion for infrastructure
"Iraq has approved an ambitious $37-billion programme to upgrade Iraq's collapsing infrastructure, which has fallen victim to three decades of war and sanctions, a government spokesman said on Tuesday."

## Energy/resources ##
China Coal-Prices climb again, Indonesian imports boosted
Saudi Uneasy With High Oil Price, Worried About Economy
China to Curb Production of Grain-Based Ethanol, Oilseed Biodiesel Output
China caps rare metals output, raises mandatory quota
China, Australia sign $600m iron ore deal
Jeremy Has Spoken (But Rest Assured, Pro Money Management Isn't Listening) (Gregor Macdonald)
China Seeks Bigger Role in Australia Economy
Saudi Electricity may revise investment plans
Russia pipeline rules may cut oil exports-trade

## Got food? ##
As Food Surges, So Do Food Company Valuations
Countries Most Vulnerable To Food Shock
The Cost of Climbing the Protein Ladder

## Environment/health ##
Chernobyl disaster: four ways it continues to have an impact
Mega-technology: It's the gift that keeps on giving. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
PlayStation Network will be down longer than six days
Sony hacker may have accessed 77 million users' data, possibly including credit cards
Network issues cause police comms crash (New Zealand)
"A network failure has crashed normal communications at 130 police stations around the country, three communications centres and Police National Headquarters."
High-Speed Rail: A Bad Idea in the U.S., a Bad Idea in China
"The meager ticket sales to China's growing urban professional class (which would also be the targeted demographic in the United States) can't even cover interest on the construction debt, let alone operating costs and ongoing capital costs related to expansion and maintenance."

## Japan ##
Japan GHG Emissions Fall 5.6% as Energy Demand From Factories Drops
No dreams': Japan farmers protest nuke leak
Kagome to stop buying Fukushima tomatoes
Rebuilding Japan's disaster-hit towns may take a decade
Much of the disaster-hit region was already economically depressed, and many towns will not be rebuilt, at least not in the modern sense. -- RF
90% Of Factories To Restart By July: Survey
"But the survey also shows that at many companies, supply chains will not fully recover until autumn at the earliest."
Nissan to limit Japan output due to parts shortage
Domestic auto factories running at 50%
Quake rendered 90% of fishing boats in 3 prefectures unusable
16 prefectures' pastures face radioactivity checks
"The government plans to check for radioactive contamination in grass for livestock in the eastern half of Honshu to prevent contaminated beef or milk from entering the market amid the continuing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said Tuesday."
High radiation levels detected at Fukushima grounds a month after explosions
Computer makers pushing easy ways to save electricity
Peak-leveling appliances arriving to address electric power shortage

## China ##
China to invest $391 bln in power grids from 2011-2015 -report
China Said to Raise Capital-Adequacy Ratios for Biggest Banks to Curb Risk
China expects export growth rate to fall
"China could see a sharp fall in its export growth rate this year while imports could jump, the government said."
Summer power shortage warning (Shanghai)
"SHANGHAI residents face the prospect of power shortages this summer as the city's supply cannot keep pace with soaring demand, the energy supplier warned yesterday."

## UK ##
Hopes of Wedding Boost for U.K. Economy Are 'Wishful Thinking'
UK in Libya for the long haul

## US ##
Blackout shuts down gasoline refineries
"A blackout knocked out power to a BP refinery -- the third-largest gasoline refinery in the country -- as well as facilities operated by Marathon and Valero in Texas City, Texas on Tuesday."
Gulf Gasoline Surges After Power Cut to Texas City Refineries
Wealthy Leaving Las Vegas Mansions as Pain of Foreclosure Crisis Spreads
'Smart' power grid needed for electric vehicles But...
The Cost Of The Smart Grid: $476 Billion
After Dallas Fed, Richmond Fed Re-Confirms Economic Contraction: Manufacturing Index Plunges
Republican Ron Paul to explore presidential run
Civility problems cause uproar on college campuses
Home prices continue to slump into double-dip
It's not a double-dip, just a continuation of the overall downward trend. -- RF
One-third of U.S. households own guns
Explosive found on Texas road near Mexico border
An American Tale: More Growing Deficits, This Time It's Our State Pensions
"While a great debate rages in states across the country about benefits and pensions for state workers, existing pensions continue to fall short of their funding needs. State pension deficits increased 26% to $1.26 trillion in 2009, according to the Pew Center."
Tough recovery seen for pension funds
"State pension systems face a tough road to recovery after being battered by the recession, experts said Tuesday, with one saying it will take nearly a decade to get assets back to where they were in 2000."
Americans raiding retirement funds early
"Despite increasing signs of a stabilizing U.S. economy, 19 percent of Americans -- including 17 percent of full-time workers -- have been compelled to take money from their retirement savings in the last year to cover urgent financial needs, the Financial Security Index found."
Poll: Most Americans think a nuclear accident likely here
Pimco's Observations As The US "Reaches The Keynesian Endpoint" - The QE2 Ponzi Scheme Is "Nothing But A Profit Illusion"
Biggest US airlines have combined 1Q loss over $1B
Tracking The Next Gasoline Induced Recession
No inflation unless you eat, drink, drive or fly

Monday, April 25, 2011


News Links, April 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China May Start New Sovereign Funds to Invest in Oil, Gold: Reports
China must watch for rising U.S. Treasury yields: researcher
Silver Surges to All-Time High on Inflation Hedge, Industry Use
Uncertainty reigns as quake-hit Japan Inc posts results
"(Reuters) - Japan's largest companies are likely to paint a bleak picture for this year's profits when they start announcing earnings this week, if they offer any guidance at all."
Singapore's Consumer Prices Climb 5%, Justifying Tighter Monetary Policy
Ford suspends work at 3 plants due to parts woes
The most crucial event since the industrial revolution (Forbes)
How Japan Dealt a Double Blow to Hedge Funds
Brazil's Rising Inflation Hampers Growth
High Foreign Capital Taxes Can't Control Real: Cardoso
IMF bombshell: Age of America nears end (MarketWatch)
Apmex Starts Reverse Inquiry: Seeks To Buy "Any Quantity" Of Silver From Clients At $3 Over Spot
Daily Austerity Watch: Greece Burns, Debt Ceiling Nears

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Syrian forces swarm cities across restive nation
Syria: army uses tanks against the people in day of bloodshed
Syria's military shows signs of division amid crackdown
"Some soldiers reportedly refused to open fire against civilians in Deraa today, sparking clashes between units. A divided military could prove the undoing of Assad's regime."
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to strengthen ties
"Saudi Arabia and Pakistan agreed to enhance their ties at a time when the Arab world remains concerned about Iran, sources told Dawn newspaper."
Mauritanian police use teargas to break up protest
Libya: Silvio Berlusconi approves the use of Italy's air force in Nato strikes
As Brazil's Economy Grows, So Does Its Geopolitical Ambition
ElBaradei: Nuclear Nonproliferation System Is Broken

## Energy/resources ##
Mideast in tough act to balance sweet-sour crude supply
"The problem is that the only spare capacity in the Middle East is sour."
Iraq Tackles Its Next Oil Bottleneck
"Ravaged by years of war and international sanctions, the crumbling infrastructure in the south of Iraq is proving inadequate to service rising production from Iraq's southern fields."
Anti-nuclear protests in Germany and France
German nuclear exit could be costly
Copper Crimes: Worldwide Theft of Copper on the Increase
Peak Oil Update - April 2011
Despite the initial graph (which shows rising production through October 2010), the author's assessment of the near-term future trend is rather grim. -- RF
Imagining a world without oil
Jeremy Grantham Goes Malthus: It's "Time to Wake Up" Or The Great Paradigm Shift From Declining Prices To Rising Prices
Drill baby drill won't lower gas prices (CNN)
"The United States simply doesn't have enough oil to move world markets."
Indian coal consumers knock governent doors on price rise
Natural Gas Drilling Is at a Crucial Turning Point

## Got food? ##
Soaring food prices: The world's poor grow hungrier
Food Prices to Take Another Jump Corn Prices Surge
The New Geopolitics of Food (Lester Brown at Foreign Policy)
Meat prices seen going even higher (US)

## Environment/health ##
Losing, But Slowly, In Struggle To Fight Back The Sea
Japan's tsunami waves top historic heights
Climate Change Poses Rising Threat to Western Water Resources, U.S. Says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Amazon cloud crash endangers federal websites
Amazon Says 'Majority' of Cloud Problems Resolved
Fatigue in US air travel system: It's not just air traffic controllers
iPhone tracks you, even with location feature disabled
Iran says targeted by cyberattack

## Japan ##
Must read: Most reactors in Japan yet to have enough backups for stable cooling
"Many reactors still effectively have no alternative power source should emergency diesel generators fail to work, as was the case at the Fukushima plant after it was hit by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11."
This Kyodo News story was front page top in today's newspaper here. And very likely this potentially catastrophic situation applies equally to many other nuclear power plants around the world. Power grids around the world are beginning to fail. Now is the time to start working on cold shutdown, before more reactors are left to overheat when external power fails. -- RF
Toyota's Japanese output down 63% due to parts shortage
Nintendo annual profits slump 66%
Japanese Stocks Decline as Post-Quake Car Production at Mazda, Honda Drops
Tsunami Speeds 'Terminal Decline' of Japan's Fishing Industry
Not mentioned in the article is the role of expensive fuel in weakening the industry. -- RF
Industries left short-handed after foreign workers flee Japan following nuke accident
Bullet train services between Tokyo and Sendai resumed, but power outages cause halts
Japan: "Safecast" DIY crowdsourced radiation project posts first mobile recon update
Japan to Issue More Bonds
"Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday his administration will issue new government bonds to fund a planned second extra budget to rebuild quake-hit areas, adding to the nation's already huge public debt."
Tepco Pumps Tainted Water From Reactor Trenches, Adds Backup Power Cables
Continued radiation leaks from crippled nuke plant pose serious threat
Atmospheric radiation leak underestimated
Chernobyl recovery officer criticises Japan's efforts at Fukushima
Quake, nuke crisis batter March power sales at 2 utilities
TEPCO cancels 1,100 job offers, cuts remuneration for directors
Suits to halt atomic plants have all failed
Weak Demand Prompts Airlines To Cut Flights, Offer Discounts
Japanese orders for noodles, water soar in South Korea
"According to a South Korean governmental organization, exports to Japan were 50 percent higher than the same period last year. Some manufacturers are trying to meet the phenomenal demand by operating their factories 24 hours a day."
Fukushima to cull dying livestock in 20-km radius of nuclear plant
Japan's Terrifying Day Saw Unprecedented Exposed Fuel Rods

## China ##
South China Faces Power Shortages This Quarter
"China's five southern provinces will face power shortages of up to six gigawatts in the second quarter due to robust demand, the grid operator in the region said over the weekend."
Kuwait's crude oil exports to China up 13.3%

## UK ##
Rail companies 'should be able to increase fares'
"Rail companies should be allowed to introduce 'airline-style fares' that could see them charging hundreds of pounds for tickets during peak times and banning passengers without pre-booked seats from travelling, a Government review is set to recommend."

## US ##
Military patrols start Friday night in downtown Columbus
More cities declare water shortage (Texas)
Rising gas prices, parts shortage fuel rush for smaller cars
Record gold prices spur wedding ring alternatives
SoCal City Edges Closer To Bankruptcy
Reality Now: Massive Price Increases at LDS Food Distribution Centers in Last Ninety Days
Dallas Fed Confirms Economic Re-Contraction, Respondents Complain About "Record Low Margins"

And finally... Franklin Graham: Second Coming of Christ will be on YouTube, Twitter

Sunday, April 24, 2011


News Links, April 25, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Australia Shouldn't Expect 'Rivers of Gold' From Resources Boom, Swan Says
"Australia needs to cut spending because there won't be any repeat of the windfall tax revenue generated between 2004 and 2007 by the mining industry's previous expansion, Treasurer Wayne Swan said."
Portugal 2010 Deficit Revised Wider to 9.1% of GDP After Highways Included
Vietnam Inflation Accelerates to Fastest Pace Since 2008, Government Says
China Proposes To Cut Two Thirds Of Its $3 Trillion In USD Holdings
America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?
Nicole Foss- Preparing for the next Tsunami (Financial Sense)
"The peaking of oil prices and the coming Depression. Resource Wars to follow."
Hong Kong assets have 'peaked': analyst
"Hong Kong stocks and property prices — among the first to recover from the financial crisis — could be among the worst performers as global tightening gathers pace, according to analysts who cautioned of big changes."
Gold Likely to Hit $1600 Per Ounce Soon
The Crash Course: The Book

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Syria protests: 'New deaths' as dissidents are seized
Yemen's President Agrees To Step Down, But Thousands Continue To Protest
Thousands of protesters demand "A New Morocco"
Saudi women press for right to vote
Iraqis rally against extending U.S. troops presence
Iraq PM Pledges Not to Ask for U.S. Troop Extension
Pakistanis rally against drone strikes, block NATO supply route
"The main supply route for NATO troops in Afghanistan was temporarily closed on Sunday after thousands of people blocked a key highway in Pakistan to protest against U.S. drone strikes, officials said."
Japan Seeks Stronger Military Ties with U.S.: Report
NATO Denies Reported Bomb Shortage in Libya
Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi 'Counter-Revolution'

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Trades Near Two-Week High After Saudi Arabia Denies Capacity Increase
Bihar town erupts into protests over power shortage (India)
"The protesters… blockaded roads, burnt tyres and even attacked government vehicles and offices, a police officer said."
Countrywide energy shortage as PEPCO increases loadshedding (Pakistan)
"The energy shortfall in the country is on the rise with the onset of summer as Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) increased loadshedding in cities to 14 hours a day while villages face up to 20 hours of power outages per day."
Libyan rebel oil production down for 4 more weeks
Oil majors look to Barents Sea for the future
Thermal coal poised to beat oil, gas after quake
"Thermal coal may outpace oil and gas this year, rising more than 30 per cent to a record, as demand from China and India accelerates and Japan boosts imports to make up for nuclear power lost after the March earthquake."

## Got food? ##
UAE in talks to invest in Australian farmland
This will be the Arab world's next battle
"Population growth and water supply are on a collision course. Hunger is set to become the main issue"
'Rice price may peak at $550 a ton Q3, 2011'

## Environment/health ##
Chernobyl nuke cleanup to be costly for decades
Radiation Expert: "Sr-90 and Uranium and Particulates Will Be Building Up in the USA and Europe ... For Now I Think It Prudent To Stop Drinking Milk"
South African Govt Places Moratorium on Fracking

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Your Android Phone is Tracking You
Vodafone customer fury with network failure (Australia)
U.S. Funds Help Democracy Activists Evade Internet Crackdowns

## Japan ##
Steelmakers to move production to west Japan to avoid power shortage
Fukushima Residents Seek Answers Amid Mixed Signals From Media, TEPCO and Government. Report from the Radiation Exclusion Zone
"Mistrust of the media has surged among the people of Fukushima Prefecture. In part this is due to reports filed by mainstream journalists who are unwilling to visit the area near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But above all it is the result of contradictory reports released by the media, TEPCO and the government."
Japan GPIF to withdraw $78 bln from assets-Nikkei
"Japan's public pension fund is planning to withdraw about 6.4 trillion yen ($78 billion) from its assets in this financial year to cover a shortfall in pension payouts, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday."
3 bank groups to book impairment loss of Y160 bil on TEPCO shares
Radioactivity level in contaminated seawater approaches record high
Hot debris hampers reactor repairs

## China ##
Shanghai Lowers Trucker Fees
"Concessions by Shanghai authorities failed to end wildcat work stoppages by truck drivers who have disrupted the city's container ports, the world's busiest, in protests over rising fees. The industrial action has brought to a head tensions over rising inflation that have been simmering across the country."

## UK ##
Vauxhall boss warns over UK car-making future
"The future of car making in the UK could be in danger if the industry fails to develop a British-based supply chain, the boss of Vauxhall has said."
Globalization goes into reverse. -- RF
SAS at risk of recruitment crisis as Army is stretched to the limit

## US ##
Sales of new homes glacially slow
"Fewer new single-family houses are being sold in the United States than at any point since 1963, statistics show."
Growth Probably Slowed as Fuel Costs Rose: U.S. Economy Preview
'Limited' first-quarter U.S. growth to be revealed
Japan's nuclear disaster offers California lessons
Galveston declares water shortage emergency due to leak
Resistance to Gas Drilling Rises on Unlikely Soil
Shortage of Sand for Oil Drilling in Permian Basin 4/23/11
New York's rat population out of control (BBC video)
Free Rain Barrels for New Yorkers
"New York City is giving away 55-gallon rain barrels to homeowners to help conserve water and reduce pressure on the city's sewer system, which is often overwhelmed during heavy storms."
9/11 heroes to be subjected to FBI review for terrorist connections
Obama's electric car drive dogged by foreign battery drain
Gas prices hit smaller companies

And finally... Philosophy Referee Hand Signals

Saturday, April 23, 2011


News Links, April 24, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Dollar's Decline Speeds Up, With Risks for U.S. (WSJ)
Axel Merk: Why Is Anyone Still Waiting to Sell the Dollar? (Chris Martenson)
US gets debt wake-up call but vital reforms unlikely (Irish Times)
Greek debt restructuring virtually assured: TD report
Shocking statistics on unemployment (Saudi Arabia)
DP World official remains cautious on shipping industry

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
As Arab Spring Turns Violent, Democracy Advocates Face Big Challenges
Nato airstrike hits Gaddafi compound
Euro-American Land Invasion of Libya Imminent
Syria buries scores of dead; more protests due
Syria uprising: 'We will continue until the fall of the regime'
Yemen leader Saleh agrees to step down under Gulf plan
Iraq must decide in "weeks" on U.S. troops: Mullen
Iraqi cleric's followers demand U.S. troops leave
"Hundreds of followers of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad on Saturday, trampling U.S. flags and vowing to escalate military resistance if U.S. troops fail to leave Iraq this year."
France considers temporary border control option
Russia's heartland in crisis as desperation and vodka take toll
Russia's hollow force
Five women brutally murdered in Mexico beach resort
Saudi Arabia revives plans for municipal vote

## Energy/resources ##
Iran, China to form joint oil, gas committee
The end of cheap energy is here: IEA
"IEA analysts said the world needs another 50 million barrels of oil from new fields by 2035 in order to meet expected demand. Crude oil production from existing fields, meanwhile, is expected to decline from the 68-million-barrel-per-day mark in 2009 to just 16 million bpd by 2035."
Germany Explores Using Train Lines as a Power Grid
Coal prices in China rise on reduced transportation

## Got food? ##
Egg Producers Feel the Pinch as Demand, Prices Fall, Costs Rise
"If they are not making money now, I don't see how they are going to make money for the next three or four months."
McDonald's forecasts higher food prices
Eight keys to growing great vegetables

## Environment/health ##
Mekong River dam shelved
43 forest fires in Siberia
Britain on course for hottest Easter since records began

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Amazon's Trouble Raises Cloud Computing Doubts
PlayStation Network enters third day of outage
Computer guru sees chip expansion slowing
"The most advanced processors now have transistors only 100 to 150 atoms across. Designing such a microchip takes hundreds of man-years of work and soon may not be financially worthwhile."
How police have obtained iPhone, iPad tracking logs

## Japan ##
Reactor Team Let Pressure Soar
Temperature inside No. 4 reactor pool remains high at 91 C
Workers locked in battle at nuclear plant; exposure to radiation rising
Japanese government considers underground wall to contain Fukushima radiation
Japan Airlines Holiday Bookings Fall as Capacity Cut
Summer energy crunch
Power-saving target may be 15% for all
Tokyo Disney Resort under pressure to cut down on power consumption
"Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, which together reportedly consume 10 times more power than the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, are struggling under pressure to reduce their power consumption and generate power on their own."
Lots to do before evacuation / 6,000 people, 10,000 cows, town offices, other facilities must leave
No-entry zone sealed, residents fear they will never return home
"The 83-year-old man spoke with tears in his eyes. 'It's all over. It is better to just die.'"
BoJ Nishimura: Supply-side Constraints To Ease After Autumn

## China ##
China expects sharp rise in energy demand
Macao to subsidize residents against rising inflation
China Economy: Two Updates Concerning Inflation
Thousands march in Hong Kong to demand release of China's Ai
Shanghai Cuts Fees for Truckers Following Strike, Xinhua Says

## UK ##
Teachers support strike ballot on pensions
Crowd trashes new supermarket in Bristol
Fuel protest go-slow 'to bring motorways to standstill'
"A huge 'go-slow' protest over the cost of fuel is set to bring motorway traffic to a halt across Greater Manchester. Up to 1,000 vehicles will be involved in the protest on Sunday, May 8, say organisers."
Major street lamp turn off plan for Northamptonshire

## US ##
America's ever-expanding welfare empire (Forbes)
More college graduates are delinquent on repaying student loans
Storm clouds for shipbuilding
Medicare, Medicaid payments skyrocket in Sacramento
Jet fuel puts squeeze on airlines
US government's fiscal plight, the numbers say it all
Jumbo Mortgage Loan Squeeze: Will it Affect Home Prices?
Blackout in San Francisco's financial district
Young people without diplomas at end of employment line

And finally...
For busy people: Tennessee church in bank building offers drive-thru Good Friday service

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