Monday, January 16, 2012


News Links, January 17, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Eurozone Bailout Downgraded By S&P To AA+
Portugal Downgraded to Junk; Bond Yields Soar; Record Spread vs. Germany; Portugal to Follow Greece Into Default Abyss
Portugal's grey economy grows amid austerity: study
"Portugal's grey economy expanded to a quarter of GDP in 2010, denying the debt-ridden country much-needed tax revenues, and probably grew further last year as Lisbon raised taxes, a study showed on Monday."
Germany rejects rescue fund boost, Greece under pressure
"Germany, the only major euro zone member to retain a top-notch credit rating, refused on Monday to consider boosting the bloc's rescue fund, while Greece was under pressure to urgently break a deadlock in debt swap talks if it is to avoid an unruly default."
Greeks Worry Over A Possible Return To The Drachma
Greece Dispatches Officials to US Over Default Fears; Senior S&P Official Expects Default Soon; Greek One-Year Bond Yield Touches 415%; Ducks Lined Up for Merkel Orchestrated Default
Clearing Houses: The Next Casualty of the Crisis?
"'What happens if they go bust? I can tell you the simple answer: mayhem. As bad as, conceivably worse than, the failure of large and complex banks,' Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said in October."
Has The ECB Given Up On Portugal?
Ireland Continues to Fall Apart
"Ireland's economic problems have been largely forgotten as concerns about a financial collapse of Italy and Spain have taken the spotlight. That likely will change now. Research firm Davy has significantly cut its 2012 GDP forecast for Ireland to 0.4% from a previous number of 1.7%. Ireland's national economy has worsened as much as those of the most troubled eurozone economies."
Sarkozy: Europe facing 'unprecedented crisis'
Majority of Italians No Longer Trust the Euro: Poll
Central Bank of Chile Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate to 5% on Slowdown in Domestic, Global Growth
China a Harbinger for Global Slowdown
UN Carbon Credit Futures Drop to Record on Worries Over Greece
Dubai World unit mulls sale of UK asset as debts loom

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military/war drums ##
Flexing muscle, Iraq detains US contractors in Baghdad
Nigeria unions suspend strike after fuel price cut
"Nigerian trade unions called off strikes and protests on Monday, ending a major confrontation over fuel prices after President Goodluck Jonathan said he would cut them by one third."
Questions Surround Leadership in Pyongyang
Saudi Arabia, China to enhance relations
Syria suffers series of embarrassing defections
"The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has suffered a series of defections, handing the opposition a propaganda coup amid growing demands for international intervention."
Syrian legislators join anti-Assad uprising
"Two members of parliament flee and declare support for opposition as activists report more deaths across country."
Qatari Emir Pushes for Attack on Syria
"With the Arab League's monitoring mission continuing in Syria, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani took the unprecedented step of urging the Arab League to organize a military attack against Syria."
Iran Studying 'Hormuz Letter,' Warns Gulf Producers

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests in Hungary, Romania
Romanian PM warns protesters on fifth day
Thousands of workers protest at Sanyo's China plant
"Thousands of Chinese workers protesting over compensation and job security at a Sanyo Electric Co Ltd plant clashed with police in southern Shenzhen, media said on Monday, the latest outbreak of labor unrest in China's manufacturing hub."
Protesters ready igloos to Occupy Davos
"Occupy protesters with their sights set on the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering next week of the rich and powerful in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, unveiled their igloo accommodation on Monday."
At least one killed in Guinea riots over power outage
"At least one person was killed during riots in a bauxite mining town in Guinea on Monday over power outages, witnesses said."
Crises, protests precede revolution anniversary (Egypt)

## Energy/resources ##
Fuel shortage in Egypt leads to rising tensions
"A gasoline shortage in Egypt has led to long queues at fuel stations and raised suspicions among drivers that it may be a prelude to a cut in subsidies, despite official reassurances that there is no plan to hike prices."
South Korea seeks to limit damage from US sanction on Iran oil
"As the US pressure increases on it allies to ban their Crude Oil imports from Iran, South Korea is reported to be in intense conversation with the US authorities to provide itself certain concessions with regard to the imports."
Obama Administration Finds Few Asian Takers for Oil Sanctions Against Iran
Sofia debates shale gas after protests
Gas Bears Up Bets on 'Catastrophic' Surplus
"Hedge funds turned bearish on U.S. natural gas for the first time in eight weeks as a surplus and warmer-than-normal weather pushed the price of the heating fuel to the lowest level in more than two years.
"The funds and other large speculators switched from bets that futures will rise to a bearish, or 'short,' position of a net 10,344 futures equivalents in the week ended Jan. 10, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Commitments of Traders report on Jan. 13."
Dubai residents suffer as district cooling bills jump
Norway sees oil output down, gas up
OPEC: worsening euro zone crisis would hit oil demand

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves targeting street lights cost San Jose thousands in repairs
"San Jose officials have asked for the public's help in thwarting thieves, who have stolen copper wire from 197 street lights in the past year and a half, incurring $164,000 in damage.

## Environment/health ##
India reports new strain of 'totally drug-resistant tuberculosis'
Cornell Study Links Fracking Wastewater with Mortality in Farm Animals

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Israel hit by cyber-attacks on stock exchange, airline and banks
"Hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, El Al airlines and three banks on Monday, in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel.
"The attacks came just days after an unidentified hacker, proclaiming Palestinian sympathies, posted the details of thousands of Israeli credit card holders and other personal information on the internet in a mass theft."
Wikipedia, Reddit plan blackout in SOPA protest
Zappos hacked, 24 million accounts accessed

## Japan ##
Economists Cut FY12 Growth Forecast To 1.89%
"The real economy is projected to grow 1.89% next fiscal year, according to a January survey of economists, a downgrade of 13 basis points from December."
BOJ lowers assessments on 7 of 9 regional economies
Japan to name islands in disputed area
"Japan has decided to name several uninhabited islands in a group that is also claimed by China and Taiwan, a move likely to anger the Asian neighbors."
New condo's foundation radioactive
"Quarry sourced crushed stones from hot-zone city of Namie"

## China ##
Lagging new capacity to strain China power supply this yr - report
"China's new installed power generation capacity this year will be the least since 2006, straining electricity supplies with power consumption expected to grow by about 9 percent, China Energy News reported on Monday."

## UK ##
UK in recession says Item Club economic forecasters
'Democracy village' removed from Parliament Square
U.K.: No public funding for new royal yacht

## US ##
Sturgeon Bay: Some streetlights to go dark by the end of January
Americans honor MLK with service — and more protests
"Americans honored Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with a traditional day of service as well as a new wave of economic injustice protests by Occupy Wall Street."
Economy: Why the 'good' news isn't
Ripe For The Picking: Time to Short Muni Bonds?
Gas prices may get close to $5 in some spots
The new Sharing Economy: Is it legal? (video)
Drop in Public Workers Digs a Deeper Jobs Hole
Retail Sales Growth Begins to Falter
California Launches Task Force to Dismantle the Underground Economy

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