Thursday, January 12, 2012


News Links, January 13, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greece races to tie up writedown deal before debt repayments fall due
Hedge funds hunker down for Greek debt standoff
Dear U.S.A.: Your Account Is Overdrawn
Gold Bar Premiums In Asia Rising Again On Physical Demand
Ulster Bank axes 950 jobs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military/war drums ##
Geithner Gets China Snub on Iranian Oil as Japan Plans Cut
EU Iran Oil Embargo Likely Delayed Six Months
"A European Union embargo on imports of Iranian (OPCRIRAN) oil will probably be delayed for six months to allow countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain to find alternative supplies, an EU official with knowledge of the talks said."
As I observed before, if it's this hard to replace Iranian oil, we are already in trouble. -- RF
China says war over Iran will bring disaster
China Gets Cheaper Iran Oil as U.S. Pays Tab for Hormuz Patrols
Brilliant! This is a real coup for the US! -- RF
Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
Russia opposes oil sanctions against Iran
U.S. may deal military strike at Iran - Patrushev
Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions (NYT)
Thousands Of US Troops To Arrive In Israel This Week
West planning no-fly zone to aid Syrian rebels
Norway: NATO Losing Self-Defense Ability
"NATO's ability to defend member nations against aggression by a conventional enemy force may be atrophying, Norway's Defense Minister said Jan. 13."
US State Dept. Official Meets With Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Washington Occupy protesters persevere
Day Three: Protests increasingly difficult to control (Nigeria)
Anger at squalid housing unleashes Algeria protest
Occupy Tokyo Actions Don't Get Media Coverage — Surprised?

## Energy/resources ##
Oil-rich Nigeria running on fumes
Nigerian union orders oil shutdown from Sunday
"Nigeria's main oil union said Thursday it would shut down output from Africa's biggest oil producer Sunday if the government did not reverse its decision to remove publicly popular fuel subsidies."
Saudi Arabia's Rising Domestic Oil Consumption to Threaten Exports?
Oil Climbs From 2-Week Low on Nigeria Disruptions, Iran Tension
Palace sets contingency measures in case of oil crisis
"MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang assured the public yesterday that contingency measures are in place in case fuel prices rise dramatically due to tensions in the Strait of Hormuz."
U.S. Gasoline Use Declines to Seven-Year Low, MasterCard Says
Blackout: Prolonged power outages paralyse life in Swat (Pakistan)
Industrial leaders to meet today for solution of energy crisis (Pakistan)
State in the throes of worst power crisis (India)
"In an unprecedented manner, Manipur is currently experiencing a situation of power crisis wherein the consumers could get no more than one and half hours of power supply in a day, that too erratically."
Prolonged blackouts (Botswana)
"In some cases since last Friday, the power outages have exceeded the eight-hour mark across the country as Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) tried to preserve the nationwide shortage of power."

## Got food? ##
Bumper 2011 Grain Harvest Fails to Rebuild Global Stocks
"The world's farmers produced more grain in 2011 than ever before. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the global grain harvest coming in at 2,295 million tonnes, up 53 million tonnes from the previous record in 2009.
"Consumption grew by 90 million tonnes over the same period to 2,280 million tonnes. Yet with global grain production actually falling short of consumption in seven of the past 12 years, stocks remain worryingly low, leaving the world vulnerable to food price shocks."
Corn export premiums firm at US Gulf Coast
"Corn export premiums at the US Gulf Coast were steady to firm on Tuesday as worries about declining production in drought-hit South America supported demand for US grain."

## Environment/health ##
List of natural disasters and extreme weather makes 2011 the worst on record

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
The Crisis of Civilization (video)
Military Networks 'Not Defensible,' Says General Who Defends Them

## Japan ##
Japan to cut Iranian oil imports under U.S. sanctions
But not right away... -- RF
Water, blankets ready for Tokyo subway commuters
43,000 move from hard-hit Tohoku prefectures

## China ##
S&P: China Bank Loss Deferral a Step Back
"China's authorities are likely to allow local banks to postpone their recognition of losses on some local-government loans, but such a move would be damaging to the sector's reputation and could result in greater losses ultimately, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said on Thursday."
China Auto Sales Growth Lags U.S. For First Time in 14 Years
China slams survey that shows rising Hong Kong resentment
China's December inflation eases to 4.1 percent but food prices up sharply

## UK ##
No fracking in home counties, village residents tell oil company
"Cuadrilla's plan to drill test well in West Sussex leads to furious reactions at public meeting"
RBS ditches investment bank in fresh jobs cull
More power firms cut energy tariffs
"The bottom line for consumers is that these cuts will go nowhere near cancelling out the £224, or 21%, hike in prices they've seen in the last 18 months."
Barclays to axe over 400 jobs
UK Debt Infographic: All You Need To Know

## US ##
24 Statistics To Show To Anyone Who Believes That America Has A Bright Economic Future
Obama formally requests debt limit increase
Who Is Flying Unmanned Aircraft in the U.S.?
"Government Withholds Information on Drone Flight Authorizations"
Biggest financial trap of 2012: US Treasury debt (Daily Reckoning)
"US debt is becoming less valuable as Americans grow poorer and poorer"
Jobless claims have gone up
"Despite last week's good job market news, new unemployment claims increased by 24000"
Smugglers' air force? Drug war sees rise in use of ultralight planes.
Rail Traffic Plummets -9.3% To Start 2012
30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall to Record 3.89%
Vestas Threat to U.S. Jobs Adds Pressure on Congress to Extend Tax Break
Home Seizures May Jump 25% as U.S. Foreclosures Resume, RealtyTrac Says
Retail Sales Up Scant .1% in December, Core Retail Sales Decline; Chart of Retail Sales Adjusted for Population Growth and Inflation
"Considering the massive 50% off entire store sales that it took to clear merchandise in December, this may have been the last gasp of this economic 'recovery.'"
SNA: Analysts paint bleak picture of future Navy
6 things you'll pay more for in 2012

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