Friday, December 23, 2011


News Links, December 24, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
'Monti Effect' Fizzles Before $574 Billion New Year
"Prime Minister Mario Monti's market honeymoon is ending as Italian bond yields approaching 7 percent signal mounting concern his government may struggle to sell 440 billion euros ($574 billion) of debt next year."
ECB Holds Off Bond Purchases, Italian 10-Year Yield Back Over 7 Percent (Mish)
Above 7% Again - Any Italian Bank That Bought BTPs With LTRO Cash Is Now Underwater (ZH)
Catalonia Calls on Citizens, Spain Government for 2012 Funds
"Catalonia will coax its citizens to buy bonds and seek help from the new government in Madrid to meet its funding needs in 2012 as the spread of the sovereign debt crisis keeps Spain's largest region shut out of markets."
Spanish Implosion Coming Up; Deficit Up, Receipts Down, a Need to Cut 40 Billion in Expenses from 90 Billion; Spain's "Hidden Deficit" (Mish)
Nearly 5,000 hotel rooms added to MidEast, Africa pipeline
European Debt Is 'Obviously Unserviceable' (Financial Sense)
Vietnam's economy slows down in 2011, inflation soars
Canada's GDP flat in October
Malaysia Airlines cuts more routes to stem losses
King Says Crisis Threatens Europe's Economy as Stability Outlook Worsens

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran 'rehearses closing gulf oil route'
Analysis: What's the plan if North Korea collapses?
Pakistani Taliban attack fort, kidnap 15
Russia test-fires two new nuclear missiles
Putin's time is running out: Russian protest leader
Iraq crisis simmers as Sunni strongholds protest Maliki
"Several thousand Iraqis protested on Friday against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Samarra and other Sunni Muslim strongholds after he moved to sideline two Sunni leaders from his power-sharing government."
Britain slams Argentina, vows to protect Falklands
"Britain said on Friday that Argentinian-led efforts to ban ships flying the Falkland Islands flag from South American ports were "unjustified and counterproductive" and vowed to protect the territory's sovereignty."
40 die in Damascus suicide blasts
Peace Corps pullout a sad day for Central America
"Because of worsening security, the Peace Corps is suspending operations in Honduras and freezing new applicants in Guatemala and El Salvador. It could be a long time before they return."
N.Korea's Subs May Pose Top Risk for South, Asia

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Thousands protest in Egypt against military tactics
Tear Gas Fired At Protesters In China Seaside Town in fourth day of unrest
Thousands sign up for new Russian protest
"More than 40,000 Russians have signed up to protest in Moscow on Saturday against a disputed election, dismissing Kremlin promises of political change that could ease Vladimir Putin's grip on power."
Occupy London activists free to stay at St Paul's until January

## Energy/resources ##
Electric Grid in Texas Faces Multiple Challenges (NYT)
"Will the lights stay on in 2012? Texas electricity experts cannot say for certain."
Analysis: Power woes could trip Indonesia's economic surge
"Indonesia's inability to meet the rising energy needs of its businesses, from steelmakers to hotel resorts, threatens to put the brakes on growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy."
Pakistan rations gas supplies as shortfall surges 33% on year to 1.6 Bcf/day
Pakistani Energy Sector About to Collapse?
Another Asian Fukushima Imminent? (Taiwan)
Landowners turn against leasing for 'fracking'
Colombia 'fuel thieves' spark pipeline blast
German Solar Shakeout: Solar Millennium Insolvency
Looking for gold in water investments
Wind energy adoption and the increasing cost of electricity in the U.S.
Oil decline, says IEA (article in French)
SA fuel shortages to last for weeks (South Africa)
Iraqi Oil Easy to Find, Hard to Make Money On

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
APCo worries about dangerous new copper theft trend

## Got food? ##
Traditional farming can save threatened species
Is Indian investment in Ethiopian farms a 'land grab?'

## Environment/health ##
Seafood 10,000 Times Over Safe Limit for Carcinogenic Contamination, FDA Says to Eat it Anyway
FDA Withdraws Proposal To Limit Livestock Antibiotic Use, Raising Public Health Concerns
Bon app├ętit from FDA. -- RF
Studies in Causality: Precipitation Deficit in The Pearl River Delta
Frankincense may be doomed

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Sniper Detectors Coming to America's Heartland
Go Daddy Pulls Support For The Bill That The Internet Hates
Oil Companies Stepping up Cyber Security as Hacking Attacks Increase
UAVs launched from balloons
Are you ready for ubiquitous surveillance by Big Brother?

## Japan ##
Record 49% Of FY12 Draft Budget Financed By Debt (Nikkei)
Half the budget is borrowed! The inevitable unhappy ending to this story is quite predictable. -- RF
TEPCO seeks extra 600 bil. yen for damages / Utility seen facing even bigger burden
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. will ask the government next week for about 600 billion yen in additional assistance to pay compensation for damage caused by its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it has been learned."
Moody's cuts outlook for Toyota's long-term debt rating to 'negative'
BOJ chief says Japan economy to be 'more or less flat' for some time
Tokyo to double local electric power generation capacity
Highly unlikely. -- RF

## China ##
China makes record purchase as eurozone puts assets up for sale
"China's $3.5 billion investment in Portugal power producer is its largest yet in Europe, and signals willingness to buy assets even as it balks at purchasing bonds from indebted eurozone countries."

## UK ##
Recession nears as UK services shrink
Fuel Poverty Action 'die-in' at EDF against fuel poverty deaths

## US ##
Food Stamp Rush Hour
Consumer, business spending point to slower growth
Consumers Win Game of Chicken; 40-60% Off "Entire Store" at Some Retailers; Low Prices are Good; US Senate Economic Illiteracy
Air Jordan shoppers mob stores, some pepper-sprayed
This is where the consumer culture has taken us. But while today people are fighting over basketball shoes and game consoles, tomorrow it will be food. -- RF
Treasury report shows U.S. debts growing
Evicting 'Occupy' Protesters From City Hall Cost Los Angeles $2.35 Million
Foreclosures by major banks increase 21.1% in third quarter
Less Than 500 New Homes Sold In Over $750,000 Bracket For 4th Month In A Row
Quotes Of The Day - Ron Paul Edition
A Christmas Message From America's Rich
"Murky" outlook for US airports in 2012: Fitch
"Fitch Ratings has warned that the outlook for US airports in 2012 is 'murkier' than most other transportation sectors and has predicted that growth will 'be stagnant at best for 2012.'"

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