Wednesday, April 13, 2011


News Links, April 14, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Industry left high and dry (Financial Times)
An instructive article on global supply chains and their disruption. -- RF
Rethink over global supply chain strategy
"So is a global supply chain a good strategy after all? Some people are starting to wonder."
Japan's government downgrades its outlook for growth
Ford Philippines suspends production for 18 days due to lack of Japan parts
Cheap Money Will Not Solve Problems: ECB Official
World economists urge G20 ministers to accept Robin Hood tax
Visual Evidence to Disprove the "Gold Bubble" Theory (Daily Reckoning)
GFMS Sees Gold Hitting $1,600 before end of 2011
French Inflation Quickened in March, Adding to ECB Pressure
Australia Housing Cracks Emerge Across Queensland Coast
Slowdown for High Speed Trading
"Low market volumes and stiff competition have led to a sharp fall in "high-frequency" trading as industry experts warn that the past two years of rapid growth may be coming to a halt."
Banks face $3.6 trillion "wall" of maturing debt: IMF
IMF calls on European banks to boost their finances
IMF Warns US on Debts, Wants Austerity
"The US lacks a 'credible strategy' to stabilize its mounting public debt posing a small but significant risk of a new global economic crisis, says the International Monetary Fund."
German Wholesale-Price Inflation Is Fastest in 29 Years in March
"Wholesale prices for grain, seed and animal feed soared 75.9 percent in the year, the statistics office said, while coffee, tea and cocoa were 49.9 percent more expensive."
Greece insists debt restructuring not on the cards
Contrary To Previous Lies, Greece May Not Be Able To Access Capital Markets After All; Likely To See 50% Creditor Haircuts
More than $6bn worth of hotel projects due for completion in Middle East by 2013
Great! This will help pump up the bubble even more. -- RF
Saudi's Kingdom approves plan to build world's tallest building
If built, it will be a fitting cenotaph for industrial civilization. -- RF
Why Is JPMorgan So Eagerly Acquiring Bars of Physical Platinum?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
US kills 6 suspected militants despite Pakistan's demand for end to drone attacks
Mubarak and sons 'detained' on graft charges
Clinton's 'Failed State' Warning Hangs Over Libya as NATO Can't Stem Chaos
Libyan rebels receive boost of support from international community
Libyan Rebels: Dependent Minions of U.S. and Europe
U.S. doing limited airstrikes for NATO in Libya
Libyan Rebels Seek $2 Billion From Allies, Tarhouni Says
US says China's navy has been less aggressive in 2011
Swaziland police disperse Manzini democracy activists
Mexico finds 28 more bodies in border pits; total now 116
Rival security forces clash in Yemeni capital
EU Debt Crisis Boosting Far Right
"As austerity measures kick in and the euro zone debt crisis begins to really bite voters where it hurts, in the pocket, extreme political parties are becoming mainstream, warns Dylan Grice, a strategist at Societe Generale in Paris."
Emergency Flights in Record Demand as Earthquakes, Unrest Spur Evacuation
Piracy biggest threat to southern Africa security
"South Africa believes Somali pirates, and not political instability in Zimbabwe, pose the biggest threat to security in southern Africa, its defence minister said on Tuesday. The pirates, spurred on by multi-million-dollar ransoms paid to release hijacked vessels along a key oil shipping route, have struck further south, threatening regional commerce and trade from Africa's largest economy."

## Energy/resources ##
Saudis have reduced production, but don't believe it's because of reduced demand (Forbes)
"I predict that Saudi oil production will fall to under 5 million barrels/day over the next 5 years."
Where is Saudi's Excess Capacity When You Need It? (Jeff Rubin)
OPEC struggles to cover slump in Libyan output
"Despite some Gulf OPEC members increasing crude oil production last month, the output is struggling to cover the dramatic slump in Libyan production as a result of ongoing violence in the North African country, according to a new report."
Kuwait halts oil exports due to sandstorm; suspends flights
Buy Crude, Could Hit $160: Bank of America
OPEC raises 2011 world oil demand growth
Vinod Khosla-backed renewable fuel firm Kior files to go public
Follow the chip trail. These operations need huge amounts of cheap biomass. They need sustainable sources of trees, energy for planting, logging, chipping, and transport. Machinery and trucks. You may pin your hopes on this, but I'm not. -- RF
Biofuels targets are 'unethical', says Nuffield report
Fuel tax proposal to push up diesel prices across Europe
Electricity rationing implemented in Hai Phong
Tajik Flash Mob Protests Energy Shortages
"Internet users in Dushanbe have staged Tajikistan's first-known flash mob in order to protest the state electricity provider's inability to provide uninterrupted power supplies, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports."
Kenya revives its colonial rail system to meet its modern needs
Nuclear Fusion: Is it the Answer to the Impending Crisis in Energy and Resources?
A good reality check on the dismal prospects for fusion. -- RF
Rare Earths, the New Meth and Crack for Wall Street

## Got food? ##
Soil Erosion Far Worse Than Reported In American Farmlands, According To New EWG Report
Geiger Counters to Find Radiation in Meals May Be 'Meaningless'

## Environment/health ##
Has BP really cleaned up the Gulf oil spill?
"Officially, marine life is returning to normal in the Gulf of Mexico, but dead animals are still washing up on beaches – and one scientist believes the damage runs much deeper"

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
CityRail train delays continue into evening after morning power outage halts trains (Sydney)

## Japan ##
BOJ report notes massive damage to local economies
Hitachi, GE Submit Plan to Dismantle Fukushima Nuclear Plant
TEPCO confirms damage to part of No. 4 unit's spent nuke fuel
Nuclear crisis shows no signs of ebbing, stoking concerns abroad
Tepco Seeks to Start Reactor Idled in 2007 as Crews Battle Fukushima Leaks
Japan nuclear plant operator says preparing compensation plans
"A draft plan outlining a compensation scheme for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident calls for capping TEPCO's liability at 2-3.8 trillion yen ($24-45 billion)."
Fukushima evacuees demand compensation
Tokyo Suburb Still Struggles for Normalcy
Sony to adopt daylight saving time, expand summer vacation to cut power consumption
Surge In Resource Costs Boosts Import Prices 19% In March
Major Consumer Electronics Retailer To Sell Home-Use Storage Batteries
It'll keep your refrigerator running for five hours. Buy now! -- RF
Govt may have other utilities share TEPCO's compensation burden
As with the GoM disaster last year, no one has enough money to clean up the mess. Mega-technology: it's the gift that keeps on giving. -- RF
Evacuation plans baffle residents

## China ##
China's Record Lending May Spur First Yuan Rating Cut by Fitch on Bad Debt
China Banks Said to Need $131 Billion of Equity Over Six Years
China arrests fourth dissident in "Jasmine" crackdown
Number of Chinese millionaires nears 1M

## UK ##
Youth unemployment edges nearer to a million
Rise in UK companies facing major financial difficulty
£100 million cash boost for English waterways
Money well spent. -- RF

## US ##
Insolvent and Going Deeper (Chris Martenson at Financial Sense)
"All one has to do is back up two steps, entirely ignoring the meaningless budget scuffles currently ongoing in DC, to see that the federal government's fiscal situation is in complete shambles. In fact, as things currently stand in terms of spending and revenues, the US government is insolvent - as its liabilities vastly exceed its assets on a net present value basis."
Debt Jumped $54.1 Billion in 8 Days Preceding Boehner-Obama Deal to Cut $38.5 Billion for Rest of Year
Teenage Wasteland: Jobless Rate For Young Is 25%—and Rising
Record number of Americans helped by government safety net
"End Of The World" Inflation: 47% In Six Months
Exports, Imports, "Everything Weaker Across the Board"; Morgan Stanley Drops GDP Estimate to 1.5%
Testimony on state's nuclear preparedness hardly reassuring
I repeat my assertion that nuke plants and their wastes are deadly time bombs. Just read this and imagine all the things that could go wrong. -- RF
Bay Area condominium sales, prices tanking
New Orleans feral chicken population booms
Why U.S. housing is still in a vicious downward spiral
More Foreigners Snapping Up Foreclosed Property
Great American Fire Sale. -- RF
Military In Space: Less Money, More Junk To Track
"Dependence on space is high, higher than it's ever been, for sure, in the Department of Defense."
DoD Asking Congress For Urgent-Needs Account
Hungry kids and the environment hit hard by USDA budget cuts
Orlando can restrict feeding the homeless, rules 11th Circuit
Why High Gas Price Effects May Be Different This Time
More Black Men Now in Prison System Than Were Enslaved in 1850
Shortage Worsens of Leukemia Drug
"A shortage of a key leukemia drug that started last year has worsened, causing many major cancer centers such as the Johns Hopkins Hospital to start rationing the drug and others to turn away patients from community hospitals that have run out of the medication."
Arkansas Policeman Is Shot to Death
40% of Americans say they can't afford retirement
And the percentage will keep rising because retirement is going the way of the dinosaurs, and only the rich will spend their senior years in ease. -- RF

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