Thursday, July 28, 2011


News Links, July 29, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China to Press Ahead With FX Reserves Diversification
China Fears U.S. Debt Default, But Has Few Options
Dagong Says Will Cut US Rating As Early As Monday
The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against the United States
"Someone dropped a bomb on the bond market Thursday – a $1 billion Armageddon trade betting the United States will lose its AAA credit rating."
Credit Suisse Profit Misses; to Cut 4% of Workforce
HSBC May Cut Thousands of Jobs
'The Global Recovery Is Over': Siemens CEO
"Siemens, the German engineering and power giant, on Thursday posted third-quarter earnings that missed analyst forecasts blaming a slowdown in the global economy for the drop in profits."
Insurance Cost Against US Default Hits Record
Latin America learns the price of growth
"Latin America is starting to learn the ironic lesson of its stunning economic growth: with it comes rising currencies and inflation which threaten to reverse many of the gains made."
South Africa Producer-Price Inflation Rose to 7.4%, Statistics Office Says
"The price of goods leaving South African factories and mines rose at a faster pace in June than the previous month, reflecting the increased cost of food, fuel and electricity."
VW Says Higher Costs to Damp Profit
One in five Aussies have no spare money, finds Nielsen poll
"THE steel grip on consumer spending has tightened to the point that the number of Australians saying they have no cash is worse than during the global financial crisis."
Roach Says Chinese Officials 'Appalled' by Impasse on Raising Debt Ceiling
"Senior Chinese officials are "appalled" by the impasse among U.S. politicians on raising the nation's debt ceiling to avoid a default, said Stephen Roach, non-executive chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd."
Debt Ceiling Dilemma: The Foul Choice Facing Investors
Asia's BRICs Hit the Wall
Eurozone Leaders Are Fighting Contagion, But Is It Too Little, Too Late?
Wealthy Are 'Frozen' as Debt Uncertainty Persists: UBS
Market Correlations at 'Nosebleed Levels': Analyst
Italy Bonds Smacked in Selloff, Yields Now Approach Spain
The Coming Global Instability, Part I
Singapore Airlines 2Q profit plunges 82 percent
"Singapore Airlines Ltd. says quarterly profit plunged 82 percent as soaring fuel prices pushed up costs."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
China boosts naval power with carrier program: sources
Pakistan torturing Balochistan activists, report says
Russian air travel troubled by laser torches
"Increasing number of incidents part of dangerous craze in country plagued by ageing aircraft and poor maintenance."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Spontaneous mob attack on gas station/convenience store
Kaskade Block Party Turns Into Riot At Hollywood And Highland
Social media mayhem: when flash mobs go from benign to malign
Syrian protesters seized at rate of one every hour, say activists
'Grandpa Wen' left helpless as internet drives wave of unrest through China
Religious Leaders Arrested At Capitol For Budget Protest
Latest protests will be huge, housing activists vow (Israel)
Swazi unions take to streets in protest strike
"Hundreds of union members took to the streets Thursday in cities and towns around Swaziland to protest government moves to cut civil servants' salaries amid a deepening financial crisis."
Spanish Indignants start long protest march to Brussels

## Energy/resources ##
Natural Gas: Arkansas Commission Votes To Shut Down Wells
"EL DORADO, Ark. -- The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission on Wednesday voted to ban wells for the disposal of natural gas drilling fluids from a region where hundreds of earthquakes have struck, a move officials said was necessary to prevent a potential catastrophe."
Fusion: The E-Cat loses steam
Demand for oil in car-crazy China set to soar
Chinese demand keeps coal at near record prices
Special report: Goldman's new money machine: warehouses
"A string of warehouses in Detroit, most of them operated by Goldman, has stockpiled more than a million tonnes of the industrial metal aluminum, about a quarter of global reported inventories."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Railway enthusiasts hit by £60,000 metal theft at Toddington Headquarters (UK)

## Got food? ##
Brazil Starts Rice Exports to S. Africa, Competes With Thailand
The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground
How to Make a Worm Bin
Ethanol Usage now Exceeding Feed Usage from Corn
Farmers fight to save crops, herds

## Environment/health ##
WHO: Hepatitis toll 'in millions'
Army drafted as storms batter Seoul; 53 dead or missing
"At least 53 people are dead or missing after the heaviest rains in a century lashed the South Korean capital Seoul and surrounding areas, officials said on Thursday, with damage expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars."
World Population Hits 7 Billion After Boom in Developing World

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
In Secret, Senate Panel May Re-Up Vast Surveillance Dragnet
Millions hit in South Korean hack
"South Korea has blamed Chinese hackers for stealing data from 35 million accounts on a popular social network."
China vs. U.S.: The cyber Cold War is raging
U.S. targets Central European cybergangs

## Japan ##
Sony Posts 59% Drop in Quarterly Profit
"Sony reported a 59 percent drop in quarterly operating profit, as it struggled with production woes following the devastating March earthquake in Japan."
Panasonic reports quarterly loss on quake, tsunami
Japan to Examine Separation of Tepco Power Plants, Distribution
Kansai Electric Withdraws Forecasts After Fukushima Meltdown
"Kansai Electric Power Co. withdrew its full-year sales and profit forecasts because it can't assess the impact on its earnings from power-savings measures and reactor halts after the Fukushima nuclear disaster."
Sharp books post-quake quarterly loss of Y49.3 bil
Utility unable to unload damaged Hamaoka fuel rod for 17 years
11 prefectures decide to test all beef cattle for radiation; expected to cost 4 billion yen
Backup power system will keep firms in Tokyo office tower working even during blackouts
Japan oil sales seen up 2.2 pct if reactors shut

## China ##
China says equipment flaws caused deadly train crash
Victims' relatives lash out at Beijing over train accident
New round of formula price rises hits China
Chinese rush to buy US land
As China's prosperity grows, so do its trash piles

## UK ##
Police warning as metal thieves target homes and businesses
Teachers' anger at increase in pension cost
"Teachers' unions have raised the prospect of further industrial action amid angry responses to proposals for higher pension contributions."
More strikes 'inevitable' over extra pension payments
British aide calls for end to maternity leave

## US ##
Debt Drama Has Muni Issuers on Moody's Review
"Moody's Investors Service placed 177 top-rated municipal-bond issuers with a combined $69 billion of debt outstanding on review for possible downgrades as it evaluates its Aaa rating of the U.S. government."
Why the Debt Crisis Is Even Worse Than You Think (Businessweek)
Heading for a 'Haircut': U.S. Default or Downgrade Could Cost Repo Borrowers
Bank CEOs: Raise debt ceiling this week -- or else!
Debt impasse or not, Social Security reform is coming
Detroit survival plan would cut services to some residents, but not all
"It's part of an effort to recast Detroit, which lost a quarter of its population last decade. Some experts say entire swaths of the city should be shut down, but the plan does not go that far."
Health bill to approach 20 percent of spending by 20
Container-Ship Plunge Signals U.S. Slowdown: Freight Markets
Study: U.S. debt 5th largest among major economies
In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's middle-class underclass
Boston Scientific to cut 1,400 jobs
Nuclear Waste Piles Up As Repository Plan Falters
Debt Fallout: Even Market Pros Don't Know What to Do
Americans Are More Indebted Than the U.S. Government
Toyota Sees No U.S. Rebound Until September
Pay gap between workers is growing
Retail Theft in Georgetown - 'A very big problem'

And finally...
South Carolina woman faces trial for fake testicles
Yeeeehaw! Buy This Wild West Town for $799,000
Presenting America's "Fresh Start" Currency

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