Friday, December 16, 2011


News Links, December 17, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
The Greek Tragedy - Chaos Beckons
Debt crisis: Brussels accord on the verge of collapse
Fitch: big euro fix "technically and politically beyond reach"
France Downgrade Would Hit All of Europe: Analysts
Out of Chaos, Order: Now IMF Seeks Collective, World Bail-Out of Europe (Daily Bell)
NO DICE: Here's Why The ECB's Newest Gamble To Save The Euro Won't Work
Portuguese Socialists Threaten "Economic Atomic Bomb"; Fitch Sets France Rating Outlook to Negative; Head of French Central Bank Attacks UK and Rating Agencies (Mish)
Swiss Join Suffering as Europe Crisis Ripples
"Switzerland's economic growth will almost grind to a halt next year as the franc's appreciation and floundering global demand hurt exports, according to the KOF Economic Institute."
Spain's Unpaid Bills May Haunt Rajoy as Squeeze on Liquidity Grips Regions
"Spanish Prime Minister-electMariano Rajoy is set to inherit billions of euros of unpaid bills along with the euro region's third-largest budget deficit."
France in Recession; Italy in Recession; Poles Protest; Credit Agricole Quits Commodity Business; Poetic Irony and Credit Crunch Math (Mish)
Hungarian Rescue Talks Fail
German manufacturing shrinks for 3rd month in December: PMI
Across debt-stricken Europe, austerity's bite is felt
Air Zimbabwe passengers stranded as airline runs out of money
Belgium's Rating Reduced to Aa3 by Moody's
Torrent of bad financial news flows out of Europe
Irish GDP Drops, A Warning For Other Austerity Experiments
European Car Sales Fly Into Reverse — an Omen for the U.S.?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Squeezed NATO supply line runs dry
"Stepping up pressure on an already-squeezed supply line, Pakistan on Thursday imposed a ban on export of petroleum products to Afghanistan and Central Asia, meant for Nato troops posted in the region."
Iraq oil security tested as U.S. forces withdraw
"A bombing of southern Iraqi crude pipelines despite a nationwide alert against a possible surge in insurgent attacks has heightened fears for the future security of Iraq's vital oil sector as American troops withdraw."
France rejects Russia's Syria resolution
US and NATO troops train on the Syrian border (RT video)
Syrian forces take families hostage to force protestors into submission
Insurgents Attack Kabul Police Station
Israeli lawmakers move to annex West Bank, one museum at a time
Minsk gets Russian missile system
Russia Intercepts Radioactive Shipment To Iran
Russia Signs Deal to Sell 42 Jets to India

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Occupy Wall Street: The First Quarter and Beyond
House Democrat on hunger strike out of 'solidarity' with protesters
Egypt protesters clash with military police
Portugal highway toll booths torched, shots fired in apparent anti-austerity protest
Strike shuts down Cyprus airports, gov't offices
Oil town clashes kill 10 on Kazakh independence day
Bahraini police fire tear gas at protesters: witnesses
Chinese Rebel Village Holds Memorial for Protest Leader
Beijing Set to 'Strike Hard' at Revolt

## Energy/resources ##
LNG Carrier Rates Rise to Record $150,000 a Day as Vessel Shortage Worsens
"Rents for ships hauling liquefied natural gas reached a record as winter fuel demand runs up against few available vessels, investment bank Pareto Securities AS said."
Russia-Venezuela Oil Venture Said Set to Miss 2012 Output Target
At the same time, Russia probably has higher priorities than pumping Venezuelan heavy crude. -- RF
France Doesn't Rule Out Closure of Oldest Nuclear Plant
Sun burned
"The parallel-energy universe known as renewables, a place where dollars and economic theory know no bounds and make no sense, looks increasingly like a bubble set to collapse."
This Week in Clean Economy: Wind, Solar Industries in Limbo as Congress Set to Adjourn
"No word yet on the future of a pair of key clean energy subsidies. America's first offshore wind farm is shelved, and E.V. sales are missing targets."
Nampower confirms power shortages (Namibia)
Industrial slump (India)
"There is nothing astonishing about the Index for Industrial Production plummeting to -5 per cent in October, the first time it has dipped into negative territory since March 2009. The prime culprits responsible for this decline are Mining ( -7.2 per cent), electricity ( -5.6 per cent) and manufacturing ( -6 per cent)."

## Got food? ##
A Bubble Down on the Farm? (US)

## Environment/health ##
93 Declared Disasters in 2011 and It's Not Over Yet
Warning as infectious salmon disease spreads from Europe's fish farms to Canada
"Discovery of the deadly salmon virus Infectious Salmon Anaemia in Canada is just latest likely example of disease spreading to wild fish stocks from the world's mega fish farms"
Monsanto's Roundup Ready Crops Leading to Mental Illness, Obesity

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Data center factoids
Hackers breach servers of Square Enix (Japan)
Verizon cites technical issue for service outage
"Verizon was in hot water recently for a service outage in the US that lasted for close to 24 hours. The firm has since pointed to technical problems for the outage that occurred on its newly launched 4G network. The outage prevented users from being able to access the Internet for nearly a day."
A conversation with Dmitry Orlov about Europe
Must read for collapse-niks. -- RF

## Japan ##
Skeptics cast doubt on Fukushima status, even as Japan declares nuclear reactors 'stable'
Towns seek decommissioning of Hamaoka nuclear power plant
Tankan shows low business sentiment / Europe crisis, yen rate rattle big companies
Seoul to help on illegal China fishing
It takes a lot to throw the Koreans and Japanese into each other's arms, but fear of China fills the bill. -- RF

## China ##
Some China Property Firms Could Collapse Amid Tight Controls - Asset Manager
China orders microblog name control
Prada Poised to Extend Slump as China Shoppers Cut Back: Retail

## UK ##
Travel chaos looms for London as four Tube strikes confirmed
UK winter weather: snow and high winds hit parts of Britain

## US ##
Bank loans to small business fall to 12-year low
Is Puerto Rico becoming a narco-state?
"The island's murder rate, which will likely set a record this year, and a police force that a top official at the US Justice Department called 'one of the worst I've seen' both fit the definition of a narco-state."
Bank Layoffs Far From Over: 150,000 Likely in 2012: Bove
Whitney's Armageddon Belied by '11 Returns
I hear a lot of snickers out there. But growth is dead and municipalities are on living on borrowed money that they won't be able to pay back. The wave of municipal bankruptcies will come, and bonds will tank. Whitney will have the last laugh. -- RF
Eisenhower's nightmare
"Arizona Sen. John McCain on Thursday unleashed a blistering attack against the "military-industrial-congressional complex," leaving no service and almost no major program out of a broadside that excoriated today's acquisitions environment."

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