Wednesday, July 13, 2011


News Links, July 14, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
U.S. Put On Review For Possible Credit Rating Downgrade By Moody's
Will Congress Let US Default, Stocks Crash to Get a Deal?
US Default Inevitable: Fund Manager
"A U.S. default isn't a matter of 'if' but 'when,' David Murrin, chief investment officer at Emergent Asset Management, told CNBC.
"'It's inevitable that the U.S. will default—it's essentially an empire which is overextended and in decline—and that its financial system will go with it,' he said."
A New Chinese Threat to the Global Economy (Money & Markets video)
An extremely pessimistic assessment of China's economy. Now add a liberal helping of unrest, a healthy scoop of unemployment, a cup of inflation, three heaping tablespoons of droughts and floods, and throw in chronic power shortages. Stir well, simmer, then turn up the summer heat and bring to a boil. Got that recipe? -- RF
BlackRock, Investure Say Clients Piling Cash as Crash Protection
IMF urges Italy to enforce spending cuts
Merrill warns of major global crisis over Italy
Q2 corporate earnings expected to be weak: analysts (Singapore)
EU declares war on agencies as Ireland's rating gets junk status
Gold gains $13; jumps to new high price
Bank of Thailand Raises Benchmark Rate to 3.25%
"The Bank of Thailand raised its benchmark interest rate Wednesday for the sixth straight meeting as it attempts to ward off escalating inflation."
Defaulted Greece May Have to Rescue Trichet
Fitch downgrades Greece on lack of funding program
Spain May Need Deeper Spending Cuts: Salgado
Russia Seeks to Loosen Rating Companies' Grip
"Russia and members of the Eurasian Economic Community, a grouping of former Soviet republics, are seeking to loosen the dominance of U.S. credit-rating companies and may set up an independent rival next year.
"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he's an 'ardent supporter' of the plan because Russia's debt grade is an 'outrage' that lifts corporate borrowing costs and increases risks."
Argentina accused of muzzling economists
Great Depression Comes Knocking (Daily Bell)
Bernanke and Paul spar over gold (video)
If You Thought 2008 Was Bad… Get Ready
"Sovereign nations will default whether it be Greece, Italy, Spain, OR the US. There is no way we'll be paying our debts off. The only reason we haven't already seen defaults is because the banks won't take a haircut on their bond holdings."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Mumbai bomb blasts kill 21 during city's rush hour
"Opera House district, Zaveri bazaar and Dadar area targeted in fourth major terror attack on India's financial capital since 2003."
Mumbai attack in pictures
Navy Sprucing Up Air Base Near Dokdo (Korea)
Note: These are disputed islands that both SKorea and Japan claim.
Mullen visits China to mend military ties, but South China Sea disputes steal spotlight
Pakistan spy chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha in US visit
Lockdown: U.S. Builds New Jails Across Afghanistan
Violence surrounds Wali Karzai's funeral
'Desperate' Ahmadinejad challenges Revolutionary Guards in Iranian power struggle
Blasts hit Syrian gas pipelines
World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia: U.S. Sends in the Marines and More Drones
Over a Fifth of US Navy Ships Aren't Ready to Fight
Barack Obama attacked by Arab states for withdrawing support for Syria's Assad regime

## Global unrest ##
Police under attack in second night of riots in Northern Ireland
Austerity measures could create unrest (US)
"Bloody acts of social violence and billows of tear gas have yet to manifest in America's streets since the financial crisis, but the growing disparity between the plutocracy and the lower middle class in the United States could trigger the type of turmoil seen in other Western countries."
Car tires punctured at temporary housing complex as tempers flare (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Power shortages deprive city of 20m gallons water (Pakistan)
Oil recovers on China GDP, Brent steady near $118
Oil demand set to increase in 2012, IEA says
Tehran focuses oil efforts on India, China
UAE's mission impossible: Cooling the desert
"Such heavy consumption in well-to-do UAE cities like Dubai and federal capital Abu Dhabi mean the wealthy Arab state could see another summer of sporadic power blackouts in the northern emirates. It will also face a ballooning gas bill for the fuel used to generate 85 percent of its electricity with global gas prices having doubled from a year ago."
World Oil Markets Face Production Shortfall in Second Half (Jeff Rubin)
Hybrids' Surprising Problem: So-So MPG

## Got food? ##
Markets Hub: U.S. Corn to China Export Quadrupled (MarketWatch video)
"Prices for corn are soaring, in part due to American exports to China, which have quadrupled as well as high demand in ethanol."
More US Corn for Ethanol Than Anything Else
"More than 40% of this year's US corn harvest, about 5.05 billion bushels, is expected to be used to produce ethanol. That surpasses an estimated 5 billion bushels that will be used for livestock feed. This is the first time more corn has been used to produce ethanol than to feed cattle, pigs, and chickens."
Rice Advances to Highest Level Since November 2008 in Chicago on Supplies
Rice shortages become clear, present danger (South Korea)
"The fear [of a shortage] is already taking grip because the agriculture minister has released more than 200,000 tons of rice from 2009 this year. It is the first time in the 21st century that the nation is supplying 'old rice,' or that harvested two years ago, to the market in volume."
Food prices unlikely to fall: General Mills CEO
China's Great Grain Robbery

## Environment/health ##
Megacities destroy your brain

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
China Shut Down 1.3M Websites in 2010 [STUDY]
Iran tightens online censorship to counter US 'shadow internet'

## Japan ##
Radioactive cesium beef sold, eaten
Fukushima to conduct radiation tests on all beef in evacuation zones before shipping meat
Japanese rail industry responds to power crisis
"The Japanese rail industry is reducing train services and lighting at stations on many electrified routes to conserve the country's dwindling power supply."
Fukushima cleanup recruits 'nuclear gypsies' from across Japan
Earlier summer work hours could actually increase Tokyo electricity usage, simulation finds
Revised money lending law creating desperate housewives

## China ##
China's scramble for Europe
"China is using its growing economic strength to buy up strategic assets in Europe, from companies to government debt and infrastructure contracts."
China's Growth Tops Forecast, Boosts Inflation Fight
Residents' lives blighted by 'trash bombs'
China Struggles to Tally All Lending

## UK ##
Rent levels rise amid shortage of homes
"A shortage of homes to let has forced rent levels higher and further increased the squeeze on cash-strapped consumers, according to figures today."
Pound Tumbles as Jobless Claims Soar, Denting Prospects for U.K. Recovery
Jobs outlook 'deteriorating' Government warned

## US ##
Obama 'Abruptly' Walks From Meeting: Cantor
Struggling U.S. Capitals Seek More From Tax-Exempt Landowners
Gov't panel: Changes needed at U.S. nuclear plants
"An expert task force convened by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission called Japan's nuclear disaster 'unacceptable' and concluded that nuclear power plants in the U.S. need better protections for rare, catastrophic events."
The Public-Private Indiana Toll Road Is in Trouble
As Number Of Foreclosed Homes Grows, So Does Mold
"In some states, it's estimated that more than half of foreclosed homes have mold and mildew issues. Realtors across the country say they're seeing the problem in everything from bungalows to mansions... No electricity means no sump pump or dehumidifier for months, even years, and that often means mold. Slimy black or green patches creeping up drywall and blanketing bathroom fixtures."
Raze the Roof: Cleveland Levels Vacant Homes to Revive Neighborhoods
ComEd Outage Creates Ice Shortage in Chicagoland
Most Hospitals Face Drug Shortages
"The vast majority of U.S. hospitals have restricted the use of life-saving chemotherapy drugs and other critical-care medications in the past six months to cope with unprecedented shortages, according to a survey released Tuesday.
"More than 80% of hospitals surveyed by the American Hospital Association reported they had to delay treatment, and nearly 70% said patients received less effective substitute drugs."
Prison guards say Conn. cuts could mean riots
Bernanke says more support possible if economy weakens
US Deficit Talks at Standstill as Default Draws Closer
Minnesota Rest Areas to Stay Closed During Shutdown
Morgan Stanley "Running Layoff Scenarios Into Several Thousand

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