Saturday, May 14, 2011


News Links, May 14, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF warns EU debt crisis may still spread to core (Reuters)
"Despite bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Europe's debt crisis may yet spread to core euro zone countries and emerging Eastern Europe, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday."
Greek PM Says Borrowing Costs Not Sustainable
Greece Default Anticipated by 85% in Investor Poll
Exclusive: Asia holds its nose, keeps buying U.S. debt (Reuters)
"Asia's reserve-rich nations see no viable option but to keep on purchasing U.S. government debt despite their uneasiness about Washington's fraught political battle over public spending."
Starbucks (SBUX) Stops Buying Coffee, Waiting for Prices to Fall
Rich Russians Buy Bunkers on Apocalypse Angst
Gold is our largest position: PIMCO's equities manager

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Amnesty says Arab uprising 'on knife edge'
"The struggle for freedom has entered a decisive phase as brutal Arab regimes try to regain control, rights group says."
Signs of Chaos in Syria's Intense Crackdown
Syria protests: Three killed in Homs after prayers
World Has Simplistic View Of Events In Syria, Says Reporter Who Sneaked In
Pakistan bomb attack 'revenge for Bin Laden'
"Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 80 people at a paramilitary force academy in the northwest today, and vowed further bloodshed in retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in the country."
Pakistanis cast doubt on Taliban's role in bin Laden revenge attack
Mexico deputy prison governor decapitated in Durango; one of eight
U.S.: Libya Campaign To Continue Until Gadhafi Stops
Cash-Strapped Libyan Rebels Left Empty-Handed
Yemen's Death Spiral: How the Economy and the Military Will Play (Time)

## Energy/resources ##
Uranium May Rise to $75 a Pound Next Year on Japan Boost, Uranium One Says
"New uranium mines need a price of $85 a pound before they are economically viable."
Oil Rises a Second Day, Climbs Above $100, as European Growth Accelerates
Peak coal this year?
Saudi seen needing $91 oil to fund gov't spending plans
Power Outages Continue in Venezuela, Threaten Oil Production

## Got food? ##
Corn Rises as Rains May Prompt U.S. Farmers to Scrap Seeding; Wheat Gains
Another Harsh Reality: Marine Fisheries
"World fisheries are in a state of collapse – caught between plagues of jellyfish, overfishing, nutrient pollution, bioaccumulation of toxics in marine mammals, carbon emissions turning our oceans acidic, the oceans phytoplankton declining by about 40 per cent over the past century, dead zones, garbage patch's, increasing ocean temperatures and changing currents - our entire marine food chain seems to be in peril."
U.S. farmland values up 20% in first quarter

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Blogger Down for Second Consecutive Day
This is why I'm late updating. -- RF
Amazon Server Said to Be Used in Sony Attack

## Japan ##
Japan to Help Tepco Pay Nuclear Claims; Banks May Have to Write Off Debt
Bank chiefs unsettled by Edano's remarks on TEPCO debt
Megabank Shares Dip On Suggestion Of Tepco Debt Waivers
Prime Minister Calls On Tepco To Mull Pension Cuts
Consumers, not TEPCO shareholders, to cover huge compensation bill
Giant Polyester Sheets To Cover Nuclear Reactor Buildings
Sewage plants in Fukushima perplexed over how to dispose of highly radioactive sludge
TEPCO drowning in dealing with tons of radioactive water
Sumitomo Metal Industries plans earlier working hours for summer
Japanese Businessmen Trade Suits for Hawaiian Shirts, Sandals
Richard Koo's "The World In Balance Sheet Recession" Revised, And The Japanese Electricity Shortfall Quandary
Even if there were no power shortage, "economic recovery" would be impossible. -- RF
15% power-saving goal made official
"Large-lot users in the coverage areas of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. will be ordered to limit their electricity consumption to 15 percent below last year, under Article 27 of the Electricity Business Law. Violators of the order could face fines of up to 1 million yen."
Quake may exert prolonged impact on Japanese manufacturers
"Two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake dealt a heavy blow to the product supply chains of many Japanese manufacturers, a government survey on major businesses impacted by the disaster has indicated they are likely to struggle over an extended period."
Five major electronics companies lose 354.5 billion yen from earthquake
"Five electronics giants suffered losses totaling 354.5 billion yen ($4.4 billion) in fiscal 2010 because of the March 11 earthquake, marring what had been a largely positive year for the industry.
"The disaster is expected to affect their performances in fiscal 2011, with four companies opting not to provide forecasts until the full extent of the calamity becomes clear."
Disaster damage overshadows Japanese automakers' steady recovery
Government red tape, cock-ups slow disaster recovery, aggravate victims
In Japan as in other countries, the government is now so big and complex (and broke) that it's hard to do anything right. -- RF
Radioactive substance detected in incinerator ashes in Tokyo
Chubu Electric halts No. 4
S&P lowers rating on Chubu Electric for Hamaoka nuke plant shutdown
Russia warned not to let official visit disputed isles

## China ##
Analysis: China industry may feel the heat from power shortages (Reuters)
"China looks set for its worst power shortages since 2004, putting pressure on already squeezed industries and raising the possibility of the world's second-largest economy turning into a net importer of diesel."
China suspends export of diesel fuel amid shortage
"China's economic planning agency says it is suspending exports of diesel fuel to help counter shortages likely to worsen during the peak summer months, as the country endures widespread power shortages."
Jiangxi power plants buy coal overseas on shortage
"The National Business Daily reported that power plants in Southeastern China's Jiangxi province are seeking to purchase coal overseas to supplement stocks and avoid massive power shortage ahead of the summer peak."
TABLE-China power shortage forecasts by region (Reuters)
Coke sizes down to avoid rising costs
China to double land supply amid efforts to cool housing market
Copper in Shanghai's Bonded Warehouses Drops on Destocking, Rising Demand
Hong Kong's 7.2% Growth May Worsen Risks in 'Overheated' Property Market

## UK ##
Threefold rise in customers unable to pay energy bills
Families have lost £500 in 12 months, says think tank
Lloyd's of London facing £2.4bn [$3.8 billion] of insurance claims
"Claims from the Japanese earthquake are estimated at £1.22bn, while the New Zealand earthquake and flooding in Australia are put at £750m and £406m.
"The impact of the tornadoes in the US have yet to be assessed, but Lloyd's said that all the disasters will mean insurance rates rising."
Delayed aircraft carrier will lack jets for three years

## US ##
The endgame of the credit card nation – 40 year bull market in revolving debt expansion comes to a sudden halt.
Check out the graph. The coming Ponzi scheme collapse is in full view. -- RF
Commercial real estate poisoning small banks
"The troubled commercial real estate is slowly killing off the nation's small and regional banks, and industry experts fear the worst is yet to come."
Cisco To Fire Thousands (Analysts)
Momentum builds for panel to dump surplus U.S. properties
The great government fire sale is on
"Towns and cities with ravaged revenues are selling municipal treasures to pay the bills."
March On Wall Street: Thousands Of Teachers, Advocates Rally Against Bloomberg Cuts
The cuts are inevitable. They might as well save their breath. -- RF
Is New York City still worth it?
"The financial burden of living in New York City and other parts of the state is making young people rethink whether they want to stay."
U.S. inflation hits highest level in over two years
Housing Losses Are a Financial Disaster
Social Security, Medicare outlook grim
No Debt Ceiling Deal Would Mean Loss Of 640k Jobs, Huge Stock Sell Off: Report
California to Shut 70 State Parks
Here Are The Refineries And Nuclear Power Plants Threatened If The Morganza Spillway Is [Opened|Shut]
Water Shortages Threaten the American West Lifestyle
Bond market is worried. You should be too.
Not your average convenience store (video)
"City Feed and Supply in Boston, Mass., stocks its shelves with all locally-supplied products and business is booming."
Power Outage Causes Gridlock Around National Mall

And finally... World Naked Gardening Day

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