Tuesday, October 04, 2011


News Links, October 4-5, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greece Falls Into 'Death Spiral': Rising Debt, No Growth
Greek haircut under review, no new euro zone aid until November
Tough Choices For Greece's Youth In Economic Crisis
Eurozone crisis: Battered by economic crisis, Greeks turn to barter networks
European Liquidity Update: Horrible And Getting Worse
China warns of trade war if U.S. currency bill passes
India Export Growth, Manufacturing Slow
"India's economy is poised for a further slowdown as moderating external demand clouds export prospects and prolonged monetary tightening continues to crimp manufacturing activity, two separate data releases showed Monday."
Banking crisis set to trigger new credit crunch
"Credit default swaps on lenders as far afield as China and Australia, countries that until recently seemed immune to the chaos, have doubled in the last two months to levels not seen since the financial crisis."
Most Asian Markets Are In The Red As The Global Selloff Continues
The Korean Market Is Getting Massacred, Markets Unimpressed By Latest Statements From Europe
Investors Put More Money Into 'Black Swan' Hedge Funds
Think the Economy's Bad? 'You Haven't Seen Anything'
Italy downgrade deepens contagion fears over euro debt crisis
Europe recession fears mount
Real Estate Trouble From Florida to Shanghai
"The housing bubble aftermath has reached a new stage as banks sue homeowners, and China looks more ready than ever for a property bust."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Analysis: China to keep Pakistan embrace at arm's length
Because Pakistan's economy is collapsing, one of China's main concerns is likely keeping Pakistan as stable as possible. -- RF
Russia's Putin says wants to build "Eurasian Union"
"Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a 'Eurasian Union' in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative as he prepares to return to the Kremlin as the country's next president."
Palestinians say Israeli prison hunger strike grows
"Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails have joined a hunger strike to protest against worsening prison conditions, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs said on Monday."
Severed heads found near Mexican defense ministry
Russia's Bosporus Maritime Tanker Oil Superhighway Increasingly Unsettles Turks
Arabs plan $63 billion air power buildup
"Middle Eastern states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are focusing on building up their power and air-defense capabilities, a military air market expected to generate $62.9 billion over the current decade."
Gen. Allen Disavows 2014: US Going to Stay in Afghanistan 'For a Long Time'
Turkey to Hold Military Exercises on Syrian Border
Iraq: No Immunity For U.S. Trainers Post-2011

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
A new Lost Decade is leading to revolution: Class warfare accelerating, democracy losing grip (Paul Farrell)
Wall Street protest movement spreads to cities across US, Canada and Europe
Despair and resignation in Greece as more pain looms
Things About To Turn Violent Again - Greece May Mobilize Police Against Striking Students And Teachers
Fifth Tibetan monk in China burns self in protest: group
"A Tibetan monk set himself alight in a market in mountainous western China Monday, extending a burst of immolation protests at a monastery that has become a center of defiance of Beijing, a group advocating self-determination for Tibet said."
Bloggers say Arab Spring has gone global
Violent protests against loadshedding enter second day (Pakistan)
Two trains, police station attacked Power protesters go berserk (Pakistan)
Saudi Arabia clashes in eastern province of Qatif
Mob takes emergency water supplies during Banbury shortages (UK)
Israel's tent protests transition to next stage: political fight

## Energy/resources ##
How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia (WSJ)
This sounds really sanguine. Recall that recently the WSJ also ran a peak-oil hit piece by Daniel Yergin. It's evident from this article that if crude prices are too low, the Bakken cannot be developed economically. Just one more reason that we must not hope for cheap oil if we want to keep using it. Oh, by the way, did I mention that cheap energy is needed for growth? -- RF
No slowdown in Chinese coal demand – SouthGobi
We'll need 170,000 workers, says BHP (Australia)
"BHP BILLITON has predicted Australia's resources industry will need an extra 170,000 workers in the next five years, underlining the job bonanza set to hit mining states."
What's next after the coal's gone? (US)
"Coal production in Central Appalachia has fallen 30 percent since its last peak in 1997. Within four or five years, the decline is projected to accelerate into a 'huge collapse' for reasons that have less to do with regulation than geology.
"The thick, cheap-to-get coal seams are gone. It costs more — and is more destructive to the environment — to extract what's left."
Chevron Uses Solar Power To Steam Oil Out Of California Field
We're supposed to be impressed by this application of technology that is "advanced" and "green" and produces more energy. But the need to wring the last drops out of old oil fields shows how desperate the situation is getting. -- RF
Oil May Draw Support From OPEC Cuts in Grim Q4: Survey
EU crisis, prospects of weaker oil demand a threat to OPEC nations

## Got food? ##
Big catches mask dwindling numbers of sea bass
Flood of food imported to U.S., but only 2 percent inspected
Corn field conditions slide
"The weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report said 20 percent of the corn crop was in poor or very poor condition this week. In the week prior, 13 percent of corn fields were rated at those levels."

## Environment/health ##
South Pacific water shortage hits Tokelau
Dengue fever claims nine more lives (Pakistan)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Intermittent outages hit major websites
BofA Site Riddled With Problems For Fifth Day
Apple.com crashes as iPhone 4S is unveiled
Idaho Lab in a Race to Shore Up Critical Infrastructure Systems

## Japan ##
Mizuho Securities to Cut 700 Jobs, Reduce Executive Salaries
Genkai nuclear reactor shut down in Saga; cause unknown
Hosono asks 43 prefectures to take debris from Tohoku
This is nuts. Just imagine the amount of energy consumed to transport millions of tons of waste to far-flung parts of the country. -- RF
Disaster-zone population would've fallen 46% anyway: study
Of course. This region was already economically depressed, with no hope for "recovery." And this is another reason why efforts to rebuild what was lost are doomed. -- RF
Disney resorts see 17% visitor plunge
Thyroid gland irregularities found in young evacuees from Fukushima
Government to expand area for decontamination of radiation

## China ##
China's Fall, Not Its Rise, Is the Real Global Threat: View

## UK ##
Riot-hit Britain plans to put prisoners to work
"Britain wants to put more prisoners to work in an attempt to rehabilitate a 'growing feral underclass' blamed for riots that swept English cities two months ago, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said on Tuesday."
Conservative Party Conference 2011: pay off credit cards for the sake of the economy, says David Cameron
"David Cameron will urge households today to pay off their personal debts to help Britain recover from what is 'no normal recession'."
Thousands of Unison workers set for walk-out
Street lights blackout to start in Haverhill later this month
Cost-cutting could see Uckfield street lamps turned off
Greece default fears drag FTSE below 5000
UK oil explorer moves into Libya

## US ##
US Starts New Fiscal Year With $14.837 Trillion In Debt, $142 Billion Increase In Two Days
Kodak plummets 54% on bankruptcy rumors
Frontier of Frugality
"Retailers are coming to terms with a new reality: the consumer who traded down during the recession and never came back.
"Buffeted by high unemployment, heavy debt loads, falling home values and high food and gas prices, these shoppers have been whipped into a permanent state of consumer caution. They buy only what they need, avoid premium labels, clip coupons and scour sales."
Airline stocks: American Airlines hits eight-year low
"Airline stocks fell Monday, led by bankruptcy speculation for troubled American Airlines. American shares tumbled 33 percent, while airline stocks generally dropped 9.8 percent."
Food stamp use on the rise
American mobility on the decline
U.S. "close to faltering," Fed ready to act: Bernanke
Stocks: Bear market bounce
Pump, baby, pump! -- RF

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