Thursday, November 24, 2011


News Links, November 25, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Fitch cuts Portugal rating on high debts, worse outlook
"Fitch downgraded Portugal's credit rating to junk status on Thursday, citing large fiscal imbalances, high debts and the risks to its EU-mandated austerity program from a worsening economic outlook."
Japan 'May Be' Close to a Downgrade: S&P
Hungary's Credit Rating Cut to Junk by Moody's After Last-Minute IMF Plea
Irish Prime Minister Begs EU for Debt Relief in Disgraceful Performance
Germany Buys Itself First-Class Ticket on Titanic
Gold GBP 1,092/oz, JPY 130,890/oz – IMF: Japan Debt Could "Quickly Become Unsustainable"
Nokia Siemens to Cut Work Force by 17,000
France, Germany and Italy squash market hopes of ECB intervention
German Bank Capital Needs May Top 12B Euros
Run on the Eurozone has Started; Horrendous Idea that Will Not Die; Hitler Enters the Equation; Merkel Reiterates the Obvious; No Hope or Future for Eurobonds
The Weakest Link: Terrifying Economic Conditions in the US and Europe (Daily Reckoning)
Europe Crisis: Bond Market Closing to Sovereign Countries (CNBC)
"Europe is now facing a serious crisis. The bond market is closing to euro-zone sovereign countries — and those that are open are charging exorbitant rates. 5.59 percent for 10-year Belgian debt? Please."
Wood-Burning Stoves All The Rage In Austerity Greece

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Arabs give Syria one day to agree monitors or face sanctions
"The Arab League gave Syria one day to sign a protocol allowing monitors into the country or face sanctions over its crackdown on protests including halting flights and suspending transactions with the central bank."
Iraq: Triple Bombings Kill At Least 19 In Basra
Egypt army picks new PM, protesters plan mass rally
Provincial autonomy risks sectarian rift in Iraq
"Moves by some of Iraq's mainly Sunni Muslim provinces toward increased autonomy threaten to heighten sectarian tensions and put pressure on Iraq's already frail central government as U.S. troops depart at the end of the year."
Russia says missiles to target US nuclear shield in Europe
Russia Retaliates Against US: Puts Radar Station On Combat Alert, Prepares To Take Out European Missile Defense Systems
Is the U.S. About to Invade Syria … and Pick a Fight with China and Russia?
Tough Times Spark Russian Resurgence In Latvia
Deadly attack on NATO convoy in Afghanistan
"Taliban fighters target a NATO logistics convoy in western Farah province, killing 10 private security guards."
Japan, China to cooperate over maritime crisis management system
"Japan and China agreed Wednesday to join hands in creating a "crisis management mechanism" to avoid potential disputes in the event of maritime incidents in the East China Sea, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Deadly clash hits Saudi province
"Kingdom blames foreign elements for unrest in Shia-dominated Eastern Province that left two people dead and six wounded."
Egypt Protests: Scenes From Day Six
Buoyed by unrest report, Bahrainis confront police
Portuguese strike against bailout austerity
"Portuguese workers went on strike on Thursday, halting public transport and factories in many parts of the country to protest against harsh austerity measures imposed as the price of an EU/IMF bailout."
Climate change: vulnerable countries consider 'occupying' Durban talks
NYPD raid on Occupy's Zuccotti Park camp destroyed thousands of books
Greek Riot Police Clash With Tax Protesters

## Energy/resources ##
Can Anything be Done to Avoid the Coming Clean Energy Crisis in the U.S.
Cheap fossil fuels kill renewables. But expensive fossil fuels kill the economy, and that causes subsidies for renewables to dry up. -- RF
The Peak Oil Crisis: A Report to Remember (Tom Whipple on the IEA report)
Go Figure: Why does every person need 200kg of steel a year?
UAE plan to develop nuclear power said to cost $30bn
Massive cost overruns will ensure that the price is much higher, and that the plan never happens. -- RF
Crude Oil: Exxon Mobil's deal may excacerbate tensions between Baghdad and Kurdistan
Iran Says Needs to Spend $50 Billion a Year to Keep Oil Output
"Iran needs to invest as much as $50 billion a year in its oil industry to maintain its position as OPEC's second-largest crude exporter and boost natural gas production, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said."
Wind power truly in the realm of mysticism
"Let me state categorically that, as a physicist, I am in favour of wind power that is genuinely economically viable. The problem is that large-scale wind power fed into a national grid is just not viable – either economically or practically – from an engineering stand point.
"The dream of some enthusiasts that there is some major technological leap just waiting in the wings that will make wind power viable is extremely unlikely to take place. The total energy in any wind stream is measurable, and there is no known quantum leap waiting for a solution that could produce considerably more wind energy than at present."

## Got food? ##
Vietnam struggling with high food prices
"Some Vietnamese people now say they spend more than 50% of their wages on buying food."
India to open market to global supermarket chains
Erratic Rains Threaten Southern Africa Food Output

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
9 Reasons Wired Readers Should Wear Tinfoil Hats
Your life is an open book. -- RF
Cyborg search-and-rescue insects' power source unveiled
INFOGRAPHIC: 120 Million Black Friday Shoppers Are In Danger Of Identity Theft

## Japan ##
Decontamination work at homes in Fukushima not going well as radiation lingers
"Work to decontaminate homes and yards in a district here is not proceeding as hoped, as radiation levels persist and decontamination workers worried about their health stay away."
What did they expect? -- RF
IMF Warns Japan Debt Could 'Become Unsustainable'
What, the IMF just discovered this? With total debt hovering around 500% of GDP, Japan's goose is cooked to overdone. Put a fork in it. -- RF
Japan risks slow slide toward debt-funding strains: Fitch
"Japan must explain how it will correct its public finances to avert the risk that investors would shun its bonds and push up borrowing costs, the credit rating agency Fitch warned on Thursday."
Japan Life Insurers Cut Europe Bond Holdings Amid Crisis
"TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Major Japanese life insurers have cut their exposure to debt issued by Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain over the past few months, company officials said Thursday, underscoring widespread concerns among Japanese institutional investors over Europe's deepening debt crisis."
Japan's Thai Exports Down 16% In Oct Due To Floods: Report
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--The widespread flooding in Thailand has taken a toll not only on bilateral trade, but also business and consumer sentiment, according to the government's monthly economic report."
Gov't to newly set safety limit for radioactive cesium in baby food
How reassuring! -- RF
Many obstacles hinder debris disposal
Govt to review energy law / Edano calls for ways to reduce usage, increase efficiency
"Taking lessons from power shortages this summer, the review will seek to lower maximum electricity use during peak hours, which the current Energy Conservation Law does not cover."
Japan sees 2012 LNG demand rising by 20 mln T
"State-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) expects demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to rise by 20 million tonnes next year in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, a company official said on Thursday."

## China ##
Electric vehicles starting to lose their zip in China
China Real Estate at 'Tipping Point': Nomura
"China's property market has reached a "tipping point" and the slowdown in the housing industry will have a spillover effect on demand for steel and other construction materials, according to Nomura Holdings Inc."
China Real Estate posts 3Q loss as market cools
"China Real Estate Information Corp. reported a third-quarter net loss on Tuesday, and warned that the Chinese government's efforts to cool the real estate market is hurting growth of its online business. The stock fell 10 percent in late morning trading."
China's Oil Demand to Surpass IEA Forecasts, Barclays Says
"China's oil consumption by 2015 will be 'significantly' higher than International Energy Agency forecasts, surging 35 percent from this year, as economic expansion spurs fuel demand, Barclays Capital said."

## UK ##
Young jobless 'Neets' reach record level
War of words over claim strikes 'could cost jobs'

## US ##
Super Committee Failure Aftermath: Mood Moves From Frustration To Open Self-Loathing
It's just another sign of the dysfunction that arises from over-complexity and energy decline. It's all downhill from here, folks. -- RF
U.S. Easing Out Of Nation-Building Business
Chinese Real Estate Collapse Will Hit America Hard, According to Influential Newsletter Profit Confidential

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