Friday, January 06, 2012


News Links, January 7, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF to Lower 2012 Growth Forecast
IMF chief Christine Lagarde: Some EU countries in technical recession
Soros says EU break-up would be catastrophic: report
Eurozone unemployment hits new record
Third ratings agency gives Hungary a junk credit rating
Iran Oil Ban Could Herald Economic Disaster for Europe
Global Economy Could Endure Disaster For a Week
"The global economy could withstand widespread disruption from a natural disaster or attack by militants for only a week as governments and businesses are not sufficiently prepared to deal with unexpected events, a report by a respected think-tank said."
German November industrial orders drop 4.8%
Do Not Underestimate the Desperation of Broke(n) Governments (Financial Sense)
The World Is Overflowing With Memory Chips
Elpida seeking 40 bil. yen in aid / DRAM chip business declines in face of strong yen, falling prices (Japan)
"Elpida Memory Inc., the world's third-largest manufacturer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, is seeking a total of 500 million dollars (40 billion yen) in financial assistance from about 10 of its business partners, according to sources."
Australia's Suncorp hit by hailstorms, quake costs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Bureau of Counterterrorism (US Dept. of State)
Obama: the US can no longer fight the world's battles
Crude Plan: Iran war & double recession? (RT video)
Iran plans more war games in strait as sanctions bite
Pricing Dispute Threatens Iran's Oil Exports to China
"Iran's crude-oil exports to China, its largest export customer, are expected to fall by almost 40% in January because of a dispute over pricing and other contract terms, a person familiar with Iran's oil sales said.
"Though China could play a key role in the effectiveness of international sanctions on Iran, a major supplier to its energy-hungry economy, it has steadfastly declined to join international efforts to deprive Tehran of revenue."
Royal Navy sends its mightiest ship to take on the Iranian show of force in the Gulf
Chinese ships attacked again on Mekong River
"Four Chinese cargo ships and a Myanmar patrol boat were attacked early morning on Jan 4 at Wan Pung Port in Myanmar, further aggravating safety concerns over the Mekong River that saw a bloody slaughter of 13 Chinese sailors last October."
Deadly explosion in Damascus, says Syria state TV
Syrian bomb attacks cause people to rally around Bashar al-Assad's regime
Gunmen kill 6 in Nigeria church attack: pastor
Nigeria: The Next Front for AFRICOM
China warns US on Asia military strategy
Obama Adopts Bush Plan to Cut U.S. Combat Brigades in Europe, Hammond Says
Iraq: 84 killed, 157 wounded in attacks

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Libyan soldiers demand salaries
"Hundreds of Libyan soldiers protested on Thursday in the eastern city of Benghazi, demanding payment of overdue wages and complaining militia groups had taken over their bases and were not interested in joining a new national army."
Two Tibetans in China set themselves ablaze in protest
Hungary's 'Viktator' faces tide of protest at home and abroad
Nigeria police block fuel hike protesters
"Trade unions have threatened to begin an indefinite general strike from Monday, as protests continue."

## Energy/resources ##
West readies oil plan in case of Iran crisis
"Western powers this week readied a contingency plan to tap a record volume from emergency stockpiles to replace nearly all the Gulf oil that would be lost if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, industry sources and diplomats told Reuters."
Trains suspended again due to diesel shortage (Pakistan)
It appears that the trains are competing with diesel generators... and losing. -- RF
Not enough fuel in Kruger National Park (South Africa)
"According to the KNP's head of public relations, William Mabasa, the situation is a result of a general shortage of fuel in the country which is not only affecting Kruger, but many filling stations in the region."
Fidel Castro says world marching into abyss with shale gas
For Zimbabwe's Consumers, Electrical Brownouts Beat Blackouts
"While all these projects have potential, until the government of President Robert Mugabe addresses the 'perception problem of Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination,' it would seem that for the foreseeable future Zimbabwe's most important energy source will remain – wood."
A Look at Some of the Obstacles Facing Wind Energy in the U.S.
A good read. -- RF
US Beats Expectations Saving Energy
My take is that they are giving too much credit to efficiency and not enough to the crashing economy. -- RF
Saudi Arabia's oil price cuts not seen tempting Asia buyers

## Got food? ##
Agri collapse in '12 (Pakistan)
Qatar's next big purchase: a farming sector
"Like other oil-rich, water-poor Gulf states, Qatar has been investing in large areas of farmland overseas to ensure access to food supplies. The agricultural arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, Hassad Food, has bought land in Sudan and Australia, and has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on agricultural projects in countries including Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and Ukraine."
Brazil's government reports highest inflation in 7 years, food prices weigh heavily
Analysis: Food price pressures weigh heavy on southern Africa
Florida Citrus Growers Report Damage to Oranges

## Environment/health ##
Latin America Battling Wildfires, Floods, Droughts
Paraguay emergency tackles crisis over cattle disease outbreak

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Feds turn to dating websites and facial recognition tools to catch crooks
Livestreaming Journalists Want to Occupy the Skies With Cheap Drones
Hackers Get Symantec Anti-Virus Source Code
X-37B spaceplane 'spying on China'
Facebook worm compromises up to 45,000 accounts
Stuxnet cyberweapon looks to be one on a production line, researchers say

## Japan ##
Six Reasons to Avoid Japan In 2012 (on investing)
Japan plans massive investment in futuristic robot farm
Techno-porn. -- RF
Japan Retailers' Profit Hit By March 11 Impact
Gov't to introduce regulations limiting life of nuclear reactors to 40 years
Japan May Nationalize Nuclear Power Plants, Edano Tells Yomiuri
Japan considering alternative oil supplies as Iran sanctions loom
Catastrophe bonds drawing attention in financial industry
GDP shrank last quarter on Europe debt woes: JCER
"The rebound from the March 11 disasters was probably cut short in the fourth quarter as the impact of Europe's crisis outweighed the support from reconstruction spending."

## China ##
How China Stays Stable Despite 500 Protests Every Day
China To Lower Growth Target To 7% Level For '12
China faces social unrest from housing woes
Chinese Solar Firms Will Die Before Being Acquired

## UK ##
UK car registrations fall 4.4% in 2011
The UK's 10 Biggest Shopping Malls Are Tracking Shoppers Via Their Cell Phones

## US ##
Fed seen unveiling QE3 bond plans by summer
Investors Continue to Yank Money Out of Stocks
Shortages of important drugs mean big problems for thousands of U.S. patients
NDAA: Open Season for the Police State
Massive Beat? Not So Fast - Morgan Stanley Warns 42,000 "Jobs" Bogus Due To Seasonal Quirk
Nonfarm Payroll +200,000 ; Labor Force Drops Another 50,000 ; Those Not in Labor Force Rises by 194,000 ; Unemployment Rate 8.5%; Notes from Trim Tabs on the BLS Report
Brutal losses in state and local jobs
Upbeat Dec. jobs report fails to lift Wall Street
Break Out the Budgets, Study Reveals US Consumers Increasingly Overleveraged
FBI: Firearm purchases shoot up in 2011
Why banks shun 30 million Americans
When will the debt bubble burst? (Daily Reckoning)
"Positive inflation is the feds' answer to a debt blow-up. They have no other answer… When bond buyers refuse to roll over US debt at reasonable rates, the Fed will use its printing press. The resulting 'positive' inflation will blow up the world's monetary system as well as government debt. Gold will be the about the only money left."
Experts: Gas headed higher this year
Six police officers shot in Utah
U.S. issues travel warning for Philippines
"U.S. citizens are advised of a heightened risk of terrorist activity in the Philippines, the U.S. State Department said in an updated travel warning."
Profit Warnings at Target, Kohl's, J. C. Penney, American Eagle
U.S. Industry Associations Release Bleak Report
"A trio of U.S. defense industry associations jointly released a report Jan. 6 warning of catastrophic damage that might be caused by defense cuts."
Tax gap: IRS comes up $385 billion short
5 Big Retail Chains That Will Be Gone in 5 Years

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