Sunday, December 04, 2011


News Links, December 5, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Commerzbank Desperately Needs Money; Der Spiegel Reports "Germany Considers Nationalization of Commerzbank"; First of Many Nationalizations
Italy PM Monti raises taxes, reforms pensions in austerity drive
"Pension reform" — in all countries — means that governments will phase out pensions. Keep watching as yours vaporizes with the rest. -- RF
Failure to Cut Record Debt Pushes Developer Yields Above 20%: India Credit
India Home Prices Up Over 22% In Third Quarter
Builders Shrink 'Great Australian Dream' as Priciest Home Market Falters
The Fed Makes Sure U.S. Dollar Collapses With The Eurozone
Goodbye 'Jetsons' Car: Aptera Runs Out of Gas
Skills shortage biggest challenge facing GCC banking sector
Bank of China to step in as Saab part owner: source

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Embargo on NATO supplies hailed (Pakistan)
Analysts say Russia could deliver deathblow to Nato
Iran military shoots down U.S. drone: state TV
U.S. official says no sign Iran shot down drone
CIA, US Marines start to leave Pakistan drone base
Afghanistan: "There Will Be Civil War"
Iran says oil would go over $250 if exports banned
Syrian secret police defect, Arab deadline looms
"At least a dozen Syrian secret police have defected from an intelligence compound, activists said Sunday, in what appeared to be the first major desertion from a service that has acted as a pillar of President Bashar al-Assad's rule."
U.S. drug agents launder profits of Mexican cartels
Bomb explodes near British embassy in Bahrain
Egyptian election results deepen Israeli fears
Here Are The Next Steps In The Escalating Middle East

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Occupy Melbourne tent protesters outwit police (video)
Occupy L.A. protesters return to downtown streets
Occupy Broadway Draws Artists, Protesters To Theater District
19 Occupy Portland protesters arrested as police move quick to block new demonstration site
LulzSec: Anonymous hacktivists strike Portugal after police brutality
Fed's Fisher Says U.S. Risks 'Social Unrest' Amid Rising Federal Deficits
Saudi dissidents turn to YouTube to air their frustrations

## Energy/resources ##
Power breakdown likely in December (Pakistan)
"Against the electricity demand of over 15000 MW, the country is already producing around 10000 MW only which will further reduce to 7000-8000 MW only leading to 12-18 hours load-shedding in the big and small cities of the country from next month."
Brazil's oil boom could see its first bust
"Brazil's huge offshore oil wealth has been called a lottery jackpot, and each of the industry's contracts is another winning ticket. But even with a lucky stub in hand, some companies risk going broke before they can claim their prize...
"'The cost and technology risks are higher than the government or Petrobras are saying,' said Celio Bermann, an engineer and oil policy researcher at the University of Sao Paulo. 'The government has set production goals for 2020 that probably won't be met until 2023 or later.'"
We can't say we didn't see this coming. The difficulties, expenses, and dangers of getting oil in inhospitable environments are weighing heavily on the industry. -- RF
Range Fuels Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Fails, U.S. Pulls Plug
"Range Fuels Inc., a cellulosic ethanol company backed by as much as $156 million in U.S. loans and grants from President George W. Bush's administration, is being forced by the government to liquidate its only factory after failing to produce the fuel."
'Cost and complexity' putting SMEs off renewable energy
Cost of fuel biggest factor as prices continue to rise (Canada)
China faces coal shortages in 2012 amid strong demand: Shenhua official
Saudi Arabia Poised for Record Heavy-Crude Premiums on Fuel Oil
"Rising demand for fuel oil is allowing Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter, to sell its lowest-grade crude at record premiums to buyers in Asia."
Oil companies may follow suit after Shell pulls out of Syria
Winter power supply 'just enough' (Cyprus)

## Got food? ##
Rising costs take shine off farm income figures (UK)
The Role of Rising Food Prices in Egypt's Revolution
'Population growth, climate change hit Gulf food security'
2.6 million Afghans face food shortage
Government warns villagers against stealing relief food (Tanzania)

## Environment/health ##
Burning Love (the New Yorker on fracking)
Farmland birds at lowest level since 70s (UK)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Surviving Progress (film review)

## Japan ##
Japanese nuclear generation dwindles
"If no reactor restart approvals are given, all of Japan's units could be out of operation by mid-2012."
Keep in mind that idle reactors are a heavy financial burden to the utilities that own them. Even if not operating, they must still be staffed and managed, and cooling systems must be kept running. -- RF
Shorting Japanese Bonds: Betting Against The Italy Of Asia
"With debt servicing already amounting to 14% of the Japanese budget, a 200 basis point rise will make the Japanese government insolvent."
Try finding a job at 60
"Few employers are looking for senior citizen employees, but senior citizens, increasingly, are looking for jobs."
Govt bill eyes fuel reserves for disasters / Change based on gas shortage after March 11
Miyagi Pref. begins thyroid testing for kids near Fukushima border

## China ##
China's 20tr yuan debt limits growth
China Coal Price May Rise 5% as Imports Increase 15%, UOB Says
China Hikes Aviation Fuel Prices

## UK ##
Police had to use own mobiles during August riots
"Police were forced to use their own mobile phones during the August riots after a multi-billion pound radio system collapsed, according to a leaked internal report on how UK forces responded to the disorder."

## US ##
Banks Make $13 Billion on $7.7 Trillion in Secret Fed Loans; SEC Stands by Does Nothing
Las Vegas is ground zero for America's housing collapse
Another FAA Shutdown Looming?
Bachmann On Immigration: Deport All The Undocumented
Postal Cuts To Slow First-Class Mail
"Facing bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day."
Earnings Outlook Deteriorates Rapidly; Reduced Forecasts Greatest in 10 Years; Don't Worry Companies Will Still "Beat the Street"
Black Friday Gun Sales Break Records
Detroit To Be Taken Over
Hospitals facing critical shortage of anesthesia meds

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