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

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