Tuesday, January 24, 2012


News Links, January 25, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
S&P says likely to declare Greece in default
Greece, earnings worries send S&P to rare loss
Europe faces malaise and must reform, World Bank says
"Europe has little chance of making a strong economic recovery even if an impending recession proves mild and faces weak growth for the foreseeable future, burdened by debt that may not reach manageable levels until 2030, the World Bank said on Tuesday."
Greek Economy on Track to Implode: Hanke (Bloomberg)
"Whether or not Greece is able to reach an agreement on the restructuring of its debt, the country is set to 'implode' as the economy contracts, according to Johns Hopkins University's Steve Hanke.
"'The game is completely over,' Hanke, professor of applied economics, said at the Bloomberg Sovereign Debt Crisis Conference in New York hosted by Bloomberg Link. 'All the calculations are nonsense and have been since day one. Since the crisis began the money supply has been shrinking and the economy is going to implode, no matter what they do in the short run.'"
Hard Greek Default Likely This Quarter: Strategist (CNBC video)
"Bob Janjuah, Co-Head of Cross-Asset Allocation Strategy, Nomura, told CNBC, 'nobody is convinced that the fundamental story has been dealt with, I think what we are talking about here is a liquidity fuelled rally in risk assets, if that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, great but if it doesn't the ECB's balance sheet is going to look a real mess.'"
Sovereigns Declare War on U.S. Dollar
Young workers hit by rising unemployment (Australia)
13% of World's Youth Unemployed in 2011
India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil
"India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in Gold instead of the US dollar, reported DEBKAfile's intelligence and Iranian. Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran's total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets...
"The vast sums involved in these transactions are expected, furthermore, to boost the price of gold and depress the value of the dollar on world markets."
Governments Will Want Much, Much Higher Gold Prices Soon! Here's Why
Greek Standoff Sinks S&P
Billionaires Occupy Davos as 0.01% Bemoan Inequalities

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Brzezinski: Can democracies thrive with financial systems that are out of control?
"In an interview, Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of America's leading strategists, discusses shifting global power, looking at China, Europe, Turkey, Russia, the US, and the Arab Spring."
Pro-Gaddafi forces strike back, 'Libya out of control' (RT video)
Former Gaddafi stronghold revolts against Tripoli
"Libya's ramshackle government lost control of a former stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday after local people staged an armed uprising, posing the gravest challenge yet to the country's new rulers."
UK could send military assets to Strait of Hormuz
EU Agrees on 'Gradual' Iran Oil Embargo
Britain escalates warning to Iran over Gulf oil lanes
U.S. Sanctions Iran's 3rd Largest Bank
Poland fears U.S. defense cuts make it vulnerable to Russia
Arab League's peace mission to Syria on the verge of collapse
Deadly blasts in Baghdad's Sadr City
Japan and East Asia / Nations face off beneath the waves
China developing unmanned aircraft to counter U.S. forces
Davos: A Super Bowl For Smart, Rich People

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
US relocates Bahrain embassy staff in safety move
"The United States said Monday it is relocating embassy staff and their families to new neighborhoods in Bahrain's capital Manama as part of safety precautions amid anti-government unrest."
Leaders' fear of political unrest grows
"WORLD leaders are increasingly fearful of major social and political unrest as they gather for a week of debates and drinks parties in Davos, according to three reports released yesterday.
"A majority of 345 designated 'risk experts' surveyed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) expected 'a major geopolitical disruption' – ranging from a terrorist attack to political unrest or war – to materialise over the next year. That compares to just over a third of those asked at the start of 2012."
Calls for demonstrations on Wednesday (Egypt)
Egypt's Wounded Revolutionaries Defy Army a Year After Uprising
Syria: Crackdown on protesters will continue
Romanian prime minister calls for unity as thousands protest

## Energy/resources ##
US-Iran standoff to send fuel prices through the roof (Pakistan)
EU's Iran embargo to raise pressure on Irish motorists
Petrol, diesel prices record high in Estonia
Shortages send fuel oil price soaring
"The price of fuel oil and marine fuel, known as bunker fuel, has risen to within a whisker of the record high set in 2008. A combination of low supplies as refiners shift output towards diesel and petrol and strong demand for electricity generation in Japan has pushed prices higher."
Sri Lanka to seek waiver on sanctions to get oil from Iran
Major energy companies rush to Norway
U.S. Cuts Estimate for Marcellus Shale Gas Reserves by 66%
Venezuela's declining oil production mirrors low investment
Venezuela Drills New Orinoco Oil Wells to Boost Production
Mexican state oil company says production continues to fall; dropped 1 percent in 2011

## Environment/health ##
Losing Bats to White Nose Syndrome
Outrage over Dams Being Built as Part of India's Hydro Energy Scheme
'Space hurricane' from the sun sweeping over our planet
Common Chemicals Could Make Kids' Vaccines Less Effective

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Judge: Order to Decrypt Laptop Does Not Violate Fifth Amendment
Hackers Breached Railway Network, Disrupted Service
FTC site attacked by Anonymous, group says
Homeland Security Wants to Spy on 4 Square Miles at Once

## Japan ##
Japan's endgame nears
"In his 2011 book Endgame, New York Times best-selling author John Mauldin calls Japan a 'bug in search of a windshield,' and it's a great metaphor."
Exporter Japan eyes first trade deficit in three decades
"Japan probably produced its first trade deficit last year in more than three decades as energy imports surged to cover for the loss of nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster, a major blow to an economy built on its exports prowess."
Japan's economy predicted to shrink 0.4% in fiscal 2011
IMF slashes Japan's growth estimate for 2012 to 1.7%
Japan's Fiscal Pressure Intensifies as Tax-Boost Plan Insufficent: Economy
Fallout from Fukushima No. 1 on rise
Only one TEPCO nuclear power plant currently in operation
Utilities To Hike Surcharges Covering Solar Power Costs

## China ##
Gordon Chang: Inflation nudging Chinese to buy more gold
China Loans Ecuador $1 Billion as Correa Plans First Bond Sale Since 2005

## UK ##
Police issue security warning as fuel thieves hit lorries
Record diesel prices expected after refinery goes into administration
"1,000 jobs at risk after Coryton refinery in Essex stops supply, threatening disruption that could raise cost of food"
Government debt rises to a record of £1tn
IMF slashes UK's growth forecasts
House sales plunge to continue three-year slump

## US ##
Heating Oil Advances on EU Ban of Iran Oil, Refinery Shutdowns
Obama to Use Pension Funds of Ordinary Americans to Pay for Bank Mortgage "Settlement"
LAPD: Joint Military Drills In Downtown LA Won't Disrupt Public's 'Daily Routines'
Is The NYPD Experimenting With Drones Over The City? Evidence Points To Yes
Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert
"Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life."
Americans Lead in Debt Reduction: Study
US Post Office Needs to Cut 260,000 Jobs: Rep. Issa
George Soros on the Coming U.S. Class War
Why Isn't Illinois A Bigger Story Than Greece?
Illinois will likely be one of the states leading the muni bond collapse. -- RF

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