Wednesday, August 31, 2011


News Links, September 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
The Seneca Effect: why decline is faster than growth (The Oil Drum)
"With oil production peaking or set to peak soon, it is hard to think that we are going to see a gentle downward slope of the economy. Rather, we may see a decline so fast that we can only call it 'collapse.'"
National Bank of Greece Posts EU1.31 Billion Loss on Bonds
Merkel backs euro fund boost, faces revolt risk
South Korean Inflation Accelerates to 3-Year High, Pressuring BOK to Act
Asia Numbers Show Slowing Output
"Data from across Asia show the troubles in the West, and tighter money, are starting to be felt in the manufacturing economies of the East."
India's Growth Cools Amid High Rates
Saab troubles: Losses widen at Swedish carmaker
U.S. Government Merits a Junk Credit Rating (Bloomberg)
Belarus Hyperinflation Update: Food Runs Out As Friendly Foreigners Take Advantage Of The "Favorable" Exchange Rate Arb
Canadian Economy Shrinks For First Time Since 2009; Recession Next?
'Italy Is Burning and No One Is Putting It Out'

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Rising Biomass Demand Could Drive Land Grabs: Report
China Analyst: U.S. Can't Win in Space, So Why Bother Racing?
"The new space race is on. But in the view of one influential analyst, the race isn't worth the prize. Space 'is expensive to enter, hard to sustain assets in, contains no defensive ground, and — barring energy-intensive maneuvering – forces assets into predictable orbits.'"
NATO May Maintain Libya No-Fly Zone After War Ends
Sarkozy: Iranian Nuclear Bid Could Provoke Attack
UN Envoy: Libyan Council Rejects Military 'Observers'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Bomber kills 11 outside mosque in Quetta, Pakistan
Activists: Teenager Killed In Police Action At Bahrain Protest

## Energy/resources ##
Kurdistan One of Last Onshore Oil Prospects: CEO
Earthquake and Hurricane Irene Impact U.S. Nuclear Power Industry
U.S. losing clean-energy race? Solar maker Solyndra bankrupt
The Middle Kingdom meets the Middle East
"China's effort to secure energy resources in the Middle East is going into overdrive as its dependence on the region's oil increases."
China Intensifies Purchases of Copper
Saudis may raise crude prices on Asia demand
Strong demand to support coal and iron ore prices
Libya running out of water

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Law enforcement agencies report rise in metal-related theft

## Got food? ##
U.S. Farm Income Tops $100 Billion For First Time In 2011
"Volatile energy prices will make their way to the bottom-line of U.S. farmers with total expenses forecast to increase by $32.5 billion in 2011, exceeding $300 billion for the first time, USDA said. Overall, electricity and petroleum and oil inputs will increase by $3.3 billion to $21.1 billion."
Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn't
Corn, Wheat Head for Second Monthly Advance as Dry Weather May Curb Crops

## Environment/health ##
Irene's Toxic Aftermath
New Dual Hurricane & Tropical Storm Threats Going Into Labor Day Weekend

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Court Ruling Could Make Lending, Selling Books Printed Overseas Illegal
Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot
"Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line."
China Shutters 6,600 Websites for Manipulating Information Online
Russia considering unmanned space station
"Russia's space agency Roskosmos is considering ending a permanent human presence in space, an agency official said on Wednesday following last week's crash of a supply ship delivering precious cargo to the ISS."
Phila. Police Enlist Private Cameras To Capture Crime
Electronics Enters Era of 'Systemic Risk'

## Japan ##
Autoparts Assn Calls On Noda To Put Yen At Top Of Agenda
Japan's Auto Exports Down 3.0% On Year In July
Japan's Auto Production Down 8.9% On Year In July
14 risky fault lines found near N-plants
Fears of power shortfalls undimmed
"Despite the government's decision to lift the mandatory curb on electricity usage in areas served by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., there are concerns the utilities, many of whose nuclear power reactors remain idle, will be unable to meet expected power demand this winter and beyond."

## China ##
Fitch Reiterates Warning on China's Banking System
Wen Says China to Focus on Taming Inflation
Actually Chinese Inflation Hasn't Slowed And It's About To Get Worse

## UK ##
David Cameron says banks need to start lending again

## US ##
QE3 is Imminent According to Fed Minutes
CHART OF THE DAY: Bank Funding Costs Are Soaring
Subprime Mortgage Bonds Getting AAA Rating S&P Denies to U.S. Treasuries
Annual Inflation Hits 4%
Medicaid's Half A Billion Dollar Hole
Salem County, New Jersey Nuclear Reactors Power Down From Irene Debris
"Two of the three nuclear reactors in a southern New Jersey county have powered partway down because debris from Hurricane Irene is blocking cooling water intakes."
Irene's historic damage may not be insured
"Hurricane Irene appears destined to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation's history, and much of the damage might not be covered by insurance because it was caused not by winds but by flooding."
Hurricane Irene: A Financial Disaster
Tempers Fray Over Recovery's Pace
"Political leaders encountered frustrated residents in the northeast Wednesday, angered by days without power, continued flooding and what they perceived to be a slow government response to Hurricane Irene's devastation."
What's Left To Fix The Economy If It Gets Worse?
US Firms Paid More to CEOs Than Taxes in 2010: Study
Suspicious packages swamp law enforcement
"An unrelenting stream of suspicious package reports — and the need to investigate all potential threats in the post-9/11 world — is stretching federal and local law enforcement agencies in New York and Washington."
Ron Paul: 'Philosophy Of Liberty And The Constitution' Has Been Vindicated
"From financial crises to problems with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Paul said, his warnings about a government that's too big and spending that's out of control have come true. It's other politicians, Paul said, who 'get in office and ... pursue global war mongering.'"
Chance for food stamps draws crowd
Three in 10 Workers Worry Over Layoffs, Double the Level in August 2008
Economy will continue to decline (CNBC video)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


News Links, August 31, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF Slashes US GDP Forecast, Trims Euro Zone: Report
South African Economic Growth Slows to 1.3%, Missing Economist Forecast
Sovereign Spreads Challenging Cherished Notions
Bank Deposits and "Black Mail" Point to More Crisis
"As bank deposits flow from Greece to Switzerland, the odds of another crisis flare-up in Europe look assured."
Syria's economy crippled by unrest, sanctions
First fall in household income in 14 years; dwelling approvals hit 28-month low (Austria)
Yuan Hits Record High Against Dollar, Up 7% Since Depegging
Italian Town Mints Own Money to Fight Austerity
"We aim to achieve real autonomy from Italy and we have the financial resources to do it."
Piracy wave set to hit households in the GCC
"Higher insurance premiums charged by marine underwriters will inevitably raise shipping costs of essentials."
Spain moves closer to constitutional budget deficit cap
Italy Pressured After Weak Demand at Bond Sale
U.S. Elites Begin To Confront The Paper Dollar (Forbes)
Belarus Hikes Refinancing Rate From 22% to 27% To Combat Hyperinflation
Eurozone Retail Sales Drop 4th Straight Month; Confidence Drop Most Since 2008; EU GDP .2%; Leading Indicators Negative; S&P Fantasyland Forecast (Mish)
A 20-rule manifesto for New No-Growth Economics: Classical economics is fatally flawed (Paul Farrell)
One of the few people to expose the fantasy of infinite growth. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Israel mulls arming 'trained' settlers
"Army plans to provide tear gas and stun grenades in West Bank to repel any Palestinian protests next month, report says."
Israel Sends Two More Warships To Egyptian Border To Preempt Expected Militant Attack
Iran Sends Sub, Warship on Red Sea Patrol: Navy
"Iran has dispatched a submarine and a warship to the Red Sea on a patrol mission, navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said in a report by state media on Aug. 30."
Maliki reportedly says he wants U.S. out
Seven killed in Chechnya suicide attacks: officials
Terror Attack Outside Tel Aviv Nightclub Filled With 2,000 Teenagers

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Six Cops Injured in Mob Attack in Uttar Pradesh Village
Protesters enter three BART stations but trains continue to run
Syrian troops kill 7 on start of Muslim holiday
Violent protests signal power struggle in South Africa
S. Africa police fire rubber bullets at protesters
Short tempers and street violence in Egypt

## Energy/resources ##
Baltic states suffer growing power shortage
Centre alerts states to huge power shortage (India)
No power for chrome-smelting
"Lack of guaranteed and sufficient electricity supplies is limiting chrome mining companies in South Africa and Zimbabwe."
Law and order problems disrupting coal evacuation in Indian States
Natural Gas Prices and the Bottom of the Resource Triangle
A good energy reality check. -- RF
Fracking's water use draws attention, concerns
"The Marcellus Shale natural gas industry has a huge thirst for water - to hydraulically fracture a single gas well requires upward of a thousand tanker-trucks of water."
Exxon inks joint-venture for vast Russian Arctic fields
Exxon-Rosneft: Oil's new Cold War
Global LNG use to rise 12% in 2011 on Japan nuclear outage: Bernstein
China to Begin Serious Hunt for Shale Gas
Energy crisis badly affecting agriculture, industry (Pakistan)

## Got food? ##
Disruptions to Food Supply to 'Ratchet Up Prices,' Olam Says
Fruit and vegetables rot as hunger stalks India

## Environment/health ##
Survey Finds Radiation Over Wide Area in Japan

## Japan ##
Japan's Kansai loses 1,080 MW of hydro power output
Japan's nuclear power to be at just 20% of capacity in early September
"Only 11 nuclear reactors will be operating in Japan with a combined power generation capacity of 9.864 GW in early September, which represents 20% of the country's total installed capacity of 48.96 GW spread over 54 reactors, according to Platts calculations Tuesday."
Gov't to lift power-saving decree earlier than planned
"Restrictions on power use in and around Tokyo will be lifted two weeks earlier than scheduled thanks to an improved supply and demand balance as the peak summer heat eases, the government said Tuesday."
Radioactive Cesium Found In Wide Areas Around Japan Fukushima Plant
Aug 1-10 Trade Deficit Y354.5bn
"TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of Y354.50 billion in the first 10 days of August, compared with the Y20.13 billion surplus in the year-earlier period, the finance ministry said Tuesday."
Japan retail sales, other data disappoint
Japanese automakers report weak production in July
Toyota, Honda Still Feeling Quake Impact In July
"Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co. (7267) said Tuesday they were unable to recover to year-earlier domestic production levels in July as the effects of the parts shortage after the March 11 earthquake were still being felt."
Japan sells its gold while the rest of the world buys
Made-in-Fukushima products still shunned amid radiation fears
Report: Japan's High Suicide Rates Linked to Unemployment
TEPCO finds possibly active faults near Fukushima

## China ##
Power shortages plague businesses
"Binchuan Metals Co has had weekly power blackouts this summer and uses 2,000 liters of diesel every month to fuel its own generators...
"The company, based in Dongguan, Guangdong province, is not alone. In fact, some areas in this manufacturing hub have been experiencing blackouts three days a week, according to the power supply bureau."
Power runs short in the south
"Five provinces in South China are experiencing the most severe electricity shortage in the past five years, leaving 10 percent of the region's demand for electricity unmet, according to China National Radio."
Power Plants In China Shanxi Province Facing Coal Shortages
China Faces Upgrade-or-Die Deadline as Labor Supply Dwindles

## UK ##
Home ownership 'to fall to mid-80s levels'
Cut back on Sky and drinking, borrowers told
"Around 30,000 low-income homeowners will be told to cut spending on Sky TV, trips to the pub and mobile phone bills or face losing their houses when interest rates rise."
Homelessness could spread to middle class, Crisis study warns
Riots: Sony warehouse raid ' was professional heist'
"One of the most dramatic looting and burning sprees during the London riots may have been orchestrated by a gang of professional robbers using the disorder as cover, it has emerged."
Stena Wales-Ireland fast ferry halted over fuel costs
Millions wiped from workers' pensions
"Falling stock markets and annuity rates have wiped millions of pounds off workers' pension funds."
UK's summer 'coolest since 1993' says Met Office
Riots to cost Met police £34m

## US ##
For many, being without power could last for a week
Bridgeport imposes curfew amid widespread blackout
Hurricane Irene flood damage stuns inland areas
Record-breaking river flooding swamps New Jersey
Could hurricane Irene help the economy? Rebuilding as stimulus.
Similarly, it's often claimed in Japan that rebuilding after the earthquake/tsunami will help get the economy back on its feet. But since no one has any money, any funds used for cleanup and rebuilding have to be taken away from something else. It's a lose-lose game. -- RF
Wells Fargo Says 12 States in Economic Contraction
All Top 20 US Real Estate Markets Show Year-Over-Year Declines
Consumer confidence crumbles to 2-year low
Virginia quake's motion may have exceeded nuclear plant's design
New major hurricane possible by weekend
Irene leaves businesses reeling in its wake
Local government hiring in decline
Liberty Dollars may be subject to seizure
IN PICTURES: The Oil Crisis Of 1973
Slide 22 can be seen in Japan right now, only written in Japanese. -- RF

And finally... The 15 Wackiest Things People Have Listed On Their Resumes

Monday, August 29, 2011


News Links, August 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
German Shortage of Engineers Threatens Porsche (Bloomberg video)
Just the other day there was a report that Mercedes-Benz that was threatened by the engineer shortage. The shortage is spreading and worsening. -- RF
International Monetary Research says "Eurozone Break-Up Certain"; I say Embrace the Fact "Banks Cannot Be Saved" (Mish)
Is Europe Weighing TARP Program to Rescue Banks?
Finland wants Luxembourg agency to hold Greek assets
Polish finance minister gives dire warning
"The financial minister of Poland, Jacek Rostowski, says Europe's economy could "collapse" if countries do not rally their support around the euro."
4 Of The Biggest Mass Layoffs In 2011
Italy Cuts Tax on High Earners From Austerity Package
Berlusconi Coalition Aims to Revamp Austerity Plan
"The conservative coalition of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced plans to revamp the government's €45.5 billion ($65.4 billion) austerity package with proposals that slash layers of local government and require some Italians to delay retirement."
China Secretly Moves to Tighten Lending
"As policy makers from the U.S. and Europe gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to discuss ways to revive a fragile global recovery, China's central bank was issuing a secret memo to further rein in lending in the world's second-largest economy."
World Economy Facing 'Lean' 7 Years: German FinMin
S&P 500 at Reagan Recession Value After Trillions Lost

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Russia and China's Energy Dispute and the Struggle for Eurasian Dominance
Gypsy crime gangs expanding in Australia
Strauss-Kahn to Meet IMF Staff Today in D.C.
Mission Accomplished in Libya? (Ron Paul)
"Gaddafi may well have been a tyrant, but as such he was no worse than many others that we support and count as allies. Disturbingly, we see a pattern of relatively secular leaders in the Arab world being targeted for regime change with the resulting power vacuum being filled by much more radical elements. Iraq, post-Saddam, is certainly far closer to Iran than before the US invasion. Will Libya be any different?"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Syrian tanks lay siege to town after soldiers defect from army
Anna Hazare launches new campaign to reform India

## Energy/resources ##
Big Oil Companies May Have to Give Up Iraq Gas
Sinopec to Bet on Shale Gas for Growth
"China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), Asia's biggest refiner, will collaborate with overseas companies to step up its search for shale gas resources as it seeks to diversify away from unprofitable crude processing."
Solar Purge Drives Weakest Into Bankruptcy, Buyouts With More Deals Coming
"The solar-equipment industry is beginning a consolidation that's already its biggest in at least two years as plunging prices for photovoltaic systems force weaker companies to team with competitors or close shop."
Qatargas plans LNG outages during autumn
IEA: Solar Energy Could Produce Majority Of World's Energy By 2060
It might. But the world will be running on far less energy in 2060. -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Scrap Metal Thieves' Strangest Pursuits (slide show)

## Got food? ##
Ranchers in drought-stricken southern Plains struggle to find, afford hay to feed their cattle
Rice May Rally 22% by Yearend as Thai Buying Elevates Costs, Curbs Exports
Monsanto: Corn crop pain (CNN video)
"New research claims corn at several Iowa farms is being destroyed by a superbug that has adapted to Monsanto's genetically-modified seed."

## Environment/health ##
UN warns of bird flu resurgence
Fresh oil slicks forming over Deepwater Horizon spill site

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Is Homeland Security spending paying off?
Analysts say online 'hacktivism' is becoming a preferred tool of protests
Russian Rocket Crash Could Soon Leave Space Station Empty
It was only a few years ago that politicians were boasting about how humanity will now have a permanent presence in space, with the ISS being the first stepping stone. Some will recall my prediction that the ISS will become an orbiting hulk without any people. -- RF
Kazakhstan considers monitoring internet cafe users
"Kazakhstan is considering imposing rules that will force internet cafes to monitor their customers use of the web, just as rights groups accuse the ex-Soviet state of excessive cyberspace censorship."
FCC: Post-Irene Wireless Outages May Get Worse (MarketWatch video; Interviewed expert recommends having a landline.)

## Japan ##
Noda Elected As New DPJ President
It doesn't matter who the prime minister is. Like the US and Europe, Japan is hopelessly mired in bloat, debt, and dysfunction. It's all downhill from here. -- RF
Household Spending Down 2.1% In July
Extensions for aging reactors loom
Reactors 'could restart this year' / Kaieda makes 1st reference to specific time period for suspended facilities

## China ##
China dissident Ai Weiwei launches scathing attack on govt
The Rising Mismatch In Chinese Credit Markets
Fire at Dalian oil refinery raises tensions in China
"A major Chinese petrochemical hub in the northwestern city of Dalian suffered its fifth major safety incident in just over a year on Monday, further ratcheting up tensions with environmental protesters."
The Advent Of Beijing Lebensraum: Chinese Tycoon Plans To Buy 0.3% Of Iceland
China's Pending Energy Crisis
"One thing China needs to keep its economy clicking is fuel -- lots and lots of fuel. And for China, that's becoming an increasingly dangerous problem."

## UK ##
School dinner costs warning issued
U.K. Company Confidence in Economy Plunges to Lowest Since 2009 Recession

## US ##
Irene leaves Vermont with "epic" flooding
Why insurance might not cover billions in hurricane Irene damage
CMP: 182,000 in Maine without power
Hurricane Irene Also Slammed Into Auto and Retail Sales
Irene likely to lead to higher insurance premiums
FEMA almost out of disaster funds
6 Years After Katrina, Lower 9th Ward Still Bleak
"Six years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, the New Orleans neighborhood that was hardest hit still looks like a ghost town."
Bank of America to sell China bank stake for $8.3 billion
Legal aid programs for poor deal with deep cuts
Perry calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme
The infinite-growth economy itself is a Ponzi scheme. -- RF
IRS audits Calif. city bond issuance
Big banks see downturn settling in
Dallas Fed Latest Economic Contraction Confirmation; Survey Respondents' Gloom Soars
America's Largest Candidate for Bankruptcy

Sunday, August 28, 2011


News Links, August 29, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Gloom Settles on Central Bankers (WSJ)
Analysis: Economic leaders fear policy paralysis
"The signals that are coming out of the short-term discussions is, 'We can't even agree on about the time of the day, even if there's a big clock telling us what the time of the day is.'"
Encumbered by debt and systemic failure, governments and organizations at all levels are quickly becoming dysfunctional. Whatever they do seems to be ineffectual, or even makes things worse. -- RF
Euro bail-out in doubt as "hysteria" sweeps Germany
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe's revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga."
German Coalition Partner CSU To Propose Bankruptcy Procedure To Kick Out Chronic Eurozone Debtor Nations
Trichet Gives Master Class in Saying Nothing
EU Working on 'Radical' Plan for Banks: Report
Greece 1-Yr Rate 60%; Finland Retains Collateral Demand
Its official: Gold voted the best long-term investment
The debt bomb, net energy and ancient Greeks
High Debt Levels Poised to Stunt Growth

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Army fights defectors near Damascus: residents
Iran Warns Of Crisis In The Region If Syria Falls
Iran warns NATO against entering Syria "quagmire"
"Iran warned NATO on Sunday against any temptation to intervene in Syria, saying that rather than the defeating a regime it would be bogged down in a "quagmire" similar to Iraq or Afghanistan."
Syria 'on radar' as WMD source
"U.S. and Israeli officials say there is fear a government breakup in Syria could lead to rogue groups armed with a variety of chemical weapons."
Iraq: 33 killed in fiery day across Iraq
Israel "could not stop" nuclear Iran with one strike
African Union refuses to recognise Libyan rebels as "legitimate authority"
Militants assail NATO base in Afghanistan
Afghan Suicide Attacks on the Rise, Along With Civilian Casualties
Israel, Lebanon and the Fight for Fossil Fuels

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Pakistan's largest city swept by gang-fed violence
Ethnic killings spark doom in Pakistan's biggest city
"Apocalypse is coming to Karachi."
Karachi gang war prompts intervention by Pakistan Rangers
Israeli activists squat empty Jerusalem buildings to protest over costly housing
"Social justice campaigners unveil 'People's House' in abandoned state-owned building and call for 'national squatting movement'"
Social protest demonstrators march for sixth consecutive week (Israel)
Western spy tools aid in crackdown on Arab dissent
Syria moves to halt spread of unrest into central Damascus
Commuter Beware: Another Protest Scheduled for Monday in SF
Hundreds protest over Mexico casino arson attack

## Energy/resources ##
India urges price-control system in oil market
NATO nations set to reap spoils of Libya war
Diesel fuel crisis deepens (Egypt)

## Got food? ##
Urea shortage to imperil food security (Pakistan)
"The quagmire of the energy crisis continues to slowly damage the economy as decline in gas supplies is estimated to result in a record urea shortage of 1.2 million tonnes for the upcoming Rabi season, badly affecting the wheat cultivation."

## Environment/health ##
Cancer drug shortages getting worse, FDA says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Al-Qaida dealt 'major blow' as deputy leader killed in Pakistan
Please. -- RF
Irene takes out some East Coast cellphone service
"About 400 cell towers were offline in North Carolina and Virgina, with power outages the chief reason. Another 200 towers were running on backup power by Saturday night and could go silent as their backup batteries or generators run dry."

## Japan ##
Areas around Fukushima may remain off-limits for decades
Japan to Spend $2.9 Billion to Clean Up Tepco Radiation Spills, Kyodo Says
Anger mounts in tsunami-hit areas over political power games
Cesium in incinerator dust across East Japan
"High levels of cesium isotopes are cropping up in dust at 42 incineration plants in seven prefectures, including Chiba and Iwate, an Environment Ministry survey of the Kanto and Tohoku regions shows."
Japan Econ Minister: Fiscal Reconstruction May Take 30 Years

## China ##
Chinese Banks Report Outsized Profits
China's Industrial Profits Rise 28.3%
China to allow foreign direct investment in RMB
Beijing's policy and traffic logjam
"China's growth model increasingly appears to have hit a ceiling, with few easy answers this time round."

## UK ##
One in five households sell a car to save money
Unilever CEO says riots are 'wake-up call'

## US ##
San Francisco Is Building A Net Around The Golden Gate Bridge To Stop People From Killing Themselves
Some flights resume in East, rail service halted
East Coast flood risk grows, death toll rises as Irene exits NYC
There Is Some Pretty Serious Flooding In Red Hook, Brooklyn
Irene leaves up to half of Rhode Island without power
Irene knocks out power to millions on East Coast
Irene could leave many without power for weeks
U.S. Nuclear Reactors Weather Hurricane Irene Safely Without Losing Power
After Irene: Little Damage Seen in Many Places
"From North Carolina to Pennsylvania, Hurricane Irene appeared to have fallen short of the doomsday predictions. But with rivers still rising, and roads impassable because of high water and fallen trees, it could be days before the full extent of the damage is known."
North Carolina Damage 'More Extensive' Than Thought, Perdue Says
Hurricane Irene: Damage estimates roll in
Irene's Damage: Deaths, Flooding, Power Losses State-by-State
Airlines Cancel More Than 6,000 Flights
Shoppers Find Empty Shelves as Hurricane Irene Tracks Up East Coast
Ron Paul: FEMA stands in way of recovery
"Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the federal agency founded to deal with the aftermath of disasters is a disaster itself."

Saturday, August 27, 2011


News Links, August 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Capital Flight Proves Confidence in European Interbank System has Collapsed
Urgent Action Needed to Protect Recovery: IMF Chief
Lagarde Urges Recapitalization of Europe's Banks
Greece Matters Again and It Could Be In Trouble

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Militants from Afghanistan attack Pakistani posts
Suicide attack hits Algerian military academy
Military calls for boost in ocean surveillance
"Canada's military wants the Harper government to take part in rebuilding a Cold War ocean surveillance system, arguing that the country's waters, including the approaches to the Arctic, are vulnerable to Chinese and Russian submarines."
Successful Launch for Bulava Missile: Russia

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
India anti-graft activist to end fast after government
"A self-styled Gandhian activist whose campaign against corruption sparked some of India's biggest anti-government protests in decades will end a 13-day hunger strike Sunday after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh caved in to his demands."
Syrian security forces fan out in restive cities

## Energy/resources ##
Iron ore price hits as high as $180 per ton
Chinese-built oil rig setting sail for Cuban waters
Ukraine Seeks Chinese Investment of $1 Billion for Coal Mines
Copper market deficit touches 80,000 tonnes
Iran's oil bourse finishes first oil transaction
Dubai street lights to be partly switched off
"Street lights in 55 residential areas in Dubai will be partly switched off at night in an effort to conserve energy and reduce carbondioxide emissions."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper Thieves Target Street Lights (Texas)

## Got food? ##
Finance Minister concerned as food inflation jumps to 9.8% (India)
Bangladesh: Floods cause severe food shortages

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Smart Meters -- they know when you've been sleeping
NY Data Centers Prep for Hurricane, Storm Surge

## Japan ##
TEPCO seeks 10% increase in power rates
Hot-spot cleanups hampered by public resistance to local disposal sites

## China ##
China puts squeeze on rising world of microbloggers
China pleads to Libya to protect Beijing oil interests
Southwest drought inflicts water shortage on millions

## US ##
Hurricane Irene Causes Power Outages For Nearly 1 Million East Coast Customers
Hurricane Irene to deliver blow to economy
Ron Paul Addresses Hurricane Irene, Says 'There's No Magic About' FEMA
Millions May Lose Power as Irene Carves Destructive Path
Power Failures From Irene Affect 1 Million as Nuclear Reactors Power Down
Nearly 75 percent without power in central Virginia
Irene may cause gas price spike as one refinery shuts down
Billions Meant for Struggling Homeowners May Pay Down Deficit Instead
Inequality dragon rears its head. Again.
"New GDP data suggests that inequality is on the rise again as corporate profits surpass prerecession high while compensation as share of economy is far lower."
Babies In ICU Facing Food Shortage

And finally... The Ten Grossest Things Flight Attendants Have Seen Passengers Do On An Airplane

Friday, August 26, 2011


News Links, August 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
The Kingdom of Magical Thinking (Foreign Policy)
"Widely assumed to be a fabulously wealthy welfare state, Saudi Arabia is in fact an economic basket case waiting to happen."
China's Debt Problems Rival the West
"If you look at the accounting, I don't see how anyone could put a penny there."
Brazil Government Sees Economy Growing Less Than 4% This Year, Folha Says
This rate of growth is usually considered the minimum needed to service debt and keep the economy from stumbling. -- RF
Shortage of Engineers Threatens German Automakers
OK, what have I been saying for ages? Every industry is having trouble finding enough people with the requisite skills. This is just one more factor dragging down industrial/technological civilization. -- RF
World stocks slip as Bernanke offers no new aid to boost US economy
Sarkozy Says China's Yuan Should 'Eventually' Be Integrated into SDR
Bailout for Greece Falters Over Demand for Collateral
Finland Holds Europe Hostage
"Finland may destroy a Greek bailout deal, which demonstrates how one of the smallest nations in Europe can hold the region's financial health hostage. This opens the question once again whether the EU's structure is viable at all."
US Funds Show True State of Euro Zone Banks
Gold Positions Are Shifting at Central Banks
Danish Housing Rescue Faces Bank Opposition as Risks Add to Market Stress
Russian to offer gold-backed loans at 7 pct
If You Thought August Was Bad, Just Wait Until September!
Ben Bernanke Is Out of Tools, So Now What?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
More than 20 rockets from Gaza hit Israel
Egypt and Israel agree on troop increase in Sinai
Mexico casino arson attack shows violence is spreading
At least 18 die in car bomb attack on Nigeria U.N. HQ
Canada Seeks Stealthy Snowmobile, For No Good Reason
U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms (Forbes)
Japan's political turmoil a lever for China / Beijing again times aggressive play on Senkakus to coincide with power vacuum in Tokyo
Libya aftermath: What next for NATO?
US May Expand CIA Role in Libya in Search of Weapons Stockpiles
Harper stands firm on sovereignty as China eyes Arctic resources

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Anna Hazare: India parliament to debate anti-graft law
Death Toll Rises To 53 In Attack On Mexico Casino
Greek university reform sparks protests
Deadly protests in Syria on last Ramadan Friday

## Energy/resources ##
Countdown to $100 oil- deja vu? (TOD; on the economic effects of expensive oil)
"The stage seems set for a major price reset of markets, energy prices, currencies and property that brings with it the prospect of a major socio-economic upheaval."
Italy says Libyan oil facilities not damaged at all
NOAA joins big energy in arctic studies
North Korean gas project may be just a pipe dream

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
BT taskforce tackles cable theft
"Copper theft is a growing problem for the communication network in Northern Ireland, BT has said."
Copper theft hits recreation centers in Macon, Ga.
"Copper thieves haven't spared Macon's recreation centers, causing the cancellation of some programs, high repair costs, and hothouse conditions for the public and city workers alike."

## Got food? ##
Corn, Soybean Yields Shrink in Hottest Summer Since 1955 in Iowa, Illinois
If you haven't started gardening yet, do it now. You won't be sorry. -- RF
Expanding Waistlines May Boost U.S. Health Cost $66 Billion a Year by 2030
In 2030 people will be amazed that they were ever worried about getting too many calories. -- RF
Asia Grain Outlook: Rice Prices May Hold Steady In September
"Asian rice prices are likely to hold steady next month due to concerns over export availability despite bumper harvests in most producing countries, trading executives said Friday."
Where America's Children Are Going Hungry

## Environment/health ##
Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Outbreak Reported in Australia's Newcastle, WHO Says
Oil in Gulf Matches Deepwater Horizon Well
"Scientists have confirmed that the oil rising to the surface near the site of the Deepwater Horizon well is a chemical match to the oil that flooded the Gulf after the oil spill last summer, known as MC252."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
July attack on Japan police website originated in China
"More than 90 percent of attacks July 10 on the National Police Agency's website originated from Chinese Internet Protocol addresses and Beijing has been asked to investigate, the agency said Friday."
South Florida AT&T 3G network experiencing problems

## Japan ##
Traffic signals on the blink / Roads in disaster-hit region dangerous as 90% of lights not working
Even the traffic lights are still out. Reconstruction of this region is a pipe dream. -- RF
Japan's Shift to Solar Power Hinges on Banks Ending Loan Drought
Japan Unveils Fukushima Cleanup Plan
"The Japanese government on Friday unveiled a plan to reduce radiation levels in Fukushima prefecture by 50% in two years, amid residents' growing concerns about the public health impact of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant."
Online Music Sales Down 13% For Jan-June On Dearth Of Hits
Egad! A dearth of hits. What's this world coming to? -- RF
Medical Costs Up Record 3.9% In FY10 On Fees, Graying Society
Tepco, Govt Discuss Easing Power Usage Restrictions
Heading into autumn, the situation looks better. But we'd better hope for a mild winter. -- RF
Low levels of cesium found in rice
Volume of radiation screening requests for food beyond capacity of current facilities
Manufacturers mull in-house power plants
Last-ditch measure on yen / Mixed views on whether emergency fund will stem currency's rise

## China ##
Chinese police 'to detain suspects without telling families'
China - Record High Rare Earths Prices Promoting Illegal Mining

## UK ##
Prison numbers reach record high in England and Wales
"Alarmingly low" number of people are saving for a pension

## US ##
East Coast economy braces for hurricane
"Power outages: The electricity infrastructure 'will be greatly compromised for millions, if not tens of millions, of Americans,' The Weather Channel reports. Those outages could bring the economy nearly to a standstill."
Irene's Path Menaces Busiest U.S. Airspace With 'Major Disruption' at Hubs
Irene Flight Cancellations Top 2,400 as Delta Joins American Air, JetBlue
Irene causing traffic jams, gas shortages along coast
Good Graph Friday: Irene likely to bring high wind, insurance payouts
Power outages after hurricane Irene: Are utility crews prepared for them?
Nuclear Reactors on East Coast Brace for Hurricane Irene's Wrath
Pepco anticipates widespread, multi-day power outages
Northwest Due for 'Megaquake'
New Jersey Issues One-Year Moratorium On Fracking
A Weak Economy Takes the Air Out of Bank Earnings
Infographic: The aging states of America
A year of rising suicides on bridge and tracks (NYT)
Muni Funds See Outflows for Fifth Straight Week
Penn. school uses sheep to cut lawns due to budget cuts
Half of hospitals buy back-door drugs, new survey shows
"Amid growing reports of price-gouging for life-saving drugs, half of hospital officials said they've bought medications from back-door suppliers during recent drug shortages, a new survey shows."
Revised US growth rate: just 1 percent in second quarter
Corporations on roll during slump
"The Bureau of Economic Analysis said corporate profits jumped by $57.3 billion in the second quarter after climbing by $19 billion in the previous quarter."
Retirement Advice: Don't Get Old, Don't Get Sick, Don't Retire
Distressed home sales soar
Up to 40 percent of U.S. schools cutting back on recess

And finally...
Dick Cheney's dog banned from Camp David after attacking George Bush's terrier
Woman attacks cash machine with shoe (includes security video)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


News Links, August 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Anwar Says Malaysia Needs To Brace for Global Slowdown
'Europe's Financial System Is Insolvent': CIO Guggenheim
"If we mark the assets of the European banks to market, the liabilities of the banks exceed the assets well beyond their capital cushion."
Greece forced to tap emergency fund
"Greece has been forced to activate an obscure emergency fund for its banks because they are running short of collateral that is acceptable to the European Central Bank (ECB)."
Gold "The World's Currency" (Mish)
Don't Store Your Gold In The United States
Citigroup Cuts 2011 Global Growth Forecast to 3.1%
Stocks Decline After Selling Deluge in Germany
Is a downgrade of Germany's credit rating next?
Germany Downgrade Rumor, False, Still Spooks
IMF May Authorize Next Greek Payment Under Bailout Plan by End-September
Banks face $340bn state-backed bond refi hole
Philippine Airlines to cut 2,600 jobs amid losses
New Rounds of QE Taking Shape Around the World
Professor Mundell, euro, and 'pessimal currency areas'
"We're in very serious danger. The world is in a depression in the Big Three of America, Europe and Japan, a mini-depression that we have not seen since the 1930s."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Gaddafi will try to sell Libyan gold: ex-central banker
NATO Joins Hunt for Qaddafi (NYT)
U.S. May Snap Up Qaddafi's Missiles in Mali Black Market to Soak Up Supply
Strauss-Kahn to visit IMF headquarters next week
Syrian Unrest Leads to Worries Over Chemical Weapons
Finland: No NATO Membership Anytime Soon
Army tests Fly-By-Wire Technology on Helicopters
"In use in other Defense Department aircraft for years, fly-by-wire now replaces the conventional manual flight controls in some Black Hawk helicopters with an electronic interface."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Looting, unrest as Chileans strike against Pinera
Chilean student protests snowballing into political revolt
Detainees disappear into black hole of Saudi jails
Anna Hazare: Indian PM appeals for end to hunger strike
12 to 15 shots fired at LAPD officers

## Energy/resources ##
Iron ore supply shortage continues to hurt steel cos (India)
High coal prices in Indonesia to hit India's power projects: Tata
Iron Ore-Spot rises on China steel output, tight supply
U.S. East Coast energy sites brace for Irene
Oil companies scramble for Libya's riches
Production shifts to China for rare earths
Brutal Year for Solar Causes Industry Shakeout
OPEC: Venezuela has world's largest oil reserves
Libya: Can It Become an Oil Superpower?
"History says Libya is not a good bet to become an oil superpower anytime soon. Three decades after the Iranian revolution in 1979, production there has yet to be completely restored. Iraq needed four years to equal its output before the 2003 U.S. invasion, and the ex-Soviet Union countries required as much as a decade."
Uranium Spot Market a 'Ghost Town' With No Price Change, Ux Says
New USGS Marcellus Shale anaylsis drastically cuts DOE estimates

## Got food? ##
High food prices alarm nutritionists (NZ)
Bad weather raises concern over future food prices

## Environment/health ##
Fracking could have caused East Coast earthquake (RT news)
East Coast in Irene's path, scrambles to prepare
Half of Americans Projected to Be Obese in 2030
I predict that in 2030 there will be very few fat people. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Russian spacecraft falls from the sky. Is the International Space Station in trouble?
An Elegy for the Age of Space (The Archdruid Report)
Vodafone NL again hit by network failure

## Japan ##
Fukushima cesium leaks 'equal 168 Hiroshima bombs,' says report
Aging Reactors Mean Japan Faces $13B in Costs
Japan faces costly, unprecedented radiation cleanup
"Nearly six months after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan faces the task of cleaning up a sprawling area of radioactivity that could cost tens of billions of dollars, and thousands may not be able to return home for years, if ever."
Offers To Govt Rice Reserves Program Fall Short Of Target
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--The government has accepted auction offers totaling 74,538 tons for this year's rice crop to go toward its national stockpile, a far cry from a new 200,000-ton target, according to Agriculture Ministry data released Thursday."
Meiji To Put Up Butter Prices
Foreigners Net-Sell Japan Stocks 4th Straight Week
No solid plans yet for 'liquefied soil'/ Low demand, high cost obstacles for moving or recycling tons of dirt
Japan consumer prices post surprise rise

## China ##
Soaring rents push people to quit Beijing
China gas-to-chemical firms shackled by supply, costs -paper
"BEIJING Aug 25 (Reuters) - Chemical firms using natural gas as feedstock in southwestern Chinese provinces were facing mounting risks to scale down and even close operations due to gas shortages and rising gas prices, an industry newspaper reported on Thursday."

## UK ##
Government backs down on plan to shut Twitter and Facebook in crises
Nuclear safety getting worse in military facilities, says MoD study
Goldman Cuts Salaries of London Bankers

## US ##
Eric Cantor: Federal Hurricane Disaster Relief Would Have To Be Offset By Spending Cuts
Irene on Path to Test Coffers of State-Run Insurers
Airlines Begin Canceling Flights as Irene Nears
Irene Threatens East Coast With $13.9B in Damage
Jobs Resignation Erases $52B From S&P 500
Squatter problem balloons in Detroit
Some Of Your Taxpayer Assets Will Be Sold Off To 'Vulture Funds,' In Case You Were Interested
In Case You Thought Bank Of America's Troubles Were Over...
Fears Grow That August Will Show Net Loss in Jobs Picture
Hoenig Says U.S. Should Focus on Fixing Finances, Fed Has Done All It Can
Middle class retirement now largely a postcard fantasy
Bank deposits hit record high of nearly $10 trillion
"Despite meager interest rates 'consumers are very fearful about the economy, and are fleeing to the safety and security of insured and liquid deposits.'"

And finally... Qaddafi Had Stash of Condoleezza Rice Photos

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