Wednesday, July 20, 2011


News Links, July 21, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Nature of sovereign debt as an asset challenged by Eurozone debt crisis
Eurozone leaders set for crunch debt summit
France, Germany agree joint Greek deal: report
The European Monetary Union is the Titanic
Euro currency may succumb to debt crisis
"The euro currency, used daily by about 332 million Europeans, might not survive the current battle over government debt, the International Monetary Fund said."
If Levy Imposed to Save Greece, Banks May Sue
German banks will have to book Greek writedowns in Q2
China urges U.S. to boost confidence in debt, dollar
"China pressed the United States to take 'responsible' measures to boost market confidence in the dollar and U.S. government debt on Wednesday, underscoring investor worries that Washington could default on its debt."
'China faces a dilemma' in US Treasuries (People's Daily)
Sovereign Crisis Erodes 75% Junk Bond Gains as Losses Spread: Euro Credit
Exclusive: Fed planning for potential default (Reuters)
"The Federal Reserve is actively preparing for the possibility that the United States could default as a deadline for raising the government's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit looms, a top Fed policymaker said on Wednesday."
Joke Is on China as U.S.'s AAA Becomes Laughable (Bloomberg opinion)
Four Reasons China is Betting On Europe (And Will Lose)
Larry Summers: U.S. Default Would Be 'Lehman On Steroids'
US debt downgrade may now be inevitable
Commodity Shipping Rates Decline for Eighth Session on Glut
Tanzania: Inflation Rate Reaches 10.9 Percent
"Economists and other experts blame rising costs of production due to the ongoing power rationing for pushing up inflation. In June electricity, water, gas and fuel index went up to 18.8 per cent from 15.7 per cent of May."
4 Signs a Company Is Fudging Its Quarterly Earnings Results

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Reports: US drone shot down over Iran nuke site
Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea war, Blood oil and American Interest: The inevitable
China, ASEAN reach consensus on South Sea (China Daily)
South China Sea dispute: Philippine MPs visit Spratlys
"A group of Philippine politicians has visited a disputed island in the South China Sea, reigniting a row with China."
General David Petraeus warns of deteriorating US-Pakistan relations
Squabbles between Flemish and Walloons could bring down EU, warns Belgian king
Budget Storm Could Sink U.S. Plan to Rule Sea and Sky

## Global unrest/mob rule ##
Aung San Suu Kyi leads thousands in Yangon's largest public demonstration since 2007
Malawi riots spread to major cities after troops clash with protesters
Cleveland: Councilman seeks 'flash mob' law
Chinese Real Estate and the Civil Unrest Powder Keg
"In China, a massive real estate bubble has left 64 million apartments vacant -- and millions of laborers angry."
Muslims Killed in New Xinjiang Unrest
"BEIJING — At least twenty Muslims from China's minority Uighur community were killed on Tuesday, July 19, in renewed clash with police forces in the ethnically tense northwestern region of Xinjiang, a Uighur exile group said."
Analysts see Pakistan terror links to Xinjiang attack
"Officials on Wednesday said this week's attack on a police station in China's far western Xinjiang region had been 'masterminded' by terrorist groups, while security analysts here suggested separatist groups active in Pakistan had a role in the violence."

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi oil exports set to fall in long term
"RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 20 (UPI) -- Saudi oil exports are set to fall sharply in the long term as domestic consumption claims an increasing share of the output, Jadwa Investment said in a report."
Kyrgyzstan rations gasoline
Analysis: Yemen's fuel mayhem to continue
IEA could take further action on oil
"The International Energy Agency isn't ruling out another release of strategic oil reserves in an effort to keep market volatility under control, Paris said."
Australian truck drivers protest against high fuel costs, low pay
Another Oil Sands Producer Acquired by China

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Jamaica temporarily halts scrap metal trade amid rampant theft
"The thriving scrap metal trade has wreaked havoc on the island's infrastructure, including railway lines, copper wires and telephone cables. Losses in the public and private sectors have been estimated at $11 million over the past three years; with production hindered and service to customers disrupted, the ministry said last week."

## Got food? ##
Rice Prices Up 70% Make Asian Inflation Tough for Central Banks to Digest
Drought and wildfire threaten America's cattle capital
"Ranchers face the risk of starving cattle after drought, wildfire, and prolonged high temperatures scorch parts of the heartland. Water reserves were used to fight fires, leaving little for farmers."
Saving seeds Part II: When and how to collect and store seeds
Reading the World In a Loaf of Bread -- Soaring Food Prices, Wild Weather, Upheaval, and a Planetful of Trouble
Wheat Jumps to One-Month High as Feed Use of Grain Fueled by Rally in Corn

## Environment/health ##
UN declares famine in parts of Somalia
Study: Changes to ocean expected to damage shellfish around world
Nauru's Plea for UN Action on Climate Threat Goes Unheeded
Attack of the Urban Mosquitoes
Analysis: Climate bill mounts as dash for gas speeds up
"The accelerating dash for natural gas risks a bitter backlash as the environmental cost of exploiting new shale deposits and of transporting it in liquid form spoil its credentials as the greenest fossil fuel."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Mossad spy ring 'unearthed because of Christchurch earthquake'
New Zealand PM John Key denies Israel spy rumour
News Corp. may be on its way to voluntarily disclosing its worst secrets to the US government (Forbes)
Justice Department Trips in Anthrax Case. Again.

## Japan ##
Can private emergency generating equipment feed the grid? (article in Japanese)
Scared by the prospect of all nuke plants shutting down by next summer, the prime minister has ordered the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to perform a study on whether the emergency generating installations in office buildings, hospitals, and other such facilities could be fed into the grid and used to bolster public electric power supplies in a crunch. Oh man, this is getting desperate. -- RF
Japan Extends Power-Saving Push to Country's West
"The Japanese government for the first time called on households and businesses in the country's west to cut back on electricity use, amid fears over the economic impact of the spreading power crunch."
Quake scare hits high-rise apartment sales
"Sales of high-rise apartments in Japan have taken a hit following the March 11 earthquake-tsunami catastrophe despite stringent building codes, developers said."
Japan Won't Rule Out Possibility Radioactive Fukushima Beef Was Exported
Over 1,300 cattle suspected of radiation contamination shipped

## China ##
Exposing China's Mysterious Multi-Trillion Shadow Banking System
The Case For A Hard Landing In China
100-km traffic jam reappears on N China highway
China's water riddle
Can China's economy absorb six million graduates?
"There are approximately 81 million young people around the world actively looking for work, according to the UN. In most countries, 15-24 years olds are more than three times as likely to be unemployed than older adults."
Nanjing-bound bullet train breakdown adds to railway ministry's woes
China oil majors suffer heavy losses in overseas projects

## UK ##
Why UK's nuclear power stations are still a long way away
Cameron Says Hiring Coulson Was a Mistake, Defends Dealings With Murdoch
Number of Scottish people going bust rises by 25%
U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls as Outlook for Economy Darkens

## US ##
Bipartisan Plan Summary Charts Confirm Key Deficit "Cuts" Come From Imminent Social Security Pillage
Power grid strained because of heat
Fukushima-type disaster inevitable in U.S.?
Investments Muddy Dirt-Bond Holders
"Now, as those bonds get tested by the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression, dirt-bond investors are getting a few nasty surprises."
U.S. about to face a critical doctor shortage
We're On Track For Record-Low Housing Completions In 2011
Home sales on track for worst year since bust
Cancellations Roil Realtors
The Fed's scary doomsday drill
"Hoping Aug. 2 will come and go uneventfully? Read Wednesday's comments from Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and weep."
US to Close 800 Computer Data Centers
"The federal government plans to shut 40 percent of its computer centers over the next four years to reduce its hefty technology budget and modernize the way it uses computers to manage data and provide services to citizens.
"Computer centers typically do not employ many people to tend the machines, but analysts estimate that tens of thousands of jobs will most likely be eliminated."
Blistering heat wave stressing nation's power grid
"A lengthy, blistering heat wave that is blanketing the eastern half of theUnited States is putting significant stress on the nation's power grid as homeowners and businesses crank up their air conditioners."
Borders, Cisco Cutting as Many Jobs as the Economy Added in June
Three million job openings remain unfilled in the U.S. as companies claim workers simply don't have the right skills.

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