Wednesday, May 04, 2011


News Links, May 5, 2011

## Global economic meltdown/dollar dump ##
South Korea Weighs Investing Reserves in Yuan Securities
China, Japan, Korea to Study Local-Currency Trade Settlement
"Finance ministers from China, Japan and South Korea said in a joint statement Wednesday they have agreed to start studying the use of their own currencies in trade settlement, the latest sign of Asian efforts to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar."
Portugal bailout details boost euro and bond markets
Lisbon forced to offer higher debt rates
Is a Liquidity Crisis Brewing in Europe?
Europe Retail Sales Decline Most in Almost a Year on Oil
"European retail sales declined the most in almost a year in March as higher oil prices and government austerity measures curbed consumer spending."
Hong Kong Home Sales Fall to Two-Year Low on Government Curbs, Loan Rates
World's millionaire ranks seen soaring through 2020
India's Double Whammy: Slower Growth, Higher Inflation
ADB Says 3 Billion People in Asia May Reach Europe-Level Incomes by 2050
Won't happen. -- RF
Huge gold purchase by Mexico's central bank: 100 tonnes
CME Hikes Silver Margins By 17%: 4th Hike In 8 Trading Days
Demand for Bank Loans Mounts in Emerging World, Survey Says
Now that the developed world is saturated with debt, it's important to make the emerging economies take on lots of debt in a bid to keep the Ponzi-scheme economy going. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Osama bin Laden: day two and a new version of how events unfolded
"The White House came under increasing pressure yesterday to release video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound after the official version of events began to fall apart."
Even a cave man can see the pattern here. Like the stories about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, counterfeit narratives were fabricated for propaganda purposes, but later fell apart. This UBL narrative started falling apart on the very next day. New lies will be manufactured. Someday we will find out what actually happened, but for now, enjoy the show! -- RF
The bin Laden information drought (DoD Buzz)
Syria: Tanks 'heading for Homs' days after Deraa siege
'A Boundless Fury Has Been Building Up'
"Exiled former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam tells SPIEGEL about his firsthand experience with President Bashar Assad's hunger for power and forecasts the end of his regime as the brutal suppression of the Syrian opposition continues."
Europe forced to propose passport controls in Schengen zone
"The European Commission has been forced to propose the reintroduction of passport controls as 'a last resort' after a conflict over Tunisian immigrants between France and Italy threatened to destroy the EU's border-free zone."
Two More Merc Firms Get Big Iraq Contracts
"Two more security firms have won contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to build the State Department a private army in Iraq."
Gunmen attack Turk police after PM's rally; one dead

## Energy/resources ##
Power failure causes blackouts across inner Sydney
World Oil Forecasts and Hubbert's Peak (Gail Tverberg)
Iran Remains Major Crude Supplier to Japan
Analysis: U.S. leverage to crimp Iranian oil exports fades (Reuters)
"The United States may have missed its moment to apply more political pressure on governments to stop buying Iranian crude as rising fuel prices make Washington wary about further interruptions to the global supply chain."
Off-spec Aussie coal in demand in China as domestic prices rise
Dept. of "we'll take anything we can get." -- RF
Russia, China clash over oil price, supply

## Got food? ##
Latin American food prices push inflation: IDB report

## Environment/health ##
Mass. drops backing for wood power

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Failure Cascading Through the Cloud
"Two major outages illustrate how complicated it is to keep a cloud system up and running."
Google Invests in African Internet Expansion to Develop Future Revenue
But Africa has a crippling power shortage. Where will the needed electricity come from? -- RF
Expert: Security Checkpoints Near Soft Targets May Soon Become The Norm (US)
UAE mulls draft law to regulate weapons

## Japan ##
Tokyo Office Rents Down For 3rd Year
Japan Confronts Liabilities for Crisis
"Japan is embroiled in a contentious new debate over who should pay Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s growing liabilities from its nuclear accident—a bill estimated to be tens of billions of dollars."
Tsunami debris: Mountain of a challenge for Japan
25 million tons! But unmentioned is the cost of the fuel to run heavy machinery. This will crimp the effort more than anything. Much of the work will ultimately have to be done by hand. -- RF
Repairing shattered operations / Parts shortages linger, auto production languishes, demand in decline
Japan islanders oppose proposed nuclear plant, year after year

## China ##
CEC releases a report projecting current power shortage
"China Electricity Council, an association of power enterprises, has released a report projecting current power shortage to last a few more years as a result of slowing thermal power investment."
Severe spring drought in Central China
Higher incomes lead to surging home prices
China tightens internet censorship controls
China's Stocks Fall Most in Two Months on 'Critical' Inflation

## UK ##
Mortgage lending down by more than 60%
Self harm rise among young in Wales 'alarming'
Cars could be banned from residential roads to allow children to play
It's sad that many children throughout the world have no place but the street to play. -- RF
Daily Austerity Watch: The U.K.'s Austerity Crisis

## US ##
Treasury suggests $2 trillion debt cap raise: sources
White House identifies unneeded government property
Great American Fire Sale. -- RF
Southern twisters hit an economy already ailing
As in Japan, natural disaster aggravates a collapse that had already begun. -- RF
Senators back legislation to end ethanol subsidy
Higher Gasoline Prices: Pressure on Consumers Is Building
Gas prices reach new record in six states
Bond Investors Should Revolt: PIMCO's Gross
US currency crash (CNBC video)
America's Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Facts
Rasmussen Employment Survey: 19% of Workers Report Their Firm is Hiring, 25% Laying Off
DoD Officials: Cutbacks Won't Hurt Industrial Base
Paying for gas forces painful sacrifices

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