Saturday, December 31, 2011


News Links, January 1, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF: Greece will miss financial targets
"The International Monetary Fund in an official report said Greece's financial situation is worse than previously thought."
Angela Merkel Tells Germany She Will 'Do Everything' to Save Euro in 2012
$6.3 Trillion Wiped Off Global Markets in 2011
Foreign Central Banks Cut Treasury Holdings by Record
"Holdings of U.S. Treasurys by foreign central banks has fallen by a record amount over the past four weeks according to the latest Federal Reserve data."
Spain's Budget Minister says "Serious Budget Shortfalls in All 17 Autonomous Regions"; Primer Minister Announces $19.3 Billion Package of Tax Hikes; Cockroaches and the Theory of the Unexpected
PC Shortfall in 2012 Caused by HDD Shortages: IHS iSuppli
"The flooding in Thailand, which is causing shortages in HDD supplies, will mean 3.8 million fewer PCs shipping in the first-quarter 2012, IHS iSuppli analysts say."
2011 exposed big holes in supply chain
"Two natural disasters demonstrated how vulnerable the computer industry is to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Earlier in the year, the tsunami/earthquake in Japan disrupted multiple manufacturers, some of which are still trying to recover their operations. And floods in Thailand created a massive shortfall in hard drive production, the effects of which are still rippling through the PC supply chain."
The Global Slowdown And Its Implications
New Year's 2012 Shortages Forecast Worldwide, and Not Just Norwegian Butter: A New Yorker's Opinion

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Unaccountable Killing Machines: The True Cost of U.S. Drones
US seals deal to sell $3.48B in missiles, technology to UAE
"Sale is part of strategy to help friendly Mideast nations keep Iran in check"
Ron Paul: Iran Does Not Threaten Our National Security
Iran delays missile test, ready for nuclear talks
Nigeria president declares emergency in some of north
North Korea names Kim Jong-un top military commander
Power behind Kim Jong-un's throne: the 'Gang of Seven' emerges from the shadows
Iraq celebrates US exit: 'Dawn of a new day'
US Civilians Are Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones
Mossad Chief: Iranian Nuclear Weapon Wouldn't Be Existential Threat

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Youth protesters, police clash across Bahrain
"Shi'ite youths chanting slogans against Bahrain's royal family clashed with riot police across the Gulf island kingdom Saturday, trying to block highways in a second day of protests, residents said."
Russian protesters arrested in Moscow rally
Syria: protesters rallied in record numbers across the country

## Energy/resources ##
Petroplus shuts 3 oil refineries as cash runs out
Huge power shortages, load shedding in 2012: Shortfall of power generation could cross 4500MW (Pakistan)
The Taps Have Run Dry (Cameroon)
Germany's Wind Power Revolution in the Doldrums
"The construction of offshore wind parks in the North Sea has hit a snag with a vital link to the onshore power grid hopelessly behind schedule. The delays have some reconsidering the ability of wind power to propel Germany into the post-nuclear era."
Oil price ending 2011 near $100 a barrel
Prices of essential goods continue to spiral up (Nepal)
Strike over CNG shortage, price hike cripples life in city (Pakistan)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves darken streetlights, create road hazards
"Nighttime stretches of road across the USA are being left dark by the theft of copper wiring from streetlights, and police are investigating whether the darkness contributed to some crashes.
"Copper thieves also are hitting traffic lights. The problem is particularly acute for localities where the sour economy has already left coffers bare and officials cannot afford to replace the wiring."

## Got food? ##
State may face food shortage next year (Odisha, India)
Organic Milk: Rising Production Costs Cause Shortage (US)
"The main reason for the shortage is that the cost of organic grain and hay to feed cows has gone up dramatically while the price that farmers received for their milk has not."
Food Safety Disasters 2011: The Deadliest And Strangest Outbreaks Of The Year
Monsanto GMO Seeds Use to Further Expand Within US

## Environment/health ##
Norovirus outbreaks rise (UK)
Man dies of bird flu in southern China

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
U.S. court upholds telecom immunity for surveillance
SOPA opponents may go nuclear and other 2012 predictions
Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, 'Serial Fabricators,' and the Tale of Iran and 9/11 (Gareth Porter)
"Behind a mysterious Dec. 22 Associated Press story about 'finding of fact' by a district judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al-Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks is a tapestry of recycled fabrications and distortions of fact from a bizarre cast of characters."

## Japan ##
Japan spent over 14 tril. yen on forex interventions in 2011
Number of new adults sinks to all-time low of 1.2 million

## China ##
China says rebel village was right to complain
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. -- RF
China to Make Yuan More Convertible: Central Banker
"China is not far from making the yuan convertible under the capital account, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted as saying on Saturday in an interview with a local magazine."
Global economic crisis hits China's exporters
8 in 10 US-listed Chinese solar firms post losses

## UK ##
Jeremy Hunt rejects calls for 'austerity' Olympics
High street braces for wave of failures as La Senza closes 80 shops
"Analysts predict up to 40,000 could lose jobs as lingerie chain joins list of those struggling to contain their debts"
Younger earners leaning on debt relief
House prices will remain stagnant or fall in 2012, economists warn

## US ##
Darker Nights as Some Cities Turn Off the Lights (NYT)
Obama Signs Defense Bill Despite 'Serious Reservations'
30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012
LA police hunt arsonist after 35 fires in Hollywood
US exports record amount of refined fuels
"U.S. refineries exported a record amount of refined fuels in 2011 to markets in South America, Central America and Europe. It was one reason why Americans spent a record amount on gasoline this year: Supplies that might have helped lower prices here had been shipped abroad."
Detroit churches face up to downsizing
After All Those Ups And Downs The Market Ended 2011 Right Where It Started
17 States Still Project Budget Deficits (It Will Get Much Worse); Moving Targets and the Slowing Global Economy
America's new poor (CNN Money video)
It was easy to promise everyone affluence when energy was cheap. -- RF
State revenue rises, but not enough to offset cuts

Friday, December 30, 2011


News Links, December 31, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Slowing China Means Ore-Ship Rates at Lowest in Decade
Rotterdam Port sees no cargo growth until 2013
Foreigners Dump Record Amount Of US Treasurys In Past Month
IMF Warned Greece on Debt Levels
"The International Monetary Fund recently told the Greek government that a worsening economic outlook suggests the beleaguered nation may be unable to reduce its debt to sustainable levels even with a planned 50% write down in privately-held Greek government bonds, according to two officials familiar with the conversations."
Eurozone crisis: Spain announces tax rises after missing deficit target
Spain sets out 8.9bn euros of new austerity measures
Spending by Regions Makes Spain's Fiscal Picture Worse
Italian debt costs shoot back into danger zone
Explaining Italian Christmas Season Sales (It's Far Worse Than Previously Reported); How Various Austerity Measures Will Affect Spending in 2012; Emails from Italian Readers; Massive European Recession On the Way
French Unemployment Hits 12-Year High (It's Going to Get Much Worse); Sarkozy Outlines Jobs Plan (Mathematically It Can't Work); Olli Rehn to Give Keynote Speech at Eurobond Seminar
European Banks Close 2011 With Near Record Cash On Deposit At ECB, €9 Billion Overnight Increase
Canada stocks rise, but end the year down 11%
Airlines tumble 31% in 2011; outlook cloudy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran launches seventh day of war games
Iran to fire long-range missiles during drill: news agency
Gen. Dempsey Schedules Visit to Reassure Israel on Threatening Iran
Nine killed in Pakistan car bomb attack
Saudi F-15s tip of $123B gulf arms plan
New Satellites to Extend China's Military Reach
Jim Rickards - US to go to War with Iran, Oil & Gold to Spike
United States as a global power: new world disorder
Russia Hands Over Nuke Sub Nerpa to India: Report

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Worsening power scenario triggers Valley-wide protests (Kashmir)
"Police Fire Tear Smoke, Pepper Gas Shells As People Take To Streets"
Seventeen dead as Syrians stage mass protests
Syrian forces fire 'nail bombs' as masses protest
Rebels kill Yemen officer as pro-Saleh protests begin
Farm anger adds to India's economic worries
"Usually around this time of the year, Jalgaon city in western India is abuzz with trucks ferrying mountains of fluffy white cotton to its markets.
"But this year, farmers have been blocking roads with burning tyres and refusing to sell their produce in a bid to force the government to prop up crop prices which they say barely cover costs."

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Posts An All-Time Annual High
Refinery Crunch In Europe
Check out these recent related items:
Poor margins force Asia refiners to cut output
Gasoline May Rise Above $4 a Gallon as Northeast Plants Shut
Euro crisis putting the hurt on ethylene production
Brazil, short of biofuel, can't open spigot to US
"Three factors have converged to push Brazil's ethanol distilleries to the limit. Sugarcane production fell this year for the first time in a decade, reducing supplies; global demand for sugar has remained strong; and domestic motor-fuel demand has surged, straining local gasoline and ethanol supply."
Kenya: Petroleum Shortage Bites in Nyanza Province
Power shortage in 5 South China provinces to hit 8-14 mln KW next year
Conflict minerals crackdown backfiring in Congo: U.N.
India Ponders Developing Extensive Fracking Industry
Islamabad bucks U.S., wants Iranian gas
House endorses motion on power shortage (Nepal)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Monuments vanish, power cut as metal thieves stalk UK

## Got food? ##
Kenya Turns to Uganda for Eggs Due to Feed Costs
Corn Traders Extend Bullish Bets on South America Crop Damage: Commodities

## Environment/health ##
Satellite Studies Reveal Groundwater Depletion around the World
WHO "deeply concerned" by mutated birdflu research

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Stuxnet weapon has at least 4 cousins: researchers
"The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform whose roots trace back to 2007, according to new research from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab."
GoDaddy bows to boycott, now 'opposes' SOPA copyright bill
Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship
"Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit."

## Japan ##
Euro may darken coming year / Profit forecasts could be cut if troubled currency stays near 100 yen
Fukushima hospitals in financial strife / Services being cut as medical facilities' losses top 12 billion yen due to nuclear crisis
Record Y83.99tln In Paper Bills Circulating At Year-End: BOJ
People are beefing up their cash positions. -- RF
Nikkei closes 2011 at lowest year-end level since 1982
New Year despair for Japan's nuclear refugees

## China ##
Contraction in China's Manufacturing Boosts Easing Case: Economy
"China's manufacturing contracted for a second month in December as Europe's debt crisis cut export demand, fueling speculation that the central bank may cut lenders' reserve requirements within days."
China seeks to combat hi-tech crimewave

## UK ##
FTSE suffers 5.6 per cent decline
Mortgage debt cut by £8.2bn
"Britons reduced their mortgage debt by £8.6 billion during the third quarter of this year, but the Bank of England said there was "little sign" that households are trying to pay their debts down more quickly than in the past."

## US ##
Sparrows Point, Maryland mill suspends steelmaking operations
Boston D.A. Subpoenas Twitter Over Occupy Boston, Anonymous
Foreclosures Roll On In Virginia, Even Over The Holidays
Could Bank of America Survive a Deposit Run in 2012?
Flash Crash Threatens to Return With a Vengeance
Nasdaq wraps up 2011 in the red
Top 10 Bankruptcies in 2011
Freddie Mac: Record low mortgage rates haven't rescued housing
As '11 Ends, 11 Charts Of 11 Disturbing 11 Year Trends
A collection of extremely discouraging charts. -- RF
5 Ways Europe Will Affect Your Finances in 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011


News Links, December 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Italy seeks bigger euro fund after tough debt sale
European Credit Crunch Hits Broad Economy As M3, Private Loans Collapse
Euro crisis putting the hurt on ethylene production
"Production of ethylene, a material used in a variety of products such as plastics and synthetic fibers, has started to fall at petrochemical complexes.
"This signals that the European sovereign debt crisis is beginning to spread to emerging economies and that it will cause production declines around the world."
China to Withdraw Support for Foreign Investment in Autos; Three Reasons China Will Not Be a Boon to Global Auto Sales
Report: Every third child in Israel lives below poverty line
Euro Declines to Decade Low Versus Yen on ECB Loans, Italy Debt
More than 1 million children ages 10 to 14 still forced by poverty to work in Brazil
2012 will be a year of austerity for India – so be prepared
American Airlines Shares To Be Delisted In 2012
Jim Rogers: Little Reason for Optimism in Anything but Agriculture
Spanish Drugmakers See Austerity Reducing Sales 15% as Rajoy Readies Cuts
Summarizing 2011 In Nine Easy Charts
Slow recovery for swamped factories in Thailand

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Next Year's Wars (Foreign Policy)
Iran warns U.S. over Strait of Hormuz
War Imminent in Straits of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil?
U.S. Warships Cross Hormuz Despite Iran Threats
China urges stability in Strait of Hormuz
Iran claims US warship patrolling waters near Strait of Hormuz
"A showdown between Iran and the United States over Tehran's threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers worsened on Thursday with warships from each side giving weight to an increasingly bellicose exchange of words."
Former Shell Oil CEO: Iran Threats Could Be Valid (CNBC video)
Strait of Hormuz standoff continues as Iran films US aircraft carrier
"Iran claimed to have successfully taken surveillance footage of a US aircraft carrier near the Strait of Hormuz today as both countries raised the stakes in their standoff over the critical oil route."
Iran adept at chipping away at bigger enemies, analysts say
"Iran has been steadily increasing its capability to fight 'asymetric warfare,' which favors using small raids and hit-and-run tactics to help even the odds when a weaker foe is fighting a larger rival."
Iran Much In Mind As U.S. Wraps Up $30B Sale Of Fighters To Saudi Arabia
Argentina adopts wide definition of terrorism
"Argentina enacted a law on Wednesday providing a wide definition of terrorism that critics fear will allow the state to jail people for up to 15 years for activities as diverse as marching in protests or pulling money out of banks."
Egypt police raid U.S.-based pro-democracy groups
Church bombings are declaration of war, say Nigerian Christians
Either Your Phone Plays Taliban Ringtones, or You Die
"The growth in Taliban ringtones is a sign that after 10 years of war and a surge of U.S. troops, the U.S. and its allies still don't control Afghanistan's countryside. The big brains at Darpa even set up a quasi-intelligence program, called Nexus 7, to suss out the war's progress by studying obscure metrics like the stability of fruit prices. But you don't need Nexus 7′s spreadsheets and data sets to know that if Afghans have to pose as Taliban sympathizers, you're losing."
US pushes ahead with arms deal to Iraq
"Deal including $11bn worth of advanced fighter jets and tanks comes with Iraq mired in worsening political crisis."
U.S. Base in Kyrgyzstan 'Very Dangerous': President
"Kyrgyzstan's new leader said Dec. 29 that it was "very dangerous" for his Central Asian nation to host a U.S. military base at Bishkek airport and that it must become a fully civilian airport by 2014."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Five Occupy protesters arrested at Paul's Iowa campaign HQ
In Iowa, Occupy prepares to occupy the caucus
Fredericton's Mayor gives Occupy protesters until New Year's Day to leave camp (Canada)
Occupy LA protesters plan presence at Rose Parade
Protest / The tectonic plates beneath Israel are shifting
Arab League monitors stoke anti-government protests in Syria
Thousands strike work in latest industrial unrest in China
China: Eight killed in police- militants clashes
Greek tax officials go on strike over austerity measures

## Energy/resources ##
Turkey gives Russia green light to build South Stream gas pipeline
Oh, Canada's Become a Home for Record Fracking
Indefinite gas shutdown notices issued to industries in Gujranwala (Pakistan)
Garment exports down on power shortage (Pakistan)
"The lingering energy shortage has virtually crippled the industry."
Yemen battling gas shortages
Fuel woes hit power sector (India)
Petrol shortage hits Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Fuel shortage deepens (Nepal)
"Shortage of petroleum products deepened in the market on Wednesday after Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), citing fund crisis and low import, distributed fuel to the petrol pumps operated by the security agencies and Sajha cooperatives only."
Harare plunged into darkness (Zimbabwe)
"HARARE was last night plunged into darkness for close to three hours following a system disturbance that emanated from Zambia and affected the Kariba Power Station."
'Major incident' blacks out islanders (UK)
The Top 5 Smart Grid Disappointments of 2011
Rising Geopolitical Tensions Threaten Oil Supplies
Coal ship queue hits 60 at Newcastle Port in Australia

## Got food? ##
The good food news of 201
Shortage of basic food items hits consumption in 2011 (Venezuela)

## Environment/health ##
Elephant poaching: 'Record year' for ivory seizures
Taiwanese seas threatened by overfishing

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Power failure threatens phone, internet for 40,000 (Australia)
Verizon says fixed third December service outage
"Verizon Wireless said on Thursday that it had resolved an "issue" with its high-speed wireless network overnight, after its third widely reported problem in a month."
Hacked Stratfor security think tank keeps site offline
Boycott of GoDaddy over SOPA bill a barometer of Internet politics

## Japan ##
Growth of all-electric houses slowed down
Japan to Double Sales Tax to Reduce Debt
Gov't request for nuclear storage facility site sends shockwaves through Fukushima
Okinawans protest base environment assessment after gov't sneaks it in under darkness
Quake-Induced Bankruptcies Top 500
Japan-India agreements aimed at countering China

## China ##
Funds Expect Surge of Bad Loans in China (FT via CNBC)
Property market in crisis
LG Display China Strike Ends as Fresh Labor Protest Reported
China Stocks to Drop on 'Pretty Bleak' Economy: Chart of the Day
Chinese citizens sent to mental hospitals to quiet dissent
China asks major energy users to save 250 million tonnes coal

## UK ##
Clegg Warns Of Further Austerity For UK
Elderly care in England 'in crisis', charity warns
"The care of the elderly in England could be plunged in to 'absolute crisis' by the government's spending cuts, the head of a charity has warned."

## US ##
Must read: If Iran Moves, the USA Has No Plan for an Oil Interruption
"If we lose 2 million barrels per day, or ten percent for a protracted period of time, government crisis monitors say the chaos will be so catastrophic they cannot even model it. One government oil crisis source told me hours ago, 'We cannot put a price tag on it. If it happens, just cash in your 401k.'"
There's more poverty in America's suburbs than in the cities
The U.S. Is Busy Building Supercomputers, but Needs Someone to Run Them
"The U.S. is racing to build the world's biggest supercomputers, but there's still a missing component—scientists and engineers who know how to use them."
Crumbling infrastructure in metro cities such as Birmingham overwhelming residents, study finds
"Crumbling infrastructure in many of the nation's larger cities such as Birmingham are placing an unsustainable financial burden on populations unable pay for the rebuilding of key systems such as sewer and water, says a new research study from Michigan State University."
California Child Care Cuts Force Hard Choice On Parents
Sears closings: After store closures, little hope for a rebound
Is Sears Headed for Bankruptcy?
Chaos, Near Riot Ensues at Saks Shoe Sale
After One Month Respite, Pink Slips Are Flying Again

And finally... Rock Music Has Worst Year Ever

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


News Links, December 29, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Christmas gloom as retail sales fall 30 percent in Greece
India: A Massive Keynesian Failure
Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families
"Nation shocked by stories of parents forced to give up children because of poverty – but charities warn of more cases to come"
Europe's Besieged Banks Have Trillions In Claims Against US Banks
World Economy Is in a Frightful Mess: Economist (CNBC video; warns of depression)
China-Japan Currency Deal Points Way to a New World Monetary Order: View
Thailand Output Plunges, Major Floods Cut Activity
What Happened To Economic Growth?
European Bank-to-Bank Lending Mistrust Hits Second Consecutive High; ECB's LTRO Won't Stop Collateral Contagion
Update on Brazil, BRICs
Moody's downgrades ratings of loss-making Shuaa

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Preparing to Attack Iran with Nuclear Weapons: "No Option can be taken off the Table."
U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure
An accelerating covert war with Iran: Could it spiral into military action?
Iran navy chief says shutting off Gulf "very easy"
"Closing off the Gulf to oil tankers will be 'easier than drinking a glass of water' for Iran if the Islamic state deems it necessary, Iran's top naval commander told the country's state television Wednesday."
U.S. Fifth Fleet says won't allow Hormuz disruption
"The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it would not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the world's most important oil route."
Arab monitors face crowds, blasts in second Syria tour
"Arab League monitors in Syria faced angry crowds, gunfire and explosions during their second visit to Homs, the heart of a nine-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, online videos appeared to show on Wednesday."
Syria: Arab League attacked for ignoring scale of violence
"An Arab League peace mission to Syria was in crisis on Wednesday night, attacked by opposition activists for failing to get to grips with the scale of the violence even as more people were shot dead in fighting."
Attackers bomb Arabic school in south Nigeria
Grim toll as cocaine trade expands in Honduras

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Large mob causes lockdown at Mall of America
Ailing India anti-graft activist cuts short hunger strike
Algeria leaders have lost touch, risk anger: review
"Algeria's leaders are out of touch with their people who are growing increasingly angry about unemployment, red tape and poor housing, said a senior official carrying out a presidential review of the country's economic and social woes."
Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

## Energy/resources ##
Dark Times Fall on Solar Sector
Ukraine mulling investing USD 1 billion in Iranian oil fields
New Forms of Biofuel Fall Short (WSJ)
"Hopes for a surge in production of alternative biofuels are falling flat, and the U.S. expects to continue to rely on corn- and sugarcane-based ethanol to meet a national mandate for renewable fuels in 2012."
In Philippine Slums, Capturing Light In A Bottle

## Got food? ##
'India's pulses imports likely to touch 8 million tons by 2020'
Eat Raw Food To Lose Weight, Cooked Food Contains More Calories
I suspect that in the future many people will be eating more of their food raw, anyway. Providing they have food to eat, that is. -- RF
There's A 25% Chance Your Ground Meat Has A Potentially Fatal Bacteria
Farmers Markets Flourish In Winter's Snows

## Environment/health ##
Giant shrimp raises big concern as it invades the Gulf
Oil and Fish Embryos in Shallow Water
Too clever by half: is technology killing the planet?
Wrap Your Phone in Tin Foil: Massive Solar Storm Is Coming

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
SOPA is the end of us, say bloggers
SOPA is losing steam, Internet censorship may not become law
Your cell phone is out of your control

## Japan ##
Japan Industrial Production Declines 2.6%, 3rd Quarter Capital Spending Drops 9.8%, Corporate Sentiment Drops to Minus 4; Powder Keg Waiting for a Spark (Mish)
Busby: Fukushima ' criminal event ' calls for investigation (RT video)
Thai flooding dents November Japan factory output
Fukushima governor demands TEPCO decommission all its 10 nuke reactors
Job market recovery loses steam
TEPCO asked to consider coming under temporary state control
"The government on Tuesday floated the idea of putting the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant under temporary state control, as it asked for $8.9 billion more in compensation aid."
Radioactive cedar pollen detected in Fukushima
Gov't wants to buy abandoned Fukushima land to store radioactive waste
Japan — Land of the Rising Debt

## China ##
Food security to be concern in 2012
Beijing Lets Natural-Gas Prices Rise in Two Areas

## UK ##
Street Cams Can Now Tag, Track and Follow Individuals (video)
Unemployment 'set to rise in 2012'
Care for elderly in 'absolute crisis', charity warns
"Age UK says cuts leaving increasing numbers of old people with either no support or very limited help at home"
UK switch to low-carbon energy will cost £5,000 per person a year
Police banned from charging their mobile phones at work
"Officers and civilian staff in Sussex have been told not to power up their personal phones, iPods and other electrical items at work in the hope of slashing electricity bills."

## US ##
11 Things That Will Be More Expensive in 2012
Gun sales at record levels, according to FBI background checks
Americans Shoplifted $1.8 Billion Worth of Stuff This Christmas
Police deaths rise sharply again
Obama Nominates Carlyle Group Partner to The Federal Reserve
What worries us most: Economic collapse
"Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, global disease – if you're so inclined, there's no shortage of major issues to fret about these days.
"Still, a new poll finds that the catastrophic event Americans are most likely to be worried about is economic collapse."
All should prepare for cold, power outage
"With colder temperatures approaching, U.S. health officials suggest everyone prepare their homes in case of severe cold temperatures or power outages."
U.S. Homeowners Are Ditching Their Mortgages And Getting Away Scott-Free
6 years later, Katrina victims fight FEMA debts
S&P moved into negative territory for 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


News Links, December 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Treasury plans for euro failure (UK)
"The Government is considering plans to restrict the flow of money in and out of Britain to protect the economy in the event of a full-blown euro break-up."
ECB reports record cash deposits from banks
"The latest jump in deposits comes from cash lent to the banks by the ECB itself last week in order to ward off a fresh banking crisis and credit crunch."
LTRO "Bazooka" Is Epic Disaster As Banks Scramble To Redeposit "Free Carry" Cash With ECB, Lose Money On "Inverse Carry" (ZH)
Italy Could Trigger Early End to Santa Claus Rally
Italians Cut Spending in Worst Christmas in 10 Years; Debt in Spanish City of Gandia 50% Higher than Previously Reported; Harsh Times Ahead for All Europe (Mish)
Downhill drive for auto sector in 2011 (India)
Effects Of Foreclosures After Real Estate Bubbles Burst In Emerging Markets
2012 to be year of hardships for Thailand
IMF says expects January talks with Egypt
9 Underground Economies - And Greece
"From Somalia's 'pirate stock exchange' to the flourishing illegal organ trade in Egypt, there are some making money hand-over-fist, under the table."
A Run On The Global Banking System—How Close Are We?
James Rickards sees 'Currency Wars' destroying dollar
World 'dangerously unprepared' for future disasters

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran threatens to stop Gulf oil if sanctions widened
Insight: Violence creeping into Mexican capital
"In a nation wracked by drug violence, this sprawling capital city of more than 20 million has been an oasis of relative peace. But the key to that calm - an informal truce among rival gangs - may be cracking."
Growing poverty looms for next Mexican president
Radio Zeta: How Mexico's Drug Cartels Stay Networked
Gunfire erupts as Syrians plead with Arab monitors in Homs
Tensions simmer as Iraqi leaders try resolve crisis
NATO drone emergency landing in Paktia province
Al-Qa'ida in Iraq claims it was behind deadly blasts
Israel navy scraps warship plans amid cuts
Australian Navy eyes British sailors facing axe in defence cuts
Italian oil tanker hijacked by pirates

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Protests against power, gas outages in Punjab, KP
"Unscheduled power outages and gas loadshedding triggered fierce protests in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.
"Citizens annoyed at persisting low gas pressure coupled with electricity blackouts of several hours took to the streets. They blocked the roads by burning tyres and chanted loud slogans against the government."
Electricity consumers protest against fuel adjustment surcharge
"Electricity consumers protested against the Fuel Adjustment Surcharge (FAS) in electricity bills in front of the Lesco office Monday.
"The protestors torn off electricity bills and burnt tyres in front of the Lesco office while chanting slogans against the power authorities and the government."
The year's most shocking images of protests around the world
China to face more Wukan-style protests
India's Hazare Begins New Hunger Strike In Corruption Fight
Protesters block delivery of U.S. base environment report to Okinawa government (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi Yanbu Cement restarts units, says needs fuel for new line
Power & water cuts worsen winter woes (India)
Iran to send oil products to Afghanistan
"Iranian oil officials said they signed agreements with Afghan authorities for the export of some 1 million tons of oil products starting as early as next year."
Iran 4th largest world oil producer
How to Get the Best Firewood for Clean and Affordable Energy
Good article. In my experience it's best to cut, buck, and split wood a year in advance. -- RF
Federal Gov't Finally Kills $6B USD Corn Ethanol Subsidy
Pakistan State Bank fears gas crisis to be at its worst in 2016
IEA expects Iraqi oil boom
Power outages causing water shortage in I-10, I-9 (Pakistan)
"The residents of Sector I-10 and I-9 are facing acute water shortage due to power outages in the metropolis, increasing tankers' demand upto 800 from 200 per day."
Israel energy ministry to set up team to deal with gas shortage
"The country is facing a gas shortage, with Egyptian supplies not expected to resume in 2012 and rapidly declining output from the Mary B well off Israel's southern Mediterranean coast. Last week, the Yam Thetis consortium, which operates the Mary B well, said it was cutting gas supplies to IEC and other domestic users by 20-25% due to lower production."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper theft cuts phone service in SW Florida
Police: Bucket truck theft nets half-mile of copper wire

## Got food? ##
General Mills, ConAgra Fighting Food Inflation
National CPI leaps by 19% this year (Vietnam)

## Environment/health ##
Philippine flood death toll nears 1500

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Antisec Hits Private Intel Firm; Millions of Docs Allegedly Lifted (Threat Level)
"That would be a major breach of private information from any firm. But this hack could prove particularly significant, because Stratfor serves as an information-gathering resource and open source intelligence analysis for both the U.S. military and for major corporations."
Stratfor hacking victims targeted after comments
Airtel customers face network outage in Mumbai

## Japan ##
Kyushu Electric Halts Thermal Generator, May Face Supply Shortage
Tepco seeks $9 billion more for Fukushima compensation
Gov't to buy radioactive rice from Fukushima
Government goes ahead with easing arms export ban
Japan data show weak spending, lower prices

## China ##
A Few Chinese Bad News Bears To Spoil A Happy New Year
China city tightens control of microblogs: report
China satellite navigation system starts service
Chinese Bloggers Have Discovered Another Abandoned Luxury Housing Development
Includes photos. Creepy! -- RF
Why Investments In China Will Eventually Be Worthless
Withering China?

## UK ##
Shortage of family doctors leaves health care in crisis
£10m cost of turning off wind farms
Cancer patients 'relying on charity handouts' for fuel
"Cancer patients are relying more on charity handouts as they struggle to pay rising fuel bills, figures reveal."
Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond to create 300 jobs
"Albemarle & Bond today hailed 'the age of the pawnbroker' as it unveiled plans to create 300 jobs by opening 25 new stores next year."

## US ##
After America: Get Ready for Armageddon
Presenting Anonymous' "Survival Guide For Citizens In A Revolution"
2012: Stocks up 10% — or Doomsday scenario? (Paul Farrell)
"10 triggers threaten capitalism as 'Super-Rich Gap' rivals 1929's"
Sears Cuts Outlook, Will Close Stores… Long Slow Death March
New home sales near all-time low
Oct. U.S. home prices fall 1.2%: Case-Shiller
America becoming a nation of renters
Obama's new tax on the poor: Internet gambling by states
Members Of Congress Weather Recession, Become Richer
'Double-Dip' Blow Could Strike Big Pharmas in 2012
White House to Raise Borrowing Limit by $1.2 Trillion
Ron Paul Did Not "Walk Out" of CNN Interview; Blatantly Biased Headline by Time Magazine; Six Reasons to Vote for Paul (Mish)
Insurers' Profitability Plunges on Catastrophes
"U.S. property and casualty insurers' profitability fell to the lowest level since 2008 as losses from natural disasters exceeded gains in sales and investment income."
Why Your Pension Is at Risk

Monday, December 26, 2011


News Links, December 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Spanish Economy Minister: We're Falling Into Recession
Spanish crude steel output in Nov down 11pct YoY - Unesid
Hold On Tight: European Bond Issuance In January Is About To Get Very Bumpy
The Endgame: Japan Makes Another Move
Horrifying. In 2012 over half of the government's tax revenues will be consumed by debt servicing alone. Countdown to crash. Set your clocks. -- RF
Swiss Bankers' Millionaire Dreams Fade
Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Refinancing Rate to Shield Growth
Gold Climbs in London as Dollar Decline Boosts Alternative-Asset Demand
South Korean Consumer Confidence Falls to a Three-Month Low on Kim, Europe

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Japan urges China to help keep North Korea in check
Suicide bomber kills 7 outside Iraq ministry
Monitors arrive in Syria; carnage as tanks fire in Homs
Afghanistan sets ground rules for Taliban talks
"Afghanistan will accept a Taliban office in Qatar to help peace talks but no foreign power can get involved in the process without its consent, the government's peace council said, as efforts gather pace to find a solution to the 10-year war."
Seoul Beefs Up Steps to Fight Illegal Fishing
"South Korea on Monday said it will bolster efforts to counter illegal Chinese fishing in its waters, including issuing more firearms to Coast Guard officers and raising penalties against offenders after a Coast Guard officer died after he was stabbed by a Chinese fishing boat captain earlier this month."
Iraq's Sadrists call to dissolve parliament
"Followers of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr also want new elections amid political crisis and fresh violence in Baghdad."
Iranian naval units complete preliminary stage of war games
Egypt Islamist Blocs Score 90 Percent of Seats in Second Round
Reports in Sudan: Israel struck two weapons convoys in past month
"Sudanese military dismisses reports of recent Israeli airstrikes; according to foreign reports, IAF has struck Gaza-bound arms convoys in Sudan in the past."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
A Village in Revolt Could Be a Harbinger for China
Gandhi clan blamed for keeping India in poverty
"The Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for most of the 64 years since independence has kept the world's largest democracy in poverty, leaders of a protest movement said on Monday as they prepared renewed rallies to target the government on corruption."
Will protest outside Sonia's house on Dec 30, says Anna
Occupy Caucus kicks off week of protests with official opening

## Energy/resources ##
Pakistan faces power shortage
"Pakistan is facing an acute electricity shortage this winter, with cities bearing 10 hours of power outages.
"The electricity shortfall surged Saturday to over 40 percent for common consumers, hitting a new winter peak, Dawn reported."
Bakken Shale and U.S. Oil Production (ASPO-USA)
Must-read article for those who still believe the Bakken will bring "energy independence." -- RF
Winds of change blowing for turbine makers
Ukraine to Invest 1 bn Dollars to Develop Three Iranian Oil Fields
Oil futures higher; Iran war games in focus
Prices ups as fuel rans dry in Sumbawanga Region (Tanzania)
"Sumbawanga. Fuel shortage at filling stations has continued to haunt Sumbawanga residents in Rukwa Region paralysing transport.A spot check by this newspaper over the weekend established that many fuel stations had little or no stock, causing panic among motorists."

## Environment/health ##
Thousands lose power in storm-hit Scandinavia

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Hackers claim to steal security think tank Stratfor's client list
"The hacking movement Anonymous says it will mine the client list for credit card numbers and use them to make charitable donations."

## Japan ##
Noda's 'Urgent' Task Is Tax Rise as Japan Debt Load Swells
Japan Seeks to Market Record 145 Trillion Yen Bonds in 2012; Kicking the Can Japanese Style (Mish)
Japan Will Raise More Cash From Debt Issuance Than Taxes For Fourth Year In A Row (Zero Hedge)
TEPCO seeks postponement of repaying 2 tril. yen in loans
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a state-backed entity providing financial assistance to the utility have asked major lenders to postpone the repayment deadline of around 2 trillion yen in emergency loans extended immediately after the nuclear crisis began at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, sources close to the matter said Sunday."
A default by any other name... -- RF
Radiation fears spread to forest industry
"Radiation fears stemming from the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and radiation monitoring activities are raising concern among people handling trees to grow mushrooms and make charcoal."
Genkai No. 4 reactor shut down; only 6 reactors now operating in Japan
Kyushu utility urges power saving
"Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Monday began asking both business and household customers to cut their power usage by more than 5 percent through Feb. 3 to help it cope the shutdown of all six of its nuclear reactors."
3 Shinkansen Projects To Be Launched Simultaneously
These projects will never be finished. -- RF
Firms shun Tohoku public works / Unprofitable small-scale projects in disaster-hit region go begging

## China ##
China Insolvency Wave Begins As Nation's Biggest Provincial Borrowers "Defer" Loan Payments
Rubber Demand in China to Slow in 2012 as Auto Sales Decline, Okachi Says

## UK ##
Shops enjoy record Boxing Day trade

## US ##
It's a plane! No, it's a cash register
"Fees charged for snacks, pillows, headphones and blankets by airlines may be just the beginning of a trend, a study done by Canadian firm GuestLogix found.
"When the price of oil soared to $147 per barrel in the summer of 2008 and airlines began charging for extra baggage, extra legroom and early boarding privileges, it was just the start, GuestLogix said."
Businesses Exit California and Illinois; Tax and Destroy Policies of Governors Quinn and Brown; Unemployment Rates By State
Holiday Returns: Will They be Easier This Year? (MarketWatch video)
"Even as the holiday shopping season winds down, retailers are bracing for another wave of big crowds. Only this time around they won't be shopping -- but looking for refunds."
Intel and Kraft's iSample vending kiosks study shoppers

Sunday, December 25, 2011


News Links, December 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF May Revise Global Growth Forecast Lower
Japan to enter dollar swap agreement with India
"The Japanese government is considering a dollar swap arrangement with India to provide emergency liquidity in case the European debt crisis reaches emerging economies, the Nikkei business newspaper said on Sunday."
A Note Of Pessimissim From The Car Industry
Auto Outlook: Saab drives into the sunset
Pakistan's economy is faltering: Report
Side jobs, black markets flourish in North Korea
"Experts say as much as 75 percent of the North Korean population does not depend on the state-owned economy at all."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iraq miscalculation: America's greatest mistake? (RT video)
Assad's Regime Hunts People in Homs
Head of Arab mission reaches Syria amid more unrest
New sign of rising power for new North Korean leader's uncle
"North Korean state TV footage on Sunday showed Jang Song-thaek, the power behind the communist state's throne, wearing a military uniform with the insignia of a general, another sign of his rising influence after the death of Kim Jong-il."
Massive Khan rally defies Pakistan ruling party
"Pakistan's former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan brought at least 100,000 people into the streets of Karachi Sunday in a massive rally that increases pressure on the civilian government and cements his standing as a political force."
Shiite Cleric, al-Sadr, calls for trial of Iraq's Vice-President Hashimy under Parliament's auspices
Al-Sadr proposes Iraq groups 'peace code'
"Iraq's anti-US Shi'ite cleric has launched an initiative calling for peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis after the withdrawal of US troops from the country."
Ankara rules out part in looming foreign intervention in Iran
Iran Declares It Is Ready To Expand Military Ties With Iraq
Iran adds second destroyer to navy
Coordinated bomb attacks across Nigeria kill at least 40
Shroud of Mystery Surrounds Missile Shipment

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Sudan Police Fire Tear Gas, Arrest 73 Students at Anti-Government Protests

## Energy/resources ##
Under the Surface of Non-OPEC Supply
Another eye-opener from Gregor Macdonald. -- RF
In Pennsylvania near the mines, coal is hard to get
"Increased foreign exports and the renewed popularity of the low-cost alternative to fuel oil have strained supplies so homeowners struggle to find anthracite for their stoves and furnaces."
Iphone Maker Foxconn's Entry Into Solar May Cut Industry Margins
Saudi Aramco's Fuel Halt Will Affect New Cement Supply, NCB Says
"Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s decision to halt subsidized fuel for expansion of Saudi cement makers will affect supplies next year, according to the investment arm of the country's largest lender by assets."
Energy deficit may rise up to 15% as weak rupee hurts coal imports (India)
Oil interests push China into Sudanese mire
Indian oil firms look at sourcing crude from Brazil
No coal, no growth, says South African power company chief
Hopping mad: Uganda power cuts hit grasshopper harvest

## Got food? ##
Farmland prices are soaring, fueled by rising global demand for commodities

## Environment/health ##
Winds of up to 101mph recorded in the Northern Isles (UK)
Tsunami debris from Japan expected in Alaska

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Go Daddy loses over 37,000 domains due to SOPA stance
"Hosting and domain registrar company Go Daddy has lost more than 37,000 domains in the past two days due to the company's wishy-washy stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act."
Stratfor Hacked, 200GB Of Emails, Credit Cards Stolen, Client List Released, Includes MF Global, Rockefeller Foundation
Transport ministry mulling random body search of airport passengers (Japan)

## Japan ##
Japan, China Deepen Financial Ties
"The agreements include a plan for a Japanese government-backed entity to sell yuan-denominated bonds in China, a boost to Beijing's campaign to deepen its domestic capital markets. Other measures are designed to make it easier for companies to convert the Chinese and Japanese currencies directly into the other, without requiring an intermediate conversion into dollars, the current common practice."
Japan, China To Hold Each Other's Govt Bonds
Guess I'd better start brushing up my Chinese. -- RF
Japan bets on casinos to fund earthquake recovery
Japan's Government to Sell Record 149.7 Trillion Yen Debt in Fiscal 2012
Economy set to shrink on yen, euro ills
Plan in works for possible N. Korea refugee exodus
"Japan is studying measures to respond to a potential refugee surge if North Korea undergoes a cataclysmic change as a result of dictator Kim Jong Il's death last week, sources said."
Manufacturing hollowing-out seen increasing
Carmakers getting parts from overseas / Strong yen forces domestic manufacturers to cut production costs

## China ##
Where the mornings taste grey: living under a cloud of smog in Beijing
Don't Worry About China: World Bank Chief Economist (Gordon Chang)
"There are not enough consumers in the world to support Chinese growth."
Sinopec Completes C$2.2 billion Purchase of Calgary-Based Daylight Energy

## UK ##
Decline in houses prices revealed

## US ##
Oh Danny Boy, the Pipes, the Pipes Are Failing (on crumbling US infrastructure)
Bankruptcy Filing Raises Doubts About a Bond Repayment Pledge (NYT)
"People who own what is considered the safest type of municipal bond may be in for a surprise."
Everyone is laughing at Meredith Whitney now. But in the end, even Whitney will be surprised at how astonishingly right she is. -- RF
Ripple Effects of Center Closings Will Continue for Many Years
"Expect more of those who are uninsured to be turned away from community centers, more desperate souls seeking shelter with their families, more children whose conditions go undiagnosed, more patients than John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital can deal with, more disturbed offenders shuttled off to Cook County Jail and more homeless people."
Mentally ill flood ER as states cut services
Will 2012 Be The Next "1932″ for the Wealthy?
BofA Prepared for 'Turbulent Times'
How the feds fueled the militarization of police
Need a job? How about Internment / Resettlement Specialist?

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