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

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