Sunday, November 13, 2011


News Links, November 14, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Int'l Shipping Industry Poised For A Tough 2012, Crown Chairman Says
JPMorgan's Huge Call: Italy Will Need The IMF, And A 'Big Bang' Economic Shock
Italian Debt Risk Faces Euro Insurers
"Italy could deal insurers a lethal blow. Europe's insurers own an estimated €300 billion (about $408 billion) of Italian sovereign debt—equivalent to a large chunk of their €450 billion shareholders' equity, notes JP Morgan. While banks' exposure has been much debated, an Italian default or euro exit could devastate insurers' capital and in turn Europe's savings."
U.K.'s Cable Urges 'Unlimited Powers' for ECB
"U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the European Central Bank needs unlimited powers to support the euro and the region's debt-ridden economies."
Slovenian Economist Emails "Our Banking System is on Brink of Collapse"; Housing Crash and Incompetent Bureaucrats Blamed
The Most Important Thing You Need To Know About The Man Who Will Lead Italy's New Government
"With ties to every major business in Italy, it's no surprise Monti was able to gather a huge support system in such a short period of time."
Lagarde warns Asia of 'downward spiral'
APEC leaders seek firewall against Europe crisis
"'If we can at least contain the (European) crisis then one of the great opportunities we have is to see the Asia-Pacific region as an extraordinary engine for growth,' Obama said on Saturday.
"But that engine is slowing down and inflation-wary Asian leaders do not necessarily want to rev it back up."
Indian Billionaires Fail to Turn Air-Travel Boom Into Profits
Emirates to add 50 new planes worth $18 billion
Airlines blow bubbles, too. -- RF
Morgan Stanley: We're Shorting The Euro Again
Eurozone Crisis: EFSF Buys its Own Bonds
EFSF Denies It Is An Illegal Pyramid Scheme
Ministers at APEC vow 'green' growth
Infinite growth is as "green" as coal is "clean." -- RF
Spanish region auctions some of its official cars
"The central Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha is auctioning off part of its fleet of official cars in a bid to raise money in hard times."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Brazil police invade Rio's biggest slum
Rudd mum on US troop boost, takes aim at Greens
"Media reports suggest Mr Obama will announce the US will begin rotating Marines through a base in Darwin, with a new permanent presence on Australian soil."
Spain, in pain, turns to the right
Rival Libyan militias clash near military base
Mystery surrounds deadly blast at Iran ammunition depot
China and Russia refuse to back US over Iran
Kazakhstan prepares for growing Islamic militant threat
A New Era of Gunboat Diplomacy (NYT)
"IT may seem strange in an era of cyberwarfare and drone attacks, but the newest front in the rivalry between the United States and China is a tropical sea, where the drive to tap rich offshore oil and gas reserves has set off a conflict akin to the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
South China villagers riot over land dispute: police
"South Chinese villagers wielding clubs and stones attacked an industrial park, incensed by reports that an official had sold land without compensating them, police and media said on Sunday in the latest flare-up over commercial development."
St Paul's camp faces legal action 'within days'
Portland police dismantle 'Occupy' camps after confrontation
Antinuclear-plant protesters rally in Fukuoka (Japan)
"A series of large antinuclear rallies took place in Fukuoka on Sunday with the organizer saying more than 15,000 people, including from South Korea, took part calling for dismantlement of all nuclear power plants in Japan."

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Hubbert's Third Prophecy
From Cluborlov; this is a really good read. Here is as good an explanation as you'll find anywhere about why the global infinite-growth Ponzi-scheme economy is absolutely and irrevocably doomed. Take cover, batten down the hatches, and pray. -- RF
Nuclear Industry Fears Fallout from Solyndra Story
Do you still need convincing that nuclear power is a black hole that sucks in money? Any way you look at it, costs are going to accumulate to far more than the world can afford, enough to bankrupt all governments many times over. Ultimately, nuclear waste — spent fuel, burned-out reactors, and all the other radioactive garbage — will be left unattended to contaminate the planet for countless generations. Have a nice day! -- RF
Libya oil output to return to pre-war levels next year
Clean energy: Costs rising for California consumers
"Clean energy got a boost from a 2006 California law mandating it. But some clean energy projects are so expensive, they'll raise consumers' utility bills for decades."
How far can solar go? A less-optimistic take.
Will the "economic price" limit oil production?
Gas load-shedding to further dent industry (Pakistan)

## Got food? ##
High prices could trip basmati exports (India)
Softening food prices unlikely to last long (Australia)

## Environment/health ##
Doctors see surge in newborns hooked on mothers' pain pills (US)
"Medical authorities are witnessing explosive growth in the number of newborn babies hooked on prescription painkillers, innocent victims of their mothers' addictions."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
'It makes you think there's something wrong with the whole system that needs to be fixed'
"In Toronto, some of the country's leading cancer centres are running out of chemotherapy drugs. From Windsor to Ottawa, pharmacists have seen dwindling supplies of everything from heart and thyroid medications to antidepressants. Doctors are grappling with shortages in common anesthetics and, most troubling, an irreplaceable muscle relaxant needed to intubate patients in an emergency."
Yes, there's something wrong with the whole system: it's called collapse. -- RF
A decade on, terrorism tribunals are bogged down
"Duqu Trojan revealed to be shape-shifting serial killer"

## Japan ##
Japanese researchers see future of oil in beakers of algae
They had better take off the rose-colored glasses and look again. -- RF
Noda calls for early resumption of gas treaty talks with China
"Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday called for an early resumption of stalled talks with China toward signing a treaty on a joint gas development project in the East China Sea."
Japan, Russia agree to discuss territorial dispute in 'quiet atmosphere'
Quiet atmosphere or not, Russia is not returning the islands. -- RF
Japan's GDP grows annualized 6% in July-September
Don't get excited. Japan is already doomed by expensive energy and the iron shackles of debt. -- RF

## China ##
China: Nearly 1,000 Real Estate Outlets Close in Beijing
China property market dip may have global impact
Thai floods push up pre-husked rice prices
"Shortly after the beginning of its harvest, the second crop of rice in Changhua and Yunlin Counties yesterday became the apple of buyers' eyes, with prices hitting an all-time high as a result of a shortage in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Thailand."

## UK ##
Pension fund investment sought by ministers to stimulate economy
"Ministers are finalising a radical plan to boost investment in UK infrastructure and stimulate the economy, with proposals to pool the vast assets held in British pension funds and use them to back an ambitious programme of road and house building."
Child poverty warning as cuts threaten to close 3,500 Sure Start centres

## US ##
Fuel assistance looking sparse
"Official: Rude awakening awaits"
Ripples from Europe starting to hit US shores
CNN cuts 50 staff members
Frontier ups job cuts announcements to 220
The Weird Status Symbol That Keeps Your Home Warm
Until you run out of fuel... -- RF
Supercommittee Debt Deal Appears Elusive

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