Sunday, July 24, 2011


News Links, July 25, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
The future of US debt in three terrifying line charts
Debt, From Ancient Tool To Modern Weapon
Congress "nutters" risk global finance: UK minister
"Right-wing 'nutters' in the United States Congress holding up a deal to prevent a catastrophic debt default are a greater risk to the global financial system than problems in the euro zone, a British minister said Sunday."
Weidmann Says Greek Crisis Package May Weaken Incentive for Budget Reforms
"Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said Greece's second bailout package may weaken incentives for governments to implement solid fiscal policies.
"'By transferring sizeable additional risks to aid-granting countries and their taxpayers, the euro area made a large step toward a collectivization of risks in case of unsolid public finances and economic mistakes,' Weidmann said in an e-mailed statement yesterday."
EU May Accept Greek Default as Crisis Fight Intensifies
It's Official Now, Fitch Declares Greece in Default; German Central Bank Openly Critical of Deal
Angela Merkel faces revolt in Germany over rescue deal
Gold Hits Record $1,621.80

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Gunmen kill two Mexican cops who guarded U.S. diplomats
Italian tanker Anema e Core seized by pirates off Benin
"Pirates have hijacked an Italian diesel tanker off Benin in western Africa in an attack of the kind more usually associated with Somalia."
Analysis: Norway massacre exposes incendiary immigration issue
Iraqi police targeted in Baghdad attacks
Global Response to S. China Sea Risks Needed
China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System, And A Deeper Dive Into The Iranian Oil Bourse
Bahrain says Saudi rotating troops, no new deployment

## Global unrest/mob rule ##
Egypt after Mubarak: Slow pace of reform fuels anger
"After weeks of mainly peaceful protests, Egypt's post-revolution crisis is entering a more violent phase of confrontations."
Protest marches converge on Spain's capital

## Energy/resources ##
Coal shortages likely to hurt power sector (India)
Electrical transformer industry fears raw material shortage (India)
Fly me to the moon (and let me mine among the stars)
Growing Saudi consumption for its own crude cause for concern
"The surge in the Saudi domestic crude consumption is generating ripples all around. With the region in the midst of hot and humid summer, this could be straining — ultimately — the delicate, global demand/supply balance."
China begins oil production in Iraq

## Got food? ##
Cash crisis threat to record harvest
"Less than a week after India announced a record harvest, Hindustan Times has learnt that the nation's main grain-buying agency is running out of money for its massive nationwide purchase operation. Over the last month, the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has twice stopped payments to state governments, various grain-purchasing agencies and rice millers who buy wheat and rice, the main food crops, from millions of farmers, a senior government source told HT on condition of anonymity."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
FBI Says Hacking Attack on IMF Started in China

## Japan ##
Japan to see more demand for LNG
Fukushima residents allowed a brief visit home (BBC video)
70% support Kan's policy to make Japan nuclear-free: poll
China-ASEAN pact important to Japan
Genkai reactor may have faulty vessel
Kan cautious about extending life of Kansai Electric's Mihama No. 2 reactor

## China ##
Plates at 43-month high (Shanghai)
The Economics Of China's High-Speed Rail
"The aggressive push in high-speed rail and infrastructure makes little sense except making the GDP numbers up."

## UK ##
Leicestershire street light maintenance cut
Cash-strapped county council to switch off Harlow street lights
Eradicating fuel poverty by 2016 will be "extremely challenging" following energy price increases

## US ##
Jefferson County in Alabama May Vote to File Largest Bankruptcy July 28
And there are many more such bankruptcies to come, precipitating a storm of muni bond defaults. -- RF
A bipartisan debt deal just about impossible now
5 Consequences If America Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling
'Super Congress': Debt Ceiling Negotiators Aim To Create New Legislative Body
Democracy in action. -- RF
California households are doing without
Heat knocks out power at hospital for seven hours overnight
Joplin digs out from debris 2 months after tornado
"Two months after a huge tornado split Joplin in half, the recovery here has barely begun, and the city remains focused on cleaning up massive mounds of debris."
Police: 7 wounded in casino shooting near Seattle
4 Terrifying Shootings This Weekend: Gun Violence Sweeps Nation
California High-Speed Rail: Are Prospects Dimming?
Analysis: Companies churn out profits but jobs don't follow
"'We've never seen the kind of shedding of jobs that we saw in this recession. America's corporations have never been running so efficiently,' said Ellen Zentner, senior U.S. economist at Nomura Securities in New York.
"What's more, workers have never claimed such a paltry share of real national income growth."
GE sees quarterly earnings rise on international income
"New York, NY, United States (AHN) – International revenue accounted for almost 60 percent of General Electric's industrial division revenues, helping the company to post strong second-quarter earnings on Friday."
Microsoft's Quarter: One Big Tax Dodge
"Microsoft Earnings Smoke and Mirrors"
Quarterly earnings look great, right? Just one thing... -- RF
21 Workplace Benefits That Are Rapidly Disappearing
"Traditional pension plans, paid family leave, and even the company picnic are all on the decline. Employers have significantly cut many of the benefits they offer to workers over the past five years."
Boulder Weekly Cover Story: "Adults Take Teen Jobs, Leaving Kids Unemployed"
Ford: Don't expect any raises
"Michigan-based Ford Motor Co., preparing to start negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, says workers shouldn't expect pay raises."
U.S. airlines fight prospect of higher security fees
Analysis: Default threat rattles munis as does compromise
"The possibility the United States could default on its debt next month has made the municipal bond market anxious, but the potential compromises Congress and President Barack Obama might strike to avoid a default may be making it even more nervous."
Price of gas jumps 8.5 cents in past two weeks
States eye fee increases as alternative to taxes
Home sales on pace for worst showing in 14 years

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