Thursday, June 23, 2011


News Links, June 24, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Euro-Zone Growth at 20-Month Low, According to Survey
Analysts: Its all over but the Saab-ing
"Auto industry analysts in Sweden said car company Saab looked to be on its last legs."
Singapore May CPI Rises Faster Than Expected
Shipyards Running Aground
"Recession's Lagging Effect on Orders Forces South Korean Shipbuilders to Cut Payrolls, Shift Course"
Greece seals deal with EU, IMF on austerity plan: sources
Greece isn't shovel-ready either
Derivatives Cloud the Possible Fallout From a Greek Default
Everything Is Sliding Again, Amid New Greek Problems, And Bernanke's Big Letdown
ECB President Signals Red Alert on Banking Crisis
World's Millionaires Increased By 8.3% in 2010

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Syrians flee as troops mass on Turkish border
Egypt's Islamists use charity to win friends - and votes
Egypt's left threatens 'million-strong' protest to stop Islamists winning power
France says to begin gradual Afghan withdrawal
Manila: U.S. obliged to defend Filipinos in Spratlys
"U.S. forces are obliged to help defend Filipino troops, ships or aircraft under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty if they come under attack in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Philippine officials said, citing past American assurances."
New Japan-U.S. goals focus on China's rise
Ahmadinejad: Iran not afraid to make nuke weapon

## Global unrest ##
Riots & Mobs Coming to a Town Near You
Analysis: A debate over autonomy in Thailand's restive south
Will Syria's fires singe Lebanon?
"Deadly sectarian clashes near the Syrian border in northern Lebanon have sparked concern that Syria's turmoil is spilling over to its neighbor."
Senegal's Wade withdraws poll bill as protests rage

## Energy/resources ##
West plans to release emergency oil to halt rising petrol and energy prices
Very stupid and short-sighted. -- RF
Surprise oil release targets speculators
Target speculators. Ignore and deny peak oil. -- RF
The Dark Side of the OECD Oil Inventory Release (Gregor Macdonald)
Excellent, lucid analysis on the futility of this inventory release. -- RF
Oil Climbs in New York After Plunging on IEA Plan for Emergency Release
Ritterbusch sees oil heading back to $100
'Head-Scratcher' Crude Release Plunges Oil Stocks
Tapping Oil Reserve Still Won't Lower Gas Prices Below $3
Rising Saudi Thirst for Oil Drives Plans to Go Nuclear
"Rapid population growth, wastefulness and economic development are driving up Saudi Arabia's thirst for energy, steadily reducing the amount of oil available for export and driving the kingdom's interest in nuclear power.
"By eating into its own oil supplies, Saudi Arabia risks reducing a formidable spare capacity that it could pump to counter disruptions to output elsewhere."
Bad summer of power shortages threatens China economic growth
Rare earth minerals prices skyrocket
China Winning the Race for Central Asia's Energy Riches
"The moral of this story seems clear – those who simply show up with cash and sign mutually beneficial contracts are likely to prevail over Kremlin denizens expecting gratitude for a century of servitude, much less Yankee Wall St wizards seeking to screw the locals whilst prattling on about free markets and democracy."
Fukushima nuclear crisis pushing up prices of liquefied natural gas
"The short-term trading price of LNG imported by Japan has more than tripled over the past two years. The LNG price generally falls after the peak demand in winter. But since September, the price has continued to climb--and soared by about 20 percent since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant."
Dubai says no fear of summer blackouts

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper cable theft declared a high-priority crime (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
Rising world food prices: Can a G20 'action plan' prevent a crisis?
"The last spike in global food prices was marked by rioting. With prices again on the rise, G20 agriculture ministers are meeting in Paris and are expected to adopt an 'action plan.'"
StanChart's Ofon Expects Wheat Prices to Stay High (Bloomberg video)
Sarkozy Says Food Price Surge Is 'Plague'
France's Proposal to Reduce Food Prices Receives Backing From China, India
China to raise soybean imports
US ethanol subsidy caused corn price surge: study
"US ethanol subsidies pushed up corn prices as much as 17 percent in 2011, according to a study released Wednesday at a time when Washington's policies on biofuels are coming under heightened scrutiny."
Gas Prices May Be Falling, But Food Keeps Going Up
Bolivia debates food security

## Environment/health ##
Investigation of Aging U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Reveals Some Scary Truths
"Failed cables. Busted seals. Broken nozzles, clogged screens, cracked concrete, dented containers, corroded metals and rusty underground pipes — all of these and thousands of other problems linked to ageing were uncovered."
Debris from Japanese tsunami headed for Pacific 'garbage patch'
US Midwest Rains Threaten Already Flooded Region
Radioactive dust from Fukushima plant hit N. America soon after meltdown: researchers

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
LulzSec, Anonymous show Latin America unprepared for cyberwarfare
Microsoft's Cloud BPOS Suite Suffers Outage Again
"Microsoft's BPOS cloud-hosted communication and collaboration suite suffered an outage on Wednesday, the latest in a string of technical problems in recent months."
No getting around airline 'glitches'

## Japan ##
System to treat contaminated water at plant still having problems
Tepco Sees Capacity Cushion Falling Under 10%
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. expects electricity supplies on Friday to exceed peak demand by 8.6%, dipping below 10% for the first time this month."
Automakers facing rough road overseas
"Production capacity at Japanese carmakers is recovering faster than they initially forecast after the March 11 quake and tsunami, but winning back their overseas market shares lost in the aftermath of the disaster remains a challenge, analysts say."
'Light Down' campaign starts on summer solstice

## China ##
Analysis: China's railway boom hurtles into the red
China inflation may go up further in June
China PMI on the Verge of Contraction
China's new polar icebreaker to launch in 2013
China's gas imports jump
"China's gas imports jumped nearly a third in May from a year earlier to a record 2.6 billion cubic meters (bcm), according to the country's National Development and Reform Commission, with half delivered by pipeline from Central Asia. The rest was in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG)."

## UK ##
Libya war has cost UK at least £200m
Ministers to name new nuclear power sites
Madness. But not to worry: They will never be built. -- RF
Only a third of people saving for retirement

## US ##
Bernanke Leaves Door Open to More Stimulus Should Economy Fail to Rebound
Fed balance sheet hits another record size
The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme
"What we have found is that the underlying financing mechanisms of the suburban era -- our post-World War II pattern of development -- operates like a classic Ponzi scheme, with ever-increasing rates of growth necessary to sustain long-term liabilities."
And now it's just a short jump to admitting that the "growth economy" itself is a giant Ponzi scheme. -- RF
Cook County, Illinois Is $108 Billion In The Red
"That's a fair amount of money. Sadly, it won't be the final total. There are 53 entities that still need to report in and retiree health benefits have yet to be calculated. We'll take a wild guess and estimate that the final number will land somewhere near $120 billion."
Funding scarce for training new hires
"There's widespread consensus that millions of jobs go unfilled in the U.S. because employers can't find skilled workers.
"But there's less agreement on where the money will come from to train those jobless workers. Nobody, it seems, wants to pick up the tab."
Retirement As We Know it Is "Dead": EuroPacific's Pento
Moody's: Commercial Real Estate Prices declined 3.7% in April, Prices at new Post-Bubble Low
Ron Paul Is Currently Holding A Hearing On Legislation For A Full Audit Of US Gold Reserves, Aka The "Show Me The Tungsten" Bill

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