Saturday, January 28, 2012


News Links, January 29, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greece, creditors on verge of clinching debt deal
Germans want EU budget commissioner for Greece
"A leaked plan from the German government proposes a eurozone "budget commissioner" to take control of Greece's tax and spending, reports say."
Prepare for Greece to Leave Eurozone; German Government Calls for Greece to Cede Sovereignty Over Tax and Spending Decisions to Eurozone "Budget Commissioner"; Text of the German Demands (Mish)
Greece Could Default Outright, Maybe it Should, For it Now Has a Primary Surplus
China Closer To Bailing Out Europe
Davos 2012: Youth unemployment 'disaster'
Iran Oil Export Curbs Extend to 95% of Tankers in Europe's Insurance Rules
Economist who foresaw '08 crash warns conflict with Iran could cause global recession
Oil supply limits and the continuing financial crisis
Mexican electricity output tied to economic growth
"Mexico needs to generate more electricity to meet the needs of its burgeoning population and developing industries but that seems increasingly tied to the prospect of future economic growth, latest data indicated."
Thousands of passengers stranded as Spanair ceases operations
Carstens Says Mexico's Historic Drought May Hamper Inflation Expectations

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Floating U.S. base to be deployed in Mideast
Obama administration approves arms shipment to Bahrain
U.S. Not Seeking Military Bases in Southeast Asia
"The United States wants a greater military presence in Southeast Asia but does not seek permanent bases anywhere in the region, the chief of the Pacific Command said."
Libyan commander says will retake Bani Walid
Iraq water crisis could stir ethnic clash
"Iraq is facing worsening water shortages caused by the failure of successive postwar governments to ensure supplies and extensive dam-building in neighboring states that could trigger sectarian conflict."
Philippines studying U.S. offer to deploy spy planes
Pentagon Seeks Mightier Bomb vs. Iran
"Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn't yet capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Arab League suspends Syria mission as violence rages
Three Kazakh activists detained after rally for change
Brussels promises unseen levels of inactivity
"When David Cameron and other heads of government assemble in Brussels on Monday for a session of the European Council, they will see a city at a standstill."
Young man demands freedom for Tibet, tells China police to come arrest him
The working class rises up across Latin America
Topless protesters detained at Davos forum
"Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor. Separately, demonstrators from the Occupy movement marched to the edge of the gathering."
Senegal opposition urges more 'resistance' after riots
Union members, Occupiers protest in Super Bowl Village

## Energy/resources ##
Sanctions to hit EU buyback firms: Iran oil chief
"European companies owed oil by Irancould lose out if Tehran imposes a ban on crude exports to the European Union next week, the head of Iran's state oil company said on Saturday."
The Global Hunt For Oil: Canadian Firm Drills First Exploration Well in Somalia
Sudan offers to release oil shipments
Asian gasoline cracks hit 3-month highs on supply concerns
"Asian physical gasoline cracks in Singapore hit three-month highs Thursday, led by concerns over spot availability within Asia due to refinery closures in Europe and the US Atlantic Coast."
Chevron Corp.'s production drop shows challenges oil companies face to meet global demand
Iraq likely to open new 
oil terminal in 10 days
Nation's Limping Electricity Sector (Uganda)
Everything You Know About Peak Oil Is Wrong (BusinessWeek)
If I hear one more warning about peak oil, tight resource supplies, economic collapse, or any more of that disaster porn, I think I'm going to puke! There's plenty for everyone, and high prices are all the fault of speculators. And Greece will pull through with a good shot of Keynesian spending. New technologies will solve our problems, so chill in front of the tube and forget about this nonsense! (P.S. Has BusinessWeek been taken over by the Wall Street Journal?) -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable theft effect: you'll be surprised (South Africa)
"From power cuts to network downtime, cable theft knocks out traffic lights, delays trains, plunges whole neighbourhoods into darkness, and cuts off critical communications."

## Environment/health ##
Mexican swine flu outbreak kills 29, infects nearly 1,500
Dolphin, seal deaths plague New England
10 million face drought in the Sahel

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Twitter's new censorship plan rouses global furor
North Korea Reportedly Outlaws Cell Phones

## Japan ##
All major Japanese automakers log domestic output falls in 2011
"Total domestic production by Japan's eight major automakers dropped 13.4 percent in 2011 from the previous year to 7,978,541 units, with all manufacturers logging falls due largely to output and supply chain disruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to their data released Friday."
Never underestimate the impact of the supply chain disruption. Japan's economy is hanging on by a thread. -- RF
Post-nationalized TEPCO to solicit capital to update thermal generators
"Following the effective nationalization of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which is currently being debated by the Japanese government, external parties will be solicited to inject new funds toward upgrading the utility's aging thermal power plants, it has been learned."
Japan's plutonium stockpile builds as nuke fuel cycle policy hits dead end
But it could be used in weapons, and it is widely rumored that Japan's military could put together a nuclear weapon in 24 hours. -- RF
Number of flu patients surpasses 1.11 million as epidemic spreads
Gov't says no to free medical care for children under 18 in Fukushima
Minimum pension hard to guarantee
Pension funds everywhere in the world are melting away. -- RF
NEC the latest to cut workforce / Electronics industry forced to eliminate tens of thousands of jobs
Industry, TEPCO wary about Edano's views on electricity
"'We cannot find any additional energy conservation measures,' an official of an electric equipment company said."
TEPCO comes 2nd in vote for most irresponsible company
Japan stands ready to support euro zone: PM Noda

## China ##
China's Top Auditor Warns of Fiscal, Financial Risks
"The auditor earlier this month said it found billions of dollars worth of infractions and misappropriations by local-government financing vehicles. Such vehicles, set up by local governments to skirt limits on borrowing directly from banks to fund projects such as infrastructure construction, have become a focal point of risks in China's banking sector."

## UK ##
UK riots: paratroopers are trained in riot control
"British troops are being trained in riot control tactics amid fears that violence and looting will return to Britain's streets this summer."
The prison population is neither justifiable nor sustainable
Britain could not reclaim the Falklands if Argentina invades, warns General Sir Michael Jackson
UK gasoline cargo prices rise on news of Coryton plant closure

## US ##
$132.9 billion: Remember TARP? It still owes you.
"$132.9 billion short, the 2008 US bailout of the financial system could continue through 2017. Some of the $132.9 billion TARP money will never be recovered."
Workers at Pa. refinery get layoff notices
Refinery closings could push gasoline prices back to $4
Newt for President — of the Moon
Even Time is panning Gingrich's idiotic plan. Better yet, somebody over at Time understands net energy! That's the best part of this piece. -- RF
Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran
Security consulting firm says 2011 saw big increases in cargo theft

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