Friday, May 20, 2011


News Links, May 20-21, 2011

## Global economic meltdown/dollar dump ##
IMF approves 26 billion euro loan for Portugal
Sell Dollar as US Influence Ebbs: Fund Manager
"The recent rally for the dollar will not last and should be used as a chance to short the greenback as America's geopolitical influence ebbs away, according to David Murrin, a hedge fund manager and author of Breaking the Code of History."
The Extended Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man (video)
Six Danish Banks Downgraded at Moody's
Greece default fears rise as reprofiling talk flounders
Norway, Iceland Suspend $42 Million in EEA Greek Development Funds
Gold jumps above $1,500 per ounce
China Is Now Top Gold Bug
The End Of The Eurozone? - Stiglitz At European Zeitgeist 2011: "We Are Out Of Money, But We Can Pay You In Fish" (video)
Once bullish, famed contrarian Jim Grant sees trouble in rising markets. His advice: Hold cash
People in the know are building up their cash positions. -- RF
Dimon: U.S. Debt Default Could be 'Catastrophic' (FOX Business)
Zimbabwe To Trade Diamonds For Gold As It Prepares To Launch Gold-Backed Currency
Honda fires 400 in Brazil; Japan quake cuts parts

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Obama Speech Backlash on Call to Reinstate 1967 Mideast Borders
Merkel backs Obama push for 1967 Israel border deal
Afghans hold second day of anti-Nato protest in Taloqan
Poverty Hides Amid Saudi Arabia's Oil Wealth
Spanish anti-crisis protesters defy ban
"Thousands of angry protesters press with rallies against economic crisis despite government ban on demonstrations."
Inspired by Arab Spring, Spain's youthful 15-M movement spreads in Europe
"Young Spaniards railing against political stagnation and high unemployment are protesting in 166 cities across the country and have sparked other protests in Europe."
Spain's Icelandic Revolt; Protests Spread to Italy
Veteran U.S. Diplomat: We Are Becoming the USSR (Time)
Has the Arab Spring Stalled? Autocrats Gain Ground in Middle East
NATO bombs Gadhafi warships
China to Pirates: All Your Base Are Belong to Us
"China's top general is suggesting that the rest of the world put aside their differences, and team up to launch amphibious assaults on the pirates' onshore havens."
China asks US to respect Pak's sovereignty, independence
Pakistan minister: China providing 50 fighter jets
Looks like Planet Pakistan will be orbiting a different star. -- RF

## Energy/resources ##
IEA: More Oil Needed Urgently (WSJ)
Do I detect a note of panic? -- RF
Analysis: Wood Fuel Poised To Be Next Global Commodity
Anyone can see the consequences of using wood in an attempt to fuel industrial civilization. -- RF
Iraq sticks with lofty oil plan -- for now
"Iraq's energy chiefs are sticking to their ambitious plans to increase oil production five-fold to 12 million barrels per day by 2017 despite warnings by oil companies and industry pundits that a woeful lack of infrastructure makes it all a pipe dream."
U.S. to review Bakken oil, gas formation
Nord Stream costs Ukraine $720 million
Enhancing Oil Recovery: A Look at Stripper Wells
The electric power requirement will perhaps surprise many. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Farm States Suffer Expanded Drought, Wheat Suffers (US)
What Will Fracking Do to Your Food Supply?
"The controversial gas-drilling practice is tainting water. Your food might be next."

## Environment/health ##
Ronald McDonald and Happy Meals 'should be banned', say health campaigners

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Another massive Apple server farm being readied in Santa Clara
How much power will all this capacity require? -- RF
Smile! Air Force Wants to Track You Forever With a Single Camera Click
University "Campus Watch" Citizen Spy Program Partners With Threat Fusion Center To Report Suspicious Activity
How does one hold a nation together as the storm clouds of energy decline and chaos gather? A rigid informant society like that in North Korea might be one way. -- RF

## Japan ##
Kyushu Elec warns of summer power shortage as 2 reactors shut
Japan Econ Set For 3rd Straight Qtrly Fall on Quake Impact
Japan's central bank keeps key rate at near zero
Renesas Naka factory's supply to drop / Major chip producer expects 90% fall in shipments
"Major semiconductor company Renesas Electronics Corp. said product shipments from its Naka factory in June will drop by about 90 percent from levels recorded before the March 11 earthquake, an apparent blow to automakers and electronic manufacturers dependent on the company's products."
Panasonic Sees 'Very Tough' Year Ahead
Economic headaches abound
"Uncertainties over lingering disruptions to supply chains, weak spending from an anxious consumer base and a growth rate shackled with a first-quarter loss--the economic recovery after the March 11 disaster is looking dim, many analysts have said."
Survey: 30% of disaster-hit fishermen in Miyagi Prefecture plan to leave industry
Jobless claims surge in Tohoku
Tepco Posts $15.28 Billion Loss
U.N. launches study of Japan nuclear crisis
Yesterday a Japanese lawyer who has long been engaged with the nuclear power issue told me that under current law, nearly everything in Fukushima Prefecture could be classified as nuclear waste. -- RF
Pipes inside condenser found damaged at Hamaoka nuclear plant

## China ##
China acknowledges Three Gorges dam 'problems'
Property prices still rising in most cities
The Phantom Growth of China's Ghost Cities (Taipan Daily)
China courts quake-hit Japanese companies

## UK ##
Tata Steel to cut 1,500 jobs in Scunthorpe and Teesside

## US ##
Gas prices widen divide between rich, not-rich
Retail Stocks Out of Gas as Cost Pressures Rise
Foreclosure flood may not have crested yet
To Eat and Survive in LA: On Track for a Million Food Stamp Users
Many With New College Degree Find the Job Market Humbling (NYT)
Regulators shut 2 Ga. banks; 42 shuttered in 2011
California Takes Aim at Public Employee Pension Spiking
Summers Sees Tech-Bubble Concern
Manhattan Builders Plan Big Decade for Towers
"Manhattan developers are planning the city's biggest decade of office construction since the 1980s, betting on rising demand for modern space even with tenants unsigned and the availability of financing more limited."
Can you spell "BUBBLE"? -- RF
Confronting the coming American worker shortage
As I've noted before, producing skilled workers is becoming more difficult under energy decline. -- RF

And finally... World Ends Today

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