Wednesday, November 23, 2011


News Links, November 24, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
"Disastrous" bond sale shakes confidence in Germany
"The German debt agency could not find buyers for almost half a bond sale of 6 billion euros. That pushed the cost of borrowing over 10 years for the bloc's paymaster above those for the United States for the first time since October.
"'It is a complete and utter disaster,' said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities in London."
Euro on 'Death Watch' After Investors Spurn German Bonds
Banks Make Plans for Euro-Zone Split
In Greece, loan sharks compound the pain
EU demands right to dictate national budgets
"The European Union demanded Wednesday sweeping powers to override national budgets and proposed issuing joint eurozone bonds to help resolve and prevent a repeat of the debt crisis."
Europe's "Liquidity Run" Has Begun Because There Is An Unsolvable $30 Trillion Problem
U.S. Treasuries No Sanctuary from Europe's Debt Problems (Jeff Rubin)
China factory sector shrinks most in 32 months
"China's factory sector shrank the most in 32 months in November on signs of domestic economic weakness, a preliminary PMI survey showed, reviving worries that China may be slipping toward a hard landing and fuelling fears of a global recession."
Jet fuel price hikes halve El Al's profit
China bubble a global concern (Asia Times)
Singapore's Inflation Holds Above 5% a Fifth Month on Housing, Transport
As Expected, Ireland Is First To Demand Debt Relief In Greek Bailout Aftermath
Austria To Sell, Scrap Two-Thirds of Its Tanks
Caribbean braces for drop in tourism spending

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
China says to go ahead with Pacific naval drills
"China said Wednesday it will go ahead with naval exercises in the western Pacific this month, an announcement that came a week after Washington reinforced its Asia-Pacific footprint with plans to operate 2,500 U.S. Marines out of northern Australia."
Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood facing growing backlash from protesters
Libyan tribes protest at new government line-up
Dozens of deaths reported in Syria crackdown
Analysis: Arab League breaks habit, turns on Syria
Aircraft Carrier CVN-77 Parks Next Door To Syria Just As US Urges Americans To Leave Country "Immediately"
China says it opposes Western sanctions on Iran
Russia Warns US, Israel against Attack on Iran
Sanctions Against Iran Not Working, White House Admits
Medvedev: Russia may target missile defense sites
"Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at U.S.missile defense sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned shield despite Russia's concerns, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday."
Yemen's president steps down
Japan ForMin asks China to set up crisis management mechanism
"Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba asked China's Premier Wen Jiabao to agree to set up a 'crisis management mechanism' aiming to avoid conflict over disputed waters, reports said Wednesday."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Top Form Workers Strike Over Wages at China Lingerie Factory
"Top Form International Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed lingerie maker, said as many as 200 employees at its plant in Shenzhen, southern China, staged a five-day strike over pay, a further sign of rising worker unrest in the country."
Land grab anger flares again in S. China village
Protests flare up in Bahrain before unrest report
Industrialists decide 2-hour sit-in against loadshedding (Pakistan)
Cairo clashes flare after dark
"Rocks, teargas, firebombs and gunfire made darkened streets in central Cairo a battle zone on Wednesday as hard-core protesters demanding an immediate end to army rule fought riot police around government buildings close to Tahrir Square."
Tunisia police fire in air during protest: witnesses
Inside Occupy Wall Street's Growing Student Protests
French riot police battle protesters over nuclear train

## Energy/resources ##
Diesel Becomes 'Global Issue' as Premium Soars: Energy Markets
"Soaring demand for diesel and gasoil around the world is depleting stockpiles, sending U.S. prices to the highest level in three years relative to gasoline."
Must read: The myth of renewable energy (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
I've been saying all along that renewables are dependent on the industrial infrastructure, which in turn is built and powered by fossil fuels, and that they aren't going to save industrial civilization. -- RF
India power investment slows, chronic deficit worsens
"Investments into India's power sector are slowing despite a chronic electricity shortage that threatens GDP growth, executives told the Reuters India Investment Summit, due to coal shortages, land hassles and an inability by distribution companies to raise tariffs."
Cold winter and electricity rationing ahead for South Koreans
Will the Gulf Help Oil Majors Stay Afloat?
An informative window on the growing difficulty of energy production. -- RF
Does Nuclear Energy have a Future in Europe
Israel ups gas field guard, plans exports
"Israel is pushing ahead with plans to export its natural gas production from major offshore fields to Greece via Cyprus, defying threats by onetime ally Turkey to use military force to block such moves."
U.S. warned Exxon about Iraq
Get ready for winter, Scotland warns
Plutonium shortage threatens future space research
South Portland council OKs removal of streetlights (US)
Council switches street lights off to save cash (UK)

## Got food? ##
Livestock farmers say ethanol eats too much corn (US)
"Livestock farmers are demanding a change in the nation's ethanol policy, claiming current rules could lead to spikes in meat prices and even shortages at supermarkets if corn growers have a bad year."
Farmageddon−The Unseen War to Shut Down American Family Farms

## Environment/health ##
Brazil 'risks loss of forest area equal to Germany, Italy and Austria'
"An area of forest equal to Germany, Italy and Austria combined could be lost forever if Brazil's senate approves new laws on land clearance to be voted on within days, conservationists have warned."
Arctic sea ice decline 'unprecedented' in last 1,400 years

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Virgin America's Web Site Meltdown: Four Weeks and Counting

## Japan ##
Japan's anti-nuclear protesters find the going tough, despite Fukushima disaster
"Polls show the public turning against nuclear energy after Japan's Fukushima disaster. But low coverage of protests and powerful business and political interests have complicated efforts to promote change."
Emergency condenser at Fukushima plant may not have fully run after tsunami
Govt Panel Calls For Cutting Pensions From FY12
6 Chinese warships spotted in waters off Okinawa
Tokyo govt to urge firms to stock disaster supplies
Japan intends to develop oil fields in Iraq
TEPCO projects getting by next summer even without nuclear power
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. projects it will be able to supply electricity beyond this summer's maximum capacity next summer even if all 17 of its nuclear reactors go offline, company sources said Tuesday."
But fuel costs will likely hit the utility hard. -- RF

## China ##
China spending big money to avoid Arab spring fever
"China's ruling Communist Party is looking within for threats to its control over the country, spending more money on securing its population of over one billion than it did on its military last year, according to a new report to the U.S. Congress."
The Coming China Collapse: Economic, Political Or Both?
Chanos Says China Bank System `Extremely Fragile' (Bloomberg video)

## UK ##
Cold kills 180 British pensioners a day during winter
This is some pretty grim reading. -- RF
Fuel poverty protesters stage 'die-in' over winter deaths
Motoring costs soar above inflation
"The cost of owning a car has risen by more than £800 a year over the past 12 months, a study has found."
London lagging in Iraqi energy investments
UK incomes fall 3.5% in real terms, ONS reveals

## US ##
Bank of America Swaps Soar to Record
Dave Bing Threatens City Workers With State Takeover
Mortgage Insurer PMI's Bankruptcy Will Make It Harder To Obtain Loans
New Bottom Line: Angry Churches Pull Money From Big Banks
'Flash Robs': Trying to Stop a Meme Gone Wrong
25 Bitter And Painful Facts About The Coming Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis That Will Blow Your Mind
LA seeks to make parks from foreclosures
Sick-day faking on the rise
Some States Are Facing Revenue Shortfall—Again
America keeps lurching toward that inevitable nationwide muni bond bust. -- RF
College Savings Drop Off as More Parents Feel Pinched
Moody's Keeps United States' AAA Rating
Groupon Shares Plunge Below IPO Price
Bad Economic News Trifecta Hits: Jobs And Core Durable Goods Worse, Savings Rate Higher As Consumers Hunker Down
Sunoco says Eagle Point refinery assets not sold yet
"Sunoco closed the refinery in 2009 due to poor profit margins along the Atlantic Basin. Earlier this year, they said they were also closing their remaining two refineries if there were no buyers."
Farmers caught up in MF Global failure
The New Homeless: Living Behind the Wheel

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