Wednesday, May 18, 2011


News Links, May 19, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Global Slowdown to Hit by Summer, Even for U.S., Says Achuthan
Could Greece be the next Lehman Brothers? Yes – and potentially even worse
Bribery Rife Across Europe's Top Companies: Survey
"More than one third of employees at large European companies are prepared to offer cash or lavish gifts and entertainment to win business as the economic downturn prompts firms to cut corners to stay ahead."
China to continue supporting Eurozone economy: Hu
China Economic 'Facade' Starts to Show Cracks: Chanos
Elderly care costs could treble says OECD
Housing in North America: Peak Oil's Primary Victim (Gregor Macdonald)
Dollar Drop? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet if Yuan Jumps
Deutsche Bank Downgrades The Economy After It Finally Realizes That The Japan Earthquake Will Not Boost Growth

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Denmark preparing to stake claim on North Pole
"Denmark plans to lay claim to the North Pole and other areas in the Arctic, where melting ice is creating new shipping routes, fishing grounds and drilling opportunities for oil and gas, according to a leaked government document."
Saudi Arabia Defies Mideast Upheaval
"Saudi Arabia is leading a counter- revolution against the sweeping political changes in the Middle East by using money, force and religion."
How Somali pirates threaten Indian steel industry
Guatemalan forces hunt killers after farm massacre
Guatemala massacre points to influence of Mexican drug gang
"Guatemala has declared a state of emergency after the murder of 27 people in the northern part of the country. The Zetas of Mexico are accused of the worst massacre since the end of the country's civil war."
US to impose sanctions on Assad
China vows lasting support for troubled Pakistan
New PLA video game pits Chinese against U.S. soldiers
Libya Rebel Economy Chief Says Financial Aid Taking Too Long
Yemen power transition deal falls through at last minute
German Military To Cut Troops, Generals

## Energy/resources ##
Water shortages threaten growth in Gulf states
ANALYSIS: Power protests threaten Iraq government
"Iraq's punishing summer heat will fuel angry street protests over the nation's feeble power supply but the rallies are unlikely to topple the government, even if some ministers are sacked as scapegoats."
In Japan Reactor Failings, Danger Signs for the US
BP Defeat Puts Arctic Oil Trove Back in Play
Poor Rubber production rings alarm bells in consumer circles
"Despite being the fourth largest producer of rubber, India still faces a huge shortage of rubber in for domestic consumption."
Commodities Gain Most in a Week as Drought, Low Stockpiles May Curb Supply
Smuggling hits gasoline supplies in Riyadh region
"Shortage of gasoline type 95 in some regions in the Kingdom may develop into a crisis if suppliers do not quickly inject enough of it to the gas stations, local Arabic daily Al-Riyadh newspaper reported Tuesday. Especially in Riyadh region, there is a supply shortage."
Iran president to attend next OPEC meeting
Saudi Sweet Oil Supply Too Low to Offset Libya, al-Husseini Says
Excess Crude Production Capacity Falls
Mexico Stepping Up Natural Gas Imports as Pemex Focuses on Oil Production

## Got food? ##
Grains Surge as Rain Pounds Plains
Post-Mubarak Egypt 'running out of food'
"Egypt, struggling to consolidate a revolution that deposed President Hosni Mubarak in February, faces what could be even worse turmoil because the country is running out of food as well as the money to buy it."

## Environment/health ##
Amazon Deforestation Jumped Sixfold on Expanded Soy Planting, Brazil Says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Outage disrupts nationwide algebra test (US)
Massachusetts reports data theft
RIAA Legislation: No Warrant Required to Search, Seize Optical-Disc Plants
Drones Becoming Pervasive INSIDE America

## Japan ##
Japan's economy shrinks sharply in January-March
Japan's Service Sector Sees Biggest Fall in 22 Years
Condo supply in Tokyo area plunges 27% in April
Aquaculture damage over ¥100 billion
"The Japanese aquaculture industry suffered more than ¥100 billion in damage, or a quarter of its annual output, from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a survey by the fisheries ministry released Wednesday said."
Grazing rights lost over 'radioactive' grass
"About 20,000 livestock farmers in seven prefectures have been asked to refrain from grazing cattle for the time being because radioactive substances in excess of safety limits have been found in pastures, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Tuesday."
Salt may be removed from tsunami-hit rice fields by 2014
"Stretching from Tohoku to Kanto, about 20,000 hectares of rice fields inundated by the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake were left untillable due to saline contamination."
Tepco Misleading Public Over Nuclear Crisis
Venting failed twice at Fukushima plant, possibly damaging reactor: TEPCO

## China ##
China Limits Manufacturers' Power Use
"China's mighty Yangtze River is running so low that hydropower production is slowing, shipping traffic has been curtailed and agricultural output has been reduced."
Power shortage boosts diesel
"CHINA'S manufacturers turned on diesel-fueled generators as local governments rationed electricity to fight the worst power shortage in seven years."
New Home Prices Up in Most China Cities
China's Hotel Boom Catches A Second Wind
Eight reasons China resembles the US prior to the Great Depression
China Builds Desert Ghost City as Critics Warn of Bubble (Bloomberg video)

## UK ##
U.K. April Unemployment Claims Rise
UK operation in Iraq set to end
New nuclear plants on track
"He also said existing and planned nuclear power stations in this country were of a different design to those at Fukushima."
Where have I heard this "different design" talk before? Oh yea, it was after Chernobyl, when the Japanese said that reactors in Japan had a "different design," so they are safe. At any rate, it's highly unlikely any new nuclear power plants will be built in the UK. -- RF

## US ##
Pennsylvania pins record fine on shale-gas producer
Postal service says it is going broke
Invisible Stock Bubble
The great switch by the super rich
"Wealthy Americans used to finance the government through tax payments. Now, they just lend it money."
Meredith Whitney Feeling Better About Her Muni Call
China thirst for energy, so it won't be cheap for us
American anger at gas prices fueled by rising household energy costs
Why America is Getting Owned by Foreigners
"A new World Bank report projects that by 2025, foreigners' net ownership of US assets will represent 69 percent of the US GDP."
Rich spend, others scrimp, retail reports show
America Becoming a Third World Country
David Stockman Says US Has "Run Out Of Runway" On Debt, Compares The Treasury Market To A "Roach Hotel", Endorses A Tobin Tax
Planning for smaller Social Security checks
Or for NO Social Security checks. -- RF

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