Wednesday, July 27, 2011


News Links, July 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Vote of No Confidence: Deutsche Bank Dumps 70% of Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Italy Debt
Italian Banks Slump After Bond Purchase Report
European banks slash jobs amid revenue pressures
Eurozone debt crisis resurfaces as markets punish Italy and Spain for Merkel delay on bailout package
"Spain and Italy's borrowing costs marched back towards euro-era highs on Wednesday, as markets renewed their eurozone fears less than seven days after ministers agreed a €159bn (£140bn) second bail-out for Greece."
Greece credit rating cut by S&P on 'likely default'
IMF calls on France to trim deficit
Wall Street ends day reeling from big losses
US debt crisis: failure to tackle debt sends global markets into tailspin
M&A Binge: China Gobbles Up More Foreign Companies
"China is mounting a foreign takeover offensive, fueled by a stronger currency and worries about one of its prime holdings, US Treasurys, as the debt debate drags on in Washington."
Flee to Mars if America commits worst error since 1931 (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
"Since tax revenues cover just 60pc of the federal budget, the squeeze would have to be on a scale large enough within a few months to tip the US economy into a downward spiral and take the world with it."
Kiss the AAA rating of the U.S. goodbye (MarketWatch)
The Fed's Killing the US Dollar Behind the Scenes
How Limited Oil Supply Can Lead to a Continuing Financial Crisis

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda on brink of collapse
And of course US officials would know. -- RF
Iran revolutionary guards' commander set to become president of Opec
Kandahar mayor killed by suicide bomber, latest in wave of assassinations
China's Plan to Beat U.S.: Missiles, Missiles and More Missiles
Lee says Japan lawmakers in danger if they visit disputed island
"South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has warned Japanese lawmakers against visiting a site near islands claimed by both nations, saying their safety cannot be guaranteed, an official said Wednesday."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Thieves Use Social Networking for 'Flash Mob' Robberies
IMF chief warns of social unrest in Europe
China train crash victims' families demand answers
Train crash protests in China
"Chinese protesters clashed with police and government officials in Zhejiang province Monday over the handling of a deadly train crash over the weekend."
China fruit seller death sparks riot in Guizhou
"State media reported that hundreds of people threw stones and clashed with police on the streets of Anshun, in the southern Guizhou province."
Bangladesh mob kills six suspected thieves
"Six alleged robbers in southern Bangladesh have been beaten to death by a mob after the gang they were part of shot a villager dead, police say."
Guard post on Kosovo-Serbia border torched
Protests in Swaziland over shortage of drugs

## Energy/resources ##
Red Metal Hour: The Copper Problem Accelerates
German Switch to Renewables Likely to Be Expensive
'Energy, food prices to follow oil on upward trajectory'
Saudis step in as Iranian oil dries up (India)
"Saudi Arabia has agreed to sell 3 million barrels of additional crude oil to India next month to make up for supply cut by Iran over unpaid bills, touching $7 billion."
Global demand for oil will increase in 2012 driven by emerging economies
Countrywide protracted power outage persists (Pakistan)
Iraqis suffer from power shortage amid summer heat

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves target freight train in York
"Thieves stole dozens of air straps from a freight train in York, costing thousands of pounds of damage."

## Got food? ##
Australia's inflation accelerates on rising food prices
African land grab threatens food security: study
"Rich countries grabbing farmland in Africa to feed their growing populations can leave rural populations there without land or jobs and make the continent's hunger problem more severe, an environmental think tank said on Tuesday."
A Future of Price Spikes

## Environment/health ##
Deaths tied to heat: 64 people, thousands of cattle (US)
Dozens dead as landslides, flash floods hit South Korea
China's Three Gorges project: A huge dam with big troubles
"After years of denials, China admits its Three Gorges project is destabilizing land around the 400-mile-long reservoir, prompting calls for more costly resettlements."
Arctic vulnerable to worst-case oil spills

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Post Office card accounts hit by computer problem (UK)
Nicolas Sarkozy's Elysee Palace website hacked
US Government, Military Face Severe Shortage Of Cybersecurity Experts
The cyber Mafia has already hacked you
"Large, organized crime syndicates have been launching sophisticated attacks against individuals and major corporations for decades. The result of their efforts is the theft of billions of dollars every year, and a large, ongoing presence in many of our most sensitive computer systems."

## Japan ##
Tokyo Electric to halt 600-MW oil-fired unit for repair
If utilities have plenty of spare capacity, such breakdowns are no problem. But now we are cutting it close, so a few days of "broiler" weather could make the situation dicey. Further, Tepco is financially a shambles, and lacks the wherewithal to finance new plant construction to replace all its lost capacity. -- RF
Japan sees potential power shortage next summer
Power shortages expected even 5 years ahead
"If all nuclear power plants remain suspended, regions served by three utilities will experience summer electricity shortages even five years ahead, according to estimates by The Asahi Shimbun.
"That's because Kansai Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. all depend heavily on nuclear power but do not have many old thermal power stations that can be restarted."
Quake-affected vehicles stolen and smuggled overseas
"In the days following the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, the absence of looters in the disaster-ravaged areas was viewed with amazement by the rest of the world.
"However, more than four months after the quake and tsunami ravaged northeast Japan, investigations have begun into allegations that unscrupulous individuals have been exporting affected vehicles--some stolen even from the municipal parking lots where they were temporarily stored."
Bill Unsettles Tepco Investors
Chubu Electric to suffer operating loss in 2011
Nissan quarterly profit drops 20%
Incubator Bank Creditors Looking At 73% Haircut
Niigata reactors to stay offline, governor says
1,600 workers projected over radiation limit
Minimum wage increases to shrink / National average rise estimated at 6 yen down from 15 yen in fiscal 2010
"The number of so-called working poor--laborers who earn less than 2 million yen a year--has exceeded 10 million."

## China ##
Chinese companies pop up in Hollywood
"China's biggest companies have begun an ambitious campaign to advertise themselves abroad, popping up in Hollywood movies and on Premier League shirts."
Chinese news agency to take over prime Times Square advertising spot
"China's state-run news agency will take over one of the highest-profile advertising locations in New York's Times Square from next week, in perhaps the most visible step in its recent American expansion."
Labor shortage a headache for factories
China train crash inquiry ordered as public outrage continues
"Propaganda authorities in China have failed to stem the torrent of public outrage over last Saturday's high-speed rail crash amid continuing aggressive media reporting and angry online posts."
China Train Crash Fallout Continues To Build

## UK ##
£3,000 a year to keep 'gold-plated' public sector pensions

## US ##
Growth Slowed in 8 of 12 U.S. Regions: Fed
Boehner Revises Debt Limit Plan as Aug. 2 Deadline Nears
Under debt ceiling shadow, S.C. waits
Post office closures: What happens if a town has no post office?
Goldman's Jan Hatzius Explains How Austerity Is Already Destroying Growth This Year
Ford profit dips for quarter, and Chrysler records a loss
Stocks plunge on debt impasse and economic fears
Survey: Affluent households lack confidence in the economy
Vacant Homes Will Drown Housing Recovery
BofA Donates, Demolishes Houses to Cut Glut
This Is What A Collapsing Ponzi Scheme Looks Like: Housing Market Headed Off A Cliff As A Shocking 10.8 Million Mortgages At Risk Of Default
Worsening Roads Will Cost US Billions
"Failing infrastructure will cost the United States billions of dollars in lost productivity, income and trade in coming decades, according to a civil engineering report released on Wednesday that said the impact on gross domestic product could reach $2.7 trillion.
"The American Society of Civil Engineers regularly tallies the amount needed to upkeep declining U.S. roads, bridges and waterways. It said the country will need to invest roughly $220 billion annually to maintain the country's infrastructure in 'minimum tolerable conditions.'"
States Count Cash While Hoping for U.S. Debt Deal
It's looking worse for states, and of course all down the line. Keep watching for the inevitable muni bond meltdown. -- RF
Jefferson County Alabama Hires Bankruptcy Firm; Record Municipal Bankruptcy Coming
Exclusive: SEC builds new tips machine to catch the next Madoff
Is this a joke? The whole "growth economy" itself is a huge Ponzi scheme. -- RF
Military Training Exercises to Take Place In and Around Boston
Despair Spreads As Recession And Debt Debate Drag On

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