Monday, April 11, 2011


News Links, April 12, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Dubai office vacancies to top 50% over next 12 months
Signs point to a severe housing correction in Canada (Globe and Mail)
Australian Home Sales Sink, Luxury Units Sell for Half Cost; New Home Loans at 10-Year Low; Australia Retailers in Deep Trouble; Party Officially Over (Mish)
Spain Different? Sadly Not
Cosmonaut: Russia needs space innovation now
Space development is going the way of industrial civilization. -- RF
The Breakdown Of Economic Expansion In The 21st Century (Decline of the Empire)
Pimco Now Betting Against US Government Debt
U.S. Treasuries 'Ponzi scheme': ex-PBOC official
Ford says Japanese auto supplies to GCC may be hit
Alcoa sets a somber tone: After a solid first quarter, a fresh list of concerns

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Asif Ali Zardari: Afghan war 'destabilising Pakistan'
Yemen's President Loses Backing From Arab Gulf Amid Uprisings
Libyan fighting goes on after peace bid fails
Forces arrest Ivory Coast's Gbagbo
Syria protests continue despite attacks by security forces
Global Military Spending Hits High But Growth Slows
China's Crackdown Signals Shift
World Bank Shifts Focus to Security in Poor Nations
Eleven Killed in Minsk Rush-Hour Subway Explosion
Israel warns Iron Dome still at experimental stage
Iranians protest Saudi role in Bahrain
"Bombs were thrown in Tehran Monday as students rallied outside the Saudi Embassy to protest Saudi intervention in Bahrain, authorities said."
Mass kidnappings new cash cow for Mexico drug gangs

## Energy/resources ##
Nuclear Power Fears at New Heights Despite Safety, Viability (CNBC)
"'The Fukushima meltdown may mark a high point in anti-nuclear hysteria,' said John Downs of Euro Pacific Capital, in a note to clients Monday. 'As a result, investors should not treat nuclear-related stocks as if they were radioactive. Eventually, reason prevails, and the truth is that nuclear power is hands down the best option available for powering the 21st century.'"
We can be thankful that this guy is dead wrong because nuclear power's days are numbered. But the vital question is whether existing nuke plants can achieve cold shutdown before the lights go out. -- RF
No end in sight for Fukushima disaster as bureaucrats battle the laws of physics
Singapore studying possible use of nuclear power
Will Offshore Oil Rigs be Replaced by Underwater Cities
Technocratic wet dreams. -- RF
Turkey's oil reserves sufficient for only 17 years
Iran says oil prices likely to rise further
First US Tar Sands Mine Could Open in Utah
IMF hikes oil price forecast by 20% (Fortune)

## Got food? ##
Global irrigated food, fibre commods hit record highs
Food prices increase Egypt's inflation beyond expectations
Grains Week Ahead - Big appetite for corn needs curbing (Reuters)
"The United States, the world's top grain exporter, runs the risk of depleting its corn supplies before the autumn harvest unless demand is curbed."

## Environment/health ##
Radiation risks in Europe from Fukushima 'no longer negligible'

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Master credit card thief claims US government authorized his crimes
Blackouts Could Test Japan's Diesel Supply
"Will Japan have enough diesel fuel to support all of its data centers if power rationing is implemented more widely this summer? As authorities urge businesses and residents to conserve energy, Japan's country's data center industry is assessing worst-case scenarios in which the math could become problematic."
Industry's Ability to Protect Power Grid in Doubt, Alexander Says

## Japan ##
External Power at Fukushima Plant Cut by Earthquake, Tepco Says
More urged to leave Japanese nuclear plant area
Japan expands Fukushima evacuation zone. Will residents ever return home?
Japan may raise nuclear accident severity level to highest 7 from 5
Tepco Chief Rebuffed in Fukushima As Crisis Enters Second Month
"The head of Tokyo Electric Power Co. was refused a meeting with the governor of Fukushima, where the utility is battling radiation leaks from its atomic station at the center of Japan's worst civilian nuclear disaster."
TEPCO receives Y2 tril in loans to address quake-caused damage
McDonald's Wage For Nuclear Job Shows Japan Towns Fading
Here's an illustration of Japan's economic collapse — which started 20 years ago — and how this natural disaster has accelerated what would have happened, anyway. -- RF
Major Power Shortages Loom Over Japanese Firms
Tokyo plunged into darkness as neon dims

## China ##
China Inflation 'Somewhat Out of Control,' George Soros Says
China's car sales rise 6.5% in March as market rebounds
Automakers' Next Big Worry: A Sales Slowdown in China
In Fast-Growing China, Dangers Threaten to Hamper Its Success (WSJ)
Rogers sounds China water warning
Quake ups prices of made-in-Japan / China retailers raising tag on cameras, cars, other goods amid supply shortages

## UK ##
UK Public Debt Is 240 percent of GDP: Think Tank
IMF cuts UK economic growth forecast for 2011 to 1.75%
"Fund downgrades forecast on UK economy for third time in a year in report that suggests rising unemployment and social unrest"
A quarter of Britons to rely on inheritance to fund retirement

## US ##
Is $4/gallon the new normal?
Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise
Population Leaves Heartland Behind
"Census Shows Growth Fueled by Increasingly Diverse Metro Areas; in Kansas, a Small Town Tears Down Empty Homes"
Toyota Tells U.S. Dealers to Brace for Reduced Car Supplies
Three workers exposed to radiation at Nebraska nuclear plant
Texas battling wildfires fueled by heat, wind
THE DEATH OF DOWNTOWN CHICAGO And 20 More Urban Population Shifts
Earnings Look Strong Now, But Growth May Not Last
Bank-owned houses still flooding Northern Colorado

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