Friday, December 30, 2011


News Links, December 31, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Slowing China Means Ore-Ship Rates at Lowest in Decade
Rotterdam Port sees no cargo growth until 2013
Foreigners Dump Record Amount Of US Treasurys In Past Month
IMF Warned Greece on Debt Levels
"The International Monetary Fund recently told the Greek government that a worsening economic outlook suggests the beleaguered nation may be unable to reduce its debt to sustainable levels even with a planned 50% write down in privately-held Greek government bonds, according to two officials familiar with the conversations."
Eurozone crisis: Spain announces tax rises after missing deficit target
Spain sets out 8.9bn euros of new austerity measures
Spending by Regions Makes Spain's Fiscal Picture Worse
Italian debt costs shoot back into danger zone
Explaining Italian Christmas Season Sales (It's Far Worse Than Previously Reported); How Various Austerity Measures Will Affect Spending in 2012; Emails from Italian Readers; Massive European Recession On the Way
French Unemployment Hits 12-Year High (It's Going to Get Much Worse); Sarkozy Outlines Jobs Plan (Mathematically It Can't Work); Olli Rehn to Give Keynote Speech at Eurobond Seminar
European Banks Close 2011 With Near Record Cash On Deposit At ECB, €9 Billion Overnight Increase
Canada stocks rise, but end the year down 11%
Airlines tumble 31% in 2011; outlook cloudy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran launches seventh day of war games
Iran to fire long-range missiles during drill: news agency
Gen. Dempsey Schedules Visit to Reassure Israel on Threatening Iran
Nine killed in Pakistan car bomb attack
Saudi F-15s tip of $123B gulf arms plan
New Satellites to Extend China's Military Reach
Jim Rickards - US to go to War with Iran, Oil & Gold to Spike
United States as a global power: new world disorder
Russia Hands Over Nuke Sub Nerpa to India: Report

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Worsening power scenario triggers Valley-wide protests (Kashmir)
"Police Fire Tear Smoke, Pepper Gas Shells As People Take To Streets"
Seventeen dead as Syrians stage mass protests
Syrian forces fire 'nail bombs' as masses protest
Rebels kill Yemen officer as pro-Saleh protests begin
Farm anger adds to India's economic worries
"Usually around this time of the year, Jalgaon city in western India is abuzz with trucks ferrying mountains of fluffy white cotton to its markets.
"But this year, farmers have been blocking roads with burning tyres and refusing to sell their produce in a bid to force the government to prop up crop prices which they say barely cover costs."

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Posts An All-Time Annual High
Refinery Crunch In Europe
Check out these recent related items:
Poor margins force Asia refiners to cut output
Gasoline May Rise Above $4 a Gallon as Northeast Plants Shut
Euro crisis putting the hurt on ethylene production
Brazil, short of biofuel, can't open spigot to US
"Three factors have converged to push Brazil's ethanol distilleries to the limit. Sugarcane production fell this year for the first time in a decade, reducing supplies; global demand for sugar has remained strong; and domestic motor-fuel demand has surged, straining local gasoline and ethanol supply."
Kenya: Petroleum Shortage Bites in Nyanza Province
Power shortage in 5 South China provinces to hit 8-14 mln KW next year
Conflict minerals crackdown backfiring in Congo: U.N.
India Ponders Developing Extensive Fracking Industry
Islamabad bucks U.S., wants Iranian gas
House endorses motion on power shortage (Nepal)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Monuments vanish, power cut as metal thieves stalk UK

## Got food? ##
Kenya Turns to Uganda for Eggs Due to Feed Costs
Corn Traders Extend Bullish Bets on South America Crop Damage: Commodities

## Environment/health ##
Satellite Studies Reveal Groundwater Depletion around the World
WHO "deeply concerned" by mutated birdflu research

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Stuxnet weapon has at least 4 cousins: researchers
"The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform whose roots trace back to 2007, according to new research from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab."
GoDaddy bows to boycott, now 'opposes' SOPA copyright bill
Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship
"Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit."

## Japan ##
Euro may darken coming year / Profit forecasts could be cut if troubled currency stays near 100 yen
Fukushima hospitals in financial strife / Services being cut as medical facilities' losses top 12 billion yen due to nuclear crisis
Record Y83.99tln In Paper Bills Circulating At Year-End: BOJ
People are beefing up their cash positions. -- RF
Nikkei closes 2011 at lowest year-end level since 1982
New Year despair for Japan's nuclear refugees

## China ##
Contraction in China's Manufacturing Boosts Easing Case: Economy
"China's manufacturing contracted for a second month in December as Europe's debt crisis cut export demand, fueling speculation that the central bank may cut lenders' reserve requirements within days."
China seeks to combat hi-tech crimewave

## UK ##
FTSE suffers 5.6 per cent decline
Mortgage debt cut by £8.2bn
"Britons reduced their mortgage debt by £8.6 billion during the third quarter of this year, but the Bank of England said there was "little sign" that households are trying to pay their debts down more quickly than in the past."

## US ##
Sparrows Point, Maryland mill suspends steelmaking operations
Boston D.A. Subpoenas Twitter Over Occupy Boston, Anonymous
Foreclosures Roll On In Virginia, Even Over The Holidays
Could Bank of America Survive a Deposit Run in 2012?
Flash Crash Threatens to Return With a Vengeance
Nasdaq wraps up 2011 in the red
Top 10 Bankruptcies in 2011
Freddie Mac: Record low mortgage rates haven't rescued housing
As '11 Ends, 11 Charts Of 11 Disturbing 11 Year Trends
A collection of extremely discouraging charts. -- RF
5 Ways Europe Will Affect Your Finances in 2012

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