Wednesday, June 29, 2011


News Links, June 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Korea Announces Household Debt Plan
"Reflecting widespread home ownership and increased borrowing to finance major expenditures such as education, South Korea has some of the highest levels of household debt in the developed world."
Danish Banks Face International Funding Wall
"Denmark's banks face reluctance from international investors to buy their bonds after a second regional lender failed this month, triggering Europe's toughest resolution rules."
The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold And Silver (Chris Martenson)
Spain Starts Wireless-Spectrum Sale to Raise $2.9 Billion to Trim Deficit
Greece backs first austerity package, violence worsens
Why the Greek debt crisis won't 'grow away'
"Trouble is, things are not likely to go well. There is no plausible growth rate that will make it possible for the Greeks to 'grow their way out' of this debt. All they can do is default, one way or another."
S&P to deeply cut U.S. ratings if debt payment missed (Reuters)
Moody's Sees U.S. Rating Cut to Aa On Default (Bloomberg)
Singapore Sets Capital Rules for Local Banks Higher Than Basel III Minimum
The Coming Chinese Depression (Daily Bell)
"Conclusion: The seeming inevitability of the coming Chinese Crash is surely the largest and most significant economic story of the upcoming decade. Look for concerted, regular coverage in your local newspapers and periodicals ... Not."
IMF Urges U.S. Debt-Ceiling Increase to Avoid a 'Severe Shock' to Economy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
North Korea threatens 'sacred war' against South
Russia cuts off power to Belarus
"MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Russia cut off electricity supplies to struggling Belarus over unpaid bills on Wednesday, raising the heat on its economically struggling neighbor."
Kissinger: US and China not competing for world domination
What kind of BS is this? There has never been any other game, and there never will be. -- RF
Iran begins shelling anew inside Iraq
Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns
France supplying weapons to Libyan rebels
"France has begun supplying weapons to the Libyan rebels despite the UN arms embargo, confirming on Wednesday it had dropped assault rifles into the Nafusa Mountains south-west of Tripoli."
China lambastes Japan after Taiwan boat confrontation
"BEIJING, June 29, 2011 (Reuters) — China's Foreign Ministry lambasted Japan on Wednesday after a confrontation between a Taiwanese fishing boat and a Japanese coast guard vessel near a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea."

## Global unrest ##
Egypt: Fresh clashes erupt in Cairo's Tahrir Square
Special Report:China migrant unrest exposes generation faultline
Syrian tanks shell villages, Assad offers dialogue
Five Saudi women detained for defying kingdom's driving ban, activist says
Senegal deploys army to halt anti-government riots
Austerity Riots - A Glimpse Of America's Future?
Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

## Energy/resources ##
Iraq can barely handle oil security in south
"BASRA, Iraq, June 29, 2011 (Reuters) — Iraq is barely capable of protecting its vital oil infrastructure and could falter if its oil police do not get enough manpower and sophisticated security equipment soon, a senior Iraqi security official said."
And what are they protecting? Iraq's oil infrastructure is a pile of rusting junk. -- RF
Brazil Steelmakers Face 'Increasingly Difficult' Coal Supply
"RIO DE JANEIRO -(Dow Jones)- Some new steel mills planned in Brazil won't emerge due to coal supply difficulties, industry consultants said Tuesday."
Crude oil hovers near $93 per barrel
How critical is critical metals demand and supply
Brazil and China Battle Over Copper in Africa
"Brazil and China are heading for a battle of strategic necessity over copper in Africa that will leave the winner walking away with the most expensive acquisition of a diversified minerals company."
Stormy weather for nuclear plants?
Reality Check for the Natural Gas Boom: A Look at the NYT Shale Gas E-Mails
A good read on the shale gas boom. -- RF
China's Diesel Smile (Gregor Macdonald)
OPEC spare capacity, rig count and the big picture
Opec split threatens increase in Saudi oil production
"A growing split between the world's biggest oil consumers and major Opec producers over prices means Saudi Arabia may no longer increase its oil output by as much as it pledged."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Arrest Made In Dept. of Agriculture Outage
"An arrest has been made in connection with a copper theft that cut off telephone and internet service at the headquarters of the state Dept. of Agriculture near Charleston Tuesday."
Co-op power outage caused by copper theft

## Got food? ##
Global Agriculture Supply Worsening May Spur Food Shortages, Rogers Says
"The global agriculture supply situation has worsened and a failure to boost food production fast enough to meet demand may lead to shortages, said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.
"'We've got to do something or we're going to have no food at any price at times in the next few years.'"
UN warns of severe food crisis in Horn of Africa
Soggy U.S. Corn Fields Curb Planting
"U.S. corn farmers were unable to plant on soggy or flooded fields from Arkansas to North Dakota this year, signaling tighter grain stockpiles even after rising demand for livestock feed and ethanol sent prices surging."
Reports of North Korea food shortages overblown, say US, South Korea

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
MasterCard website attacked by hackers
Hackers hit Arizona law enforcement
MidEast states fly military jets disguised as commercial planes
"Middle East military jets equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance technology are being disguised as commercial aircraft to enable them to operate discreetly, defence experts told Arabian Business."

## Japan -- Long, Hot Summer ##
Summer power crunch for Tohoku Electric (article in Japanese)
Tohoku Electric, the utility that serves northeast Honshu, has determined its current maximum output to be 12,300 MW, which is more than 40% below its pre-disaster capacity of 21,100 MW. Maximum predicted demand in August is 13,000 MW to 13,800 MW. Rolling blackouts could become necessary if conservation can't hold down demand.
Saga closer to Genkai reactor resumption
Kyushu Electric has tight supply (article in Japanese)
President of Kyushu Electric says that because the Genkai reactors are off line, supply is tight, and the breakdown of even one thermal plant could bring supply below demand if the weather is as hot as it was last year.
Tokyo Metro subway stations to heat up from Friday
Hot day stokes power overload fear
"Demand for electricity in Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s service area totaled 45.7 million kw after 2 p.m. Wednesday, about 93 percent of the utility's maximum supply capacity."
Automakers Begin Designated Weekday Shutdowns
"TOKYO (Kyodo)--Japan's auto industry began designated weekday shutdowns Thursday, with three major automakers closing their plants through Friday as part of efforts to save electricity."
Japan Factory Output Jumps by Most in Nearly 60 Years
"Japanese factory output jumped by the most in almost 60 years in May as manufacturers restore supply chains damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March, the latest evidence the economy is headed for a "V-shaped" recovery from the disaster."
A V-shaped recovery? From what? Japan's collapse started 20 years ago. This is nothing but noise. -- RF
Kansai Beats Back Nuclear Naysayers
Tepco Repeatedly Halts Water Treatment System Due To Alarm
Spent fuel causing headaches for nuclear power plants
"The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has brought to light the cascading problem of spent nuclear fuel that threatens to overwhelm Japan's nuclear power plants."
Census Shows Social Security At Breaking Point
Shareholders meetings peak in Japan focusing on post-disaster earnings

## China ##
China Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 3
China's Bad Debt and Slowing Growth
China's debt bomb (CNN)
China's Top Auditor Warns of Chinese Local Government Defaults (Mish)
China's Local Governments Really Want To Default On Their Debts
China Pork Prices at Record High, Likely to Spur Inflation
Investors pile into the bet against China
"Manufacturing jobs are leaving China and returning to the U.S. But many investors are betting that that may actually be the least of China's problems."
In China, Corruption and Unrest Threaten Autocratic Rule

## UK ##
Household spending power suffers biggest drop in 34 years
Robbery on the rise amid fears of recession crimewave
Strikes among public sector workers begin

## US ##
Financial martial law: Crumbling US town on verge of democratic collapse (video)
Cops Fear Violence Against Flash Mobs
"UPPER DARBY, Pa. - As police in Upper Darby, Pa., search for more young people involved in last week's flash mob, more adults are thinking about arming themselves with guns.
"People are talking about how afraid they are of being caught in the path one of these flash mobs, while they're out minding their own business and they want to be ready."
Mob of thieves descends on Atlanta store
"ATLANTA, June 28 (UPI) -- A smash-and-grab mob of almost a dozen thieves plundered a clothing boutique in downtown Atlanta in an early morning robbery, police said."
Commercial Lenders Take Step Into Riskier Deals
"An increasing number of financial institutions are vying to make loans on commercial real estate now. But many buildings are still drowning under heavy debt loads, leaving few properties that can support new borrowing."
Does Greece owe you? How the Greece crisis affects US money market funds
Cost of US wars since 9/11? At least $3.7 trillion, study finds
Police Forced Out Due to Budget Crisis (Texas)
US Enters Next Round of Public Pensions Fight
You Thought California State Pensions Were Out Of Control? Wait Until You See This List From Illinois
Debit-Card Swipe Fees to Be Capped at 21 Cents: Fed
Gutting of the Big Banks Has Begun!
Minnesota braces for a government shutdown
Extreme tuition hikes ahead

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