Monday, August 01, 2011


News Links, August 2, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
U.S. Debt Deal Reached: Stocks Jump, Gold And Yen Fall As Investors Cut Safety Trades
Cuts, What Cuts? Deficit Bill Has No Cuts, No Revenue Either, Just Hot Air; "Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich?" (Mish)
The Imminent $2.5 Trillion Debt Ceiling Hike Will Unleash A Gold Price Surge To $1,950 And Higher
Juncker says a U.S. downgrade would hit whole world
Debt Deal Will Add to 'New Normal' Slowness: El-Erian
Euro Zone Manufacturing Virtually Stagnant in July
Global economy is cooling rapidly: U.S., Europe and China all report weakness in factories (MarketWatch)
HSBC set to axe 30,000 worldwide jobs despite £7bn profit
HSBC to sell 195 NY bank branches to First Niagara
Putin says U.S. is a "parasite" on global economy
"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States Monday of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets."
Global Q2 chip sales confirm falling market
Will Cyprus Be The Straw That Breaks The EU?
New home sales drop most in five years (Australia)
Italian banks battered by economic winds (FT)
"Italian banks suffered another torrid day of trading as investors sold off a sector that has become a weather vane for concerns about the sovereign debt crisis in Europe."
The Demise of the Consumer Economy
"The consumer-debt-based economy is doomed; good riddance. It was nothing more than an elaborate cargo cult based on marketable anxiety."
Spain Election May Mean More Austerity
Soaring demand spotlights secret NY gold hoard
Association says 20% of steel firms could go bust soon (Vietnam)
"Around one-fifth of enterprises in the country's steel industry will likely go bust soon due to the very sluggish consumption of construction steel in the past two months, the Vietnam Steel Association warned."
Companies hit hard by truck, trailer shortage (Oman)
Japan preparing to intervene to weaken yen: report

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
The Quiet Revolution: Latin America Moving Away from Washington's Influence
"Perhaps the biggest foreign-policy story of the past decade, thoroughly overlooked by the American media after 9/11 and its subsequent monomaniacal focus on terrorism, security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the fact that Latin America has essentially moved away from Washington's influence."
Turkey's Military in Disarray as Generals Walk Off Job
Khanal gov't under pressure (Nepal)
NATO oil tankers torched
Vladimir Putin supports merger of Russia and Belarus
What could Austerity America's defense posture look like?
China needs at least three aircraft carriers: general

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Violence continues in Pakistan's Karachi; 200 killed in July
Greek taxi drivers step up strike, block traffic
"Taxi drivers blocked major roads across Greece Monday, stepping up protests against EU/IMF-inspired reforms to their trade and disrupting tourism at the height of the summer season."
Cab drivers on strike over cost in East China
Egypt's army drives protesters from Cairo square
Syrian Raids Spur Resistance
Israeli President Meets Social Protest Leaders

## Energy/resources ##
Iraq's government shuts down amid 120-degree temps - and no A/C
"Even Iraqi government ministries can't keep air conditioning on amid a summer electricity crisis. With the start of Ramadan today, observant Muslims are facing 14 hours without water."
Oil Climbs as US Reaches Debt Agreement
Global violence linked to severe weather
"How extreme weather increases competition for scarce natural resources and increases violence towards the world's poorest citizens."
Russians look to Cuban offshore reserves
Energy-starved Lebanon and Israel scramble for gas fields
U.S. pressing for deal with other countries to build nuclear fuel repository in Mongolia
Chile Escondida strike worsens world copper shortage

## Got food? ##
Labour shortage for cane harvest (Australia)
Aquaponic Food Production for Long Term Survival

## Environment/health ##
Record percentage of United States experiences 'exceptional drought'

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Our Web freedom at the mercy of tech giants

## Japan ##
Tepco Says Highest Radiation Yet Is Detected at Fukushima Dai-Ichi
Radioactive waste worries local governments / Officials seek guidance from central authorities on how to permanently dispose of sludge, ash
Honda profits plunge 88% as earthquake hurts production
Economists forecast annualized 2.6% fall in Japan's 2nd qtr GDP
Japan Vows To Skirt Nuclear Shutdown, Watchdog Embarrassed
Japan's power supply dilemma
"The Japanese government is facing the stark reality that the country will experience prolonged power shortages this winter if the nation's nuclear power resources are sidelined."
Kansai Elec Faces Procurement Shortfall, Worsening Shortage
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503) on Monday announced that plans to purchase electricity from outside sources have partially fallen through due to equipment difficulties, resulting in a procurement shortfall of 780,000 kilowatts.
"Some 660,000kw is expected to be restored by mid-month, but the prospects remain unclear for the other 120,000kw. As a result, the utility cut its average supply capacity outlook for August to 29.51 million kilowatts, a 350,000kw drop. Not taking energy conservation measures into consideration, this worsens the power reserve ratio, or supply cushion, to minus 6% from minus 4.8%."
July electricity use down 20% / Efforts by corporations, households to save power behind decline
Additionally, Japan has been blessed with cooler-than-usual weather lately. -- RF
Gov't to test rice crop in 19 prefectures for contamination
Japan extends beef ban to cattle from Iwate over contamination fears

## China ##
Guangxi faces most severe power shortage
"Guangxi is facing a serious electricity crunch this year which has arrived much earlier than expected, according to an interview with one of the province's top utility providers.
"'Currently the power shortage is close to 30 percent of the total demand. Guangxi Power Grid has sent out level-I warning marking a severe situation in power shortage,' said Gu Nanfeng, vice-chief engineer of Guangxi Power Grid Co, People's Daily reported Monday. 'Over 1,000 enterprises ceased or partially ceased production due to the power shortage,' he added."
China's Factory Growth in July at 28-Month Lows
1.8 mln suffer drinking water shortage as drought plagues SW China province
China Imposes Blackout on Train Wreck Coverage
China's cargo throughput grows slower in H1
Empty seats in high-speed trains
"The Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway is not as popular as it was one month ago when it first launched. The trains are now running with a vacancy rate of up to 70 percent from Beijing to Shanghai, the Oriental Morning Post reported on Monday."
China Aims To Renew Status As Scientific Superpower

## UK ##
Electric car owners may face £19,000 battery charge
"Figures obtained by The Times discovered that a new battery for the Nissan Leaf, the world's top-selling electric car, costs more than double past estimates."
Growth in Britain Is Forecast to Slow
Workers facing a bleak old age says pension review
Protest against lights switch-off

## US ##
Tentative deal would raise debt limit by $2.4 trillion
Details of 'super committee' are crucial in debt deal
Schiff: Debt Deal is a Blank Check
Small spending cuts to have little economic impact
"The first phase of a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit would pose little threat to the economy in the short term because almost none of the spending cuts would occur before 2014."
Ron Paul Exposes The Deficit "Plan" Lies: "Cuts Are Illusory, Not From Current Amounts Spent But From Projected Spending Increases"
Central Falls, Rhode Island Set For Default Announcement Today
Possible pilot shortage on the horizon
Union demise increases wage inequality
Super Congress Getting Even More Super Powers In Debt Deal
Signs of a Double-Dip Have Emerged: Meredith Whitney
"Her call on defaults 'is playing out exactly as I thought it would,' she said."
US Muni Bond Watch Intensifies
Don't pop any champagne corks: Debt deal shows broken system
Political gridlock not so good for markets this time
As governments max out on bloat and complexity while at the same time wrestling with energy decline, their stagnation, dysfunction, and political gridlock are inevitable. Already many governments are up to their eyeballs in debt and can't seem to get anything done anymore. -- RF
Factory growth slows, casts shadow on economy
Manufacturing Index Falls to Two-Year Low
U.S. Auto Sales Stall, Casting Doubt on Rebound
States cut back on efforts to draw tourists
Rural towns will really feel post office closures
More people borrowing from 401(k) accounts
Relief Rally Vanishes After ISM Faceplant (WSJ)
"Nice 30-minute rally while it lasted — after opening higher, stocks are in the red following a dismally bad ISM report...
"And now, after exhausting everybody's political will, capital and patience on the interminable debt-ceiling debate, we know the government's not going to come to the economy's rescue. Great job."
Medicare cuts funds to nursing homes
Medicare cuts hammer the hospital sector
Mounting drug shortages delaying treatment

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