Thursday, December 22, 2011


News Links, December 23, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Baltic Banking Crisis Widening; Bank Depositors Cashing Out!
Italy GDP Contracts in Q3, Heads for Harsh Recession; Bizarro World Math; Sarkozy Announces He Will Not Be Sarkozy; LIBOR-OIS Spread Says ECB's 3-Year Financing Scheme Nothing But A "Sugar Rush"
Herr Draghi or Signor Draghi, and the ECB's Santa Rally
"The ECB's back-door bail-out for Italy, Spain, Belgium, and… France? …is €489bn.
"Roughly €300bn of today's eagerly awaited LTRO tender is recycled old money from earlier support operations. The new money is €200bn. This alone is not going to shore up the sovereign states of southern Europe as they grind deeper into recession/depression.
"Enjoy Mario Draghi's Santa Rally while it lasts. The euphoria is likely to dissipate once markets remember the sheer scale of the task at hand."
Hungary Downgraded to Junk; Expect Defaults on Public and Private Debt, Especially Mortgages
Greece's Creditors Resist Push for More Losses
We've reached the end game for Central Bank intervention
"So we're at a point where the impact of a coordinated Central Bank intervention lasted less than one month. It's only going to be getting shorter from now on. And eventually, we'll reach the point at which NO Central Bank moves will be able to rein in the carnage."
Fujitsu President Fears Deeper Crisis in Europe
"'Germany is my biggest worry at the moment,' President Masami Yamamoto told reporters at Fujitsu headquarters in Tokyo. 'A possible financial collapse in Europe is the most obvious risk factor for next year,' he added."
World crude steel capacity utilisation ratio down 2.8%, lowest point in 2 years

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Shi'ites targeted as Baghdad blasts kill 72
"A wave of bombings killed at least 72 people in Baghdad Thursday, the first attacks since Iraq's Shi'ite-led government was engulfed in a crisis that risks fracturing the country along sectarian and ethnic lines."
Iraq will collapse if oil and gas law is not put in place (Gulfnews)
Pakistan army wants Zardari out but not a coup
Canada well behind Russia in race to claim Arctic seaways and territory
At least 16 shot dead in Mexico's Veracruz state
Veracruz police disbanded: many in Mexico won't notice
Japan arrests another Chinese fishing boat skipper
US hits Iranian shipping firms with sanctions
Iran to Hold Naval Drill Around Strait
Turkey Suspends Military Ties with France
Israel Cancels Air Surveillance Deal With Turkey: Paper
Maliki Confirms: 700 US Troops to Remain in Iraq as 'Trainers'
"Officials Say 15,000 Employees Will Remain at US Embassy as Well"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Occupy Bethlehem protesters ousted
Tension over new Occupy San Diego arrests
Police shut down 2nd Occupy Buffalo encampment
Police evict Occupy Tucson from downtown park
Police dismantle Occupy Albany camp after deadline
Occupy LA protesters to avoid prosecution by paying $355 for free speech classes

## Energy/resources ##
Brent up to $108 after Iraq bombings
BP abandons solar quest
India's economy is running out of POWER!
Kazakhstan Oil-Halt Threat Similar to Libya for Global Risk
"A halt to oil production in Kazakhstan, where riots left at least 14 people dead on the weekend, would have a similar impact on crude prices as the conflict in Libya, according to researchers at JBC Energy GmbH and Global Risk Management."
Kazakh riots create oil market jitters
German Solar Dreams - So Long Or Goodbye ?
Flying too close to the sun: German solar companies fall on hard times
Shell shuts down Nigeria deep-water field over oil spill that leaked into the sea
Saudi oil weakens Iran's hand in China
"Saudi crude exports to China have surged, strengthening the Asian country's hand in a price dispute with Iran.
"Last month's exports of Saudi crude to China rose by 32 per cent over the same period last year to 4.81 million barrels per day (bpd), almost half of the kingdom's current production, Chinese customs data released yesterday showed."
But oil that KSA sends to China is not going to other countries. Duh... -- RF
Oil and geopolitics: a turbulent year, and no end in sight
Serious electricity shortage hits the Balkans
Despite surplus gasoline, fuel prices increase (US)
There's plenty of oil, so why is fuel so expensive? Here's a good illustration of the almost total lack of understanding about peak oil among the general public, and even journalists. -- RF
Peak Oil Is Here, Energy Stocks Will Soar In 2012
Gauteng fuel supply remains tight, shortage widens (South Africa)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Church metal thefts in Wales rise five-fold in two years

## Environment/health ##
Nigeria oil spill is 'worst in a decade'

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
U.S. Headed For Cyberwar Showdown With China In 2012
Verizon Down: Network Outage, Second In Month, Reportedly Hits Users All Over America
4G Service Falters as 3G Did Before It
2011 is the Year of the Hacktivist, Verizon Report Suggests
NDAA And SOPA: What You Need To Know This Morning
Can the U.S. Government close social media accounts?
Collapse! The Game: Early Draft

## Japan ##
Japan's AAA Credit Rating Cut for First Time by Tokyo-Based R&I
Japan cuts growth outlook as yen, disasters weigh
TEPCO to raise electricity bills for corporate users
Govt likely to take over TEPCO / Liability fund would hold stock majority
TEPCO omits total cost of decommissioning nuclear reactors from work schedule
Because the cost is far too high. Ultimately the task will be abandoned partway through as money runs out and TEPCO itself is disbanded. -- RF
Fukushima food has 8 times more cesium than in Tokyo
Welfare recipients reach new high
"The number of welfare recipients hit a record high of 2,065,896 in September after jumping 6,025 the previous month, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Thursday in a preliminary report."

## China ##
Pictures: China's Fake Disneyland, Overgrown and Ghostly (gallery)
China's Property Bust Could "Fatally Impact" the Economy

## UK ##
U.K. Commercial Property May Drop 4.9% in 2012 on Debt Crisis

## US ##
Growth even weaker than feared
Fewer logs on the fire to help the needy with heat this winter
One Nation Under The Drone: The Rising Number Of UAVs In American Skies
Infographic - Are Guns And Ammo The New Gold?
The coming defense 'train wreck'
"Pentagon suppliers are headed for a period of 'turbulence,' says retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, director of Deloitte Services, a consulting firm. Companies will be consolidating, downsizing, shedding overhead and striving to maintain their core skills, he says."
Guess Where a Big Chunk of MF Global Customer Money Just Turned Up? At JPM London
Mortgage rates hit another record low
The Family Plan: Managing Life in a Multigenerational Household
Just Back From Iraq, US Troops Ordered to Afghanistan
U.S. Retirement Assets Declined by $1.4 Trillion

And finally...
Easy come, easy go: Utah man wins Lamborghini, crashes it hours later

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