Wednesday, December 21, 2011


News Links, December 22, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
This Is How Much Money The Eurozone And Its Banks Need To Stay Afloat Next Year
Euro-Zone Banks Tap Big ECB Loans
Fitch again warns U.S. debt burden threatens AAA rating
It's Official: US Debt-To-GDP Passes 100%
Worse Than 2008 (Chris Martenson)
"There are clear signs of a liquidity crunch in the asset markets right now, and the question I keep hearing is, Is this 2008 all over again?
"No, it's worse. Much worse."
Tied To Trade, Dutch Economy Falls With The Tide
"The Dutch government says the country probably slipped into a recession at the end of this year, and like other countries, it's having to consider budget cuts."
Italian GDP Contracts as Nation Enters New Recession: Economy
Japan Proposes Nonsensical Deal to China: "I'll Loan You a Nickel if You Loan Me a Nickel"; Japan Worries About Servicing Its Debt (Mish)
Hungary Hit by Second Rating Downgrade to Junk on Premier Orban's Policies
Penguins Out in Cold as Spanish Firms Freeze Holiday Spending
Mark Faber: "I Am Convinced The Whole Derivatives Market Will Cease To Exist And Will Go To Zero"
Syrian unrest slows deposit, loan growth in Lebanon

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
North Korea's military to share power with Kim's heir
Iraq's Maliki tells Kurds to hand over Sunni leader
With US gone, Iraq's Maliki is setting the board for a power grab
Iran state TV says five Iranian technicians kidnapped
Does This US And Israel Joint Missile Defense Drill Say Anything About Plans For Iran?
State Department scrambling to move the MEK -- to a former U.S. military base?
China beefing up military presence in Indian Ocean
Philippines Seeks U.S. F-16s Amid China Concerns
Activists say Syrian troops surrounded residents of restive village in a valley, killed 100
Russian protest mood sweeps into Duma
Trending: Tweets show global happiness down
You don't say. -- RF
Israeli army to build storage tunnels

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Wukan: China gives in to rebel village's key demands
"Southern Chinese authorities have given in to key demands of protesting villagers after a nearly two-week standoff with police, agreeing in a rare compromise to release detainees and return some confiscated land to farmers."
99% plan new tax war on Super Rich in 2012: Jobless youth enraged, ready with aggressive tactics
Syria unrest: 'Last push' by Assad regime?
Political unrest pushes Egypt towards economic meltdown

## Energy/resources ##
OPEC heads for highest income in 51 years
Smart meter technology to drive up the costs of power (Australia)
Report: More in Conn. can't cover energy costs (US)
Former Indian President Urges Military Control of Nation's Dams, Rivers
Watch for the rise of energy fascism around the globe as the situation deteriorates. -- RF
Central Asia's Creative Alternatives to Fossil Fuels
Don't laugh. There are vital lessons to be learned here. -- RF
Profiting From China's And India's Need For Iranian Oil
IEA expects Iraqi oil boom
This is contingent on rebuilding Iraq's oil infrastructure, which is in a shambles. -- RF
Subsidies: The Poisoned Chalice of Renewable Energy
The Peak Oil Crisis: 2012 – Apocalypse Now? (Tom Whipple)
Sasol Seeing 'Minor Fuel Disruptions' at Pumps in South Africa
Alberta diesel shortage continues: Diesel pumps can't keep up with Christmas trucking rush
Fuel crisis looms as vandals cut off power to pipeline (Kenya)
Aviation fuel shortage affects travel to three Caribbean islands
Rising coal costs to hit India's power projects: Fitch

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Hundreds lose 911 service after thieves make off with copper phone lines (US)

## Got food? ##
Malawi maize costs up by 50%, inflation to rise
High food prices are here to stay (Canada)
"Steep transportation costs, still-high prices of commodities, export restrictions and a crimp in crop yields have snuffed out the 'era of cheap food.'"
Rising food prices impact struggling families (US)
"Rising food prices are making it harder for a lot of people to put together a Christmas dinner this year."
South American drought concerns boost U.S. grains
Stifled by corporate America, the young turn to farming
Farmers markets go year-round as eat-local trend grows

## Environment/health ##
Hong Kong culls chickens at market, bans trade, as H5N1 found
Sierra snow drought could be one for record books
Texas drought kills as many as half a billion trees

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
China Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber
"A group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of America's top business-lobbying group and gained access to everything stored on its systems, including information about its three million members, according to several people familiar with the matter."
U.S. Holds On to Biometrics Database of 3 Million Iraqis
New Bill Authorizes Rendition of American Citizens Living within the United States to Other Countries for Torture
Iran ends foreign hosting of its official websites

## Japan ##
Govt likely to take over TEPCO / Liability fund would hold stock majority
"The government will likely bring Tokyo Electric Power Co. under state control as part of a 2 trillion yen plan that involves using the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to obtain more than two-thirds of the utility's stock, according to an informed source."
Japan: decommission of Fukushima to take 30-40 years
But money for the effort will certainly run out long before that, and even the electric utility TEPCO will probably not be in existence 40 years from now. The biggest lesson of Fukushima is that immediate cold shutdown is the only rational course of action for all the world's nuclear reactors. -- RF
Japan central bank leaves interest rate at virtually zero amid dimmer view of economy
Deflation Robbing Japan's GDP Of Y1-2tln A Year: Report
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Stubborn deflationary pressure has been depressing Japan's real gross domestic product by 1-2 trillion yen annually, the Cabinet Office reported Wednesday."
F-35 pick may boost manufacturing base
Japanese energy company might buy TEPCO plants
"JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Japan's largest oil supplier, may sell electricity to embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. while discussing possible purchases of the utility's power plants, the JX president said."

## China ##
Using Propaganda to Stop China's Strikes
China's Nov oil demand at 9.54 mil b/d as refiners boost diesel output

## UK ##
In austerity-hit Britain, holiday shoppers shorten their lists
Falklands boat ban sparks new row between UK and Argentina
U.K. Stores Brace for Most Insolvencies Since 2008 as Sales Weaken: Retail
Supermarkets' plan to build thousands more stores revealed
Our future is gloomy, says soldier as Army speaks out for the first time
"British soldiers have spoken publicly for the first time about the impact of cuts to the Armed Forces, warning of a 'gloomy' future due to redundancies."

## US ##
Another power outage during Steelers-49ers game
Macroeconomic indicators - US factory output fell sharply in November
Ohio electric bills rise 33 pct. over 5 years
Homelessness a problem for many schools
Getting Worse: 40 Undeniable Pieces Of Evidence That Show That America Is In Decline
Local police stockpile high-tech, combat-ready gear
US population growth slowest since 1940s
Banks Not Lending? Corporate Borrowing Soars in 2011
"So far in 2011, syndicated loan volume has increased a whopping 56 percent compared to 2010, according to Dealogic. The total of $1.76 trillion is the highest single-year sum since the pre-financial crisis days of 2007."
Colleges pay presidents millions while raising tuition
Home sales during housing bust worse than thought

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